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Irish Celtic infused pop icons, The Corrs will return to Australia on November 26 for an exclusive, one night only, performance at Hope Estate in the heart of NSW’s Hunter Valley wine country. Joining them for an incredible evening of wine and song will be one of the most successful acts in British pop history Wet Wet Wet, Australia’s catchiest song writer, Ben Lee and emerging artist, Gaudion.

pic by Jason Rosewarne

The Corrs are a family affair, Andrea (lead vocals), Sharon (violin, piano, vocals), Caroline (drums, piano, vocals) and Jim (guitar, piano, vocals) have sold over 40 million albums worldwide and in excess of two million albums in Australia since their 1995 debut album Forgiven Not Forgotten crashed into the charts and stole our hearts. An enchanting mix of traditional Celtic music with a pop rock twist, The Corrs have written some of the biggest songs of the last three decades.

Forgiven Not Forgotten gave us the incredible title track, the exquisite Heaven Knows and of course, arguably one of the biggest adult contemporary songs of the modern era, Runaway. Their second album, Talk On Corners led with I Never Loved You Anyway, So Young and Only When I Sleep and is their biggest selling album to date.

After a short break, The Corrs returned with In Blue which features their highest streaming ever. The enchanting Breathless has received staggering 132 million plays on Spotify and counting! Returning to their folk roots with Borrowed Heaven and Home, The Corrs went on a decade long hiatus to raise families, only to return in 2015 with White Light and their latest release 2017’s Jupiter Calling, featuring the sublime, Son Of Solomon and SOS (Song of Syria).

Australian Musician editor Greg Phillips spoke with drummer Caroline Corr about the bands career, her drum gear and the upcoming concert at Hope Estate in the Hunter Valley


AM: Caroline Corr. Welcome to Australian Musician.

CC: Hi. Morning or afternoon or evening.

You’re coming to Australia to play for one night only on Saturday, November 26th at the Hope Estate in the Hunter Valley. Were you surprised when you were asked to fly all the way out here for one show?

Well, definitely. It was a consideration. We’ve been wanting to get back to Australia for a very, very long time, so we discussed many times with our promoter, what about Australia? Could we at some point do something? And he came up with this idea to go and play at this winery in Hunter Valley, and I think that just appealed to us in the sense that it was something a little bit different. But yeah, I would agree. It’s a very, very long way to do one show, but it’ll be worth it.

Have you played wineries before? I believe you have an interest in wine, not just drinking, but how it’s made etc.

Apart from the drinking I do. I do love wine. I became interested in it a few years ago. That’s not the reason we’re doing the gig on a winery, but this all works for me for sure. But I’ve started to get an interest in wine. About five years ago. I was always drinking this amazing wine. And with travel, I never really understood enough about it, and I just wanted to find out a bit more about it. So I did a few courses and I still have a few more courses to do to kind of gain more knowledge because obviously the wine world is vast, absolutely vast.

Wet, Wet, Wet is playing with you at this gig. Had you crossed paths with Wet, Wet, Wet, Wet before, back in the day?

No, we didn’t. No. Unfortunately we didn’t. Obviously when I was younger, I was watching what they were achieving and also seeing ‘When Love Is All Around’ being that major song for them, it was quite inspiring. But I mean, no, we didn’t cross paths, so it would be really nice that we do on this show.

You hadn’t played since 2017, and then we had the pandemic. Had you been keeping up your drum chops up during Covid?

Oh, we’re all rusty, very rusty. No, I mean, I would say it’s something that it is muscle memory, it comes back, but I have been sort of in rehearsals just myself for the last week or two, and then we go into rehearsals for a couple of weeks next week in Dublin. So it’s something that once you get the band all together, it sort of comes back. But there’s no doubt taking breaks like that, it isn’t brilliant, isn’t the best idea, really. You should be playing all the time. But we do get it together. We’ve done these sort of things before where we’ve suddenly had to get a show together pretty quickly. So we do work well under pressure in that way. Most of the time.

