Blank Gold Coast issue #27 – November 15

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free Nov ‘15







Irish Mythen Napoleonic Wars Jon Toogood Walrus + Carpenter Boy & Bear

Bon Bon All Time Coffee Mudjira Village Eatery House of Brews Journeymen Roasters

Urban Paradise Graham Burstow Caresse Cramwell Interconnected Storytime Ballet

Peter Garrett Music Therapy Studio 56 All our Exes Electrik Lemonade

Four nurses in Nepal Big Blue Sky Jack Brittliff No Lights, No Lycra

FREE music in the park

Nov 29 Dec 6 Dec 13 Dec 20 Jan 10 Jan 17 Jan 24 Feb 7

Jimmy Saint and the Sinners + Mattie Barker Josh Lovegrove + Jake Whittaker The Lyrical + Ginger and the Ghost Aquila young + SwitchKraft Felicity Lawless + Hussy Hicks Hayley Calvert + Bobby Alu Karl S Williams + CC and the Rolling Waves Ella Fence + The Hanlon Brothers



#027 NOV 2015 Editor: Samantha Morris Arts, Culture + Lifestyle Editor: Natalie O’Driscoll Editorial Intern: Doris Prodanovic Guest Designer: Kylie Cobb, Kitty Kitty Bang Bang Advertising: Amanda Gorman Music Coordinator: Mella Lahina Money Coordinator: Phillippa Wright Photographer: Leisen Standen, Lamp Photography Online support: Elli Webb Front cover: Nathan Johnston, lead singer with US the Band. Photographed by Leisen Standen at The Avalon in Miami. Lifestyle cover: provided by Eloise Crean Contributors: Lani Motiekaitis, Doris Prodanovic, Samantha Morris, Mella Lahina, Glenn Tozer, Yanina Benavidez, Liz Ansley, Kyle Butcher, Eden Tokatly, Anthony Gebhardt, Carmel E Lewis, Christie Ots, Terry “Tappa” Teece, Tiffany Mitchell, Marj Osborne, Catherine Coburn, Pip Andreas, Emily Russell, Natalie O’Driscoll, Nathan James, Anna Itkonen, Lizzy Keen, Kylie Cobb, Aran de Baron. Correction: Last month we incorrectly placed a photo next to the Cicchetti restaurant review which was of a different restaurant. We apologise for this administrative oversight. Acknowledgement of Country We show our respect and sincerely acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of this land and their elders past, present and emerging. Editorial: Advertising: advertising@blankgc. Gigs: About us: Blank GC is independently owned and published by Samantha Morris and Chloe Popa. Most of our writers contribute their time pro-bono to boost the cultural scene on the Gold Coast. Founded in 2013 we are the Gold Coast’s independent cultural voice, relying on advertising to keep us in the fray. Opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the editor, publishers or the writing team.

Irish Mythen (CAN) information + tickets available at

Starboard Cannons (AUS)

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OzFest 2016 lineup drops It may be the earliest Australia Day lineup announcement yet, but it’s certainly worth getting excited about. Miami Tavern has dropped its OzFest 2016 lineup, which will see Australia Day celebrated in the hotel’s grounds on Saturday 23 January. Seth Sentry leads the announcement with indie-pop darlings San Cisco also on the bill. They’ll be joined by Saskwatch and Tired Lion. Early bird tickets are available from Moshtix for $59 and more acts are due to be announced in December. More at

Woodford’s 30th anniversary programme Woodford Folk Festival organisers are delivering an intense cultural experience and commitment to social responsibility for their 30th Anniversary event. With music, dance, poetry, talks, circus, health and visual arts workshops, the internationally renowned event is forging ahead while strengthening its cultural integrity and traditions. And Gold Coast artists are featuring in the program as well. Tijuana Cartel, Cheap Fakes (featuring Scotty French) and Hanlon Brothers are amongst the GC artists who join Michael Franti, Courtney Barnett, Josh Pyke, Nattali Rize and Harry Manx on the bill. The event runs 26 December until New Year’s Day with more than 2400 artists across 25 venues. Rock the Reef at Shark Bar Aptly taking place at Miami Tavern’s Shark Bar, the Gold Coast iteration of Rock The Reef, which raises funds for Australian Marine Conservation Society will happen on Friday 13 November from 4.30pm. AMCS is one of the key players in protecting the Great Barrier Reef and this year celebrates its 50th anniversary. On the bill are Regular Band, Dispunktion, Monster Fodder, BONED, Baltimore Gun Club and Cactus Dill-Dos. Second lineup drops for EFF2016 It’s a tribal gathering of epic proportion and its second lineup announcement has been made. Cave In the Sky, Essie Thomas, Lift Shift, Dub FX, Oka, Lubdub and Kingfish are amongst 20 acts that make up the announcement for the event which runs 12-15 February in SE Queensland. Get all the details at Former Angels’ November to Remember Brisbane-based rockers Former Angels will release new single Far Away at the beginning of their November to Remember tour which will take in locations between their hometown and Sydney. The single launch happens 4

on Friday 6 November at The Zoo with a killer bunch of supports that includes Swamp Gully, Howlers, Taken By Wolves and Scotch & Cider. Tickets $12 on the door. Former Angels also recently recorded a live album at The Zoo which is available for free at

Ella Fence in the running for $25k fellowship Ella Fence has been announced as a finalist for the highly sought after Grant McLennan Fellowship which offers $25,000 for travel to New York, London or Berlin. She’s up against fellow Queenslanders Tim Steward (Screamfeeder), Hanna Macklin (MKO Sun) and Jack Carty for the prize, which has been designed to expose the recipient to the full cultural life those cities have to offer. The judging panel are Sean Sennett, Sally McLennan, Ian Haug and Adele Pickvance and the winner will be announced in November. If you wanna see what all the fuss is about you can catch Ella Fence at Summertime Sessions in the Village on Friday 30 October, at Foco Neuvo in Brisbane on 6 November and at The Zoo on Thursday 12 November supporting Timber Bones. She’s also got gigs booked for Palmy’s new Sun Day Fun Days as well as the Nightquarter which opens in Helensvale on 28 November. Visit for more details.

Kellie Knight and the Daze hit Marketta Seven-piece Kellie Knight and the Daze sound like a blend of old retro soul vinyl mixed with future funk and jazz improv. Their debut single Twisted, released earlier this year recently took out the NCEIA Dolphine Music Awards and their debut EP of the same name earned them two additional awards making it a super winning release. They hit Marketta on Saturday 28 November and have also scored a slot at Woodford Folk Festival.

Surfari at The Avalon Stone & Wood are bringing their beer truck all the way from Byron to The Avalon in Miami for a surfari which will cause serious FOMO. As well as beers, surfboards, films and “Byron” vibes, food will be available from JR Smokehouse and tunes provided by Kyle Lionheart and Waxhead. All profits go to Surfrider Foundation and the event runs 4.00 – 9.00pm.

Six60 back in Australia The first half of 2015 has been all about New Zealand for Six60 where their much anticipated second album was released in February and is now certified platinum. After 28 weeks Six60’s album still sits in the Top 15 on the album chart. Now signed to iconic record label Capitol Records, the band are based in the US while they release the album over there. It will be released in Australia soon to coincide with their tour which will take in Coolangatta Hotel on Thursday 3 December. Tickets via Oztix.

Archie Roach to re-release Charcoal Lane One of the best Australian albums of all time is being remastered and released with new material. Archie Roach’s moving album Charcoal Lane was first released in 1990 and this new release marking its 25th anniversary will include the remastered version of the original album along with a second disc of five acoustic tracks recorded live for Triple j’s Live at the Wireless, also in 1990 plus new recordings by other artists. Paul Kelly, Courtney Barnett, Dan Sultan, Emma Donovan, Marlon Williams, Leah Flanagan, Radical Son, Urthboy, Briggs, Gurrumul and Dewayne Everettsmith all feature on the additional material. Charcoal Lane’s 25th anniversary edition will be released on 6 November.

Double Lined Minority find Closure No signs of slowing down for Gold Coast four-piece Double Lined Minority with the announcement of a new single and the band’s last tour for 2015. Aptly titled Closure and due for release 16 November, the track completes a trilogy of songs the band have recently released that are based around Eddie Salazar’s dissolving relationship, with each song capturing a different reflection of the situation as time moves forward. The tour will take in Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne and more information is available at

Hussy Hicks launch That Old Heartache Hussy Hicks and friends will take over Currumbin Creek Tavern on Friday 30 October for the launch of their brand new single That Old Heartache. It’s been a while between singles for the duo, who call the Gold Coast home but travel the world sharing their special blend of surfdessert-blues. The single launch will feature Allensworth (USA) who happen to be in town at the same time, as well as a special set by Minnie Marks and live art by Robert Gammage. If something happens you miss that show (but you’d be certifiably insane to do so), then you can also catch the Hussies when they headline the Grass Roots Festival which takes place at Mt Coot-Tha Botanic Gardens on Sunday 1 November from 11.00am. Tickets for the single launch can be found at Fletch’s Son of a Gun Scoring a Griffith Uni scholarship saw local alt-folk songwriter Fletch travel to LA and Nashville, which has resulted in new inspiration. Currently studying a Bachelor of Popular Music, his new single Son Of A Gun, which features Eliza Pickard is now available via Soundcloud and a new track called Grover’s Mill is just around the corner. Stay tuned for more from Fletch and his sideproject the Cold Ghost.

FRI 30 OCT Tone Deaf, Wonderlick & Select Music presents

The Paper Kites (AUS) ‘twelvefour Australian Tour 2015’ with special guest Patrick James $25+BF FRI 06 NOV

Timber Bones With special guest Baskervillain and The Vultures $10+BF FRI 13 NOV

Marlon Williams & The Yarra Benders (NZ) Australian Album Release Tour With special guest Ben Salter $20+BF

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Baroque pop queen Julia Rose crowdfunds new EP Romeo Julia Rose has announced that her new EP Romeo will be launched in February 2016 but you can get your hands on an exclusive pre-release copy by chipping in to the crowdfunding campaign to get it produced and out there to the people who need to hear it the most. Julia is in the studio right now, working hard to create music that you’ll love and if the first single Come What May (available at juliarosemusic. com) is anything to go by, you’re in for a treat. Give now via juliaroseaustralia and keep your eyes and ears out for Romeo.

Throwback to the 90s at A Day On the Green It was the golden age of indie rock and now five of the most memorable acts from that era are teaming up for A Day On The Green – a no-holds barred attack on the aural senses. On Sunday 6 March, at Sirromet Wines you’ll witness Hoodoo Gurus, Sunnyboys, Violent Femmes, Died Pretty and Ratcat. You can BYO picnic but no alcohol and deck chairs and picnic rugs are recommended. Get all the details at General admission is $100 + BF

Thee Oh Sees double-up in local venues Californian garage-rockers Thee Oh Sees will be passing through the Gold Coast, thanks to Strange Yonder, when they hit our fair shores in 2016. They’ve got dates confirmed at Miami Tavern Shark Bar (9 January) as well as The Northern in Byron (10 January). Now you can double oh see them if you’re that way inclined. After a pretty incredible show at elsewhere for their last visit, you can expect no different this time and we highly recommend sorting tickets. Which you can do via Oztix.

Mullum Music Festival announce Youth Mentorship Winners For the last eight years, Mullum Music Festival has been committed to not just discovering and mentoring young talent, but to putting Youth Mentorship Winners in the spotlight. This is not a tokenistic talent search, this is an ongoing music development program that almost a decade later has seen previous winners such as Potato Potato, Asha Jefferies, Annie Plummer, Matilda Dods, and Gabe & Cecelia, holding festival spots in their own right. Previous winners Mali Biggin and Tora will be performing at the 2015 festival. The Festival recently announced its mentorship winners: Chloe Xaviera of Byron Shire, Emma Whines of Tweed and Squeak Lemaire of Crabbes Creek. They’ll be mentored by Bethany Jolly, Anne McCue and Loren Kate respectively. Mikey B (Mt Warning) will also mentor 18-yearold Indigenous Hip Hop artist Jannali Doncaster, aka Don Narli. Get all the MMF news at mullummusicfestival. com. Pic: Lyn McCarthy



he NightQuarter will bring something pretty unique to the Gold Coast when it opens on Saturday 28 November. It’s pegged as the Gold Coast’s new culture and entertainment precinct, located smack-bang in the middle of Helensvale adding a muchneeded burst of colour and sound in an empty block adjacent to Helensvale Railway Station. 120 vendors will ply their wares which will include food, art, craft and fashion concepts, offering a mix-and-match eating adventure with everything from souvalki to oysters and ramen to tapas in shipping container microrestaurants. The lineup in the first few months and into the new year focuses on Gold Coast music, with some of the city’s best NightQuarter is also set to become a new hub for the talent securing slots. Hussy Hicks, Hanlon Brothers, Felicity Gold Coast’s burgeoning music scene. A dedicated live Lawless, CC The Cat, Jake Whittaker, Ella Fence, Aquila Young music and performance space called The Paddock takes (pictured) and Black Rabbit George all have confirmed dates. centre stage and will become a platform for emerging Gold Coast artists. With capacity for 2000 there’s no The NightQuarter will open every Friday and Saturday with a doubt it fills a massive gap in the City’s current live focus on emerging indie artists on Fridays and a focus on genre music offerings. diversity on Saturdays. Get more at


KILL YOUR EMO DARLINGS WITH MUSIC What happens when some of the Gold Coast’s greatest musicians, who are also friends, get together? Jams. Of course there are jams. But there are also conversations about doing new and creative things.


urt Paradise is one half of Strange Yonder – an independent label and artist management outfit. He’s recently flown the coop from Gold Coast to Melbourne and tells me about seeing John Cale (Velvet Underground) in Melbourne and how he was inspired to borrow some concepts for a special event here on the Gold Coast. Supersense: Festival of Ecstatic hosted John Cale during two days of “immersive, extreme, blissful ecstatic performance,” and Kurt says it was all pretty incredible. “He took all this old music and reimagined it for the show into a two-hour electronic set. It was really visual based as well – we sat in this theatre and they had three projections onto each wall and you’re surrounded by this video while

he played Velvet Underground songs in this really minimal, dark, electronic thing,” Kurt said. And that’s where the inspiration for the Kill Your Emo Darlings With Love gig at elsewhere came from. Described as “an unconventional multimedia event,” the show has been composed by Karl S Williams as well as members of Salvadarlings, Donny Love and The Brian Emo, which includes Kurt himself. 12 of them will be on stage, to be precise and visuals will play a heavy part in the show. “I think the plan is to have everyone in white and we’ll be more like a blank canvas,” he said.


Samantha Morris

WHAT’S ON NOVEMBER Thur 29 October / 8pm / $10 Baltimore Gun Club + Payments in Gold + Killers Creed + Bleeding Gasoline + Hunt Muerto Fri 30 October / 8pm / $15 on the door $10 presale Hussy Hicks (single launch) + Allensworth (from the USA) Fri 06 November / 8pm / $10 Napoleonic Wars + The Elliots (Melb) + Tesla Coils + Sorry Not Sorry + Unfinished Business Sat 07 November / 8pm / $10 Kodiak Empire + Antimata + Cat Great Fri 13 November / 8pm / $10 The Charge (Melb) + Flannelette + The Black Catapult + The Molotov + The Iron Eye Sat 14 November / 8pm / $10 Misguided + Desmantra + Upon a Falling Empire + Alerion Fri 20 November / 8pm / $10 Rise of Avernus + Gods of Eden + Snake Mountain + Noose for a Necktie Sat 21 November / Doors Open 3pm / $10 ROCKIN THE GOLDIE MUSIC FESTIVAL 2 Stages 20 Acts Restaurant + Bar + Gaming Serving tapas until 10pm Courtesy bus available – 5534 2322



Hello, my name is Nathan. I am 24 years of age. My biggest dream is to host a night, a night where my friends and myself show you that a disability is not a deficit. I would like to show the community just how much ability we have.� Image: Emily Painter Images: LAMP Photography 8


o went the email we received a few weeks back. Nathan has Downs syndrome and it’s been his dream for more than ten years to host a major event. And when I met him in person, I could see why. This man has charisma and then some. He also has contacts: none other than Australian cricketing legend Greg Ritchie will be supporting Nathan in his role as MC for the night. And as well as being MC, Nathan is also frontman of one of the starring acts – US – a band that sees six people with different abilities, and their carers, join forces for one hell of a rock and roll show. Nathan Johnston grew up in the Tweed. A student of Centaur Primary School and Coolangatta Special School and then Currumbin Community Special School. One of his friends joins us for our chat and tells me that after school Nathan went to Lifebridge. “Which is an organisation that caters for young adults that can’t go into the workforce yet – they do life programs,” said Melissa Anderson. “These guys sing and play instruments and they have carers on stage to count them in and guide.” “It’s a good idea,” Nathan tells me. “We sang, picked out some songs.” He says the idea was Rob Pittaway’s, a carer who saw how much his charges loved music and took it from there. It’s been four years since they started making music together. When I ask Nathan what he likes so much about music, he’s straight to the point. “Just have fun,” he said, before telling me how it makes him feel. “Happy, excitement, amazing.” “I sang by myself at school and after that I told myself I want to be in a band.” “It’s amazing and I love everyone,” Nathan said. The band practice every Thursday and Nathan’s favourite track is Knocking on Heaven’s Door but they’ve got a long list of classic rock songs that they’re practicing ready for their big show in November. Songs like Mustang Sally, Black Magic Woman, Old Time Rock and Roll. They’ve also written some original material. Nathan recites the lyrics to one of those tracks,The Lifebridge Song. “We take the bridge, the bridge to the east, we try to tame, we tame the beast… we put it to the test, it’s a long road from TVRS,” Nathan sings to me. TVRS refers to Tweed Valley Respite Service and the transition its clients made when the changeover happened to Lifebridge. Nathan’s mother Elaine tells me that he’s always had the dream of compering a major event and he’s previously submitted his dream goal of hosting the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards through a Government disability grant program. That

wasn’t successful so Elaine decided to make Nathan’s dream come true irrespective. “I was gutted, felt like I let him down,” she said. “I thought I’m going to get a loan for $5000 and put this on for Nathan. But Melissa said no, you’re not going to spend that money, we will make it happen.” “So the community has really rallied behind it. They know what Nathan is to them and they know that his performances are outstanding on the stage. They just want to see this dream become a reality.” Elaine says her youngest son, who is 21 has just finished an animation-related course at Bond University and reflects how wonderful it has been to see him work towards his life dream. “But Nathan can’t do this on his own,” she said. “It’s all about music, it’s all about the entertainment and some sounds,” Nathan says, as we go back to talking about his Night of Abilities. “It’s going to be lots of music and some dancing.” Some of Nathan’s friends will also be showing off their abilities on the night, which will feature dance, singing, drumming, raffles and auctions. Nathan will perform solo as well as with his band US who will perform two songs. Kayah Guenther and Sheane Howe are on the bill to dance solo dance, Teika Carmichael is performing solo and playing keyboard, Drum Fun will perform as a drumming group and Studio Aperio will share some group dance. Some of Nathan’s friends who are studying hospitality will also be helping to serve food.

“The generosity of the community has been amazing,” Elaine said, and she raves about how supportive the venue has been. “The Bowls Club has been amazing and donated everything they could and Lifebridge has also supported the event.” As well as showcasing the incredible diversity of abilities, the evening will also raise funds for Nathan’s band, “for new equipment,” says Nathan. “New drum set, cymbals… and t-shirts, some funky wunkies.” The team behind the event have a long list of supporters they want to thank and they rattle it off while I scramble to take notes: Tweed Heads Bowls Club, Tropical Fruit World, Coolangatta Tweed Ten Pin Bowling, Easy Tone, Terranora Childcare Centre, Tigress Hair, Ability Links and Studio Aperio all get a mention. Scott McGinlay made a massive banner which he’s personally driving up from Sydney. Melissa Anderson, who’s worked in disability support and has been a carer for Nathan in the past believes disability organisations do not get enough recognition for their work. “When you see these guys up on stage it just blows you away and they just love it and you can’t help but love it with them. You’ll be sitting there watching and you’ll be like ‘oh my god, these guys are really good,’” she said. “I just think there needs to be something more out there to be able to put their skills to use and it shouldn’t have to be so hard to do that.” “The more they get out there and the more publicity and knowledge of them the better,” Melissa said. And of course Nathan’s mum agrees. “People always say things like ‘oh wow, they can actually do something, they’re abled’. We’re trying to take the “dis” out of it,” she said. Nathan chimes in with some solid advice for other young people wanting to work in music. “Just be yourself, go with the flow, and have a good time,” he said. I wrap up by asking Nathan if there’s anything else he wants to add and he says yes. “It’s US the band. Rock and roll.” You cannot argue with the lead singer of a rock and roll band.

The Night of Abilities takes place on Saturday 7 November at Tweed Heads Bowls Clubs from 7.00pm (NSW time). As well as entertainment, there are auctions and raffles with Greg Ritchie sharing the MC duties with Nathan and a light supper. Tickets are $25.00


Music Therapy is widely practiced and represented all over the world.


