Bernard Fanning on tour 2017

HUMBLE LEGEND: Bernard Fanning performing at Falls Festival in Victoria in December. He's included to perform with David Bowie's band in Sydney - just one of six world cities to host the group. Picture: Carbie Warbie
HUMBLE LEGEND: Bernard Fanning performing at Falls Festival in Victoria in December. He's included to perform with David Bowie's band in Sydney - just one of six world cities to host the group. Picture: Carbie Warbie

When the Illawarra Mercury announced Bernard Fanning would be touring with Kasey Chambers, their fans voiced a lot of excitement on the on Facebook.

Though Fanning was quite humble about it when asked about another sell-out tour.

He was also quite humble about being asked to be part of the David Bowie tribute at the Sydney Opera House next week with Bowie’s original band and Australian greats Paul Dempsey, Chris Cheney and Sarah Blasko.

“That’s not going to be me selling out that concert, I think David Bowie has a fair bit more to do with it than I do,” Fanning said.

In February, Fanning and Chambers will tour together for the first time and play Anita’s Theatre Thirroul. It’s something they’ve never thought of doing before.

“We’ve always guested on each others gigs and albums, but doing a full blown tour I guess wasn’t really on the cards until recently,” Fanning said.

He said it would be cool to play to regional audiences that may be more focused on country music, and vice versa for Chambers.

“Though Wollongong’s a rock town, it is the home of Tumbleweed after all,” Fanning laughed.

“Essentially it’s both of us doing a show, but we’re just doing it on the same night at the same place and then come together and play some stuff at the end.”

The 47-year-old began his rock career as the lead singer of Brisbane band Powderfinger in 1989, but admits he’s still trying to perfect the craft of songwriting.

“That’s the thing that keeps me going,” he said.

“That kind of artisan approach. Just getting really, really good at carving tiny little timber boats, you know what I mean.

“You can’t win at songwriting, it’s like golf, you never going to actually beat golf.”

Fanning’s recently released album, Civil Dust, was nominated for several ARIA awards and won the trophy for Best Adult Contemporary Album – Fanning writing “Dad rock wins again” on his website.

The album’s theme tackles the subject of decisions and consequences as Fanning likes to have “overarching concepts” to string in his songs together.

“Although it could be a whole heap of pseudo-intellectual crap,” he laughed.

“There may be a song about mushrooms on the record that doesn’t have anything to do with the record, it’s just such a good song it’s going on there.

“Ultimately ... you can have all these grand visions for it, but in the end it has to be a great song to make it onto the record.”

Bernard Fanning joins “Celebrating David Bowie”, Sydney Opera House January 29 and 30.

Bernard Fanning and Kasey Chambers “Sooner of Later Tour”, Anita’s Theatre, February 22.

Bernard Fanning & Kasey Chambers LIVE - Sooner Or Later