Percussion plays such a large part in Irish culture, but I believe you didn’t get into playing drums until your teens, but did you pick up traditional Irish instruments when you were younger?

Yeah, I mean, it all sort of happened together for me. Originally … bizarrely I was the piano player in the band, but I was never seen as the piano player because we hadn’t become anything at that point. But I used to play keyboards and piano, and I think something sort of dawned, I mean, I started learning drums with a friend, a boyfriend at the time, and he was just showing me a few things, and I kind of just started to get into it and really liked it. And then obviously we just incorporated in the band, but with traditional instruments, the Bodhran… I picked up, I just learned myself when I was I think I probably around 16 or 17, and I’d obviously always seen The Bodhran. I always was interested in Bodhran but I’d never actually learned to play it. But there was amazing videos. I just got these, it wasn’t YouTube at the time, it was just, I bought these videos and I just sat down and started to learn it, and I loved the Bodhran. So I mean, we all play traditional Irish instruments, but the way we’ve done it is we’ve incorporated that traditional music in the genre that we like to create, which is the mixture of the rock and the pop as well. So it’s slightly different how we do it, but we do on our shows, we do sort of pure traditional music as well.

Did you all have similar musical tastes when you were younger?

I think growing up in Ireland, Irish radio is really, really good. We grew up listening to very similar things, and it was a broad range of things. It was American music, it was music coming from everywhere. But I think our parents being musicians did have a big influence on us because they were always playing music. So this is something just sort of seeps into you. But I mean, we did pick up bands. We were all into The Police. Myself and Andrea were into Prince. We had different things. Sharon, what was she at the time? Oh my God, I can’t remember what Sharon was into. We had different bands or individual tastes, but at the same time, it was also quite similar, if you know what I mean?

Yeah. What about Drum heroes? When you really started getting into drums, were there drummers you admired?

Yeah. Vinnie Colaiuta, I think always. I still follow him on Instagram, still see what he’s up to. I just think his drumming was sensational. He’s just an incredible drummer. So yeah, I mean, obviously that standard of just how different he was and what he was able to create. Steve Gadd at one point. There was a lot of different drummers I liked at the time.

Queen’s Roger Taylor played with the band on a version of Toss the Feathers. How was that experience? How did that come together?

I think it was with David Foster in the studio and David sort of suggested it at the time, and we thought, God, that would be brilliant to have him come in and do his thing. And obviously what he did was incredible. So yeah, it’s an amazing piece of work. That was a great day. I remember just watching. It was a great day in the studio.

Mick Fleetwood is another great drummer who played with you guys on a track or two. Was he influential to you?

Absolutely. Obviously, because listening to Fleetwood Mac for so many years, just subliminally consciously all the time listening to Fleetwood Mac, I mean, even if we didn’t know we were being influenced by him, we were, yeah, he’s amazing. But when we asked him to come and play with us for that St. Patrick’s Day show, which was in the Royal Albert Hall, we didn’t know whether he’d say yes or not. It was like, will he do this? And he was so up for it, and he was so amazing, and his energy was amazing. I remember though, myself and him, we had both our kits right beside each other on stage, and for him, it’s not an easy thing to walk in. He’s such a pro to walk in and it’s a couple of new songs that he was playing on that he’d literally heard a little bit of, and we really only rehearsed those in soundcheck and then just went for it that night. So what happened that night was just pretty spontaneous. I remember, I think we did Toss the Feathers. I’ve forgotten the other one. We played now, it’s such a long time ago. I’m trying to remember. Did we do Dreams? Maybe. I’m not a hundred percent sure, but Toss the Feathers for sure. But he was so, was just so up for it and so much energy and such a great person.

Speaking of drums, throughout your career, I think you played Yamaha drums with Zildjian cymbals.  Has that stayed the same most of the time, or have you changed it?

It has stayed the same. I haven’t really deviated, and in the odd time I’ll have a DW. At the moment. I have a DW sort of kick pedal. But no, it hasn’t really deviated at all, and I still use them.

What about cymbals? What do you like in the cymbals that you use?

