There are few Australian bands quite as confounding as Hunters & Collectors. In looks and actions, this musical collective was not a traditional rock band, yet they came to define the Australian live rock scene. Initially hailed as art-rock, they found their spiritual home in suburban beer barns. While the music press applauded Mark Seymour’s insightful and sensitive lyrics, they built their fan base on the power of their legendary live performances. And the original outsiders on commercial radio airwaves went on to become FM play list mainstays.
Starting with their self-titled album, Hunters & Collectors released 13 albums in the 16 years between 1982 and 1998. In 1986, “Human Frailty” brought them into the mainstream, delivering a Top 10 chart and multi-platinum sales. Over the next four years the band released a string of successful albums, including two more Top 10, double platinum albums with 1989’s “Ghost Nation” and 1990’s “Collected Works”.
Across their career, 10 of Hunters & Collectors’ albums reached the Top 50, five of those going on to the Top 10. Along the way, they amassed seven gold, one platinum and four double platinum albums, before calling it a day in 1998. Their achievements were formally recognised by the industry in 2005, with their induction into the Aria Hall of Fame.
In 2013, the band reunited after “Crucible”, tribute album featuring classic Hunters tracks reinterpreted by the likes of Birds of Tokyo, Oh Mercy, Something for Kate, British India and Cloud Control, thrust them back into the spotlight. After performing at the AFL Grand Final, in front of 100,000 people and broadcast to a television audience of more than 2.7 million, the band announced a series of shows across the country, taking some of the bands featured on “Crucible” on the road with them. Fans flocked to see them and reviewers bandied around the words “iconic”, “powerful” and “astounding” like confetti.
Without doubt, Hunters & Collectors is one of Australia’s most loved and revered bands of the past 30 years. They carved out their success in their own way, in their own good time and in doing so, created the soundtrack for a generation.