Kirra Huddy is a busy lady. She’s a full-time nurse and is studying her Masters in nursing and acute care as well. She also plays regular gigs. But it’s none of those things which brought her to the Gold Coast – that was an offer to play beach volleyball with Bond University.
Fast forward eight years and it’s clear she’s found her feet here and then some. Kirra tells me she was just ten when she started playing guitar.
“I think it was bigger than me,” she said. “I played on and of in primary and high school but I kind of gave it away when I moved here. Music is really vulnerable – when I was changing every other aspect of my life I didn’t have the confidence to perform.” And she adds that she’d never done anything solo.
No confidence problems now, though. She finds her own stroke of luck both random and hilarious. “It’s awesome,” Kirra said. “I just got some close friends who knew that I played and we had a few beers and there was an open mic and someone in the audience who owned a restaurant saw me and tracked me down – and they gave me a regular gig. It all delightfully came out of nowhere.”
“You talk to a lot of people now who do a lot of gigs or push their music and they struggle to get venues…” Kirra said. “I feel like I’m so lucky to have that someone threw me a bone when I was least expecting it.”
“I get plenty of gigs,” she said. “And the more places you go to – this is a perfect example,” she said, sweeping her hands through the surf shop we’re sitting in, “you get talking to people and it comes out that you’re a musician. It’s incredible. The more and more friends you connect with – every little pocket of the GC is opening up for live music,” Kirra said excitedly.
I ask her about some of the venues she plays on the Gold Coast and she rattles off a long list: The Hub in Varsity, Chevron Renaissance, The Loft, Bamboo Café in Palm Beach, the Mermaid Tavern, Kingscliffe Relay for Life. And all that between studying and working full time.
But the reason for our chat today is to find out about a grassroots local music event that Kirra is curating at Board Culture, where we are chatting. Kirra says it’s another thing that came out of the blue “in the most marvelous fashion.”
She tells me about doing a yoga class upstairs – yes, at the same surf shop and being invited to play music afterwards so that people hung around for a while and caught up over coffee. (Yes, they sell coffee here too). So she did. “Trav (the owner) was stoked and said ‘let’s work this out, let’s do it more often’ and we picked a date and worked on that.”
Kirra contacted musician friends and said to them that the event would be about just “hanging out in the courtyard with fellow musicians, just kicking back and enjoying and listening to eachother’s music.”
She was overwhelmed with the support. All musicians offered to play for free and it will be an esky and picnic lunch type deal at the back of the surf store. “Within a week we had the set-list full and people were still asking to be involved,” Kirra said.
The event will take place on Sunday 24 May and includes Julie Hayes with part of her band, Jemma-Lee Donovan, The Ruiins, Machado – from Venuzuala, Lachlan Dwyer – a loop pedal master / saxophonist / bassist / drummer / vocalist, Ondre who is 17yo and still in High School and Leni Peirano who has gigged all through central and south America.
“I’m so stoked,” Kirra told me. “I’m really biased – because I’ve picked all these musicians I love where I can sit and have a beer and listen to them. It’s been rad. It’s been really overwhelming,”
Kirra credit’s Board Culture’s owner Trav with creating a productive community space for her and for other young Gold Coasters. “It’s just phenomenal,” she said. “The first time I walked in here, for a yoga session – they make you feel like you’re a long-lost family member. I come in here and study sometimes because I want an environment that’s productive. He is so enthusiastic about everything he does and supports so many people – he just gives them belief and motivation to do better.“
“He’s a good dude. There are good vibes all ‘round,” she said sweeping her hand over the surf shop one more time for good measure.
Our feature image of Kirra was taken at Board Culture Surf Shop by Leisen Standen | Lamp Photography.
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Board Culture will host Lay Dayz on Sunday 24 May. Visit https://www.facebook.com/events/752972338155422/ for more information or to RSVP.
You can catch Kirra (just kirra) playing live around the Gold Coast too:
Sat 9 May, 6.00pm – Chevron Renaissance Shopping Centre
Wed 13 May, 6.30pm – Bambu Bar (with Mitch King)
Thurs 14 May, 6.00pm – The Hub at Varsity
Sun 17 May, 9.00 – 11.00am – The Village Markets @ Burleigh Heads State School