THINGS TO DO

The Walcha duo will launch a debut album at McCrossin's Mill

SHADES OF GREY: Matt Macarthur-Onslow and Michael Luchich perform under the name The Grim Brothers and will launch their debut album Pale Ailments on November 2 at McCrossin's Mill in Uralla. Photo supplied.
SHADES OF GREY: Matt Macarthur-Onslow and Michael Luchich perform under the name The Grim Brothers and will launch their debut album Pale Ailments on November 2 at McCrossin's Mill in Uralla. Photo supplied.

Local musical duo The Grim Brothers have recorded their first album Pale Ailments and will be hosting a free launch event at McCrossin's Mill in Uralla on November 2 to celebrate.

While the duo is very well known in Walcha for playing mostly covers at the regular Farmer's Markets and other community events Pale Ailments consists of eight original songs composed by the pair and recorded in Walcha between 2016 and 2018.

Legend has it the album's name is a reference to the beverage consumed most frequently by the boys during those sessions.

Born and bred in Walcha, Matt Macarthur-Onslow is a 54-year-old grazier who first performed with former Sydneysider Michael Luchich at a soiree four years ago.

"We were at a party on the Macdonald River at the Kealey's place, and we were told to bring our guitars so we had an impromptu jam," said Michael.

Once you play with someone it kicks you along. It gets a bit dull playing on your own.

Matt Macarthur-Onslow

They say the name The Grim Brothers came about because Matt started to write a few original songs.

"We decided we needed some kind of name and that came up," said Michael. "The Grim Brothers is sort of a nod to some of the darker elements behind some of the songs."

"Happy doesn't sell," Matt joked. "It must be an alter ego or something - I look happier than Michael, don't I?"

Matt writes most of The Grim Brothers' songs and plays the guitar which he learned as an adult.

"I didn't start playing until later in life," said Matt. "I was 28-years-old and living on my own, and the television was crap, so I taught myself the guitar."

While he had played in public a few times, Matt says it was meeting Michael that started his songwriting and performing.

"Once you have someone to play with it kicks you along, playing on your own it gets a bit dull," he said.

"My dad used to read us poetry all the time when we were kids, and I think that is where I get the wordy thing from. My grandfather apparently played the banjo, but I don't think there was really anyone in the family who was musical."

While the pair eventually collaborate on the songs, they all begin as an idea from one or the other - mostly from Matt. They describe their music as bluesy country-rock.

"It's kind of a blend," Michael said.

"A bit of old 70's west coast rock, old country and a bit of blues. The writing is individual. Matt writes most of the songs and brings them to me to flesh out the production. The style of music we do is kind of intuitive."

SURVIVOR: Matt Macarthur-Onslow and Michael Luchich on Matt's property which was in the eye of the storm that hit Walcha last Christmas.

SURVIVOR: Matt Macarthur-Onslow and Michael Luchich on Matt's property which was in the eye of the storm that hit Walcha last Christmas.

Pale Ailments is available in either CD or digital form.

"We should be for sale on some of the commercial digital retail outlets by the time of the launch in November as well," said Michael.

"We are also playing at the upcoming Freak Show Festival of Motorcycles and will have CD's for sale there."

Michael said there are quite a few artistic people in his family, including a great-grandfather who was an actor in Serbia before moving to Russia to further his career, a mother who sang a bit and a father who was a painter.

"A bit of arty stuff but nothing musical," he said

"I started playing guitar, bass and keyboard at high school. I first played in a band when I was 19 and have played on and off for the last 25 years; this is the second album I have been involved with and I produced the album entirely in Walcha."

The Grim Brothers will be supported by Tamworth singer/songwriter Sophia Berlyn from 8pm at McCrossin's Mill on Saturday, November 2. Entry is free and there will be a bar open during the evening.