Heartstrings Melbourne is ‘flatlining’ on this domain

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You may have already missed these fantastic musicians and more (see below). Lots of juicy new material is on its way on the new domain so stay updated and join us on the other side of cyberspace!

Reuben & Joe   _MG_5799_MG_5822 _MG_5789 _MG_5589 

Laura

Laura
Open Mic Night @ The Cornish Arms

“One day I’ll be brave and sing from my own pocket of life.”

With soothingly gentle tones and simple sounds radiating from Laura’s guitar, her acoustic pop originals commanded the undivided attention of the crowd.

“When I write my songs it’s rarely about myself, I always find myself taking on experiences of those I love around me and a way of processing this is through songwriting. I write for and from them.”

She truly loves singing and performing in general and whilst this was her 2nd open mic night ever, she has played regularly for café crowds.

Laura is set on a career in the music industry, not only as a musician but also in terms of working for music magazines. She completed her Bachelor of Pop Music, and is now studying a Bachelor of Communications, whilst working part-time in retail.

Speaking to other musicians on the local scene:

“Don’t be put off by people talking.”

To encourage people to listen to live music at the grass roots level:

“Come down and experience something you wouldn’t normally.”

Unfortunately she’s only visiting in Melbourne and is returning to NZ for studies, however you can keep up with her awesome tracks on her soundcloud account: https://soundcloud.com/laura_taylor-1

Simon

Simon
Open Mic Night @ The Cornish Arms

“Hello, my name’s Simon, what do you do?”

Variety is what Open Mic nights are all about and Simon is the very definition of that, showcasing his fantastic rapping, rhyming and vocal harmonics completely A Cappella.

Whilst he had performed his rhymes before, he had never tried his singing on stage. Just before singing he confessed to his nervousness, which was met by roars of encouragement from the eager listeners in the crowd. He took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and nailed it.

Buzzing from the adrenalin after the set and coming off stage to an amazing reception, he gives me the strongest high-5 ever. I was so happy for him!

He plays Open Mics to evolve his vocals and asked me to quote directly “Throat Chakra Upgrade”; an interesting concept, Google it.

But the most interesting reason for performing Open Mics is to assist with his future career as a primary school teacher!

“So how does playing Open Mics help with being a primary school teacher?”

“They help me in developing the vocal confidence and presence that the role requires.”

By day, Simon studies his Masters in Primary School Teaching, writes rhymes, and volunteers at various social initiatives such as ‘lentils as anything’.

“What would you say to other musicians on the local scene?”

“Hello, my name’s Simon, what do you do?”

On commenting about people who don’t check out live music at the grass roots level:

“Before musicians make it big, they start in the low key venues; these are the low key venues.”

You can catch Simon and his rhymes at Bar Oussou on Tuesday nights, and the Brunswick Hotel Monday and Wednesday nights.

Stevii

Stevii
Open Mic Night @ The Cornish Arms

“I love writing songs and I want to get my music out to people.”

Just recently moved to Melbourne from New Zealand in December, Stevii, armed with her guitar and her originals captured the audience’s attention early on in the evening.

Interested in a career in music, Stevii spends her time working for a record label, writing original music in the genre of folk/pop, and drinking alot of tea. She also plays the good old fashioned tambourine.

Heartstrings Music Fact #1: No musician is complete until they play the tambourine or triangle.

Speaking to other musicians on the local scene:

“Play more originals than covers.”

Encouraging people to check out live music at the grass roots level:

“Come along for a relaxed evening – have a drink, sing some songs. Bring your tambourines or harmonicas.”

She immediately followed this up with:

“Next week there’ll be like twenty people here with tambourines, won’t there?!”

You should bring your triangles, tambourines, harmonicas, etc. to the Cornish Arms next Monday night and play along with Stevii’s songs!

Be sure to check out her facebook page for updates on her music: https://www.facebook.com/steviihillmusic

James

James
Open Mic Night @ The Cornish Arms

“The two guys at the table are part of the band. We’re trying to make it.”

With an amazingly smooth voice, pumping out the likes of David Bowie and other classic rock covers was James Hallal; ALDI store employee, web designer, English conversation class coordinator for immigrants and refugees, and musician (obviously).

Having played music for nearly 12 years, James has no shortage of talent (which includes ‘multi-tasking’ considering all his commitments); He plays piano, guitar, vocals, and drums.

“I play Open Mics for fun. A mate’s parents recently came down from the UK and asked me what to do in Melbourne; I invited them down to an Open Mic and played for them.”

On giving advice to other musicians on the local scene:

“Just come up and play, [the atmosphere] is really unpretentious; have a go!”

On commenting about people who don’t check out live music at the grass roots level:

“Local venues are the best because of their human element – the spontaneity, the community; obviously we all have our favourite bands that we like to see, but you never know who you might find at a place like this.”