Music activates and stimulates the brain. Often the best responses to music therapy are achieved by using the patient’s favourite music.


The first music therapy committee was developed in 1950 through the Red Cross in Victoria with concerts in hospitals, music programs for discussion groups and facilitated music sessions in homes for the intellectually disabled.


In 1976 the World Federation of Music Therapy was created to develop a plan for unity and standards in the international arena of music therapy, as well as promote global awareness of both the scientific and artistic nature of the profession.


The Australian Music Therapy Association (AMTA) has hosted conferences in Australia each year since 1975.


Registered Music Therapists must earn continuing-professional development (CPD) points to retain their membership to AMTA.


Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT) is a treatment that involves committing words and speech rhythm to memory by incorporating them into song.


Today, research continues to grow for the use of music therapy for premature infants, child rehabilitation, children with autism; children, adolescents and adults with intellectual disability; improving mental health conditions such as schizophrenia and depression; medical disorders and neurological disorders such as stroke, dementia, amnesia and aphasia.

Music Therapy is a researchedbased practice by university trained professionals. Music Therapy has been shown to reduce and manage pain, stress and increase a sense of well-being for cancer patients.

Lani Motiekiatis




he Australian Music Therapy Association is celebrating its 40th anniversary and joining forces with a bunch of local organisations to throw a music therapy party of epic proportions. The event was the beneficiary of a donation from Burleigh Brewing Co. who contributed its profits from the Gold Coast Music Awards to local music therapist Lani Motiekaitis for a local music therapy initiative. Lani has worked with Gold Coast Creative Events, Blank GC and Expressive Grounds to pull a community event together with music therapy as the central theme. Celebrating 40 years of Music Therapy in Australia will take place on Saturday 28 November at Expressive Grounds, Tallebudgera. There’ll be live music, handson music workshops, drumming, ukulele workshops, sausage sizzle, birthday cake and more. It’s free, it’s family and all abilities friendly and it runs from 1.00 – 4.00pm. What is Music Therapy? As with many professions, the actual practice of music therapy is diverse, therefore defining it is challenging. But the Australian Music Therapy Association defines it as a research-based practice in which music is used to actively support people as they strive to improve their health, functioning and wellbeing.

Music therapists incorporate a range of music making methods within and through a therapeutic relationship. They are employed in a variety of sectors including health, community, aged care, disability, early childhood, and private practice. Music therapy is different from music education and entertainment as it focuses on health, functioning and wellbeing. Music therapists are committed to supporting people of any age and ability regardless of musical skill, culture or background. Where can you find music therapy in Australia? There are public and private settings which offer music therapy including major hospitals, aged care homes and day centres, autism centres, early childhood centres and more. Private practitioners can be found using the AMTA listing. What is the AMTA? The Australian Music Therapy Association was formed in 1975 by a small group of music therapists who recognised that for the profession to progress it needed to have a representative body which also accorded professional standards. The Association currently has more than 500 members. More information about music therapy in Australia is available at


Gold Coast

IT’S FREE!!! music art event s


Lani Motiekaitis with her client Nathan at the Gold Coast Music Awards.

LOST ONES, FOUND ONES, MURDER, LOVE AND LIFE Folk duo Walrus and the Carpenter are on their way to Mudgeeraba’s Summertime Sessions in the Village and taking their refreshing soulful tunes with them. Releasing their debut album Old Soul’s Eyes earlier this year, the songwriting and vocals of Matthew Engerer are paired alongside percussionist Mat Akehurst, together creating an intriguingly smooth sound for the listener to experience. Bond University student Doris Prodanovic is interning with Blank GC and she spoke to the band. What or who were the key influences behind writing your album Old Soul’s Eyes? Each song on the album is representative of its own place and time. Lost ones, found ones, stories of murder, love and life. Old Soul’s Eyes is a collection of songs inspired by travelling, poems by loved ones, past and present relationships. It’s the craftsmanship of the musicians that really gives the album its overall feel or mood, almost making it feel like each song was written in the same place, at the same time. Since its release earlier this year, how has the response been to the album? The response has been really good. We’ve had positive reviews in local and national papers and magazines, nationwide airplay and nobody has asked for a refund on the album so far, which is good. The album has been picked up by Vitamin Records distribution label, which is a really massive boost for the band.

After years of busking, how does it feel when you perform on stages such as at Falls Festival and Mullum Music Festival? Busking is a great way to build confidence and perform in front of people, but it still doesn’t quite prepare you for the bigger stage. Performers talk about butterflies in their stomach, well, mine are more like bats. I just close my eyes and look down for the first couple of tunes and gradually get more comfortable through the performance. It seems to be working so far. It’s a very satisfying feeling to leave the stage knowing you’ve performed at your best. It can take some time to come back down to earth. What can we expect to see from your show at Summertime Sessions? We always try to perform at our best and Summertime Sessions will be no different. We have been working hard on harmonies, feel and dynamics, and it’s really showing in

our live performance. There is also a lot of new material coming out of the woodwork, which keeps it interesting for us and the viewer. What’s next for Walrus and the Carpenter? We have a fair bit of new material that is begging to be recorded and released into the musical matrix. But beforehand we are thinking a few road trips up and down the coast and maybe just a little bit further to try and promote our debut album.


A LIMIT TO BOY & BEAR’S LOVE From their massive cover of Fall At Your Feet from Crowded House to their list of radio-heavy singles, Boy & Bear produce one incredible track after another. Jon Hart spoke to Kyle Butcher off the back of Splendour in the Grass about their incredible set, their brand new third album Limit Of Love and how the new tracks are shaping up for their first Australian tour in over a year. K: How were the nerves leading up to playing Walk the Wire for the first time? J: Yeah, I’ve been to a lot of shows where bands overdo the new stuff, and it can fall a bit flat, so I was hoping it would go down okay. The single wasn’t out yet but we thought it was the right thing to do because we had toured a bit off the back of the last record so we just gave it a go and I’m glad we

did, because people seemed to respond really nicely which was cool. K: Was there much of a learning curve for you guys with live-tracking the new album? J: I think there was a little bit, but it was more of a mental process. We’ve all grown up recording for the most part into a computer, because that’s what you do when you have no money and you’re trying to record songs. Once we actually got in there and saw how things were sounding, it was really exciting. It was something that turned into a really great decision, but there were a few moments of questioning at the start of things. Once you do it on tape you’re really committing to it. K: I really like Showdown and Foxhole off your new release, and I can imagine how incredible those tracks would be live. What

track from Limit of Love are you most looking forward to playing? J: There are other tracks that I’m excited about playing, but there’s something in Showdown that just gets me. We just mucked around last week, knowing we had a tour in November overseas and playing Showdown was a lot of fun. We hadn’t thought about it since recording but we decided to do it and I can’t wait to do that one live. K: You guys live-tracked Limit of Love, does that mean we’ll see all of the tracks making live sets at one time or another? J: I certainly can’t see why we wouldn’t play everything on the new record. We don’t want to give everyone all the new stuff if they want the old stuff, so we’ll get the mix right. I think every new song will get a run, for sure. K: What are your feelings around the upcoming tour dates for Australia?

J: We’re pushing into a different style of venue with the new dates, we’re generally a theatres band to date. You sort of get comfortable in your surrounds, and theatres are pretty similar. The new record has some bigger moments and a different kind of energy that we haven’t been able to bring out before, so having it in a different space will be very exciting for us. There’s a certain thing we have here, in Australia, that we like and we’re looking forward to getting back out on the road here. With a brief mention of new potential covers for the new tour, ranging from The Beatles to Ryan Adams, our conversation came to a close.





We’ve got a soft spot for surfer types here on the Gold Coast. We love our beaches and we love those who appreciate them.


p and coming melancholic singer/songwriter Patrick James, hailing from Port Macquarie on the Mid North Coast of NSW, recalls how his love of the beach and surfing shaped his sound and his attitude about making music. “I remember growing up on the beach, in the surf culture, and listening to Jack Johnson, Pete Murray and Ben Harper. That acoustic, chilled sound was part of my growing up in a surfing and fishing town. My earlier EPs were shaped by a sense of nostalgia about that time, and I remember it fondly.” That familiarity with the surf will resonate with many locals here in our little city, whose legacy is not too dissimilar from regional towns like Port Macquarie. From age five to 18, Patrick lived in the NSW Coastal town, only shifting to Sydney as adult life and a growing reputation as a talented troubadour started to grab the attention of the industry, and some higher profile mates. “Tim Hart from Boy & Bear was a mate and I gave him my first EP. He liked it and asked me to tour with his band. So, apart from the role a bit of local radio played, that’s how it all got started. The guys from Boy & Bear helped me build my own fan base and it grew from there,” Patrick said. Following the Boy & Bear tour, Patrick was asked to produce a cover track for popular TV show Wonderland, which is broadcast in 12 countries to millions of viewers. The Church’s Under the Milky Way launched Patrick to bigger audiences, but he tells me it could well have been different given there were two songs offered as covers, and The Church classic just won the prize in the end. Glenn Tozer





orn and raised in Wexford County, Ireland, Irish Mythen has travelled the globe. From the Middle East to Australia, Europe and the UK, she has worked with artists such as The Dubliners, The Pogues, Christie Moore and Tom Paxton. Immigrating to Canada in 2008, she’s become an admired and respected artist on the local scene. With two EPs and three full-length releases to her name, her latest self-titled offering just took out the East Coast Music Award 2015 for Roots / Traditional Solo Recording of the Year. And she’s about to stop in on the Gold Coast, as the Festival of Small Halls makes its way here once again. Samantha Morris and Irish exchanged a few words ahead of her visit.

Favourite festival ? That’s a tough one....I think I’d have to say Mariposa folk festival in Ontario. Favourite town? Enniscorthty County Wexford, Ireland. Favourite thing to unwind? Camping and fishing for sure! Tell me about opening for Rod Stewart earlier this year at Cavendish Music Festival? It was amazing! Huge stage. Huge crowd. Huge buzz all around. The energy was intoxicating. Seeing myself on massive screens was a laugh too. Glad I got the old hair done before the show, hahaha. It’s been a pretty big year for you, hasn’t it? It’s been the biggest year of my career no doubt. The team I have around me now is top of the line. The team in Canada and in Australia is one I’ve been waiting for. The

shows I’ve done have been huge. Opening for Rod Stewart, closing for Lyle Lovett ...the list goes on. Singing an unaccompanied song in front of 20,000 people and you could hear a pin drop ... You can’t buy or recreate that feeling. Winning the awards. Ah it just goes on and on. Wonderful year. Anything else you’d like to add? I’m so looking forward to getting back to Australia and being a part of Small Halls is a great honour. It was born here in Prince Edward Island so I’m pretty proud. And who knows...maybe I’ll actually stand up when I catch a wave this time. Samantha Morris


What sparked the move from Ireland to Canada? Actually I came from Australia to Canada. I was in Perth for over four years. I adored it. And it’s been too long away and can’t wait to get back. Tell me about your first trip to Australia? I arrived in 2000 to Perth. I lived in Mount Lawley, then Mount Hawthorn. Loved it so much. The people. The beaches. The food. The live music scene. Drank in every bit of it. I used to like going surfing but I remain completely crap at it! Do you know much about the towns you’ll be playing in for Festival of Small Halls? I don’t actually and to be honest that’s what I love. I love coming to new places and exploring all that the place has to offer. For me travelling between the towns and getting to see outside the cities is what I’m most pumped about. I can only imagine all the characters I’ll meet along the way. Your bio says you will have us “laughing from the very beginning until long after the end of her show.” Tell me about your show? My big thing is that the show is an all-round entertainment. I’m conscious of the fact that some of my songs are heavy-hitting so for me it’s very important to lift people up again after that. Also I love taking the energy of the crowd and running with that. I’m known for talking to the crowd or picking out a couple of people to crack a word with. Love a good heckler too! Ha! You’ve travelled the globe. What’s your favourite festival, town, thing to do to wind-down?



Peter Garrett is on the road to promote his new book Big Blue Sky, a rollicking memoir of his time as frontman of Midnight Oil, chair of Australian Conservation Foundation and Labor politician and Member of Parliament.


e’s in Melbourne when we chat, “heading west,” he says. Not to regional Victoria, but all the way across to Western Australia - as far west as you can get.

Kintore, Papunya, Yuendumu, Maningrida, Galiwinku, Nhulunbuy (Yirrkala), Groote Eylandt (Umbakumba), Numbulwar, Katherine (Barunga), Wadeye, Tiwi Islands (Nguiu) and Cooinda.

Peter Garrett is not unaccustomed to roadtripping. His career with Midnight Oil saw him travel first through just about every regional town in this country, later through remote Indigenous communities and then finally through nearly every major city in the world.

Garrett says that trip spawned a passionate commitment to Indigenous Australia.

Later being involved in conservation leadership and then politics, the roadtripping didn’t stop. Peter Garrett has spent a lot of time in airports, planes and hotel rooms. And despite the variety of roles he’s had he says his occupation will always be ‘musician’.

“An incredibly historic undertaking,” he said as he recounts the famous tour that saw Midnight Oil hit the road with the Warumpi Band. I ask if that was the catalyst for his curiosity about Indigenous culture. “Oh look it obviously partly stems from that big tour... out of which came the Diesel and Dust album,” he said. “It was the first time ever that a western rock band had traveled with an Indigenous rock band. It

“After the ceremony I sat down with him. Within a couple of months he passed away. I guess for me, that was a bittersweet experience. The bitterness was seeing this old man pass on but fortunately being able to do something that he wanted to see before he died.” Garrett has said many times since publishing his biography that he has no regrets. In fact, if you listen to or watch his interviews over the past two weeks it’s quite possibly the most frequently uttered phrase. He’s a smart guy, he knew what he was getting in to when he put his hand up for public office. Right? “I think so, you’re not absolutely sure what’s going to happen and you can’t predict

“Absolutely. Always has been, always will be,” he told Blank GC. “Even if you go through periods where you’re focusing on other things and it gets put in the deep freeze for a while it never goes away.”

In fact, some of the last shows Midnight Oil ever played, just before Garrett’s move to politics, were at Twin Towns. That was in November, 2002. I asked Garrett whether any of those Gold Coast shows stand out in his memory. “The Spit. Before some of that infrastructure was there now. People were swimming to get there at the promontory and there were boats moored offshore. It was a warm, starry night,” he reflected. The show he’s talking about took place in March 1990 and was a benefit for homelessness. Garettt doesn’t remember who else was on the bill but guessed at Hunters & Collectors. Probably a safe guess, given the timing. To many people, including Garrett himself, Midnight Oil’s Blackfella / Whitefella Tour was a special moment in Australia’s music history. Taking place in July 1986, the tour saw the band visit towns such as Uluru, Docker River, Warakurna,

“You’re right, you understand it better than anyone I’ve spoken to in the last two weeks,” he said. “I was that guy.” “Wherever I could, consistent with policies of the government. I was able to help those people. And there were a lot of Queensland decisions,” he said. “There was Traveston, the Sawtooth import decision, the decision around Waratah Coal and Clive Palmer, the declaration of the Coral Sea Conservation Zone.” “I did a couple of ‘unacceptables’ – Cassowary Corridor and Great Keppel, but someone came in and it went in a different direction later,” he continued. “Beneath the banner headlines and screaming slogans, there were plenty of things I was able to do as Environment Minister which made it worthwhile and also secured the conservation interest.” In interviews prior to this, Garrett had mentioned that the process of writing his biography had been the catalyst for writing new songs – something that hasn’t happened for quite some time.

Garrett passed through the Gold Coast many times in the 80s and 90s as Midnight Oil found their feet both musically and as a voice for a new generation of activists. A friend recounts a show at the Stardust Room at Seagulls where he ended up on stage as a 17-year-old lad. Midnight Oil also played the Playroom, the Great Northern Hotel, Twin Towns, Palladium, and a heap of other classic Gold Coast music venues and while touring the world and playing A-class festivals, they never forgot their roots – constantly switching between Entertainment Centres, workers’ clubs and uni bars on a weekly basis.

approve or decline any project based on their own personal beliefs?

So he has new songs and he has not ruled out performing as Midnight Oil in the future. “All that stuff is anybody’s guess at the moment,” he told Blank GC. “I’ll do something, but whatever I do will be lowkey.”

gave us a rare and precious insight into the living culture of Aboriginal people and their connection to Country and the scale of the issues and challenges they were facing.” But there was another memory that Garret recounts as a significant one in his connection to Indigenous culture. He tells me about Bardayal (Lofty) Nadjamerrek, a traditional owner in the Wardekken Djelk Region, which is an Indigenous Protected Area delivered by the Australian Government to the people of West Arnhem Land. The language group is Bininj Kunwok. “Maybe the other one, around the same time we bumped into each other at Garma – we had granted a 200sqkm Indigenous protected area back to people in the Northern Territory. The senior lawman there, Lofty was a famous painter and leader of his people,” Garrett said. “He was very sick and he came to the ceremony but had to sit in a wheelchair and then be put under a shelter nearby.”

events or who’s going to be a leader,” he said. “And the personalities of a leader become important when you’re in government. “I went in with my eyes wide open. I’d do it again. No regrets,” he tells Blank. The thing which I often think about when Garrett’s political career pops into my head is how he kind of had this reversal of responsibility. One day he’s held up as a leader of activists, fronting a rock and roll band, next he’s the President of one of the biggest conservation groups in the country and the next he’s that guy. The one the activists and conservation groups all want a piece of. Everyone has their one project, their one species, their one campaign and they all want your ear. And the thing with being Minister for anything is that you’re absolutely bound by the laws and legislation and policies of the Government of the day. You can only work within those parameters. Of course. Otherwise imagine if Ministers could just

“The Oils? It’s just a case of if the stars line up and the spirits are willing then there may be a time and place to get up on stage together. It’d be silly to rule that out. Midnight Oil is a collective, it’s more than one person, a band of accomplished writers and performers.” “Everyone’s healthy and reasonably well,” Garrett says of his bandmates. “And it’s great that people want to see the band again.” As Peter says, what happens next is anyone’s guess, but one thing’s for sure. There’s plenty of life left in this old rocker yet. Samantha Morris




SHIHAD’S TOOGOOD FLYING SOLO Jon Toogood is the founding member of two bands, Shihad and The Adults, a solo artist, radio presenter, mentor, theatre performer and voiceover artist. Shihad formed 25 years ago in Wellington, New Zealand and has gone on to sell more than 250,000 albums. Jon Toogood though, is heading out on a solo tour and Samantha Morris had the chance to fire off a few questions. It’s a deviation from Shihad, but you’re a multi-instrumentalist and song writer, so mustn’t seem so weird to you to be setting out on a solo acoustic tour? Not at all. I’ve always been a complete show pony from when I was a kid so give me a mic and a stage and I’m a happy man. As far as the differences between doing a solo show and playing in Shihad goes I’m actually finding the whole thing liberating and really exciting as, even though I’ve been playing acoustic guitar since I was seven years old, it’s a completely new experience being on stage on my own. In a way it’s even a little more raw and rock’n’roll for me as there’s nothing to hide behind. No loud drums, no amps turned up to 11. Just me, my guitar and a bunch of songs to play that I love. Is it much of a stretch to go from full band to solo artist and back again? I’m just happy performing. Over the last few years I’ve made it part of my manifesto to say yes to different things and place myself outside of my comfort zone. This has included playing with different musicians in a project called The Adults, performing in a theatre show based on the life of Jaques Brel and now doing this. Based on how the Shihad shows have been after I’ve done anything outside of it, going back to playing with the band is always refreshing and a complete blast! It’s like it teaches me to appreciate what a great band Shihad is to play in! Is it hard to disassociate yourself from Shihad? I mean, everyone just says Jon Toogood from Shihad and that’s the point of reference that people have. If you wanted to be remembered or talked about in one other way - what would it be? I have no problem being known for my work in Shihad. I’m so proud of all the albums we’ve made (especially the last one FVEY!), all the live shows we’ve smashed out and all the amazing experiences we’ve had together travelling and playing with some

of our childhood heroes. We always prided ourselves on putting on a great live show and on a good night I reckon Shihad are pretty unstoppable as a live act. I loved music from when I was a kid and I ended up ‘living the dream’ and doing that for a job. So I’m pretty happy being remembered for that. What are you hoping to bring to the stage for your solo acoustic show? A bunch of awesome tunes that I love, some I wrote and some I’m just a fan of and the crazy stories behind them. It’ll be gold!


