Mick Thomas, ARIA-winning singer songwriter and founder/leader of Weddings, Parties, Anything, has written a few anthems in his time. He’s written anthems for opinionated footy fans (“Monday’s Experts“) and fathers separated from their kids because of family breakups (“Father’s Day”).
He’s written countless anthems for places (“Under The Clocks”, “Taylor Square”, “Lights of Devonport”), and even a couple for guitars (“Mother’s Guitar, “Tommy Didn’t Want You”). Now he’s written a new anthem, for record collectors in love. It’s called “Mint Condition”, and it’s the new single by Mick & his band The Roving Commission.
“Mint Condition” is not really for record collectors in love, but it will resonate with those who are in love, and those who happen to also love vinyl records. They’ll understand the analogy – an old record in mint condition can be hard to find, just like perfect love. Everything and everybody is a bit worn and damaged by sheer existence.
The song was written for, inspired by, and takes its name from a new Short Form drama serieswhich launched May 7 on Vimeo. Produced by Melbourne’s award-winning independent production company Boilermaker Pty Ltd, Mint Condition is a show about a 40-something single mum, who opens a record shop in Fitzroy, her 14 year old daughter, and a ‘down on his luck’ ex rock star.
Short Form is an exciting new format that is taking off world-wide. Series 1 features 5 x 11-minute episodes. The series stars Sibylla Budd, Bernard Curry, Gary Sweet, Damien Richardson, and newcomer Grace Champion. Local music is at the heart of the series. Including Mick Thomas & The Roving Commission’ “Mint Condition”, it showcases 14 of Melbourne’s finest independent bands with 23 songs.
The series was filmed in Melbourne late last year, at locations including Oh Jean Records in Fitzroy, Bakehouse Studios, Red Betty Bar in Brunswick, and PBS FM in Collingwood.
Mick Thomas was invited to appear in a cameo in Episode 4; that gave him the idea, and he wrote the song on the bike ride home from the shoot. It was recorded by the latest line-up of The Roving Commission, which features alt-country songstress Brooke Russell and bass maestro Ben Franz (on sabbatical from The Waifs), alongside long time cohorts Squeezebox Wally and Dave Folley (Tex Perkins, Archie Roach).
Mick gave the song its first public airing solo in mid-April on the third episode of the live-streamed music and comedy series Delivered, Live. It sees a digital release today, along with its B-side, a version of the old “Lakes of Pontchartrain”, recorded in Memphis at the sessions that produced Mick and the band’s 2019 album Coldwater DFU. A limited edition 7″ 45 featuring the two songs will be available in coming weeks – fans can sign up to Mick’s mailing list at www.mickthomas.com for updates.
The new single continues off a busy period for Mick – busy until the world shutdown at least. The release of Coldwater DFU a little over a year ago was followed by the usual extensive touring.
There was also a graphic novel adaption of the album, created in association with illustrator Angelo Madrid, called Coldwater Chronicles, and a ‘bootleg’ album of covers called Bipolar Request, collecting covers requested by punters as part of the pre-release crowdfunding campaign for the proper album.
In October he performed on the final episode of ABC Melbourne icon Jon Faine’s final Conversation Hour. And then the inevitable more shows, including a couple of bushfire benefits. Now he’s in lockdown of course, but the work continues.
MICK THOMAS’ ROVING COMMISSION “MINT CONDITION”
IS RELEASED DIGITALLY MAY 8.
LIMITED EDITION “MINT CONDITION”/”LAKES OF PONTCHARTRAIN” 7″ SINGLE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM MICK’S BANDCAMP