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Rhea Robertson

Chats with the Gold Coast musician.

She’s the local gal with the voice of an angel and if you’ve not yet had the pleasure of hearing it, we suggest you rectify that quick smart.

Rhea Robertson has been a musician since the age of 12, recently spending time in LA writing and working with producers to create new tunes and this weekend, she’ll perform at HOTA’s highly anticipated Young Hearts Run Free Ball.

We sat down for a chat with Rhea about featuring on the latest Aquaman movie and the warehouse party everyone’s invited to.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I was born on the Gold Coast, but grew up in a travelling family so we moved around Australia in a Kombi van during my childhood. We always called the Gold Coast home and came back here long term for high school. After school I went off on my own world travels before settling back on the Gold Coast a few years ago.

What do you love most about living here?
I love living in Paradise! It’s easy going, the world’s most beautiful beaches, stunning mountains/rainforests just a drive away and everything we could possibly need in between!

Tell us about how your music career came about?
I started writing music at 12, then started performing gigs at 14. At the time I was the youngest kid on the scene performing at the original live music venues on the coast. Being surrounded by older artists who were so encouraging really propelled my passion. By 17, I was gigging every weekend and had already recorded my first EP at the local favourite, Love Street Studios. I had such an amazingly supportive family who have always encouraged my dream to pursue music, I’ve never felt the pressure to be anything but myself and at the core of my being is music, so here we are!

What influences your music?
My music is a reflection of my world. Whether from my own experiences or those around me, but also from exploring storytelling and creating characters. I find I can easily write about an experience I’ve never personally been through by adapting into a character mindset and writing from there. Almost like writing a mini movie but with melodies and emotion! At home you will find me listening to a lot of jazz, blues and Hollywood golden era music. I like music that moves me! In a world that’s becoming so connected by technology but so emotionally disconnected from one another, music for me is a way to keep us human and feeling our emotions to their full extent.

How would you describe your sound?
My sound has changed a lot over the last two years, working with some amazing artists and producers in LA really helped me find a pocket that is uniquely Rhea. Together with Producer Luke Wylde, we are working with a femme fatale style sound that reflects my golden era music passion in a modern world. Moody melodies dancing atop a dreamy alt pop soundscape with hip hop influence.

You’re playing at Young Hearts Run Free this weekend, why did you want to be involved in the ball at Home of the Arts (HOTA)?
I have always been a Baz Luhrmann fan, Romeo and Juliet being one of my favourite films of all time. When I was asked to be a part of this I said yes without hesitation! Masquerade ball fashion, glitter, 90’s, outdoor theatre umm, yes please! The bonus part was being asked to sing Lovefool which is an all time favourite song; I really hope everyone enjoys my rendition!

What have been some of your biggest career highlights to date?
This last year and a half has really been my biggest yet! I spent a lot of time over in LA recording and writing. I am now working with artists and writers I had only dreamed of working with before! I also got to perform at Festival 2018 last year, was a finalist for GC music awards (song of the year and video for the year), was invited to the Q Music amplify songwriters retreat and have been receiving so much radio airtime love from Radio Metro, ABC, 4zzz and Triple J Unearthed. One of my big highlights was featuring on a song that was used in the Aquaman movie. It was a very different style for me and I was being considered against some amazingly talented and well known artists. So to be given the opportunity on such a global scale was really an amazing honour that has opened so many doors for the future.

What’s happening for the rest of 2019?
I started 2019 strong having already released three songs and two music videos, which are available on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes and YouTube etc. I have another new song ‘Take it Slow’ releasing and I am hosting a warehouse party for it on June 14th. Everyone’s invited, 7pm Mobile Barber Shop Depot, Bundall $10 entry. I have DJ Kye Grant, Luke Wylde and the all female dancers from Pink Matter joining me on stage. It’s going to be an epic night!

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Cafe for breakfast: Cardamom Pod on Ferry Road
Coffee spot: Alltime coffee at Mermaid Beach (plus they have vegan toasties!)
Restaurant for dinner: Doko Demo V in Miami (best vegan food on the Gold Coast, so much variety and affordable too)!
Where do you like to spend time on the weekend: If I’m not in my home studio writing, then the Southern Gold Coast beaches where I can relax with coffee and a good book.

Young Hearts Run Free

Never let it be said that good things don’t come out of absolutely tragic heartbreak. Case in point: Romeo and Juliet. Very sad tale, Shakespeare was quite adept at spinning them, wasn’t he?

BUT. Here’s the good thing to come out of that. HOTA, also known as Home of the Arts, is hosting what’s sure to be an absolutely incredible masquerade-ball slash rock show and you should absolutely buy a ticket right this minute.

