The Bendigo Folk Club has done it’s little bit to clear a new path for music legend Mick Thomas.
Thomas played an intimate gig under the Queen Elizabeth Oval grandstand late in 2010, to around 80 people, but it left a lasting impression.
“It’s probably the most important gig I’ve done in five years,” Thomas says, who spends a lot of his time at his property in Bealiba.
“It sounds like a weird kind of thing to say, but that’s the gig that kind of set this whole thing, the album and changing the band around, into motion.
“It was that night, it was amazing. It’s a lovely little room."
When first asked to play under the grandstand, Thomas was nonchalant.
“I was like ‘Bendigo Folk Club, what’s that?’,” Thomas remembers.
“But I hadn’t played with (accordion player) Wally (Mark Wallace) for years in that sort of situation.
“We’d done this gig with the Weddings (Parties, Anything)... we’d just done this big gig in Sydney... we sold out The Enmore.
“Wally said ‘is it my imagination or was that more fun than the Sydney gig?’ and I said ‘yeah, that’s what I was thinking too’.”
The gig came at just the right time for Thomas, who had been grieving the loss of his mother, who'd died a month before.
“Gigs like that can be so important in your career,” Thomas says.
“It sounds like a jaded thing to say, but I guess a gig can still be special.
“A little gig can make you see where you should go, you know?
“That night we hit it. It made me think I wanted to go somewhere with Wally.”
And they did, undertaking a tour of Canada, then a trip to Portland, Oregon to record the new album.
The Last of the Tourists is out now.