St Kilda’s Indie Scene

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Maddison McSwain interviews Bob Crain of the Taste of Indie Collective


Whats your role in The Taste of Indie Collective?
I am a long term member of the Collective. Rumour has it that I actually came up with and developed the idea for a collective of independent original musicians in Melbourne but that’s just an unsubstantiated rumour.

When did The Taste of Indie Collective start, and how has it developed since its beginnings?
The Collective has been going for about three years it started out as a collective of trios which was a bit limiting in scope. It has grown to include original bands through to solo artists. We are currently focusing on songwriters and their songs whether they are solo artists or the main songwriter in a band.

You guys present some of Melbournes best independent songwriter performers every Tuesday at the Prince Public Bar in St Kilda. Whats on the musical menu?
In this day and age you need to think outside the square and provide an entertaining presentation of original music, the original singer songwriter sitting in the corner strumming a guitar and singing their songs loses its entertainment value pretty quickly. We have tried to change that up at the Prince Public Bar on Tuesday Nights by presenting original songwriters and their songs in different entertaining and interactive formats.

The Nashville Style Song Fest format has three songwriters on stage together chatting with the audience, telling the stories behind their songs and playing songs. We have an Aspiring Songwriters Night and Duo/Trio Night and in what we believe is a WORLD FIRST we have House Band Night where we present original indie music backed up by our house band Collective Action.

What is unique and exciting about St Kildas revitalized indie scene?
Melbourne has more exciting new songwriters per square block probably that anywhere short of Nashville.. the difference and most exciting part is the variety of what is being written. St Kilda is fast becoming the hub of the independent songwriter performer scene. We all want to play in St Kilda venues. The Prince Public Bar has been at the forefront of this revival they have been so supportive of what we are doing on Taste Of Indie Tuesday and supporting original music generally. We have artists in the Collective which are influenced by everything from Folk to Reggae and Punk to Country and when you have all these influences you get a fantastic blend of music.

How has being a part of Taste of Indie Tuesday been personally fulfilling?
I think the most fulfilling part of this for me is the fact that we are doing it…together. We are making in-roads in the local music scene as a Collective of like minded independent original artists and without a massive structure or promotion budget. It has just been the persistence of all involved and desire to present good local original music in a great venue which has been most fulfilling for me and all of us. Working together with the venue actually works and our residency at the Prince is proof that persistence pays.

Who are some of the most successful bands/artists that have played or will be playing on Taste of Indie Tuesdays?
Of course are all successful if we are out on the original music gig trail but groups like Ashbury Medicine Show, Bad Hobbits, Priestessa & Dash and Kill TV and solo artists like Tim Hulsman, Acoustic Foxx, Brett Franke and Ali Hughes are all part of the Collective

Why is it important to support and promote up and comers in St Kilda?
We have one Tuesday dedicated to the up and comers Aspiring Songwriters Invitational Night. They are the future base of a great local original music scene and it helps to promote a community atmosphere.

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