1. Growing Up
I remember watching A Hard Day’s Night on a freezing, Boxing Day morning as a kid in Liverpool, UK aged about eight or nine. It was then I knew I wanted to be a musician. At the time I had no idea I would end up in Australia playing the banjo in a five-piece band.
As a five-piece our inspirations are wide and varied – Johann Pachelbel to The Police; Smashing Pumpkins to the Bee Gees; Charlie Daniels to Dizzy Gillespie. It’s all in there.
3. Your Band
RMG is a mish-mash of musical talents which blend to make the whole so much more than the sum of its parts. Chris Brooker and I play guitar, banjo and mandolin between us and provide most of the original compositions and lead vocals. It’s a great platform for the virtuoso skills of one of Australia’s greatest fiddle players, Rabbit Robinson, to weave his magic, ably abetted by Rex Carter (drums), a student of jazz and funk, and Willy Bee (bass), a melodic old rocker.
4. The Music You Make
Imagine a cross between Mumford & Sons, The Pogues, Dolly Parton and Neil Young delivered by Metallica – I really can’t think of another way to describe it. It’s hugely energetic, very musical and a lot of fun with real heartfelt moments in between. We’ve been coined as ‘Celtabillypunkfolkgrassrootsrock’ and have been accused by some writers of inventing our own genre. We started out with no expectations – just playing covers on the wrong instruments at local pubs. It became obvious quite early on that we’d hit onto something special and the audiences just kept building. Now we’ve released three original albums and a covers EP, have played main stages at some of Australia’s biggest festivals and had Jack Thompson (the actor – harmonica) and Felicity Urquhart (Queen of country – vocals) appear on our new album, Getting There Is Only Halfway Back. You know you’re doing alright when you find yourself backstage at Bluesfest sharing a urinal and a yarn with Robert Plant!
5. Music, Right Here, Right Now
Although the pub scene is tricky, the festival market seems to be booming. We do a lot of travelling to get to fans. It’s hard work but very rewarding. We’re fortunate as there are really good venues on the north coast that support quality live music, but we are very excited about coming down to play shows in Dee Why and Newcastle at Lizotte’s.
Where: Lizotte’s Dee Why / Lizotte’s Newcastle
When: Friday September 27 / Saturday September 28