WINNERS ANNOUNCED FOR 2017 GOLD COAST MUSIC AWARDS by Kylie Cobb

Published on Blank GC, 27 April 2017

Australia’s iconic Surfers Paradise beachfront lit up tonight for the third annual Gold Coast Music Awards, with more than 3,000 locals treated to a free outdoor concert while inside a VIP Marquee, the industry named the best in music for the last 12 months.

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BANG ON. HOW TO BRAND THE SH*T OUT OF YOUR STUFF TO BE HEARD ABOVE THE NOISE. by Kylie Cobb

Published on Blank GC, 30 March 2017

We are bombarded by 3000+ images a day with some statisticians reporting we need to see something as many as 8 times to recognise it! How then, do you make sure your voice is heard above the visual noise so that when your audience is ready to ‘buy’, they think of you?

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BOB MARLEY NEVER EXPECTED AUSTRALIA TO EMBRACE REGGAE by Tomika Steele

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It was 1979 when a young, dreadlocked guitarist joined one of the most influential artists our time, Bob Marley on his first Australian tour. In fact, it will be 40 years to the day this Valentine’s Day that Junior Marvin, long-serving guitarist of Bob’s band The Wailers, first met the iconic trailblazer who would spread an ideology of love and positivity throughout the world with his reggae music.

Marvin recalls Bob being very surprised and humbled to be able to “take reggae to a part of the world we never thought it would be.”

“Then, reggae music really only came out of Jamaica,” Marvin adds. “It’s really grown since the time of Bob Marley and proven that reggae belongs to the world.”

Since then, reggae has of course become popular enough in Australia and New Zealand for events like Raggamuffin All Stars to bring The Wailers over to play live for us next week, but that single tour would of course be Bob Marley’s only visit down under. Thanks to a tight-knit family of musical Rastafari, though, the legacy of one love lives on in the form of The Wailers.

Keeping the flame alight are four original Bob Marley and The Wailers band members: Junior Marvin (guitar), Family Man Barrett (bass), Donald Kinsey (guitar) and Tyrone Downie (keys), along with second generation Wailers Aston Barrett Jr (drums), Josh Barrett (vocals) and Bob Marley’s son, Grammy-nominated Julian ‘Ju Ju’ Marley.

“Before he passed away, Bob said he wanted us to stay together. We’ve managed to keep going. It says a lot,” said Marvin.

Rekindling the love proved more difficult than imagined after Bob Marley died at just 36 with well publicised legal battles over royalties, licensing and music rights, “There were always going to be problems with the business side of things. Most musicians are not business men. Now, young musicians are learning to balance that business side. In the past, we were just about the music, but now we are learning,” he said.

No strangers to ‘polytricks’, we asked Marvin to weigh in on a couple of pressing political issues.

Firstly, The Wailers were asked eight years ago what Bob Marley would think about the first African-American President being inaugurated into the White House, but what would he make of Donald Trump in 2017?

“I will say this,” Junior says, “I think he’d be a little bit surprised. Because one of the problems we still have is many people are motivated by the thought of having lots of money. There are lots of ways to be ambitious. You still can be ambitious and spread the love around. I think when you make promises as a prospective leader you should put out good ideas, role models and thoughts… not be a bully.”

Secondly, what, in this year of ‘Be Bold for Change’ for International Women’s Day on March 8, would Marvin like to see happen for women? “First of all equal pay. I’m sure they’d love that. And more equal balance of responsibilities. I think we still spend too much time thinking the man is supposed to be the breadwinner. In Jamaica we have a saying that ‘one hand washes the other’.”

Marvin assures us there is a third generation of Wailers in training to keep the spark going, “We have kids growing up around this music everyday. We don’t try to force it on them. They naturally feel like they want to be involved.”

And, with legends like Junior Marvin to guide them, who wouldn’t want to be part of it? “I encourage them. Try to give them positive ideas and role models. Have good attitudes towards life and other people. Learn how to forgive and move on. Be supportive of each other.”

