Venue creates global showcase for local bands

CRYSTAL FOX

Gold Coast live music venue Mo’s Desert Clubhouse has created a six-episode online forum for local bands to showcase their talent on a global scale, and folk duo Hussy Hicks are next on the bill.

Hussy Hicks

The Gold Coast’s Hussy Hicks will debut their new album during their Desert TV episode on August 20. Photo: Courtesy Hussy Hicks

The online forum, which is accessible via the Desert TV YouTube account, was made possible thanks to funding from Arts Queensland, the Queensland Government and the City of Gold Coast.

The first episode of the online forum took place on July 17 and showcased Gold Coast indie rock band Peach Fur.

The second episode, which will be screening on Thursday August 20 at 7pm, will feature Hussy Hicks.

The venue has yet to release the dates for the final four episodes of the forum, but fans can stay up to date by visiting the Mo’s Desert Clubhouse website (mosdesertclubhouse.com).

The six-episode forum is a ticketed event that features live performances by local bands that are filmed and then uploaded to YouTube.

Mo’s Desert Clubhouse music coordinator Christian Tryhorn said once the initial six episodes were shown, the venue would look into continuing to use online forums to complement live in-person events for fans who couldn’t make it to the live events.

Mr Tryhorn said the Mo’s Desert Clubhouse crew wanted to create an opportunity for local bands to continue to reach their audiences despite the limitations on events created by COVID-19 restrictions.

“Initially it [COVID-19] was tough, we had gigs booked up until July,” he said.

Mr Tryhorn said the unique online forum would showcase a range of musical genres from snow blues through to rock.

“We are pretty excited, it’s been a dream of mine for a long time, even just to be able to have an online caption of your work,” he said.

Gold coast band Peach Fur on Desert TV

Gold Coast indie rock band Peach Fur were the first act to feature in an episode on the Desert TV online forum. Photo: Courtesy Mo’s Desert Clubhouse

The funding for the online forum was granted following the devastating effects of COVID-19 on the live music industry, and was designed to help venues like Mo’s Desert Clubhouse bounce back and entertain in innovative ways.

Mr Tryhorn said he was extremely grateful for the financial support the project received.

“The grant has enabled us to be able to get in a professional team – photographer, audio, producer – and get some gear, which we needed to make it all happen,” he said.

QMusic CEO Angela Samut said these events were crucial for the music industry during the pandemic.

QMusic is Queensland’s music industry development association, and assists councils in giving the music industry the opportunities that they require.

“The impacts of COVID have completely devastated, and some would argue decimated, the music scene on the Gold Coast and [throughout] the state,” Ms Samut said.

She said the entertainment industry has no doubt been one of the most affected areas when it comes to COVID-19.

“We [QMusic] surveyed a lot of artists and we averaged that from 80 to 90 per cent of their income comes from live performance,” Ms Samut said.

She said she was positive that the online forum would succeed during the COVID-19 restrictions.

“Young people want to see new music like your Peach Furs and your Hussy Hicks,” Ms Samut said.

“I take my hat off to venues like that, that are forging ahead.”

Ms Samut said she hoped people would engage and support local artists and venues on the Gold Coast.

“Places like Mo’s are critical, we need them on the tour circuits,” she said.

Peach Fur lead singer Denny Hilder playing at Mo’s Desert Clubhouse

Peach Fur lead singer Denny Hilder has been playing at Mo’s Desert Clubhouse since 2019 and is a big fan of the venue. Photo: Courtesy Cameron Fox/foxshotphotography

Peach Fur lead singer Denny Hilder said the band felt privileged to be a part of the online forum.

Mr Hilder said Peach Fur had been playing at Mo’s Desert Clubhouse since it opened in early 2019 and had loved watching their fellow bands play there.

“Mo’s has its own uniqueness being a warehouse converted into one of the Gold Coast’s best live music venues,” he said.

“[It’s] such a comfortable place and [a] lovely crew of people.”

Mr Hilder said Peach Fur were interested in the forum and were confident that it would be well received by their listeners.

“Nothing like this has been done before on the Coast since we started the band back in 2015, so I think it will be a great new innovative platform for all us local artists,” he said.

Hussy Hicks guitarist Julz Parker said the duo would be debuting their new album during their episode of the online forum.

Ms Parker said they were grateful to be given the opportunity to play at Mo’s.

“We really feel like we are playing at a place that’s a part of the music family,” she said.

The Coronavirus pandemic has halted Hussy Hicks’ plans to tour Europe and Canada in 2021.

“This might be the only chance that we can reach our overseas fans,” Ms Parker said.

She said the duo were confident it would be a high quality episode after seeing the standard of Peach Fur’s episode.

Tickets for the online forum are available prior to the start of each event and can be purchased from mosdesertclubhouse.com.

For more information visit the Mo’s Desert Clubhouse website and Facebook page.

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