I was roundly berated a little while ago for not including my upcoming gigs here. And rightly so!
Here’s what’s coming up. It’s a pretty nutty schedule, but give me a little credit… I no longer say YES to Three-Gig-Days. Huzzah for me!
> later, I’ll be playing at Zara’s 21st. This one promises to be a ripper!
> Steve Simmons is looking after the Doutta Galla on Sunday the 12th, and Dom Italiano is covering my regular Thursday gig @ the Elephant CBD on the 16th. Thanks Boyz.
Hello and welcome back, to Avid Followers and Casual Voyeurs alike.
Here’s what’s been going on…
The TWO RING CIRCUS Duo is now also the TWO RING CIRCUS Podcast! Dom and I are getting together once a week (separate to our gigging lives) to discuss the world, each other, pop culture, and – hopefully – to delight and entertain a world-wide audience in podcast form. It’s been fun so far – at time of writing we’re seven episodes in.
I’ve had a few trips away – New Year’s Eve (and two weeks hence) found me gigging in Tropical Far North Queensland. It’s always a party time up there – I’ll be back again in November for Airlie Festival with the Ráv Thomas Band.
I’ve had a bunch of interstate weddings and corporate events too – it’s been a really fun year so far. I performed for a joint husband and wife birthday party on a multi-million dollar yacht cruising Sydney Harbour too. What a great day and night it was!
I’ve even had some holidays – I was in Borneo for a few days of jungle-trekking, oran-utan watching, infinity pool chilling, sun bear viewing, rooftop bar hanging and sun-seeking – ’twas an amazing and eye-opening experience.
Eye opening too was a quick trip to Canberra – I’ve not been since I was still in primary school in Sydney – the Australian War Memorial and the National Gallery are Must Sees!
Oh, and Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour – my third or fourth time, such a fantastic thing to do. I’m not necessarily an opera fan per se, but the operas performed in this forum are very “easy”, and the whole set-up of this iconic event is so worth experiencing. Plus of course, there’s semi-regular trips to see family in South Australia and Tasmania – being an only child means that I do a fair bit of gallivanting about the place; these are things that need to be done.
Certainly (gratefully) the gigs are still chugging along at home here in Melbourne too. Most weeks I’ll do at least six, and often eight, nine or even ten gigs. I have pulled back a little – doctors orders. Basically, earlier this year I had a Sam Smith/Adele-style bleed on one of my vocal folds. This necessitated my having throat-specialist prescribed TOTAL VOCAL REST. Not a sound did I utter for the best part of nine days. The hope was that this rest would then mean no surgery, no development of any nodules/polyps/other nasties. It’s no surprise really that this happened to me – the speech pathologist explained to me, the trauma was created simply by overwork, singing when sick, and perhaps just a little bad luck. If I do a double gig day, that’s likely fifty or sixty songs I’ll sing. Certainly it’s why I don’t book myself triple gig days any more. But I’m all good, never fear! HERE is an article that talks more about it all, if you’re at all interested.
My booking agency SPACE BETWEEN NOTES is forging ahead well. We’ve got some excellent acts on the books, and we’re currently expanding to cater to corporate event clients – we’re now including aerial performers, magicians and MCs in our roster. Very exciting stuff.
AND I’m still the Musical Producer at DRACULAS Theatre Restaurant – a month or so ago I finished the new Queensland show “TERRORBYTE”. If you’ve not been, to either the Queensland venue or the one here in Melbourne, I highly recommend you do so. It’s a super fun time. Plus I also once again worked with Harvest Rain Theatre Company, this time on their production of the Arena Spectacular version of GREASE. Fingers crossed it comes to Melbourne.
For now, cheers, and good health to you.
Well, please don’t let the lack of updating fool you… it’s certainly not that nothing’s been going on. If that makes sense.
The opposite, in fact… if that makes sense.
Lots of prep happening for “festival season” – next Saturday, Rav Thomas and the rest of us band guys will be heading to RedFest just outside of Brisbane for three original gigs in two days. Should be a blast!
