Touch Sensitive bringing his free show to Byron
HEADLINING a run of free shows has allowed Michael Di Francesco to connect with fans who might not otherwise get to see him live.
The Sydney DJ and producer, known for his solo work as Touch Sensitive and as a former member of Van She, is on the final leg of his Corona Sunsets Tour, which will make its way down the coast of Queensland before wrapping up at the Beach Hotel on Sunday.
"People have come up to me after shows and said 'Thank you so much, I'm a university and I don't have any money'. It's easy to forget that when you're young and studying, $40 or $50 (to see a show) is a fair bit," he says.
"People who may not have come to things in the past for whatever reason, they kind of have no excuse not to go if they want to do.
"It's been really good, positive experience for me. I've gone to places I haven't gone before and everybody I'm working with are really cool, plus there's Corona on tap."
The more intimate shows also allow him to get up close and personal compared to a festival set, such as his recent appearance at last month's Splendour in the Grass.
"What I like is the intimacy of it, which has been a bit dangerous at times," he says.
"Most of the time I'm on the stage there's been a foot in height difference from me to the audience, whereas at a festival you're a good 10 metres away from people. I'm literally an arm's length away from them, and sometimes the security guards have to hold the table because it's going to tip over. I like being able to hand someone a beer. It's a completely different vibe.
"It's a lot easier to read people and make a connection with them. It's a cool way to tour."
Chances are you've heard a Touch Sensitive song, even if you're not familiar with the name.
His track Pizza Guy was Triple j's third most-played song in 2013 and last year's Lay Down still gets plenty of airplay.
After releasing his synth-driven solo album Visions in September last year, Di Francesco promises to release new music by the end of 2018.
Fans may get to hear one of the new songs at his final Sunsets Tour shows, although he's making no promises.
"On the Tuesday morning after I get back from Byron Bay I go to America and will finish a whole bunch of stuff that should be out before the end of the year," he says.
"At the moment it looks like it will be an EP, but the more I think about it there's potentially enough material for there to be a lengthy body of work. But then again that all depends on how they turn out. There are a few things I've started that I feel good about… it's mostly upbeat, I would say.
"I have been tempted to play one (of the new songs) on this tour. There is one I'd be able to play but for whatever reason I haven't played it yet. That's not to say that I won't.
"I totally should be exploiting my ability to do that. A live show is the ultimate place to test it really."
Touch Sensitive plays the Beach Hotel in Byron Bay on Sunday. He will also perform at the Brisbane Festival's Spiegeltent on September 22.