HomeArticlesArts & CultureRADF supports new Gold Coast music, international showcases and live storytelling
Loki Liddle

RADF supports new Gold Coast music, international showcases and live storytelling

Samantha Morris | June 2020

Gold Coast’s artists regularly benefit from an injection of financial support through the city’s Regional Arts Development Fund. The Fund is delivered by City of Gold Coast in partnership with Arts Queensland and its goal is very simple: to promote the value of arts and culture in regional communities.

Here on the Gold Coast, RADF supports projects and programs, across all art forms, which provide public value to the community. There’s a focus on projects that build local cultural capacity, foster innovation and ignite community pride.

The whole shebang is underpinned by the city’s Culture Strategy 2023 and applications are assessed by an independent panel that comprises create industry professionals across multiple artforms and areas of expertise.

Meet some recent RADF grant recipients and find out how the City’s support has helped them progress their careers.

Loki Liddle (Selve), release and tour EP

Indigenous artist Loki received funding in 2019 through two RADF programs – Navigate and Germinate. He used the money to create a debut release for his music project Selve as well as to organise a promotional campaign to release the record.

“We were able to use this momentum to perform a mini-tour late last year around the release of our first single which featured shows in Brisbane, Toowoomba, Gold Coast and a performance as part of Deadly Hearts at HOTA alongside Jessica Maulboy, Archie Roach and Mojo Juju,” Loki said.

The release, titled ‘Snake of Light’ was created in collaboration with artist and producer Elder Children and Loki said the response has been “awesome”.

“We have received good reviews from the tour we performed and have had a great time with crowds at our shows.”

“Through the process RADF kicked off we’ve got to play alongside some amazing artists who we love, which has been really great. It was an honour to play alongside other incredible Indigenous artists at Deadly Hearts,” he said.

“There really is a lot of support available for Gold Coast artists at the moment, and that’s a pretty special thing. My artistic development has been nurtured tremendously by the programs and the individuals who run them and who have put them together. It’s not the way I ever imagined things unfolding, but it has been really good and I’m super grateful.”

“I also believe that this is exactly what Gold Coast artists deserve. There are a hell of a lot of talented, unique and insightful artists and human beings on the Gold Coast. And our culture is beginning to thrive with exciting things because the council values and invests in its artists.”

“There’s a great community of creatives in this old town, and my favourite thing about being an artist here is them.”

Listen to the first two tracks off Selve’s EP ‘Snake of Light’

Mass Sky Raid, release new album

Gold Coast three-piece, heavy rockers Mass Sky Raid used their RADF grant to support the cost of recording their soon-to-be released follow-up to their debut album ‘Science of Fiction’.

“The RADF grant has really been a massive support both financially and as an inspiration for us to work hard and create the best music we can for our fans,” Mass Sky Raid’s Adam Lomas said.

“It really does give musicians the ability to pursue their dreams and release world class content. Without the funding we probably wouldn’t have been able to follow up our debut album with another album so soon.

As with other music projects, the band has had to delay their release and tour plans for the new record.

“I think like most industries the music industry has really been impacted by this [pandemic] event with venues ability to open and play live music basically coming to a halt,” Adam said.

“It has created significant challenges for us behind the scenes trying to organise a release plan and surrounding shows and tours not knowing one week from the next what will be available or achievable. Also organising other release content such as film clips has had to wait until the pandemic lockdown has finished.”

Despite these set-backs, Adam reflected on being an artist on the Gold Coast and what that means.

“I feel extremely fortunate to be part of the Gold Coast Music scene,” he said. “I have seen it grow so much over the last few years.”

“What I love is there is a true ground swell of support from so many people using their talents to organise different events such as the Gold Coast Music Awards and other local festivals that really help lift local artists up and give them the exposure that they need.”

Listen to Mass Sky Raid, Closer

Fletcher Babb (AKA Cold Ghost), curate a live storytelling series

Last year Fletcher Babb put on a show at HOTA, Home of the Arts called ‘Stories in the Key of GC’. The sold-out event received rave reviews on the back of its live storytelling with live soundtrack format. Fletcher then received additional RADF funding to create an additional three events which will see 12 storytellers relate 12 stories alongside 12 original soundtracks created by Fletch.
“A live storytelling night is not a new concept by any means, but what sets this apart is the exclusively GC content and the original musical element,” Fletcher told We Are GC.

“The music and sound design is specifically written for each story and is not used as a gimmick, rather it is created to help tell the story and communicate the narrative.”

“The goal is that the music helps transcend basic storytelling to heighten the storyteller’s intent, much like in film and TV. Though sometimes the music and the story riff off each other, like in Tim Baker’s slam-poem/rap performance in the debut show.”

Fletcher says his Stories in the Key of GC shows would not have worked without RADF funding. He’s still building an audience and developing his workflows and creative practice and the funding gives him the ability to support himself while he writes, curates and creates.

“I also really want the storytellers, MCs and musicians that work on this project to be paid properly and this funding totally enables that,” Fletcher said.

“I hope to see out 2020 with an energizing first show back. There will be four excellent story tellers, great GC stories and a whole lot of original music. I also have some ideas for other songs that will fit into the set list that will help celebrate the weird year that we will have come out the other side of,” Fletcher said.

Listen to Cold Ghost – Son of a Gun (ft Eliza Pickard)

Hussy Hicks, showcase in New Orleans

Gold Coast’s favourite folk-blues outfit Hussy Hicks received support from the Regional Arts Development Fund to attend and showcase at the Folk Alliance International Conference in New Orleans.

Julz Parker says it was “a frantic five days running around in a sea of musicians and music industry people hoping to solidify old and make new connections.”

“We were really trying to strengthen our ties to north America and the festival scene. Unfortunately the cancelled nature of 2020 has meant we’re at a bit of a standstill right now but we’re really looking forward to getting back over there and exploring the new connections and opportunities from our time at FAI.”

The band performed five showcases, all in different hotels, with no amplification and Julz says it was “exhausting” given most of those showcases took place between 10.00pm and 2.00am.

“It was really a strange way to perform but it seems to work and by a bit of good luck and probably a bit of years of work paying off we managed to get quite a lot of very important festival directors in to our little showcases,” she said.

While the RADF grant assisted Julz and bandmate Leesa to attend the festival and showcase, they also capitalised on their trip by touring the USA, taking in both the Deep South as well as the rather extreme north of Alaska.

“It was quite a whistle stop tour but one of our most successful to date with many of the rooms being packed. Throw in some skiing at Aleyeska and some recording on Fish River Alabama and we had a very good time,” Julz said.

“The FAI is a really crazy conference but the amount of industry doers is huge – we were real lucky that Peter Noble (Byron Bluesfest) really went out to bat for us that weekend and that undoubtedly helped those industry types take a bit of notice of our funny little band from the Gold Coast.”

Other recent RADF recipients include Louise Kacer (Banks of the Beautiful) who received funding to release a six-track EP and tour Japan, IVEY to sought to record and release a selt-titled EP with six original songs, releasing on both CD and vinyl and Benny D Williams who received funding to record and release new album ‘Cities of Gold’ which went on to be a finalist for Album of the Year at the 2020 Gold Coast Music Awards.

Listen to Hussy Hicks – Get Ready


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