Local musician Stewart Fairhurst picked up a guitar at 16 years of age but played bagpipes in the Ipswich Thistle Pipe Band before that. He’s been playing around the traps, literally for decades. He formed the band Rushmore and released the album ‘Tobacco Breakfast’ and still performs with original outfit Magpies Attack as well as a solo show. Many Gold Coasters would know Stewy as a music retailer, having run the Musician’s Pro Shop at Mermaid Beach (which opened in 2007).
And while you can still catch him at your local pub most weekends, you can also hear him on 94.1FM where he hosts his show ‘The Local Gig’.
For many Gold Coast artists it’s the first time they hear their own music played on the wireless. Stewy finds it hard to remember all the artists of note that have been on The Local Gig.
“There are so many artists,” he said. “Nicky Convine, Aaron West, The Hanlon Brothers, Charlie Rebel, Dave Murray, Hussy Hicks, Josh Boyd, Olivia Burke, and The Wayward Suns.”
“It makes feel so good that I can do this for the local musos because it certainly wasn’t around when I started playing around in original bands,” he said.
Stewy has taken it up a notch though. He’s brought back iconic Gold Coast Music, a retail store run and staffed by local musicians, for local musicians. It’s located on Nerang Street, in the heart of Southport, where Billy Hydes once was.
“I’ve been in music retail for eleven years, eight as Store Manager. I decided to bring back Gold Coast Music for a few reasons, but most of all I just want to give back to the GC because this city had been so good to me and I love helping fellow musicians”
Knowledge is what the customer is looking for, and Stewy has that in spades with so many years in the real music industry.
“They want to be assured that their purchase is right for their needs and that’s what having experience does especially for someone just starting out.”
“Gold Coast Music will have a lot of different brands, there will still be core brands like Roland and Yamaha but we will have different guitar, drums and amp lines. Also, we know that drummers on the GC have been doing it tough for years with not being able to get the basics like sticks, heads, stands… that is about to change,” Stewy said.
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Gold Coast Music is now open in Southport.