Month: January 2014

Calling All Cars hit the stage.. Bang! Electric!

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Image by Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).
Image by Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).


Calling All Cars hit the stage.. A
n unstoppable, explosive force field of energy from word go.. Bang! Electric! 

Australia is a country spoiled for wealth with musical talent and when it comes to stagecraft, Melbourne rockers Calling All Cars have got it NAILED! First saw the lads live in 2011 when I was at Pyramid Rock Festival shooting for one of Australia’s national radio stations, triple j. I’d heard one or two of their jams on the radio and I decided to go check them out. WOW! From start to finish lead singer Haydn Ing’s high-octance buzz on the mic and around the stage had the moshpit shaking.

Ing’s commitment to the cause was demonstrated at Sydney’s Big Day Out last year, when the CAC frontman was knocked out cold for 10 minutes by an accidental elbow after diving into the crowd and had to be rushed to hospital. Copped a few blows to the jaw in the pit myself back in the day & it’s not fun (does anyone remember Goo Thursdays at the Metro? Alternative music at its best! :D), but where would rock & roll be these days without a lead singer or lead guitarist unafraid to attack the stage, drum riser, foldbacks and amps with reckless abandon?

HOT TIP for all you wanna-be rockstars out there.. chances are that if you’re in front of the mic, you’re already baring your heart & soul through your music, so whether it’s a positive or negative vibe don’t be afraid to let your personality shine.. I’m not saying if you’re Gotye that you should jump into the crowd with an epic body slam.. you’ve got to be you, but even a personal story or a cheeky anecdote to show the crowd that you’re a real person made of flesh & blood just like them will endear and connect you more to your audience than your music ever will.

As social media has shown us, now more than ever with the likes of social platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, everyone with a smartphone is the storyteller of their own lives and artists of their own world; give your audience an experience to remember and they will not only reward you by listening to your music online, but they will share your art with their world. So if you’re in front of the mic and make that human connection, then chances are that if they haven’t come here to see you, they will be back. 

Stagecraft is a key opportunity to interact with people.. to make an impact. Even just one new person per show to start with, can be all it takes. After all the global music market is a saturated one, social media littered with wanna-be rockstars (incl. yours truly :p) and you need to capitalize on every opportunity to stand apart from the herd.

I can still tell you the very first time I saw Calling All Cars and the image featured at the top of this article remains one of the favourite images I’ve shot in my lifetime, music or otherwise. Every time I see it I’m captivated.. my eyes glaze over as the emotions and memory of that snapshot in time seep back through my soul..

Next time, but you step out on that stage.. take a deep breath, take a step & set yourself free!

Dan Wilkinson

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Calling All Cars latest jam ‘Standing In The Ocean’ is the 2nd single from forthcoming album Raise The People due out March 7.

Beauty Is Everywhere – using everyday moments in daily life as an opportunity to recharge.

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For any entrepreneur or those with entrepreneurial mindsets, the double-edged sword of always being switched-on, every waking hour of the day, means that having tools at the ready to enable you to take time out from your lifestyle/busy mind to reset & recharge are crucial.

Even as we speak, it’s Sunday for me & I promised myself I’d stay away from the laptop and yet here I am chasing the weekly biz blog I promised myself I’d write every week in 2014.. justified it to myself in that it’s both a personal and biz blog that helps feed my creative thirst, plus the lines between both elements of my life (by design) are so close that they’re heavily blurred 😉

What’s not blurred though is that I’ve known for quite some time that to stay healthy in body & mind there are both planned and impromptu moments in everyday life that I can employ to stay fresh & clear. For me these days, aside from the obvious relatively healthy diet and exercise, are meditation and a little thing I like to call #BeautyIsEverywhere.

#BeautyIsEverywhere:

While I didn’t invent #BeautyIsEverywhere, for Hot & Delicious the #BeautyIsEverywhere hashtag is dedicated to those everyday moments of beauty in nature (or man-made) that I utilize to reset, recharge & inspire myself at a time in my life when I’m super driven, living on the edge of my seat and at the wheel driving a 1000 miles per hour.

Daily on my way to work, heading down to the shops or out for a night on the town, I’m constantly taking snapshots with my eyes. Some images are captured on my smartphone and make their to the internet through the various Hot & Delicious social channels and others I just soak up with a deep breath, a smile and savour as mine alone.