And the new single/video will be out in a couple of weeks.
A little past news that ties in with what’s coming up:
I’ve just recently come off of doing the music and subsequent intensive but very fun follow-up for Draculas Cabaret Restaurant Queensland #RetroVampt is a fast-paced, wild ride, is presented in three separate acts and punctuated with acrobatic dance, mime, puppetry, and mind-bending staging, all set to a funky 70’s song list. Retro Vampt features a multi-talented cast, live music and Dracula’s signature razor edge comedy and love for bizarre art house madness. It’s sexy, it’s hairy, and it’s set to expand your mind, groove your soul, and chill your spine with cool vibes, belly laughs, and way too much technicoloured polyester. You won’t find a better dinner and show on the Gold Coast.
And then before you know it, I’ll be in pre-production for the new Draculas Cabaret Restaurant Melbourne show. It’s a retrospective show, with all the best bits of the last ten years, re-jigged and updated. I can’t wait! Opening Night is Wednesday October 26th.
In the week that followed my birthday in 2014, I started gigging @ The Village Belle Hotel Doulton Bar with SammyV. And we had a pretty fun time, playing together for the first time in a long time at one of Melbourne’s most iconic “local pubs”. Thanks, mate!
For about the last year and a half, I’ve been doing an early solo spot there, and I’ve met a really bunch of great folks along the way – so it’s pretty sad to be finishing up in a couple of weeks, tbh.
Ah, the price of progress.
BUT – I’ve seen the plans for the renovations, and it looks AHHH-mazing, so all is not lost. If you’ve a mind, catch my last couple of gigs before ‘Belle closes for renovations, this Friday August 26th and next September 2nd, 7.30-9.30pm.
I’ve been called back for Harvest Rain duties. You may recall that I produced the music for that theatre company’s production of HAIRSPRAY. Well, the new show has been chosen “GREASE”, and I’m back on deck. Very exciting, and wowsers, I know so much more this time than last. Plus I’ve bought a lot of great studio stuff – orchestras a-gogo.
Since forming in 1985, Harvest Rain has grown to become one of the largest musical theatre companies in Australia, providing professional musical theatre productions that are engaging, accessible and entertaining.
Harvest Rain is well-known for producing high quality professional productions that are enjoyed by thousands of theatre goers each year. The company is also widely respected for being a hub of creativity and professional development where emerging professional artists can work and perform alongside some of the biggest stars in the country.
Over the years, Harvest Rain has presented work at a range of major venues including QPAC, the Brisbane Powerhouse, the Judith Wright Centre, the Malthouse and more, producing shows like SPAMALOT, BLOOD BROTHERS, THE WIZARD OF OZ, JOSEPH & THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, OKLAHOMA! GUYS & DOLLS and more. The company has also produced major arena productions, including a record breaking production of CATS which was the largest production of its kind ever staged in the southern hemisphere featuring over 800 performers at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre. If you would like more information about the company or current productions, please send an email to email@example.com
My talent booking agency SPACE BETWEEN NOTES is about to launch the new website – I’m saying next week! I’ll let y’all know.
And all that among the 6-9 gigs a week still. Lucky I love it, hey? And I do!
OH – Melbourne Festival is coming up really quickly. I read the programme yesterday; holy hell, some cool stuff on offer, can’t wait!
On a personal note, I’m taking my L-Plate goddaughter driving this weekend.
So see ya!
Be safe, Mx
Hello hello! It’s been a cuh-raaaazy start to 2016!
So rather than a massive re-cap, I’ll just fill you in on the basics that tie in with what’s coming up in the near future.
This is largest production of HAIRSPRAY ever staged in the world, featuring over 500 performers(!) and an all-star cast, including Simon Burke, Christine Anu, Tim Campbell, Wayne Scott Kermond, Amanda Muggleton and Lauren McKenna. I recorded all the orchestrations for this show for a Queensland theatre company called Harvest Rain. Harvest Rain is one of Australia’s leading musical theatre companies, having been producing musical theatre productions of the highest calibre for over thirty years. For over 30 years, Harvest Rain has been renowned for presenting high quality musical theatre productions, from small and intimate productions to major arena spectaculars. Over 25,000 patrons enjoy a Harvest Rain production each year and all of this is achieved without a single dollar of government funding – the company has built its success on the continued support of its thousands of loyal patrons, donors and sponsors.
