YOU Am I has a habit of ringing in the New Year on stage.For three of the last four New Years’ Eves, the iconic Australian rock band has performed at venues around the country and this year, it’s adding Canberra to the list.
“Fireworks, happy people – who wouldn’t like performing then?” enthuses bass player Andy Kent to “CityNews”.
“No-one’s got anything to do the next day, everyone’s excited, it’s a really great atmosphere.”
Headlining Civic Square’s “NYE In the City”, the band will perform two sets, with a mix of songs from the new self-titled album and old favourites such as “Heavy Heart” and “Purple Sneakers”.
After the band’s last gig at the University of Canberra in July, Andy says he’s “pumped” to return to the capital.
“Usually the Canberra crowds are a bit more informed, educated and appreciative – there’s less sh*t thrown at us, the sledging is a bit more intelligent,” he jokes.
“This event will have a real family component too, which is good, and something a bit different than we’re used to.”
The band even has a capital connection – lead singer Tim Rogers studied law at the ANU in the 1990s before moving to Melbourne.
“I know Tim enjoyed his time there, and I’ve actually got friends in Canberra myself, even though I’m based in Sydney,” Andy says.
It’s been a memorable year for You Am I – 2013 marked the 20th anniversary of their debut record “Sound As Ever”, when they burst on to the alternative rock scene.
Since then, the band’s won 10 ARIA awards, released 12 albums and toured alongside legendary acts such as The Rolling Stones and Oasis, to name a couple.
This year also saw the band return from a five-year hiatus – spent “doing our own thing”, says Andy – to tour the country.
“It felt natural to come back together and be in the same room collaborating again, a bit like a trip down memory lane,” Andy says.
“We all get along really well, and have a lot of respect for each other.”
2014 is set to be another big year, performing at summer festivals and later touring America.
But could their hard-partying days be behind them? When he’s asked what they plan to do in Canberra after their NYE set, Andy’s answer is about as far from the old “rock ‘n’ roll” cliche as you can get.
“The wives and girlfriends are coming down with us, so it’s going to be a bit of a family occasion, and we’ll probably have an early night – start early, finish early I say,” he laughs.
You Am I, “NYE in the City”, Civic Square, from 7pm, Tuesday, December 31.