Hello Gold Coasters, we’re here today to bring you another round of ‘Fun Things to do in Isolation’ and this one is extra good. It’s the virtual version of the Gold Coast Music Awards, an annual event that’s been entertaining us for many years now and this year, it’s very special in more ways than one.
The first is that it’s online, which is obviously quite necessary right now and also great in that you can perch yourself on the couch with a wine in hand, wear your pyjamas and not have to move for the entirety of the event. Perfect.
The second (and third and fourth) is that Aussie legends Amy Shark, Tones and I and Sophie Monk are amongst the special guests who will appear in this years’ online presentation.
The Awards were of course created to celebrate the City’s creative talents with a jam-packed night of winner announcements, special messages and lounge room performances from Casey Barnes, Eliza & The Delusionals, DVNA, Busby Marou and lots more.
From the safety and comfort of their respective couches, 31 Gold Coast acts, their friends, family and you, the fans will be tuning in to see if who wins a coveted ‘Skull Murphy’ trophy, including Hussy Hicks, who have topped the nominations with five potential gongs, country music star Casey Barnes, indie kids, IVEY and international folk streaming sensation, Hollow Coves.
Showing once again the Gold Coast is a hotspot for musical talent, PACES, Bombs Away, Busby Marou, San Mei, Eliza & The Delusionals, Ella Fence, DVNA and more are also in for the win on Thursday night.
The event is free for everyone to join, watch it on Thursday April 30th at 7pm on the Gold Coast Music Awards Facebook page here.
What a time to be alive (exhausting but also good).
Happy at-home awards party.
Words by Kirra Smith
Musical talent is a thing we do not have but that’s cool because it seems lots of other people do and we have other skills okay.
Turns out, the Gold Coast in particular has many a musical prodigy, which is lucky ‘cuz this would be a short story otherwise.
Here are 12 local solo musicians you should give your ears the pleasure of listening to ASAP.
Rene Le Feuvre
The Gold Coast lad just released a new single and it’s a whole lot of love for your ears friends. He creates high vibe tunes and he’s possibly one of the most passionate musos around. Catch him in various venues and cafes across the city. You might just fall in love.
He plays around the Coast on the regular, massaging locals’ ears with his cruisy vibes. They say his style is reminiscent of Neil Young, Bob Dylan, and Neil Finn and that is quite the combination.
A singer/songwriter born in South East Queensland, it is with great pleasure we claim this woman and her soulful vocal cords. She’s pretty epic at all the genres but we particularly love a powerful ballad of the Kate McKay variety.
He’s a kiwi turned Gold Coaster with the voice (and face) of an angel. Also a singer/songwriter Tyler Vivian is one man you want to listen to. While he can belt out any old thing, it’s those sweet, soulful songs of his that’ll get ya. Listen to his tunes here.
Raw, unplugged acoustic sounds are always a good time and particularly when Brett Gannon is bringing them to your life. He’s played the world over and is much-loved for his lively sets with tunes ranging from the 60s to now.
Of Irish descent, Julie Hayes has the storytelling gene running through her veins. Her haunting folks-style melodies will transport you to another world. Julie’s style draws influence from the like of Florence Welch and Joni Mitchell and that is just fine by us.
He’s a passionate musician who has been performing for over 14 years around Australia. With a vast roll call of influences including Eddie Vedder, Metallica and Crowded House, you know his shows bring the good vibes.
An electro-pop artist who recently performed on the Festival 2018 stage, Ella Fence creates big sounds and guaranteed fun times. She’s all about big bass and edgy sounds and she’s definitely one to seek out and reward your ears with. Listen to her sweet beats here.
Another Gold Coast adoptee, this time from the far flung US of A, Gregg Peterson’s musical roots stem from jazz, blues and country. His solo gigs see him utilise those insane looping machines and his guitar work must be seen to be believed.
He’s only been playing around the place for a short while but in that time he’s garnered quite the fan base. Catch Zak and his cruisy, melodic tunes at Nightjar on the regular and don’t be surprised if this guy shows up at the Grammy’s pretty soon.
He’s a solo man but he’s also part of a band, Loose Leaf and you can see him and hear his smooth vocals all over the Coast these days. The band is a bit of a combo of chill and a rock & roll vibes and they sure know how to get a party started.
Jason plays and produces music styles that range from blues, soul, jazz, folk, punk rock. He was unearthed by Triple J and he’s played at Falls Festival and few times throughout the year along with Blues on Broadbeach. So you know he’s good.
There you have it, this lot play across the Coast at many a venue so look up your favourite and get down there to #supportlocal.
Words by Kirra Smith.
