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.

Time to celebrate with live music at Diggers

Who said the end of the year was about being worn out and jaded after slogging it out for the boss?

On Saturday 30th November, popular club musicians Body and Soul Trio featuring Sandra Beynon (vocals) Sean Mullen (guitar) and Phil J (percussion) will be pumping out the dance grooves in the Bravo Bar once again.    This band has the best cross-genre and intergenerational repertoire of any band in SEQ, and you won’t be disappointed by what you hear.

Come on! Dust off your glad rags and welcome in the silly season at Diggers.

Event Management – the grind behind the glamour.

Our second iteration of Chillogan Festival is just around the corner on November 16th at Meadowbrook Golf Club.

Logan! Get your Chilli on!
Enjoy the head at Chillogan Festival

As a sole event manager, our CEO Sandra Beynon of Body and Soul Australia – Events and Entertainment – takes pride in knowing I don’t need a committee to get things across the line.  “Death by Committee” is definitely not something Sandra wants to know about.

So, when you see the PR pumping out in the last weeks before the festival, spare a thought for all the behind-the-scenes work that gets done, probably 18 hours of every day.

Social media posts don’t happen by themselves, and a lot of thought, time and creative writing goes into making posts that will hopefully excite viewers and elicit a ticket-buying response or at least a commitment to attend on the day.  It takes time, focus and a lot of energy to ensure that supporters and stakeholders are recognised.    Here is just a sample of who’s involved at Chillogan 2019.

Chillogan Festival supporting YFS
Logan-based charity YFS

This year’s festival is supporting Logan-based charity YFS which provides essential services to so many in the Logan area who are marginalised, disadvantaged of struggling to cope in a variety of ways.

 

 

Viking Breed Social Motorcycle Club, headed by Mark “Rabbit” Pritchard, president of Brisbane/Ipswich Chapter, will again be lending their support to fundraising on the day through their “Viking for a Day” pillion ride auctions, as well as helping Miss Chillogan raise money through the “Hug a Chilli” fun promotion throughout the day.   Raffle tickets will also be sold.

Viking for a Day charity auction
Viking Breed Social Motorcycle Club

Live entertainment on the day is by Sean Mullen who is an international-standard artist with a penchant for Joe Satriani’shttp://www.thesatrianitribute.com.au immensely difficult music.  His show will astound listeners and be a great backdrop to the sunset at Meadowbrook Golf Club.

Young jazz outfit, Philip John Trio, will be setting some great grooves and Lobeau, the Logan-Beaudesert Country Music Club’s five piece band, will open the festivities with some great country rock vibes.

Phil North heads up Burning Bites Down Under

Phil North of Burning Bites Down Under will this year be co-hosting some of the 6 chilli challenges set to entertain the audience throughout the festival.

 

 

 

 

Award-winning artisan chilli products
Rob Donn heads up Australian Extreme Chilli Condiments

Stalwarts like Australian Extreme Chilli Condiments’ Rob Dunn will be in Hellfire Alley to show off their huge range of award-winning artisan sauces and rubs.

Firing Line Gourmet Chillis is undoubtedly one of South-East Queensland’s best proponents of low-slow meat cooking and smoking.  Don’t miss their stall as they sell out fast!

If it’s a little Mexican food you’re after, word is that Juan at the Carlos Tacos stall may have some much-loved Jalapeno Poppers on offer throughout the day.   These little food items are in high demand so hot-foot it over to their stall.

If honey is your thing, go and visit the  Australian Agrifutures Rural Women’s Award finalist Natasha Roebig and husband Jason at the Bee All Natural Honey stall.  So many yummy ways to eat honey and even a diabolically hot 3 Stings chilli honey for the very, very brave (and you need to sign a waiver!).

Organic honey Queensland
Tash and Jason Roebig with daughter Miranda

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s so much more to see and do than we can tell you here, so head on over to the Facebook event page and stay in the loop and have all the latest info at your fingertips.

Candy from Hell Challenge at Chillogan Festival.

Are you ready to test yourself?

Yes, of course there’s always something to do in Logan if you look hard enough.

Not only is this region peppered with beautiful open spaces and parkland, it now has its very own chilli festival – Chillogan – this year happening at the breezy Meadowbrook Golf Club..

On Saturday 16th November 2019 Chillogan will kick off once the hottest part of the day is done, at 3pm, and a program of back-to-back events including:

Music by three bands including Philip John Trio, The Satriani Tribute with Sean Mullen Guitar, nd the Logan-Beaudesert Country Music outfit, Lobeau.

  • 6 chilli challenges
  • 1 fun kids’ watermelon-eating challenge
  • 3 dance groups including the Blue Porcelain Dancers courtesy of North Brisbane Chinese Association and Carl Wu, the Bhangra United Dance Group, and the BADance academy
  • Roaming fun mexican wrestlers
  • Viking Breed Social Motorcycle Club
  • Brisbane Commodore Car Club
  • VIP Dog Training with Maree Field – Agility Display
  • Best Costume Award
  • Cutest Chilli Kid Award
  • Chilli Dog Mascot Award

And speaking of the 6 challenges……one of the more interesting ones is Adrian Zocaro’s  (Firing Line Gourmet Chilli) new “Candy from Hell” Challenge which kicks off at 6.15pm, bumping the Flaming Wings Challenge.   Find out more at the dedicated Facebook event page here.

