I first discovered Ziggy Alberts whilst sifting through a Ben Howard radio mix. Whenever his sensational single ‘Runaway’ comes on, I’m instantly taken back to a simpler time when I lived in Australia without a care in the world. Despite the heavy rain lashing down outside, I start feeling the beachy vibe and I turn up the volume… and the central heating. This guy has automatically gone to the top of my go-to nostalgic musicians.
Alberts is a singer-songwriter from the beautiful area of Byron Bay on the East Coast of Australia and is a man after my own heart. He too loves surfing, once had long-flowing blond hair and lived in a van. Yet while we’ve both now cut our hair off, I have a mortgage… and he is still as free as a bird in his tour van. Unlike me, he can also grow a decent moustache, which he proudly sports as he enters the stage at The Garage in Glasgow. Only an Australian can appear barefoot in Scotland. As I get lost in a daydream wondering if Ziggy chose this iconic venue because he was looking for somewhere to park his van, I realise that if I’m going to get a good view of that tash, I’m going to have to muscle my way passed the swarm of swooning girls to get to the front. Not a problem, and I rapidly find all 6’3” of me blocking the poor girls’ view. I really should move to let them see. Maybe after a couple of tunes.
Whilst his ear-pleasing earlier songs are still my favourites, The Captain Planet Song being my wife and I’s song of the moment, I’m excited to hear the new music from his latest album, Laps Around The Sun, sounding even better live than it does in a digital format. The crowd seem to know Ziggy’s recent singles just as well as his inaugural breakthrough music, and he encourages us all to sing along. From various interviews I have seen, I knew Ziggy was a decent bloke, but I’m extra impressed when in between songs he touches on important subjects such as mental health and environmental issues. He’s made me think twice about ordering another beer in a plastic cup. As the show comes to a close, Ziggy has left me (and I’m sure many other members of the audience) thinking about quitting our jobs, buying a campervan and growing a proper moustache. And at least two of those things are achievable. Movember will have to cope without me.
Photographs by John Harfield