It’s an amazing company, and I’m very proud to have been a part of this, their first TOURING show. It seems as though new cities are being added to the small-run schedule, with any luck it WILL come to Melbs.
Eleven years I’ve been the Musical Director/Producer at DRACULAS; it seems almost impossible to believe! Draculas is Australia’s longest running and most successful dinner theatre. A total night of entertainment combining burlesque, contemporary music, comedy and quality dining, all in the one incredible venue.
And it keeps going from strength to strength – just this week I’ve been onsite to help integrate two new cast members. The current season is only half-way through, so you’ve got plenty of time to catch it. But make sure you do!
TWO RING CIRCUS
is my best mate Dom and me. We’ve just begun a big push to get our name out there and a-happening. Last weekend we filmed our gig as part of a new promotional package, and had a rip-roaringly fun time at The Doutta Galla in Flemington – watch this space, and the FB page, for more stuff as it comes to hand. Currently you can see us at The Elephant & Wheelbarrow in St Kilda on Friday nights 10-30pm-1.30am, The Angler’s Tavern in Maribyrnong on Saturday afternoons from 4-7pm and every second Wednesday at Jackpot Bar @ Crown 9pm-1am
SPACE BETWEEN NOTES
is my Booking Agency. I know, right?!
We’re a “boutique” agency – this means that the acts we represent are select, and at the very top of their profession, so you need only choose the act that best suits the needs of your venue or event and leave the rest to us.
Our primary focus is to have the best possible outcome for everyone involved – you, your guests, our performers. The right act at the right price with nothing more for you to think about, confident that everything will be taken care of calmly and efficiently.
Some of our acts are absolutely unique; worth bearing in mind when it comes time to book the entertainment for your corporate event that will have guests talking long after the fact.
In addition to those performers listed on this site, we have access to event planners, PA companies, artists, MC’s, comedians and DJ’s from across Melbourne, all at the pinnacle of their chosen field. Let us know your requirements and we’ll do our best to make all the pieces fit.
It was composer Claude Debussy who said, “Music is the space between the notes”. At Space Between Notes, we don’t have a thousand different acts competing for your attention… we simply have the best.
Take a look around the site; if something takes your fancy, drop us a line. If you don’t find exactly what you’re looking for, but appreciate the ethos to which we aspire, please get in touch, we’ll do our best to point you in the right direction. We’re happy to discuss your individual requirements.
The website is about to undergo a ground-up rebuild, partially to reflect the number of amazing new acts we’ve recently had come on board. Please feel free to spread the word to venues, businesses, wedding couples, as well as new acts and entertainers that you think might like get involved. We’re currently booking three acts a week into Crown (and that’s quite a feather in the cap for a small independent company) and fielding genuine private booking enquiries every single day of the week. EXCITING STUFF.
GRIFFIN ALLIANCE PODCAST SERIES
David Bartholomeusz and Daniel Toop from Griffin Alliance have a podcast series in which they interview Wedding Masters. They speak to Celebrants, DJs, MCs and Entertainers at the top of their field, and ask about their experiences with weddings & receptions and how they help brides & grooms to have their perfect wedding day.
This series of podcasts is designed to be a one-stop-shop for all your wedding-related queries and to point bridal couples in the right direction for supplies and suppliers. It’s informative and entertaining; an informal chat with experienced operators, packed with answers to all your wedding questions.
I believe my own interview will be published sometime in May, but I’m far from the only one who has something to offer – if you or someone you know is about to embark on the sometimes perilous journey of Organising A Wedding, I urge you to give this series a listen.
That might do for now, I reckon…
Quick Gig Guide, perhaps?
