The grand dame of Cleveland – keeping old Queensland alive.

Cleveland's grand old dame

With the march of progress pressing in on all sides wherever we travel, it’s comforting to visit a venue where you step back in time to a slower time.

This is what happens when you walk through the doors at the historic Grand View Hotel at Cleveland.

Grand View Hotel is a heritage-listed hotel at 49 North Street, ClevelandCity of RedlandQueensland, Australia. It was built c. 1852 onwards. It was also known as Brighton Hotel and Cleveland House. It was added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 21 October 1992.[1]

It’s nice to drive down a road called Old Cleveland Road and actually end up at the eponymous place.

And “Old Cleveland” is certainly brought to life at this establishment which first saw customers in ….

The timber building is now a mix of old and new, with an expansive beer garden at the rear. Even the grassy verge alongside the  carpark is used by customers to sit in a chair and gaze out to nearby Stradbroke Island.

Last Sunday our duo, Body and Soul, played for the customers in the beer garden on what was a glorious Spring afternoon.   Staff busied themselves fulfilling orders for a good selection of food offerings to suit all tastes, and the beer was flowing ice-cold from the taps.

Recently taken over by new owners, the hotel is committed to bringing live music to its customers on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

It’s also a fabulous place to host parties and weddings or functions or any size or type.  There is so much space available in this beautiful venue, both indoors and out.

The audience is of a mixed demographic with many happy retirees from nearby Raby Bay venturing in to enjoy some tunes they hadn’t heard played for a long time.

It’s always nice when audience members come and chat with us in our breaks to let us know how much they enjoyed hearing a particular tune.  Many lament that it’s so rare to hear the sort of repertoire we play – a genuine mix of classics across all genres (rock, pop, dicso) – pretty much everything you used to be able to hear on Brisbane AM radio in the days before radio stations became ‘segmented” to appeal to certain demographics (think 4MMM Rock station which was born in 1980’ish).

Once upon a time you could hear Deep Purple alongside Doris Day all coming at you from your little transistor radio, and people had a much broader appreciation of music styles because they were exposed to all of those styles.

Nowadays, young people listen only to what they choose, not what they are introduced to and, subsequently, they are much more passive as audience members.

So, long live the Baby-Boomers who absolutely love their music, tap their toes, move their bodies and smile when they hear one of their favourite tunes played.

We love those audiences and we hope to be back at the Grand View making them smile and groove again soon.

Brisbane live music
Queensland’s premier duo specialising In functions and anything else that needs great music!

 

Eating up live music at Eat Street Northshore

Sandra Beynon and Sean Mullen

With so few live music venues in Brisbane, we love the fact that Eat Street Northshore is committed to the presentation of fine acts at its Hamilton headquarters each and every weekend.

From fine solo artists right through to rocking bands, Annie and the music team at Northshore take seriously their role in presenting a wide range of music styles, while maintaining a high standard of presentation.

As well as supporting crowd favourites by re-booking, no doubt the team is always on the lookout for new talent to bring the joy of music to the throngs of people who attend weekly.

This weekend Body and Soul Duo, comprising Sandra Beynon on vocals and Sean Mullen on guitar, are presenting their jazz, blues and bossanova iteration on the relaxed, low-key Laneways Stage (right in the heart of dessert offerings) from 2.45pm to 5.30pm.

When you want to escape the hustle and crowds, swing down this laneway and relax with a drink from the bar, something decadent from one of the many vendors, and take a breather with some beautiful tunes from artists like Body and Soul.

Check their Facebook page for the program of musicians this weekend and keep supporting venues that support our industry.

From musicians all over SEQ, we say a big thank you to Eat Street Northshore for giving us a great place and space to do our thing.

See you there!

The secret life of music lovers

Missy Vader and the Dark Force

As I walk out of a bar in the Valley, having enjoyed a performance by two great musicians, I pondered about those people who are great supporters of live music and always make an effort to get out and soak up some tunes every weekend, or even during the week.

My neighbour Karim is one of those special people.

A middle-aged painter by trade, and a

Missy Vader and the Dark Force
Fronting four piece classic rock outfit Missy Vader and the Dark Force

bedroom guitarist,  he has a formidable commitment to the enjoyment of live music and, in doing so, is one of those precious people of whom the live music industry (and venues) need more.   Be it mid-week or weekend, he’s out there in awe of musicians, admiring their skill, their passion, their guts and sometimes feeling their pain as fewer than optimal people attend their shows.

Week in, week out, to get off your butt, get in the car or taxi,  spend money at the venue, pay a cover charge and give an artist your full attention for a few hours is nothing short of amazing.

