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Tour Diaries: Bendigo Fletcher

Bendigo Fletcher had Columbus, Ohio completely enraptured with their folk-rock perfectly entwined with transcendent psychedelia.

Bendigo Fletcher is a beauty of a band, masterfully crafting stories and depicting what it is to be wonderfully human with folk-rock spectacularly infused with psychedelic twang. The five-piece consists of frontman Ryan Anderson (vocals), Conner Powell (bass), Andrew Shupert (lead guitar), Evan Wagner (keys, guitar, auxiliary percussion), and  Chris Weis (drums), hailing from Louisville, Kentucky. Following the independent release of their music since 2017, Bendigo Fletcher signed with Elektra Records in early 2021 to release their album Fits of Laughter in August of that year. In October of 2022, Bendigo Fletcher's EP Wingding, released as the band's second project with Elektra, filled with soulful flourishes, imaginative fuel, and just a few "skellies in the attic."
Photos: @lucykjoness

Bendigo Fletcher is a beauty of a band, masterfully crafting stories and depicting what it is to be wonderfully human with folk-rock spectacularly infused with psychedelic twang. The five-piece consists of frontman Ryan Anderson (vocals), Conner Powell (bass), Andrew Shupert (lead guitar), Evan Wagner (keys, guitar, auxiliary percussion), and Chris Weis (drums), hailing from Louisville, Kentucky. Following the independent release of their music since 2017, Bendigo Fletcher signed with Elektra Records in early 2021 to release their album Fits of Laughter in August of that year. In October of 2022, Bendigo Fletcher's EP Wingding, released as the band's second project with Elektra, filled with soulful flourishes, imaginative fuel, and just a few "skellies in the attic."


Bendigo Fletcher sat down with us on their Columbus, Ohio stop on the tail-end of their Fall Tour to talk about their hell of a year, and what they have coming up in 2023.


Bendigo Fletcher is a beauty of a band, masterfully crafting stories and depicting what it is to be wonderfully human with folk-rock spectacularly infused with psychedelic twang. The five-piece consists of frontman Ryan Anderson (vocals), Conner Powell (bass), Andrew Shupert (lead guitar), Evan Wagner (keys, guitar, auxiliary percussion), and  Chris Weis (drums), hailing from Louisville, Kentucky. Following the independent release of their music since 2017, Bendigo Fletcher signed with Elektra Records in early 2021 to release their album Fits of Laughter in August of that year. In October of 2022, Bendigo Fletcher's EP Wingding, released as the band's second project with Elektra, filled with soulful flourishes, imaginative fuel, and just a few "skellies in the attic."
Photos: @lucykjoness

You all had a busy year, you went on tour with Madison Cunningham, did some shows with The Backseat Lovers and Shakey Graves. What have you guys learned about yourselves this past year?


Andrew Shupert: Yeah, refining our performance, how we choose what songs we are going to play, group dynamics on the stage and off, refining our sound. Getting a lot of feedback and, just kind of evolving, I guess. Playing so many shows, trying to tune stuff up each night, make it a little bit better every time.


Ryan Anderson: Treating sound checks more methodically. Just like the little minutia things like that. When you start touring you're really excited. Like the early years, I guess some things are kind of easy to just blast through or move through with so much excitement after time, it's like oh we have to make some extra space for a list of things to check during a sound check and the way that every day works kind of as a working team together.


Evan Wagner: I think it was like rewarding that we proved to ourselves that we could go out for that long, without really any issue, it was really fun and really long.


RA: And getting to see those bands, like you said, Backseat Lovers, Madison, Shaky Graves, like the way that they operate and getting to just look at everything from their guitar pedal setups and just see how they prepare each night. It's like free education.


EW: Kind of peel the curtain back


Which do you like better kind of being on a larger tour or doing a bit of a smaller tour like you're on right now?


RA: I don't know. Yeah, I think both because going out there and looking, seeing that the room is nearly full for headlining gig is really special and something kind of new to us when we play out of town. But then like getting open for the Backseat Lovers to like 2500 people was quite a rush.


Bendigo Fletcher is a beauty of a band, masterfully crafting stories and depicting what it is to be wonderfully human with folk-rock spectacularly infused with psychedelic twang. The five-piece consists of frontman Ryan Anderson (vocals), Conner Powell (bass), Andrew Shupert (lead guitar), Evan Wagner (keys, guitar, auxiliary percussion), and  Chris Weis (drums), hailing from Louisville, Kentucky. Following the independent release of their music since 2017, Bendigo Fletcher signed with Elektra Records in early 2021 to release their album Fits of Laughter in August of that year. In October of 2022, Bendigo Fletcher's EP Wingding, released as the band's second project with Elektra, filled with soulful flourishes, imaginative fuel, and just a few "skellies in the attic."
Photos: @lucykjoness

In October you had a lovely little EP come out. It is fantastic, genuinely incredible. What is your guys’ creative process when it comes to creating music and how it translate live?


RA: I think closer to story oriented when it comes to the songs. Our arrangements are pretty focused on and refined in the recording process. We try to replicate that live and sometimes it's fun to play it differently live. Like stripped back a little bit more like simple instrumentation rock and roll for sure.


Okay, last question - do you have any plans for 2023 that you would like to do or that are already in the works?



AS: We're going to go record in January in Memphis


EW: It's a new studio, that’s slightly bigger, so we can kind of spread out a little more than we're used to. So I'm excited about that.


AS: More touring


RA: We have Treefort Music Fest in Boise in March, so we're building tour around that mostly out west.



 

One important aspect that separates good performers from great ones, is their stage presence, and Bendigo Fletcher has got it. Summit Hall is a small but mighty local venue in Columbus, Ohio, and while jamming five guys on stage with all their equipment has the potential for cramping, even the audience; Bendigo Fletcher's presence masterfully made the stage and venue feel massive. An obvious mixture of command of the room, passion, and sheer talent kept all eyes glued to the stage for the entirety of the night. While perhaps not the same as playing for 2500 when opening for The Backseat Lovers, Bendigo Fletcher still clearly gave the same heart and effort for this smaller crowd in Columbus. The band sang through their recent EP, Wingding, in entirety, and the addition of "Wonderfully Bizarre" to close out their set genuinely had the people in the crowd shedding some tears - and if your music can make grown men cry, we're sold.


There was not a single soul who was not completely enraptured by Bendigo Fletcher' folk-rock perfectly entwined with transcendent psychedelia. Bendigo Fletcher's music aptly fills a unmistakable void in the current folk + folk-adjacent landscape. With the Americana-ish of all your favorites like The Lumineers and Caamp, plus the belting quality akin to Greta Van Fleet; Bendigo Fletcher is everything you didn't know you needed. Jangly beats and carefully crafted lyrics sometimes infused with off-beat humor are hallmarks of Bendigo Fletcher's wildly wonderful and beautifully human discography. If Bendigo Fletcher wasn't on your radar, they absolutely need to be now. Excuse us while we go start a countdown for their next release.


You Gotta Listen: Strange Encounters, Astro Pup, AMF


Relive the night below with more photos by Lucy Jones.


 

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