"ONE OF THE MOST AUTHENTIC VOICES TO COME OUT OF AUSTRALIA IN 15 YEARS."
- DRUM MEDIA, SYDNEY
Award-winning singer/songwriter Penelope Swales has been articulating the human condition for over 30 years. Her subject matter ranges from politics via the environment, through to love, sex, the profound bond between people and dogs to the impact of the Internet on our society and relationships. She has just won the 2019 Alistair Hulett Songs for Social Justice Award with her song “Cambridge Analytica” which explores the impact on democracy of disinformation spread via social media.
She first went on the road at the age of 16 as a backing vocalist for the band Dreamtime (a precursor to Kangaroo Moon). She supported herself through homelessness in her teenage years by busking for a living in the streets of Melbourne and Sydney before forming John's Sister in 1989 and releasing her first album of original material the same year.
Penelope began playing solo in 1993 and by 1996 had become an international artist, touring England and Ireland playing at clubs and festivals including Cambridge Folk Festival, Sidmouth Folk Festival and the Rose of Tralee. In 1998, she took up making musical instruments out of Gourds and formed the band Totally Gourdgeous with Mal Webb (Oxo Cubans, Formidable Vegetable Sound System), Carl Panuzzo (Checkerboard Lounge, Those Acapelicans) and Andrew Clermont (The Supper Club, BluGuru) Totally Gourdgeous has been a favourite on the festival scene for many years, winning Folk Alliance Australia's Members Choice Award for Best Live Act in 2004...