Gig Profile: Milk & Madu Canggu, Bali

This will be the ninth installment of the #looptheworld Gig Profiles. As I travel the world playing music for a living I will be writing up these Gig Profiles in an effort to help out those that dream of doing the same. I hope you find the information helpful. If you have any questions feel free to contact me. I’ll do my best to help out as much as I can.

Milk and Madu is a favourite amongst the locals in Canggu. Not necessarily as a music venue but more for their amazing breakfast menu and delicious pizzas. In fact, music is only a new thing for them, I believe I am their first live musician. Pablo, one of the owners, recently invested in a PA and tells me that he plans on making live music a regular thing.

milk-and-madu-3The setting is perfect for the Sunday afternoon show. A grassy yard with views of the sunset over the surrounding rice paddies. The weekend attracts families so there is always a group of kids playing on the lawn. Last week they even brought in a jumping castle. I love playing for the children. They are fascinated by the music and either jump around dancing with no inhibitions or stand motionless staring wide eyed as I loop up another track. At some point they will all have a go of my tambourine or shaker.

The vibe they are after is obviously family friendly, so keep the big kid words out of it. Also it’s a Sunday session so avoid the pub rock stuff and stick to some feel good acoustic vibes. You are more than welcome to play original music and you’ll find both the punters and the staff are very supportive. It’s predominantly a restaurant so don’t expect a dance floor (from the adults anyways, the kids will be cutting up a rug for sure.) And be respectful with your volume, people are there to enjoy the music but also the company of their friends and family.

The PA is basic, 2 x 15″ Behringer powered speakers and a 12 channel mixing desk with built in effects, but that is all you need. The show is outside so you shouldn’t have any issues with feedback or strange room EQs. They also have 2 x wireless microphones and stands so all you need to bring is your instrument. The gig starts at 5pm and finishes around 8pm. At this stage they are only doing Sundays, but who knows, if it’s successful they may introduce new nights. It’s always worth asking.

As I mentioned in the last Gig Profile for Old Man’s you will need a work permit to gig here in Bali. Immigration take it very seriously and you don’t want to wind up being deported. The process is easy enough. Just contact www.baliexpatservices.com and they will walk you through it. You are going to need to stay in Bali at least a month to earn enough to cover costs but trust me, once you’re here, you are going to want to stay longer anyway. You can back up this gig with weekly shows down at the bigger venues like Old Man’s and Deus and there are a bunch of small live music venues in the area too.milk-and-madu-2

Location: Jl. Raya Pantai Berawa No.52, Tibubeneng, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361Gig contact: Pablo Fourcard via Milk and Madu website or Facebook Page
Pay: 1 to 1.5 million IDR
Gig season: All year round. High season is during the months of July and August, during Easter Holidays, and Christmas / New Year (December till 1st week of January). This is the time Bali is the busiest. However, for many reasons, best time to come to Bali is April, May, June and September, just before and just after high season.
Max Capacity: Approx 200
In-house PA, no soundman.
Milk and Madu links: Facebook, Instagram, Website

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Gig Profile: Fishbowl Beach Bar Koh Tao, Thailand.

This is the second installment of the #looptheworld Gig Profiles. As I travel the world playing music for a living I will be writing up these Gig Profiles in an effort to help out those that dream of doing the same. I hope you find the information helpful. If you have any questions feel free to contact me. I’ll do my best to help out as much as I can.

Fishbowl Beach Bar is the epitome of gigging in paradise. It’s on a tropical island. The stage sits less than 10 meters from the shore line. The gig starts minutes after the sun sets over the Thai gulf and these sunsets are the most amazing I’ve ever seen on all of my travels. I really doesn’t get much more picturesque than this.

