Labour & Love: Sarah & Chris

Sarah Little and Chris Baker are well known as solo artists on Townsville’s live music scene. IMAGE: Sarah Joy Photography

Sarah Little and Chris Baker are well known as solo artists on Townsville’s live music scene. Their shared passion and commitment to their craft makes life as a professional musician a little easier, even if it means they hardly get to see each other.

Is there much cross-over in your businesses as musos?
C: There’s a fair bit.
S: We pretty much know the same set so we can just jump in together and do a gig because it’s easy. Chris complements me too, he’s very good with sound.

So Chris, you’re Sarah’s Roadie as well?
S: He’s my muscles!
C: Yeah, I get to lug everything to the gig. I guess the good thing about having to know each other’s set list really well is I know exactly what songs she plays and she knows exactly what songs I play, so even though obviously the main difference is male and female vocals, when we do play the same venue, I’ll play a completely different set list from Sarah and vice versa. Then when we do play together, we’ve got this massive universe of music that we can do – anything from folk indie stuff to popular tracks.

Are there any songs you fight over?
S: No – I like to go 90s female power ballad. He’s very much Vance Joy, all the indie stuff, the Triple J stuff, which I like to listen to and avoid playing.
C: The only thing we fight over is my ability to learn stuff quickly.
S: Oh he’s too quick!! And he gets a lot of time off. I teach during the day, and he’s got all this free time to learn new stuff and I come home and he’s playing four new songs and I get annoyed about that because I want to learn some new stuff too.
C: The good thing is we can help each other out. Sarah’s a vocal coach as well, so she’s helped me to develop my singing techniques and I’ve been playing guitar a lot longer than she has, in a different style. Sarah’s classically trained, but there’s little things I can help her out with.

Do you collaborate often?
S: We’re writing at the moment. He’s been writing original stuff and I’ll come home and he’ll have this idea to show me and we’ll start working on harmonies and try to get through some stuff. I need to do more – it’s my fault it hasn’t happened yet.
C: She’s busy. Always busy. She’s a fulltime music teacher and does gigs on the weekend and teaches private lessons as well. And I’ve got a little bit more time during the day but between keeping up my chops on the guitar, writing stuff, my own original band, a pub band and work at The Basement Bar – there’s not as much time as we’d like.

How do you carve out time together when you’re both working nights as well as days?
C: It’s more of a high-five as we’re in and out of the door.

How’s the writing coming?
S: Having something to say is a big deal. And saying the right thing is even more of a big deal. I suffer from a lot of anxiety; finding a message that people can relate to and agree with is very important to me, so I’ve avoided writing for quite a long time.

Does that force the two of you to have some deep conversations as you collaborate?
S: Absolutely! He’s my words, he’s my pen. He comes up with it, I give him something to say and he’ll help me write it.

For more creative couple interviews, click here for our chat with Jodie & Reece from Bespoke Designer Living or here for our chat with Ann Roberts School of Dance’s Jane Pirani and Andre Reynaud.

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