St Kilda Festival Sunday you complete me.. I feel free.. I feel happy!

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Luna Park - St Kilda
Luna Park – St Kilda. Image – Nikki Williams (Hot & Delicious Group).

There’s nothing better than a cheeky pint at The Esplanade Hotel as the sun goes down over Port Phillip Bay.

Whenever I think about St Kilda & St Kilda Beach, I get a warm fuzzy feeling about one of Melbourne, no Australia’s premier live music venues, The Espy, and the iconic summer street party that is St Kilda Festival Sunday.

Every year the streets of Melbourne’s bayside suburb are blocked off in preparation for 300,000 – 400,000 people flocking to it’s precinct for 9 days of culture & entertainment. The pinnacle of the event, Festival Sunday, features 8 stages, countless busking performers, open-air cafes, street markets with all sorts of trinkets and restaurants/cafes boasting a delightful array of delicacies from around the world.

As always last Sunday was an amazing day with blue skies and temperatures hitting the mid-thirties (that’s 95 Fahrenheit for all my USA friends), tempered by cool breezes blowing in off Port Phillip Bay. I started the day with Kingswood playing the main stage by the beach on St Kilda foreshore. Smashed a few cheeky ales in the new temporary bar area on the hill and checked out the latest killer tunes by this Melbourne rock band who have been in Nashville recording with Jack White’s producer, Vance Powell (also Arctic Monkeys, Kings of Leon).

St Kilda Festival Sunday 2014

Not wanting to be fenced in all day, myself and my buddy Nick took an American friend along St Kilda Esplanade to show her the iconic sights like the Luna Park, the Palais Theatre, McDonalds, Grey St.. oh wait.. take a few pictures and telling her tales of St Kilda’s history (and our own drunken exploits) before wandering back to The Espy for a drink. Back in 2009, I held my 1st of ever Hot & Delicious event at The Esplanade Hotel’s Gershwin Room, so it holds special memories for me and I love this joint, but $10 cover charge.. where was the music??

After a few cheeky jugs of Bulmers, we were craving the open air and sunshine, so we cruised outside and down along Fitzroy St where we sat in one of St Kilda’s many outdoor eateries, soaked up more cold refreshment, afternoon rays and long chats putting the world to right.

A small part of felt like I should have seen more of the live indie Australian music that St Kilda Festival is known for, but in reality for me this day is all about going with the flow and soaking up what is one of the most fantastic events on the Australian summer calendar… 

St Kilda Festival Sunday you complete me.. I feel free.. I feel happy! 

Article by Dan Wilkinson. Images of St Kilda Festival vibe captured by fantastic Hot & Delicious shooter, Nikki Williams. Probably the best & most complete St Kilda Festival Sunday gallery that you’ll see.

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St Kilda Festival Sunday 2014

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Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group

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.

iTunes Festival kicks off in just 20 hours incl. Lady Gaga, QOTSA, Ellie Goulding, Arctic Monkeys, Dizzee Rascal, Justin Timberlake.

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iTunes Festival 2013 Line-upiTunes Festival is back for the 7th year in a row with 30 free shows across 30 days, streaming live concerts by the world’s top artists from London across the month of September.

Held at London’s historic The Roundhouse in North London, the 2013 iTunes Festival line-up includes:

30 Seconds to Mars, Arctic Monkeys, Avicii, Bastille and The 1975, Chic featuring Nile Rodgers and Janelle Monáe, Dizzee Rascal, Ellie Goulding, Elton John and Tom Odell, HAIM and Dan Croll, Jack Johnson and Bahamas, Jake Bugg, t, John Legend, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Kendrick Lamar, Kings of Leon, Lady Gaga, Ludovico Einaudi, Paramore, Phoenix, Pixies and No Ceremony, Primal Scream, Queens of the Stone Age and Palma Violets, Rizzle Kicks, Robin Thicke, Sigur Rós, The Lumineers, Tinie Tempah and Vampire Weekend.

Stream each day of the month-long festival live via itunes.com/festival or through your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch by downloading the iTunes Festival app. Lock in your favourites below with the full list of iTunes Festival 2013 performances sorted by date.