James will be playing at the Cornish Arms next Monday night at their Open Mic – be sure to catch him performing.

Keep up to date with his covers here: https://soundcloud.com/jameshallal
Check out his cover of Space Oddity by David Bowie – his performance of that was especially great!

Andrew

Andrew
Open Mic Night @ The Great Britain Hotel

“[Music] is all I’ve known, it’s all I’ve done.”

I was amazed by Andrew’s playing style – a bit of lead, combined with percussive technique all on acoustic guitar. Very reminiscent of Tommy Emmanuel, which (no surprise) was an influence for him.

Andrew is new in Melbourne, after moving down from NSW and a short stint in Tasmania. He works 45-50 hours a week. Despite this, he has had a range of success in music in the past couple of years.

Back when myspace was a thing (before facebook) he was discovered and his music was played abroad. Nowadays he’s been out of the ‘gig game’ for the past 11 months or so, and tonight was his first night back into it officially!

“I don’t care about the money, I’m working 50 hours a week, I’m paying the bills. I just love to play and I really need to get back into it.”

On giving advice to other musicians on the local scene:

“Just do it. The only person to hold you back is yourself. Just f***ing do it. At the end of the day it’s up to you to determine what success means to you.”

On commenting about people who don’t check out live music at the grass roots level:

“Everything on the radio came from somewhere. At one point it was someone’s pride and joy at a local venue like this one”

Andrew plays a range of music and a range of instruments and I was pleased to learn that he has an EP coming out in early March this year.

Keep up to date with it here and listen to his originals so far – truly great tracks! http://www.reverbnation.com/andrewthomsonband

Richard

RichardOpen Mic Night @ The Great Britain Hotel

“Give new talent a chance and be open-minded. Always be looking for new music and musicians.”

I was captivated by Richard’s charismatic performance and highly talented guitar playing and singing.

He plays originals which are in the folk/pop genre, with inspiration from the likes of Bob Dylan and Tim Hardin.

He is actually visiting from the UK where he is a self-employed musician. Music is literally his life with steady gig schedules 4 days a week.

“It seems you’re pretty well established in the music scene. Why do you play Open Mics?”

“To take it to the next level and forward my music career.”

It seems Open Mic nights cater to musicians at all levels in their careers. From hobby-musicians right up to the artists with EP’s recorded and tracks available commercially.

On giving advice to other musicians on the local scene:

“Have confidence! Play your own material as much as you can.”

On commenting about people who don’t check out live music at the grass roots level:

“Give new talent a chance and be open-minded. Always be looking for new music and musicians.”

Be sure to check out his talent on his website –  http://richardbattymusic.com/

Nick

Nick
Open Mic Night @ The Great Britain Hotel

“I got a heap of originals that I’ve collated over the years and it’s about time… I wanna share them with people.”

I walked in to the sound of a brilliantly full bodied 12-string guitar singing out as Nick played his instrumental originals.

He plays finger style instrumental music, along with lap style slide and a bit of singing on the side (hey that rhymes.. next blog will be a poetry blog!).

Nick works as a landscaper by day and plays music on the street as often as he can, sometimes even after a full day at work.

I happened to catch him at his first ever Open Mic night.

“Since you’ve been playing the street so much, why haven’t you played an Open Mic before?”

“Just nerves. But I thought I’d bite the bullet.”

On giving advice to other musicians on the local scene:

“My biggest thing was nerves, so the first thing I’d say is that no one cares if you stuff up. No point second-guessing what you’re doing – Just do it. If it feels right it most likely is.”

“If you’re a creative person something like this is a god send. You can get up there and don’t have to compete for gigs.”

On commenting about people who don’t check out live music at the grass roots level:

“It’s a must do! They’re brilliant things to support creative people  in a creative city and it gives the city a sort of character. If this dies off any more than it already has, Melbourne would lose a massive asset.”

Nick will be playing at the Great Britain Hotel most Wednesdays, or busking in the city along Swanston St or Southbank. Be sure to see him in action!

Sabrina

Sabrina
Open Mic Night @ The Great Britain Hotel

“The variety of acts on show is awesome.”

Everyone in the room was dead silent for this performance. All ears and hearts were captured by this enthusiastic and quirky performer, her electric piano and her sense of style.

Having recently started a degree in music, she hopes to one day go pro with her music. And from the swarm of people I saw buzzing around her after her set it’s no doubt she’ll go far. I was lucky to pull her aside to have a brief chat with her.

She loves the Open Mic/live music scene simply due to the variety of performances that you get.

On giving advice to other musicians on the local scene:

“Be confident – there’s not one type of good music”

On commenting about people who don’t check out live music at the grass roots level:

“You get to watch a bunch of free music, have a fun night out, it’s awesome!”

Sabrina will be playing at the Great Britain Hotel each Wednesday night. Be sure to check her out!