There’s never been a more important time to support our local hospitality business’ and musicians for a dose of live music in South East Queensland. Whether you’re the mid-week beer sipping and knee-slapping type or the seltzer slurping weekend warrior: live music is here for us all. Across the Gold Coast, there are abundant options for you to get involved in live music, with a breadth of venues all with their unique personalities and offerings.
So tell mum not to wait up, and head out to these live music venues across our lively city (listed north to south)!
The largest AFL club in Queensland, Southport Sharks has been up and running since 1961. Every weekend they showcase local musical talent, including tribute bands and good old rock and roll (or maybe a spot of karaoke is more up your alley?). There are endless food options, but we suggest starting your night at one of the Gold Coast’s most northern rooftop bars Aviary and fuel up to power through those dance sessions.
Where: Cnr Musgrave and Olsen Avenues, Southport
Not ones to hang around, this Southport rockin’ bar has hosted over 700 live music events in their short lifespan, and on any given night of the week, there is always something going down. Vinnies is in every inch of the word a dive bar, and inside you’ll find walls decked out with album covers, and an overall moody, low-lit vibe where revellers dance up a storm.
Where: Shops A & B, 44A Nerang Street, Southport
When it comes to finding live acts and having yourself a good time in the central Gold Coast, you’ll be hard pushed to look past The Avenue in Surfers Paradise. If you don’t believe us, check it out for yourself; there is literally something on every night of the week. Feeling the work week getting the better of you? Then we suggest you hit up their Tunes Tuesdays or House Music Thursdays, but if you can survive till the weekend, you’ll be spoilt with a variety of live music and the best partygoing atmosphere.
Where: 3-15 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Should you arrive by jet ski or by Uber, it doesn’t matter. Surfers Pavilion is your one-stop venue in the heart of Surfers Paradise for drinks, eats and catching a live DJ set or two. And not just any disc jockeys either; The Stafford Brothers and Peking Duk have both played to jubilant crowds here in recent times. Currently, the wheels of steel are spinning Thursday and Friday evenings and all through the weekend: perfect long weekend territory.
Where: 30/34 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Hard Rock Café
Climb the stairway to heaven and enjoy handcrafted cocktails, impossible to ignore thick shakes, and a freshly prepared Americana menu over an impressive local rock music guest list. Since the first live music performance (Sir Paul McCartney no less) in 1973, the Hard Rock Cafe chains have been the home of live music and this Surfers Paradise institution is no different. Not just a great way to start off your weekend, there’s also mid-week events like musical bingo to cure any hump day melancholy.
Where: Corner Cavill Avenue and Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise
The Home of the Arts is certainly doing the heavy lifting to finally elevate the arts and culture scene here in our section of Queensland. From headline acts performing on one of Australia’s best outdoor stage to intimate gigs indoors, variety is certainly what comes to mind when visiting a HOTA show. They’ve now decided your afternoons deserve an injection of outdoor live music too, now presenting Fridays on the Lawn. With a host of local talent scheduled to celebrate the end of the working week, we suggest you grab a blanket, acquire a drink from their lawn bar, and relax in their sophisticated sun-kissed setting as you plot your moves for the weekend.
Where: HOTA, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise
Open Tuesday to Sunday for your listening pleasure, Den Devine feature jazz and blues artists from a talent pool right here in our city. This intimate hidden venue is well-known amongst live muisc fans, so we definitely recommend booking in advance to nab a seat. Grab a bev from their serious selection of whisky (the perfect accompaniment to some moody blues), a Mediterranean dish from their menu (it might sound like an odd fit, but trust us, the food is delish!) and make yourself comfortable as you’re treated to a fine selection of the best performers on the Gold Coast.
Where: 15 Victoria Avenue, Broadbeach
Garden Kitchen & Bar at The Star Gold Coast
When it comes to star-studded acts and internationally recognised music performances, The Star Gold Coast is the place to grab a seat in a full-blown theatre and experience music as it was intended. On the regular, though, you will find Garden Kitchen & Bar’s Live on the Lawn sessions a worthy alternative between headline acts. Each week they kick things off on a Friday evening and don’t let up until late Sunday night, with different music for every taste. Local band, McKenzie invite you to bop along to their Sunday residency with their energetic mix of feel-good pop-rock — a classic way to see the week out. Once you settle in, you’ll also be looked after with their dedicated lawn bar, and container kitchen, meaning leaving is one of the hardest things to do.
Where: 1 Casino Drive, Broadbeach
Having duly stamped its authority on the Nobby Beach bar scene as the place to go for frolic fuelled nights, these guys will have you rocking out until the wee hours with a live band or DJ every night of the week. The venue also offers new bands the chance to get themselves out there, so keep an eye out for fresh talent!