For the love of music. Amazing!

Stream Mumford & Sons iTunes Festival 2012

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iTunes Festival 2013 performances by date:
Lady Gaga, Sep 1
Sigur Rós, Sep 2
The Lumineers, Sep 3
Paramore,  Sep 4
Rizzle Kicks, Sep 5
Queens of the Stone Age and Palma Violets, Sep 6
Phoenix, Sep 7
Bastille and The 1975, Sep 8
Arctic Monkeys, Sep 9
Jake Bugg, Sep 10
Kings of Leon, Sep 11
Elton John and Tom Odell, Sep 12
Avicii, Sep 13
Chic featuring Nile Rodgers and Janelle Monáe, Sep 14
Vampire Weekend,  Sep 15
Jack Johnson and Bahamas, Sep 16
Ludovico Einaudi, Sep 17
30 Seconds to Mars, Sep 18
Kendrick Lamar, Sep 19
Primal Scream, Sep 20
HAIM and Dan Croll, Sep 21
Ellie Goulding Sep 22
Jessie J, Sep 23
Robin Thicke, Sep 24
Pixies and No Ceremony, Sep 25
Tinie Tempah, Sep 26
Dizzee Rascal, Sep 27
John Legend, Sep 28
Justin Timberlake, Sep 29
Katy Perry, Sep 30

Kingswood + Bertie Blackman live at The Corner Hotel.. Possibly the best rock photography you’ve ever seen 😉

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Kingswood live at The CornerJet-set everybody! Kingswood have wrapped a killer Australian tour and they are USA bound!

Last Thursday Hot & Delicious hit Kingswood’s sold-out ‘Ohio’ single launch at The Corner Hotel (Melbourne). Supported by Bertie Blackman + Lurch & Chief, Kingswood delivered their usual punch of wicked riffs, soaring vocals, cheeky chat between tracks and kick-ass live show. And when lead singer Fergus Linacre stopped the last song halfway through to have the whole Corner Hotel crowd get down on their knees.. cherry on the cake! Seriously one of our favourite live bands right now.

The 2nd half of 2013 sees the Melbourne lads jetting off to Nashville’s Blackbird Studio to record their debut album with Jack White’s long-time Grammy-winning producer, Vance Powell, back to Australia for a couple of festivals, a string of USA shows and then back to Aussie again for the summer festival circuit.

The banter, the stage-craft, balls & all rock & roll.. Kingswood are destined for glory!

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Kingswood – Images by Bianca Morgans (Hot & Delicious Group)

Bertie Blackman – Images by Bianca Morgans (Hot & Delicious Group)

Free Stream: Dream On Dreamer’s latest ‘Loveless’ LP drops tomorrow! Listen now.

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Dream On Dreamer live at Pyramid Rock

Dream on Dreamer’s sophomore album ‘Loveless’ drops tomorrow & we’re giving you the chance to stream it in full a day early!

Press play, Crank that stereo… LOUD! 🙂 & Enjoy!

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From the streets of Fitzroy to fine shores of Canada, blues & roots rockers Jungal are hitting the studio!

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From the streets of Fitzroy to the fine shores of Canada, blues & roots rockers Jungal are hitting the studio!

Hailing from country Victoria, Jungalwalla sister (Leisha and Jessie) & adopted sibling Vic typify the hard-working Australian indie rock band. With punters spoilt for music choice in this country, emerging artists have to diversify, make their own way and create new opportunities off their own back. Jungal have toured Australia 8 times and have built quite a following touring the Canadian summer festival circuit 3 times in the past few years.

Not shy of the camera, a cheeky beer and wicked banter, the all-girl trio created this cute little vid to drive crowd-sourced funding to record their 2nd studio album before they jet off to North America for tour #4.

Jungal are 100% independent, self-funded & self-managed band.

Watch the vids, download free tunes off triple j Unearthed, share the ♥ & get involved!

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On tour in Canada.. shennanigans..

For more Jungal news drop by the Jungal website

Management – Jessie Jungalwalla

Doesn’t get any more indie than a bootleg vid at the Northcote Social Club: