Paul 'the Head of' Bourke could be the world's greatest unknown songwriter and solo performer. Then again...
Paul's songwriting career started in his teenage years in Adelaide before coming to Sydney to study at Sydney Uni in 1986. His early work was much influenced by the masters of the day - the Smiths, REM, Go-Betweens and the Triffids. In Sydney, he joined in the local pub-music scene, supporting Penguins on Safari (then fronted by Tim Freedman of The Whitlams), the Happenin' Thang, and other acts playing the inner-Sydney music scene (Sandringham, Hopetoun, Palace Hotel, Newtown Markets, community festivals). For 3 years at Sydney Uni Paul appeared solo (and with violin, 2nd guitar} as 'The Head of.'
Covers included Dylan's 'Tangled Up in Blue' (with Nick Freedman on second guitar), Tracy Chapman's 'For My Lover', the Cure's '3 Imaginary Boys' and Nick Drake's 'Voice from a Mountain.'
Paul took his act on the road, when in 1990 he moved to Sapporo, Japan. For 2 years, every Friday and Saturday night, when the only other foreigners on the freezing streets of Sapporo's red-light (soap-land) district were Israeli street vendors selling fake Armani handbags, Paul was there too, introducing music loving Japanese to his Australian-made Maton guitar, his original material, and that of Paul Kelly, the Beatles, and Died Pretty. It was as a busker, playing in sub-zero temperatures for 4 hours a night, that Paul's voice gained strength and his performing style developed.
From 2000-01 Paul lived in New York, studying at Columbia University. He stayed at International House, a residence for students studying in NY. He played at I-House folk nights too, to fellow students from all over the world.
Paul read about Club Acoustica in the Sydney Morning Herald on the Internet while he was in NY. Immediately he felt drawn to this event; that CA was the sort of movement he had been looking for.
His first appearance at Club Acoustica, in December 2001, was to a small but appreciative audience.
Paul continues to practice, write new songs and work towards the next Club Acoustica spot.