2015_06_02_Fishbowl
Sunset from Fishbowl. Photo Credit: Edan Chapman Photography

Recently they have replaced the PA which was a delightful surprise. They now sport a 20″ sub woofer with 4 x 15″ front of house speakers and a single 15″ foldback cab. With the help of the in-house sound man Nanda you should get a pretty decent sound. The clientele are there to have a drink by the beach and listen to some live music before the night kicks into drunken Thailand madness so you can expect at least a good portion of the audience to be attentive and supportive. I use the gig as a back up with the Choppers gig (Chopper’s Gig Profile) to fill my schedule. Between the two of them you can be playing 6 nights a week and earning a living that will support a life style of tropical indulgence. The owners Andy and Nando (not to be confused with Nanda the sound man) are both stand up blokes. As long as you are not a drop kick you will get along with them really well. The show they are after is one that will slowly wind up the crowd till the DJ starts at 11.30pm. First set you can get away with a few slower songs, even some originals but in an effort to fit in with the Thailand madness i suggest that you keep the energy high. Second set it’s important to start really pumping up the vibe. Again you can get away with original material as long as it has a heavy groove that they can bounce along to.

VIDEO: Simon Wright Live Looping at Fishbowl Beach Bar June 2015

I suggest spending at least a couple of weeks on the island to help cover the costs of getting there. You’ll need at least 3 hours of relevant up tempo songs in your repertoire. I find the more funky stuff works better than the rocky stuff. If you think this is something you might be into feel free to contact me for more information.  Alternatively you can contact Andy or Nando through the Fishbowl Facebook page. They will want to see a video of you performing live, the quality of the camera is not important, they just want to see how you interact with your audience and hear your voice and musicianship.

Fishbowl bar
Fishbowl Beach Bar from the water. Photo Credit: Edan Chapman

Location: Sairee town, Koh Tao, Thailand.
Gig contact: Andy or Nando via Fishbowl Beach Bar Facebook Page
Pay: 1500 – 2500 Thai Baht (Solo) 3000 – 4000 Thai Baht (Duo)
Gig season: All year round (high season Dec-Feb and July)
Max Capacity: Approx 180
In-house PA and soundman.

Amwell Garden Jam – Videos

Of all of the countries we have visited so far England was by far the most difficult. Arriving in London was a bit of a shock to the bank account and the gigs were less frequent and often for less money. This didn’t stop us from having a great time.

On our first night in London we visited the Spiritual Caipirinha Bar in Camden after it had been recommended by two of my musician friends, Grim Fawlkner and Tara Minton. It was an open mic night so I jumped up and played a few tracks. Straight after me there was a young guy named Daniel Greenwood that got up and sang a few beautiful pop folk songs. Afterwards we got chatting and he invited me down to play a showcase for a local musician collective called Amwell. I was flattered and graciously accepted.

I didn’t really know what to expect. Daniel gave me an address and told me to rock up mid afternoon.  When we got there we were greeted by the owner of the house and the co-founder of Amwell, Roy. He took us through the little London terrace and out into his cosy inner city backyard where Daniel was setting up a small stage beneath the kitchen window. We then spent the afternoon listening to a bunch of amazing local acts, drinking cider and eating Roy’s famous home made pizza. As the sun began setting Daniel invited me up to perform for everyone. It was a beautiful afternoon and a true pleasure to play for such an appreciative group. Paolo the  videographer was there to catch all the action.

A few weeks later Roy sent me a copy of what they filmed. I think it came up really well. Thanks Daniel, Roy, Paolo and all the gang at Amwell Collective. I look forward to doing it all again when I get back in March.

NEW VIDEO: Let’s Stay Together/You Don’t Know – Live Loop Mash Up

I love Koh Tao. I have since the first day I set foot on that rock in the middle of the Thai Gulf. There is magic there. Until you experience it you will never know it. I’ve traveled there many times now over the past 4 years. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to share with my close friends from back home. It was only February this year that I finally got to share it with Hannah, and like me, she fell in love with the place as soon as we landed at Mae Haad Pier. This June though, when Hannah and I were half way through our Koh Tao leg of #looptheworld we were visited by a bunch of our good friends from back home. Shout out’s to Jonno, Edan, Danielle, Mikey, Anton, Mick, Anthea, Dave, Casey and Hayley. So good to share Turtle Island with you all.

