Many folks in the local music scene would know Stewy Fairhust. The voice behind 94.1FM’s Local Gig every Tuesday night, he’s wildly passionate about local music. Having picked up a guitar at five and playing drums in a school band, he decided at a youthful age that he wanted to ROCK and with his first band Southern Axent he did just that, supporting artists like Daryl Braithwaite, Screaming Jets, Suzi Quatro, Mondo Rock and Mental As Anything. He’s done sound for artists like Brian Cadd and The Living End, performed in covers band Rushmore and still does the odd solo show and private party.
Stewy’s wife Tamara has an interesting backstory herself – but none of it involves playing musical instruments – “I didn’t practice the piano and guitar often enough to learn the basics”. Born at the Gold Coast Hospital, her parents actually met at Spolight Theatre and went on to be life members. Her mother started the Spotlight Costume Hire business from their garage at Isle of Capri.
These days though, you can find Stewy and Tamara behind the counter at Gold Coast Music – the city’s newest, and arguably best music store – located right in the heart of Southport.
“With the collapse of Allans Billy Hyde, the perfect opportunity for us arose to provide support and products for the musicians of the Gold Coast and surrounds,” Stewy told Blank Gold Coast. So he decided to ask the previous owners of Gold Coast Music for their blessing to use the name.
“We wanted to return the good old customer service and experience that everyone was used to and supported,” Stewy said. “The time had come.”
“So here we are, in the same building all these years later, to give it a real good Aussie go.”
There’s no question, the city has grown enormously over the years.
But despite the trend toward online shopping, Stewy’s certain there’s room for his independent music store. And he’s keen to give back – this year jumping on board as a high level sponsor at the Gold Coast Music Awards and making the Live Act of the Year category possible with that support.
“That is why we have pushed hard to reopen Gold Coast Music, an iconic and much-loved part of the music history on the Gold Coast. It seems that the larger the consortium providing you the musical products, the less you receive good quality products with real customer service, you don’t feel appreciated as a customer and find yourself veering toward online & other options.”
“Many people these days are happy with purchasing online and that is ok, but there will always be customers wanting more help and customer service, with questions they would like answered by a professional with real lifetime experience.”
So, down to brass tacks. What does such a veteran of the local live music scene believe are the most important considerations for a great live act?
What makes a great live music act? According to Gold Coast Music’s Stewy Fairhust
- CONFIDENCE – you need to sell yourself HONESTLY
- CHEMISTRY BETWEEN THE BAND MEMBERS – you all need to compromise and treat each other with respect like brothers/sisters. You are all talented and together you make the whole.
- INTERACTION WITH THE CROWD – very important to entertain the crowd. No one enjoys seeing someone get up on stage and just play and sing. ENTERTAIN.
- COMMUNICATION –if this is not someone’s strong point in the band, find a delegate or manager to help here. Very important to be reliable, punctual and up to date. You are not the only part of the picture, you need to coordinate with many other people to even get on that stage.
- PROFESSIONALISM & RESPECT – this should be second nature when you are in the public’s eye. Treat people the way you expect to be treated and never judge a book by its cover.
“We are so happy to support the Gold Coast Music Awards, especially with the Live Act Category,” Tamara said. “The Goldy is missing out on live venues, so many have been closed down or demolished over the past few decades. It is time to see some new local and live music venues around the Goldy again.”
The finalists for the 2019 Gold Coast Music Awards Live Act of the Year, sponsored by Gold Coast Music are:
- Amy Shark
- Casey Barnes
- Electrik Lemonade
- Ella Fence
- Hussy Hicks
The winner is announced at a gala event on the beach in Surfers Paradise on 2 May and Stewart Fairhurst will present the lucky act with a hand-crafted trophy by Gold Coast Music Awards Artist in Residence, Dion Parker. For ticketing information visit www.gcmusicawards.oztix.com.au.