Many more.

For artists, the joy of performing for a room full of people is something that makes their years of practice, loading and unloading gear, spending money on instruments, hustling for gigs, facing rejections and disappointments, and just the sheer commitment of being a gigging musician, all worth it.

We don’t even need a lot of people.  Just 20 or so and it’s a party.

Venues like Diggers Services Club has long been presenting quality acts at their Blackwood Street premises.  The staff are friendly, the food is served fast and each week features a different special on offering.

From the stage, we can see the entire club and people coming and going up the escalator, stopping to listen to our music, grooving along even when they are on a schedule to be somewhere else.

And those that stay right up until closing time are clearly there because of that same commitment to music (and dance).  We love seeing the regulars who can’t wait to get on the dance-floor and smile appreciatively when they see us loading in.

It’s those people that make everything worthwhile for artists.  The appreciation, the smiles, the dance floor where it doesn’t matter if you’re alone or with a group – everyone is welcoming and knows it’s the music that lifts your spirits and gets you up there, feeling every beat and taking a trip down memory lane.

I just wanted to say a big thank-you to those people who make the effort to come out, get up and dance and then stay until closing time.

We love you and appreciate you!

From all the musicians in the world – a giant heartfelt thank you.

The 20-40 year old audience – what to expect as a musician.

Enjoying live music
The days of enjoying a band at your local are long gone in Brisbane.

Imagine never having enjoyed a local band at your local pub on a Friday night – hot and sweaty, crushed up near the stage, up close and personal to a band that isn’t yet well-known (but may very well end up beings so), without having to pay a cover charge?

Imagine never bothering to applaud when a band plays in front of you, having worked long hard hours to become good enough to be paid to play.

Imagine being able to hear whatever music you want, when you want it, without getting out of bed?

What I want, when I want it.
The digital generation permanently connected to devices, always controlling what they listen to.

Well, I have just described the 20-40  year old audiences which make life for

We know most 20 somethings don’t like verbal communication and their and their ears are almost always involved with music of their choice, making them very difficult demographic to please (fancy not being able to dictate  what they listen to!!).  They simply do not know how to deal with being an audience because they can’t control it!

Unless you’re playing music they listen to,  or it’s sing-a-long pub rock classics on a loud-strummed guitar and they’re fairly soused, or (and this is a rarity) they’ve been exposed to to a range of music by their parents, it’s hard to break through to this generation who barely look up from their phone (sometimes they even put in their earphones because they can’t relate to your repertoire!).

Are you watching your kids while you're drinking?
When did parenting take a back-seat to enjoyment with friends?

Let’s move on to the 30-somethings.

This demographic is one which seeks out venues where they can take their children.  And preferably, venues where their children can be occupied whilst they imbibe with their “crew”.   So much so, that  they forget they have children.  These venues made me feel that I was performing in a kindergarten and I declined further invitations to perform due to the stress of it!

Children screaming and running around in circles in front of your stage, like buzzing bees; throwing balls which end up on the stage, climbing on tables and other furniture, and looking as though they were imminently going to fall off and crack their skull just metres away from you.

Being a witness to blood and screaming just metres away from me is not what I have in mind when doing a gig.

The above scenario is common in many venues now, with people taking far too much of a back-seat when it comes to parenting.

I recently had to ask a security guard to get some very young children off the stage where we were trying to set up.  When he was addressing the children, the parents magically appeared out of the woodwork and sagely agreed with the security guard, saying “yes, listen to what the man says”.  I felt that the right thing would have been to take responsibility for their own children and exert their own parental force, rather than re-inforcing someone else’s words.

When did parents become so inert?

So, not only are they relatively inert as an audience, they have created a creche environment for bands and musicians who struggle to focus on their craft in the fact of a dozen or more kids running rampant in front of their stage.

The kids love the music, but haven’t learned to respect any one’s property, so when given the chance, they even come onto the stage and touch gear.

Some of them have watched one too many TV talent shows and think it’s their God-given right to get on the stage, grab the mike and start performing for their ever-adoring, never-criticising parents.

Wow.

As a child, I think I would have sooner thought about becoming an astronaut than going onto a stage and touching anything, or touching anything that didn’t belong to me, for that matter.

I find that parents are all too prepared to hover on the distant horizon, waiting until their kids are on the brink of doing something really unacceptable, before getting off their chairs to take control (we mustn’t stifle their natural curisioty, after all).