Not only did I get to share the magic of holidaying on Koh Tao with my friends but also a little of the creative side. Casey and I  did a couple of shows together. One at Banyan and one at Choppers. They  both went down in Koh Tao history. Mikey and I did a couple of shows together at Fishbowl. One was shut down early by the most epic of tropical storms which Edan Chapman Photgraphy was patient enough to get the million dollar shot of. But one of my favourite collaborations on the island is this one right here.

On the 11 June 2015, Jonno, Edan and Andy Stock (a guitarist friend that lives on Koh Tao) came together at Fishbowl Beach Bar with as many cameras as we could muster up including 5 x GoPro’s and 2 x Cannon DSLRs and shot this clip. Jonno later edited together the 40+ Gigabytes of footage for Straight Jacket Productions and now we have a Koh Tao memory that will last forever and that we can share with all of you.

The song is a mash up between Al Green’s classic “Let’s Stay Together” and the hip hop verses from my own track “You Don’t Know” from my 2009 EP SW&theE. I love Al Green, I was lucky enough back in 2011 to see him live in Melbourne at the Palace Theater in St Kilda with my good mate and fellow loop warrior Andy V. The show was everything I expected and more from the living legend. Andy and I used to play this song years ago jamming in Melbourne town and last year we recorded a version on our EP Live on Koh Tao which you can download free here. That version happened to be recorded live at Fishbowl almost exactly one year before this one.

I hope you enjoy and please help me out by commenting, liking and sharing. The success of my #looptheworld adventure depends on the support of you guys. Thanks so much for watching.
Si x

Simon Wright – TV on the Radio

Live and Local BayFM and Byron Bay TV present:

On Sunday April 26th 2015 I had my first ever loop performance on live to air radio and Will Hayman from Byron Bay TV was there to catch it all. The performance took place during the Sunday midday show Live and Local with Al Stark on Bay FM 99.9 three weeks into my #looptheworld tour.

The playlist above has three videos:
She Told Me (BayFM Reloop)/Gather The Matter

This is actually two songs but ever since I started performing them and always grouped them together. Eventually I plan to have most of my set like that. The first track “She Told Me” I wrote while on stage once at the Birmingham Hotel on Smith st in Collingwood. I’d looped the start of the track and a woman approached me from the dance floor. I don’t think she quite understood the loop concept. She came up and started yelling “You need to sing!” The next words to come out of my mouth were the chorus “She told me that I need to sing, down here at the Birmingham”. I often appropriate this song to whatever venue I am playing at the time. This performance you’ll notice I sing  “She told me that I need to sing, on live and local BayFM”. It lends it’s self easily to those kinds of improvisations.
The second song is the bastard child of three songs I’ve written in the past. The guitar riff was originally the pre-chorus to a jazz/hip hop track I wrote last year named “Dream”. The chorus lyrics are from a song I played with the Eclective named “It’s On” and one of the verses is from a song I did with Direct Influence way back in the early days named “So Right”. I like the way they blend together. It changes key from Dm to Am but the “She Told Me” chorus lyrics still work and even though the beat is exactly the same, with all the syncopation in “Gather the Matter” it feels like there is a groove change.

Rockin’ Blues

I first wrote this song as a 1-4-5 upbeat swung rock n roll track but I was never really happy with where it sat so had never started performing it live. Then last year while I was on Koh Tao, Thailand with Andy V we began jamming a Ray Charles inspired groove at a bar called Fishbowl and the Lyrics found their home. You can hear the first time I ever played it here. It’s changed a little since then as I had to work on a way to play it with out the help of Andy V, but the general arrangement is still the same.