Adrian has lovingly created a colourful collection of diabolical little gummy drops, in all colours, sneakily belying their heat level, leaving the challengers to find this out as they chew their way to the victory line.

The event will be MC’d by Phil North of Burning Bites Down Under so it’s sure to be a fun segment.

To register for the Candy from Hell cha

llenge or any of the other challenges on festival day, please visit our Humanitix registration page.

Adrian is better known for his amazing, low, slow-cooked meats (and vegetables) and is a very popular destination for meat-lovers at any festival which features his beloved cooker.  Chillogan 2019 will be no exception and Adrian has prepared some great surprises for his regular customers and will be ready to wow his new customers with his melt-in-the-mouth offerings.

Hellfire Alley will feature some of Australia’s finest artisan chilli product makers ready to test your mettle with their wares.

The Afterburn Bar will cool your tongue with some great beverages, including chilli beer and chilli cocktails and mocktails.

The kids can amuse themselves with two jumping castles, pony rides and an animal nursery.

And for those who like to learn new things, pop along to Adrian Zocaro’s workshop on smoked meats (brought to you by Firing Line Gourmet Chilli). Then learn about bees, honey and all things apiary with Tash and Jason Roebig of Bee All Natural Bee-keeping.  

The 7 hours of fun, excitement and relaxation will fly by and before you know it you’ll be heading home with a bag full of chilli goodies, a stomach full of delicious food (chilli and non-chilli), some worn out but happy kids and a greater appreciation of those brave challengers who take to the stage to test their endurance in one of our 6 six challenges.

Logan! Get your chilli on! 

Tickets on sale now – save time in the queue and buy online – don’t print out your tickets!

 

 

Logan – the new hotspot for Chilli-Lovers

Chillogan Hellfire Alley

What is it about the chilli fruit that evokes such emotion, passion and excitement?

Judging by the success of Briz Chilli Fest in June, at Newstead, and the increased anticipation for Logan’s very own chilli festival to be held on Saturday 16th November, 2019, at Meadowbrook Golf Club, the heat is on, and it’s contagious.

Organiser Sandra Beynon of Body and Soul Australia Events and Entertainment knows how to bring the best out of people at her events.

By collaborating with some of Australia’s finest chilli product makers, such as Rob Dunn of Australian Extreme Chilli Condiments, Sandra is able to tap into how the minds of the so-called “chilli-heads’ work.

Why Logan?

Logan City Council has been besieged by scandal with its major and now 8 councillors have been charged with  fraud by the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission in relation to a detriment suffered by the former CEO of the Council.

Add to that the unfortunate label of “Logan Bogan” and you have a recipe for low morale in the area.

As anyone who has ever done business in the area or knows people who live in Logan know, it’s not fair to tar everyone with the same brush.  This is a region that, now more than ever, needs events in its midst which bolster its image, enhance its citizens’ enjoyment of their own city and give businesses and community groups the opportunity to shine.

Chillogan is now in its second year and, by engaging with a local business such as Meadowbrook Golf Club, hopes to grow its brand to become the city’s most anticipated festival in the annual events calendar.

For a one-woman organisation, this is a big job, but none is better equipped to take on such a mission as Ms Beynon, who now has two Briz Chilli Fests and two Bulimba (rebranding to Brisbane) Uke Fests under belt and who has been organising events since 1991.

A consummate performer and PR professional, Ms Beynon is well-equipped not only to organise but also to publicist and perform as MC at her events.  If she really wanted to, she could even perform as the professional singer that she is, but she chooses to draw the line somewhere.

“I can’t do everything.  I have to have time to oversee my festivals without the pressure of performing during the event.  Luckily, I have no shortage of great performers to call on to take over that mantle,” said Beynon.

Chilli festivals pop up here and there all over the Australian landscape and seem to incite the sort of excitement and anticipation as one would imagine is associated with an equal mix of pleasure and vicarious pain (and some would say sadistic voyeurism).

Chillogan and Briz Chilli Fest feature a jam-packed program of community engagement, dance, live music, spicy challenges, kids entertainment, an aptly-named AfterBurn Bar and a scary-sounding Hellfire Alley, 

“We’re really excited to be hosting Chillogan this year.  It’s a great boost for the Club in that we can demonstrate that we are more in the community than just somewhere to have a round of golf, ” said general manager, Steven Linskey.

And what a glorious spot Meadowbrook Golf Club is.  With sprawling grounds and plenty of room for car parking, and easterly breezes, it’s no wonder that Ms Beynon has chosen this venue for her second iteration of Chillogan.

“I believe Logan deserves more than just Eats and Beats.  It deserves its very own festival and that is what I am here to achieve, “said Beynon.

Tickets are available through Humanitix, which donates its booking fees to a charity of your choice. For Chillogan, this will be nutrition for Aussie schoolkids.

The festival also supports Logan-based charity YFS which provides essential services to disadvantaged individuals and families, by donating 10% of its net profits, plus all proceeds from raffles and auctions on the day.

Find out more about Chillogan at the website.

Chillogan Festival takes place Saturday 16th November, 2019 from 3-10pm at Meadowbrook Golf Club.

 

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.

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.