Please, stifle it.  Control it. Say something, anything.  Don’t just watch your kids to see how far they can go before they hurt themselves.  What about the property of other people that they are actually putting their mitts on, potentially damaging it.  Or the fact that they are placing themselves in danger around electrical equipment.

Performers’ insurance does not cover damage or injury caused by other people being on their stage (not that venues even have stages these days, for the most part).

Please parents, think about teaching your children to respect others’ property, and the fact that someone is trying to perform music.

We are not musical robots who have been placed there for the entertainment of your children, or anyone else.  We are real people with feelings and emotions who want to connect with an audience, not be child-minders or OH&S monitors.

Let your children be children, but please not near the stage.

And to the 20 somethings – please can we have some applause sometime?   We really love it, not for any sort of validation because we know we know our stuff; but so we know we are making some sort of impact on you  as live musicians in the digital generation.  The thought of being able to break through to your generation leaves me excited and eager to continue to play LIVE MUSIC.

 

Live music kicks along at Arana Leagues

Arana Leagues Club

In July we travelled up the coast from Perth to Exmouth, and have played at five venues along the way.

When you get to the far-flung corners of Australia you realise that simple things like music are a little harder to come by.

There are some amazing venues in remote Australia; committed to growing their business, maintaining enthusiasm, finding the right staff, serving the right food – all the ingredients required to make a successful business.  And we all know success attracts success.

As musicians, we greatly value those venues that are committed to making live music a central part of their existence.   By believing in the power of music and continuing to offer a range of bands, soloists, duos and trios to entertain their patrons, these venues are upholding the tradition of the connection between artists and the general public.

After all, being a musician is not  never play to anyone?   The jury is out on that but, personally, I believe what keeps you improving, keeps you striving to be the best you can be as an artist, is the opportunity to play to an audience.

Venues like Arana Leagues Club are a central part of their community by offering great food, a community atmosphere and a place to kick up your heels on a Friday or Saturday night; with old friends or to find new ones.

Arana Leagues Club
Lockhart Interiors transformed Arana Leagues Club into the benchmark of club design.

The magnificent refurbishment  by Lockhart Interiors makes this venue a delight to visit.  Arana Leagues Club has become the new bench mark in club design with its natural tones and spacious interiors.

The western suburbs of Brisbane are lucky to have the most modern and beautiful club in their midst.  So, check out some of the awesome artists they have every weekend, playing for free, while you enjoy a delicious dinner in the bistro.

Venues that support live music in Brisbane
A great place to meet friends and enjoy some live music.

The friendly team behind the bar will be ready to mix up your favourite cocktails or pour your favourite brew, so get your friends together and enjoy some good, old-fashioned entertainment right in your own neighbourhood.

 

Body and Soul Duo, featuring Sandra Beynon on vocals/percussion and Sean Mullen on guitar, will debut at the Club on Saturday 2nd August.

Sean and Sandra have been working together since 2011 and cover all genres from beautiful, simple acoustic jazz, right through to the latest pop hits and some serious rock tunes should the occasion demand it.

When not touring this vast country as Willie Nelson’s Love Child Show or presenting The Satriani Tribute, this pair can be found in the best clubs in Brisbane and Logan. They never fail to please audiences in every genre they play.   They are also a formidable functions band, playing at the annual Summit Estate Winter Solstice Dinner by popular demand each year as well as other private functions.

Don’t miss them.

The importance of music in society…..do you dig it?

Body and Soul playing at Diggers Services Club

For the last 12 days we have been travelling up the coast from Perth to Exmouth, and have played at five venues along the way.

When you get to the far-flung corners of Australia you realise that simple things like music are a little harder to come by.

There are some amazing venues in remote Australia; committed to growing their business, maintaining enthusiasm, finding the right staff, serving the right food – all the ingredients required to make a successful business.  And we all know success attracts success.

As musicians, we greatly value those venues that are committed to making live music a central part of their existence.   By believing in the power of music and continuing to offer a range of bands, soloists, duos and trios to entertain their patrons, these venues are upholding the tradition of the connection between artists and the general public.

After all, being a musician is not  never play to anyone?   The jury is out on that but, personally, I believe what keeps you improving, keeps you striving to be the best you can be as an artist, is the opportunity to play to an audience.

Venues like Diggers Services Club are a central part of their community by offering great food, a community atmosphere and a place to kick up your heels on a Friday or Saturday night; with old friends or to find new ones.

We love playing to the RnB-loving community at Diggers and always look forward to adding new songs to our repertoire in the knowledge that they’ll be well-received by our fans.

