The year is off to a rollicking start with gigs for me – so it keeps rolling with:
Friday February 28th is time for some wild fun with Emily-Rose & the Wild Things at Foundry 616 in Ultimo, Sydney. I really am enjoying this new band and am anticipating some beautiful growth this year. We have some gigs planned and some recording time! I’ll be releasing some songs throughout the year so keep an ear to the ground for that too. We’ll also be playing a totally rad gig on April 4th at The Rhythm Hut in Gosford for ‘Circus Vibes’ – a very cool mini music fest.
I want to take this moment to say not only do I love this band, but I absolutely adore the people in it. They are all such excellent individuals and it is a special thing to make music with them. I thought I would take the time here to tell you all a little about them.
Chris Stone (Violin and extreme mischief) – I met this bare foot hug giant years ago at the Cobargo Folk Festival where he was playing formidably with his trio ‘The String Contingent’. He is one of those rare breeds of funky improvising fiddlers who loves to groove and who make excellent espresso martinis. Over the years we became close due to our mutual love of spreadsheeting tour schedules and his insatiable efforts to get me to let loose more often. Many a wonderful folk festival session bar hang has been had and FINALLY we are playing music together for the first time in the Wild Things!
Luke Chapman (Guitar and epic positivity) – I’ve known this constantly smiling individual since the days of gypsy jazz gigs at the now closed Mr Falcon’s in Glebe. A man of many incredible talents, including being a total legend of a teacher & secret video expert who loves to cook a mean mexican dish & can give you pro Mac related tips whilst jamming out on up-right bass, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed co-writing some banging tunes with him and many a truly lovely coffee hang. Sometimes we get to parade as the jazz duo ‘Blue and Sentimental’ and he is very responsible for encouraging me to explore and be confident in the world of jazz.
Nick Henderson (Electric Bass and expert head banging) – A lover of Meshuggah & Metallica and equally a sucker for a good jazz ballad or banjo love song, this silver haired, funky groovin’, songwriting, metal thrashing man is quite the mixed bag of goodies. He froths on complex grooves but also appreciate a well written lyric and spends much of his spare time creating beautiful ambient piano and synth music, which makes him a damn suitable addition to the Wild Things. We can tell if the band is really pumping, as it usually means we are lucky enough to get the special Nick brand of excited screams – he finds it difficult to contain the kinda ‘hell yes’ emotion – and really, with these folks onstage, who can blame him?! You may notice us around in our duo guise ‘Skinny Silver & The Shark’.
Abby Constable (Drums and total badasssery) – I met this hard hitting lady whilst she was guesting with Rhythm Hunters for a while (another band I play in with Rendra Freestone). Her calm, cool and collected approach to drumming when paired with her maturity and unexpected wordly experience for one who fairly recently turned 21 is just kinda mind blowing! How she manages to fit in gigging professionally on a busy schedule whilst at full time uni at Sydney Conservatorium is truly commendable. I love her style and am overjoyed at finding such a gem to be on kit for this project. She will have just stepped off the plane from a New York and Cuba trip, so I’m sure there is going to be some hella inspiring grooves coming from those sticks.
There are OODLES of other things for you to keep an eye on including a rather extensive tour with CHAIKA that I’ve been spending my bizillions of hours booking for us 😀 Take note those who think musicians spend all day lounging around writing songs and getting high – we WISH! But if we did then Chaika wouldn’t be going all these cool places – click on the poster to go to Chaika’s Gig page.
Yep – a big jaunt all over Tasmania, Victoria and some NSW and ACT dates! This band I’ve been playing music with for almost 10 years now – I believe 2021 will be our anniversary and 2022 will be 10 years since our first album. With the speed we are picking up at the moment, I feel the next album will not be long behind our latest ARROW (yep the one that received the ARIA nomination, gotta milk that!) and this tour marks the first time we’ve played at most of these locations. So if you have friends in any of these areas, please hop on your phone and send them a text!
Chaika have been through a lot as a band of close friends and I’m feeling the closest we’ve been in a long time at the moment. Being in a band is about so much more than the music. The music glues us together, but the friendships keep us stuck! This tour in March and April is about friendship and community. We are trying to take our music to places where it will be appreciated and where we can connect strongly with people in intimate community settings. You know, the big names in music sure get around, but the little guys like us get closer, we go deeper and we bring music to places that none of the big names would go. We think we are incredibly lucky to be able to get to know our country and such a wide array of people more closely than some, by way of music touring. It’s probably what keeps us going, because we all know it is not really a huge financial enterprise!
There are also some other fab shows I’m working towards with Rhythm Hunters – we’ll be playing the gorgeous Unity – the meeting place up at Wisemans Ferry on Feb 21 and getting the party on in Manly at Henry’s Rooftop on Sunday 23.
And here’s one last exciting one to pop in the diaries – for those of you who have missed seeing me don my classical piano cap, I’ll be playing some of my favourite Debussy solo piano pieces on Thursday May 21st in a awesome collaboration with my friend Luke Chapman with a vision of a Debussy and Django Rheinhart night at Johnson St. Jazz. Hop on my mailing list to make sure you find out when that goes up on sale!