Hello! Annie here. Saturday December 12th was one year since our first gig! I’m taking this as a cue to divulge our plans for 2015, and to reflect on our first year’s adventures.

In 2015, we’ll be putting on larger-scale, vintage-focussed events. You’ll see people dolled up and hear 60s pop hits and plenty of ORIGINAL music. We love keeping vintage style alive by celebrating it with new creations. To stay informed by receiving our blog posts as emails or by following us on Facebook, you’ll find buttons for both in the right-hand column of our News page.

We’ll also be performing at more private events. If you’d like to book us for a party, wedding or conference, or have us serenade your sweetheart, take a look at our Weddings page. We see performing for special occasions as a great honour, and we’re looking forward to doing a lot of it in 2015!

On reflection, our first year had many, varied highlights:

Releasing our debut album Here Comes The Love was a significant milestone, and it gave us a much clearer sense of our own sound.

Winning The Roddy Read Memorial Song Writing Award and its prize of a Cole Clark guitar has spurred us on in our song writing and may lead to a 2nd guitar being added to our instrumentation.

The unexpected opportunity to write a commissioned piece for a video game trailer was new territory for us. The creators of Real Racing 3 thought our sensibilities would suit their 1966 Lamborghini Miura release. We wrote Ooby Dooby and were chuffed to hear that the people at Lamborghini HQ really liked it.

Having genuine 60s-pattern dresses made for me by Miss Pippilotta made me feel rather like a star. I’m looking forward to future costuming endeavours with her, and you should see what Bern has planned for his own ensembles!

Vintage SuitcasesGoing on aeroplanes also made me feel like a star, even in economy. My and Bern’s co-ordinated vintage-style suitcases (pictured right) aided that effect, getting considerable attention in the boarding queues as we set off to tour Hobart, Byron Bay and The Gold Coast.

We performed at 28 events – at hotels, festivals, bars, cafes and markets – up close, on big stages, on little stages, in a round, and outdoors. We performed on radio programs too, and were interviewed and reviewed in magazines, newspapers and blogs.

We performed alongside so many talented musicians at shared-bill events! They’ve inspired us, and we’ll continue to work with talented and impressive acts in 2015.

Bern and I are sincerely grateful to everyone who has come to our gigs and/or bought our album so far. As detailed in my post The Importance Of The Album Buyer from earlier this year, your active support helps bring our music into being.

To everyone who has been supportive of us in other ways (with hospitality, media coverage, personal recommendations and introductions, playlist inclusions, accommodation, CD selling, photo-taking, mid-set water-fetching, etc.) we hope we’ve already thanked you but, just to be sure, THANK YOU! See you in 2015!

Fancy seeing us in the daytime? We’re performing on Sunday December 14th at Kensington Arts & Craft Market, 1-3pm.

Everything at the market is hand made or grown by local artisans. It’ll be a fun opportunity to find Christmas presents, LIKE OUR ALBUM! There’ll also be jewellery, clothing, homewares, toys, terrariums, tasty food, fresh produce, and children’s entertainment including roaming Disney characters, face painting and a craft table. Rumour has it that Santa will visit too!

You’ll find us performing indoors, 1-3pm. The market is held at Kensington Primary School, and is open 10am-3pm. Entry is free.

KensingtonArtsCraftMarket

We’re doing yet another thing we’ve never done before …Songwriters In The Round!

On Friday December 5th at The Wesley Anne in Northcote, we’ll sit in a circle with two other acoustic acts, and we’ll each take turns doing a song. We’ll be playing five of our songs, 8-9:30pm. The audience will sit around us, within arms’ reach. We’ve performed up close to audiences before, but this setting is going to be beautifully intimate, and we’re really looking forward to it.

The poster below lists the other acts performing. To make sure you get a seat, you might like to book a table by phoning The Wesley Anne on 03 9482 1333 or to get there early. Doors open at 7:45pm. Entry is $8, and if you tell the door person that you’re an active musician, it’s only $5. We hope to see you (or sense you) there!

SITR

We’re VERY happy to be supporting vintage-esque pop siren, Lisa Crawley, this Sunday November 16th at Brunswick’s Lomond Hotel.

Lisa is a singer, keys player and stage banterer extraordinaire, with songs to move you, body and heart. We’ll be performing a set of our perkiest originals and one NEW cover at 5:30pm, before Lisa performs two sets with her 3-piece band. Entry is free.

We hope you can join us for this sweet, sixties-styled, sublime soiree. In the meantime, here’s one of Lisa’s videos to get you swooning and swaying!

Annie here. As I type this, my left hand’s fingertips are slightly burning. I’ve just practised guitar for the first time in a long while, you see, because on the weekend …

WE WON THE 2014 RODDY READ MEMORIAL SONG WRITING AWARD AND A BEAUTIFUL COLE CLARK GUITAR!!

We’re still in a bit of a spin about it. There we were, having played If You, having been graced by an afternoon of impressive song performances, expecting one of our talented co-finalists to win, when the judges announced that they’d chosen our song!