Normally what I do is, well… for this show, what I’ll do is I’ll go into the studio and I’ll see what we have, we will get a range of cymbals and have a listen. That’s what I normally do for each show. And what I’ll do is I’ll have a listen to all of the different sounds, because at the moment, I need to actually get quite a lot of new cymbals right now because I’m playing with a lot of old folks. We haven’t toured in a while. So what I’d like to do is just go into the studio and have a listen to a broad range of or into the rehearsal room, have a listen to, and I’ll just choose what I feel will give me that sort of crisp sound for the shows.

What about sticks? Are you fussy about the kind of sticks you use?

I’ve always used Vic Firth. I just always have, I’ve always used them. I haven’t really deviated on that. I use the ones with the grips as well. I’ve used those a lot. I’ve found that that’s just been better for me for when it gets pretty hot on the stage and you’ve got a lot of moisture.

Do you use any electronics at all? Do you trigger anything on stage?

I do. I have a trigger pad for one of the tracks we did, which was Bring on the Night, which was on our last record. And it was just for a particular set. I had a trigger pad, but I do have a trigger on the snare as well to change up the snare as well for different tracks. And then I sort of leave it to our front house to come up with the sound that he feels is going to be the right sound for the track. This time around, we go into rehearsal room and we’ll sort of fiddle around with that again. Obviously with our type of music, the drum sounds have been pretty broad range for each track, so it’s nice to be able to.. to have sounds that you can create that are different and a bit more punchy for certain tracks.

But what about your studio experience over the years? Do you enjoy laying down drum tracks in the studio as much as performing?

I think, yeah, it’s intense. I mean, with Jupiter Calling probably, which was our last record, 2017, we did that all live in the studio, and it was very, very intense because we had about two weeks to do the record, and it was very intense because we decided we were going to do it all. We were all in different sections in the studio, so having been able to not have as much spill into each other, it was quite an intense time. We would do four or five takes, and that is intense because you’re doing four or five takes and you’re just taking the best one. Then you’re listening back and thinking, oh, bloody hell. What did I do? Oh, shit, I did that. Oh, no. And between myself and the bass player, we’re just like, it’s just trying to get the best performance. But in that situation, yeah. I mean, I do enjoy it but I do think it’s also an intense process for anyone in the studio, just doing their best at that time. And there’s always a time limit. I always feel there’s always a timeframe that you can’t spend massive amounts of time on it. You do have to get to the point of this is, okay, we’re going to go with this. So yeah, I do think it is intense. I do enjoy it though’

When you look back at the band’s career, what are your strongest memories?

Strongest memories? I think some of biggest shows that we ever did are probably the strongest memories that I have. When you get to a pinnacle of where you’ve been trying to get to, and then you get to it and you do one of these incredible shows, and you’ve got an audience that knows your music inside out. I mean, that’s an incredible feeling. I remember we did a show with The Stones, I remember, and it was like a hundred thousand people. It was in Germany at one point, and there was a few support situations. We did guesting with amazing artists that were also brilliant for our career. But I don’t know. It was a journey, the whole thing. It’s a journey. Yeah.

I know you’ve been busy raising a family, but did a solo album ever enter your mind like your sisters?

No. I’ll tell you and I’m very supportive of the girls Andrea, Sharon doing their solo thing, and I think it’s brilliant. I just think I work better in a team, and I don’t feel I’m a solo artist. I don’t see myself as a solo artist at all, probably because my position in the band and what I do, it’s not to say I wouldn’t do something on my own, but whether I would have a career on my own or whether I would be putting out records on my own, I just don’t think that’s for me at all. I really love working with the band. I love working in the group that we have. It’s my familiarity. It’s what makes me tick. But no, I mean, no, I wouldn’t see myself as a strong enough vocalist for a solo record or anything, like a solo, maybe a solo Bodhran record, I dunno. But I wouldn’t see, my vocals are good, but I just wouldn’t see myself as a solo artist in that way.

Jupiter Calling was the last album for the band in 2017. Any plans to record again?

