Music scene grows as businesses look for crowds
THE live music scene in Gladstone has recently grown in leaps and bounds due to businesses trying to draw an audience, and one guitarist has built such a solid reputation that he has turned his passion into a full-time gig.
It has been eight months since Alex Matheson-Brown, 22, made the move to pursue music full-time.
In 2012 the Tannum Sands resident was working on Hamilton Island and performing gigs on the side, and then did the same while at Cable Beach Resort in Broome.
Booking a couple of performances a week, he only has a few weekends free in the foreseeable future.
On Thursday he played on the Sunshine Coast at Taps at Mooloolaba with his friend and fellow local musician Tom Webber.
They followed this up with a set at The Grand on Friday.
Mr Matheson-Brown then performed at a social night for the Gladstone Tennis Club on Saturday.
"Everyone was really responsive," he said.
Mr Matheson-Brown started playing guitar at age 6, and after stopping for a few years picked it back up in high school, fine-tuning his vocals after leaving school.
"I'm seeing a lot of improvement," he said.
Most gigs for Mr Matheson-Brown involve him playing a range of covers - everything from The Beatles to Imagine Dragons - , typical pub songs as well as intriguing original content.
He said he was lucky to have mates who shared his interest in music.
"There are about 12 of us who are always creating and coming up with stuff," he said.
The content Mr Matheson-Brown creates is an eclectic mix of smooth rap, reggae and jokey, political lyrics.
"We have a rough plan. We want to see where writing is going to take us," he said.
"In a year a group of us hope to take an original set on the road."
Mr Matheson-Brown said the increasing regularity of live music in the region was a positive sign.
"Every single venue does have some sort of entertainment at least once a week," he said.
"When it's more continual people get more keen.
"There are heaps of great artists around at the moment."
Tom Weber, Ben Castles and Alex Matheson-Brown will be performing at the Tannum Sands Surf Club on Sunday from 2pm until 6pm.
Love live music? Pick up Thursday's paper for the weekly Gig Guide in Pulse.