Voices blended in haunting harmonies post punk folk duo DATSON+HUGHES play all original material on a selection of handmade dulcimers and banjos. Harking back to something Alan Lomax might have captured, or the deadpan experiments of the Velvet Underground, their stark, ironic and soulful music goes 'back to the beginning' - song, strings, melody and meaning.
While the work resembles the 'folk' of traditional instruments and styles, it is punk in the sense of home made, uncompromising and free from commercial ambition. Using biblical language and the mythology of the ancient world, juxtaposed with crappy cars and the detritus of inner city life, DATSON+HUGHES 'makes music as it was originally dreamed of'.


DATSON+HUGHES formed to perform their own new material and give voice to Datson's vast back catalogue of songs and poetry written since the early 80s. Geoffrey Datson was a member of the 70s Aussie punk Surf Band, Surf Side Six, and then Samurai Trash - one of the first OZ bands signed to Virgin in the 80s. In 2000 he formed Stickylabel with Annette Hughes, producing his audio poetry and music on arange of Datson's hand made banjos and dulcimers.

Most recently,  DATSON+HUGHES performed Datson's spoken word work Then, and Then at the 2011 Byron Bay and Gloucester Writers' Festivals, appeared in concert with Paul Kelly and Festival Friends at the Great Northern Hotel, and the Sydney Fringe. In 2012, Datson performed Protest Singer as part of the Brett Whitely Studio poetry series and part of the Sydney Fringe.

He and collaborator Annette Hughes are currently recording an album with award winning  producer Kalju Tonuma.



GEOFFREYDATSON is a sound artist, combining spoken word, electronica and instrumentation in his recordings. Many poets recite their work to music, but few are also composers. Datson's work is a synthesis of forms of sonic expression in which the voice and the sound field are interdependent.

Most recently Geoff launched his book in performance at the Brett Whitely Studio's Sunday @2 Poetry Series in Sept 2012. The new work, entitled Protest Singer is a collection of 10 years of political poetry and song, performed in the tradition of Woody Gurhrie, Dylan and the soapbox speakers of the Domain. In 2010 Geoff was an Australian Poetry Centre cafe poet in residence at Bistro Bistro in Cooroy, working towards a spoken word work Then, and Then; a memoir which was his project associated with the program, and which was launched by author and 'troubador', Linda Neil at the 2010 Reality Bites festival. This work also includes, in a limited edition, Datson's first published work of poetry. Since its launch at Gleebooks in Sydney, Datson has appeared at the 2011 Gloucester Writers and Readers Festival and Byron Bay Writers' Festival performing works from the collection.

He began his career in Sydney surf punk band, Surf Side Six, part of the inner city live music scene in the seventies, and also Belle De Soir, with Cate Courtney (ex- SS6) and Ross Edgar (recently released in the M Squared compilation). His next band was Samurai Trash, one of the first Australian bands to sign to the brand new Virgin Label in 1984. When that band folded, Datson took a suitcase and guitar to NY where he met and recorded with Dana Velcek (Konk, Fred) and Warner Bros-signed spoken word siren, Dana Bryant. On return to Sydney he continued recording solo material by whatever means. Works from his early career have recently been released in compilation albums.

In 2000 Datson set up Stickylabel, an independent label producing spoken word works. During the early 2000s, he performed political spoken word and song as Protest Singer, releasing an eponymous album and “The Truth”, a collection of war poetry, with several live performances in Sydney. Stickylabel, with Datson as producer, also released Mohsen, the debut spoken word album of refugee poet, Mohsen Soltany Zand. He appeared in 2003 at the NSW Writers' Centre in performing works from that album, and was invited to appear at the 2004 Sydney Writers' Festival to perform with Mohsen following his release from detention. In 2005 he produced Mohsen Soltany's second album Australian Dream, works from which received national ABC air play on Poetica. In 2006 he participated in the Wordjammin's 'Random Acts of Poetry' at the Brisbane Writers' Festival, and in 2009 was a guest of the 2010 Reality Bites Literary Non-fiction Festival on the Sunshine Coast.

