Local ‘n’ Vocal: the pride of St Kilda

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By David Bulafkin 

Rarely is the spirit so high in a room, where all people are so jubilant at the creation of something, and the feeling is unanimous and euphoric.

The Local ‘n’ Vocal album launch was one of those nights. 15 up-and-coming musicians celebrated the production and recording of the final work with a concert organised by St Kilda Rotary Club’s Julia Topliss.

All the proceeds are going to three prolific charities combating homelessness; St Kilda Gatehouse, White Lion and Kids Under Cover help homeless youths, with around 36,000 Australian youths being homeless on any given night.

After flipping through chronicled event newsletters, Topliss stumbled on a Miss St Kilda Pageant from the 70s that raised large amounts of money for the Rotary. Considering that a pageant wasn’t the best idea, Topliss wondered what would be a way of engaging people in the community. The idea of making an album popped into her head, with the project growing organically from there.

“It provides an opportunity for young people to get engaged with an alternative career choice, with it being many of their very first times on an album. But it’s also raising money for youth at risk of homelessness,” said Topliss.

Robynne Jeisman from St Kilda Gatehouse said that it was Topliss’s love for helping the youth that ensured the night’s success, indicating the organisations’ shared belief in helping and forming youth identity.

“Julia’s heart is for young people to get involved in supporting other young people and so it became a natural fit,” said Jeisman.

Teaming up with the iconic Jack Howard from Hunters and Collectors, the duo pulled in recording studios, producers and designers to create the album. Howard, being the ‘local rock guy’, helped the young musicians to lay down the tracks properly. He explained how the project was a truly positive experience for all involved.

“It’s really a win win situation with the publicity and money raised, as well as the young musicians being able to get in front of a bunch of people, all for a good cause,” said Howard.

Cassie Anderson, an intimate singer songwriter, said that the experience of recording was a once in a lifetime.

“Being able to get into the hothouse and record was incredible. Working with Jack and everyone in the studio was fantastic,” said Anderson.

You can buy the Local ‘n’ Vocal album online at www.localnvocal.com.au


Photo by Alex Terzic

Photo by Alex Terzic

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