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The Rock-itt : January 2011
actually be better. Dave, the Manager of "L.A." was onto him straight away with an offer of a paid gig and he and his brother played on Saturday 11th November. Sadly I missed the act but I'm sure we'll be seeing more of this duo. De'cuna head lined the show and I must say every time the boys perform they seem to be that much more polished. I can see the confidence growing and their stage work improving as their sound just gets tighter. You can tell these young men are putting the work in and judging by the audience's response, the hard work is paying off. And that was a great way to close the show. On Wednesday 15th I attended the open mic at the Mona Vale Hotel run by Chris and Jamie(contact 0466267656). An act was on as I arrived as I said hello to old friends. Sean Renford (guitar and vocals) and Scott Conway (drums) were playing rock/blues and had the room rocking. As they finished I was up next and asked Scott if he would stay on and play drums with me. Now my jazz/blues numbers aren't the easiest to work with but Scott had no problems and it was a treat for me to have someone to keep me on time. After my set I was out the back talking to friends but couldn't help noticing the quality of the vocals of the next act, young Charlie Gradon, who was performing his set of originals. I was impressed so I asked if he'd like to play at my open mic at "L.A." Aaron Huston went up on stage, I normally don't dig slide as it can sound like a cat scrawl if not played well but Aaron nailed it, he also possesses a great set of vocals and is quite the entertainer. His song, "My Baby's Like A Cigarette" had us all in stitches. Aaron is in a band called the "Daddy Longlegs and the Swamp donkeys" and judging by Aaron's backwater blues sound and his ability to entertain, this band would be a show to see. Aaron was joined on stage by local legend, Tully Dingle, now we were having fun, two brilliant musicians and they wowed the crowd calling for encore. Tully is also one of the expert music teachers at Billy Hyde Mona Vale. The third Sunday of the month is the "L.A." Open mic again, the last one for the year and it was looking good with the Pittwater connections, Bella and Gav, kicking things off followed by a jazz instrumental trio, Lockland, Tom and Rhys with Tom moving from keys to trumpet for one number. The boys were joined by Annika, her vocal prowess giving the trio a whole new dimension. Charlie Gradon (guitar and lead vocals) introduced us to his friend Jay Cullen (keys and backup vocals). These guys work really well together and could easily find gigs together with one scout showing interest in the guys. With so much young talent coming out of Pittwater it's time for Barrenjoey to reply and Sophie, Ellie and Bianca didn't disappoint. The girls mixed it up with some great solos and harmonies with the crowd loving their local prodigies. Local, Mike Holland took to the mic with Scott Conway on drums and I got to play some backup guitar. Scott stayed on to play with young Tom Johnston as he styled through his set of originals. Tim Rawlinson brought friends Fred (lead guitar) and Mark (drums) to give him some backup and it worked really well with Tim's rendition of 'Keep Your Hands to Yourself' a high light for me. The guys are forming a band and will be performing in the New Year. With our final act, De'cuna closing out the night the guys really laid it on with more than a few commenting on the improving vocals of lead singer, Nick was looking stoked with his new drum set while James and Addison rocking at each other. This young group are really looking more comfortable with every gig and now with the school holidays they said they will be practising all the more. Watch out for these guys in the New Year. Mika , Bella and Mark Bella and Gaven Phil, Jaymai and Alex De'cuna