INTRODUCING NAPOLEONIC WARS We get a lot of emails from bands, here at Blank but when one of them promises “organised chaos” in the growing math rock genre it strikes a chord. Napoleonic Wars are only just finding their feet in the Gold Coast music scene and that’s exactly how they described themselves… “an assorted mix of odd time signatures, heavy guitars and emotive vocals. An organised chaos.”


he four-piece, which comprises Bachelor Popular Music students Jake Morton and Richard Schwenk along with Sean Dawson and Rick Collins all join me for a chat at The Avalon. They’ve been playing together for a year now and started writing their EP almost immediately. They’ve already had members come and go in that time. “I was there when it started and got busy with work and stuff,” guitarist Rick Collins said, clearly back in the fold. “I felt like I was holding everyone back, but I’m not really that busy now.” So Rick features on the first half of the upcoming EP. He says the band formed with the goal of writing and releasing. When I ask them about their live experience they say they haven’t played that many gigs, but then they tell me they’ve played ten shows between March and now. “We’ve spent a lot of time working,” Jake said. “We don’t really like booking gigs unless we have something to promote.” Which is why their 6 November show at Currumbin Creek Tavern is on our radar. They’ll be promoting the release of their new video for Screw You Jurel. The track was featured on a compilation album Fecking Bahamas which saw the band gain radio play across college radio in the USA.

“Fecking Bahamas is a math rock blog,” Jake said. “We’ve had a fairly positive response actually and we’ve gotten a lot of opportunities in terms of PR.” The six-track EP, which was recorded entirely at Griffith University’s Bachelor of Popular Music studios will be out early in 2016 and Screw You Jurel is the first track off it. The video they’re launching is a collection of studio footage. “All the camera angles are like schwoo, schwoo,” Sean says, sweeping his hands around. “With the long hair it looks like it was recorded in the 80s or 90s.” Jake adds that a lot of effort was also put into editing so it looked like that. “We see this video as a taste of more things to come,” Richard says, and Jake agrees. “It’s the beginning of our EP release campaign.” We wrap up by speaking about what punters can expect on the night. “Chaos,” Richard said. “Organised chaos,” Jake added before Sean pipes up “if Richard doesn’t end up on the floor, I’ll put him there.”







ho remembers Brisbane’s Down Under Bar in its hayday? Many a shirt was shed atop the bar to a wild, cheering crowd, all in a bid to earn a free jug of beer. And, would you believe it, ne’er a camera nor phone in sight! We are in the midst of a social (media) crisis. We have ready access to incredible technology that allows us to instantly “connect”; so much so, we feel compelled to capture, share and visually consume as much as possible. This includes gigs and live shows. But the innate superficiality of this sharing only leaves us feeling hollow, short-changed and ironically, it's causing us to disconnect. So, here I give my... TOP 5 REASONS TO SWITCH YOUR PHONE OFF AT A GIG: 1: We (I) can have so much more fun if our (my) loose and hilariously (at least in my mind) inappropriate actions weren’t sure to be captured and replayed for time immemorial. And yes, I was one of those people at the Down Under Bar and I will admit, that at a recent gig we did all jump atop the bar but alak, alas, not a bra, boob nor boxer in sight. There was afterall, despite the band’s most valiant efforts, a line of cameras steadily held to the eyes of the punters below. 2: We can get up front and centre again. What used to be known as the mosh-pit is now more like the empty-pit-of-awkwardness. We are denying ourselves, each other and the artists the opportunity to create a connection and God forbid you dare to step inside said pit as you are guaranteed to see your awkward dance moves up for viewing by the ENTIRE UNIVERSE and <insert one of a million other "unforgiveable" social faux pas here>! By the way, you’re blocking the shots of the cameras behind you for chrissakes - move out the way already!!! 3: You’ll get to romanticise memories again. Like that song that totally moved you at the show but was a bit out of tune when you played it back later - WHAM! Moment ruined. 4: More people will come to live shows. Seeing photos and footage online gives people the instant gratification of knowing what they did or didn’t miss so there’s no curiosity or fear-of-missingout (FOMO) to encourage them to go next time. How about (this is radical I know) we go to a killer gig, call our friends who couldn't make it and tell them how great it was and ask if they'd like to go with us next time! Word-ofmouth baby yeah. 5: Most importantly, rather than preoccupy ourselves trying to capture the moment to share with the people who aren’t there, we’ll be able to connect with the people who are. With many musicians now stopping the music to remind us to put the phones down and, as my fave rock chick, Dallas Frasca says, “be in the fuckin’ moment man,” I’m making a super-conscious effort to keep my phone where it belongs at gigs - in my back pocket. I hope that you feel compelled to do the same! Pic: Aran de Baron Kustom Komic Artist


ALL OUR EXES SHOULD LIVE IN QUEENSLAND Blank reckons All Our Exes Live In Texas should just move here. Between BIGSOUND, Mullum Music Festival and Woodford Folk Festival, they’ll have had so many trips to our neck of the woods, it’d be easiest for all of us if they made the move from Sydney once and for all.

RIDING THE WAVE WITH CURRENT SWELL Current Swell have released EP Home is Where You Make It and Yanina Benavidez caught up with Dave from the band and discussed their latest release, life in the gorgeous Victoria State Canada and their connection with Australia. Dave said he is so honoured to be spreading their music as far and wide as Australia. Having been here several times as a band Current Swell are no strangers to our golden shores. A couple of years ago they met with Peter Noble and played the main stage at Bluesfest Byron Bay and played a few sideshows around town. Although they have played several gigs over the many times they have been there, Dave says his most memorable experiences has been having the pleasure of having time off and catching waves with friends like Kim Churchill, travelling around the country and exploring our diving spots. He laughs when it’s the middle of winter in Canada there is nothing quite like driving across Australia and just jumping in the water and then continuing on the road, a luxury not afforded to them in Canada.


he band comprising Elana Stone (accordion), Georgia Mooney (mandolin), Katie Wighton (guitar) and Hannah Crofts (ukulele) live very close to each other and when I spoke to Katie, had literally just pressed the GO button on their Pledgemusic campaign for their album due in 2016. “It’ll come out mid next year, but you can pre-order it now,” Katie told Blank GC. “There’s a bunch of other things you can buy. Crocheted doll versions of us…” Katie says that Georgia is the crochet fanatic in the group and admits she’s a bit hazy. They’d been in the studio all weekend when we spoke. She says this studio experience is quite different from the one that produced their debut EP. “Cos' we’re working with an amazing producer, Wayne Connolly. He’s worked on Boy & Bear, Silverchair, You Am I. He’s won a few Arias… just an all-round legend of a person – he’s so lovely to work with.” “I guess he’s got more of an idea of the songs overall and how they’ll fit together as an album as a whole piece. He can hear things that we didn’t necessarily hear in the songs,” Katie says when I ask how the band feels about working with a producer. “It’s like someone coming in when you’ve done or having an interior designer saying move this here, put that over there. It’s nice to have someone who’s all across it and he has oodles of experience in terms of different sounds. It’s nice to have someone at the helm.” BIGSOUND 2015 was the second time All Our Exes Live In Texas had showcased. Katie says the experience itself is “pretty scary and pretty weird,” and talks about the half-hour sets without soundcheck. “You’re performing for lots of industry people who you want to like you. When you’re playing for an audience you can be yourselves and know that someone will like something. It’s


not something we particularly love. I don’t think any band does. But we have such lovely time, we meet great people.” BIGSOUND was also the catalyst for the band scoring their new booking agent – Katie Rynne, from Select. Only one quarter of the band have played Mullum Music Festival before. “Lani has played her solo gig there and she loves it and she raves about it,” Katie explains. “We’re pretty excited. We feel really lucky to have the festivals we’ve got at the moment.” “We were announced for Woodford at the weekend too. We’ve all sort of applied as solo artists for quite a long time and then we got in this year – and it’s so exciting. We’re really stoked to be part of the lineup.” It’s been a steady rise for the ladies who’ve only been working together for three years, prior to which they’d worked solo. “It’s just been so easy with this band. I’m not sure what it is. Might be the combination of four solo artists pushing pretty hard and yeah, I guess it’s very different to what we’re used to,” Katie said. “We formed the band very early in our friendship and we didn’t really think it was going to be a big thing and now it’s becoming this amazing fun thing that we’re able to do with our best friends.” “It’s very cool. We’re very lucky.”


Current Swell have attracted a massive following for their blend of indie roots rock and not only get the crowd moving with their infectious taste but also inspire the hearts and minds of many with their conscious lyrics and heartfelt messages. They are so inspiring Dave says on their last tour they were basically given the keys to Brazil as they received a response across the country far greater than any of them could have imagined or anticipated, saying the crowd was singing along to the entire set and the ovation was unlike any other they had ever experienced. Current Swell have had a great ride so far and are looking forward to stretching it out in the coming months. They have played some pretty epic stages and settings and hope to come back to our shores to share more of their mesmerising music with us here in Australia. Check them out on their soundcloud and enjoy their perfect Sunday afternoon vibes.









Liz Ansley couldn’t resist bending the rules of professionalism a little to tell a tale to Kisschasy frontman Darren Cordeaux. The band’s debut album United Paper People was a tipping point for many young Australians, one that introduced them to Australian music and she counts herself among those people. She still remembers it clearly: she was skulking around in her local music store when the cover art caught her eye. It was love at first listen, and she never turned back. “Thank you so much. That’s one of the reasons we decided to do this tour, because over the years that’s been something we’ve heard. That in itself is more than I personally could have ever imagined.” “This tour” is their swansong - the end of Kisschasy in the form of a tenth anniversary tour for the iconic album, aptly dubbed Goodbye United Paper People. But Kisschasy haven’t been quiet in recent years - despite not having released anything since 2009’s Seizures, they’ve been busy touring around the country, waiting for inspiration to strike again.



// Tickets just $56*

OR 132 849 Subject to availability, change and cancellation. All guests under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an

“The reason that we’ve been going at it for the past six years is because if there was another record in us, we were gonna do it. [But] you’ve gotta think about the other members in the band, you’ve gotta think about the label, the fans... and what I wanted to write wasn’t in line with where Kisschasy was going.” “It was just sort of like, why tarnish our legacy when we’ve got three records we love, just because we’ve already got a fanbase? Why not just leave it where it lies? So since this is the year that marks ten years after UPP’s release, we thought, what an amazing way to bookend our career and have some closure. We had a good thing, we’re not going to milk it for everything it’s worth.” Read full story online.


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WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS... Grab Electrik Lemonade of course - they know how to seize opportunities.When Mella Lahina chatted to drummer Donovan Lee during BIGSOUND they weren’t even on the lineup but that didn’t stop them from capitalising on industry and media being in town.


he seven-piece self-described cosmic collective boogie force come from all over: GC, Brisbane, NT and the Philippines and it’s that melting that gives them a unique, soulful yet funk-filled flavour. Recent single Electrik People is an ode to the loyal and energetic fans who dance at

Electrik Lemonade shows. I asked Lee if they had any funny fan stories.

it’s very little about us, it’s all about them, it’s what we get the most joy out of.”

“There’s a guy who we call ‘well-dressed stick man’ who follows us around the country to shows, he’s probably in his late 60s maybe early 70s, he’s got this stick with beer bottle caps. We met him in Airlie Beach when he came to all of our shows and then we were recording a film clip on the Gold Coast and he just rocked up, he flew down to be part of the video clip. Wherever we play he either flies or drives to our gigs and we get him up on stage and he dances around with this percussion stick.”

6 November will be a big day for the band. As well as releasing their new EP Funklore they also kick off their tour, first stop Airlie Beach Music Festival.

Lagerphone aside, Lee says the single artwork also has an interesting story behind it involving a fan dancing in a gorilla suit who became the band’s unofficial mascot. It’s obvious the band thrives on their live audiences. “The whole idea of the live show is people dancing and enjoying themselves,

I asked Lee his thoughts on the Gold Coast music scene and he reckons it’s home to some amazing musicians. “More venues are willing to give live music a go compared to five to ten years ago, which is a really good thing and Council festivals are giving bands opportunities to play to new fans as well as places like Currumbin Creek Tavern and the Soundlounge which we played recently, there are more opportunities for bands to play which is great.” I ask what the priorities are for the future and Lee says festivals.

“It’s all about the live show, our front guys are incredible - great showmanship - and love getting the audience involved. Festivals are our jam definitely. And maybe more instrumentalists,” he said. “For our tour we might have a guy Brad Hosking who plays trombone and trumpet and another guy playing baritone sax, just making the horn section larger.” Eleven funk lords up on stage is sure to get the people dancing. And when you throw in gorilla lady and lagerphone man and I reckon you just found your new favourite festival funksters.

The Funklore EP tour takes in our neck of the woods: 13 November at Miami Marketta, 14 November at Spring Hill Festival, 21 November at Motor Room (Brisbane) and 13 December at Miami Shark Bar for the tour finale.



an Ceh and Terri Dempsey-Ceh otherwise known as WHO, are no strangers to the Gold Coast music scene. Heavily involved in the GC Music Industry Association while it ran, they have a long association with Miami Marketta and have been mentors and booking agents working with a tonne of artists and venues over the years.

Previously booking places like The Loft and elsewhere and The Basement, it was six months ago when they were approached by Miami Marketta’s Emma Millikins about booking a new space in the Marketta precinct. Actually to say it’s a new space would be incorrect. Studio 56 is a familiar space to anyone who’s been to Marketta events – but it’s had new life breathed into it with a


dedicated stage, new sound system and now regular Thursday night gigs. “We thought it’d be a good opportunity especially in that environment, and to have a room that just sounded really good,” Terri tells me as we meet next door to the venue. “If a venue sounds good then a lot of the big touring bands will want to come through and the environment with the food trucks it just adds another element.” Dan says their vision of these Thursday nights is to “just support the local music community, help it grow.”

He says when the pair were booking venues in the past, they were more connected. “We’ve kind of found now the music community is still like that but we’re lacking those venues – we thought it’d be good to get back to that again.” One of the models Dan and Terri have used in the past and are hoping to start at Studio 56 is to offer residencies and support slots to local artists, as well as giving people the chance to play solo. And with interest coming from touring bands, offering those opportunities to local acts could be a boon to Gold Coast musicians. “We’re trying, like if a bigger band comes through, we’d like to do the opener,”

Terri said. “It’s just a good stepping stone – an opportunity you don’t get very often. If we can provide that for local artists, it’s just better for them.” “For a lot of local artist, they don’t want to make a million dollars from playing a venue they just want to get a crowd there,” they tell me. The pair are excited to be working in the new space, and to be growing a new venue on the Gold Coast – particularly one with a 400+ capacity. “We’ve heard everything about venues closing and now there’s this opportunity of something opening up and people have the chance to support it,” they said.

With Josh Pyke confirmed for a February show and Screamfeeder and The Vernons in November, seems like Studio 56 is off to a running start.

PEKING DUK SERVING UP Peking Duk tastes good, but it sounds even better. The Canberra grown duo have undoubtedly become one of the most talked about artists over the last few years, going double platinum for their single, High in 2014. The lusciously haired musos - Ruben Styles and Adam Hyde - have been on a rollercoaster ride that’s not stopping any time soon. Eden Tokatly caught up with a half serve of the duo, Ruben, ahead of their U.S. and Australia tour.


hey were recently nominated for song of the year and best dance release at the 2015 ARIA nomination ceremony, “I was really excited that Take Me Over was up for a nomination and especially getting two nominations this year was crazy. Last year we got one, so hopefully we can continue that swing and maybe go for three nominations next year. But winning, well that’s a whole different kettle of fish. For the Best Dance Release, every single person in our category is great, I’m happy no matter what.”

Taking a stroll down memory lane, Ruben talks about how he first met Adam – at a skate park when they were in year eight. “Adam was a rapper and I was playing guitar in a few bands,” Ruben said. “At lunchtime the music teachers would let us use the computers so we could make beats and screw ‘round, there was a drum kit and we would just go jam. The rooms were soundproof so we could keep going after lunch and it wouldn’t matter, you would just have to explain to maths, physics or whatever you’d missed. So yeah, we were pretty good at keeping our subjects prioritised.” Ruben was originally part of a band called, Rubycon and never thought he would make it to where he is today but says those fellow bandmates (Max and Sam) influenced his songwriting in many ways. “I used to watch them write and it was incredible to see how cutthroat they were. If there was a part that wasn’t ten out of ten, they just threw it away. That’s the kind of songwriting process that every musician needs. To scrap any part of any song at anytime.” When asked what inspires him before songwriting Ruben said, “quite often I have silence and then just get straight onto the piano and start hitting a note and see what comes next.”

Peking Duk has worked with some big names over the past few years including SAFIA, Benjamin Joseph and Nicole Millar and Ruben agrees it’s a collaborative approach. “It’s great working with instrumentalists and vocalists, sometimes we’ll jump in the studio with another producer and that will be fun too. Seeing how they work and what they do when they make music.” As well as having slots at Splendour in the Grass, Lolapoloza and Stereosonic, to name a few, Ruben speaks about recent ventures through the States. He was astonished at how far the Peking Duk ‘sound’ had travelled, “Most places in America we have a few fans and it’s all pretty good but some places out of the blue it’ll be crazy and we’re like, “Wow! Where did this come from? How did it all happen?”

Peking Duk are at Falls Festival in Byron Bay as well as Stereosonic and if you haven’t seen the film clip for Peking Duk’s new single Say My Name, start typing it in to your browser stat. The video is rib-tickling in all its monobrowed glory. For the full tour dates go to

THE GREATEST OF THE 60s It’s been said that if you can remember the sixties, then you weren’t really there, but David Pepperell and Colin Talbot reckon that’s nonsense. They’ve published a book which explores the 100 greatest Australian singles of the ‘60s and Pepperell spoke to Samantha Morris about the justreleased publication.


he sixties was a time of rapid social change and Pepperell and Talbot say it was the greatest pop music decade in history. Rock and roll exploded around the world and so the world was never the same again. “The music of the sixties was very positive and also very communal. It spoke of things like love and improving yourself and really making a better world,” Pepperell said. “So many songs were really ‘we can do better than this, we can make a more wonderful world’.” “At the end of the decade I was 25,” David said. “I lived through the whole of it. I was

very interested in rock and roll from the start.”

look at any chart in the 60s in Australia, 5060% of the songs would be Australian acts.”

“I loved pop music. My parents gave me a radio when I was four in 1949 – I think that was to get me away from their radio - they wanted to listen to Caltex Theatre and I wanted to listen to pop shows,” David said.

There were exclusions, there were arguments, many discussions, weeks when one or the other stormed off following a heated debate. But the result is a compact and great-looking coffee table book.

Pepperell was fourteen at the turn of the decade – a telling time for any young man right in the middle of adolescence and finding his feet through music. He laughs when we talk about the format of the book – it’s the size of a 7” single and features a full-page image and description for each track included.

“I had 200 (songs) and Colin had 150 and 50 of those were double-ups so we got down to 300 and we worked on it for about six months. First we thought we’d restrict every act to four singles – but we didn’t stick to that because the Easy Beats got five.”

“For the demographic who’s going to read it – my age group – the size is good,” he laughs. “It’s big print.”

“It’s highly subjective I guess, but rock and roll has been in our lives – we’ve written about it, we’ve listened to it. So we thought we really knew what we were doing.”

“Colin used to be the pop music columnist for the Australian during the 70s and I wrote for every pop paper,” David said.

To accompany the book’s release, a four CD set is also available through Warner Music. The CD set contains all one hundred songs profiled in Pepperell and Talbot’s book.

“Initially we thought we’d do the best Australian singles ever. Then we thought we’d do 1955 – 1980 then that became impossible. So we thought the major decade for music in Australia was the 60s – if you

“It makes those records available again,” David said. “A lot of those records have been lost – they’re just not around. It’s not even that radio stations won’t play them, they just don’t have them." The book and CDs are now available.


album reviews









And he doesn’t mince words - taking only four bars to belt out his intent on his latest single - “You say you never have felt the fire /of burning aching need /go to tell your Mama /go tell your Pa / that’s what you’ve given me.” Barnes has left behind his blues notes and country acoustic guitar - creating a punchy rock sound with only hints of the past. The One You Love buoyant with blistering guitar licks was recorded at Studio 301 with producer Nick Didia - known for his work with Rage Against the Machine, Bruce Springsteen and recently, The Waifs.

After a brief stint performing with Alecia Moore (P!nk) under the band name You+Me, Green is back with a familiar, yet heavier, sound. The album was recorded in Nashville at the iconic Blackbird Studios and you can hear a slight country influence in songs like Runaway, which contain a sound that can only be described as ‘twang’.

Vocalist Neil Fallon gives the classic, deep, foreboding growl in his vocal, which is the Clutch sound. This album keeps their signature driving-burnout rhythm, as heard in track X-ray Visions, but also has something different – perhaps an acidwestern-metal-country feel?

he One You Love not only lures you with a heavier rock direction but with an artfully produced music video that will heighten the awareness of this artist and his intended creative path. We agree this is Casey’s strongest single to date.

