Hey ho all you Offtopicalistas,
What a year 2017 has been! Before we get too drawn into looking back – here’s a quick look forward to this Saturday night at Cross St.
Find the gig on facey here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2054401591457397/
Come on down. We’ll open the doors at 8pm (as advertised) and start our first set around 8:30pm. Plenty of time to settle in, maybe order some takeaway, grab a couple of cheap Cross St drinks and chow down during the first set? Then dance dance dance away the calories for the second set! …or lie back, clutching your bloated tum bemoaning your ill-advised Uber Eats choices. You can do what you like at The Offtopics Cross St Christmas Party.
Now – consider 2017. What a year! It started with blood, loss and blood loss. While the funk dynamo recovered from an overdue surgery of an “ahem” intimate nature we farewell’d founding fret monster Dan “The Man” Kerr. Despite our sadness at his leaving (or maybe spurred on by it – who can say?) The Offtopics knuckled down and completed all the unfinished recordings started in 2016.
We welcomed two new plucky pickers into the band in Dave “Irish” Sheehan and Tony “Champagne” Shannon to fill the steel-capped Caterpillars of Dan Kerr and then it was all systems Off Topic from there on in.
Once you include this Saturday the band will have played seven gigs this year. That might not seem like a lot by the standards of yesteryear but when you consider that The Offtopics is a collaboration of highly talented, highly sought after and busy individuals it’s pretty good! The gigs we played went from strength to strength and we’re confident about saying that this is the best sounding version of the band ever. Two of those gigs represented personal bests for us in terms of payers. Our Single Launch at Melbourne’s iconic Cherry Bar smashed our previous best number of payers by a hundred percent! No – that doesn’t mean two people paid to enter because the previous PB was one payer. We got 120 actual payers at Cherry which is huge for us old folks late on a Thursday night in the CBD. Owner James “Hound Dog” Young was on site and witnesses say he looked “pleased”.
You can see a little bit of the fun from that gig here.
The Legendary Vince Peach thought we sounded so good that night he invited us to do a live to air performance at 3PBS! (More about that later) Soon after the launch he gave our single a spin and called it a “GREAT record” and said we “put on SUCH a GOOD show”. Picture us chuffed… (No – seriously. Draw a picture of what the Offtopics look like chuffed and post it on our Facebook page.)
2017 also saw us form a productive relationship with Hot Off The Press Publicity who’ve been helping with the band’s record launch projects. Parts 2, 3 and 4 of the “Back on The Zine” series will be coming out in 2018 – stay tuned! Part 1 is available now on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify and most importantly you can buy a physical copy to own for your very own from the link to our bandcamp page on the music page of this website. Or here if you’re feeling lazy.
The band pulled together at very short notice on a hot November night after some heavy rain to shoot a video clip for one of our songs. Can you guess which one? Many thanks to Nick and Ellie of “Daddy Bar” in Brunswick for being so kind to us that night. We’ll launch that in 2018.
Outside of band business we’ve all been super busy in 2017. Omid and his partner just enlarged their family by 50% this year (not a fat joke – they had a baby). Amazingly his own band, Shayan, got even busier in the afterbirth. Linc’s band The Deans launched an EP. Howard made multiple baseball related trips overseas while keeping things copacetic with the Moreland City Band. Mark Bretherton, in between dealing with clean energy and the politics of climate chicanery in his job, managed to have a holiday in the UK and Dubai. Polash squeezed in a trip to Malaysia where he was MC’ing a friend’s wedding, returned to coaching the Old Carey hockey club (the team got to the elimination final but lost) and was generally super busy teaching at Melbourne Uni. Tim’s band, Johnny Longshot got more active as well, playing at the Jamaica Jump Up, flying the flag for Rocksteady in Melbourne and getting to share the stage with one of the legends of Jamaican music – Stranger Cole!
With all of that going on in the background: seven shows, a film shoot, a single launch, completed recordings and exciting things lined up for 2018 we have to say it’s been a pretty good year!
With that in mind we’re going to quieten down for a couple of months before we resurface. Plans are underway to launch our second single in mid March (see above when I said “more about that later”. This is the “more”.
Ok – that’s enough. For now we’ll leave you with the immortal words of Viv Savage…
If we don’t see you on Saturday – you suck! But also we love you and hope you have a great Christmas and New Year.
See you in 2018!