July 14th 2011
Musos 10th Anniversary Concert set for July 23
In the evening of Saturday July 23 a very special night of music is in store on Magnetic Island. After ten years of continuing monthly performances which began at what was the Sport and Rec Club in Horseshoe Bay, and more recently at the RSL Hall in Arcadia, Magnetic Island Musician’s Club is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a free concert.
The club began when percussionist, Dr Andy Lewis set out to create a Musos Club along the lines he had established at James Cook Uni. A group formed and a committee came into being with Andy as its first president.
The Club’s beginnings also had roots in the production of the Magnetic Original Music CD, organised by Helene Rankin and Sharn Rocco which brought together over 30 local musos to produce 16 original tracks.
In the years since the club has seen countless acts and many first timers take to the stage before a warm and supportive audience. Island musos have played in line-ups which would shift and change as people arrived and left but always to produce wonderful music.
Maggie Musos Club was where Elena Higgins, who now tours the world performing with Indige Femme and based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, first took to the stage. Many would recall the nights where groups such as Fandango who included Helen Ash, Ray Kennedy, Blake Carney, Renatta Mitterlechner, Dani Ryan, Chris Blyth and others would get a groove going and everybody with legs would be up and dancing.
The Vacant Lot were also active at the club with Bruce Cox, Peter Langley, Mike Jones and Tony Kyle often calling up extra percussion, voices and more to add to the fun.
Until his leaving Magnetic a few years ago, Gavin Ryan was a stand in guitarist for almost anybody who wanted to make music and, with his enormous capacity to improvise with guitar and some strange boxes of techo tricks, his presence is still missed. Similar comments apply to former club president Chris Blyth whose guitar excellence and vocals gave the club a level of confidence in consistently good quality music.
One highlight of the early years was when 1970s “In Melbourne Tonight” star, Jimmy Hannan attended and brought the house down with some lovely singing and all round totally professional showmanship.
Others will recall the wild and exciting nights when Jacquie Collins sang jazz and blues classics with Jeremy Barnes blowing us away with his rocking honky tonk piano.
The smooth professional sounds of Helene Rankin who formed Sweet Thing with Andrew Rankin on keyboard, Dani Ryan on djembe and Ray Kennedy on bass focussed on original music mostly penned by Helene.
Other original singer songwriters such as Peter Jackson and Malcolm Hamilton were also regular performers; both performing clever and witty, whimsical and sometimes political material.
In later years Mal teamed up with the very capable Josh Johnstone on bass, a very professional Mark Braggins on percussion and the emerging talent both vocally and guitar wise, Tim Johansson in Shed9. Shed 9 soon hit the Triple Jay unearthed charts and were harder to see at Musos Club due to the commercial gigs they were attracting.
One of the most exciting developments over this period was the appearance of Magnetic’s first young teen band, The Jay Walkers. Comprising the McDermott brothers James and Patrick with Mitch Hillyear and Angus Kininmonth. The Jay Walkers displayed loads of musical skill from the start and were soon a regular act. We are hoping to see the boys, now considerably taller than in their early gigs, back for the Anniversary.
Another young face, Marley Hannan has appeared as a cross-over Beatle mad stand-up comic. One never quite knows what Musos Club will bring
Sara Shaw is another artist who appeared and soon developed a highly crafted jazz blues sound with the likes of ex-Procol Harum keyboardist Chris Copping, the safe hands of Nial Bowden on bass and Ant Renzella on drums. The Sara Shaw Quartet will, we hear, be teaming up with a number of other artists for the anniversary including singer Tania McBride and guitar wizard Matt Whitton.
Previously we’d seen Ant, Nial and Tim Johansson in the fully fuelled reggae outfit, Mark Hannan’s Rocky Bay Band.
A bit later we saw another fine line-up emerge with Mark Braggins behind the skins (later replaced by Ant Renzella) and with Jeremy Barnes on keyboards and a first-time unknown face to the local music scene, Murray Taylor began to pump out some of the most intense and well crafted original rock music the Island had heard. This was Tailor Made.
There are so many threads to the MI Musos Club story there is no chance to do it justice with this brief account and this is not an attempt to do so. Far too many names and wonderful nights of music and dance are omitted. But the idea of a small Island community generating its own original music traditions over ten years and continuing in a regular setting, on the second Saturday of the month, is, to many, a precious thing and this is what will be celebrated when the 10th Anniversary Concert kicks off after 4pm at the Solar Cities Smart Lifestyle Centre following the opening of the Solar Skate Park.
A version of the poster below lists a number of the night’s acts but there will be others too including the magnificent Fire Flyz who will be lighting up the night with their funky flames twirling up some wild visuals to the add to the festivities.
The Anniversary Concert will also be attended by some Townsville friends including Brian Kneipp of Barramundi Bros fame as well as the foot stomping Lonesome Trio who, when given the chance can rock the sap out of the rafters.
As Musos Club in association with Magnetic Island Community Development Association is not seeking to profit but to present Island music to the wider public this concert will be free. Barry and Cassie Tobin will be running a stall into the earlier part of the evening so there will be some very tasty and affordable meals available. All attending should be aware that the event is BYO and drinks both hard and soft will not be for sale. A cordoned-off alcohol drinking area will be clearly marked and the Club looks to all attending to respect this rule.
Story & graphics: George Hirst (MI Musos Club President)
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