Bi-monthly Wednesdays – Two Ring Circus Duo @ Jackpot Bar, Crown Casino, 9.00pm
Thursdays – MattyB solo @ the Elephant & Wheelbarrow Bourke St, 9.30pm
Fridays – MattyB solo @ the Village Belle Hotel, St Kilda, 8.00pm
Fridays – Two Ring Circus @ the Elephant & Wheelbarrow St Kilda, 10.30pm
Saturdays – Two Ring Circus @ The Anglers Tavern, Maribyrnong, 4-7pm
selected Sats & long w/e’s – G-FORCE @ Groove Bar, Crown Casino, 11.00pm
selected Sats & long w/e’s – The Eighties Strikes Back @ the Elephant & Wheelbarrow Bourke St, 11.00pm
Sundays – MattyB solo @ The Doutta Galla, Flemington, 4.30pm
Bi-monthly Sundays – MattandPaul Duo @ the Elephant & Wheelbarrow St Kilda, 8.30pm
Big love to y’all.
It’s been another pretty big fortnight or so.
For a musician, I spend an inordinate amount of time in front of my PC just running “the business”. THAT part of my life is frustrating in the extreme – it’s hard to be creatively productive when you’re tied to function logistics, sending invoices, or (worst yet) dealing with numbers for the Tax Dept.
BUT: Last week I got to work with the wonderful Scott and Narell for the Flooring Xtra Annual Conference, this year held up in Cairns (is there a more Australian-sounding place name?) I did a couple of gigs in two different venues up there, and it’s the second year in a row I’ve worked for the company. Mark Langtree (Cairns AV Hire) was the PA guy; lovely fella, who couldn’t quite believe that I would pack down the PA at the end of the second function and bring it back to where I was staying in order to save him the hour-long round trip to Palm Cove to pick it up.
I got a little bit of downtime on my second day up there, and drove up to Copperlode Dam (now why would I make that up?):
And then I had lunch with a couple of friends who happened to be holidaying at the same time. And I got sunburned! It had been so long since I’d felt real sun, I’d clearly forgotten what it was. I had a hot shower back in Melbourne the next day and thought something terrible had happened to me.
Speaking of being back in Melbourne, the new Draculas show is about to kick into gear. My part of it anyway, the music creation. The first song list has been sent, and it’s looking to be a wee ripper. I love this time of year.
The Wow City Movement Friday night gig at Bridie O’Reilly’s Brunswick has now settled in, and the numbers are good. One Hit Wonders all night, how can one go wrong?!
And on Sunday 23rd after my solo spot at the Doutta Galla Hotel in Flemington, I’m playing for the first time in a long while with the Ráv Thomas Band, supporting Russell “The Real Thing” Morris. I once jammed with Russell in a guitar shop for about fifteen minutes – what a gentleman he is.
This is when I need to stop saying, “God, I’ve done NOTHING this year!” I’ve actually done a lot. Haven’t I…?
Keep well, chat soon.
I can scarcely believe we’ve already hit August! And whilst the temptation is great to start listing what’s gone on since I last posted here far too long ago, I fear that it would really take too long and in addition, force the question to be posed: “What’s the point?”
So, instead, let’s look to the future.
The continuing Friday residency for my “other” band project “THE WOW CITY MOVEMENT” at Bridies Brunswick is going from strength to strength, which is at once necessary, gratifying and positive. Also, sharing a stage with my mates Nicko Sinclair and Ráv Thomas, not to mention my new FF J’aime Holland is (to alliterate) just joyous, so hooray for that!
I’ll just, for the sake of the exercise, list the regulars:
Every second Wednesday TWO RING CIRCUS (which is Dom Italiano and me) play at Jackpot @ Crown. It’s a funny old gig, but – depending on who comes in to do the sound for us – can be a load of loud humpday fun.
Thursdays I’m still solo-ing away at the Elephant & Wheelbarrow in the city. The reason this gig continues to work (four years now, I believe) is that it’s not really a solo gig at all… it’s a duo gig with me as the onstage component and the audience as the other member of the doublet.
