Don’t just be a Passenger

To be honest I don’t know a huge amount about Mike Rosenberg’s, aka Passenger’s, early musical days. But hey that’s what Wikipedia‘s for right.

No I stumbled upon his music completely by chance about a year ago when a friend’s son sang an impromptu duet with Mike whilst he was busking in Melbourne, Australia. I did a blogpost on it which is here. Young Dom nails it but what I was most struck by was the song. I was like ‘sweet baby Jesus & the orphan’s what’s that song?!’ The duet is below.

Really Busking his balls.

What I most love about this successful Passenger journey is that Mike has seemingly played & busked everywhere. To a handful of folks in a pub beer garden, passing Hamburgers (that does actually make sense) & beneath big sky in Outback Australia (below). This is true wandering minstrel stuff.

Bigger than sliced Beard.

Bigger than sliced beard

Check out the comparative ‘then & now’ busking shot below taken in Sydney. This pictorially demonstrates the success that has been achieved in 2012/ 2013. Add to that massive radio rotation, booming album sales & more #1s than the bushes of a music festival’s fence-line & it really is a heartening story.

passenger busking

SYDNEY. Then & now.

“The harder I work, the luckier I get” – Samuel Goldwyn.

Being a fan of music across the years I know that most artists & bands, regardless of talent, won’t get ‘there’ There being the big time! Arenas, radio & riders. Sadly for most acts a rider is more likely to describe the bass-player arriving at a gig on his flatmate’s bike.

What I have also really enjoyed about Passenger’s success is that it has been achieved sans appearing on a ubiquitous Reality-TV-show like the Shite-Factor. That’s just personal opinion though. In this case talent, great songcraft & clocking up the air miles has done the job.

Time to do the irony.

Seems that right now Passenger is being anything but!


Once upon a time…


knew quite a lot about music. New music, underground movements, about-to-break acts infact so passionate was I about the blessed stuff that I actually considered applying for an ‘A&R’ (Artists & Repertoire) role and moving out of my chosen industry.

I researched the music press religiously and attended as many gigs as I could. The dingier and darker the venue and the more facial hair on the punters attending the better, and that was just the ‘chicks’. To that ends I actually believe that there may still be a few pairs of my shoes still stuck to the various floors of venues so coated with beer and bourbon that their surface texture more resembled marmalade than wood or concrete.

Those days were also filled with extreme irony in that if you ‘got on’ a band early that was a euphoric nirvana to be shared widely with jealous muso peers. However once (and if) that same band broke commercially I would drop them like a plate at a Greek wedding.

And then it happened…

My beautiful children arrived…

Replace the 1am screaming of lead guitars with that of a little human and substitute the astute studying of the music rags for the thumbing through of baby-book pages looking for assurance that biting is just a phase. I should probably stop some time I guess. To be clear though & quite simply put mes enfants are the most exquisite, sublime & joyful thing to have ever happened in my life!

What’s the bloody point of this post?

Well it’s that I’ve found one again after all these years. A great new band. I was coming back recently from an overseas business trip on Air New Zealand and listening to a channel called Kiwi FM. Dedicated exclusively to original New Zealand acts. Then I heard this song. That voice. The wistful beautiful lead vocal, ethereal harmonies, erudite lyrics and musical maturity belying their young years and tighter than a Hollywood facelift.

May I present to you The Peasants and Letting Go.