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Tin Sparrow – A Promising Year Ahead

By John Bones on April 11, 2012 in Arts

Who would have guessed that an overdue University assignment, a common appreciation of Ennio Moriccone and a love of excessive television quotes would be the catalyst for one of Australia’s most promising indie bands forming?

For Sydney four-piece Tin Sparrow, such unlikely circumstances have been identified as the key elements that lead to Matt Amery, Dean McLeod, Sonja Van Hummel and Mark Piccles getting together.

Their harmony-driven tunes combined with an incendiary live show have propelled Tin Sparrow into the spotlight and 2012 is shaping up to be even brighter.

They’ve just finished touring with Matt Corby as the main support on his sold-out national tour and their new EP will be out in April 2012.

During the month we caught up with the members of Tin Sparrow…

Tin Sparrow in a sentence is… (All) Four completely different people playing music four completely different ways.

First memory of music… (Sonja) Growing up with my mum playing bass and singing in a rock band I know all the classic bass lines.

First album you bought… (Matt) I think it was Dude Ranch by Blink 182.
(Mark) Slightly Odway by Jebediah
(Sonja) Don’t Ask by Tina Arena.

Song that gives you goosebumps… (Matt) The Shrine/An Argument – Fleet Foxes. Every time I hear that break down I forget where I am and what I am doing.

Fave driving album/s… (All) Jimmy Hendrix – Live at Woodstock; Aretha Franklin – Young, Gifted and Black; and Crosby, Stills & Nash – Crosby, Stills & Nash. These three albums have got us through every long drive we have ever done.

A Tin Sparrow highlight… (Matt) Definitely selling out The Vanguard for our first EP launch. We were worried no one would come, so selling it out was a relief/surprise/highlight.

If you could pick a supergroup its members would be… (Dean) Gene Symmons on bass, Red Wiggle on rhythm guitar, Prince and Eddie Van Halen on lead guitars, Bjork singing, Peter Allen on maracas, Bez from the Happy Mondays for vibe, and the guy from that viral video (I think it is called ‘this drummer is at the wrong gig’) on drums.

Sydney bands giving you the good tingles at the moment… (Matt) Underlights, Hey Big Aki and Boats of Berlin. We have played with all these guys before and they are all amazing live.

Fave Sydney venue… (Matt) Definitely Oxford Art Factory. I like that it has the main room for established acts and the gallery bar for up-and-coming bands.

Band or genre that gives you an ice-cream headache… (Matt) Anything in the top 10 of the top 40 countdown. It all sounds the same and it soils my ears.

If you bowed to corporate sponsorship it would be to advertise… (Matt) Akubra Hats. You can’t help but look bad ass in one.

Your dream bill for a night (Tin Sparrow included of course)… (Matt) Fleet Foxes, Crosby Stills & Nash, and Paul Kelly. I would bend over backwards to attend a line up this good, let alone play.

An unknown Tin Sparrow fact… (Matt) We are all exceptional Uno, chess and spit players.

To find out more about Tin Sparrow, visit us at or come see us play at Goodgod Small Club on April 19.