Famously sung by Vera Lynn, Ross Parker’s We’ll Meet Again remains the most celebrated English tune of World War II. Despite the acclaim, it’s taken another 60 years for the Manchester musician’s follow-up Monday Tuesday Wednesday (I Love You) to become a familiar tune to Australian households. The 1949 track had been consigned to dusty nostalgia compilations until Woolworths resurrected it for a sprightly advertising campaign in June.
Melbourne musician Gossling (AKA Helen Croome) was specifically commissioned by Woolworths to update the tune, with the resulting advertisement proving highly successful.
So successful, in fact, that it’s now hard to enter Woolies without hearing Croome’s sweet lilt skipping through the speakers.
“I purposely go into Woolworths to hear myself and it never comes on!” Croome laughs. “I’ve heard the instrumental version but never my voice, but my mum hears it a lot. It’s a pretty catchy tune – better than Coles’ ‘Down down, prices are down’. I’m not a big fan of that ad, but if it works for them then it must be doing the job. It’s probably bad of me to admit, but I don’t really know much about Status Quo beyond the ad.”
The British rock stalwarts behind Coles’ insidious Down Down campaign will tour Australia next year with Coles as their presenting partner - would Croome be interested in a Woolworths Presents Gossling tour?
“I don’t know – I’d have to think about it. With the Woolworths thing I’ve kind of been careful not to be a brand ambassador - I think of it as a gig that I got as a singer rather than placing Gossling with Woolworths. An ad agency had heard of me and they had this song they wanted to put a modern twist on, so they flew me up to Sydney and I recorded it with a big band.”
Arriving in the wake of two well-received EPs and a high-profile appearance with 360 on his ARIA Award-nominated, triple-platinum hit Boys Like You, the Woolworths opportunity allowed Croome to quit working as a physiotherapy receptionist and concentrate on writing her debut album. While Croome’s musical confidence has grown markedly in the past 12 months, the songwriter suggests there’ll be no new material before 2013.
“I’m still writing at the moment. I had a bit of a writing trip in Tasmania to try to write but unfortunately I didn’t come up with anything. Our family have a house on the east coast and I purposely went there to get lonely and depressed and be on my own. I got lonely and depressed, but not productive. It was cold as well, but I’m a big fan of the cold and had an open fire roaring the whole time. I just got lonely and ended up watching Big Brother, pretending they were all my friends and that we were hanging out… nervously laughs It was a mistake, but now I know I’m not good at being on my own for two weeks at a time. I’ve got my real friends back now so I haven’t watched Big Brother since Tasmania, but they were there for me when I needed them.”
Having already notched up appearances at Southbound and Falls Festival as well as guest slots on 360’s impressive schedule this year, recently Croome returned to Wodonga for her debut hometown performance.
“It was strange I hadn’t played a gig there before, so my first homecoming gig was at a new venue. It was an awesome experience and I was able to go back to my old high school and talk to the music students there. I’m one to be quite honest about the music industry and choosing music as your career, so I don’t want to sound negative to the kids but I also don’t want them to think they’ll be a massive rock star. I like letting them know it’s a great skill to write music, to engineer, to teach and to be able to do as many things in the industry as you can. The kids were songwriting already and forming little bands, so it was impressive.”
Before she retreats to finalise the writing of her debut album, Gossling will return to South Australia for McLaren Vale’s Gorgeous Festival.
“I’m very excited about it. I saw Missy Higgins play at Splendour and I really enjoyed her live set, so I am definitely looking forward to seeing her again. Her voice live is incredible. It’s fun to be involved in the Gorgeous line-up and I’ve been looking at their website at the food and wine they’ll have available. I’m a big wine fan and whenever I have to choose a good wine I’ll often end up choosing a McLaren Vale shiraz – I love a good shiraz.”
WHERE: Gorgeous Festival, McLaren Vale
WHEN: Sat Nov 24