The Wire


Listen: The Doomed Bird Of Providence's You Brought The Knife

June 2015

Listen to an EP of songs based on the life of 19th century migrant and convicted murderer Maria Murray

The Doomed Bird Of Providence are led by vocalist and accordionist Mark Kluzek. Their new EP follows on from 2011's Will Ever Pray and 2013's Blind Mouths Eat. You Brought The Knife continues Kluzek's lyrical investigations into tales of horror and misery from Australia’s early history through murder ballads and bloodthirsty shanties.

Kluzek based the songs on this EP on the life of Maria Murray, a former slave and convict. In 1825, while living in Belize (then British Honduras) Murray was found guilty of the murder of William Mair, a disbanded soldier who Maria lived with after escaping from a slave owner called Mary White. She was sentenced to death, but that punishment was commuted to transportation to the penal colony Van Dieman's Land in Tasmania.

Murray later married and ran a boarding house in Hobart but died of consumption after a decade, and before an expected pardon for her crime arrived from England. She had at least one child but beyond this nothing is known about Murray's life.

You Brought The Knife features Kluzek joined by Richard Acton (guitar), Drew Barker (ukulele), Stafford Glover (bass) and Ian Hothersall (percussion) together with a string section including Joolie Wood, Rachel Laurence, Angela Chan and Katie English (who also plays flute on the EP).

The EP is out on Front & Follow, and TDBOP are on a European tour through summer and into the autumn. Click here for full details.


Another fine release from this great band. If only they were given the recognition they deserve. Wonderful listening on a grand scale of lyric desperation and evocation.

The Doomed Bird of Providence continue to hone one of the best modes of story telling, with this new E.P. Reaching further into depths of transportation history, bringing to the forfront the lives of people and that era in sepia song. Marks 'lilt' and delivery is superb talking the listener on a colourful journey with a fine mix of great sadness yet beautiful playing from the team.

Leave a comment

Pseudonyms welcome.

Used to link to you.