It’s the ultimate in 90s nostalgia with the entire soundtrack (from the movie obvs) brought to life by an epic lineup of musicians, performers and special guests, followed immediately by a 1997 DJ set.

It’s the greatest thing to hit the Gold Coast since, well, maybe ever actually and we will be there with glitter and those long cigarette holder things and masks and we are oh so excited.

ALSO masks because it’s a masquerade ball guys. What. A. Time.

All your favourites from one of the best soundtracks of all time will be on show including bands like The Cardigans. Radiohead. Everclear. Garbage. Desree. Butthole Surfers. The kid with the voice on the Prince song. And some other songs you somehow know all the words to.

Can you believe it’s been over 20 years since Baz Luhrmann turned the greatest love story ever told into the greatest soundtrack ever sold? Neither, but no doubt there’ll be big old sing-alongs aplenty.

Performers on the night include Patience Hodgson, known and loved as the lead vocalist from indie rock band The Grates (amazing) plus alternative Gold Coast pop singer, Rhea Robertson, also joins the party to sing the iconic track Love Fool (her voice is life-changing).

Brisbane band, Dubmarine, will join us with their unique blend of dub, dancehall, reggae, drum and bass and vocalists Billie Weston and DKazman are sure to give us an unforgettable evening thanks to their high-powered and energetic style of performance.

Singer-songwriter, musician and co-creator of the show, Tom Dickins, will lead the night with his velvety yet bittersweet voice and heartfelt ballads along with Abby Dobson of Australian pop-band Leonardo’s Bride, singer/songwriter Cash Savage, captivating Brisbane artist Airling and last but definitely not least, Greg Chiapello of Brisbane’s rich indie music scene, is bringing to life the epic Romeo + Juliet soundtrack.

It’s going to be one of the most magical nights the Gold Coast has ever seen.

Grab your finest, trashiest 90s masquerade garb and get yourself a ticket because Young Hearts Run Free is a night to absolutely not be missed.

LOCATION: HOTA Outdoor Stage, 135 Bundall Rd, Bundall
WHEN: June 1st from 7pm

Words by Kirra Smith

12 next-level Gold Coast solo musicians

Tyler Vivian

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.

Nathan Fynn
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.

Kate McKay
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.

Tyler Vivian
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.

Brett Gannon
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.

Julie Hayes
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.

Kate McKay

Tyson Faulkner
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.

Ella Fence
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

Gregg Peterson
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.

Zak Keenan
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.

Rory Switzer
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 Delphin
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.

15 live music venues on the Gold Coast

Live Music at Miami Marketta (image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)
Live Music at Miami Marketta (image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)

There are a great many things to get amongst on the GC, and these days, a thriving local music scene is undeniably one of them. And we can all agree, if there’s one thing that takes kicking back with a frosty refreshment to a whole new level, it’s getting your ears around some sweet tunes while you do it.

From dank, hidden indie dive bars to classic pub-style serenades for the whole fam to vibe to – whatever genre you’re in the mood for, there’s bound to be a venue to match.

Hound & Stag
The new kid on Arundel’s block has been hitting all the right notes since they slid open their enormous barn door late last year. Hound and Stag is now the GC’s largest combining craft brews and live music, and honestly, how could you go wrong with a combo like that?! The regular array of gigs, open mic nights and 90’s nights are the big old auditory cherry on top of an excellent atmosphere, brew-pub bites and endless frosty beverages here, folks.
Where: 13 Wrights Place, Arundel

Hound & Stag Brewing Co, Arundel (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
Hound & Stag Brewing Co, Arundel (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

Southport Sharks
One of Queenland’s largest AFL clubs, Southport Sharks is a family-friendly gem that’s more than merely a haven for footy fans to wet their whistles. With multiple venues and areas built-in, this Babushka doll vibing spot always has something going on, including live acts every weekend if you’re in the mood to groove. Every Friday and Saturday night, there’s an assortment of free gigs going down, from retro RnB shows, classic pub rock to tribute acts to get those toes tapping. Might we suggest first swinging by Mozza Mozza, apparently carb-loading is important before strenuous activity.
Where: Cnr Musgrave and Olsen Avenues, Southport

Vinnies Dive
We can always count on our local dive bar to deliver us the very dankest of gigs, and Vinnie’s Dive does exactly that. Championing our local music scene, they’re no strangers to big alt/indie names such as Dear Seattle, DZ Deathrays, Wil Wagner (The Smith Street Band) The Bennies and Regurgiator gracing their small but mighty stage – in addition to karaoke and themed tribute nights. We think this review sums it up best: “It’s dark, the floors are sticky, the toilets seats are occasionally broken, the beers are icy cold and the staff are the best people you’ll ever meet.” Get down there for great times and even better gigs (just leave the flimsy pluggas at home).
Where: Shops A & B, 44A Nerang Street, Southport

Vinnies Dive (image supplied)
Vinnies Dive (image supplied)

The Avenue
When it comes to finding live acts and having yourself a good time on the central Gold Coast, you’ll be hard pushed to look past The Avenue in Surfers Paradise. From comedy nights, drag shows, DJ’s, karaoke and themed evenings, there’s something going down at The Avenue each and every night of the week.