So, if you live in Logan, make a bee-line for Diggers and check out some of the awesome artists they have every weekend, playing for free, while you enjoy a delicious dinner in the bistro.

The friendly team behind the bar will be ready to mix up your favourite cocktails or pour your favourite brew, so get your friends together and enjoy some good, old-fashioned entertainment right in your own neighbourhood.

We’re playing again on Friday 30th July so maybe we’ll see you there!

Sean and Sandra

On the road to the far-flung corners of Australia

Body and Soul Duo, Willie Nelson's Love Child, Sean Mullen Guitar

The wonderful thing about music is that it can take you anywhere!

From Timber Creek to Toowoomba, two Brisbane-based musicians are taking their talents to one of the most remote outposts in Australia.

Exmouth /ˈɛksmθ/ is a town on the tip of the North West Cape in Western Australia. The town is located 1,270 kilometres (789 mi) north of the state capital Perth and 3,366 kilometres (2,092 mi) southwest of Darwin.

The town was established in 1967 to support the nearby United States Naval Communication Station Harold E. Holt. Beginning in the late 1970s, the town began hosting U.S. Air Force personnel assigned to Learmonth Solar Observatory, a defence science facility jointly operated with Australia’s Ionospheric Prediction Service.

How apt that one of the USA’s favourite sons has his “love child” performing at Cadillac’s Bar and Grill on Saturday 13th July, 2019.

The bar is a honky tonk nod to the types of places that Willie would love to frequent in his early career.

Sandra Beynon (the Love Child) and her talented guitarist-music-director, Sean Mullen, have toured this show extensively throughout Australia – from Derby WA to Alice Springs in 2017, the Torres Strait in 2016,  and every corner of Outback Queensland, including the iconic Birdsville Races, in 2015, raising money for Aussie Helpers Drought Relief charity along the way.

Catch this free show if you’re in the hood.

The duo will also be playing their urban grooves embodiment, Body and Soul, at Bill’s Bar at Coral Bay on Sunday 14th July, and Ningaloo Reef Resort on Thursday 12th July.

“We are very excited to be visiting this stunning part of the world, and meeting some of the locals and visitors who enjoy all that this region has to offer, ” said Beynon.

Rumour has it the Love Child will be armed with her ukulele on a “Swim with the Whale Sharks” tour with Kings Ningaloo Reef Tours on Monday 15th July, just before an appearance at the Froth Craft Brewery where Sean Mullen will also be performing his Satriani Tribute.

“I certainly will be on a high after that experience.  Hopefully I won’t be too water-logged to sing, ” joked Beynon.

 

Sean Mullen brings Satriani to Western Australia

Sean Mullen plays Satriani

Saturday 6th July at 9pm the stage at Fremantle’s Swan Lounge will sizzle with the lightning-fast fretboard prowess of Brisbane-based guitarist, Sean Mullen’s Satriani Tribute Show.

A labour of love, this tribute showcases the best of Joe Satriani’s song-writing as it was recorded.

Mullen is also performing with the Willie Nelson’s Love Child Show, touring the east coast of Western Australia between 3-16 July.

In addition to the Swan Lounge, Mullen is taking his show to Froth Craft Brewery in the far-flung coastal town of Exmouth on Monday 15th July to give the local guitar-heads something to get excited about.   There is no cover charge for the Exmouth performance which will also feature vocalist, Sandra Beynon. 

Tickets to the Swan Lounge performance are available from Humanitix.

 

Willie’s girl at the Ravenswood Hotel

Brisbane-based tribute to Willie Nelson

Tribute to Willie Nelson

Tomorrow night, Friday 5th July, Willie Nelson’s Love Child kicks off their “Willie and the Whales Tour” of the east coast of Western Australia with a 6pm performance at the Ravenswood Hotel.

Visitors to the “Ravo” will enjoy three sets of great entertainment by Brisbane-based Sandra Beynon (vocals and ukuleles) and Sean Mullen (guitar) paying tribute to the great song-writing of the one and only Willie Nelson.

The Ravenswood Hotel is a favourite haunt for music lovers and it’s an honour for the much-toured duo to play this beautiful venue.

In 2017 we toured from Broome to Alice Springs, but this is our first visit to the east coast, and to kick off our tour at such a beautiful venue is a real treat,” said the Love Child, Sandra Beynon.

The duo has toured all of Outback Queensland, the Torres Strait, the Top End and now will take their show right up to Exmouth, where Cadillac’s Honky Tonk Bar and Grill will play host to this act.

Uber-talented guitarist, Sean Mullen, will also be performing his Satriani Tribute Show on Saturday 6th July.