THE BLACK SWANS of TRESPASS are a versatile electric banjo trio/quartet/5 piece or larger band that is the vehicle for the ground-breaking, iconoclastic Australian banjo player, CC THORNLEY.
They can rock, they can funk, they can folk and they can punk. Endlessly versatile, able to fill a small club, jazz style, or big venue, flat-out rocking.
As of September 2017 the current band consists of the core 4: CC on banjo, Paul Sharp on bass, Lawrence Churches on drums and Emily Wolfe on violin. We also have a solid horn section we can call on, should the need arise.
This is how the band looks now:
**For the history of this legendary band, see below**
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The Black Swans of Trespass started in 2006. It went through many, many different phases and line ups, but it was always about the banjo.
The first album, Duttigalla Exile, sounded like this:
Song: Four Walls, Album: Duttigalla Exile
The “band” toured. (There was never really a solid band. The band picked up people as it went. there were many adventures, many stories, many characters….)
In 2009…ish, the “band” recorded again. Now it sounded like this:
Song: Tom Waits Has Gone Mainstream, Album: the Coward’s Songbook
But because the band had SO many different members – some who never appeared in the same room at the same time, sometimes it sounded like this:
Song: Hail To The Moon (Wendy Rule),
And then, sometimes, like this:
Song: King George Sound
And then, after this album, the dark ages…… The idea of banjo doing anything outside its specific allocated genre became too much for the people to understand. Wherever we played, we blew people away, without a doubt. But it became harder and harder to get gigs and band members.
I began touring and recording with epic folk rock act Zeptepi, and soon became a fully fledged member, going on to the UK with them and recording 3 and bit albums with them.
I put the old Black Swans of Trespass on indefinite hiatus, vowing to return when i had funds – financially and emotionally – to record one final album.
During that strange period the band would pop up every now and then, and despite the scarcity of gigs we did have some very hardcore, die hard fans, who would still book us for gigs. Sometimes it looked like this:
Sometimes like this:
But the best ones were the secret, quiet ones, in far away legendary pubs like Radio Springs, that looked like this:
In 2016 I enrolled at the Hobart Conservatorium. They wanted me to study the banjo. They thought I was pretty ok, and wanted me to get to the level of sorta good. So they offered me a scholarship and I went.
There I met legendary bass player Paul Sharp
The extraordinary master of Hammond, James Wheller:
And this other guy what likes hitting things, Alex Raw
And suddenly the BLACK SWANS of TRESPASS was gigging again.
Currently, there are no recordings, very little Website nonsense, very little bio stuff. Gigs are largely word of mouth and under the radar.
IF you want to know more about the band or when the gigs are happening, go and like up the Facebook page, or subscribe to this word press thing-a-ma-jig.
As soon as we do record and get the necessary “folder rock” evils done, we’ll let you know. And we’ll edit this page!
Suffice to say – we’re back baby. We’re back.