Whether it be #skyporn, a beautiful beach setting, street-art, flowers, architecture or whatever it is that floats you away, it’s important to keep your busy mind aware and open to the surroundings around you. These little hits of endorphins can make your day, help keep a clear mind & ideas flowing that can change the world! 

Hit me up on Instagram: @hotndelicious, on Tumblr or Twitter @hotndelicious

Feel free to tag @hotndelicious and in your #BeautyIsEverywhere hashtags as I’d love your recharge moments to be mine also.

Dan Wilkinson drives social media strategy, community management & works as music industry advisor at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group

Hot & Delicious.. music news & sick live photography from around the planet:

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2 days ago I woke up to a beach sunrise over the ocean, sand & the waves at my feet.. 2014.. I’m ready..

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Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson

2 days ago I woke up to a beach sunrise over the ocean, sand & the waves at my feet..

This year I went from 80% self-employed in my own music industry business, Hot & Delicious Group to coming out the other side of winter working full-time for America’s #1 Digital Agency, SapientNitro, driving social strategy for one of Australia’s largest brewers.

A year of contrasts & definitely not a quiet one, but coming through my 3rd brain tumour operation in 15 years just a year & a half ago, looking back on previous years and knowing all the cool shit I’ve nailed over the past 3 years, it definitely feels like one where I’ve treaded water a little more than usual [to put it in perspective I’ve still created sponsorship partnerships for The Aussie BBQ series of international music showcases with Virgin Australia and Studios 301 in the USA, travelled to LA and Austin (Texas), captured images of Australia’s top musicians/providing social media services for The Aussie BBQ/Sounds Australia at the world’s largest music conference SXSW, project-managed Federation Square’s Helix Tree – Light In Winter installation and starting working with a range of beer/cider brands (incl. Miller Genuine DraftPeroni Nastro AzzurroCarlton Dry, Sweden’s #1 cider KopparbergBulmers and Strongbow cider)] to name but a few projects. Treading water’s not the right phrasing.. a better one would be working in the thick of projects, rather than keeping the eagle eye view from above..

The new job’s been hell-for-leather since Day 1, but I am excited about the team we’ve built, working with people who inspire me, the prospect of being in a position now to present wicked new ideas & game-changing concepts in the new year, access to global resources/networks to achieve our goals and a regular salary (vs working contract-to-contract), which will help allow me to focus on an as of yet unfulfilled music career and a bunch of new Hot & Delicious Group projects in my “downtime”.

The craziness of the past 5 months in particular means I reached the Xmas/New Years holiday period completely exhausted and ready for a solid mental break. As a result, I took the measure of banning myself from all forms of social media for a week from Xmas Day – New Year’s Day. That rest from social channels, family holiday at Portarlington, camping/fishing/skindiving with a bunch of mates on a beach down the Great Ocean Road and today’s trip down to Republica Cafe (St Kilda Beach) to soak up the 25°C blue skies, led to clarity and this explosion of thoughts on paper, which may or may not make it to my Hot & Delicious blog (I’m leaning to yes.. Ha ha.. :D). 

That insight is that during the ups & downs on the roller-coaster of life this year, I’ve managed to have amazing experiences, but these “Good Times” have been accompanied with “Capture this, Update that, Tweet this person, read this article, write that article, watch that TV series…”. It’s true that Sundays have pretty much been kept for me and generally-speaking I’m broadcasting/checking social less on Sundays, but in reality there’s been very few times outside of work or on days off where I’ve made an effort to go out, do something fun & just soak up that particular moment in time for what it is, without feeling the need to update one of my social channels. Connected, Connected, Connected.

I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve created for myself through hard work & the ability to see opportunity in the gaps of the patterns & differences of the world around me, but my #1 goal for 2014 is to soak up the joy of this life by taking more time out for me including chilling & focusing on projects that I love. More passion, energy & happiness will no doubt ensue. Sure.. Capture this, share that is a big part of who I am and what I do.. the reality being that social media is a big part of my life at play/work and an extension of my personality, but it doesn’t define me. 

Living in the moment is what I want to see more of from myself this year and not a concept that’s new to me, but taking time out to reflect & enjoy is where we get fresh energy, a sense of calm and it’s in this headspace where the fresh ideas & magic flow.. 2014.. I’m ready..

Dan Wilkinson.
16:04pm, Tuesday December 31st, 2013.
Republica Cafe, St Kilda Beach
Melbourne Australia.

Hot & Delicious.. music news & sick live photography from around the planet:
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