Combine that with “good training and good instruments” and the legacy of Bob Marley’s Rastaman vibrations will surely carry on for generations to come.

February 19 and 21 will mark Marvin’s fourth Raggamuffin appearance with The Wailers and sadly, it looks like the last with the festival making it’s final round. “The Wailers are so excited to be coming back to Australia and looking forward to Raggamuffin. We hope it won’t be the last [Raggamuffin] but let’s act like it’s the first!”

Don’t miss this opportunity to see the world’s premier reggae group performing the hits of Bob Marley live with his son Julian Marley, at Raggamuffin All Stars for two exclusive shows on 19th February at Margaret Court in Melbourne and the 21st of February at Hordern Pavilion in Sydney.

They Rasta royalty will be playing alongside Grammy-winning superstar Shaggy, breakout New Zealand sensations SIX60, reggae legends Morgan Heritage and New Zealand’s own House Of Shem, and tickets are on sale now.

By Kylie Cobb

Source: http://www.tonedeaf.com.au/the-wailers-bob-marley/

BANG ON. THE POWER OF PICTURE-PERFECT PRESS SHOTS. by Kylie Cobb

Published on Blank GC, 25 January 2017

When it comes to media coverage, your mug shots matter. A bangin’ photograph purposed specifically for the press can be the difference between scoring a feature article and a mere mention. Pretty powerful huh?

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AUSTRALIAN MUSIC WEEK 2016: SIX THINGS EVERY ARTIST SHOULD TAKE AWAY by Kylie Cobb

Published on Blank GC, 29 November 2016

Earlier this month, Blank GC hit up the 2016 Australian Music Week in Sydney. In just its second year, we scoured the panels, showcases, beaches and bars, and now that we’ve recovered from the mojitos and margaritas, we offer you our top 6 take aways...

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CALOUNDRA MUSIC FESTIVAL'S 10TH ANNIVERSARY COULDN'T HAVE BEEN BETTER by Tomika Steele

Leave your wellies, steel-capped boots and elbows at home because Caloundra Music Festival is all sun, surf and rubber thongs baby. Four glorious days (ignoring a slight bit of drizzle on the last one) spent on a pristine Queensland beach for the tenth annual event, with a world-class lineup. Does it get much better – or more Australian – than that?

Everything about this festival was easy. Camping? Just rock up, pay up and pitch up. Ready to head in for the day’s action? Walk 100m, wait 5 minutes, a shuttle arrives and 20 minutes later you’re watching Blue King Brown absolutely own the Surf Stage with her irrepressible swagger and message-laden lyrics. Suddenly realise Tower of Power is about to start? No worries. Five minutes walk to the Soul Stage bar to grab a $4 beer and BAM, in another five minutes you’re witnessing one of the world’s best R&B legends with a cold one.

Surely one of our most diverse festival offerings, this not-for-profit, council-run event delivered a musical buffet of new and legendary pop, hip-hop, funk, reggae, soul, rock and just about every fusion in between, which, from all reports, drew record crowds through the gates.

From international soul rockers Michael Franti & Spearhead and Aussie heavyweights Cat Empire, Guy Sebastian and Illy, to rock legends Thirsty Merc and Icehouse, not to mention a swag of home-grown Sunshine Coast favourites, this was a festival for the people.

The line-up, as well as the site setup made this event so accessible. In addition to festival frequent flyers, there were babies, young families, a plethora of teenagers and music lovers in wheelchairs and on crutches, all revelling in more than 100 performances over 4 stages and VIP areas.

A tour-weary, but ever-engaging Cat Empire played one of their last Australian shows for a while to a massive first-night crowd, “We’re not going to tour much next year,” said percussionist Felix Riebl. “We’re going to take some time off because the last two years have been kind of crazy.”

