WILD ABOUT PRODUCTION FROM JEWEL TO SHANNON NOLL, NOEL ANTHONY ENSURES THE GLOBE’S TOP ACTS PUT ON SHOWSTOPPERS NIGHT AFTER NIGHT. WORDS CARLA CARUSO PHOTOGRAPHY ANDREW RANKIN
ENTERTAINMENT has been in Noel Anthony’s blood since his youth. It was his own beginnings in the industry that kick-started the business he now directs. That being Wild Gravity, which has provided audio, lighting, vision and transport for special events, touring bands and corporate events for a quarter of a century. “I was 25 when I started playing in a band called Pink Trees, which lasted about three years,” Noel recalls. “I got asked to join as a bass player and they wanted to know if I could also sing until they got a singer. That kind of never happened, so I was the singer-bass player! We played all the typical eighties stuff like Hoodoo Gurus and INXS.” Originally from Bowen, Noel moved to Townsville as a Telstra linesman at 21. Taking a redundancy after 10 years in Townsville saw him start his own hire business. While the rock band of his youth fell by the wayside, the 52-year-old’s passion for the industry didn’t. “From playing in a band and wanting to hire equipment, which wasn’t available in Townsville, I began buying a few bits and pieces and started a lighting company. Now we do everything – lighting, sound, vision, staging, trussing, and transport.” A “one-stop shop” for all things entertainment, Noel says Wild Gravity is probably one of only a handful of companies to provide all aspects of production in Australia. (The business name, by the way, came from a Talking Heads song.) “It’s a hobby I’ve turned into a career,” Noel says. “I really can’t do the nine-to-five, behind-the-desk thing, and you get to meet some fantastic people.” There have been a few standouts along the way. “[American singer-songwriter] Jewel’s first Australian tour will always stick out in my mind as she was a great artist and a lovely person. She’d sit down and have dinner with us. There were no airs and graces about her.” Noel adds: “[Idol runner-up] Shannon Noll was good as well, because that was the first tour we’d done where every show over the three months was sold-out. It was another milestone. And my all-time favourite local band to work with is 1 RAR.” Other acts over the years have included the likes of UK rock band Status Quo and US muso Jackson Browne. Not that it’s all glamour. “There’s not much rest,” Noel admits. “Our crew are the first in the building and the last out. Thirty tonnes of gear has to be unloaded. So we can easily do a 17-hour day and be expected to do the same day after day. I call it ‘sport’ – it’s not work. No one would really do the amount of hours we do for any other job, but we don’t whinge.” His partner, Steph, also works in administration and on events for the company. The pair have a seven-year-old son, Alex – and, every January, they take time out for a family holiday. “We’re all into skiing – last year was Japan and this year Canada,” Noel enthuses. For more information on Wild Gravity, visit www.wildgravity.com.au.
DUO MAGAZINE JUNE 2013 duomagazine.com.au 81
Published on May 31, 2013
DUO Magazine is North Queensland’s very own luxury lifestyle publication. Now in its seventh year, the independent glossy has secured a plac...