The accompanying music video is framed by cane fields and a dark-haired lover cracking a whip against dirt road dust and flinging chains around weathered wood posts. Highly stylised, the sepia-toned clip will easily sit within a late night line-up of rock anthems on the re-awakened Rage music program – it’s a modern day dust, diesel and frayed jean production that harks back to a time when a certain American band sang about Beds of Roses and Bad Medicine - the clip pulling you in with rich robust vocals, sinister - yet lusty - storyline and weaving guitar licks. Casey Barnes has created a song with guitar chords that would make fans of Malcolm Young smile and a potion of lyrics that bubble with intensity, boiling with a concoction of desires and symbols that you are left to interpret like a French film noir. The One You Love shows us where Casey Barnes’ is going now - on a rock music trajectory. Casey Barnes’ new single The One You Love is available on iTunes - check out his newly released video at Tiffany Mitchell

n eleven-track LP designed to break your expectations, City and Colour’s new LP If I Should Go Before You opens with a nine-minute ode to lost love – Woman. Filled with bone-shaking reverb and Dallas Green’s silky sounding voice, Woman is the perfect start to the Canadian singersongwriter’s new material.

If I Should Go Before You steps away from Green’s usual blend of acoustic guitar and haunting lyrics, to serve up something that is much more representative of City and Colour’s live shows, for those who have been lucky enough to see the talented musician in person. Green does not disappoint in this LP, with tracks such as the final song on the album, Blood, a perfect throwback to his acoustic roots. Blood is a soft and sorrow-filled song that relies on nothing but his vocals to carry it – and succeeds. Delivering a complex and complete set of songs that combine to create an album that fans will be excited to hear, and will be sure to intrigue new listeners as well, If I Should Go Before You is available now. I know I’m also looking forward to seeing this album transform into a live show when City and Colour land on our shores in March 2016 for the Byron Bay Bluesfest. Christie Ots

sychic Warfare is the eleventh studio album by Clutch, and if you are a fan of these stoner rockers, or like your music loud, dirty and heavy, then Clutch do not disappoint. Conventionally we see the machine-gun driving guitars, with boom and head-bangingness across two albums, but Clutch have managed to put it all in one.

The Affidavit sets the scene for an album of gunslingers, paranoid neurosis and the occasional three-legged mule. After all, it is recorded in Texas. The whole package is classic Clutch, no prisoners taken and a great deal of balls leaping out of the speakers. Guitarist Tim Sult once again provides those classic riffs, as we hear the guitar echoing an evil growl. Drum and bass maintain this feel throughout and makes you want to move. With some of the songs, I could just see them as part of a movie soundtrack. You know the bit where the hero is off to face his destiny, not knowing if he will come back in one piece, but knows he has to face it no matter the consequences? It sounds weird, but that is how I felt listening to the album. By the end I was ready to take on the zombie apocalypse – where’s my gun? If you like your music loud and heavy like a V8, Psychic Warfare will satisfy your needs. Terry Tappa Teece

oth the Gypsy and The Cat have recently been a bit quiet on the frontlines but behind the scenes, it’s another story. The Melbourne duo, Xavier Bacash and Lionel Towers (I wonder which one’s which), are back in action after a two-year hiatus from live performances. Relaunching themselves and their new EP, Hearts a Gun, the duo are set to do a number of shows along the east coast. Most renowned for their melodic, middleof-the-road tune Jona Vark, there is a bit more edge to their new sound. A bit. But even more would be better. Still relatively lightweight but with more electronica and disco-ish beats, Hearts a Gun, surprised me in a good way, and thankfully the pair left the unsafe middle-of-the-road. The title track whistles along in a merry way. It’s breezy, toe-tapping and fingerclicking good. Lionel and Xavier have been hanging out with one of my favourite bands, Midnight Juggernauts, but I’m not sure if Gypsy and the Cat have the same power, punch and je ne sais quoi of the mighty Juggers. They’re lacking something – perhaps stronger lyrics or a bigger oomph. Red Wine and Cigarettes go hand in hand so to speak, and thankfully I flicked the latter many moons ago but still enjoy the former. “Sunday mornings lying in the clothes I wore last night,” they sing, and I’m sure we can all relate to that. Evolution has 80s inspired duo, Client Liaison, on board and on the decks. I dig those guys and the catchy choruses make for a nice collaboration. Fourth track, Wasted Days screams nostalgia with the lyrics, “I’m young and I’m dumb and I don’t have much but time to waste.” Oh, memories. Fire oddly manages to drone and tinkle at the same time, and Sunday rounds out the sextet of these catchy, danceable tunes. Hearts a Gun maintains sweet melodies and groove with a disco-glitch twist, and I’m looking forward to seeing these guys again live, with a chance I may eat my negative words. ‘Coz I’m a gypsy and I bloody love cats. Carmel E Lewis




ark and dapper locals lads, Jimmy The Saint and the Sinners, are somewhat the shadow men of the Gold Coast music scene, and their new EP, Voodoo and Vivisection, sees them once again casting spells and bewitching souls with their bourbon soaked, swamp-blues mojo. Opening track Voodoo Blues has a tinge of Latino or Tex-Mex to its sleazy shuffle, featuring a snaking guitar line and tasty Hammond organ fills. James William Turner’s (aka Jimmy The Saint) vocals rise to a feverish howl by the song’s conclusion, as its vibe is not totally dissimilar to the one cover version on the EP, a classy reading of classic Tom Waits track Jockey Full of Bourbon. The Gloom is the EP’s most concise and catchy moment, as its moody opening gives way to an insistent organ driven number, with tasteful female backing vocals surfacing at the tail end of the track. Meanwhile, Sick Of Your Help evokes visions of dancing skeletons and fairground carnivals at midnight, before breaking open with a rousing chorus that probably gives them their most radio friendly track on the record. The band sign off this particular chapter of their impressively evolving musical oeuvre with the moody, down tempo malefemale duet Never Trust a Woman, with a familiarity to Murder Ballads era, Nick Cave. Voodoo and Vivisection see Jimmy The Saint and the Sinners continue to blaze their own uniquely defined musical path, so raise your glasses, rattle your bones and howl at the moon as you fall under it’s slinky, bewitching charm.



welvefour is the Paper Kites way of proving that, sometimes, great things happen after 2am. A conceptual album that saw frontman Sam Bentley reverse his sleeping patterns to capture the creative genius that can occur in the nightlight hours, the album opens with Electric Indigo. This neon titled song is so full of 90's nostalgia you can practically see John Cusack hoisting a boom box in preparation for the moody warmth that seeps out of the track.

With a pounding beat that captures your attention, the album weaves its way through multiple moods of reflection and anticipation – a true beauty that will transcend the time in which it was created, Twelvefour is complete in its profound sense of emptiness. Tracks like Neon Crimson and Bleed Confusion encapsulate a sense of hopelessness, that dark feeling lurking in the early a.m. times. Revelator Eyes and I’m Lying To You Cause I’m Lost invite you to dance despite the darkness, with catchy guitar riffs and electro beats that encourage the closing of eyes and the swaying of hips. The album shifts to a quieter note with Turns Within Me, Turns Without Me slipping into sleepiness with the sad lyrics:



n some circles there is a trend to celebrate the end of a marriage by having a ‘divorce party’. Instead of the acrimony and alimony of the law courts, the betrothed separate amicably and invite friends and family to join in the celebration. I guess being in a band is a bit like being in a marriage. Well... sort of.



Gold Coast group The Polaroids have been playing around the coast for the past year – the Loft, the Soundlounge, Currumbin Creek Tavern – as well as winning 2014’s Expressive Grounds Battle of the Bands. But they have decided to call it quits, in a good way, by releasing a song to show appreciation to all the people who have supported them during their time.

The title track from their new EP Holy Sick, is seething and screaming with anger. Fat bass, thumping drums and DeVita spitting out, “Something’s just not right here,” as a nod and an ‘up yours’ to ex-PM Tony Abbott and immigration disgraces. Earlier single, I For An Eye maintains the rage, with Marie questioning herself and her place, particularly as a female, in the music industry, followed by the anger at herself for feeling insignificant.

“I can say with certainty that I’m in love with her and she’s in love with me / It’s the way you tuck your hair behind your ears / It’s the way you make a grey sky clear / It’s love that makes this lyric true / I love loving you / Oh I do”

“I’m just a girl / All your friends have pedestals/ So I tell myself / You can take it or leave it"

It skips along joyfully without sounding frivolous and fluffy, with clever sounds from front man Elliot Bligh. He is already gathering his tools and troops for his next project, which may go a little deeper.

The album concludes with my personal favourite, Too Late, which seduces with the lightest of drumbeats and a soft sinuous quality to the vocals; a perfect conclusion to Twelvefour and melancholy snapshot of a reflective mind in the midnight hours. If this album doesn’t hold at least one track that ends up in your summer rotation I don’t know what will.

“A more polished new-age/brit-pop sound that owes more to Muse or The Killers,” says Elliot.

Christie Ots

There were a lot of amazing performers at Bigsound this year, but no one was more insanely entertaining than Waax’s front woman, Marie DeVita. She was a physical and vocal contortionist – manic, menacing, mesmerising.

Celebrating with all who came, saw, listened and danced to their merry tunes, I Love Loving You carries on their Beatle-ish, Blur-esque, brit-pop style of music – light, feel-good, love-love-me-do’s.

“And you’ll keep me settled for a while I know my love / Just let me waste a little times / It turns with me / It turns without me / And oh it turns me round, round, round”

Anthony Gebhardt

lthough I missed seeing WAAX at the recent Maroochy Festival, I caught them at Bigsound for their showcase at The Elephant Hotel and boom. Mind blown.

I’m looking forward to it and will be keeping an eye and an ear out for what this talented lad creates next. But hey, there’s nothing wrong with skipping along on sunshine in the meantime. Or rhyming ‘weather’ with ‘together’. I Love Loving You, a nice little slice of pure pop. Carmel E Lewis

I’ll take it, thanks. I’m not sure of the meaning of the title of the track, CC Thugs, but the tune tones down the angst and turns up the heartache. Souls lay bare and heartstrings torn. Love lost. Quivering and vulnerable. Beautifully stripped-back and haunting. From heart-ache to tooth-ache, Wisdom Teeth is actually about the latter, during a night on the tiles scoffing whisky and Pepsi to numb the pain, and the reciprocal pain the next day. She screeches, “I need some peace,” as a voice shouts back, “Shut up, shut up.” I feel your pain. There’s that fine line that we all tip over, but Waax and Holy Sick are an absolute pleasure, in a warped way, to see, hear, dance, laugh, cry and tear your teeth out to. I’ll have my whiskey on the rocks, thanks. WAAX are playing Festival of the Sun, Port Macquarie, December 11 – 12 Carmel E Lewis






Andrew Baxter | House of Brews Surfers Paradise

Tyrone Noonan | Atrium Bar, Jupiters Hotel & Casino

Smooth Groove | Chevron Renaissance


LIVVIA | Coast Bar and Cafe, Coolangatta Airport


Kodiak Empire + Antimata + Cat Great | Currumbin Creek Tavern

Mat McHugh | The Northern, Byron Bay

Lucy and the Wayward Suns + Pauly B + Peter Korzuch | The Loft Chevron Island

Michael David Thomas + Amela + Jax Haze + Astrid | The Loft Chevron Island Th’Fika | Studio 56, Miami Marketta

Halloween Massacreade | elsewhere

Baltimore Gun Club + Payments In Gold + Killers Creed + Bleeding Gasoline + Hunt Muerto | Currumbin Creek Tavern

Hot Jazz & Swing Kings | Chevron Renaissance

Open Mic Jam | Town & Country, Nerang

Julie Hayes | Cafe Dbar (solo)

Halloween Music Night | Springbrook Hall, Carricks Road, Springbrook

Zookeepers | Southport Sharks

Tyrone Noonan | Atrium Bar, Jupiters Hotel & Casino


Clare Nella | Chevron Renaissance (11.00am – 2.00pm)

The Paper Kites + Patrick James | The Soundlounge Currumbin

Lady Ga Ga Tribute | Southport Sharks


Local Muso Jam | The Loft Chevron Island Open Mic Jam | Town & Country, Nerang


Hayley Grace | Southport Sharks Cabana Bar (1.00pm)

Summertime Sessions in the Village: Walrus and the Carpenter + Felicity Lawless, Cuddihy Park, Mudgeeraba (5.30pm) Timber Bones + Baskervillain + The Vultures | Soundlounge Currumbin Just Kirra | Chevron Renaissance Pierce Brothers | Beach Hotel, Byron Bay Brewhouse Bash: Benny D Williams | Burleigh Brewing Co Napoleonic Wars + The Elliots + Tesla Coils + Sorry Not Sorry + Unfinished Business | Currumbin Creek Tavern

Kill your EMO Darlings with Love | elsewhere

Felicity Lawless | Bread N Butter

The Delicates + Donny Love | elsewhere

Garret Kato | Southport Sharks Cabana Bar (1.00pm)

Pierce Brothers | Beach Hotel Byron Bay

LIVVIA | Club Helensvale

One Night Stand with Ryder + Jessilou + Athena Joy + Kelsey Iris + LIVVIA + Josh | The Garden, Griffith University

Hussy Hicks + Allensworth | Currumbin Creek Tavern Platform: Jimmy Saint and the Sinners + Tangerine + Pirates of the Tempest + Lotus Ship | Southport Sharks

Open mic | Scuttlebutt Cafe, Springbrook Dan Hannaford | House of Brews Surfers Paradise

Frankie and the Moon | Miami Marketta

Garrett Kato | Southport Sharks (1pm)

Sarah Frank | Coolangatta Sands

Sounds of Sunday: The Vanns + The Pinheads + Jesse Humphrey | Broadbeach Tavern Liars Bar

The Goldhearts + Mark Boulle + Stara Jane | The Loft Chevron Island Platform | Southport Sharks Eilish Ellen | Chevron Renaissance Nicky Convine | Casino RSL Club

SATURDAY 31 OCT Infectious Halloween | Clock Hotel Kiara Jack and the Jills | Palm Beach Currumbin Markets, 7am Kisschasy | Coolangatta Hotel The Convergence Method + Running Left Handed | Sheoak Shack

MONDAY 2 NOV Natiruts + Nattali Rize | Coolangatta Hotel Marco | Southport Sharks

TUESDAY 3 NOV Oz Latin Brothers | Southport Sharks

WEDNESDAY 4 NOV Open Mic Night | The Loft Chevron Island


Zookeepers | Southport Sharks


Open mic | Zullaz Bar and Eating Place, Burleigh

Boom Boom Bean Selecta (at LLAW Exhibition Opening) | Dust Temple

SURFARI: Kyle Lionhart + Waxhead | The Avalon (15 Avalon Parade, Miami)

Jimmy the Saint and the Sinners | Coolangatta Quicksilver Boardriders Club

Josh Lee Hamilton | Burleigh Brewing Co

Wandering Eyes | Miami Marketta

Felicity Lawless (at Alternator Poetry Jam) | Dust Temple

Summertime Sessions in the Village: City over Sand + Alone Alaska, Cuddihy Park, Mudgeeraba (5.30pm)


Halloween at BUD: Lazyeye (fancy dress) | Burleigh Underground Drummers

The Vernons + Iluka | Studio 56, Miami Marketta

Andy Jans-Brown + Cozmic | Miami Marketta Broken Arrows + Casey Duque + Josh King + Nikki Wilde | The Loft Chevron Island Late for Woodstock | Southport Sharks Tyrone Noonan | Atrium Bar, Jupiters Hotel & Casino

SATURDAY 7 NOV Night of Abilities: featuring US the band as well as other local artists and MC Nathan Johnston + Greg Ritchie | Tweed Bowls Club Geoff Turnbull | Sheoak Shack Allensworth (USA) | Miami Marketta Cadence + Athena Joy + Jack Bolger | The Loft Chevron Island Captain Wow | Southport Sharks

Herbs w/ Paula (NZ) | Studio 56, Miami Marketta Open mic | Scuttlebutt Cafe, Springbrook Road, Springbrook Hayley Grace | Southport Sharks (1pm)

MONDAY 9 NOV Lloyd Saniel | Southport Sharks

TUESDAY 10 NOV Voice and Congas | Southport Sharks

WEDNESDAY 11 NOV Open Mic Night | The Loft Chevron Island

THURSDAY 12 NOV The Brian Jonestown Massacre 25 years – the silver jubilee tour | The Northern Hotel, Byron Bay Open Mic Jam | Town & Country, Nerang Zookeepers | Southport Sharks Shaka Han + Big Blue Sea + Alex Williams | Studio 56 (Miami Marketta)

FRIDAY 13 NOV Marlon Williams + The Yarra Benders + Ben Salter | Soundlounge Summertime Sessions in the Village: Tommy Sheehan + Jackson James Smith, Cuddihy Park, Mudgeeraba (5.30pm) Angus Oastler | Burleigh Brewing Co. The Charge + Flannelette + The Black Catapult + The Molotov + The Iron Eye | Currumbin Creek Tavern Rock The Reef: Regular Band + Dispunktion + Monster Fodder + BONED + Baltimore Gun Club +

Cactus Dill-Dos | Miami Tavern Shark Bar Light Year | elsewhere Electrik Lemonade | Miami Marketta Benny D Williams | Cooly Hotel (downstairs) Chisel Revived / Barnsey Revisited presents The Evolution of Jimmy Barnes | Southport Sharks Skin Deep | Chevron Renaissance David Taylor + Just Kirra + Davina + Ondre Davis | The Loft Chevron Island

SATURDAY 14 NOV Jon Toogood (acoustic) | Beergarden Surfers Paradise Rick Price + Casey Barnes | Gold Coast Arts Centre The Embers + Tea Society | Miami Marketta British India + Tired Lion | Coolangatta Hotel Clare Nella | Chevron Renaissance (11.00am – 2.00pm) Victoriana Gaye | Sheoak Shack Red Cherries (covers) | Southport Sharks Misguided + Desmantra + Upon a Falling Empire | Currumbin Creek Tavern Brett Gannon | Chevron Renaissance

WEDNESDAY 18 NOV Open Mic Night | The Loft Chevron Island Eleea Navarro | Chevron Renaissance

THURSDAY 19 NOV Screamfeeder + Dirty Frank + Scarlett Kill | Studio 56, Miami Marketta

James Street Preachers (at exhibition opening) | 19Karen Gallery (Mermaid Beach)

Open Mic Jam | Town & Country, Nerang

Jake Whittaker (Gold Coast) | The Motor Room, Brisbane

Zookeepers | Southport Sharks

Benny D Williams | Cooly Hotel (downstairs)

THURSDAY 19 – 22 NOV Mullum Music Festival: Ron Sexmith, Ben Ottewell (Gomez), Trinity Roots, We Two Thieves, Harry Angus, Emma Donovan and the Putbacks, Cheap Fakes, Bullhorn, Hat Fitz and Cara, Mt Warning, Tora, Raised by Eages and bucketloads more | Mullumbimby

FRIDAY 20 NOV Rise of Avernus + Gods of Eden + Snake Mountain + Noose for a Necktie | Currumbin Creek Tavern Summertime Sessions in the Village: Bobby Alu (solo) + Hanlon Brothers, Cuddihy Park, Mudgeeraba (5.30pm) Stan Walker + Scott Newnham + Russ Walker + The Oneill Twins| Jupiters Hotel & Casino

MISTRAM + Salty Storms + Mark Alpen + Josiah Edward Gaborit | The Loft Chevron Island


Clare Nella | Chevron Renaissance

The Beach Boys + Busby Marou + Kim Churchill + Sahara Beck + Good Oak | Sandstone Point Hotel Bribie Island, 3.00pm. Open mic | Scuttlebutt Cafe, Springbrook Road, Springbrook Simon Meola | Southport Sharks Cabana Bar (1pm)


LIVVIA | Kingscliff Beach Bowls Club Benny D Williams | Kingscliff Beach Hotel Matty Rogers | Burleigh Brewing Co. Jenova Collective (UK) | Miami Marketta Mason Rack Band | Southport Sharks The Meerdogs + Bigfellalinc + Daisy Kaye + Mia Bailey | The Loft Chevron Island

Lloyd Saniel | Southport Sharks



You Am I | Parkwood Tavern

The Beach Boys + John Paul Young + The Allstar Band | Jupiters Hotel & Casino Voice and Congas | Southport Sharks

Black Magic | Southport Sharks Willow Lane + Kit Lightning + Jodie Joy + Saint Barae | The Loft Chevron Island

KLP | elsewhere

UB40 | Coolangatta Hotel

ROCKIN THE GOLDIE MUSIC FESTIVAL | Currumbin Creek Tavern | doors open 3.00pm for two stages and 20 acts

Zac Gunthorpe | Sunhouse Coolangatta Chris Shermer | Sheoak Shack

Just Kirra | Chevron Renaissance

SUNDAY 22 NOV Open mic | Scuttlebutt Cafe, Springbrook Road, Springbrook Preatures | Cooly Hotel (downstairs), 3.00pm Dallas James | Southport Sharks Cabana Bar, 1.00pm Nautic Giants: Justin Martin (Dirtybird) + Wongo | Fishermans Wharf Nautic Giants After-party | elsewhere

Frazer Goodman Trio | Spaghetti & Jazz, Robina

FRIDAY 27 NOV Summertime Sessions in the Village: Tsun + Frankie & the Moon, Cuddihy Park, Mudgeeraba (5.30pm) Benny D Williams | Cooly Hotel (downstairs) In Essence | Burleigh Brewing Co. The Cactus Channel | Miami Marketta Platform (originals night) | Southport Sharks Sex Pistols and Ramones Tribute show | Parkwood Tavern PLTS + Pro Vita + Ivey | elsewhere Akova | Haven Bar, Murwillumbah Leigh James | Chevron Renaissance Peter Sivright + Jemma Lee | The Loft Chevron Island Saturday 28 November Tyrone Noonan | Atrium Bar, Jupiters Hotel & Casino Mitchells Fold + Daneel + Will R Price | The Loft Chevron Island

Benny D Williams | Bonita Bonita

Kiara Jack and the Jills | Palm Beach Currumbin Markets, 7am


The Flumes | Sheoak Shack

Marco | Southport Sharks Tuesday 24 November Voice and Congas | Southport Sharks

Kellie Knight and The Daze | Miami Marketta Blue Poppy (covers) | Southport Sharks Casette | elsewhere


Jax Haze | Chevron Renaissance

Open Mic Night | The Loft Chevron Island



Palmy Sunday Fun Day: Jimmy the Saint and the Sinners + Mattie Barker | Palm Beach Parklands pirate park (4.00 – 6.30pm)

Lagwagon | The Northern Hotel, Byron Bay

Kora + P.Digsss | Studio 56, Miami Marketta

Eilish Ellen | Chevron Renaissance

Open Mic Jam | Town & Country, Nerang Zookeepers | Southport Sharks Dinkum Bohos (at Alternator Poetry Jam) | Dust Temple Frankie and the Moon + Ivey + New Age Notion | Studio 56 (Miami Marketta)

Two questions: Who’s playing? What’s pouring?

