It’s a full-blown celebration of 1950’s culture, complete with hot rod, rockabilly and all things vintage. Mt Tamborine plays host to the seventh annual Garterbelts & Gasoline Nostalgia Festival this weekend.
And they’ve flown in rockabilly legends The Roy Kay Trio all the way from Seattle to complete the lineup which includes custom cars, burlesque, workshops, pinup contest, low-brow art, nostalgia movies and Australia’s only public-road vintage soapbox derby race.
The Roy Kay trio will literally rock Mt Tamborine when they hit the stage on Friday and then again on Saturday when its members appear as The Margraves.
Roy “Kay” Konitzer spoke to us from the Gold Coast where he’d just arrived before the weekend’s fun. Australia is not the first international destination for the busy band.
“This year we did the Rockabilly Rave in the UK,” Roy told us. “We’ve played in Spain a number of times, Germany, Holland, Sweden – all over Europe.”
Roy recently married an Australian, and while he’s played here once before (Campberdown), this is the first time the “original” band has been here. I asked Roy to give us an insight into the rockabilly scene.
“It’s a place where like-minded folks get together,” he said. “And by like-minded I mean liking the aesthetics of 50s style music. It’s not necessary being in or loving the past – just loving the aesthetic and design of stuff that happened during that time.”
I’m curious if Roy’s own musical tastes are broader than the rockabilly soundtrack he plays on stage, and while he says he listens to “everything” it’s obvious the music of the 40s and 50s is his thing.
“I just like the sound of those classic, analogue years,” he said. “It’s just a natural sound to me. As things progressed in time, it got a bit more machine-like and less natural. The rhythm and blues from that time and early country music – just the ideas of the time, have a natural sound.”
The Gold Coast isn’t the only stop on The Roy Kay Trio’s itinerary. Following their stint at Garterbelts & Gasoline this weekend they’re off to Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide where they’ll do one show as The Roy Kay Trio and one as The Margraves.
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The only place in Queensland to catch The Roy Kay Trio and The Margraves is at Garterbelts & Gasoline, 2 – 5 October on Mt Tamborine. More at garterbeltsandgasoline.com.au.