GEOFFREY DATSON is a sound artist, combining spoken word, electronica and instrumentation in his recordings. Datson's recorded work is a synthesis of forms of sonic expression in which the voice and the sound field are interdependent. He has two books in print: Protest Singer and Then, and Then; a memoir, and many recordings soon for digital re-release. Datson has appeared at the Gloucester, Byron Bay ,Wordjammin's 'Random Acts of Poetry' at the Brisbane Writers' Festival and Reality Bites Non-fiction Festival. He is currently working in collaboration with Melbourne artist Nicholas Nedelkopoulos on a major series entitled the Datson Driveby, each 15 min episode incorporating film, poetry, music, song and spokenword. He will appear at the 2017 Queensland Poetry Festival in performance with Mohsen Soltany Zand for the digital re-release of Australian Dream,
Though he has written poetry since age 16, taught by the late Tony Gallagher, and influenced by Michael Dransfield, who was a few years ahead, Datson began his performance career in Sydney surf punk band, Surf Side Six, part of the inner city live music scene in the seventies. 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 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 various compilation albums.
In 2000 with Annette Hughes, Datson set up Stickylabel, an independent label producing spoken word, song and music. 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 Stickylabel 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. This albume is to be re-released digitally for a new audience.
In 2004, Datson moved his studio to a farm on the Queensland Sunshine Coast, where there is time to concentrate on new work, and where he began performing and recording as DATSON+HUGHES with creative collaborator and producer Annette Hughes.
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 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. 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.
Geoffrey launched his second work in print Protest SInger, in performance at the Brett Whitely Studio's Sunday @2 Poetry Series in Sept 2012. 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.
SInce 2008 he has been working on a major recording project with Hughes with award winning producer Kalju Tonuma and touring their folk performance duo. During this time they have edited and produced two major works of poetry in collaboration with Christopher Barnett, Elegies of Resistance and O Horsey. (Wakefield Press).
Datson is currently working on a major collaboration with Melbourne artist and experimental film-maker Nicholas Nedelkopoulos - a 2 x25 ep x 15min series entitled the Datson Driveby, each episode a compile of film, poetry, music, song and spokenword to be released on Sticklabel's Art Records.
H recently appeared at the 2017 Queensland Poetry Festival in a performance collaboration with Mohsen Soltany Zand and Annette Hughes which coincided with the launch of the digital re-release of Australian Dream.
In 2018 Datson Hughes performed Bird, at the Jervis Bay SeeChange Festival where 4 eps of the Driveby were also screened in the main curated exhibition.