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Get to know our acts - 3

9 July 2020

Blog post 3 on getting to know our acts, some gigs are finally starting to come to life again very slowly which is exciting. So you might see some of these guys floating around the Newcastle area again shortly, and hopefully dancing will be allowed in the coming weeks so get ready to brush your danicing shoes off. 

 

Anthony Lee 

 

At what age did you start performing?

Around 8 years old. I used to play for meals on wheels concerts for a plate of cakes and box of handkerchiefs.

My Grandfather had an old-time band and would pick me up from Wallsend Primary School at lunch times to perform at Wallsend Community Hall in front of 200 people. I was too small to reach the piano peddles so I would sit on a piano stool with a suitcase on top...almost standing . I performed on NBN 3 at the age of 8 on “Stars of tomorrow” and” The Now Crowd “ an afternoon talent show for kids.

What is your favourite thing about it?

I love being able to make people happy. If I write a song that can mean something special to someone then I’ve been successful. Music is food for the soul.

I love writing songs ...from an idea to the finished item on the radio.

Best memory with performing?

 When I performed “Shine Your Light “at the Newcastle Knights Grand Final concert in Civic Park to over 100,000 people. It got to No 2 on the charts.

The first time  I heard my songs being played on the radio ....it’s very exciting. Tripe JJJ in 1987

An old lady once told me that she loved me playing the piano but hated the Greek entertainer on after me ...”Carlos Hopontopofus “ she had no idea that we were the same person.

Your favourite venue to play at?

Cessnock Supporters with the nice stage .I love any venue where they focus on the musician and don’t have them stuck in a corner with a television over the  top of them. I really despise being treated in a venue like an afterthought...like wallpaper.

A fun fact about yourself?

I won Red Faces on Hey Hey it’s Saturday three times with three different characters.

I perform as Carlos Hopontopofus and other characters.

I released my first single in 1981 on 7 inch record for the Year of the Tree.

 

 

ZANE PENN

 

At what age did you start performing?

16 years old 

What is your favourite thing about it?

Hard to say exactly. I was always drawn to playing an instrument, making music and writing songs. I started doing those things just off my own interest as a child and I still enjoy them today. Also being part of an experience where people are forgetting about their troubles for a little while, just enjoying themselves and having a good time was all part of the initial appeal of being a live performance musician for me. It may be just in a small way but it feels like we’re helping bring  joy and amusement into people’s lives for a while.

Best memory with performing?

There have been a lot of fun memories over the years. Early on I had a little combo with my siblings, we played over the school holidays at Dreamworld and we once played the lead up session to a Beach Boys concert held there. It was a great fun occasion to be a part of and with the exception of my guitar blowing over off it’s stand and cracking the neck, which meant I had to play a guitar that had been on display up on the café wall everything else ran pretty smoothly. Also as teenagers not long after we were starting out we were on a bit of a role picking up good support gigs. The best being for the Mick Jagger solo tour in the 1990’s at Brisbane Entertainment Centre. I still have the contract payment slip saying –  “Support for Mick Jagger”. I didn’t meet him but at that stage of my life it was a thrill all the same.

Your favourite venue to play at?

I enjoy all the venues I play, I’ve got to know a lot of locals at these venues which always helps with the enjoyment of the moment. With making a list I’d hate to forget a venue. Mavericks on the Bay is up there, great location and staff and the clientele always seem to have a good time. The Colliery Inn at Wallsend is another, great staff, great atmosphere and in the way of requests, a few rarities are often thrown at me there. I like to mix it up, I have some regulars at East Maitland Bowling Club who really enjoy hearing a couple of classic country tunes being thrown in. At Pippis at the Point I have some regular requests for David Bowie, Garth Brooks and George Harrison. I enjoy all that variety and diversity myself.

A fun fact about yourself?

Well there’s just too many fun facts too mention, most of my facts and fun ones. Haha

The main two sources of fun in my life these days are my two kids. I love all the time I get to spend with them, though I do wonder where their endless supply of energy comes from and how can I tap into it?

 

 

TYLER JOHN 

 

At what age did you start performing?

I started performing when I was about 7 years old

What is your favourite thing about it?

Probably just my complete love for it - it doesn’t matter what kind of performance it is, it’s just always fun & comfortable, it never feels like work!  

Best memory with performing?

I just remember one gig in at Honey Suckle social, so it was quite recent. I had been rushing around all day and wasn’t in a very good mood, but when I got to the venue and sat down to play, everything just stopped and everything worked perfectly, I wasn’t thinking about anything, I just got to sit down and do what I loved for a few hours and it was the best feeling.

Your favourite venue to play at?

Honestly it’s been that long since I’ve played a gig I can’t even remember all the venues I’ve played at! 😂 The Beerhaus & Dullboys are definitely my favourites though - always such a fun and supportive atmosphere. 

A fun fact about yourself?

I have over 50 house plants in my house!

 

 

SARI JADE & SPIKE 

 

At what age did you start performing?

We both had a love of music and started performing from a very young age. 

We started performing as the duo Sari Jade & Spike as early as 2017. 

What is your favourite thing about playing?

We both love performing together. We have such an extensive repertoire because of our little age gap & it works – we can keep punters happy by playing songs from the 60’s all the way up to the current tunes of today. To see people smiling and dancing with us is the biggest compliment we can ever receive! We both agree that the feeling we get from performing is like no other – it’s up there with one of the greatest feelings in the world!! 

Best Memory performing?

One of our last public gigs at Pippis at The Point before Covid hit! we got to party with 50 of our family and friends all night long – it was such an epic night!! 

Your Favourite Venue to play at?

We love SO many of them, but if we had to choose, Pippis or the Premier! At the Premier everyone comes to party with us after they have had a day at the races so it’s a lot of fun! lol. 

A Fun Fact about Yourself?

Sari Jade is also a Marriage Celebrant & loves it 😊

Spike is now a retired overweight jockey haha 😊

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