Open mic | Scuttlebutt Cafe, Springbrook Road, Springbrook Six60 | Cooly Hotel Nyssa Berger | Southport Sharks Cabana Bar (1pm) Benny D Williams | Bonita Bonita

MONDAY 30 NOV Lloyd Saniel | Southport Sharks

Akova | Miami Marketta


Books & Film



I wore a Carla Zampatti outfit to my wedding, a black silk shirt and long, bright orange taffeta, A-line skirt. I still have that timeless outfit today. It lasted longer than my marriage and says a lot to me about the designer’s capacity for longevity.

Growing up in Delhi in the 70s is a quiet and frugal life for eight-year-old Ajay and his brother Birju. But their father is drawn to the glamour and romance of the West and so moves the Mishra family to a tiny flat in New York; believing that a life in Queens, earning American dollars, will bring happiness.

by Carla Zampatti

by Akhil Sharma

Surviving 50 years as a fashion brand in Australia is almost unheard of, yet it’s a feat that Carla Zampatti managed from 1965 to today. To mark the milestone, Zampatti has written her autobiography beginning with her early childhood days in Lovero, Italy where she was born in 1942. With her mother and two brothers, nine-year-old Carla Zampatti arrived in Bullfinch, Western Australia in 1950 unable to speak English. She had not met her father until then since her mother was still pregnant when Domenico Zampatti left Italy during the war to make a better life for his family in the outback mining town. We can only assume the early influence of a strong matriarch must have given the young Carla the role model that would cement her feminist viewpoint, can-do attitude, and strong work ethic. Undoubtedly, Zampatti has an unerring positive attitude. This book is full of inspiring stories of her successful achievements from opening her own store in Sydney in 1972 as a single mother, to receiving the AC and AM Orders of Australia. While this attitude is admirable, Zampatti appears to gloss over some of what must have been devastating events, such as her parents not attending her wedding to second husband John Spender because they did not get married in a Catholic church. She conveys much of the devastation felt when her first husband Leo cheated on her with her an in-house model, and their subsequent divorce. However, most other negative events in the book are tempered with stories of successful outcomes, even when John Spender left her. It appears Zampatti was hardened emotionally by her experience with Leo and tempestuous relationship with her father. Zampatti’s world is clearly based in the privileged, wealthy, right wing Sydney elite, and while some of her choices such as sitting on the board of a tobacco company are questionable, her championing of feminism and multiculturalism are genuine. This is an inspiring read for anyone, women in particular, trying to crack into the fashion world in Australia. Pip Andreas


Akhil Sharma’s second novel, Family Life, is a dark, comingof-age story. It’s the story of Sharma’s own life, which he has chosen to somewhat fictionalise. It is easy to see why this novel took him nine years to write, considering the trauma and grief the family suffer. But discovering America with Ajay is magical; hot water running in taps, traffic lights, hot dogs, snow, television. “I had never been in an elevator before and when I pressed a button in the elevator and the elevator started moving, I felt powerful that it had to obey me.” But the novelty of being in a new land soon wears off. In India, Ajay was popular, he was good at cricket, and sometimes he even bullied other kids. At school in America, where he can’t tell the white people apart, he is confused by his vast new school which is three stories high. He becomes so scared of getting lost he stops going to the toilet. He is bullied by his classmates until his older brother Birju interferes. Like most brothers, Birju and Ajay fight, but it is clear that Birju is Ajay’s idol. But then a shocking accident further disrupts the peace in the family’s new lives and rather than pulling together, the incident sets each family member spinning off into their own lonely orbit of grief and anger. Ajay tries to hide his pain from his parents, not wanting to add further weight to their problems. He cries alone or at school, where he is sent out of the classroom. “I cried so hard that I lost my breath. When this happened, I became detached from myself. I walked and gasped and, as I did, I could feel my unhappiness walking beside me, waiting for my breath to return so that it could climb back inside me.” At first Ajay has conversations with God, he wishes for fame, fortune, and for his family life to return to the way it was. He comes to realise that wishing and praying make no difference and he loses his faith. Throughout Family Life, Ajay feels his otherness sharply. An Indian living in America, with an alcoholic father, coupled with the trauma experienced in his youth, means that Ajay finds it hard to relate to his peers or feel empathy. He longs

for his life in India as a way to belong again. Even with his girlfriend, who he grows very close to, Ajay is unable to confide his true feelings, working hard to keep his father’s addiction a secret. His efforts to connect with his parents are also futile. Once, he says to his father “Daddy, I am so sad,” to which his father replies, “I want to hang myself every day.” Ajay’s transformation from a carefree rascal to a lonely, deep, and philosophical young man is both painful and absorbing reading. Sharma articulates in a straightforward, matter-of-fact style his own childhood memories, thoughts, and feelings, even though it must have been an immense challenge to relive his youth for the sake of his novel. Family Life was selected as one of the Top Ten Books of 2014 by the New York Times and won the 2015 Folio Prize. Emily Russell

MACBETH (2015)


Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard

Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri

Based on Shakespeare’s shortest play, the new and breathtaking Justin Kurzel film version shaves off more of the Bard’s dialogue than one would think possible in attempting to render the story to life on screen. Yet so visceral and picturesque are the visuals, such starving ambition and bleeding madness can Fassbender and Cotillard convey with a simple look, and so intrinsic a character is the severely grim and bitter Scottish countryside, that fewer words are needed to induce the investment of the audience.

“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”

Fassbender is gut-wrenchingly authentic in the titular role, at first stoic and strong in front of his peers, hiding a tortured anguish only evident in shaky interactions with his wife. Cotillard’s unearthly beauty is a pale veneer covering the sickly black soul with which she is left following the death of their son and heir. The intimacy of their plotting – mouths so close they speak with the same air – is a charged and voyeuristic watch. Macbeth and his wife gradually switch roles throughout the film: he intially reluctant and heartbroken morphing into a mad and implacable tyrant: she of the goading and acid-tongued amibition soon giving way to despair and regret. The violence of Macbeth’s precipitous descent into madness is matched only by the increasing levels of violence he employs in dispatching his victims. Fassbender and Cottilard’s portrayals are pointedly perfect The “Out, damned spot!” soliloquy is a testament to Cotillard’s skill: an understated, quietly devastating piece of acting that a Kurzel visual twist makes doubly haunting. Whilst the two leads so far outshine the rest of the cast as to render them close to invisible, there are moments of pure heartbreak delivered at the deft and experienced hands of David Thewlis as King Duncan and Sean Harris as Macduff. Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki as Lady Macduff brings a memorable pathos to her tiny amount of screen time, whilst the weird sisters and their eerie accompanying sound effects leave the audience quietly unsettled. The throbbing score by Jed Kurzel - brother of the director - beautifully underscores the drama, while makeup by Jacqueline Durran lends otherworldy touches. The Birnam Wood’s advance upon Dunsinane is brilliantly realised and lends the perfectly hellish backdrop to Macbeth’s final scenes. You don’t have to be a Shakespeare fan to appreciate the clever filmmaking on show here, but you do need to be prepared for an intensely emotional experience.

It’s hard to believe twenty years have passed since the release of The Usual Suspects, yet there is absolutely nothing usual about how timeless this cult classic truly is. Reminiscent of the film noir detective genre, The Usual Suspects style, theme, and evocative mood has you plotting right alongside the detectives aiming to solve an unsolvable case. Meanwhile, with exegetical narration, we watch five master criminals desperately try to make amends after mistakenly stealing from ‘the devil himself’ – “Who is Keyser Soze?” From the opening scene to the final frame, you’re stuck to your seat in a chaotic web of lies and deceit; with close shots, dark lighting, and over-the-shoulder camera angles aimed to create the feeling you’re right amongst the action, soaking up evasive dialogue like a wet sponge dripping with intrigue. Written by Christopher McQuarrie, who later went on to brilliantly adapt the screenplay of Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s novel – All You Need is Kill, aka – Edge of Tomorrow, its not hard to see why he was the perfect man for the job. Attaining cult classic status is by no means a small feat. With The Usual Suspects prevailing presence in popculture to this day, it goes without saying this film is right up there with the best. A poll conducted by IMDb has its plot twist outvoting even The Sixth Sense, which is really saying something! Accompanied by its recognizable music score, nothing is to be forgotten about The Usual Suspects. If you haven’t seen it, or simply need a refresh, I assure you there is no disappointment in going back twenty years to an ageless classic. I envy anybody experiencing it for the first time. Nathan James

Natalie O’Driscoll


Food & Drink


The Brickworks Centre, 107 Ferry Road Southport


hink Gold Coast industry and an apiary may not be the first to come to mind, but it’s our latest food production unit, albeit small-scale.

The Brickworks Centre has just installed four rooftop beehives, a project which will provide new habitat for over 300,000 bees and produce a signature ‘Brickworks’ flavoured honey. With rooftop beehives and gardens on trend in major cities across the world, The Brickworks is the first of several urban hives in the southeast, the others being at Jupiters Hotel and Casino and Halcyon House, Cabarita. We spoke with beekeeper and hive installer Jack Stone at the Brickworks’ lifestyle event ‘EAT PLAY LIVE’, when the hives were launched. “A healthy bee population is crucial to ensuring the diversity and sustainability of plants and crops, so this delivery of bees means gardens around Southport and Surfers Paradise will experience a complete regeneration,” he said. “Bees are attracted to three things: the scent (of the flowers), the colour (of the petals), and the richness of the flavour,” he tells me. “There is an abundance of giardiniera in the local area.” “Each bee pollinates about 50,000 flowers in its life time, so that means that over 15 billion flowers will be seeded within a five to seven kilometre radius of these new rooftop hives. Just like humans, one of the most important things for bees is a diversity of diet for their future health.” There’s a double benefit from the apiary, making it a great community initiative. Not only will local gardens regenerate, but also the hives are expected to produce around 480kg annually of honey unique to the local area. “The Brickworks honey will have a distinct flavour profile depending on which season it is harvested, and what is in flower, so it’s a perfect opportunity for Gold Coasters to buy completely pure, unadulterated local honey.” An apiarist for around six years, Jack has named his company ‘Bee One Third’ in reference to the fact that one third of the world’s food supply is pollinated by bees. Using 100% cold extraction from the hives, the raw honey is filtered to remove sediment before bottling. Jack also sees his company as a social enterprise, employing refugees and at-risk youth to help take care of the beehives. Beekeeping is one of the most symbiotic relationships between humans and insects, but one requiring constant care and patience. Marj Osborne


t’s the case of ‘the girl least likely’ marrying royalty; a fairly pedestrian café in an outer suburban shopping centre scoring seasoned hotel and restaurant owners Graham and Kate Bennett (ex Helm Bar) as its new owners. Mudgeeraba should be so lucky! But we didn’t know about the hometown queen when, after hearing really good reports from readers, we turned up unannounced for a quiet lunch. Meaning ‘place of many stories’, Mudjira bears witness to Mudgeeraba’s spirit, the real sense of community left over from timber cutters and farmers of bygone days. Never underestimate the village. It may be on the ‘wrong’ side of the highway for some but, let’s face it, ‘hip’ is not always ‘great’! In fact, there’s some real talent lurking below the hills; you just have to seek it out. The café spans from the outside to the inside of Mudgeeraba Plaza with an entrance on each end. Kate tells us how they’ve remodelled the eatery using sleepers from the old Lismore railway, with Graham making tables from recycled timber. Vintage tiles, a bricked counter front and a few vintage pieces complete the village hub appeal. But the newly renovated restaurant forms only part of the dining area. The eatery opens onto a garden-filled plaza strewn with tables, brightened by orchids, other flowering plants and greenery. It’s surprisingly pleasant and comfortable, filled with character and abundant life; a complete contrast to newer more sanitised centres. It’s a place you’d want to sit and relax; a place to meet friends and take your time. We’re not surprised that both times we’ve visited, Mudjira has been pumping. It’s a central meeting place and everyone seems to know each other. Checking out the single sheet menu with Breakfast and Lunch columns, some dishes such as Eggs Bene, Classic breakfast and the Avo and Feta Smash straddle all day. When I’d popped in for lunch previously I’d considered the options: all day brekkie options, burgers, or veggie options such as Vegie terrine or Veg and haloumi stack (all under $15) or a Scotch fillet, the most expensive menu item at $18.50. But I looked no further than the Pulled pork burger, my lips hungry for a soft brioche bun packed with pulled pork and apple fennel slaw topped with house aioli, served with crisp beer battered chips. The breakfast dishes are equally enticing, from Apple, pear and cinnamon organic porridge or many morning favourites to a Morning Kickstart or Bene, both of which can be ordered as vegetarian.


Actually, the range of plant-based dishes is pretty extensive – almost half the menu, with the option to add sides of meat or extra veg. Gluten-free diners are also well catered for. “We’ve adjusted the menu according to what people want,” Kate tells me. “This includes a range of raw cakes and slices we make here and organic coffee which is custom blended and roasted for us locally. People like the coffee so much that we have it here for sale by the bag.” Coffee’s only one of your drink choices of course, with shakes, smoothies and juices to have in or to go. I’ve ordered the Veg Bene, a plate full of nutrition with roasted sweet potato rounds, sautéed mushroom, wilted spinach, two soft-poached eggs and avo smash dredged with homemade citrus hollandaise. At $14.50, it’s great wholesome food and excellent value. Similarly, the Morning Kickstart (which Mr Big Brekkie orders), laden with bacon, chipotles, homemade rosti, spinach, mushrooms and eggs with ciabatta is a bargain at $16.90 – dollars cheaper than you’d pay oceanside. Perhaps the rent is a little less here? Whatever! It’s the customers who are getting great value. They’re also getting great service. The Bennetts are full of smiles, Kate racing around greeting customers, checking the floor, bringing out pannikins of food and cleaning up as she goes… Graham’s around having a chat as well, at least when he’s not helping out in the kitchen. It strikes us how much these guys know about hospitality: they make people feel special through personal relationship and service. Nothing less. It’s 9.30am and they’re on their third sitting for breakfast but everyone’s still smiling. “This is the happiest I’ve been in a place,” Kate tells us. “We work so hard but it’s really rewarding. I really love the customers here, and we have a great team who really pull together.” She has extra praise for Head Chef Ryan Willis who, though quite young, is really trying to raise the bar on food service. On every front Mudjira is a success. It’s a great example of how a once unremarkable business can be turned around with the commitment to provide great food, a pleasant atmosphere and, most of all, exceptional hospitality. Swan Lane? More like a love scene from Swan Lake! Disclaimer: On one occasion Marj was a guest of Mudjira Village Eatery. Marj Osborne Read more of Marj’s reviews at


2460 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach Ph: 07 5575 2669 Open: Thurs – Sat 5pm – 12 midnight; Sun 4pm – 12 midnight.


here’s something about Sunday afternoon that always catches me unawares. I want to slam the brakes on the weekend, reining in the rest of the leftover hours to head for the nearest watering hole. ‘‘Nooooooo! I’m not ready for the working week yet!’ I cry, as we gate crash the Sunday sesh at Bon Bon. Ah yes, it’s all so melodramatic, but I’m sure you’ll agree that the weekend’s too short. Why not cram in enough good times to last through a week of being virtuous? Even if it doesn’t always stretch… Bon Bon. There’s something vintage and indulgent about the words. Who doesn’t need a little hideaway, which is exactly what Bon Bon promises from Thursday to Sunday night. The latest venture of Morgan Walsh and Jess Forras, Bon Bon is a welcome addition to the wildly popular Bonita Bonita. With space at a premium, the notion of a hidden bar, additional space plus viable function area was a godsend when the adjacent office became available. Similarly themed to Bonita Bonita, Bon Bon takes us into an endlessly brooding evening, huge ferns hanging overhead and Frida Kahlo watching over us indulgently. Brushing aside the cerveza (Brooklyn Lager and Little Creatures are on tap), I head for something fancy from the cocktail list. There’s no better place to begin than the Bonita Margarita. Named in honour of El Jimador, the man who mastered the art of tequila making from the best blue agaves, my hit of smooth toasty El Jimador Reposado Tequila has an edge of chilli salt and candied jalapeño softened out with fresh cucumber. It slides down as silky smooth as the music - Nick Waters’ crooning to his acoustic in the corner, atmospheric and chilled. We could stay here all night! Invited as guests, we’ve left the food choice to the kitchen, and our first plates soon arrive: perfectly cooked Blue Eye Trevally with marinated fennel, lime and pickled cucumber

with a piquant chimichurri, and Char grilled king prawns with coriander crema and pineapple chilli jam. They’re beautifully balanced dishes, brimming with flavours straight from the garden: the freshest fish, herbs picked from the garden and pickles made in house. A finger creeps out to brush up a stray drop of sticky jam… Time for another drink: Penicillina, a hickory-smoked Espolon Reposado tequila with traces of lemon, fire water and ginger smoothed over with agave hits the right note. Must be good for me, right? I’m feeling better already! Happy to sit, I’m pulled up by the next dish, Chicken thigh lovingly rubbed with chipotle paste and achiote, served with grilled roasted peppers – a superb dish, so much so that the Dry chilli rib eye almost passes me by. There’s a bar menu of snacks but we’ve left that for another time. Hard to decide on a dish of the night, really, so maybe I’d have to take out a trifecta on the prawns, chicken and fish. Honestly, though, so long as it was served with a cocktail, I’m sure I could manage with style! Speaking of which, there’s time for one final round before we hit the road… It’s a little bespoke number from the barman: spices from rye, ginger, cardamom and Peychaud’s bitters rounded out with ginger beer, which he names a ‘Tom Waits to order’. “Hold On!’’ I cry. It’s finally time to go home, to quit the moaning and face the week mellow. As Tom decided, who wants to become soaked in a vat of bourbon? Ahhhh! I suck the night in through my teeth. So this is what it feels like – eeking out the last drops from the weekend! Who’d be anywhere else! Marj Osborne Read more of Marj’s reviews at


Food & Drink

ALL-TIME COFFEE CO. T here are two things whipping GC locals into a frenzy at the moment: donuts and coffee. You can’t scroll through your Instagram without seeing some form of jealousyinducing donut post, and lately a large portion of these come care of All-Time Coffee Co. in Mermaid Beach, who are taking your daily caffeine to the next level by offering up their own house made dairy and egg free vegan donuts. That’s right, you read correctly: vegan donuts. And they are magnificent. Cheerful couple Ben and Elle share a deep love for all things coffee and donuts, and decided it was high time they shared this love by opening up All-Time Coffee Co. at the end of September. Taking things back to basics, the café has a stylish and cosy interior making use of recycled materials including wood from a chicken coop in Indooroopilly. Furniture is sourced from Simply Recycled with each piece perfectly complimenting the wooden floor and exposed brick wall. Ben is a big fan of Belissimo coffee and wanted to bring it

to the Gold Coast as there are no other cafés that currently provide it. Belissimo’s Ultimo is the house blend, an extra dark roast that works well in all forms of coffee. Getting down to business I order my usual trifecta: an espresso, a long black and a piccolo all of which are made on a super shiny silver La Marzocco machine. The espresso has a delicious aroma of blackberries and chocolate, and a curious, almost milky, flavour with smooth notes of dark chocolate, roasted hazelnuts and a spot of tannin for a nice kick. The long black had a fantastic crema and sweet berry and plum aroma that came through when drinking it. Although it was a long black, which generally has a thinner mouthfeel than an espresso, this one was thick and full-bodied, which I absolutely loved. The piccolo had an overall dark chocolate flavour that had a blossoming sweetness to it, almost like a lolly, leading to a beautifully sweet caramel aftertaste. As the weather is warming up you may want to give All Time’s sugar-free iced maple Americano a try as the maple syrup gives the drink nice sweet kick. Catherine Coburn




1/2478 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach

LITTLE BITES HARD ROCK LAUNCHES NEW TURNS TO BRAODWATER PARKLANDS! VEGETARIAN MENU October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month. But maybe everyone (guys included) needs to THINK GREEN, not pink, because it was Vegetarian Awareness Month in October as well. All those greens may be good for us, but let’s mix them up with root vegies (reds and oranges), seeds, beans and nuts. We’ve just tasted Hard Rock Cafe’s new vegetarian menu and it’s exciting. Our faves were the currylaced Quinoa Burger and the Grilled vegie and haloumi wrap. Who doesn’t love haloumi, right? Wash your Meatless Monday down with some Beet, orange and ginger juice and you’ll be drinking vitamins in a glass! They’re healthy habits we could keep all year round.

