After reading Bushwhacked on The Bendigo Advertiser on Friday I was inspired to let Mr Gregson know that a local band has been waving a flag for our town since our inception. I'm a huge Springsteen fan so I had always envisioned to do the same, to be like 'the boss' and take pride in your musical hometown.
Four Lions was named after the Lions on the Vahland fountain (prior to it being re-established); our first album is named Charing Cross and our second Vahland.
Our latest album Golden Triangle is a concept album written in two days about the local bygone gold rush era and the many stories within it.
Four Lions is just one of many bands from our town who is overlooked for whatever reason? But this isn't about us, it's just part a bigger, neglected picture.
From a personal perspective I find that music is such a small part of life these days, it's why true independent acts get overlooked. Music to the general public means something else. Everyone buys songs digitally, not albums on vinyl. Vinyl? That's for the die-hard fans or blokes over 35 ... it's a niche market.
In Bendigo it's the same faces who turn up to pub gigs locally to support whatever scenes that are here in town.
Seems like unless you’re a known musical act, have a cashed-up musical marketing campaign, play big major festivals or venues or receive airplay on popular radio you should expect 0.05-0.1 per cent to turn up to your pub gigs.
What's the answer? I don't know, but it seems these days that there are too many options of what to do with your spare time (if you aren’t running kids around to a million things).
People I speak to would rather play PS4, drink at home or even just watch Netflix on the couch?
How many Bendigo people pay $5 to see a local original band one night a month?
Who wants to head out on a cold autumn night when the wind is howling outside like the alleged Bealiba Beast?
Bendigo according to the most recent census has a population of 112,000.
So you would think every band and musical act should be packing out their shows regardless of the style of music you play or the promotion goes into it.
Shame that doesn't happen!
I suppose as an artist, with music it's about working out why you do it? To know what that 'it' is for you.
I play in Four Lions because writing music is better than giving up your Medicare details and paying someone $120 an hour to talk.
Music writing, listening, jamming ... all these fuels keep the fires in my spirit burning, and if it's ever wonky, music is a constant.
Getting back to what 'it' is, I feel like I've already made 'it' because I'm able to hang with some great fellas playing music and recording.
Music, when I'm listening or playing, always feels pure and natural.
To write a song or jam and lose yourself in that deep vortex where music becomes meditation, it feels like your soul is truly free and 'it' is for that moment where you will be.
Bendigo, head out to see an original band when you can, because it would make a colossal difference.
I hope everyone who plays music can find their 'it' and, one last thing Mr Gregson, come have a pint and a yarn with us at our next Four Lions show (and bring some friends).