In the second half of 2009, Geoff travelled to Sydney over six months to rehearse with the reformed Samurai Trash (all original members) and to record with them.

Since Datson moved his studio to a farm on the Queensland Sunshine Coast, there is time to concentrate on new work, and he now writes and records as DATSON+HUGHES with creative collaborator Annette Hughes. Since that time he has continued to release new work: New Depression Songs, works from which have received airplay on ABC Local Radio, national community radio, Brisbane's 4ZZZ and ABC RN's Sound Quality, Then and Then: a memoir a double album of collected works in limited edition with a book of lyrics and poetry, and most recently, has published a new collection of protest poetry and song, Protest Singer which will be the 'liner notes' for their forthcoming breakout album of the same name.

If the gods are with him, he will launch the album at the 2013 Reality Festival on home turf.

2010 Then. and Then : a memoir Stickybooks. ISBN: 978-0-9751862-0-6
2012 Protest Singer Stickybooks. ISBN: 978-0-9751862-1-3

1979 Surfside Six 2 x singles Phantom
1982 Samurai Trash Live at the Wireless ABC 2JJ
1984 Samurai Trash 3 singles released Virgin
2000 Solo Star of Heart Stickylabel
2001 Producer Mohsen Stickylabel
2002 Solo Protest Singer Stickylabel
2004 Solo France is Bacon Stickylabel
2005 anthology Inner City Sound:Australian Punk & Post Punk Laughing Outlaw Surfside 6 song 'Cool in the Tube'
2006 Producer Australian Dream, by Mohsen Soltany Stickylabel (National airplay, Poetica, ABC RN)
2006 Solo Great Leader Stickylabel
2007 anthology Can't Stop It Chapter Belle de Soir song 'Treasure Island'
2007 anthology Do The Pop Redux Shock  (Surfside Six song – Can't you See the Sign)
2008 Datson+Hughes Art Life Chooks promotional compile CD Stickylabel
2009 Solo New Depression Songs Stickylabel (National airplay on ABC Sound Quality)
2010 anthology Terrace Industry 1980-83 (Belle du Soir) M Squared
2010 Solo Then, And Then: A memoir (double album +book) Stickylabel
2013 In production Datson+Hughes Protest Singer (album) Stickylabel TBA

2005 Waking up the Nation: The Freedom Bus is an Australian documentary film shot in 2002 and internationally released in 2005, directed by Agostino Imondi. Music by Geoffrey Datson.
2011 "Bridge": Experimental Film by Nick Nedelkopoulos. Music by Geoffrey Datson 2011
2012 "An Etcher's Memory": Film/poetry collaboration with Nick Nedelkopoulos. Shortlisted and screened at the Queensland Poetry Festival film makers Challenge Prize,  "Songs Interwoven of Lights"

ANNETTE HUGHES is a Sunshine Coast hinterland based writer who moved to the region ten years ago after a twenty year career in first Brisbane, then Sydney, in the entertainment and publishing industries. In her previous lives she has been a bookseller, contemporary art dealer, small publisher, theatrical F&TV agent, literary agent  and now author of Art Life Chooks: Learning to leave the city and love the country (Harper Collins 4th Estate).

Most recently she was the program director of the Sunshine Coast's 2009-11 Reality Bites Literary Nonfiction festival and was the RADF/AQ funded Writer in Residence of the new Cooroy Library.

She has appeared at the Byron Bay writers festival (2008, 2011), Reality Bites festival (Cooroy), Sydney Writers Festival, New South Wales writers centre, Gloucester Readers and Writers Festival and various bookshops and libraries, and performed at the 2011 Byron Bay Writers' Festival in Datson+Hughes.

Annette is currently self employed, trading as Books &Writing, providing professional services to the publishing industry and manuscript assessment services to individual emerging and established authors. She is also the other half of indy music/spoken-word outfit, Stickylabel, and publisher of Stickybooks.

But the best thing is playing music with artistic collaborator and musical mentor, Geoffrey Datson in their alt folk duo, DATSON+HUGHES.