JUPITERS A WINNER AT QUEENSLAND AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE Jupiters Gold Coast is the toast of the State after taking out the trifecta at the hugely respected Queensland Hotels Association Awards for Excellence, held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre in September. Multi award-winning Japanese restaurant Kiyomi once again thrilled the judges with its cutting-edge approach to dining, claiming ‘Best Prestige Restaurant’ – its third major award win since opening its doors in December 2014. Jupiters’ success continued as Kiyomi’s Head Bartender and passionate Mixologist Thomas Angel was honoured for his innovation, taking out the award for ‘Best Employee – Food & Beverage’. The Gold Coast icon’s triumph at the awards did not end there, with Cucina Vivo picking up ‘Best Restaurant – Accommodation Division’.

MORE THAN 95 PERCENT OF STALLS FILLED AT NIGHTQUARTER It’s still five weeks from opening but getting a stall at Helensvale’s NightQuarter markets is the hottest ticket in town, with more than 95 per cent of berths already filled. The countdown is on for the opening of the Gold Coast’s answer to street markets, with thousands of people expected to attend the opening night on 28 November and a string of local musicians already confirmed for the 2000-capacity live music venue called The Paddock.The first shipping containers are already installed at the 1ha site next to Helensvale Town Centre, ready to host more than 120 vendors, including micro-restaurants. More at nightquarter.

13 November 2015 sees a return of the popular Food Truck Feast at Broadwater Parklands. An all ages, alcohol-free event, it includes many different types of cuisine as well as entertainment by local artists. Food Truck Feast runs 5.30pm to 8.00pm and boasts free entry as well as early-bird parking.

BULIMBA’S DELIZIOSO BRINGS ITALIAN TO THE MENU AT THE STRAND Modern Italian dining is coming to Coolangatta, with popular Bulimba restaurant, Delizioso, opening at HYPERLINK “”The Strand in early December. It will be the second Delizioso restaurant for owner and multi-award winning head chef Brad Nascone, who has headed up the kitchen at the Oxford Street establishment for the past two years. Bringing their acclaimed casual Italian style to the Southern Gold Coast, the new restaurant will be positioned in the prime oceanfront dining space adjacent to Bin 72 on Level 1 at The Strand.

CLEANSE KITCHEN AT 4217 The 4217 welcomes The Cleanse Kitchen, a locally produced cold-press juice company to its established precinct – adding to the lively offering available in the old Transit Centre. Entrepreneurs Inga and Zane Truscott’s thriving premium raw juice brand The Cleanse Kitchen is already a local favourite. Visit for details.

洀漀渀搀愀礀 ⴀ 猀愀琀甀爀搀愀礀 簀 昀爀漀洀 㔀⸀㌀ 愀洀 漀氀猀攀渀 愀瘀攀Ⰰ 猀漀甀琀栀瀀漀爀琀



Food & Drink

HOUSE OF BREWS 17 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise. Open 11am to 12am daily.


here was an apprehension-tinged buzz going around the table at our lazy late lunch at House of Brews in the heart of Surfers Paradise. We had just been informed that our meal today was going to have some special guests: Bugs. Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t do well with bugs, let alone ones that I am supposed to eat, so my anxiety was running high. A hush fell over the table as our first buginfested dish hit the table: Porky rinds with balsamic vinegar and roasted ants. I took a deep breath, grabbed one of the little suckers and popped it in my mouth expecting the worst, but then…I was pleasantly surprised! The roasted ants were crunchy and had a slight tang to them. Sprinkled over the bubble wrap like porky rinds you would believe them to be just another spice to enhance the dish, but really they are so much more. In speaking with Damien and Sacha Kanaghines, two of the three brothers who own and operate House of Brews, I was surprised to learn about the nutritional content of my new insect friends. Beyond their novelty value, putting bugs on their menu is a step towards a more sustainable food alternative with the added health benefits of being higher in protein and lower in calories when compared with other meats. In fact there is now an international food movement called “foraging” where people search out consumable insects with many world-class restaurants now engaging in the activity. I enjoy my ants with a delicious Big Head beer from the magicians at Burleigh Brewing Co. as talk of sustainability engages the group. It’s no surprise that House of Brews features many Burleigh Brewing Co. beers on their menu as they boast an amazing array of 32 local and imported beers on tap, having a custom-designed keg room that delivers beer straight from the barrel to the customer’s glass, chilled to below zero degrees Celsius. Patrons can marvel at the keg room themselves and no doubt start planning how they could have one in their own home as I did. A proven popular dish at House of Brews is their onion ring tower, with truffled cheese sauce lovingly poured over them at the table. As I tuck into some delicious onion rings I find myself thinking how well my new ant friends would go with the dish. Other firm favourites on the menu are brought out for us to sample including buffalo wings with an amazing American spicy sauce, original wings and tender pulled pork sliders, which were of a larger size than what you would generally get in a restaurant, allowing more time to savour the delicious flavours along with their Burleigh Brewing respectively paired beers: the Premium, 28 Pale Ale and my favourite, the Fig Jam. As we enjoy our meal and beers Damien and Sascha regale us with tales of all the places they visited in America with their other brother and co-owner Ben. In a 12 day period they managed to dine at 64 restaurants, drink at 34 bars and attend a three day conference all the name of research before the opening of House of Brews. Their hard work has


definitely paid off as the venue, an ode to rock, brews and BBQ, is stylish and fresh, drawing in a more mature crowd who are in search of a quality alternative to Surfers Paradise’s usual offerings. Damien and Sascha inform us that they have found the venue to be popular with younger females too who I am sure are drawn in by the amazing cocktails and cotton candy tower piled high in a large martini glass that follows our meal. Finally the last dish rolls out and by now my initial apprehension has turned to excited curiosity as a generous serve of Kangaroo tacos with mango salsa, sour cream and roasted chilli and garlic crickets are brought out to the table. Visually appetising, it’s not until you look carefully that you can see the crickets peppered over the tacos as though lounging in the hot summer sun. As I pluck one from the taco and pop it in my mouth I am surprised once again by how easy they are to eat as the initial crunch gives way to a peanut butter like flavour that blends well with the Kangaroo taco. Washing them down with another great Burleigh Brewing beer, this time their Hef, I muse over the meal and find myself planning what else these bugs would go well with. Having worked together for 19 years, the Kanaghines brothers have used their extensive industry knowledge to open an exceptional venue that is worth the visit if you are looking for something more laid back and refreshing on your next trip to Surfers Paradise. You’ll no doubt leave bugeyed after a great meal like the one I experienced! Catherine Coburn

THE JOURNEY THAT STARTS WITH A SINGLE BREW Journeymen Coffee Roasters are located near the corner of Avalon and Pacific Parades, Miami.


nne Newberry and Mel Maksic started working at the same coffee shop in Brisbane just two weeks apart and spent two years working there. They befriended a customer, Liam Christian, they clicked and started hanging out. And the rest, as they say, is history. Anne, Mel and Christian are the owners, roasters, coffeemakers and dishwashers at Journeymen Coffee Roasters, the Gold Coast’s newest addition to its burgeoning coffee scene. “Liam is our roaster,” Anne tells me. “Mel and I have always just loved making coffee.” Liam is currently only roasting on Sundays, between other work commitments and the goal is for him to be roasting full-time “once we get the wholesale up and running,” Anne said. “He started as a home roaster and it just grew into something that needed a space. He went from a little bench top microwave size roaster to a 2kg roaster and now we have a 15kg roaster that has to be fully fitted out by a gasfitter and all the rest,” she said. “We thought we’d create our own space to see the production happen,” Mel said. “Next stage is to go overseas and see harvest and visit some farms.” The ladies tell me that they have, of course, been to local farms. “There is coffee in our own backyard,” Anne said. “We’ve been to northern NSW and seen some farms down there but they usually have their own roasters.” “We’re building our dream life together,” Anne said. “And with Mel. We always talked about putting something together and the timing just came right.” Mel said sometimes you just fall into these things. “Well, over a long period of time,” she said. “We just really enjoy coffee and conversations really. I could do that for the rest of my life – I’d be happy, just brewing up some coffee.

Their medium-term goal is to get their wholesale offering out there with Journeymen coffee available through local cafés and surrounding areas. “We really want to focus on the product, on the bean itself,” Mel said. “A lot of people have beautiful spaces but the reason why you have good coffee is because it’s been taken good care of from the start – that’s what we really want to educate people about – it starts from the farmer and we’re just the lucky ones that get to drink it every day.” “It’s a luxury for us – but it’s a way of life for them. We put food on their table and then we put coffee on other people’s table.” Anne and Mel admit that the Miami Marketta was a drawcard in choosing their location. Their roastery and café is located immediately across the road from Marketta on Avalon Parade. “Zoning wise it was sort of semi-industrial, so we’re not hidden out the back of some industrial estate – we’ve still got the exposure to the main street and traffic coming through from Marketta. So, yeah… we went to Vietnam, saw it online, came back home, viewed it the next day, and said we like it, let’s go for it.” The trio, who are all around the thirty-mark have taken a punt and two of them are still working other jobs to keep things ticking over while they find their feet as roasters / café owners. “You have to take a leap of faith at some point,” Anne said. “For small business if someone sat you down and told you ‘this can happen, this can happen’ then it would all be in the too hard basket.” “Everything that we’ve done has led us to this,” Mel said. “This is the next step. Catherine Coburn


Arts & Culture ve w i L ie v Re

QSO PLAYS BOLERO AT THE ARTS CENTRE GOLD COAST 9 OCTOBER 2015 R avel’s Bolero is one of the most famous works for orchestra. Starting with a barely discernible snare drum rhythm, two melodies sound from various instruments in the orchestra, leading into a thrilling finale. Exploding in worldwide popularity after Torvill and Dean’s Sarajevo Winter Olympics figure skating performance which saw them receive twelve perfect 6.0 scores, Bolero is a masterful piece, which appeals to both classical music afficianados and the general public alike. The evening’s entertainment began with a lively rendition of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Having recently seen the QSO perform more modern pieces


which, while entertaining, did not sit as comfortably on them, it was highly enjoyable to see them put back on their classical coats. Jessica Cottis’ precise and fluid conducting was an absolute pleasure to watch, as were the considerable talents of young guest pianist Marina Yahlkakova. The sound exploded off the stage.

Bizet’s Suites 1 and 2 from L’Artisienne followed, and while no doubt popular with the romantics in the crowd, left me feeling a tad bored and fidgety towards the end. After the drama and spirit of Tchaikovsky, the more pedestrian and romantic Bizet seemed an anti-climax.

Finally, following intermission, that instantly recognisable snare drum rhythm of Bolero began, and the audience seemed to lean forward in their seats, straining to hear every note as the build up expertly continued to its most satisfying conclusion. The QSO kept perfect timing and the synchronisation was beautiful. Such technicians, when they are in their comfort zone, and strongly led. If the shouts of “Bravo!” from the crowd were anything to go by, the evening was a perfect success. Natalie O’Driscoll

SPOTLIGHT ON... JOHN AHERN Native Brisbanite and adopted Gold Coast writer John Ahern has received rave reviews for his novel On The Road...With Kids, the hilarious and inspiring story of the year he threw in his high-flying career and embarked on the ultimate family adventure. Now he has another accolade to add to the growing list: Winner of the 2015 Queensland Literary Award’s Book Of The Year. Natalie O’Driscoll chatted with him following this most recent success to see just how he was feeling about the whole thing. What special kind of madness inspired you to undertake such an adventure in the first place? It was the result of what I would call a dangerous period thinking, culminating in a brain explosion in a board meeting. In this setting, it suddenly hit me that my health was shot, my work life had become my social life, I was away 5 months a year, and my kids had turned 4 and 2 without me really noticing. I also wondered what happened to that dude who once rode on bus rooftops across Africa or stowed away on a cargo plane over the Amazon. I realised I had to escape, reconnect with unrequited dreams, so raced home to my wife and insisted we had to escape. So we did. How old were your kids when you set off, and were the family already experienced travellers? Two kids. When we set off our daughter Jaimie was 4, son Callum 2. My wife Mandy and I have both travelled through over eighty countries, but with the advent of kids, those adventurous days seemed like distant memories of a previous life. Without giving away the best bits of the book, can you briefly outline for us one of your favourite anecdotes? We were on the summit of the rock of Gibraltar. I was admiring the cute little apes that lived there, while getting a plastic-wrapped sandwich out of my wife’s daypack which was on her back. Suddenly, my son starting screaming. I thought he was hungry but looked up in time to see a tooth-baring ape soaring through the air towards us. Instantly, I reacted to this danger to my wife like a secret agent protecting the President - I launched out of the way screaming. As my wife turned into a human spinning top, the ape grabbed her hair with one hand like he was riding a rodeo bull and rifled through her daypack with the other. It was then I noticed the red warning sign on the fence that stated apes associate plastic bags with food and will snatch. The macaque eventually ran off with the food, leaving my wife distressed and son Callum apoplectically distraught, not for having seen his mother attacked by a wild animal, but because he had lost his vegemite sandwich. You and your family are given the option to live and work for six months of the year in Australia, and six months of year in any other country in the world of your choosing. Which country would you all choose, and why? Yes please, pick me! But that’s an unfair question; I would choose a different place each year. Still, if I had to choose just one, it would be London. Having previously lived there for five years it is like a second home, but it also a great basecamp for cheap travel throughout Europe, and a single hop to other regions of Asia and the USA. How has your life back home changed since returning from the trip? We made a revolutionary wrench of our lives when we returned, knowing we no longer wanted to be beholden to the working treadmill, chasing bigger TVs and houses. We sold our house, downsized and reduced costs to give us the power of choice in where we worked and how we would live. We had met so many ‘elders’ on the road, grey nomads

and the like, that said their biggest life regret was working so hard during their children’s young years that when they finally had the bounty of time, their kids were gone. ‘The four of us’ became my family’s central mantra which we still strive to retain. And then we moved to the place we always went on holidays – the Gold Coast, embraced a new world of sustainability, built an eco-home, and chased long unrequited dreams – like writing a book; all things once considered unimaginable in our former busy upwardlymobile lives. Congratulations on winning the Queensland People’s Choice Book of the Year for 2015. What did bringing home that award mean to you? Thanks. I have been buzzing since being shortlisted, given the quality of the other nominated books, so to win it was a hoot, particularly as the final decision was a people’s choice vote. It’s great to know the story has resonated with so many readers; it gives me a super boost to keep on powering towards the next book. Any plans for more writing? First, On The Road With Kids will be launched in the UK next summer; it is like I am experiencing a second birth of the same child, so am doing a lot of prep work on that. Other ideas include a kid’s book about a chocolate monster, one centred on awesome travel tips, and the current and main focus being on an African journey I took some years ago when I ended up being poisoned, jailed and a key witness at a capital punishment trial. Fortunately that was pre-kids. Natalie O’Driscoll

Image: IliaChidzey, Principles of Uncertainty

QANTUM PHYSICS AND THE ART OF OBSERVING ART T wo local artists who come at reality from very different starting points will be the focus of the new exhibition at newly opened Hillier and Skuse Gallery. Otto Schmidinger and Ilia Chidzey will both ask you to look again and question your understanding of a world or a preconception of an image and not let the pervasive nature of everyday spin cloud your judgement. Chidzey and Schmidinger, though visually miles apart, both dissect reality and draw the viewer with them in questioning obvious narratives and creating new ones. Susan Skuse says they’re excited to be hosting the artists. “Both fit well with our gallery’s objective of focusing on local creative commited to their art practice,” she said. “And whose work displays skill and quality and dare we say it in the same breath as ‘contemporary art’, have commercial value.” Ilia Chidzey currently has works displayed in the Victorian Parliament House, Melbourne and the National Museum of Erotica in Canberra. She dared to expose her art in the Gold Coast Arts Centre Café as a solo exhibitor and was a participant in the ground breaking Blending Genders Exhibition at the Royal Queenland Art Society in the same year. Most people would instantly be familiar with Otto Schmidinger’s work, as a freelance illustrator, he created many iconic images for Australian and international brands such as Cascade beer, Qantas, McDonalds, Optus and Nokia amongst others. His stunning creations in the world of Fine Arts and sculpture have been seen in numerous major art prize finals, including, most recently, the D’Arcy Doyle prize for landscape.



Arts & Culture

URBAN OASIS: SEARCH FOR ARTIST BEGINS The search is on for an artist to deliver an Urban Oasis in the heart of the Gold Coast’s bustling tourist precinct. The design competition, which will root out the city’s first major public art commission will be located at the intersection of Surfers Paradise Boulevard and Elkhorn Avenue and is open to local, national and international artists. “We’re inviting the world’s best artists to create a truly exceptional public artwork for one of the world’s best cities,” said Mayor Tom Tate. “Urban Oasis will signify the pivot point between Surfers Paradise as a precinct and our city’s future cultural heart in Evandale. This is the beginning of the cultural corridor.” “It’s a challenging, yet rewarding, site for an artist. We’re open to ideas that transform it into a space where people want to dwell, admire the artwork or take a selfie. It will encourage people to walk through the precincts.” An independent jury, chaired by Robyn Archer AO, the City’s Arts and Culture Strategic Advisor, will select up to five finalists and invite them to develop their designs further. The final artwork is expected to reflect the character of the coast, engage with the audience and ignite the imagination of locals and visitors. Ms Archer welcomed the significant cultural milestone for the city. “This is a really exciting moment for our accelerated cultural development agenda on the Gold Coast. There’s so much going on beneath the surface in terms of arts and cultural activity, but I have been longing for the moment when the product of all that energy becomes visible,’’ she said. “This first significant piece of public art will be a beacon for the cultural aspirations of this city, and an enriching signal to the burgeoning development of the cultural precinct.” The jury, a cross section of industry and stakeholder representatives, will select the winning entry for endorsement by Council. The successful team will be invited to proceed to final installation by June 2016. The competition is open until 16 December 2015.





