• The Vibe

New Music: Watling & Bates 'In The Dead Of Night' Single & Video


Drawing inspiration from the spirit of the land, Watling & Bates are raconteurs of contemporary rural Australia and revivalists of the country’s past. In The Dead of Night is a song shrouded in magic, mystery and morbid curiosity, as it emerged from the mists of the McPherson Ranges.

Written by Geoffrey Bates, the song arose as if from a dream. It was not until the discovery of some archival news articles that the song’s meaning and story became clear. Its embodiment by the duo becoming eerily potent.

Watling & Bates are songwriters from Unumgar, on the western edge of the Northern Rivers of NSW. Fiddle, banjo, and guitar provide a backdrop for their tales, which recount local history, simple joys, or the complexities of a troubled mind.  Their songs move like a will-o-the-wisp between Australiana and Americana, Gothic country and dark folk, hillbilly and honkytonk. Their influences are drawn from a diverse and eclectic range of artists, from the old time music of the Appalachian Mountains to contemporary Australian country Gothic.

“Watling & Bates are an example of Australia’s hidden talent with their own obscure  twist on country…” - Ken Dyster, Country Radio Gippsland

Watling & Bates’ career highlights range from small country halls to the streets of the city. They performed in an Opera Queensland small hall production in 2016, with an original work included in the script. In 2018 they head lined a small hall tour of the Bundaberg region, culminating at the prestigious Moncrieff Entertainment Centre during the Bundaberg Crush Festival.

With a video lurking, In The Dead Of Night will shine a light towards their swag of new songs, produced by Thor Phillips. Watling & Bates are the enduring testament to the spirit of song, sometimes our talents are not our own and this duo are certainly conduits for Australiana.

For Fans Of: Norman & Nancy Blake | Chambers Family | Doc Watson | Gram & Emmylou

‘In The Dead Of Night’ will be in Digital Stores on the 1st of March.

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News story provided by The A&R Department