Katherine Outback Experience Year in Review Part 2: Tom Curtain Music

We have had an incredible 12 months at Katherine Outback Experience! We’ve already shared some of our news with you in Part 1 of our Year in Review (check it out to read about Tom and Annabel’s wedding, the incredible tourism awards we’ve earned, our new indoor stadium, our experience with AIME and our baby news!).

But we’ve got more to share – and this time it’s all about Tom Curtain’s music.

Speak Up Tour

December 2018 saw Tom, Annabel, our fantastic musicians, support crew and the Katherine Outback Experience horses and dogs kick-off the ‘Speak Up Tour’ in Camooweal, Queensland. Between December and March, the team performed 48 shows across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. Most shows included an hour outback show followed by an hour of live music. As always, the working dogs were a highlight for the kids!

Where possible, we also visited local schools to share the anti-bullying message. Many of you are already aware that Tom has a close relationship with the family of Amy Dolly Everett. Tom was inspired to write ‘Speak Up’ after Dolly took her young life at just 14 years of age after being relentlessly bullied. It’s a song that is close to his heart, and the tour gave him a chance to spread that message. A duet with Sara Storer and co-written with Garth Porter, the song hit No. 1 on the Australian iTunes All Genres Chart.  Speak Up is aimed at school aged students and it was hoped it would open opportunities for parents and teachers to discuss the impact of bullying.

Nationwide schools and communities embraced the song and everywhere we performed we had hordes of youth joining us on stage to sing Speak Up. Tom had struck a chord with his listeners, but the tour really brought that home for the team. We had crowds of people standing up and speaking up against bullying. It was beautiful to see.

As at 30 June 2019, $20,000 had been raised for Dolly’s Dream through the sale of the song and from donations and fundraisers communities held during the tour.

At many shows, Tom also invited up-and-coming artists to open the shows for him. We were even lucky to have a few surprise guests with Sara Storer and Luke O’Shea taking to the stage at various shows.

A special thank you to all those communities, committees, councils and guests who supported the tour as well as our sponsors. Thank you also to our amazing team including the musicians and animal team who joined us on the road for one big 13,000km adventure!

2018 Southern Stars Independent Country Music Awards

Tom was truly honoured at the 2018 Southern Stars Independent Country Music Awards. The Southern Stars are the pinnacle event of the annual Mildura Country Music Festival and Tom was awarded Artist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year for Territory Time, and Single of the Year for ‘Never Never Land’ (a duet with Luke O’Shea).

In total, Tom took home four of the nine awards up for grabs, an amazing achievement.

Luke O'Shea and Tom Curtain at the Mildura Southern Stars Australian Independent Country Music Awards
Luke O’Shea and Tom Curtain with one of the many awards received at the 2018 Mildura Independent Country Music Awards

‘Where the Pindan Meets the Ocean’

In September 2018, Tom released his new single from Territory Time, ‘Where the Pindan Meets the Ocean’. The beautiful ballad honours the legacy of Janice Bell, who established Barn Hill Station Stay on the edge of the Indian Ocean while raising children on her own, running a cattle station and building a family home out of mud bricks.

‘Where the Pindan Meets the Ocean’ is one of the most popular songs on Territory Time and a crowd favourite wherever Tom’s touring. It’s also a firm favourite here at KOE – Barn Hill Station is where Tom proposed to Annabel and is one of the most stunningly raw and beautiful places in the world, just 130kms south of Broome in Western Australia.

Release of new single, ‘We’re Still Here’

During the Speak Up Tour, Tom witnessed firsthand the devastation in rural communities as they struggled through the droughts of 2018 and the floods that followed in 2019. It was heart breaking, yet through it all, the farmers and communities facing these hardships stayed strong, held each other up and showed amazing resilience.

Co-written and produced by Garth Porter, Tom released his single, ‘We’re Still Here’ in August 2019 to salute these resilient, fighting communities. His passion has spread to his listeners as well, with ‘We’re Still Here’ climbing to No. 1 on the Country Music Charts. In just four weeks, the music video clip had over 750,000 organic views on social media and even caught the attention of international farming corporations. At KOE, we love ‘We’re Still Here’ because it’s a story of Australians who love the land, no matter what.

New Album and Tour Announcement

They say all good things come in three – well we are making sure of that! Not only is there a baby due in November, Tom will be releasing his highly anticipated fourth album and again hitting the road! If you like ‘We’re Still Here’, we know you’ll love the new album!  

The “We’re Still Here Tour” will kick off after the album release and will run from November 2019 to March 2020. Tom and the Katherine Outback Experience team will be touring through regional Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and the Northern Territory, supporting and entertaining regional communities and providing an opportunity for locals to come together and check-in with one another. The team will again be visiting schools to speak to students about Dolly’s Dream and spread the anti-bullying message.

Full details about the Tour including tickets are available here: https://www.tomcurtain.com.au/tour/

Pre-order the We’re Still Here Album Now

The We’re Still Here Album will be released on 15 November 2019 together with Tom’s second single which is a special collaboration. The album is available now to pre-order from our online shop.  Anyone who pre-orders the album online before 15 November will receive a free Smack Bang or Heatwave album too.

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