Music

This song has been with me a long time however I think this is the first loop performance recording of the track. I first wrote it in 2006 while playing with the Groove Collective in Byron Bay. It never made it to the studio until 2012 when I went in with The Simon Wright Band for “Live at 52”. That performance which you can see here, earned me a nomination for the Australian Independent Music Awards 2013, a position in the Victorian finals for the Telstra Road To Discovery and made the finals of the national Catapult Song Contest with names like Ash Grunwald and Dallas Frasca.
The basic idea of the song is a love song dedicated to the life long partner I’ve chosen in music. People often ask who is the girl I was writing about, but it’s no girl, it is music. Recently “Music” passed 10,000 views on youtube and is the first of my original songs to accomplish this milestone. You can purchase a copy along with the rest of “Live at 52” from http://www.simonwright.com.au

New Video – Rockin’ Blues Live at the Beach Hotel, Byron Bay. #looptheworld 2015

I first wrote the lyrics to this track to a 1 4 5 swing rock and roll style track but then appropriated them to a Ray Charles inspired rock n roll groove whilst jamming with my good mate Andy V during a gig in Thailand. The jam ended up making it to the “Live on Koh Tao” EP as the only entirely original tune. It’s very traditional stylistically. A simple groove, one chord the whole way through the track but I dig it. I think it’s my favourite loop track of mine so far.

I filmed this version at a gig in Byron Bay near the beginning of our #looptheworld tour on the 16th April 2015. It was a strange gig. After the week I’d just had leading up to the show I was expecting an impressive turn out. I’d just played the Bluesfest after winning a place in the Bluesfest Busking Comp. I then played a gig at the Rails, my first ever 3 hour solo loop show in Byron, to a large enthusiastic audience.  Unfortunately however, this gig was empty. Not empty but in a venue that holds over two thousand, forty or so feels empty. I guess with all the excitement of the Bluesfest the week before, another night of music was not a priority. That didn’t stop me from getting the most out of it. The PA is lovely to play through and Glen “Goobs” Ward the sound man does a great job at making me sound the best that I can. It was quite the contrast from back in the days of the Eclective where we had 8 people on stage and 2000 in the crowd but enjoyable none the less.

Rockin’ Blues
An original loop track by Simon Wright.
Recorded live at the Beach Hotel on the 16th April 2015.

My Baby likes it old school
Cos these days it ain’t the same
She needs that old school soul
and some rock n roll
Just to make it on through the day

She says she wants them Blues
That get me on my feet.
Some rockin blues,
that get me on my feet.

I said my pockets are all empty,
and my lunch box is much the same,
but you can bet when I get
a little rock in my roll
I save it up for a rainy day

I said I want them blues,
that get me on my feet,
Some rockin Blues,
that get me on my feet

Said there’s holes in my pockets
and there’s hole in my shoes
I ain’t got nothing but
singin’ them blues

Brand new loop track – New Album coming soon.

I Wanna Hear it – Loops Album Demo by Simon Wright

In November last year I bought myself a new toy, a Boss RC-300 Loop Station. I had no idea at the time how much this little piece of technology would inspire my musical direction. I spend hours on this thing trying out grooves and progressions. For those of you that are unfamiliar with what a loop station is, basically, it’s a sampling machine that records my voice and guitar on the fly then plays it back in a continuous loop. Click here for a video of one of the worlds best know loop artists DubFx explaining his looper.

To start out with I took a few of my favorite covers and figured out ways to perform them in the loops format. I’ve always found replication a great way to learn a new instrument, and learning to loop is just like learning a new instrument. I made a few videos and a live loop cover EP and performed over 80 shows live with my looper including a string of 30 shows over 5 weeks on Koh Tao in Thailand. Click here for a free download of my loops cover EP “Live on Koh Tao” featuring Andy V on Keys, sax, backing vox and loops.

