ROCKING THE COUNTRY: Australian Institute of Country Music headquarters in Channon Street, Gympie, saw some exciting performances on Saturday, including that of North Arm Rock Band.
ROCKING THE COUNTRY: Australian Institute of Country Music headquarters in Channon Street, Gympie, saw some exciting performances on Saturday, including that of North Arm Rock Band. Troy Jegers

Big breaks for new Gympie talent as AICM Rocks the country

WITH eight exciting new bands on the bill, it was not such a surprise that between 100 and 150 people turned up for Saturday's big blast at the Australian Institute of Country Music's Channon Street headquarters.

What is surprising is that they all fitted in at a venue more suited to practice and tuition than full-on public performance.

But somehow the building did not burst, even if it did explode with a huge afternoon of rock music.

AICM president Maria Townsend-Webb was excited as she recalled "a fabulous day.”

"There was room to breathe, but it was full and it was exciting. There were people everywhere throughout the building,” AICM band coach Ande Foster said.

They were there to participate or support the efforts of eight bands, from young newcomers to experienced performers.

The AICM in Channon St for RockSchool Band Showdown- Mr Percival Noah Coulson Nathan banks Angus parr Donald MacGregor
Mr Percival was the band. Members were Noah Coulson, Nathan Banks, Angus Parr and Donald MacGregor Troy Jegers

The AICM in Channon St for RockSchool Band Showdown- Laura Parr, Greg Parr and David Banks
Laura Parr, Greg Parr and David Banks Troy Jegers

The AICM in Channon St for RockSchool Band Showdown- Emma Mulholland and Momoka Kimura
Emma Mulholland and Momoka Kimura Troy Jegers

The AICM in Channon St for RockSchool Band Showdown-  Band - CaramelGabriel laidler-burns - Guitar/vocalsBraden Gray - DrumsCamille Britten - Bass
Gabriel Laidler-Burns, Braden Gray and Camille Britten Troy Jegers

The AICM in Channon St for RockSchool Band Showdown- Emily and Lucy Kerr
Emily and Lucy Kerr Troy Jegers

The AICM in Channon St for RockSchool Band Showdown - Nelson Alexander
Nelson Alexander Troy Jegers

The AICM in Channon St for RockSchool Band Showdown- Lex Townsend and Maria Townsend-Webb
Lex Townsend and Maria Townsend-Webb Troy Jegers

The AICM in Channon St for RockSchool Band Showdown- BLANK CANVAS -  Jackson Allan, Jake Gibbs, Mikah Gatward, Brendon Crowther
Blank Canvas, with Jackson Allan, Jake Gibbs, Mikah Gatward, Brendon Crowther Troy Jegers

The AICM in Channon St for RockSchool Band Showdown- Oli Cunningham and Sonny Nielsen
Oli Cunningham and Sonny Nielsen Troy Jegers

The AICM in Channon St for RockSchool Band Showdown - Max Olsson-McDonald and Lee Olsson-McDonald
Max Olsson-McDonald and Lee Olsson-McDonald Troy Jegers

The AICM in Channon St for RockSchool Band Showdown- Pippi Lindemann and River Foster
Pippi Lindemann and River Foster Troy Jegers

The AICM in Channon St for RockSchool Band Showdown- Branson Cook
Branson Cook gives the day a big thumbs up. Troy Jegers

The AICM in Channon St for RockSchool Band Showdown- Led AngelsDaniel beddoe 22 BassEvan Steer, lead guitar and vocalist 24Lloyd Steer, drummer 21
Led Angels' Daniel Beddoe, Evan Steer and Lloyd Steer. Troy Jegers

"I couldn't have been happier with the crowd,” he said.

The event was the AICM Rock School Band Showdown, and the competition was friendly but fierce.

"The judges were terrific,” Ande Foster said.

"Lee Turner, of Blue Logistics Studios, is a seasoned performer and he has worked in bands for most of his life.

"He had loads of advice and encouragement.

"Emily Murphy, who is program co-ordinator for the Muster, was very insightful and specific in her comments.

"And Luke Harriman, who is Gympie Regional Council venue manager said he saw a lot of potential for future events involving the talent he saw on Saturday.”

”We're looking forward to doing it again next year,” Maria Townsend-Webb said.

"It was absolutely standing room only,” she said.

"The place was absolutely pumping for five hours.

"There was an incredible diversity of bands and songs and a lot of original songs.

"We had two categories for the bands. We had some very young people in the school age section and some very accomplished and experienced musicians in the open category.

"We also had prizes for best original song and best Muster match (with a prize of two chances to perform at the upcoming Gympie Music Muster).

"The place was packed out from beginning to end,” she said.

The action started about 2.30pm and wrapped up about 7.30pm,” she said.

Bands played half-hour sets with the Malia Stirling Band startig at 2.30pm, followed by Krashendo, Aspy Jones, Caramel, Mr Percival, North Arm rock Band, Black Canvas, and Led Angels.

The day was sponsored by the Gympie Music Muster, Gympie Musicland, EM Media and Events, Soundhive, Navigator Music, the AICM Rock School and Gympie Regional Council.

Prizes included:

  • 2 x $100 vouchers from Gympie Musicland
  • Performance opportunities at the Gympie Music Muster 2019
  • Live video recordings
  • Publicity sessions with EM Media and Events 
  • Performance opportunities at Gympie Regional Councils events
  • Recording sessions of winning original songs in the AICM recording studio, The Bunker, produced by Soundhive
  • Band Coaching sessions at the AICM RockSkool
  • Guitar lessons with Navigator Music