Remember Arni Rey Paras, front man of good-timey, guitar-pop band, The Gems? Our bands have played many a gig together over the years, and now we’re at it again, acoustic style.

Arni will be performing a solo, semi-acoustic set of Gems songs at 10pm. We’ll follow with a set of our originals at 10:45pm. All this will take place on Friday October 3rd at the cosy Thornbury Local, where good food and crafty drinks abound. The kitchen is open 6pm-midnight, and entry is free. It’ll be a night of catchy, guitar-pop lovin’.

We’re getting into Spring by performing at Creswick Market on Saturday September 20th, 10am-1pm. There’ll be over 80 stalls with hand-made arts & crafts, gourmet takeaway and home-grown plants and produce. Dogs and sunshine will be welcome. Creswick is a picturesque, historic town about 20 minutes north of Ballarat or west of Daylesford, so how about a Springtime country day trip?

Annie here. Getting into bed last night, I saw we’d been included in this latest playlist by my crafty, indie-dancing, story-telling seamstress, Miss Pippilotta! I couldn’t get to sleep, fluttering with excitement and honour, tickled pink to be sandwiched between The Bluetones and Blur. Have a listen to the eight tracks and tell us what you think! Oh, and pay a visit to misspippilotta.com to hear all about her musical, dancing, pondering, sewing, knitting and decorative adventures.

We’re very excited to be supporting 7-piece soul band, Alone with Tiger, on Wednesday September 10th.

We’ve heard tell that, “Chanteuse Cosmos leads the way with an elastic vocal style that encompasses likenesses to Madelaine Peyroux and Janis Joplin. She is supported by a band redolent of the golden age of soul, a vintage sound with horns punctuating over a solid rhythm section, funky keys and dirty electric wailings”. Holy Moly.

We’re opening the night with our originals set at 8:30pm. We’ll be followed by Mya Wallace and then Alone With Tiger, with DJ Saul Knight getting amongst it too. Apparently, he’s “got more soul than a sock with a hole”. You’ll find us all upstairs in the swish band room of Collingwood’s Grace Darling Hotel, and entry is only $5 at the door.

Here’s Alone With Tiger’s demo, to prepare you for the experience:

We’ve just got word that we’re playing THIS FRIDAY August 15th as part of a Rockabilly night! It’s at the Prince of Wales in St Kilda, in the public bar. We’re doing one set at 8:30pm to begin the night, and we’ll be followed by The Mighty Kings, and then The Infernos! They’re well turned out, those rockabilly enthusiasts – Big skirts, impeccably-set hair, bold lipstick, fancy shoes. They like a dance too! It’ll be a cracker of a night.

Next Friday August 22nd, we’re playing 6:30-9:30pm at Daylesford Hotel, in the front bar. It’s quite the sensory experience, that brisk walk from the car to the pub door, immediately followed by the comforting embrace of pub warmth and convivialty. Let’s give Winter a proper bon voyage, with roaring open fires, wine …possibly snow?!

 

Hello! Annie here. It’s been two months since my and Bern’s album tour. On the night of our Melbourne launch, we were excited to see that we’d sold another album from our Listen & Download page. We couldn’t see who’d bought it, to thank them directly. So, before we get back into posts about gigs, new songs and vintage style, I’d like to acknowledge the importance of The Album Buyer and, while I’m at it, the wonders and practicalities involved in an album’s realisation.

I want you to know that, when you buy an album, you really are helping to bring music into being. You are actively funding the flowering of human potential. You are providing the means for the following to occur.

First, recording: I’ve heard people bandy about the statement, “All you need these days is a laptop and Pro Tools”. No! Recording engineers develop awareness of sound in its infinite detail. What’s more, they invest in sound proofing, speakers, microphones and other bits and bobs that remain mystifying to me. They research equipment, take time to experiment with it, and have enthusiastic discussions about it. The really pleasant ones have the tact and gentleness to be able to tell a performer when a take wasn’t quite up to scratch, or rather, “I think we should do it again – I think you might be able to do it even better”, without harshing the performer’s tentative grasp on their recording-day mellow. At least that’s what it seems like to me, and I appreciate it. Thank you, Kent Street Studios.

Next, production: For Here Comes The Love, after the recording engineers captured our performances, Bern mixed them in his studio at home. He took on the role of producer – refining the sound to bring out the heart of each song and to imbue the whole album with its atmosphere. I see it as kind of ‘dressing’ the recording, which in itself conveys another level of meaning and feeling and character. Thank you, Bern.