Now that I’m familiar with my looper, it’s time to start getting into the real stuff. There is still a lot to learn but the skills I’ve picked up so far are enough to get the creative juices flowing. The video above is the first demo for my new album of loops. I’ll be writing a bunch of new material and also reworking some of the older stuff as well as collaborating with some talented crew. Please feel free to get in contact with feedback, ideas, album names, collaboration suggestions and please help share the love on social media. I’d love you all to get involved.

Show your support by signing up to my mailing list. Click here.

Band scams Spotify for $20,000….. and they are really good.

I caught a good one surfing the net this morning. I came across an article in my facebook feed. Here is a link if you’d like to check it out – An Enterprising Band Made $20,000 Scamming Spotify. It caught my attention and I’m glad it did.
The basic gist was; A band that goes by the name Vulfpeck recorded an album of silence, named it Sleepify, uploaded it to Spotify then asked there fans to stream the album overnight while they slept to help fund an upcoming tour. They clocked up $20,000 worth of streams before Spotify caught on and had the album removed. Brilliant!!

It gets better though. I then went on to check out their music, and it’s awesome! With a name like Vulfpeck (terrible name, but it’s growing on me) I was expecting some kind of Scandinavian math metal band but I was pleasantly surprised. Quirky instrumental grooves with that 60/70’s soul feel. And the production on the videos, though at times does come across a little hipstermatic, is equally as impressive. Low budget, no fancy bells n whistles, just a bunch of blokes making quality material.

Their website is possibly the most simple I’ve ever seen www.vulfpeck.com

Live at 52 session (4 Tracks)

Back in 2012 we won a battle of the bands style competition at the Evelyn Hotel on Brunswick st in Fitzroy. The first prize was a days recording at a studio in Collingwood named Studio 52. I knew we couldn’t do much in one day. Even tracking one song would take more than that so instead we decided to try something a little different.

Originally the plan was to get one song filmed and recorded at a professional quality as a promotional video for youtube. We workshopped four tracks; Music, Four Letter Word, Baby Move and When Good Things Fall Apart with Mikey Chan. We hoped of the four one would come up satisfactory for the project. I went for the two acoustic guitars as I wanted the production to be as raw and acoustic as possible. I borrowed two cameras from some good friends of mine Stu and Appleberry and had my mum Narelle and my girlfriend Hannah operate them. We played through the set from start to finish four times in the studio, filming everything. Two takes before lunch and two after. Turns out the best take was the first one after lunch, for every track. Lunch was pizza and scotch for those of you that want to know the secret formula.

By the end of the day with were more than happy with all four of the tracks and decided to release the session as a stand alone EP. We even jammed out a blues track before we left in one take that made the cut (Pappa’s Blues). I then gave the tracks to Damien Charles for mixing and post production. Again, I asked him to keep the audio as raw, acoustic and true as possible.

I’m really happy with the way it all turned out. I think it is a very real indication of where my music was at the time.
Live at 52 is available for download from iTunes, amazon and all major online music stores.

 

Tell me this isn’t art!

There is an ongoing debate typical with the older generation and the youth, though the conversation crosses many ages and demographics. Is graffiti art or vandalism?
I don’t think anyone could watch this video and not agree that in this case, it is most definitely art. Not just the Graffing, but the cinematography and the sound track. A truly inspiring performance by all involved.

My home town Melbourne is a mecca for street art and I personally love it. I know a lot of my peers do to and I often see travelers taking the time to walk Melbournes famous alley ways taking pictures of some of the best street art Australia has to offer.

I understand that the horrible “tags” that go up through out the city can often look pretty bad but we need to understand. There is no such thing as a professional without there being a whole bunch of armatures. There is no one out there is saying Goyte is shit because they saw a weak performance by some bloke named Brian at the local open mic night last Monday. Bad comes with good and good with bad. I say ban the billboards before you ban the can.

If you want to see people arguing over the point check out http://www.debate.org/opinions/is-graffiti-art