Top 10 #looptheworld Shows So Far

This was a difficult list to compile. Almost every show I have played since the #looptheworld adventure began has been memorable for one reason or another. Special mention has to go to Choppers Bar, Koh Tao. Those hot, sweaty nights with the Koh Tao Pub Crawl made up a huge amount of the memories that the tour has brought me so far. Every night at Choppers was another crazy party. So too were all of my performances at Harmony, Ios. However, this here list is about those single shows that stood out. The shows that warmed my heart and kept me on a high for days after getting off stage. Those shows that reward me more than financial gain. The shows I’ll remember long after my career is over. The shows I’ll look back on and smile.

No. 10

Surfers Paradise Live Festival May 2015

A festival stage definitely helps to make the top 10 list. A big crowd, a great PA, a professional sound man, the whole kit and caboodle. This was also the last show before we took #looptheworld international. On a more personal note; Surfers Paradise Live Festival was special because my family was there. My mum, my little sister Megan and my adorable little nephew Malakai. It was also the first time my newborn nephew had left the house since his birth. I’m very proud of this fact. It will be a story I tell him when he’s older. I hope one day he takes up the musical adventure that has brought me so much satisfaction.

Show No.9 >

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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

An Introduction of Sorts – By Hannah Blake.

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Where to start? At the beginning I suppose. Although, I am not entirely sure where that is, it feels as though the idea for this adventure crept into the consciousness slowly not wanting to alarm anyone and now here we are, in Byron Bay Australia on the first part of this musical adventure around the world that has only a few set destinations and no set end date. Our adventure, aptly named #looptheworld will take Simon and myself around the world on, what Simon likes to say, “a guitar string budget”. To prepare for this musical adventure into the world, first, I quit my job. I imagine we all dream of not working, I know I certainly had, but it was an interesting decision to make when it actually became a reality. Working provides security, a network of people, something to do with our time, it helps us to feel connected, useful and productive. In quitting my job I was surrendering to a way of life that I have not yet experienced. It is a little scary and also very exciting.Then, I gave away my possessions. Stuff! I love stuff! I have so many precious things, all with their own memory attached or perhaps it’s a precious thing purely because it’s pretty, either way, the precious things accumulate and become ‘stuff’. I have always enjoyed having beautiful, if sometimes a little odd, things in my home, I like that it fills me with memories and in a way it represents me. So I have taken this #looptheworld adventure as an opportunity do a bit of clearing out and it felt great! I have a few boxes which I claim as mine (thanks so much for all your help mum) but everything else I have let go of. If you’re thinking that I’ve had some kind of life changing epiphany you’d be wrong, I just figure I can get more stuff later. And lastly, we moved out of our beautiful Smith Street home.

Leaving the Smith St home. From left: Ellah Blake, Edan Chapman and Hannah Blake.
Leaving Smith St. From left: Ellah Blake, Edan Chapman and Hannah Blake.

Mostly I just glided through, once the decision to follow our wanderlust had been made, the excitement and promise of it all carried me. I must admit that I did cry twice, and by ‘cry’ I mean ‘bawled my eyes out’. The first time I cried I had just taken the last load of ‘stuff’ to the opp shop and I was sitting in my now very empty bedroom with my backpack in front of me on the floor. That one small backpack now represented everything that I owned. I think it was only at that point that I realised  “oh, this is actually happening”. The second time was when I left my mum. As I stepped out on to the tarmac my lip started quivering and then the flood gates opened. I had to laugh at myself, a 27 year old woman, sitting on the airplane bawling my eyes out, receiving sideways glances from nearby passengers, all because I’m going to miss my mum. Beautiful really.

Don’t let all this talk of crying lead you to believe that I am not ecstatic, I am. I feel light and happy and certainly very lucky! I am at the beginning of an adventure where the only plan is to follow the music. We will live off the money made through Simon’s music: gigs, busking and CD sales. I’ll be that chick selling CD’s next to the stage. The destinations will be chosen through gig offers and the people we meet. I’m excited for this next bit, this next adventure. I am excited for what I will learn, about myself, about the world. I am excited to meet new people and catch up with old friends.

I will be documenting the trip via our Instagram account #looptheworld (follow us here). I also hope to use this blog as a platform, if I may be so bold, to share some of my experiences, thoughts and stories with you. I’m not yet sure which direction this story will take but that is all part of the adventure and fun.

So here we are, the #looptheworld adventure has started and it is wonderful.

x Hannah

I’d love to hear your thoughts  so please email me any questions or suggestions or even just a hello! 🙂

Ps. I highly recommend you listen to this, I think it’s a pretty good soundtrack for this part of this story. Enjoy!

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.

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.

 

Monday Espy Residency For Feb and March

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The Espy is one of those places that is so set in stone in the Melbourne scene you almost couldn’t imagine one without it. It’s a place that all the young bands wanna play at, when they are old enough. I can still remember my first gig there. I thought I’d made it… till I played the show to a room of about 12 of my closest friends and family. Since then I’ve been lucky enough to experience many of the experiences the Espy has to offer and Monday nights is a good one. The PA is big, but it’s not turned up so loud you cant have a conversation. There is a good bunch of local and traveling crowd but not so many that you can’t get a beer. And there is good music on for free.

I’m gracing the stage every week for February and March. For the first three weeks its just me solo with my new loop pedal showin off a few new tricks, then every week after that I’ll be showcasing what the boys and I have been up to in the band.

Each week we will be joined on the bill by three other acoustic oriented acts playing original as well as reworked covers. First act is on at 7pm we go on stage at 10pm. Espy front bar St Kilda. Free Entry.

UPDATE: March 10th Monday’s Covered will be held in the Espy Basement.

2013/14 NYE in Byron Bay with The Simon Wright Band and Marshal O’Kell

2013/14 NYE in Byron Bay with The Simon Wright Band and Marshal O'Kell

WE LOVE THE RAILS! If we were a football team this would be our home turf. I grew up in Byron and watched my dad play at the Rails when I was just a kid, I can remember watching him thinking “What the hell is he doing that makes them all dance so crazy”. Who’d have thought 20 years later I’d be doin the same thing. Still haven’t figured out what it is though. My dad will be joining me for this one which is even more special. As well as Shaneo on drums and Richard Rose on bass.
Also on the bill is local blues rocker Marshal O’Kell. This dude knows how to get a room sweaty, so I can promise you, between us, this New Years Eve at the Rails is going to be a sweaty, funky, groovy mess and I can’t wait!!
Tickets are only $25 and they are available from the venue from next week. You can not buy them online as they are hoping to keep it a local vibe. It will probably sell out, and it WILL be the place to be so if your not in town give the bar a call and they will reserve a ticket for you.
See you there.
Si

Hotel Brunswick Sunday Arvo Session Jan 5th 2014

Hotel Brunswick Sunday Arvo Session Jan 5th 2014

The “Bruns” Sunday aro session has turned into a bit of an icon in the local area. Every week they are pulling great acts like Bobby Alu, Oka, Tijuana Cartel and Donavon Frankenreiter. After a great gig up at the Bruns Almost a year ago Dave the booker down there has been trying to get us a Sunday spot, but bad luck has plagued us. Last time we were up, it rained out which was so disappointing. Lets hope for some beautiful north coast summer weather for this one. I can’t wait. The gig is 4 sets too, so you get to see the full show here (ie. extended outros on every track because we don’t have enough material to fill 4 hours, ha, but lets be honest they’re the best bits right?) My Old man will be on lead guitar, Shaneo on drums and our bass player from Melbourne is comin up this time too, Mr Richy Rose. It will be a great gig, don’t miss it.