Where: 2245 Gold Coast Highway, Nobbys Beach
The Cambus Wallace
Jump aboard and set sail to a nautical-infused destination full of food, rum, and live music. The Cambus Wallace awaits you for a night filled with charismatic blues, raw acoustic sets, and finger flicking vinyl delights. Depending on your taste, take your pick and be sure you try at least one of their cocktails!
Where: 2237 Gold Coast Highway, Nobbys Beach
Open from 5pm every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights, Miami comes alive with foods from all around the world mixed with local blues, jazz and independent artists. And this isn’t all — the venue is one of the prime places to catch amazing national and international acts as they tour the country and drop by. Be sure to keep an eye on their gig calendar; tickets always sell out fast!
Where: 23 Hillcrest Parade, Miami
Burleigh’s original back alley after-hours haunt is always an epic time. Nightjar is known for late-night revelry and an often stellar line-up of weekly live music. With drink specials aplenty, come and enjoy local acts as they take to the floor and keep the swinging yet sultry atmosphere going long into the night.
Where: Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads
Mo’s Desert Clubhouse
Combining events, gigs, workshops, yoga classes, and collaborative office spaces, Mo’s Desert Clubhouse is a melting pot of goings-on and a principal meeting place for the Gold Coast’s coolest movers and shakers. The industrial-style venue is outfitted with a bar and has a plethora of gigs lined up for the rest of the year. Make sure you pencil in a date with Mo’s Desert Clubhouse ASAP.
Where: 6/36 Central Drive, Burleigh Heads
Burleigh Brewing Co.
Beer and music is an ensemble that will never die. Burleigh Brewery approaches their live music offering just the same way as they make their beer: balance, character and soul. Local acts are regularly paired with food trucks and your favourite brews from Friday through to Sunday. There’s also the occasional art show, movies under the stars and theatre performance for good measure. Oh and did we mention exceptional beer?
Where: 2 Ern Harley Drive, Burleigh Heads
It’s one of the Gold Coast’s favourite live music venues, having hosted local, national and international acts — but also remains one of our best-kept secrets. Find your way down to Currumbin RSL, where Soundlounge hosts acts from folk soloists and DJs to rock and roll bands. Listening to fantastic live music can be a hungry business, but this venue has you covered with food options, including pizza, an a la carte restaurant and bar snacks.
Where: 165 Duringan Street, Currumbin
The Coolangatta Hotel
Whether you’ve been catching world-class waves or lounging in the afternoon sun, Coolangatta — and specifically the Coolangatta Hotel — is the place to round out a perfect afternoon with live music. Being one of the Gold Coast’s largest live music venues, this venue features both national and international touring bands and DJs on any given weekend. The vast space has long been famous for all types of weekend warriors to dance the night away — just don’t forget that Monday morning meeting.
Where: Cnr Warner Street and Marine Parade, Coolangatta
Words by Alex Mitcheson.
Amy Shark is a born and bred Gold Coaster who has taken the music world by storm over the last few months.
After releasing her debut single Adore in 2016, Amy became a household name going on to claim second place in Triple J’s Hottest 100 and last week, announcing an Australia-wide tour.
We sat down for a chat with Amy to find out how her life has changed and what she loves most about being a Gold Coaster.
It’s been a whirlwind few months for you, how are you feeling about it all?
I’m still Amy, but I get to write and play music full time now so I’m in the clouds!
You grew up on the Gold Coast, how has the culture here shaped your musical career?
The Gold Coast music scene was obviously not as savvy as the major cities but in a way it was kind of nice, there was never any pressure and I loved being able to write a song in my bedroom, then randomly ride to the beach and back. Growing up here was all about warm summers, sleepovers, theme parks, beach hangs and pool parties.
How did you come to be where you are today? Any defining moments?
When I finally took myself seriously, focusing on my sound and perfecting what I wanted people to feel when they listen to my music.
How did it feel to hear your song on the radio for the first time?
I was super proud! I will never forget that night.
What’s it been like trying to break into the music scene?
Well I kind of gave up ‘trying’ to get noticed, and it was the best decision I ever made. I finally channeled all my energy on my music.
If I were an aspiring artist on the Gold Coast, what steps would I take to get where you are?
Be brutally honest with yourself. Do you want to be a musician to be rich and famous or do you want to be a musician because you can’t stop making music? Cause if it’s the first one you’re probs gonna crash.
What do you love most about the Gold Coast lifestyle?
It’s chilled, it’s warm and there’s avocado on every menu.
You’re not a Gold Coast local if you haven’t….
Thrown some tins in your bike basket and rode to Burleigh Hill.
Being a local we have to ask for your favourites…
Pub: D’Arcy Arms
Coffee Shop: Society of Florida
Music venue: NightQuarter
Tour dates and tickets available here.