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Rhea Robertson

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.

16 live music venues on the Gold Coast

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

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)!

Southport Sharks
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

Vinnies Dive
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

Hard Rock Cafe (image supplied)
Hard Rock Cafe (image supplied)

The Avenue
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

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

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

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 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

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 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

Live on the Lawn at The Star Gold Coast (image supplied)
Live on the Lawn at 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

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

Miami Marketta
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

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
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

Mo's Desert Clubhouse (image by Melting Wax Photography)
Mo's Desert Clubhouse (image by Melting Wax Photography)

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.

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