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Byron Shire
May 26, 2024

Pandemic plate lickers release lockdown dessert

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Lyne Robertson and Michael Hunt are ready for the lockdown CD launch. Photo Tree Faerie.

The 2020 pandemic lockdown meant the entire entertainment industry was cancelled, but making music cannot be cancelled.

Even tucked up safely at home, local band Lick The Plate saw songs grow and bloom, and they were compelled to record them. That’s how this lockdown project was born.

‘We only met in the studio in ones and twos, but gradually the music grew,’ said band member Michael Hunt.

‘Guide tracks were recorded, replaced, and replaced again. Much of it was recorded in people’s loungerooms and emailed back and forth.

Playing, writing, thinking and communicating

You can never have enough purple boa in a band photo – Photo Tree Faerie.

‘It kept us all playing, writing, thinking and communicating. It was a social service.’

All in all it was a huge group effort from Dave Burke, Grant Robertson, Roy Geiger, Tommy T-Bone, Michael Wearne, Michael Hunt, Eric Lamberti and Lyne Robertson.

Vocalist Lyne Robertson was initially on the back foot, as she works for a supermarket and was largely responsible for satisfying the astonishing demand for toilet paper. Lyne turned this to her advantage by creating a country/swing/reggae/rap number called Sixteen Tons (of Toilet Paper).

Halfway through the process, guitarist Roy Geiger broke his hand during the obligatory home-renovation project, so the band called in another fine guitarist, Tommy T-Bone, who’d been laid off by the tourist boats in Cairns. He contributed seven guitar tracks by email, all for the one song.

The remainder were completed by the well-known local guitar hero, Michael Wearne.

Just in time for legalised dancing

The four recent floods also delayed some recording sessions, but the album is finally ready, just in time for dancing to be legalised.

Lick the Plate is a musical smorgasboard, diverse and delicious – it delivers taste, substance and pleasure. With its roots in r’n’b and jazz, the band also embraces rock, Latin and hiphop. A great rhythm section and a selection of fine guitarists form the perfect vehicle for Lyne Robertson’s sensual vocals and Royden Ainsworth’s soaring sax. There’s techno-funk-jazz, a swing tune which breaks into reggae with a freestyle rap, and Duke Ellington as the Duke never imagined it. Lick the Plate is a feast.

The CD launch at the Ocean Shores Tavern, this Saturday from 4pm.

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