Fridays I do an early solo spot (7.30-9.30pm) at The Village Belle in St Kilda; it’s a little mellow, as it’s a dinner spot, but has the potential to fire up depending on how crazy the locals feel like getting). Up until the aforementioned Friday gig, I used to play the late spot with Sammy V. It was a shame to leave that one, but WOW CITY is a part of building something more, so my hand was forced.
Saturdays, G-FORCE is at the Elephant & Wheelbarrow in the city. Super fun to play with Rhys, Steve and Shan, some of the most talented kids I know. What’s that? A request for a song we’ve never played together? Sure, we’ll give it a crack!
And then occasionally that selfsame band puts on some spandex, drags in the delightful J’aime, and does an 80s gig. lol much?
Sundays, the solo spot @ the Doutta Galla in Flemington is picking up steam; 4.30-7.30pm if you’d like to pop in.
And then to round things out, I’m @ the Elephant in St Kilda (8.30pm) with my old buddy Paul Shirley, the word fun made flesh and blood.
The booking agency I help look after (SPACE BETWEEN NOTES) is ticking along, but certainly needs more of my attention. The workload does occasionally get a little much, and when you’re self-employed, each addition unexpected thing that crops up is inevitably something that has to be dealt with immediately, be it a quote or a phone call or just a little fire-prevention. We all serve somebody.
Something past – despite my opening gambit – but is recent past, so now doesn’t count, by my estimation. This pic I posted on FB… it might have received more attention than anything else I’ve ever stuck up in that forum. I’m going to give it another outing here, because I love it:
I play in the Ráv Thomas band, one of the most successful original bands you’ve never heard of. We’ll be proudly supporting the legendary Russell Morris on Sunday August 23 at Bridies Brunswick. Click on THIS for tix.
Initial meeting has been set up with the producer of Draculas for the new Melbourne show… Lord, how is it that time already?
Brilliant though – putting the music together for these shows is right up amongst my favourite things to do.
I’ve got a little bit of interstate and o/s coming up soon, lucky me, so I’ll be sure to post pics.
Until soon, keep safe and well.
It’s gonna be a big weekend!
First of all, I’m off to see my first (as in ‘live’) Cirque Du Soleil show today!
Tonight I’ve got my regular Friday with über-talent SammyV @ the Village Belle Hotel in St Kilda from 10.30pm.
And then: the 2015 KISS convention is in town.
At the Seaford Hotel this Saturday and Sunday from 10am. Unfortunately because of a multitude of other commitments, I’m not going to be able to hang around for the whole of each session – but you definitely should, and report back to me please and thank you.
An 11am set on Saturday, Dressed to Chill – Australia’s only acoustic Tribute to KISS.
That’s me with Rhys Lett and Rav Thomas.
(And oooh, but that’s early to sing KISS songs acoustically.)
Later that day, and again on Sunday, I’ll be performing with the man of the hour, Bruce Kulick. Now, anyone who knows me is well aware that I’ve been a life-long KISS fan… so this is, well… quite exciting really.
There’ve been thwarted attempts to have this happen on a couple of previous occasions, so I’m very happy to get to finally share a stage with Bruce (and my mate Paul Drennan for the first time in many years) this weekend.
I hope to see you there.
Saturday night, after the BK set (and with a wedding in-between) the regular band spot @ the Elephant & Wheelbarrow in the city, of course. G-FORCE live on stage @ 11pm.
On Sunday, straight after my set with BK, I head off to 4.30pm start @ the Doutta Galla for the first gig of my new Sunday residency. Should be a blast!
And to round out the weekend, the regular Sunday night with P Shizzle @ the Elephant & Wheelbarrow in St Kilda, 8.30pm
I’ll let you know how it all goes.
Well, it’s clearly too late for New Year’s Resolutions. But I really should have made one at least… to have left a blog update till the third month of the year is fairly shameful.
But I HAVE been busy.
