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

One show only Willie Nelson’s Love Child Show at Ravenswood Hotel

The great man Willie Nelson is still touring the US with his vast catalogue of amazing songs and his “love child” down under, Brisbane vocalist, Sandra Beynon, is doing him proud by touring this vast brown land, bringing his music to life in her quirky show.

Brisbane-based tribute to Willie Nelson
Sandra Beynon and Sean Mullen

Willie Nelson’s Love Child Show pays tribute to the music of the great Willie Nelson, through their own renditions of his classic hits. The twist is that his songs are all sung by a charismatic female artist while still paying homage to the spirit of the original song-writing.

Using seven ukuleles tuned in open tuning (a la Keith Richards) Beynon provides a unique rhythm backing to the talented engine-room of guitarist, Sean Mullen.

As touring artists, the outfit is small and tight.  Using hand-crafted backing tracks created by Mullen, the pair has in four years covered Outback Queensland, the Torres Strait, the Top End from Broome to Alice Spring, and now will be debuting in Perth, driving up to Exmouth where Beynon is looking forward to swimming with the whales (or if they have moved on, some manta rays).   There may even be some under-water ukulele playing!

Catch their show at the Ravenswood Hotel  on  Friday 5th July from 630pm and it’s FREE!

Check out their promo video here, shot while on tour in Outback Queensland in August/September 2015, funded by Arts Queensland.

Tribute to Willie Nelson
Brisbane-based duo, Sandra Beynon and Sean Mullen

 

Satriani Tribute Show one night only at The Swan Hotel Fremantle

Sean Mullen plays Satriani
Sean Mullen is an Australian guitarist with serious chops.

If Joe Satriani is your thing and you live in Perth, Western Australia, make sure you get along to this concert by Brisbane-based guitarist, Sean Mullen, as he pays tribute to one of the world’s most famous guitarists.

The Satriani Tribute Show plays on Friday 12th July at the Swan Hotel, Fremantle.

Mullen is one of the rare guitarists whose technical prowess allows him to emulate the great compositions of the USA’s Joe Satriani who has only just finished his world tour.

Playing Satch’s compositions as they were written is a labour of love for the lawyer-by-day, guitarist-by-night wunderkind of the electric guitar.

When not performing Satch’s tunes, Mullen can be found playing alongside talented Brisbane songstress, Sandra Beynon, in the Willie Nelson’s Love Child Show (also performing one show only at the Ravenswood Hotel in Fremantle on Friday 5th July.

Tickets are available from Humanitix or at the door.  $10 adults, $5 concessions.

Check out what’s in store for you at this concert:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J708fbihYFM

 

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!

Brisbane, it’s time to get your chilli on!

Brisbane's Chilli Festival
Brisbane's Chilli Festival
Briz Chilli Fest

Brisbane’s one and only chilli festival is all set to heat up Waterfront Park, Newstead on Sunday 9th June from 11am to 6pm.

The festival is in its second year and once again supports Cystic Fibrosis Queensland in its fundraising and awareness campaigns.

Featuring “Hellfire Alley” with over 15 of Australia’s best chilli producers offering their wares to try and buy, the festival also hosts general market stalls and a jam-packed program of chilli-eating competitions.

10 contestants will vie to be the champion in each of these challenges:

Great Balls of Fire, Napalm Noodles, Pyro Pizza, Tequila Sip n Shout, Flaming Wings and the nightmarish Fiery Pod Competition.

Jumping castle, animal nursery farm, craft activities and lots of grass to run around on will keep the young ones amused, and parents relaxed.

Sean Mullen plays Satriani
Sean Mullen is an Australian guitarist with serious chops.

Live music includes the fabulous Satriani Tribute Show with super-technician Sean Mullen flying across the fretboard.

Philip John Guitar
Dutch-Australian guitarist, Philip John.

Philip John Trio opens the festival with some cool jazz grooves.

Missy Vader duo pumps out some cool hits with sultry songstress, Sandra Beynon, at the helm.

Missy Vader and the Dark Force
Sean Mullen, Sandra Beynon and Philip John make up this unique trio playing great classic rock and pop hits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fundraising for Cystic Fibrosis
Viking Breed Social Motorcycle Club

The big-hearted boys from Viking Breed Social Motorcycle Club will one again put their combined weight behind fund-raising for Cystic Fibrosis Queensland as they auction off multiple chances to be “Viking for a Day” by riding pillion with the whole group during the course of the festival.

Visit the festival website www.brizchillifest.com.au for more information.

Find Briz Chilli Fest on Facebook :  http://www.facebook.com/brizchillifest  and also on Instagram @BrizChilliFest.