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The three Murphy brothers Chris, Kieran and Courtney formed the band Murphy's Lore in 1991, enlisting their cousin Jae Rowbotham on bass and guitarist Brad Harding, the band began performing their own material around the South West WA region.Read More
Winning popularity within the school music program and after successful tours with the school concert band, Murphy's Lore began working regularly at functions, fairs, open days and then in hotels. The band won the 1993 School Music Awards for the song 'Wait For Me', a feat which garnered much attention from local media. At this stage, Courtney, the youngest member, was still only thirteen. Harding decided to leave the group at the end of the year to pursue a career in the navy. The band then approached local musician/actor Clayton Bolger to replace him, as they had noticed Clayton was talented, popular and stealing the local limelight.
In 1995, the group began work on their first album 'People In Grass Houses', 12 original tracks written over the course of 2-3 years. Still only aged between 15-19, the album was well received and scored some minor airplay in . The album, now long out of print, often changes hands between collectors for ridiculous amounts of money, but you may also be lucky enough to find one in a second hand shop.
Spurred by this new success, the group moved to Perth mid-1996 where they consolidated their reputation as one of WA's best up and coming acts.
After over four years of constant gigging, Jae decided to quit the group in July 1998 when he was struck by illness. The remaining four found his replacement in seasoned Perth musician Shaun Street, slightly older and weirder than the band. He fit in perfectly.
It had been over four years since 'People In Grass Houses' and the growth of musicianship and songwriting within the band led them to record the follow up. Recorded over three months in 1999 with Tim Jewell, 'Best Laid Plans' is an eclectic mix of modern mainstream pop influenced by The Beatles, Ben Folds Five, Jellyfish, Crowded House and The Badloves.
Released in February 2000, the album brought the group to the attention of producers of Channel 9's Star Struck, flying the boys across to Melbourne to compete in August, with the show airing nationally in July 2001. Having been played on US college radio and reviewed in fanzines across the world, the band have an international reputation unequalled in Perth, selling copies of their albums in Poland, Japan, the UK and US.
When the dust settled from the aftermath of 'Best Laid Plans', the band eagerly set about recording the follow-up album in September 2002. Armed with a variety of song styles, tight performances and new producer Mark Donohoe, the new album 'The Universe Conspires' was a bold change in direction, and the band followed the release with their first overseas tours.
Around this time long serving member Clayton Bolger left the group, opting out of the band's tours and a hard life on the road. Stunned by Clayton's absence, the band refused to replace him for over 18 months carrying on as a four piece until Jason Smith, who kept turning up to gigs with his guitar, could no longer be ignored.
The Rhymes launched 'The Universe Conspires' at The Ruby Room Burswood late in 2002 and made new recordings and continued performing steadily when in 2004, Courtney made the decision to enter the second season of Australian Idol. Courtney became a national celebrity almost overnight, the show rated even higher than the first season and when he finally left the competition a respectable third, his future seemed guaranteed.
During this time the band was put on hiatus as Chris toured the UK and Ireland but by the beginning of 2005, the band was active again with Clayton replacing Courtney for live dates while he toured Idol and then Grease: The Arena Spectacular. The rest of 2005 was spent with gigs in Adelaide, Sydney and some high profile shows in WA in between Courtneyís TV appearances and the bandís regular gigs. In 2006, Chris decided it was his turn to take on the Idol juggernaut and with national shows and the release of his own independent, self-titled solo album in the second half of 2007; things didnít appear to be slowing down.
Courtney's debut solo album ëBigí was recorded in Perth, mixed and co-produced by Bleu from Los Angeles, mastered by Chris Gerhinger in New York and finally released in the third quarter of 2010. All songs were written by Courtney except the classic ëYou Werenít in Love With Meí by Billy Field. ëBigí is reaching an ever expanding audience as Courtney continues his Big tour around Australia and New Zealand. Not all the boys in Murphyís Lore are always available to tour with Courtney, so itís a real treat when we have shows in WA together.
Chris Murphy and the Holy Rollers are working hard around town in between Chrisí gruelling solo show schedule and touring. Chrisí album of duets entitled ëTwo Of Usí features an array of Australian legends and is due for release in 2010.
As with any great institution there are spin-offs and Murphy's Lore is no exception. The longest running is the Wesley Goodlet Jamboree Scouts. This trio which started with a joke name for a one off gig has been running since 2000. The band started with Courtney, Kieran and Clayton, but since Australian Idol Courtneyís stepped aside to allow Shaun to stretch his fingers around a double bass.
The Rough Housers is a rockabilly trio featuring Kieran on stand up drums, Jason Smith on big ëol guitar and Shaun slapping the upright bass just for something different.
So as you can see this long story is far from over. Keep an eye out, because you just might get to be a part of it.Read Less