Spacey Jane ready to take their ambitions to the moon

SHINING BRIGHT: Perth rockers Spacey Jane are, from left, Peppa Lane, Kieran Lama, Ashton Le Cornu and Caleb Harper. Picture: Daniel Hilderbrand
SHINING BRIGHT: Perth rockers Spacey Jane are, from left, Peppa Lane, Kieran Lama, Ashton Le Cornu and Caleb Harper. Picture: Daniel Hilderbrand

YOU can't blame Spacey Jane for initially fearing their big opportunity was lost when COVID-19 reared its ugly head.

The hype around the Perth indie-rock four-piece was immense.

The 2017 EP No Way To Treat An Animal and the singles Good Grief, Good For You, Skin, Head Cold and Straightfaced had all whet the appetite of expectant fans and received heavy triple j airplay.

At the beginning of 2020 Spacey Jane's long-awaited debut album Sunlight was already predicted to be one of most important Australian guitar albums of the year.

Spacey Jane were supposed to be touring heavily and playing in front of buoyant festival crowds, instead they were confined to the far flung sanctuary of Western Australia with its tough border restrictions.

Yet despite the restrictions, Spacey Jane and their debut album Sunlight thrived in the gloom.

They, along with Sydney indie-pop band Lime Cordiale, were arguably the breakthrough Aussie band of 2020.

Last month the sleeper album track Booster Seat finished second in triple j's Hottest 100, behind UK pop band Glass Animals' Heat Waves, and their rescheduled national album tour in March and April has been subsequently promoted from 200-capacity venues like the Small Ballroom to major venues like Newcastle's Civic Theatre.

Tickets are selling fast, too. Shows at Sydney's Enmore Theatre, Adelaide's Thebarton Theatre and the Fortitude Music Hall in Brisbane have already sold out.

Moments in the sun are fleeting even for the best musical acts. A one or two-album window might be all a band receives to capitalise on their popularity and sustain a lengthy career.

Were Spacey Jane concerned COVID-19 would prevent the band from maximising their opportunity?

"That initially was a fear or a frustration, but what seemed to have happened is the album has slowly broken into different markets and into people's lives, and now that things are opening up Australia wise, we're doing this tour," Spacey Jane frontman and songwriter Caleb Harper says from his front porch in Perth.

"I think the timing is actually quite good in a lot of ways. Not many bands put out records last year really, especially internationally, so there was a bit of space there for it to be received.

"I think people were able to sit with the record and now we're back on the road the timing has been good."

Harper sounds genuinely grateful of the success Spacey Jane has received.

He was surprised as anyone that Booster Seat finished runner-up in the triple j Hottest 100 and has become the band's signature song.

It wasn't among Sunlight's five singles due to his slow-paced meander, despite being the band's favourite song.

However, the singalong chorus and nostalgic lyrics of relating the feeling of anxiety to being a small child struck a nerve in these uncertain COVID days.

"People relate to that sort of vulnerability and enjoy losing themselves in it a bit," Harper says, when asked for his theory behind Booster Seat's popularity.

Spacey Jane - Booster Seat

It was less than four years ago that the band began after Harper and fellow Geraldton friend Kieran Lama (drums, manager) teamed up with Ashton Le Cornu (lead guitar) and former bassist Amelia Murray in Perth. Peppa Lane (bass, backing vocals) replaced Murray in 2019.

"We were doing two or three shows a weekend," Harper says. "Two shows a night at different venues.

"We weren't very good when we started. We played countless shows over a two-year period.

"Obviously there's that thing that you don't want to over play, but I think when you're a young band you should play as much as you can. Don't worry about flooding the market or whatever. Just go for it."

Spacey Jane's mantra has always been "go for it."

That constant gigging in the early days paid off. All four members were driven by an obsession for music and a shared love of guitar bands like The Strokes, The Beatles, Radiohead, The Pixies and early Kings Of Leon, which is readily heard in Harper's raspy vocal.

The upcoming album tour will be easily the largest of Spacey Jane's burgeoning career. Harper understands their live show needs to rise to the occasion.

"We're working with lighting and visual teams at the moment to work on that side of things," he says.

"Ashton and I have been in the studio putting together ambient stuff and intro tracks and building it up and rehearsing a lot.

"We definitely feel like we're going to build up a level of show that we haven't gotten close to before, which is really exciting."

Harper isn't shy about expressing his ambitions for Spacey Jane. He knows opportunity is knocking.

"[We want to take this] as far as we can go," he says. "We're all extremely driven and obsessed by it and have been for years, ever since we were playing to 10 people.

"We might have never thought we'd go as far as we've gone now, but we have loved it and we're proud of it and wanted to give everything to it to make it the best thing it could have been.

"That's driven us from the beginning and drives us now. We want to build a career out of this and take it to everyone."

Spacey Jane play two shows at Newcastle's Civic Theatre on April 14 and will perform at Fresh Produce at Maitland Showground (August 27), Exhibition Park Canberra (September 17-18) and Prince Of Wales Showgrounds Bendigo (September 24-25).

This story Spacey Jane rocketing to the moon after Booster Seat first appeared on Newcastle Herald.