April 15th 2012
Musos rocks at Arcadia
Last night the Magnetic Island Musos Club got rockin’ at Arcadia Pub’s back room when more than enough musos showed up to play at the new venue where 100 or more Easter holidays’ diners and local muso mates gathered to eat drink, dance and sing along to a very rich array of Island and visiting talent.
Kicking off at 6pm were the Calypso-reviving Raymarks, consisting, not surprisingly, of Mark Hannan and Ray Kennedy who remind us with their selection how much charm and sheer joy the Caribbean has brought to world music. But to remind us that anything can happen at Musos Club the boys ended with Ray singing Mack the Knife!
Following was a new performer to Musos Club, a JCU Music graduate and aspiring pro, Tabi Sari, whose loop guitar work built and built to accumulate a big sound he could accompany himself with.
Firelight's Kelly Grech
Having been away for several months it was a delight to see Firelight play for the first time. Kelly Grech has a sweet strong voice and her renditions of pop classics accompanied by Trevor Nielson’s confident guitar work were clearly working for the duo and I expect we will see their following grow.
Marley in mask
Marley Hannan was back as one of the most regualr Musos Club performers and, channelling the great Andy Kaufmann got the punters scratching their heads as they began to giggle at his mad dagginess. A “Super Fly” - superhero with mask - piece and a song sung in his squeaky falsetto was a definite highlight.
Soon after were Sweet Thing, back on stage for the first time, we hear, in over a year. Stripped back to Ray Kennedy on guitar and songwriter, Helene Rankin, supported ably by Mark Hannan for a little vocal harmony, Helene worked the set for all it was worth and clearly made some new fans.
Electric cellist, Dave Sills
Another new act, to really make a serious impression, came in the form of Dave Sill’s, an emerging pro on the electric cello. Dave, who is clearly a very accomplished musician teamed up with Trevor Nielson for a superb and emotionally charged set. Dave admitted afterwards that some of his playing was (happily) inspired by the legendary Penguin Cafe Orchestra. With Trevor’s original compositions working beautifully with Dave's strings one could also detect a touch of Jethro Tull into the mix. Dave and Trevor are both from Townsville and we hear are keen to return. A duo not to be missed.
Hot shot keyboardist Jeremy Barnes was up for a few songs with Murray Taylor on vocals. Sadly Jeremy’s keyboard suffered a breakdown and he had to continue with guitar. The boys finished a short set of originals that could have led on to a major foot-stomping effort with others lined up to work the stage with Jeremy’s powerful support.
With so many musos about not everybody got a guernsey but it was great to see another relatively recent Musos player, Mal Stainkey, who jumped up to get a rich sax sound onto the stage. This was great news for Mark Carpenter who was quick to join him for some more impromptu numbers as Helene, Ray and Mark returned for a final set of reggae joy.
More dance floor action
It was a much enjoyed night with many new and plenty of old faces returning to Musos Club which is clearly benefitting from the layout of the Arcadia pub which allows the easy transition between inside and out and space enough for all ages and interests to find a comfortable vantage point.
Story & photos: George Hirst
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