It’s been two years since Queensland duo women in docs have played together. Roz Pappalardo and Chanel Lucas will be playing as a duo sans backing band at the 20th edition of Festival of Small Halls with Karl S. Williams, landing at Mudgeeraba on 28 November. Blank chatted with Roz ahead of the gig to find out the appeal of playing Festival of Small Halls.
“We haven’t played a gig properly in a couple of years and it really appealed to us to get back on stage, to reconnect with each other and reconnect with our audiences who we love dearly. We’ve been an independent band for 20 years and they have been our record label. Our audiences have pre-ordered and pre-paid for our albums over the years before they’ve even heard it. There’s a real loyalty there,” says Roz.
“We are regional girls. I’m from Innisfail and Chanel’s from Townsville. I currently live in Cairns, Far North Queensland and Chanel lives in Brisbane, but we believe in the importance of focusing on the regions. The regions are just as important when it comes to offering entertainment and performing arts opportunities.”
Roz says the regions are also important when it comes to finding and developing talent, with emerging artists getting to play a 20 minute set prior to the headliners.
“Festival of Small Halls not only gives the opportunity for established bands to go on stage, but it also identifies up and coming artists. women in docs get to meet this fantastic new band and vice versa. Networking is what the music industry is all about.”
women in docs’ last album ‘Carousel’ came out in 2013. Roz hinted that Festival of Small Halls might even spawn a new album.
“We’ve got a bunch of new songs written that we have been playing over the past few years. This opportunity with Small Halls has actually caused us to consider what we do with those songs. I’ve also got a solo record coming out early next year under my own name.”
Roz says Small Halls will open up more song writing opportunities on the road together. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we walk into the studio mid next year and come out with a five track EP down the way. We just love playing together.”
Roz describes the women in docs music style as “champagne-infused folk” but they don’t really fit into too many boxes.
“On any record you’ll hear three or four folky songs, then you’ll hear a little rock song, then you’ll hear a little piano ballad. We write what we write. We haven’t put ourselves into a pigeon-hole. We are singer-songwriters and we write about our environments, what we see, what happens to us and what happens to those around us.”
Roz and Chanel will be wearing their signature shoes, Doc Martens, on stage at Small Halls. Not only are they comfortable to perform in and for lugging amplifiers around, but Roz says they also send a message.
“For us they make the statement that we are women who are independent with our businesses and our art and music. We’ve always been independent. We pull up our socks, put on our boots and do the work. We back ourselves because we can make strong business decisions and strong decisions for our careers, and we back ourselves because we support each other.
“You could say that strapping on your Doc Martens is a metaphor in our world for being strong in what we do as artists and people, and being supportive of each other and the broader arts community. Strap on your Docs and keep walking forward!”
Festival of Small Halls hits the Gold Coast on 28 November at Mudgeeraba Memorial Hall. Tickets available at festivalofsmallhalls.com
IMAGE (c) Dylan Evans