Arts & Culture


“The power of interconnectedness and transformation starts within us. And the possibilities are endless” says artist John Giese. “I am fascinated with ideas of impermanence, the interconnectedness and interdependence of life; the fluid, changeable nature of form. I use my art as a way of exploring these concepts.” The recurring motifs in Giese’s paintings - the horse, the bull and the dog – derive from the authenticity and directness of one’s childhood and those memories we carry within for life. More precisely these animals come from memories of childhood experiences at his uncles’ farms: being put on a horse at the age of three; observing with awe the power of massive bulls; the companionship of the ubiquitous dogs “hanging around”. Giese has recently moved to Brooms Head, a sleepy coastal village that has hardly changed since the childhood family holidays. “Coming back here represents a falling back into those times … Out of range from the urban jungle, one is more directly in touch with the rhythm of nature.” Giese explains. “In simplest terms, I paint what I love – animals and the mystical, magical beauty of all life.” Dogs preoccupy Giese’s art regularly, if not mostly. They have a very long relationship with humans in general and with Giese in particular and so Giese has used them as a metaphor for human beings and our journey through life. “They are decorative, individual, scarred and possess a physical confidence.” Another striking aspects of Giese’s work is his use of colour. His carefully chosen colour schemes and contrasts have a symbolically charged language; earthy colours represent the elements while the primary colours represent light and its spectrum. “The formal qualities I use aim to effect the viewer; to make them feel they are in the presence of something human, something authentic and something very rare.” John Giese frequently exhibits in Melbourne, Sydney and the Northern Rivers region. His exhibition John Giese Interconnected is showing at Anthea Polson Art in Main Beach until 31 October. Anna Itkonen 42


Gold Coast City Gallery is presenting Flesh: The Gold Coast in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, a unique experience of Gold Coast visual culture from recent decades immortalised by acclaimed amateur photographer Graham Burstow. Inspired by family vacations, the Australian experience, and the ugliness and beauty of the human condition, Burstow’s black-and-white hand-printed images capture the essence of an unabashed bygone era on the Gold Coast, and yet are timeless in terms of the stories and emotions they convey. Lizzy Keen spoke with Graham in the lead up to the exhibition. Eleven years after your photographic book Touch Me, how has the exhibition of Flesh come about? The exhibition has already been shown at the Powerhouse Gallery Brisbane, but because the images are of the Gold Coast, we had to have a show there too. The Queensland branch of the Australian Photographic Society, of which I’m a foundation member, also thought it would be a great idea. Not many people on the Gold Coast would have seen these images ever before. When you first started to get to know the Gold Coast – and its fleshy beach culture – what did you think of it? I have always particularly enjoyed people communicating with one another, which my work explains – I very seldom photograph someone on their own. The Gold Coast, during these years, was a prime spot of interaction and socialising. I don’t know if it’s my unusual sense of humour of what, but on the Gold Coast, I saw lots of little things, little moments happen. As a photographer, I have learned to interact with people in a special way. One year a fellow gave me a 28mm lens and said, “Graham, I want you to understand the world of this lens,” which meant how to how to move into people’s personal space without upsetting them. This took me years to master. Instead of using a telephoto lens from 15 feet away, I prefer to mingle with people and tell them what I’m doing. Every one of my images has a little story behind it, which I don’t think I could find in portraiture. I understand people in a certain way through the lens that I wouldn’t have otherwise. How much of that Gold Coast do you see present today? Not a lot, it seems to have become more sophisticated. The last Sun Girl Quest (bikini competition) I went to

many years ago now was indoors, for instance. It had no atmosphere at all. Not long after, I was the official photographer of the Miss Hawaiian Quest, and I can tell you, the photos of that event and the old outdoor Sun Girl competitions are nothing alike. I mean, the bathing beauties are still there, but I haven’t captured their character at all. What are some special moments on the Gold Coast you like to look back on? I was photographing at Coolangatta one day, and there were these young women wearing bikinis that had printed on the bottom, ‘I taste like heaven but I come from paradise’. There was an American photographer there and I’ll never forget the look of excitement on his face! He couldn’t believe what was happening! The beer belly competitions were incredible; I went to two of those. [Queensland politician] Russ Hinze was in the first one and caught the press unawares. What a show that had been! I photographed the second competition and I’d never seen so many helicopters in my life. They were filled with press photographers from all over Australia, hoping to snap Russ Hinze in the competition, but he didn’t show up. And take the tug-a-wars at Currumbin for instance – I’ve never seen men pull so hard as they do with a young woman in a bikini yelling at them to pull! Some of them pulled so hard they nearly died! They couldn’t even stand up.




selection of artworks entered in the annual Les Peterkin Portrait Prize, which celebrates the artistic talent of local primary school students, will be on display at Tweed Regional Gallery until 15 November. Working on the theme Once Upon a Time, 2500 primary school students from 33 local schools sketched, collaged, painted and digitally altered portraits that portrayed characters from their favourite stories. Zavier Dobbyn from Murwillumbah Public School won first prize for the 5-7 years category, Evan Danson from Chillingham Public School won first prize for the 8-10 years category and Jaimie Fox, also from Chillingham Public School, won first prize in the 11-13 years category. Gallery Director Susi Muddiman OAM said the prize was named after legendary local artist and teacher, Les Peterkin.

“A further 200 outstanding works will be displayed in folios for the duration of the exhibition.” Prize Coordinator, Ms Marianne Galluzzo, said the judging was a very lively process, with emphasis placed on selecting the most creative and inspired works. “This year’s theme was chosen to expand the imaginations of our aspiring young artists through stories,” Ms Galluzzo said. “Providing them the opportunity to explore and translate known elements of the narrative, such as setting, plot and characterisation into illustrative portraits.”


“The Prize is also made possible by the financial support of Tweed Shire Council, Tyalgum Public School, and the Friends of the Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre Inc.,” Ms Muddiman said.


he Australian Ballet is planning its inaugural ballet series created specifically for children. In response to growing demand, the Company has created a brand new production of one of the world’s most beloved fairytale ballets. The Sleeping Beauty will be the first production in its new Storytime Ballet series which will tour nationally to introduce children across the country to the enchanting world of ballet. Designed for children aged three-years-old and up, the ballet has had young people in mind at every point of the artistic process. Live and interactive, the production will be under an hour in length and performed by dancers from The Australian Ballet. Children will have the opportunity to learn about ballet in engaging pre-show activities and will be encouraged to dress up in their favourite ballet-inspired outfits.

The Sleeping Beauty will be a visually spectacular experience for children. Children will follow the well-known story of a sleeping princess and a prince searching for his true love. They will watch as Princess Aurora wanders the woods and meets her friends Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and the Big Bad Wolf. The largescale, elegant production will be packed with dazzling dancing, sparkling tutus and enchanting Tchaikovsky music. This is the perfect first ballet for children.


The Australian Ballet’s Executive Director Libby Christie, said the project was created in response to the overwhelming popularity of the Company’s programs for children. ‘In recent years, we have been amazed by the growing appetite among younger ballet participants. Over 420,000 children participate in dance activities across Australia every week,’ said Ms Christie.

“This year boasts the largest prize pool in the history of the Prize, with generous contributions from Derivan, School Arts Supplies and Artable. Last but not least, the Prize would not be possible without the enthusiasm of art-loving parents, volunteers and teachers,” she said.

‘As Australia’s national ballet company, we are committed to providing creative experiences and programs to inspire young imaginations. This will be the first time the Company has toured a children-focused offering of this scale and quality. We hope to nurture our next generation of ballet lovers and who knows, even Principal Artists.’

“Prize-winners, along with the creators of 37 other award-winning and commended works, will have the thrill of seeing their artworks professionally framed and hung in the prestigious Gallery setting,” Ms Muddiman said. Ari Messina, Cybergirl 2014


Arts & Culture

CARESSE FINDS REFUGE IN SPOKEN WORD PERFORMANCE You can tell that Caresse Cramwell is both a writer and a thinker. It comes across quite clearly when you ask what she does. “I’m a facilitator of educational experiences. An eco-philospher, an educationalist and counselor,” she said when I posed the question. But I’m talking to her mostly because she’s a spoken word performer.


hen Dust Temple held the first ever Gold Coast heat of the Australian national poetry slam, Caresse Cramwell tied for first place and went on to represent our humble city at the Statewide finals in Brisbane. “I’m kind of trying to employ myself in a sense. To create work opportunities around environmental education: bridging the relationship between us and the earth,” she told Blank. She says she has “pretty much” always worked in adult educational settings. “Transformative education. It’s the discovery process that I really enjoy.” It wasn’t the environment, but asylum seekers that Caresse focused on for her winning poem, titled Refuge. “But it had the ocean as an underlying metaphor,” Caresse reflects. “I guess what I’m really trying to do with what I do is take a big theme – like refugees, which touches me really deeply – and then to personalise it and look at the human dimension of it all.” “We’re all humans on this planet and we have to learn to live together somehow,” she said. Caresse framed her piece around words that have been used politically and she says she then tried to turn them into an everyday experience of ‘who it is we don’t want in our space.’ It’s only been the last couple of years that Caresse has explored writing and delivering her own material, though she has been on stage as a kid for eisteddfods and later at performance poetry events. “I just really like the way that by actually getting up there and putting words out there it enables conversation and dialogue across the differences that we are,” she said before reflecting on the actual State final event.


“Oh, I was a bit nervous really. It was a bit daunting. Walking on stage and lights are full on in your face. You’ve got no contact with your audience and that’s what I really feed off - establishing that connection. I got a bit stiff and I wasn’t strong in my start-off. So I don’t think people got what the piece was about, unfortunately.” Caresse is disciplined with writing. She writes a poem once a month in preparation for Dust Temple’s monthly slam. She says it keeps her focused. “It keeps me in a kind of discipline. When the poetry slams were on I was much more prolific in my writing. You get into a mindset about it and you start thinking about what you might do and what’s touching you and what you might say,” she said. “I sit down with an idea and then it unfolds. That’s where it starts - how it’s touching me. Then to personalise it. To try and construct something that people can really relate to – that taps into their experience as well. I’m searching for the equalising experience and the metaphors just flow out of it.” Caresse speaks warmly of Isla and John Wilson who run the Dust Temple. She first started writing and performing her own poems when the Wilsons had the Ira Café in Tugun.

“I went along and listened, then I went home and wrote a poem and I was there the next week. People really liked it. It was a great experience and I enjoyed it. I have enjoyed that performance aspect of things.” “I love it (the Dust Temple), you know. It’s a real commitment to creating community across difference. Being a place where all sorts of people can come and just listen and experience one another and kind of break down the barriers to one another. I love it. I love the atmosphere and people who turn up. It’s really good,” Caresse said. “A friend of mine says, in terms of creating work for yourself and the world, do what you love and see what happens.” “Even being here talking you, I’m laughing at myself – I haven’t seen myself as having an ambition – it’s just following what you love and letting the world respond.” Caresse feels strongly that women’s voices need to be heard in the performance poetry arena and she tells me how the national final had a great imbalance in gender. “The last five years men have won it (the final). And so, it just sort of set in me a kind of hope that women’s words, my words, that our words can be heard, because I think that they’re really important,” she said. And so, what does the future hold for Caresse? She says she just wants to keep on writing. “Keep on improving my ability to actually engage in the political conversations… so that we kind of think about who we are on the planet and how we treat eachother and what we want in life and how we can do it better.” Samantha Morris


by Caresse Cramwell How is it that you snuck in Washed up sought refuge

on my shores

How is it that I let you slip past my patrols That I wasn’t vigilant enough To turn you back How is it you seek residence in my soul I just want to quarantine you Send you to another’s shore Separate detain you in some lost forgotten corner Where your stories Your too public tragedy Doesn’t set me all at sea Immersed drowning in the histories of your misery I just came to sit on a quiet shore And have the waves wash over me To Submerge all my cares in her forgiving fluidity You know they way water moves Where the troughs and grooves multiple diffractions all just work together in an harmonious pattern It just all flows the differences cohered in a unity that just is beauty I just want that flow inside me Not this dissonant sea where now I’m seeking refuge. From me I sit stop this fomenting let myself sink into that see that looks sees seeks heart I find myself afloat in ark Where two by two hands reach Across grief Beyond killing beliefs Old ground is drowned by the flood tide of love storms pass Rainbowed Arcs leap skyward like doves Multiple colours cohered in one bow As if the gods bowed down To whisper their promise That the arc of history it bends towards justice

SURF’S UP FOR LOCAL SKATEBOARDING FILM MAKER | JACK BRITTLIFF Surf ’s Up is a modern skateboarding film, created right here on the Gold Coast by emerging film maker Jack Brittliff. All of its stars are from the Gold Coast and its creator tells us it’s anything but a clichéd skate movie. “We want to do funny skits to show off all my friends’ personalities and everything,” Brittliff told Blank GC. He was recommended to us by another local skate fanatic, Glenn Walker who Jack says was just “really down for my video.”

other people’s work and wanted to recreate that in my own way.” Jack says the film, which is expected to run for around an hour, will be launched at a premiere night with DVDs available for people to buy and there’s no question that this is what Jack wants to do with his life. “I hope I can,” he says humbly. “I never thought I’d be making a skating film that people cared about,” he said. Samantha Morris You can check out Jack’s videos on Youtube (Jack Brittliff) and stay tuned to Blank GC for news of his film premiere.


orn in Newcastle but on the Gold Coast since the age of two, Brittliff did his schooling at Tallebudgera Primary and Elanora High and has only just turned 21. I asked how he became inspired to move into skate films and he said he just loves to film skateboarding. “Probably more than I love to skate,” he laughs. “All my friends are really good skateboarders, so I thought ‘why not’.” He says the skateboarding scene here is “really good” but admits he only has a small circle of friends – all of whom skate. “But that’s all I really want. That’s how I met all my friends.” “I think the Gold Coast needs a lot more skating facilities,” he tells me, when I ask what needs to change for the scene to flourish. “We have a lot of parks but I mean, there’s no street spots – which is what this film is all about – skating in the street. Council don’t have a clue that we want to skate that stuff – so they don’t build street stuff.” “I just think it’s cool to see people skating things that aren’t a skate park,” he said. Brittliff is one of a growing number of Gold Coasters hoping to build a career around skating – in his case, skate films and he credits skating as helping to point him in the right direction. It’s not just skate films that Jack makes, either. He freelances for a bunch of companies and has produced videos for Universal Store amongst others. The entirely self-funded film will be out by Christmas but “we’ve been filming for it for just under two years,” Jack said. “All my friends have their own part.” “I just picked up a camera pretty much and just learnt it myself,” he said, when I asked how he learnt about film. “I got stoked on


Arts & Culture

LIFE IS SHORT, BUT THE ART BRUT When Gold Coast artist Frederic Berjot designs his next sculpture, he never goes for beautiful. He prefers to create sculptures that depict desolation and loss.


don’t want to create ‘beautiful’ sculptures,” says the French artist. “Beauty doesn’t interest me unless it helps me emphasise despair, lies, corruption, fear, isolation. I also focus on societal issues like racism and themes that challenge and define sex.”

“Public servants who buy art can be prescriptive in what they want and what they show. This is why sex has been wiped out of Australian art,” he explains. “Sex is a huge part of France’s art history. But in Australia, I think the lack of sexually descriptive art is a bureaucratic choice, not an artistic one.”

Frederic was born in Meaux, not far from Paris, and migrated to New York and finally Australia in 1989. At Sydney’s National Art School he studied and worked alongside renowned Australian sculptors Michael Snape and James Rogers, before moving to the Gold Coast in 2002.

Frederic says in the past he’s been perplexed by the City of Gold Coast’s tender process for the public artworks to be built as part of the City’s Cultural Strategy 2023.

Having trained as a chemist who later rejected his “traditional upbringing, the boredom of working-class life and bureaucratic discourse,” Frederic says art provided him with an escape from what he knew and reconnection with the unknown. Since settling into the local art scene, Frederic has been involved with Swell Sculpture Festival, founded the Gold Coast Art Festival and The Stone Song Sculpture Symposium, commissioned for public sculpture and murals by the City of Gold Coast, sold sculptures to the chairman of the GOMA (Brisbane) and is now working on the underwater sculpture park at Wave Break Island. He’s also established three Artist Run Initiatives, including the first and only urban gallery in Surfers Paradise, Urban Paradise. In August, Urban Paradise held its one-year anniversary party. The atmosphere inside the gallery’s timber-concrete interior, which brings to mind a ghetto beach villa, was ultra serene with house music, drinks and nibbles – worlds away from the doof-doof-fist-pump of Cavill Avenue. A highly professional gallery devoid of pompous art buying routines and exorbitant commission fees, Frederic says Urban Paradise houses an active artist community. “Urban Paradise is a gallery run by artists, for artists,” he explains. “They communicate and support each other with sales, commissions and finding jobs.” The gallery centres on art brut, a French term meaning ‘outsider art’. Spotlighting artists that haven’t completed official art education, or those from social or ethnic minorities, Urban Paradise bears a certain rawness. In return for exhibiting commission-free, the artists operate the gallery. An inherit challenge of running an independent art gallery in a commercial district, however, is reconciling artist community direction with government strategy. Frederic recalls various run-ins with councils.


“Artists from Urban Paradise, in the last 12 months, have seen bias in the Council’s tender process for public arts. This year, we’ve seen a local sculpture tender go to Brisbane and Belgium sculptors without being offered to local sculptors,” he says. “We understand that the Council wants cultural development to align with the policies of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. But we don’t accept them supporting particular artists to the detriment of others.” We asked the City of Gold Coast about this and a spokesperson pointed out that external organisations contracted or funded to create public artworks are not bound by the City’s Procurement Policy, which prioritises Gold Coast businesses. She also says that the City’s new major public art commission, to be launched soon, will be open to local, national and international artists in line with the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Legacy program. “In keeping with models of best practice internationally, and our commitment to world-class public art outcomes, some commissions and projects are open to national and internationals artists and organisations,” said the spokesperson. Earlier this year, after realising that an artist who was receiving funding had a connection to the RADF committee, Frederic confronted the Council about the bias and improving the selection process. As a result, an investigation into the RADF selection process was undertaken. City of Gold Coast found no evidence of bias, but they have highlighted some administrative improvements that will clarify the application and assessment process for applications. According to City of Gold Coast they are also developing a public art plan and revising public art policy with the aim of creating a framework that boosts arts and culture beyond the Games. These will be presented mid-next year. Urban Paradise relies on sales and volunteering artists to operate. Despite its size, it’s made a significant imprint on local tourism, with thousands of visitors each month photographing themselves

with Frederic’s ‘Self Portrait’, a human-like sculpture sitting, head between knees, by the entrance. “We think we are really the only window for tourists to experience locally made art on the Gold Coast, and the reactions and support so far have been extraordinary,” he says. “The ‘Self Portrait’ sculpture has attracted thousands of people, as though they want to help him or be part of his suffering.” For an artist whose imagination and dreaming was always more powerful than his knowledge, this is the exact response he was after. “Art is escape, healing and discovery, war and peace,” says Frederic. It seems ‘outsider art’ on the Gold Coast is coming straight from the core. Lizzy Keen


he Gold Coast - specifically from Burleigh Heads to Snapper Rocks has now been recognised as a World Surfing Reserve. World Surfing Reserves (WSR) proactively identify, designate and preserve outstanding waves, surf zones and their surrounding environments around the world. WSR is an initiative launched by Save The Waves Coalition in 2009 in conjunction with National Surfing Reserves Australia and other partners. We all know that the Gold Coast has some of the best waves on the planet, and now it has been recognised globally, and even though the declaration has no teeth as far as legislation is concerned, it does identify our beautiful coastline and waves as unique and world-class. The Gold Coast will become the eighth World Surfing Reserve and will join the prestigious network of other WSRs including Malibu, California; Ericeira, Portugal; Manly Beach, Australia; Santa Cruz, California; Huanchaco, Peru; Bahia Todos Santos, Baja California, Mexico and Punta de Lobos, Chile. The Gold Coast WSR is expected to become formally dedicated in 2016. The announcement was made from the House of Commons, London, during the four day Global Wave Conference attended by leading International surf and environmental academics including former three-times World Champion Tom Curren. “This year there were applications from Gold Coast, Australia; Guarda do Embáo, Brazil and Noosa, Australia.” said Save The Waves Coalition Executive Director, Nik Strong- Cvetich. “Each applicant was highly unique, however the Gold Coast’s combination of perfect point breaks and world champions was a deciding factor in winning the approval for 2016.” It has taken almost two years to process the Gold Coast’s nomination for a World Surfing Reserve from Burleigh Point to Snapper Rocks, approximately 16

kilometres of coastline. The final Gold Coast application was the culmination of a lot of hard work from local and regional advocates and the efforts resulted in an application highly endorsed by a range of important stakeholders. The Gold Coast application demonstrated a high degree of community support, which is an important selection criteria for the WSR governing body and City of Gold Coast will look after the reserve under their Surf Management Plan. In recognition for all of this community support over those two years, Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve Chairman Andrew McKinnon issued a statement. “We would like to especially thank the Queensland State Government, the Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Dr Miles for their unwavering support and ultimately paving the way so this dream could turn into a reality,” he said. “Special thanks to the Gold Coast City Council for their support in particular, the Southern End Councillors Greg Betts (Burleigh), Daphne McDonald (Palm Beach) and Chris Robbins (Coolangatta) who convinced the Mayor and fellow Councillors that we were worthy of such global recognition.”




o Lights No Lycra is a dance community that was started in Melbourne in 2009 by unruly dance students Alice Glenn and Heidi Barrett. On a cold wintry Tuesday night in 2009, five people walked through the doors of St Marks Church Hall in Fitzroy, Melbourne. In the winter darkness, with the orange glow of the heaters and a portrait of Amma the Hugging Saint looking down upon them, No Lights No Lycra was launched to the song Rien de Rien by Edith Piath. Since June 2009 NLNL has grown predominantly through word-of-mouth into the global community that it is today. There are no lights, no lycra, no teachers, no steps to learn, no technique, just free movement. NLNL is a space where you can completely let go, shake out the stresses of the week, and lose yourself in the music and the physicality of your body. NLNL launched on the Gold Coast late 2013 and has been really gaining momentum in its new venue at Burleigh Heads State School with up to 40 people each week. NLNL Gold Coast is organised by dance and cultural enthusiasts Karleen Harrington who is the Queensland Relationship Manager for Soldier On Australia, which works with physically and psychologically wounded contemporary veterans; and Anna Crommelin, a mental health social worker in private practice. Both Karleen and Anna understand that there needs to be more emphasis on creative outlets to promote mental wellbeing. “The concept is simple but unique: people meet in a dimly-lit hall at Burleigh heads and dance,” says Anna. NLNL is drug and alcohol free and open to everyone, and allows people to dance

without inhibitions or judgment. It gives people the opportunity to keep healthy through exercise and indulge in something increasingly rare for adults these days – genuine play. As one of the participants describes: “You stop worrying about what anyone thinks, it’s the most fun in the world. No one is looking at you, no one is judging you.” Karleen describes a typical class. “NLNL is the most unique and exhilarating experience, and a joyful way of just losing yourself in the music and forgetting the world outside for an hour. Each week we get an interesting variety of people from Baby Boomers to Gen Y. It’s awkward and weird at first, but by the end of the session there is a room of mostly complete strangers laughing, clapping and cheering with enthusiasm. It’s a sweat fest of fun and everyone is there for their own reasons”. “We’ve had people challenging and increasing their fitness levels and recording 12000 steps in a session, that’s dancing for approximately 7.5 kilometers!” Natalie O’Driscoll


“We feel humbled to receive this great accolade amongst such great surfing communities and environments like Noosa Heads and Guarda do Embáo, Brazil. We sincerely wish them good luck in their future approval as a WSR.” So now our waves are recognised worldwide, and let’s hope that nothing will interfere with nature’s perfect miracle we have here on the Gold Coast. Find out more about Save The Waves Coalition at Terry “Tappa” Teece



REPAIRING THE ROOF OF THE WORLD In August of 2015, some Gold Coast nurses set out with Ausnep in what was to be a life-changing expedition. Margaret Cole (“Flo”), Carol King (“Captain”), Eloise Crean (“Delicious”) and Lisa “Loopy” Kiddle - also a founder of Ausnep - made up the awesome foursome. Travelling with a team of 14 Nepalese dental staff, including two dentists, two dental hygienists and ten staff, these four women assisted in over 922 treatments provided in just six days. Natalie O’Driscoll spoke with first time volunteer Eloise Crean about their experience.


n 25 April 2015, an 8.1 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, killing more than 9000 people and injuring more than 23,000. In fifty seconds, entire villages were wiped out, leaving hundreds of thousands of people homeless. On Everest, a landslide killed 19 people, making it the deadliest day in the history of the mountain. A further 120 were reported injured or missing. On 12 May, just 17 days later, a second earthquake with a magnitude of 7.3 struck the already ravaged country, killing a further 153 people and injuring 2500 more. It is estimated that over 450,000 people were displaced by the two major quakes and subsequent aftershocks. Hospitals that remained standing were surrounded by the injured and dying, waiting for one of the handful of overworked and sleep-deprived medical staff to see them, although with limited power and supplies, not much beyond basic first aid could be achieved for the general masses. And these were the lucky few who were able to travel to a hospital.

