Having finally hung up the chalk after a very long teaching career, my new career is: travelling, blogging and writing from the beautiful northern end of the NSW coast.
You can read about my progress at www.maureendurney.com
Life is Good!
Published July 21st 2016
Where You'll Find Your Rhythm And Moves
For six months I've been driving between the Gold Coast and Murwillumbah and each time I've passed a sign along the Tweed Valley Way advertising vintage retro wares, and music equipment, but I was always in a hurry so I always kept driving, thinking that one day I would take a look at those retro wares.
It's funny how fate sometimes gives you a nudge, and a recent phone conversation with my son ended with "I need to visit soon because there's a music shop near you I want to look at". When he described the store I figured it was the sign I'd passed all those times on the highway, so I decided to drive over and check it out, but I wasn't prepared for what lay ahead. The old saying that you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover certainly applies here because the store far exceeds the humble signs on the highway.
As I walked through the big open doorway I was warmly welcomed by Chana who offered assistance with any questions I might have. At this point I confessed that I was on a reconnaissance mission in order to report back to my son, who just happens to be a musician. From that point on Chana rolled out the red carpet and organised a guided tour of every inch of the store, including the recording studio upstairs. Chana explained that she and her husband, Kevin Waters, own the business and are ably assisted by Jake Maloney and a long list of competent, musically and technically talented people, who make Tweed Creative Studios the success it is.
The first room on the left at the front of the store is dedicated to Son of Drum, a local business that supplies schools and communities with quality percussion instruments, and all things drumming. If you are marching to the beat of a different drum, then you are sure to find what you're looking for here.
Throughout the store, but particularly towards the back, there was an abundance of all things retro, including some quirky must-have hats. A lot of the memorabilia relates to music, like the box of old LPs that are going for a song at a few dollars each, but there are a lot of surprises as well, far too many to mention here.
Old records that would add value to anyone's vinyl collection
As musicians know, an integral part of music is making it loud, and for that you'll need an amplifier. Luckily, there are plenty for sale. But if you have one that isn't pushing out as many decibels as it should be, you can arrange repairs right here. They even have a designated repairer for iPhone problems - now that's smart!
Need a place to rehearse? No problem. Well equipped rehearsal rooms can be hired, and Jake is keen to help out if needed. The soundproofed rooms means that musicians can rehearse as loud as they like, without worrying about violating noise restrictions. Now that has to be a great solution to a noisy problem.
Amateurs and budding musicians are catered for as music lessons and workshops are available for a reasonable price. Workshops are held in school holidays making the studios the perfect fun place for kids, while providing some down-time for mums and dads.
The most impressive part of the tour was the recording studio. Bryan Zee is the recording room specialist and is ready to assist and advise for the best effects . And Jake is no stranger to the equipment in the studio and is on hand to assist. If you book the studio for rehearsals or recording there's no need to lug your really heavy equipment up the stairs for the session because there are drums already set up to make the event a whole lot easier.
Jake's talents extend way beyond the studios; he also teaches dance classes at nearby venues on a weekly basis. The lessons are very affordable, and look like they'd be a lot of fun in the process. And with only six or seven steps to learn, you would certainly be busting some very serious moves in no time.
If you find yourself lost for things to do around the Gold Coast, take a drive to Murwillumbah along Tweed Valley Way. Take a left when you get to the Matilda Service Station, and you'll come to the big shed that is home to Tweed Creative Studios. I'm confident you'll find treasures hidden away amongst the retro collectables that remind you of a special time in your past. You'll be amazed at what is tucked away in that huge building full of vintage and retro wares, as well as everything you need to make beautiful music to create the new memories that will last a lifetime.
Will I be recommending Tweed Creative Studios to my son? Absolutely! They have a huge range of very affordable musical instruments and retro wares, but more importantly, they have rehearsal and recording rooms that provide a great service to people of all ages in the community. This fact alone is something the local community should be celebrating. Cultivating an interest in music is surely of benefit to the youth of the northern NSW coast and southern end of the Gold Coast. And since my son is in a band he'll probably want to talk to the team about the recording studio.
But in case that isn't enough to convince him, I'll mention that Tweed Creative Studios won a coveted BEATS Award in 2015, in the Best Creative Industries category. This is a must-visit store and well worth the drive to check it out.