Work week got you feeling flat? We recommend Tunes on Tuesday or Feel Good Friday’s to recharge with some dance therapy and pulse-pounding beats. Those vibes will be back on track in no time.
Where: 3-15 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Surfers Pavilion
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

HOTA Outdoor Stage (image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)
HOTA Outdoor Stage (image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)

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 intimate, indoor performances to the homegrown darlings and headline acts routinely taking one of Australia’s best outdoor stages – the variety of shows are as varied and vibrant as its technicolour exterior. For an impeccable way to kick off the weekend, it’s hard to go past Fridays on the Lawn. Grab a blanket, acquire a drink from their lawn bar, and relax in their sophisticated sun-kissed setting whilst being serenaded by some stellar local talent to celebrate the end of the working week.
Where: HOTA, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise

Den Devine
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 music fans, so we definitely recommend booking in advance to nab a seat. Grab a some eats and sips from their serious selection of whisky (the perfect accompaniment to some moody blues) and the equally stacked Mediterranean menu, and vibe to a selection of the best performers on the Gold Coast six nights a week.
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.

To keep you bopping in-between headline acts, there’s also live and free tunes going down on the reg, in the open air ambience of Garden Kitchen & Bar’s Live on the Lawn series. Every weekend, the beats come courtesy of DJ’s, soloists, and if you time it just right, the likes of world-class powerhouse vocalist, Lisa Hunt on select Fridays. Goosebumps incoming.
Where: 1 Casino Drive, Broadbeach

Lisa Hunt, Live on the Lawn, The Star Gold Coast (image supplied)
Lisa Hunt, Live on the Lawn, The Star Gold Coast (image supplied)

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

Miami Marketta
Build it, and they will come… though it’s not clear in this analogy if the ‘they’ should be the steady stream of stellar, live music acts, the hungry hordes, or adoring music fans. Either way, this iconic laneway has established itself as a cracking spot for many things, including one of the best places to catch a gig on the GC.

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. A hotspot doing some solid heavy lifting to attract incredible national and international acts as they tour the country – Be sure to keep an eye on their gig calendar; tickets always sell out fast!
Where: 23 Hillcrest Parade, Miami

Miami Marketta (image supplied)
Miami Marketta (image supplied)

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
Burleigh’s multi-use music, space hire and events hub, Mo’s Desert Clubhouse is a melting pot of goings-on and a principal meeting place for muso’s, movers and shakers and music lovers across the GC. The industrial-style venue is outfitted with a fully stocked bar and equally stacked gig guide, so refer back often and make sure you pencil in a date with Mo’s Desert Clubhouse ASAP.
Where: 6/36 Central Drive, Burleigh Heads

Mo's Desert Clubhouse, Burleigh (image supplied)
Mo's Desert Clubhouse, Burleigh (image supplied)

Burleigh Town Hotel
A fresh af new look is not the only thing Burleigh Town Hotel is boasting these days, also ‘drumming up’ a very solid live entertainment schedule studded with emerging bands and popular Aussie acts to get your ears around. There’s DJ’s and acoustic artists bringing tunes to the beer garden most weekends, along with with Punk, Motown and Pop themed tribute shows – where you can hit the d-floor to the likes of Ed Sheeran, Robbie Williams and queen Kylie (gold hot pants optional).
Where: Tsipura Drive, Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Town Hotel (image provided)
Burleigh Town Hotel (image provided)

This gem is a favourite among live music fans, having hosted a slew of local, national and international icons — but it also remains one of our best-kept secrets. Find your way down to Currumbin RSL, where, hidden just above, 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 — has long been known as one of the best for rounding out a perfect afternoon with live music. Being one of the Gold Coast’s largest live music venues, this OG frequently features both national and international touring bands and DJs on any given weekend. In between catching your fave big names, rock out to live, local tunes every Wed, Fri, Sat and Sun.
Where: Cnr Warner Street and Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Words by Kellie Leader.

Creekfest at Soundlounge (image supplied)
Creekfest at Soundlounge (image supplied)
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