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Carnival of Suburbia

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by Courtney Symes (subscribe)
Courtney is a freelance fashion, art and design writer and content creator for www.mrgift.com.au - an online boutique specialising in quality gifts for men. Read more of Courtney’s work at www.alittlepinkbook.blogspot.com.au
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Three bedroom brick house with double garage? Check. Lawnmower? Check. Hills-Hoist clothes line? Check. BBQ? Check. Nosey neighbours, à la Ramsey St? Check. Looks like your all set for the Carnival of Suburbia set to take place at the Oakleigh RSL from 10-20 March.



Get ready for an action-packed ten days of music from The Blackeyed Susans and Darling Downs, My Friend the Chocolate Cake, Tim Rogers and the Temperance Union with Adalita, The DC3 "Melbourne Burning", Tinpan Orange and many more.

The Caravan Music Club aims to draw great music out of the city centre and into the suburbs, making it accessible for everyone. Ironically, many musicians often originate from humble beginnings in the suburbs, rehearsing in their garages and bedrooms until they're 'discovered' and hit the 'big-time'.

Performing at The Caravan Music Club is a great way for many of these artists to give back to the local community whilst demonstrating that you don't need to live in the city centre to appreciate and enjoy great music.

The ten day program offers a different headline act at the Caravan Music Club each night. The event kicks off on 10 March with My Friend the Chocolate Cake who will be performing their new single, '25 Stations', which can only be described as "the mix of folk you might encounter on the long train trip home; from the mad poet to the slick young conservative who's trying to avoid her gaze. The red-rattler shuffle will have you tapping your toes, nodding your head and thinking "Damn! I could do with a new full length album from these guys!"

Since the conception of My Friend the Chocolate Cake in 1989, the group have grown from original duo David and Helen, going from strength to strength and leaving a series of albums in their wake. Difficult to categorise, the band draw inspiration from Irish and Scottish folk music, rock and pop (think Arvo Part, Billy Bragg, Talk Talk and John Cale among others) to produce pieces that range from instrumental, acoustic and atmospheric to energetic ballads. "Everyone in the band believes in all those diverse elements really strongly. While it's entertaining, it stands for something. It's a unique band in my experience. You'd bottle it if you knew what it was," says David.

Friday 11 March continues with another exciting performance from The Blackeyed Susans and special guests, Kim Salmon and Ron Peno from The Darling Downs. Also formed in 1989, The Blackeyed Susans originally comprised of a mix of band members "holidaying" from their regular bands. Whilst the band line-up has chopped and changed over the years, they have kept busy. Their four-disc box-set retrospective Reveal Yourself 1989-2009 (featuring a mix of highlights from their six albums, along with b-sides and other interesting titbits) is a testament to their tireless passion for music. A trip to Europe in April 2010 saw the group perform as guests for The Triffids in England, Greece and Belgium as part of the 'Secret In The Shape of A Song' shows.

Tinpan Orange will take to the stage on Saturday 12 March for a night of captivating acoustic wonder laced with a little gypsy mystery. Also listen out for Hayward Williams' soothing guitar tunes.

Recover on Sunday with the big Gospel Breakfast featuring Sinner Men band, lead by Tracey Miller and spiritual songs from the likes of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Wynona Carr, Mahalia Jackson and others. Sunday afternoon continues with the Great Southern BBQ featuring Chris Altmann and his nine-piece band performing with Tim Rogers, Anna Burley, Matt Walker, Sarah Carroll and Suzannah Espie.

Other unmissable performances throughout the week include The DC3 "Melbourne Burning" on Thursday 17 March. The DC3 trio consists of Damian Cowell, Henri Grawe and Doug Lee Robertson, along with "Two guitars, a laptop and a planet-sized ego." PB Croft (from the White Russians) will also appear as special guest.

The sensational line-up continues on Friday 18 March with Tim Rogers and the Temperance Union, featuring Magic Dirt's Adalita. This will be one of the highlight performances throughout the event so don't miss out.

Kiss the festival good-bye with a free family day-out at Warrawee Park, Oakleigh on Sunday 20 March, followed by the After Party with The Band Who Knew Too Much. This spectacular farewell party will feature lots of dancing and guarantee a grand send-off for the event.

"The Carnival of Suburbia provides a beautiful opportunity for music to be performed and appreciated in the place from whence it came. We hope we can build this festival into a major cultural event to service the needs of all the live music warriors south of the Yarra for many years to come," says Creative Director, Pete Foley.

Be brave and venture out into the burbs for an adventure that will be well rewarded.

For bookings, visit The Carnival of Suburbia website or contact Peter Foley (0411 569 180)
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Why? There's got to be some advantages of living in suburbia...
When: 10-20 March 2011
Where: Caravan Music Club at Oakleigh RSL, 95-97 Drummond Street, Oakleigh
Cost: Varies for each gig
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