Tom Busby and Jeremy Marou.
Tom Busby and Jeremy Marou.

Giving up the day job

IT WAS when Thomas Busby approached his boss for four months off to tour earlier this year that he knew the time had come to quit his day job.

After five years slogging it out juggling touring with work as a Brisbane-based lawyer, Busby realised the moment he had been waiting for had arrived.

And lucky he did quit the day job: 2011 has been a whirlwind of a year for Rockhampton boys Busby, 30, and Jeremy Marou, 28.

They released their self-titled debut album, supported Dolly Parton, Pete Murray and KD Lang, as well as two headline tours of their own. They recruited fans and won hearts across the country with their warm and genuine soulful tunes and laidback and honest performances.

When the Guide caught up with Busby, he was enjoying a rare day off after their record label's Christmas party.

"I didn't expect it to be so busy," he said of the year just past.

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The band already has a string of tour dates lined up for next year and will play at a bunch of festivals throughout the summer. But next year, Busby plans to tackle the touring a little differently.

"It was great this year but it was such a steep learning curve," he said. "I think we had too much fun. I'm learning the art of the balancing act."

Despite studying and practising law, Busby said his first passion had always been music.

"I've always believed if you have a passion then, no matter what, you have to follow it," he said.

"And for Jeremy, whether he liked it or not, he was born to play music.

"He is freakishly gifted."

Both boys where born and raised in Rockhampton but didn't meet until after they had finished school. Busby would come home in the uni break and see Marou performing at a local pub.

He jumped on stage with him and the chemistry was instant.

Clearly, the two were born to play together.

As well as a hectic touring schedule, Busby hopes to find time to write some new material.

"It's hard to write while touring," he said. "I've got skeletons to sit down with Jeremy and flesh out."

After such a successful first album, Busby admits he is a little nervous about their sophomore release.

"Yeah, I am feeling the pressure already. I second-guess myself a lot more," he said. "But I'm just trying to buckle those feelings down and stay true and continue with our originality. That's all an artist can really do."

Catch Busby Marou at the Woodford Folk Festival next week on Wednesday at 10.45am, Thursday at 12.30pm and Friday at 12.30pm. For tickets, visit