I’d love to record again and it comes up the odd time. I’d hate to think that would be our last record, but I never say never. I mean, it’s really getting everyone in the right place to be willing to get together and write again, and the writing process. Normally, we sort of now do that separately, and then we come together because everyone has their own lives and has their own responsibilities and things going on. But I would love to do a record, but in the right environment where everybody’s feeling the energy of doing a record, yeah, I would. But there is no plans right now. No. Let’s get through this. We’ll get through this gig first.

I see that the Hope Estate concert’s going to be quite spectacular. There’s a 500 drone light show happening. I guess because you haven’t played for so long that you’ve never played with a drone show?

Never. Never. And I mean, that is exciting. And we’ve just been over and back on email regarding the drones and what tracks are the drones on and what’s happening for the band. We get up and do our thing, and then there’s a whole lot of other things going o, and so they need to be worked together. But yeah, I think that’ll be really exciting actually, to have drones. Have you been to a show with drones?

I haven’t. No.

I think it’ll be something different. I’m excited to see how that’ll work. We’ll probably be very distracted on stage watching the drones. That’s my concern

Between watching the drones and tasting the wines…

Yeah, when tasting the wine, of course, I’ll need to do plenty of that. Well, I don’t know, jet, that won’t work too well. Jet lag Wine and Performing. That might not work, but we’ll see.

As we said, it’s a long way to come for one show. Will you be sticking around afterwards or coming early?

We come about, I think three days earlier, two or three days earlier, and we’re going to do a little bit of press, and then I think there’s a cocktail party the day before the show, so there’s a few things to do before that. But no, I think we’re going, we probably all be flying out pretty soon after the show, which is unfortunate. But next time I’d like to come back and just take a bit of time because you go that far and you think, well, hey, I should just take a week or two and holiday or something like that’

Well, Caroline, it is been great to chat and we look forward to seeing the band back in Australia soon.

Great. It’s great to see you. Thank you. Bye. Bye.


Well known for their massive hit, Love Is All Around, from one of the most successful UK movies ever, Four Weddings And A Funeral, Scotland’s Wet Wet Wet are celebrating the 35th anniversary of their first album release this year. With their hit albums & singles including Sweet Little Mystery, Angel Eyes, Goodnight Girl, Julia Says and of course, Sweet Surrender, the band have featured in the official UK singles and album charts for over 500 weeks, spending 15 weeks at the top with Love Is All Around itself – a record for any UK artist that still stands.

Having played to more than four million people around the world including a record breaking 10 sold out shows in one year at the SEC in Glasgow, the band have built a reputation as one of the best live acts ever produced by the UK. The band’s latest album, 2021’s The Journey, is their first in over a decade and having last toured Australia all the way back in 1995, Wet Wet Wet are thrilled to be finally coming back to reconnect with their old fans and looking forward to making new ones who will experience them for the first time.

Ben Lee has been one of Australia’s most successful singer songwriters of the new millennium. Cigarette’s Will Kill You and Catch My Disease have been radio staples for years and his 2006 smash, We’re All In This Together became an unofficial Aussie anthem during the pandemic. Never one to take himself seriously, Ben is in it for the good times.

A prolific collaborator, Ben has worked with too many artists to mention, runs a podcast network and even directs movies! Ben will have you in a great mood for the evening ahead. You’ll laugh, you’ll sing and you’ll love it!

Emerging artist, Gaudion will impress you with his charisma energy and zest for life which are embodied in his music as he continues his mission to spread happiness everywhere! Gaudion is nominated for Breakout Artist of the Year at this years Gold Coast Music Awards and his unique style is influenced by the likes of Van Morrison, Ed Sheeran, James Reyne and Tracy Chapman.

To make this evening a night to remember, The Corrs will embark on a global first with 500 drones lighting up the sky that are synced to several of their key songs making the atmosphere truly remarkable.

Come and soak up the atmosphere of live music in the heart of Hunter Valley wine country at the home of Australia’s largest purpose-built outdoor winery concert amphitheatre.

Saturday, November 26, 2022
Hope Estate, Hunter Valley NSW
Ticket info HERE

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