We feel very encouraged by the fact that they saw merit in our song writing, all being experienced and award-winning song writers themselves. Trevor Shard judges the competition every year, and has written a piece about it in his blog, which features photos of its many performers, including one of me grinning like a clown. Olivia Hally and Pepita Emmerichs have a band called Oh Pep! who I happened to see last month (not knowing they were judges) and of whom I immediately became a bit of a fan.

The Roddy Read Memorial Song Writing Competition is held as part of Maldon Folk Festival, which has a very encouraging energy about it too. Bern and I only performed one song, but in watching other acts perform and in mixing with other fesival go-oers, we noticed how embracing and friendly the musicians and audiences were. Sitting at a shared table, a complete stranger invited us to have some of her chips, which strikes me as a fine benchmark of social cohesion. The organisers were a pleasure to spend time with as well. Thank you, MC Wendy Ealey, Sound Wizard Patrick Robertson, and Machine Oiler Lee Merzel! This festival seems to have a lot of enthusiasm and heart.

For three-fold encouragement, I am now determined to learn to play guitar! The Cole Clark ‘Fat Lady’ sounds so clear and feels easier to play than my other guitar, so I’m going to give it half an hour at least five times a week, and respectfully follow the teachings of Bern. Future blog entries may be on the short side, until my calluses develop …

Roddy Read Prize

We’ve been selected as finalists for the Roddy Read Memorial Song Writing Award!

We’ll be playing our song in the Finals Concert, which starts at 2pm on Saturday November 1st in the Maldon Athenaeum Library Hall, as part of Maldon Folk Festival. The concert is a non-ticketed event, so you don’t need a festival pass. Just come along. For those of you who appreciate the art of song writing or like listening to singer / song writers, it could be quite the smorgasbord.

Apart from feeling excited and honoured to have been selected as finalists, we could win a Cole Clark guitar! That’d be nice. They’re made in Australia, with great expertise and dedication.

We’re not sure how you judge song writing. Our songs come to us in many different ways. The starting point might be a thought, a feeling, a lyric line, a chord progression, a riff, a melody, etc. We work from whichever starting point we’ve been given, add other elements that serve it, and try to sense where the song wants to go next. It might be headed to a key change or a bridge or guitar solo or a whistling interlude, etc. If you write songs, let us know how the experience flows for you. We’d be interested to know.

In choosing a song to enter, we weren’t sure if If You was a ‘song-writerly’ song, but it is a perky number, and we thought it would stand out from the more serious odes and ballads. If you’re interested in the ideas and the process that brought it into being, click here to read our post from last year. Here’s our song. Wish us luck!!

We’re looking forward to performing our favourite originals as part of Wax Lyrical, in Melbourne on Tuesday October 21st.

Wax Lyrical is an initiative of The Australian Songwriters Association, and is held on the third Tuesday of every month, 7:45-10pm. It aims to “provide the highest standard of songwriters possible and an enjoyable night of entertainment”. It also has an ethos of helping musicians to connect with each other in a friendly atmosphere. If you’d like to perform at a future Wax Lyrical, contact Lee & Trevor at waxlyrical@westnet.com.au

In addition to us, October’s line-up includes:
Mats Bjorklund – A Swedish-born singer/songwriter who performs his songs with a melodic voice and acoustic guitar, and who draws comparisons to Paul Simon and Neil Finn.
Patrick Evans – A singer/songwriter, guitarist and fiddle player with musical roots in the Celtic music tradition.

Wax Lyrical is held at Murmur, which is a very cosy, loft-style bar in the CBD with welcoming and knowledgable bar staff. They declare themselves to be “booze nerds of the highest order”, and enthusiastically claim “a revolving menu of rare, boutique beers and spirits, a wine list highlighting some of our favorite hand-picked Victorian vintages and a fierce pride in constantly striving to make the very best cocktails this town has on offer.”

Entry to Wax Lyrical is free. Murmur Bar is upstairs at 17 Warburton Lane, just off Little Bourke between Elizabeth and Queen. We hope to see you there!

GlenlyonTreeWe’re back for the third time at Glenlyon General Store this Friday October 10th. It’s a lovely cafe in Glenlyon, which is one hour from Melbourne and ten minutes from Daylesford. There’s cosy lighting, boutique beers and ciders, carefully selected wines, inventive and hearty food, friendly service and pretty decor. The show is free, and we’re playing 2 sets, 6:30-8:30pm. If you get there before nightfall, you’ll see there’s a tree out the front with a little door in it. You don’t get that everywhere.

We’ve turned our hands to something new …Car racing video game theme music!

An update of the car-racing video game, Real Racing, has just been released. It includes the sexy 1966 Lamborghini Miura. The developers asked us to write the music for its trailer. We wrote and recorded ‘Ooby Dooby’ and the people at Lamborghini HQ liked it! I must say, it’s very exciting to picture stylish Italians sitting around a boardroom table, digging our sound. Here it is, in action: