New album brings Bendigo brothers back for hometown gig

Melbourne-based band Jakal includes former Bendigo brothers Sam and Kane Watts.
Melbourne-based band Jakal includes former Bendigo brothers Sam and Kane Watts.

Former Bendigo musicians Sam and Kane Watts will showcase their new band Jakal at Summer in the Parks on Friday.

Jakal, a Melbourne-based band, is made up of the Watts brothers and their Victorian College of the Arts schoolmates.

“We formed early last year when we all met at school and played music together at lunch,” Sam said.

“We have a regular gig every Friday in Brunswick and after we got a bit of a following we decided to record an album.”

Jakal includes Jessie Hillel on vocals. Jessie came runner up in New Zealand's Got Talent in 2011 at only 11 years of age.

“Jessie and (keyboardist) Max wrote most of the songs on the album via Messenger,” Sam said.

“The VCA is a very cool environment to be in. It’s amazing to be surrounded by people with the same passion and similar aspirations to you. It’s very motivating to everybody.”

Summer in the Parks will be Jakal’s first Bendigo gig but former Bendigo boys Sam and Kane know the music scene very well.

“We played at the Bendigo Blues and Roots Music Festival for a couple of years with dad in our band Seed Seed and were lucky enough to be on the big stage,” Sam said.

BENDIGO BOUND: Kane and Sam Watts moved to Melbourne to pursue school and msuic but are returning to unveil their band's new album.

BENDIGO BOUND: Kane and Sam Watts moved to Melbourne to pursue school and msuic but are returning to unveil their band's new album.

“It’s very exciting to get the guys up from Melbourne for a show. We haven’t had the full band play in Bendigo yet but a few of us played there.

“My brother and I are excited for our friends and music fans in Bendigo see what we've been doing. Bendigo has a great music community with plenty of festival and gig opportunities.”

Jakal’s self-titled album was recorded at Audrey Studios in Carlton last year.

"We are pretty proud of the songs and how they have come up,” Jesse said.

“It's hard to categorise our music, but we hope people find it fresh and energetic."

Sam said the music is a fusion of soul and funk.

“It’s an interesting combination. You couldn’t put it in just one genre,” he said.

“The album took most of 2017 to put together there was a lot of rehearsing before recording.”

Jakal play a free show at Crook Street Park in Strathdale with Min & the Colin Band on Friday, February 2, at 6.30pm.

Visit www.bendigosummerintheparks.com for more details.

For more on Jakal find them on Facebook.