I rang in 2015 with Ráv Thomas and Nicko Sinclair up in beautiful tropical Far North Queensland. Yup, a three-piece. Yup, I’m the bass guitarist. Oh man, it’s a fun instrument to play live; I can make the damn room shake; wicked! After two weeks up there, I spent a couple of (suitably tanned) days back in Adelaide with my folks – my Dad’s birthday party – and then Lo, I was back in Melbourne, and up to my ears in doing tracks for the new band project. Stay tuned for more info on that…
I perform a fair few gigs as it is of course, but I’ve had a couple of particularly crazy days in last couple of months… when you’re singing 80 or 90 songs in a day over the course of three gigs, well, one begins to question whether or not one should really say Yes without pausing for thought. Getting by tho’. Minimal sleep. Sustainable…?
Oh, you should check out these photos that I received yesterday from the G-FORCE gig @ Crown last weekend.
Photography by Andez is his website; go czech it out. Anyone who can make us idiots look good is clearly an artist.
I’ll keep this brief for now, but I really had to get something up here. The veritable sword of Damocles, it’s been.
The KISS Army Australia is playing host to a KISS Convention on the last weekend of March. Dressed To Chill (www.dressedtochill.com.au) will be performing on the Saturday. More exciting news to come; again, watch this space.
A new band called “the Eighties Strikes Back”.
Another new band called “The Wow City Movement”.
I’ll get back to you about the wheres and whens (and whos and whats), but suffice to say it’s pretty cool that I get to do all this different stuff. Grateful as, I am.
The weekly gigs roll on:
Thursdays, solo @ the Elephant & Wheelbarrow in the CBD
Fridays, with the way-talented Sammy Vandenberg @ the Village Belle Hotel in St Kilda
Saturday afternoons, solo @ BLU Restaurant in Patterson Lakes
Saturday nights, with G-FORCE @ the Elephant & Wheelbarrow in the CBD
Sundays afternoons, I’ve been floating, but the big news is that on March 29, I’ll be starting a new residency gig at The Doutta Galla in Flemington; it’s an ultra school-night-friendly 4.30-7.30 timeslot; huzzah!
Sunday nights, I’m with my esteemed friend Paul Shirley @ the Elephant & Wheelbarrow in St Kilda.
Till the not-too-distant future…
It’s been a nutty few weeks of gigs, travelling, and studio work since I arrived home from Japan. I can’t believe that was already six weeks ago!
So: the new Draculas show opened at the end of October; it’s an absolute ripper – do make sure you catch it this season. (Oh, for the newbies here, I’m the music production guy for Draculas, both here and up on the Gold Coast.)
On top of the regular weekly gigs, there’s been birthday parties, weddings and all sorts of Spring Racing Carnival extras. Lots of double gigs (and a couple of triples – mad, really).
I was approached a little while ago while I was at a gig to do some charity gigs in Queensland as part of the Audi Red Boot Rally in support of Ronald McDonald House. My old mate Paul and I (we’re approaching the twentieth anniversary of our friendship(!)) flew up to Brisbane, then driven two hours inland, to the Scenic Rim of South East Queensland to perform at Spicers Peak Lodge. What a glorious part of the world!
Somewhat annoyingly, I pretty well began to come down with some dreaded cold-type illness on the way up there – that was last week – and I’ve been sick ever since. Imagine the worst thing to befall a singer; yup, I succumbed to the full laryngitis thing by the time Sunday night rolled around, and have had to take gigs off(!) I’m back to work tonight, feeling ever-so-apprehensive about the upcoming gigs. Fingers crossed.
Here they are:
Friday 21: SammyV and MattyB @ the Doulton Bar, St Kilda, 10.30pm
Saturday afternoon 22: solo @ Blu Restaurant, Patterson Lakes, 2.00pm
Saturday night 22: w/ G-FORCE @ Elephant & Wheelbarrow CBD, 11pm
Sunday afternoon 23: solo @ The Cove, Patterson Lakes, 2.00pm
Sunday night 23: MattandPaul Duo @ the Elephant & Wheelbarrow, St Kilda, 8.30pm
> Plans for the new project are rolling on; quite exciting.
See y’all on the other side.