David Campbell goes old school with new Panthers show

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Despite releasing the album over 15 years ago, David Campbell has fallen back in love with ‘Good Lovin’’.

After releasing his most recent album ‘The Saturday Sessions’ in 2021, Campbell was touring Australia doing swing shows, keeping his foot in the touring game primarily for the sake of promotion.

But, when asked to do a show at Penrith Panthers in 2022, he made a game-changing decision to switch it up by bringing back ‘Good Lovin’’.

“I was speaking to my musical director who’s been with me for 22 years, and we were going through stuff and started talking about a one-off corporate gig where we did 20 minutes and just pulled out some of these old songs again, and I was like, ‘That was really fun doing up-tempo, I really don’t want to just do swing music again – can we just do something different?,” he said.

“We pulled out this old setlist and gave it a bit of a zhuzh, put some newer stuff in and some stuff that we’d learned along the way since we’d done that tour, and then Mahalia [Barnes] was like, ‘I’m around, do you want me to jump on in?’, because she did that show with me at the time.”

For Campbell, realising he could tour without the pressure of promotion made a world of a difference.

“I realised that was why I wanted to do shows in the first place – it was all about having fun, getting together with people, and just doing great music with great people and the audience going off,” he said.

For the last two years, Campbell has been doing a version of the show he originally toured after the 2008 album’s release, newly titled ‘Good Lovin’ & More’, though he promises it isn’t getting stale, having constantly made changes since.

“It just evolves, it’s constantly moving. Sometimes going in, I might say to [my musical director], ‘I don’t know about that song, let’s try something else this week’,” he said.

“We can be more organic, whereas before, we only had that album in 2009, and that was all the songs we had done. Now, we have another 15 years of songs and touring experience where we can say, ‘That didn’t work’, or ‘Maybe that audience needs this’.”

Having originated the show here, Campbell said he can’t wait to bring it back to Penrith in the EVAN Theatre on March 23.

“The audiences there have a real sense that they are here to go off, they’re here to listen, they’re here to laugh, they’re here to cry, they’re here to party,” he said.

“It always makes me happy playing that room, and I know it really, really well. Sometimes you have the luxury and the privilege of playing somewhere over and over again, and Panthers is one of those places. I really enjoy playing it, and the audiences never disappoint me.”

With this show a part of Great Southern Nights, Campbell is encouraging everyone to get out and about, not just to his show, but to as many as humanly possible.

“Go out and see a lot of bands, go out and see bands you haven’t seen in a while, see an artist maybe like me that you’ve never seen,” he said.

“That’s what’s been really fun, and what’s fun about this [Great Southern Nights] concept – not only is it great for Australian music, it’s great for punters.”

David Campbell’s ‘Good Lovin’ & More’ will be on at Penrith Panthers on Saturday, March 23 at 8pm. Tickets are $74.50. For more information or to book, visit penrith.panthers.com.au.

Cassidy Pearce

Cassidy Pearce is a news and entertainment journalist with The Western Weekender. A graduate of the University of Technology Sydney, she has previously worked with Good Morning Macarthur and joined the Weekender in 2022.

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