Birds of Tokyo began 2020 by releasing their fourth single in 18 months, ‘Two Of Us’. It turns out the string-laden ‘Two Of Us’ hinted at the nature of the band’s upcoming tour.

Birds of Tokyo will play half a dozen shows backed by symphony orchestras this June. The Perth quintet, led by Oz rock icon Ian Kenny, will employ the services of three separate orchestras for the shows in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne.

Watch: Birds of Tokyo – Two Of Us

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The lovestruck ‘Two Of Us’ is a major shift from the sound that dominated Brace. However, the upcoming tour isn’t the first time Kenny and co. have roped in string players.

“We’ve wanted to do this ever since we collaborated with much smaller ensembles on our Broken Strings tour a decade ago,” said BOT guitarist and producer Adam Spark. 

The 2009 tour gave rise to the 18-track Broken Stings Tour live album. On that occasion the band eschewed the electric guitars to allow room for the string sections. This time around they’ll be playing a whole bunch of new stuff, which is a central part of the tour’s conception.

“Obviously lots of artists do orchestral tours where they basically just play all their hits, but this is a genuine collaboration on new music as well and that makes it a pretty unique creative experience for us,” said Spark.

“It’s daunting to be playing with such gifted musicians but it’s also a privilege so we really want to make the most of this opportunity.”

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Listen: Birds of Tokyo – Wayside (Broken Strings tour)

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A number of favourite from Birds of Tokyo’s five album back catalogue will also appear in the tour setlists. Arranger and conductor Nicholas Buc is working on the orchestrations with the band. Buc previously worked on symphonic arrangements for Nick Cave, Amanda Palmer and Ben Folds

Birds of Tokyo Symphonic Tour 2020

Friday May 1
Perth Concert Hall w/ West Australian Symphony Orchestra

Thursday May 7
Sydney Town Hall w/ Sydney Symphony Orchestra

Friday May 8  
Sydney Town Hall w/ Sydney Symphony Orchestra

Saturday May 9
Sydney Coliseum Theatre, West Hq w/ Sydney Symphony Orchestra

Wednesday June 3
Arts Centre Melbourne, Hamer Hall w/ Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Thursday June 4  
Arts Centre Melbourne, Hamer Hall w/ Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

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Ends: Thursday Feb 20 (9am local time)

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