Local band feature: The Drop Bears CQ
THE Drop Bears CQ band was hastily formed in 2014 to help raise money for drought stricken farmers and they've been performing ever since.
Drummer Jan Koivunen said a friend, Jeannie Kleynhans needed a band for the Buy a Bale fund-raising event for Longreach farmers.
"Jeannie was asking around for musicians and a few of us put our hands up to help out," she said.
"Myself and my husband Tim, Brian Sonter, Ken Tighe and Peter Miller performed and had a great time.
"Afterwards Brian said he had so much fun we should perform regularly and we've been playing ever since."
Each member brings a wealth of experience, variety and styles which the band use to cover a wide range of pub classics, rock and country rock.
"All of us have been playing for years," Jan said.
"I was in bands at the age of 16 and competed in the Hoadley's Battle of the Bands in the 1960's, we came third in the state competition.
"Later I sang five nights a week at the old Taurus Steak House.
"Tim is our lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist and has been singing and playing for years.
"When he's not performing with the Drop Bears he does a lot of solo work in pubs and clubs around Gladstone as well it's a great outlet for him.
Lead guitarist Ken Tighe has been performing since he was a boy.
"Ken's been a part of Gladstone's music scene for years and played with numerous local bands," Jan said.
"He can really turn it on onstage."
Keyboard player Brian Sonter was classically trained at London's Trinity College.
"He wasn't really into country music, or used to playing without sheet music, but he's really into it now."
The youngest member of the band, bass player Col Sandland, is also the newest member.
"I've been playing for about 15 years and come from a jazz background," he said.
"I joined the group two years ago and they haven't kicked me out yet so I must be doing something right."
The group has played every year at The Old Station Air Show and been the backing band at the annual Country Music Campout in Ubobo.
"We've played at RG's a few times too," Col said.
"Works for bands has definitely picked up in the last six months.
"There's more of a concerted effort from venues around Gladstone to give the local bands a go."
The Drop Bears will be performing at the Bulls, Boots and BBQ's Rodeo at Calliope on Australia Day.
For more information visit The Drop Bears CQ Facebook page.