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Byron Shire
June 15, 2021

Nothing Fake about Island Vibe

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Joshua Appleby of Cheap Fakes got up close and personal with Seven about his band Cheap Fakes, playing at the upcoming Island Vibe on Straddie.

Tell me how Cheap Fakes came to be.

Cheap Fakes has been through a few incarnations since our inception, but, the initial project came about when Hayden had more than 20 tunes written and recorded and want to unleash them on the world. The band came together pretty naturally after we heard the tracks.

What experience do you want to give your audience?

People should be ready to move… a lot! 

The reactions we get from our live act are so varied. I think we are able to provide something personal. Whether you are there to get lost in a moment, the music, or just have a good time, we are stoked to be a part of it.

What do you love most about playing festivals? Are they different from regular gigs? How?

Everyone is usually pretty amped to go to a festival and this is pretty evident from the stage. All the walks of life that come together at a festival make it unique.

Another element is getting to share these events with other bands. Relationships formed at these events often lead to further opportunities for artists and the music community. There have been a couple of festivals that we have been a part of where we’ve had the opportunity to share the bill with some bands we really look up to, which is really exciting and rewarding.

What are the songs or the bands that have informed your music?

The band’s influences are so vast and span numerous genres. Writing has become quite a collaborative process and all the different personalities combine to create something unique. Scotty B is one of the most dedicated Prince fans you could meet! Hayden loves the Beatles and has bulk recordings of B-sides and false takes. There is a strong rock, roots, funk and jazz influence for individual members too.

Tell me about Modern Vintage. What was the feel that you went for with that recording?

We wanted it to sound huge! Compositionally and sonically. The majority of the tracks are on the heavier side of our spectrum, but there is still the clear Cheap Fakes sound throughout. Having said that, it still has the lighter, happier tracks as well.

How does it translate to stage?

It adds different colours to our set. It means we can read the audience and take it in a direction catering to what is unfolding in front of us.

What is the marker for you of a kick-arse gig?

So many elements! Crowd response is a big one. When everyone is feeling it and getting excited by what is being presented to them, we feel that and feed off it.

There is an element of improvisation to our set that keeps it exciting. Not only for the people who keep coming to our shows, but for us as well. We are extremely conscious of what is happening onstage; when everyone is unified and spontaneously creating something new, that gives us a huge buzz.

What’s the strangest experience you’ve had at a gig?

Just before a gig at Queen Street Mall, someone asked if they could play percussion for our set. As we obviously hadn’t rehearsed, let alone met the guy prior to this, we politely declined. Not being content with this answer, he went to what was Allen’s Music at the time and purchased a tambourine. Then periodically walked past the stage during our songs playing this tambourine as hard as he could with no concern for time, giving us stinkeye for the entirety of our set.

If you could choose a mystery seventh person to guest for a Cheap Fakes show, alive or dead, who would it be? 

I automatically want to say iconic artists such as Hendricks, Joplin or James Brown, but lock in Fred Wesley! Add some funky bone to those Cheap Fakes horns.

What should we expect for your show at Island Vibe?

All of the above! Be ready to move to a high-energy party, festival set with Straddie as the backdrop.

Island Vibe at North Stradbroke Island. 28–30 October.

Tix and program information at islandvibe.com.au.

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