When an already severely poor country such as Nepal is decimated by such a major tragedy, the short term medical emergencies are soon swamped in scale by monstrous longterm issues. The unchecked spread of communicable disease, lack of internal infrastructure, contaminated water and of course, limited road access and the constant and desperate supply of food to tens of thousands who have lost everything they owned and frequently their sole family breadwinners, provide incessant conundrums for the government and foreign aid workers.

villagers otherwise would be unable to access it. Dentistry in particular is desperately needed, with oral health remaining in the top five of most neglected health services in Nepal. Untreated oral disease is Nepal’s most prevalent childhood illness, exceeding even malnutrition. 69% of Nepalese adults over 50 suffer from oral disease, making it one of the most widespread and the least-treated health crises in the country. With one local dentist per 20,000 people in Nepal, travelling dental camps are heavily relied upon by those in more remote locations.

machines that were constantly rotating the limited amount of tools and instruments we had to deliver treatments to the massive amount of patients that had walked for miles to see us. This process was interrupted by the ongoing power outages that Nepal experiences constantly. Some power outages can last more than 10 hours so its really important to keep a positive attitude and go with the flow. When a power outage happened (about 20 times a day), our dentist would venture outside and do extractions or examinations. The fillings waited until power returned.

Six months on from the quakes, Nepal still has much rebuilding ahead, with reduced tourist numbers during what is supposed to be its busy season economically hampering attempts to rebuild. Prior to the quake it was estimated that one quarter of the Nepalese population lived below the poverty line. That figure is now a great deal larger. Country-wide fuel shortages are making transport difficult and expensive, with a growing black market and increasing desperation seeing a surge in crime. With the world’s eyes no longer focused on the ongoing crisis and the foreign aid spent, quality medical care is again available only to the lucky few who are able to access it.

How did the camps actually work? When we arrived in Nepal we went straight to a hotel in Thamel in Kathmandu. We then spent nearly a whole day heading out to the first remote village Dura Danda and we camped in tents that the Sherpas set up prior to our arrival. They stayed with us the whole time and dismantled our tents and set them up again at the next village we ventured out to, Duerali.

Can you tell us about some of the people you helped? Some people walked over four hours to access free dental treatment from remote villages because it may be the only time they ever could.

Charities such as Ausnep continue to supply volunteer medical professionals to remote locations where


We went in monsoon season so the days were hot and sticky despite the altitude that we were at. In both villages we were given small rooms to deliver our treatments attached to a local doctor’s office. At the camp we had two sterilising

For me I think the most touching story was that of a mother of two who dropped her children off to school the morning of the earthquake to never have them return home. They were killed at school in the earthquake. There were many many people sharing their stories openly with you about how they were affected and who they knew were affected or killed. But this woman and her story really hit home. Having the experiences I did taught me that the Nepalese people never take anything for granted and

are always happy and loving despite what traumatic circumstances unfold. They do not become bitter, angry or harsh but instead embrace peace, calm and happiness. They don’t see daily life as a struggle but as a gift. They band together to support their loved ones in need. They have given me an amazing lesson in gratitude. I learnt so much more about myself and my coping mechanisms and how I should be living my life while in Nepal as time went on. You can’t help but be touched and moved by this group of amazing human beings who we should all try to be more like with their attitudes and outlook on life. How much better would we be. What were some of the personal dangers you had to be aware of? While I was in Nepal I was very fortunate not to have experienced anything bad. It’s the same as anywhere you go - you just be safe and careful with your personal belongings and always have situational awareness. One night while sleeping the locals were banging and clanging pots and pans. At first I thought they were having a party Nepalese-style but then in the morning I was informed that there had been a tiger in the camp!

What are the main impressions you will carry with you? Nepal and its people affected me in a way that I could never have imagined possible. I found the people to be everything I wish to become. They treat you like you are family and you cannot help but grow attached to those you encounter. Every village you go to they want you to come and have tea in their home with the family and feel like you are loved and treated as one of their own. They do not judge or think twice about allowing you to come into their lives and traditions. We had girls in the village dancing for us in their traditional ways and on the last night in one of the villages they sat in the rain and played traditional instruments and sang for us so we danced up a storm in the mud and I have never been so happy in my life. My fiancé and I are now sponsoring a child whose family I have grown to love like my own. I am headed back and booked in for March next year with Ausnep and then again in October 2016 for my wedding. I miss Nepal and the people every day and am counting the days until I can get back. Until then I plan to take the lessons I have learnt through this amazing place and its people and become a better version of me.

You can learn more about volunteering in Nepal at


A group of eight people, who didn’t know eachother just five months ago, have worked to bring together Big Blue Sky without a single upset. If that’s not impressive, I don’t know what is.



ig Blue Sky will focus on innovation and collaboration when it takes place on 5 November in the middle of Surfers Paradise. Christine McDougall has been thinking about something like this for forty years and now, with some colleagues, Big Blue Sky is getting its run, aptly, from Q1 where the big blue sky is unavoidable. The event will offer a unique opportunity to work with people from around Australia and the world on influencing and co-creating our city’s future. “Don’t expect a static conference built around one-way communication,” Christine says as she warns that participants can expect to have their usual way of thinking disrupted. “We have planned from the beginning to have two moonshot projects come from this event,” Christine said. “That might include community models of finance for innovation or infrastructure or… to have the Gold Cost become the place for innovation in five years.” Fellow Big Blue Sky Co-Founder Lou McGregor believes we need to shift the perception of the Gold Coast by changing our own narrative and put the City in a position that can be taken seriously as a world class innovation and creativity hub. “To do this we need to move beyond working in individual industry silos and collaborate together. The ideas, energy and intelligence of the people working here are actually quite ground-breaking. Big Blue Sky is about allowing these stories and influences to have a ripple effect,” Lou said.

Images: Eloise Crean

“My aspiration in the first twenty minutes,’ says Christine, “is that someone’s experience of our opening video fills them

with a dream and they step up and say ‘Here’s what I want us to work on for the next two days!’.” The team say their goal has always been about creating an annual event for real innovation and bold citizen-driven action, but admit resources have been lean for their inaugural run. “This is the pilot event,” Christine said. “We have made sure it is of the highest quality with a very lean budget. Next year we hope to attract the right sponsors… and of course if we get this right and the projects are as good as we aim, then it will attract people to us.” “We have had pockets of amazing support and then also pockets of protectionism and non-collaboration,” Christine said when I asked about any challenges. “If part of the ongoing story of Big Blue Sky is to break down the walls to noncollaboration, then we will have done some great work.” Christine says that even though disruption is the order of the day, there’ll be a carefully crafted running order to keep things on track. Delegates are being encouraged to bring resources and ideas that may grab people’s attention: anything that “will help make the Gold Coast great and build regional resilience.” The event takes place Thursday 5 November and as media partners for this event, Blank has 50 discounted tickets to offer our readers. Using the code BLANK, you can access tickets for $200 - a saving of $50 per ticket. Register at bigblueskyevent. com and enter the code to secure your discount. Available until midday Monday 2 November. Samantha Morris


point blank

Joy’s glitter and doom at Dbar Glitter and doom will be the feature of Café DBar’s exhibition throughout November, with the art of Joy French the focus. French is an exciting and influential portrait artist who’s selection of works, entitled Glitter and Doom focuses on historical faces from the 1940s and 50s. The exhibition runs from 30 October through to 2 December and is open from 8.30am – 4.00pm. There is no entry fee. Café DBar is located at 275 Boundary Street, Coolangatta.

LLAW by Leonie Rhodes builds on Swell success Dust Temple will play host to LLAW by Leonie Rhodes this month. Opening on 7 November, the exhibition reimagines pieces from Leonie’s piece at the Swell Sculpture Festival - what must have been one of the most interactive pieces at the event. As a result LLAW is an exhibition of collaborative graffiti artworks. Opening night will include Boom Boom Bean Selecta plus special guests with drum and bass, hip-hop, ska and soul the order of the day. The opening kicks off at 7.00pm.

subject matter, whether it be a landscape, patterns of spirit figures, a representation of nature, a person in a yoga pose, the figure of a woman, or a couple in love. She aims to reflect her fascination in creation itself; the deep connection that we have between us, nature and the Divine. Truth or Tale opens 6 November from 6.30 – 8.30pm with live entertainment and food.

Graduating Artists on Display in Espial A kaleidoscope of innovative and interactive experiences will challenge audiences when Gold Coast City Gallery hosts graduating digital media students of the Queensland College of Art from Saturday 7 November. Under the tutorship of Dr Laini Burton, the work of Studio Art Major and Honours graduates from the Bachelor of Digital Media at the Gold Coast Queensland College of Art will be showcased in exhibition entitled Espial. In the true spirit of observation and discovery, the artists in this exhibition take the viewer on an expansive journey motivated by the exigencies of our time. Espial is on display at the Gold Coast City Gallery from 7 – 29 November 2015.

Ikin Dance and Aerial Angels present Graduation 2015

Truth or Tale at OneArts An exhibition has emerged from the boundary lines between fiction and the lives we live. Taking place at OneArts on Isle of Capri, Truth or Tale will feature the art of Sue Pearson and Kirsty Starr. Pearson’s recent paintings evolve from personal history, and especially from her yoga and meditation practice. She is an intuitive painter looking for the inner power, the energy within her 50

Ikin Dance and Aerial Angels are planning a night of elite dance and aerial prowess! Sit back and witness their performers deliver to you a jaw dropping evening of skill, entertainment and passion from the future Aerial Angels generation and be blown away by the explosive Ikin dance future performers. The event takes place Thursday 5 November at The Arts Centre Gold Coast. Tickets $46.70. Contact box office on 07 5588 4000.

Byron Bay Writers Festival presents Kerry O’Brien on Paul Keating On 11 November BBWF presents Kerry O’Brien on Paul Keating, the visionary, reformer, true believer, rabble rouser and our most intriguing Prime Minister. Building on the transcripts of the must-watch television event of 2013 ABC TV’s Keating: The Interviews O’Brien has gathered an enormous bank of new material for what is surely the most anticipated political book of the year. Kerry O’Brien will discuss Keating with Barrie Cassidy at the Byron Theatre. More at

surprised and very proud to accept the award. “I am so proud of what we have to offer at the Arts Cinema. I have worked in the industry for over 20 years and it is an absolute privilege for the cinema to be recognised in this way,” says Mika.

Artemus Events marry art, music, food A series of events planned to coincide with an art exhibition by GC based artist Make Horanai will take place in a private residence at The Ecovillage Currumbin in November. Held in the home of Annette and Guy Lewington, the events include a pop-up gallery, solo guitar, jazz and classical performances, tea and poetree, as well as private dinners for twelve. The series runs 12 – 29 November and more information is available at Skinnyfish Music confirms documentary on Gurrumul’s life and music A feature length documentary exploring the life and music of Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu is presently in development, with the production team aiming towards a 2016 cinematic release via Madman Entertainment. It will be a unique cinematic experience with a sound scape “never experienced before” – and with the express purpose that it is a film that Gurrumul himself can enjoy, to sit through and listen to. The documentary will be produced by Shannon Swan and directed by Gurrumul’s close friend Paul Williams, in association with Skinnyfish Music. Shannon Swan is Producer and Director of the 2013 feature documentary ‘Lygon Street – Si Parla Italiano’, whilst Paul Williams is producer of Wurray, which premiered at the 2015 Sydney International Film Festival. Gold Coast Best Regional Cinema The Arts Centre Gold Coast has been awarded the Best Regional Cinema award 2015 for the Arts Cinema for the second year in a row. As a part of the 70th Australian International Movie Convention, delegates from Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the United States and Europe gathered at Jupiter’s Casino last month for the Australian Independent Distributors Association Trailer Presentation and Award Ceremony. When the award was announced Cinema Supervisor Mika Mantykivi was extremely

Eric Green takes out Erotic Exotic competition The Gold Coast Sculptors’ Society held its annual art competition and associated exhibition in October with local sculptor Eric Green taking out first prize for his piece Be Careful What you Wish For. Blank’s editor Samantha Morris was the guest judge for the event, with more than fifty people crammed into the Society’s hall for its opening night. Tenille Bankes took out second prize for her painting titled Into the Woods and David Rayment was awarded third prize for his painting entitled Pussy Power.

Because I Can launched by Alana Fitzgerald Published through Aurora House Publishing, Gold Coaster Alana Fitzgerald launched her book Because I Can at the weekend. The book, filled with inspirational quotes and observations reflects Alana’s life journey of wisdom, humility and perseverance brought on by physical and emotional abuse as well as the loss of loved ones. It’s a collection of positive affirmations written from the heart and drawn from Alana’s life and through her music. You can read more about Alana’s story and buy her book and music at

Christine Anu headlines Bond Indigenous Gala Iconic Australian performer Christine Anu will headline this year’s Bond University Indigenous Gala which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent years to educate young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. The event, which takes place Friday 13 November, is Bond’s major fundraiser to support its Indigenous Scholarship Program. Since 2010 the event has raised more than $660,000 for the program. Christine Anu will share her story and perform at this year’s event. Tickets are $200 and available from Coworking project opens in Ormeau Ideally located between Brisbane and the Gold Coast and right on the edge of the new Stockland development, Worksocial is a co-working space with a difference. And it’s being targeted at those currently commuting or working at home by themselves. Its founder Dan Macready is hoping the space will see businesses benefit from cohabiting, as an ecosystem in its own right. The pilot project hopes to be the first of similar centres, each with a boardroom and meeting rooms also available for hire by the public. The space will open on Saturday 7 November with jumping castle, sausage sizzle and coffee on tap. Worksocial is located at 1 Landsdowne Drive, Ormeau Hills. A Heroic Life Still Inspires Cam’s Cause at Currumbin On 22 June 2013, in the Uruzgan province Afghanistan, the heroic actions of Corporal Cameron Baird made him the 100th recipient of the Victoria Cross for Australia and left Kaye and Doug Baird without their youngest son. The Victoria Cross was given to Baird posthumously in February 2014 and an article written in a Melbourne paper followed. It included interviews with Andrew Harrison, Cameron’s grade six teacher and

football coach and Chris Dyer, Cameron’s lifelong friend. This article reconnected Chris and Andrew who both felt they wanted to do something to honour and remember Cameron. After meeting at a local pub in Melbourne with another long time friend Daniel Carroll, the three set out to run a fundraising dinner ‘Cam’s Cause’, where they could share Cameron’s valiant story and raise $5,000 for the Commando Welfare Trust. The trio ended up raising $37,000. Cam’s Cause now stands for raising awareness for Australian modern day warfare and the costs associated; both financial and personal. So on Saturday 7 November, Currumbin RSL will host a gala dinner in the Club’s upstairs rooms. Hosted by Rupert McCall OAM and with guests including Dame Quentin Bryce AD, CVO along with Australian VC recipients, tickets to the event are $115 and include a two-course dinner, drinks and live music. More at

GC Multicultural Festival aims big The Gold Coast Multicultural Festival is preparing for another record-breaking community event to be held on Sunday 1 November. 50,000 visitors attended the event last year making it the largest cultural event in the region and head of the festival Ben Brauer said that this year there will be three stages, 25 food stalls and another 40 stalls with craft and cultural displays. 35 cultural groups will be represented through food, dance, music, art and craft with performers coming from Byron Bay to the Sunshine Coast. The GC Multicultural Festival will run from 10.00am to 4.00pm on Sunday 1 November and entry is only $5 for adults. More at Photography, poetry and music at Dust Temple It’s just another month down on Currumbin Creek Road, with the Dust Temple offering up its usual selection of tasty cultural treats. Thursay 29 October features guest poet Benjamin Wild as well as music by Felicity Lawless at the gallery’s monthly poetry jam. Students of the AICD have a photographic exhibition on Friday 30 October from 6.30pm. Saturday 7 November sees the space play host to an exhibition by Leonie Rhodes featuring live painting and funk from Boom Boom Bean Selecta and Thursday 26 November will feature guest poet Vasudha Harte and her band the Dinkum Bohos for the November aLternator Poetry Jam. They’ll wrap up the month with an exhibition by Raymond and Julian Chaney which opens 6.30pm, Friday 27 November. 19Karen hosts three solo exhibitions Three solo exhibitions will feature at 19Karen from November to January. Johnny Romeo’s

Pop Life, Carolyn O’Neill Abstracted Still Life and Skount’s Projections – Internal latent will open on Friday 21 November from 6.00pm. “It’s our last show of the year, and it’s going to be huge,” they say. Pop Sensation Johnny Romeo delves deep into the persuasive power of iconography in pop culture. Carolyn O’Neill takes her daily scetchings of the collected object around her home and translates them into colourful oil paintings. And inspired by classical theatre, deities and ornamentations, Skount presents a metaphorical seeking for our inner self. Get the details at


Parents and P-platers Grant Motors Toyota Southport hosts a series of community-focussed events including Parents and P-platers, women’s motoring and be safe (off road) breakfasts and morning teas. They’re also a sponsor of Crime Stoppers and the GC District Crime Prevention Unit. The next Parents and P-platers event takes place on Tuesday 17 November from 6.00pm and includes technical presentations around under-bonnet inspections and checking pressure and changing tyres as well as defensive driving tips and demonstrations of how random breath testing works. Grand Motors Toyota is located at 265 Ferry Road, Southport. Vintage. Eat. Boutique. Every month. There’s a bunch of awesome markets on the Gold Coast, but if vintage is yor thing, we have good news. Vintage Eat Boutique Markets has launched and has already built a steady following. It takes place every third Saturday across the road from Currumbin RSL with the next one being Saturday 21 November. With a vintage caravan stage for live music and a heap of local business owners with DIY, craft, vintage, retro and recycled wares on offer, the markets run 9.00am – 2.00pm. Time Capsule: physical theatre in Southport Inspired by a real-life time capsule buried under the Sundale Shopping Centre in 1969, Seeing Place – a new contemporary arts company on the Gold Coast has created an audio tour in which memory mixes with technology and physical theatre melds with recorded voices. The audience are given a headset and ‘guided’ to a series of empty shops and surrounds in Southport Central where they view evocative physical theatre The production takes place from 4 – 14 November and limited tickets are available. An exhibition of images, memorabilia and the contents of the time capsule is also open at the Southport Library. The production has been supported through RADF. Tickets




free Issue #27 NOVEMBER 2015

Four Gold Coast nurses changing lives in Nepal

coffee | food | culture | science | art | theatre | poetry