British India play Byron Guitar Fest
Byron Brewery | Saturday & Sunday | $50-90
British India emerged from the Melbourne underground 11 years ago and went on to become one of Australia’s most successful independent rock acts. With four Top 10 albums to their credit the band shows no sign of slowing down. Bass player for the band, Will Drummond, spoke with The Echo ahead of their performance this weekend at the Byron Bay Guitar Festival.
Great name for a band. Where did it come from?
Unfortunately there was no great epiphany or someone appearing on a ‘flaming pie’ in a dream à la The Beatles. As 15–16-year-olds we saw the name of a clothing store in Singapore and were at the same time devouring The Beatles’ Anthologies and must have been up to the episode where they spent a long time in India.
This tour is like a final farewell party for Nic Wilson, your lead guitarist. Is it sad for you guys to have him leave?
It’s extremely sad that Nic is leaving. He has been a great barometer in so many ways for the band, whether that was in the songwriting realm or coming to the man for stressful business decisions we have had to make. Nic exists on his own plane and has never been one to follow a trend, so his ideas have always come from a pure well. Nic is retiring from touring AND music so he won’t be a part of another album. What’s next? We don’t know. As I have said to a lot of people, the bomb has just gone off and we have to see where the dust settles. We have spent half of our life making music and touring, so our next move is one that we need to consider carefully and be respectful to what we have achieved and what we still want to achieve.
What can your fans at the Byron Bay Guitar Festival expect from your show?
Because we are sending Nic off we will be playing a large retrospective of our career. It will be sad but we have to enjoy every last gig with him and we have always loved playing festivals together.
Other than the release of the album you’re working on, is there anything else on the horizon for British India?
Our main focus at the moment is giving Nic the proper farewell. This band means a lot to the many fans who have come to our shows every year and we want to put on a great show for them with Nic still on the stage. Other than that we are just writing and assessing what the future will hold.
British India headline the Byron Bay Guitar Festival at the Byron Brewery this Saturday and Sunday. With 25 performances, five specialty workshops, and even a guitar retail section!
King Bunny! At the Byron Theatre
Byron Theatre | Sunday | 11am | $20
Get the kids rocking their nappies into the next gen with Bunny Racket. Pure rock’n’roll awesomeness delivered by the ‘Motorhead of children’s music!’ Forget everything that you thought you knew about entertainment for the kiddies. Bunny Racket are reshaping the way that children and their parents relate to music and each other. |
The new album, BunnyRumble, was recorded in Los Angeles with Brant Bjork (Kyuss) and Robby Krieger (The Doors) and has just been released on Spotify. Family car trips will never be the same again. That’s right! This band of bunnies deliver real music for people who care about such things!
This Sunday in Byron Bay, it’ll be loud. It’ll be exciting. It will be the best rock show that you have ever been to before lunchtime!
Like a cross between Sesame St and MTV, the pilot episodes of the upcoming Bunny Racket series will be shown on the big screen before the band takes to the stage.
Get in early for tickets through www.byroncentre.com.au and don’t miss the show that every kid in town will be talking about!
You bring the kids. Bunny Racket will bring the ROCK!
Sunday at the Byron Theatre at 11am. Tix at byroncentre.com.
Hotel Great Northern | Saturday | 9pm | FREE
Formed in high school in their hometown of Wollongong, The VANNS’ story centres around Jimmy Vann (vocals/guitars) and Lachie Jones (drummer) when they casually threw a band together to enter a competition. Following 2017’s EP Shake The Hand That Starts The Fight, the four-piece are thrilled to announce the brand-new single How Was I Supposed to Know and a string of shows in support of the single. How Was I Supposed to Know is produced by Oscar Dawson (Holy Holy, Ali Barter, Alex Lahey) and showcases the band’s unique rock roaring sound. ‘This song is about the collapse of a relationship and the frustration, confusion and envy that comes along with seeing the other person easily move on while you’re still caught up in what was. “Baby, you don’t feel inside. Can you teach me how to feel how you feel?”’ explains vocalist/guitarist James Vann.
When high school finished and members left to pursue other lives, Jimmy and Lachie reached out to bass player and long-term associate Tommy Teiko to complete a tightly wound trio dedicated to developing a sound around their shared love of acts like Cold War Kids, Band of Horses and Jeff Buckley.
What followed was a series of two EPs and multiple singles beginning with the self-titled The VANNS in 2013, Scattered by Sundown in 2015 and culminating with the release of the single Skinny Legs in 2016.
While those EPs led to high-profile shows with The Griswolds and being handpicked for national tours with acts like Delta Riggs and Tired Lion, and festival spots at Party in the Paddock, the band really saw a change of fortunes when they enlisted a local guitarist/songwriter, Cam Little, to try his hand at overdubbing some ideas during the recording process for 2017’s EP Shake the Hand that Starts the Fight.
The VANNS at the Hotel Great Northern on Saturday.
Willie Watson plays Club Mullum
Mullum Ex-Services | Friday 12 Oct | $38.50
The wait is over! The former Old Crow Medicine Show star Willie Watson is one special cat, an oldtime troubadour of the highest order. His live shows are a journey in the history of folk, country and the blues. One-man band. Voice. Guitar. Banjo. His smokin’ second solo release appropriately titled Folk Singer Vol 2 was released last year and this will be the first time our ears will hear the joy, sadness and tales of these historic tunes.
He is joined by Ash Bell and Sara Tindley at Club Mullum. Tix $38.50, redsquaremusic.com.au.
Nudge Nudge Wink Wink at the Billinudgel Hotel
Billinudgel Hotel | Sunday | 2-9.30pm | $25
October’s Nudge Nudge Wink Wink is all about raising money for local not-for-profit Mullumbimby & District Neighbourhood Centre’s More Than a Meal program, which produces an average of 45–50 meals per day, with some days as high as 75–80, equalling over 13,000 meals a year. October’s DJs bring soul-tisfying satisfaction to every set they plate up! Sunday’s first course starts with DJ Bango, a now Byron Bay-based DJ, journalist and radio programmer. Originally from Rhodesia, Bango launched his music career in London, ramped it up in Sydney, is featured at world-renowned festivals, and is now based locally doing what he loves for all of us – cooking up incredible music every set!
Wetting your tastebuds for the second and fourth courses are the delectable Cunning Stunts resident DJs Lord Sut and Dale Stephen, who will be serving soul-satiating delights across multiple genres to whet your whistle and titillate your toes as you dine on their tunes.
In between is the main course curated by Stephen Allkins, celebrating his 40 years in the industry; his special two-hour set is guaranteed to be a culinary sensation for the senses!
Sunday at Billinudgel Hotel at 2–9.30pm. cunning stunts.com.au.