Then, the cover art: Rather than hiring a graphic designer, I put together our sleeve artwork, using our photos. Photographers have my admiration too. They research, experiment and invest in equipment, and they have a discerning eye. What I see of their magic is probably the tip of the iceberg, but I do see that they have the ability to utilise a setting to create a photo-worthy scene, to eliminate details that could distract viewers, to direct their subject towards flattering or compelling poses and expressions, and to frame shots and finesse tones to evoke a desired mood. The very pleasant ones accept their subjects’ vanity and image anxiety like a photographic confidant, conducting painstaking ‘alterations’ without a word of complaint or judgement. Thank you, James Bryans.

Practicalities need to be funded too. For example, we bought licenses for the three covers we included, and we had to get the albums manufactured. Our album buyers are helping to pay for those things.

As for the song writing, selling a lot more albums would mean Bern and I having more time to write more songs. When you buy our album, you give us hope that we might have that in the future.

I’m not suggesting you should buy an album if it doesn’t appeal to you. That would be like kissing someone you don’t fancy. If it does appeal to you though, if it enriches you, or excites you, or energises you, or connects you to a feeling you like, or makes your day a bit more pleasant, then buying an album is a great thing to do – And I mean ‘great’ as in ‘significant’.

So, we give our profound thanks to everyone who has bought our album. Hopefully, the person who bought the download on May 24th 2014 will read this. If it was you, and you’d like to let us know, please do!

THANK YOU

This weekend ends our album release tour, in cosy Kyneton and cool Collingwood.

On Friday May 23rd, 6:30-8:30pm, we’ll be enjoying the open fires at The Chairmakers Wife. It’s a reverse BYO bar, where you can bring your own food, and buy a glass or bottle of their local wines, ciders or beers. Entry is free.

On Saturday May 24th, in the basement of The Grace Darling Hotel, we’ll have a top-notch set from our friend Suzie Dickinson, and then we’ll play 2 sets: Firstly, our favourite covers and then, our mostly-originals album Here Comes The Love, ‘cover-to-cover’ as it were.

Suzie Dickinson is an award-winning singer and songwriter. Likened to Rikki Lee Jones, Michelle Shocked and The Waifs, Suzie’s trio takes you through stories of street life, secret lovers, madness and survival.

The night’s running times are:
9:30pm – Suzie Dickinson trio
10:30pm – Our 60s and 90s covers
11:30pm – Our album set

Doors open at 9pm. Entry is $10. Here Comes The Love will be available to buy from us for $20 OR, if you’d like to learn the words in advance, you can listen or buy it online here!

This weekend, we continue the Central Victorian leg of our tour, in the pretty locales of Glenlyon and Trentham.

On Friday May 16th, 6:30-8:30pm, we’re performing at The Old Glenlyon General Store, where you’ll find delicious and interesting food and local drinks. Last time we were there, we tasted the lentil salad with heirloom carrots and pomegranite. Pomegranite! You don’t get that everywhere.

On Sunday May 18th, 1-4pm, we’re performing at The Cosmopolitan Hotel in Trentham. It’s a very cosy hotel, built around 1866 but beautifully restored, and there too you’ll find seasonal, local, flavoursome food. You might also like to have a look in the vintage shop next door.

Both gigs are free and only about an hour from Melbourne.

This Sunday May 11th, we begin touring Central Victoria in Castlemaine at my FAVOURITE PUB IN THE WORLD, The Bridge Hotel. It’s a proper, cosy pub, with friendly staff and a fine selection of food, ciders, beers and whiskeys.
We’re doing 2 sets, 8:30-1
0:30pm and entry is $10. Central Victorians and Melbournians will be able to get home to beddy byes at a respectable hour and feel good on Monday having had a lovely night at the pub! Ahhhh. – Annie

This weekend, our tour goes north to Byron Bay and the Gold Coast! We’re looking forward to those extra few degrees, and to performing at two very appealing venues:

On Friday May 2nd, we’ll be at Byron Bay’s Frankie Brown restaurant and bar. Perusing Frankie Brown’s photo gallery feels a bit like looking at a set from Mad Men, with its gorgeous modern-vintage decor, impressive cocktail bar, and comfortably sophisticated atmosphere. We’re performing 3 sets, 7-10pm, and entry is free.

On Saturday May 3rd, we’re on the Gold Coast at Mandala Organic Arts Cafe. Mandala Organis Arts is an organic, vegan restaurant and cafe run by a community of food and arts lovers. Judging by Mandala’s menu and photos, those of us who search for vegetarian, vegan, raw, or gluten-free dining may have our minds blown. We’re performing 2 sets, 7:30-10pm, and entry is $3.