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The Rock-itt : February 2011
Hi guys, it's a new year with new things happening, I trust we all had a happy Christmas. After discussions with Gavin and Jason from Billy Hyde, we have some exciting news for the new year, but before we get into the new year, the last Wednesday before Christmas, Mona Vale Hotel's open mic had its Christmas party which was a blast with friends backing each other and impromptu acts forming for some fun. One of many highlights was Gavin Leach from Billy Hyde, Mona Vale performing Khe Sanh on the ukulele. Now that was a hoot! Debutant, Abby Francis, performed her originals and covers with Charlie Gradon giving backup on guitar and vocals. Abby writes in a variety of styles and shows a lot more to come from this talented young lady. Later, Jeff Stanley was joined on stage by Tully Dingle, now we're cooking, then the two local legends were joined by Dave Connor lending to vocals, and to top it off, Gavin got back up to play lead on his ukulele. This was an experience I'm glad I was there for. (Mona Vale open mic, contact Chris or Jamie 0466267656). The first open mic of the year was at the "L A" Bar and Restaurant, Avalon. As this first Sunday of the month was on the 2 February and the Monday a public holiday, a lot of people were away on holidays or attending the large number of music festivals on around this time of year. I expected it to be a little quiet this Sunday but as it turned out it was a great afternoon, even the threatening late storm didn't dampen spirits. We kicked off the show with a favourite young local lady, Bella Kerstens. You can't help but like Bella, a little shy but really talented, she usually performs with friend Gab Portocarrero but today Bella performed her mixed set of originals and covers solo and still sounded great. Young duo, Charlie Graydon (guitar and lead vocals) and Jay Cullen (keys and vocal harmonies) did their set with an ever increasing maturity, despite Charlie singing with a sore throat and abandoning some of long higher notes he likes to reach, they still produced an excellent set. Charlie has recently acquired his own PA and the boys have been playing gigs around Avalon. (check the gig board at "LA" or the LA face book site) Ben Osmo popped in for a set. Ben, has been performing at open mics and singer songwriter nights for several years and is a seasoned performer with a set of well written rhythmic originals that his smooth vocals and clever lyrics over some intelligently composed jazz guitar chords and licks with a funky under tone. With drummer, Scott Conway playing behind him, it made for a pleasant listening experience. Check out Ben on his myspace www.myspace.com/benosmo Donny Raven is always in character with his unique sixties style danger rock sound. This time his mom, dad and quite a few of his friends came to see and hear him play. Using his loop and effects boxes, Donnie uses theatrics along with his musicianship andisanacttobeseenaswellas heard. Donnie has a band, "The Puppets of Pupadello" which together have a rocking sound. Mike Holland is and covers artist who knows how to get a sound that captures original essence of the songs he performs and with Scott Conway on drums again and Ben Osmo supporting with his flute, the audience had a groovy set which more than a few were singing along to. Scott was getting quite the workout on the drums as he played behind another local favourite Tim Rawlinson. Tim always has a set to Gavin, Tully Jeff and Dave Connor Abby Francis and Charlie Gradon Mike, Scott and Ben on flute Gab and Bella