From solo albums to indigenous community projects, Riebl said, “It’s really nice to do things outside of the band because it keeps the band fresh in a way.”

Thirsty Merc, on the other hand, are shifting gears up with a rocking Caloundra Music Festival set to kick off their 37-date national tour. Almost a year to the date since the band’s tragic car crash, which killed stage manager Shane Cooper, and seriously injured drummer Mick Skelton, bass player Phil Stack tells the crowd, “It’s a bit of a sign of moving on. It’s a celebration of being on the road again.”

“There’s a new kind of found enthusiasm. We’ve had things knock us round. So it’s kind of like all bonus time from here.”

The Preatures, Kim Churchill, Caravana Sun and Bullhorn packed out the tents, while Sunshine Coast locals AYLA, The Floating Bridges, Cheap Fakes and Band of Frequencies proved popular too. Meanwhile, a small ‘Song Stage’ provided the perfect opportunity to kick back on the grass in a more chilled out, intimate setting to enjoy the likes of The Lyrical, The Coconut Kids and IVEY.

An absolute blast-to-the-past highlight for many a punter was the Aussie forefathers of hip hop, funked-up dub, Skunkhour. Playing to a heaving Caloundra crowd, it became clear to the old and newly initiated that Skunkhour were well ahead of their time, blasting out track after timeless track.

Of their first come-back gig, singer Aya Larkin said, “When we played the first song, there was like this echo and I thought something was wrong with the sound system, but it was half the crowd singing along to the lyrics. It’s really special.”

Song of the weekend went to Kate Miller-Heidke for her epic, operatic, psychedelic cover of Talking Heads’ ‘Psycho Killer’, dedicated to a fan’s 15th wedding anniversary no less.

This festival isn’t for absolutely everyone. But it is for most. Year on year the organisers pride themselves on keeping the best bits and improving those that aren’t. Caloundra Music Festival Director, Richie Eyles said this was the strongest line-up in the event’s 10 year history – one he was very excited and proud to curate.

While incredibly diverse, the line-up does have certain flavours, which vary from year to year. This is something Eyles says depends very much on who’s touring at the time and what exciting discoveries he makes on his annual jaunt to New Orleans. This year was definitely “Year of The Brass” with trumpets and saxophones galore. Richie’s favourite discovery for 2016 was soul songstress, Erica Falls, who certainly created a growing festival buzz over her weekend’s repeat performances.

So, who would make for Richie’s all time line-up? He drops just one hint: pick up the phone already, Harry!

By Kylie Cobb

Source: http://www.tonedeaf.com.au/caloundra-music-festival/ 

BANGSARAY, BOOZE & BROTHERHOOD: INSIDE THE WORLD OF STICKY FINGERS by Kylie Cobb

Published on Tone Deaf, 26 APR 2016

Things could have gone either way last year for Australia’s favourite reggae influenced rockers, Sticky Fingers. As they cancelled tours, went rounds with each other and came under the spotlight for questionable on and off-stage antics, it seemed to appear that the band’s big wave was crashing.

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HOW RICHIE RAMONE SAVED PUNK ROCK’S MOST INFLUENTIAL BAND by Kylie Cobb

Published on Tone Deaf 7 April 2016.

Coming from punk royalty like The Ramones, there isn’t a question Richie Ramone hasn’t been asked. Oh, except what size Keds he wears. And, the answer to that is 12. And, he has now matured to leather ones.

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ALL THE GREATEST MOMENTS FROM BLUESFEST 2016, THE BEST BLUESFEST YET by Kylie Cobb

Published on Tone Deaf, 31 March 2016.

As the sun set on Bluesfest for the 111th time, so too did the pilgrimage end for thousands at the Church of Kendrick. A controversial addition to the blues and roots lineup, the platinum-selling, Grammy-winning rapper, Kendrick Lamar, saw a massive crowd surge the Mojo stage for a glimpse of this modern icon in the flesh.

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