Toby Martin - singer, songwriter and frontman of indie rock band, Youth Group - will perform a special concert inspired by the residents of Bankstown. He appears alongside a full band featuring local Western Sydney musicians, bringing to life his critically acclaimed album, Songs From Northam Avenue.
As part of an Urban Theatre Projects artist residency in 2013, Martin was invited to write songs on residents’ front verandahs and nature strips along Northam Avenue in Bankstown. A year later, he returned to finish a collection of songs inspired by the people he met, which he performed accompanied by a band of local musicians as part of BANKSTOWN:LIVE for Sydney Festival. The resulting album, Songs From Northam Avenue, was released by Ivy League records in February 2017 and met with great acclaim.
An Inner West local, Martin came to Bankstown as a relative outsider, although his father’s family lived there for a few years when they first migrated to Australia in 1948 after World War II. He relished the opportunity to collaborate with local residents, many of them first generation immigrants to Australia, who contributed musical influences from their native homelands.
Two of these musicians will join Martin on stage at Casula, including Dang Lan (Đàn bầu, Đàn tranh, tea cup and coin percussion), a singer, teacher, dancer and musician who plays traditional and popular Vietnamese styles and Mahmmd Lelo (qanun), one of Australia’s leading exponents of the qanun who has played in Arabic orchestras in his birthplace, Iraq and in Qatar.
Other collaborators joining Martin on the night include Jess Ciampa (drums), a multi-instrumentalist who has played and recorded in a wide variety of styles and Matthew Steffen (electric bass and double bass) a member of Decoder Ring and also Curator - Contemporary Music at Campbelltown Arts Centre.
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