THE DECLINE AND THE INCLINE – where will Covid19 take musicians from here.

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/ywg9em/where-do-you-turn-when-the-music-industry-skews-your-mental-health
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/ywg9em/where-do-you-turn-when-the-music-industry-skews-your-mental-health
When the music industry skews your mental health.

Like many musicians and artists, my livelihood was annihilated once venues were closed.  About $7000 worth of bookings just gone up in smoke.  And we all know how hard it is to secure bookings in the first place – just sheer determination, terrier-like commitment to following-up inquiries, negotiating fees etc.  So, it’s just heartbreaking to have this happen to an already struggling industry and its cohort of gig-hungry musicians in a venue-starved environment

So few good gigs, so few well-paying gigs, so many great musicians not playing as much as they should be, and then there’s the young musicians just struggling to make a start, with stars in their eyes, and nobody willing to pay them more than a bowl of nachos in some cases.

We are an industry already on the brink of extinction.  So will post-COVID19 be better, or worse?  Will it be a nice ride, or a heavy incline back up to where we were before.

The website I Lost My Gig has collated the massive cost of lost gigs during COVID19 – it’s already gone past a staggering $340 million!

i believe that unscrupulous venues will use COVID19 as an excuse to pay musicians even less than the paltry fees they were already earning.  ‘We lost so much money, we can’t afford to pay musicians much until we get back on our feet,” that’s the kind of discussion I fear may happen once venues open up again.

Reputable, large and gambling-based venues will hopefully maintain their high standards when it comes to paying musicians – venues like Twin Towns Resorts, Kedron-Wavell Services Club and the likes.  Great clubs, great supporters of live music and giving back to the community.  Great clubs where Body and Soul Duo, Trio and Missy Vader and the Dark Force have enjoyed being on stage, treated professionally and paid properly.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sandra Beynon Vocalist, Sean Mullen Guitar

Brisbane-based 4 piece band kicking arse with 70s and 80s classic rock.
It’s the smaller, less financial and/or less reputable and more exploitative venues that I worry about.  The venues that already host nights where 5 bands play for $5 entry and young, vulnerable and naive musicians get paid in drinks and, maybe, the said bowl of nachos.  Will it devolve to “pay to play”, openly and without any pretence of wages of any kind?

We all know that these venues will need live music to bring back the “zing” after the desolation we have encountered with lockdown.   But just how much will they be prepared to pay for that “zing”.   Will they have any budget for the zing?  Or will the musicians again become the whipping-boy/girl for an ailing hospitality industry?

Am I being too hopeful to believe that the arts will be more appreciated after the extended closure of venues; will people more keenly appreciate music and what it brought to their lives, or will venues continue with the solo artist playing in the back corner of the back bar, being dwarfed by screens and relegated to “background noise” in a crowded bar?

As someone who cut their musical teeth in a 7 piece band in the 80s, I’d dearly like to see that same opportunity extended to the young, emerging artists and bands today.  And that they be paid!   Can we switch off the big screens and focus on the artists?  Can we pay them a decent hourly rate and appreciate how much joy they (usually) bring to an audience?

My hope and prayer for our troubled industry is that each musician stand their ground and refuse to swallow the “we can’t afford to pay you” line if it comes their way.  For in doing so, we stand together and can hopefully improve the music industry from the struggling thing that it has been, to a new, freshly-blossomed industry that has learned to appreciate its water before the well runs dry.

I wish all venues the best of luck in picking up the pieces after the enforced closures, and that they can grow from the experience.

I wish all musicians good luck in re-establishing themselves in the industry, and in holding their ground when it comes to pay and conditions.

Now is a time for a fresh start.  Let’s not waste it.

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!

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.

Diggers Services Club – more like a family than a club

Music makes you smile

Once again Body and Soul has  been invited to perform at Diggers Services Club to entertain the TGIF crowd.  With Sandra Beynon on vocals, Sean Mullen on Guitar and Philip John on percussion, it’ll be a great night of RnB, Pop, Country and Blues.

What strikes us about this club is its family feel – from the big welcome at the reception desk to the great hospitality and smiles behind the food servery and bar.oce that regulars love to meet their friends on a Friday and chill out to the grooves, hiave a dance when the mood strikes and just celebrate the end of another (sometimes hard) week. 

Playing to an audience that really appreciates you is a musicians’ dream.  Seeing faces light up when you play a song they haven’t heard for years, couples embracing on the dance floor as they reminisce about a time and place brought to mind by a familiar song,  and sometimes lonely people who have no-one to dance to feeling freed up to take their place on the dance floor and just soak up the sounds and escape to a happier time.

Music is balm for the soul, the senses and is the glue that keeps the fabric of society together.  No matter who we are, there is a song that evokes a special memory of a time or a person or a place.

Our job as musicians is to bring those feelings back and get people grooving along, forgetting their troubles for just a short while, and remember that happiness is only a melody away sometimes.

Join us this Friday 24th May at Diggers Services Club from 8.30 to 12.30pm.  Bring your friends and bring your dancing shoes!