This year see’s my hometown of Newcastle revived with a new sense of musical vigour about it. 2015 has been a stellar year for the city in terms of muso’s visiting us and now the city is gearing up for its first large-scale music festival in the past eight years THISTHAT. A stellar line up consisting of an all Aussie line up and a full range of food trucks and beverages of the alcoholic variety THISTHAT is looking like it’s going to be the biggest thing to happen to Newcastle since Fannys (or Argyle if you’re not from my years of youth). Joining the monster line up is wonder kid Danny Harley aka The Kite String Tanglewe caught up with him to see what’s up and to check that he’s prepared for THISTHAT.

Hey Danny, what’s up in the world of The Kite String Tangle these days? 

Doing a lot of writing. That’s pretty much my main focus at the moment is the writing. Like I’ve done some small travelling and shows overseas but the main focus really has just been writing new music for a new release hopefully at some point in the not so distant future.

You’re coming to Newy for ThisThat Festival in October and earlier this year you premiered your new light show in Melbourne, can we expect to see that set up make an appearance at the festival? 

Probably not at ThisThat. We’re not really launching it until  the new album… or whatever the next release ends up being. I’d really like to but it just won’t work for logistical reasons at this stage. We’re going to make sure it’s perfect before we officially release it onto the people.

Late last year you came to Newcastle for the EP Tour at the Cambridge Hotel, how has the set changed since the EP tour, and can we expect any new surprises at ThisThat?

Yeah there’s a few different things. A couple of different little jams and I’ll be playing with a drummer this time which is really cool, that’s very new for me but it adds this whole kind of new energy to the live sets. It’ll be a lot more energetic and maybe just a couple of new little surprises snuck in there for the set that I can’t tell you about just yet.

Typically every time that I’ve seen you perform live you’ve always had some type of sneaky guest appearance in your set. Any plans to bring anyone along to Newcastle?

I’m bringing the drummer haha. And… Yes I am but I’m not allowed to tell you who, I actually only just remembered now that I was bringing someone with me… it’s a surprise though. It’ll be good.

Typically when you play a big festival vs a intimate venue is there a definitely a different vibe that you feed off from the each respective show type?

Totally. I mean with shows it can obviously be a lot more intimate and I feel that there’s a lot more conversational energy between the crowd and the act, like you can really pull them in and they can draw you out into the energy of the room. There can be those kind of really little intimate moments too where it’s completely silent and you can’t really get that with a festival. On the flip side however you get a lot of new and people who haven’t necessarily heard your music before and will give you a chance, and everyone is really having a good time and in a really good headspace in the festival circuit. But Newcastle on it’s own is really like that anyway. There’s always such a good headspace with the crowds, always a bit wasted and it’s always good times in Newcastle.

From your standpoint what makes for a good festival standpoint?

I suppose there’s a big difference between a really smooth festival experience and a stressful one. For me it’s always if I take more people and more crew with me it’s always a better one for me. ThisThat will be good because there’s going to be heaps and heaps of my friends there and my girlfriend is going to come and it’s just going to be a big party. Like I’ll get to see all the Slumberjack guys and Carmada and Rüfüs so it’ll be just a big party, that really makes my festival experience, having all my mates and just having a party.

ThisThat has a really great line up of local acts, I mean it’s actually all local acts which is going to be really cool. Is there anyone on the lineup you’re keen to catch up and see perform?

I haven’t seen Rüfüs in a while and I’m very keen to see them again. Birds of Tokyo I’ve never actually seen them live, but I think we play at the same time so I’m not sure if I’ll actually be able to see them. I’ve made friends with guys from their band but I’ve never actually seen them perform live for myself so I want to go see them, you know if I can.

ThisThat is all about the local talent and recognising that we’ve got some brilliant local talent. Internationally this year especially it seems like there is more and more Aussie acts that are getting noticed overseas and getting some traction. Why do you think International audiences are starting to clue in to the Aussie talents now?

It’s an interesting question. There’s something to be said about living so far away from everything, we get to really create our own culture here. There’s a lot of acts that are created out of this independent music culture that we have that’s helped by the blogosphere and The Venue Collective and Triple J all of these factors play into this one big scene that we have here in Australia. I think that’s what’s so great about Australia because overseas they have lots of little scenes all kind of completing whilst here we just have this one big community that nurtures each others creativity and that’s really awesome. It really is a healthy atmosphere for an act to grow and explode and do things and then get big attention overseas. It’s really great to see that happening to so many acts now.

Who do you reckon is going to be the next Aussie act to blow up?

That’s a tough call man. I mean Eves (The Behavior) is amazing. So I think that if I was a betting man I would say that she would be one of the next ones that is really going to blow up. I’m also been enjoying Vallis Alps and Slum Sociable that are really cool too.

This next part is where I decided to deviate a little and play a game with Danny. The name of the game is ThisThat and it’s pretty basic really. I gave Danny two options a This or a That and he had to choose between the two which he most preferred. Simple and elegant right?

ThisThat has two different alcoholic beverage sections would you rather COCKTAILS or CRAFT BEAR?

Craft Bear

There’s also a lot of Food Stalls happening at ThisThat, two of the big ones are WOOD FIRED PIZZA and SCHNITZELS which do you prefer?

Can’t go past a good Wood Fired Pizza.

CLUBBING after the Festival or a HOUSE PARTY?

House Party


I’m typically a Winter guy cause I like to wear jackets and stuff like that, but at festival when you’re in a tent and it’s freezing it’s not fun so I’ll have to go Summer.

If you were a punter and you’ve got two acts who’s sets overlap and you really like both of them would you rather have CRAPPY VIEW AT THE BACK or MISS THE SET COMPLETELY?

View from the back.


Ha. Slowly swaying. Floating with the vibes.

Newcastle foreshore you’ll be right next to the beach so would you rather PARTY ON THE BEACH or PARTY ON THE GRASS?

I’m probably one of those annoying guys who likes the grass better, I’m one of those people that wear jeans to the beach.

At a Festival would you rather WEAR COMFORTABLE CLOTHES or BE DRESSED FOR #FASHN? 

I prefer to wear comfy clothes but I never seem too, I always seems to wear the wrong thing but not realise it till I’m there and it’s too late.


Sunburn I guess.


Hangover, I mean it’s not that I probably prefer that but it’s inevitable.

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