Pas­sion helps band scale great heights

Great Southern Herald - - News - Sjanna San­dalova

Broome­hill’s Toby Batch­e­lor has turned his mu­si­cal pas­sion into a ca­reer, play­ing the bass gui­tar in the award-win­ning band POW! Ne­gro.

Batch­e­lor, who now lives in Perth, in 2015 joined the six-piece band which has since cre­ated a heavy fan fol­low­ing Aus­trali­aw­ide.

Mix­ing sounds of hip-hop with psy­che­delic and jazz, their on-stage pres­ence, de­scribed as en­er­getic and soul­ful, is what makes them stand out.

Mu­sic had been a part of his iden­tity since his teenage years, when he was head boy at Katan­ning Se­nior High School in 2013, Batch­e­lor said. “I started play­ing gui­tar when I was maybe 13 or 14 or so, never prop­erly learn­ing re­ally, and from there started mak­ing mu­sic at home on my lap­top,” he said.

“I've been mak­ing mu­sic on my lap­top ever since, that’s how ev­ery­one in POW makes mu­sic and it’s a big part of how we write.”

POW! Ne­gro re­cently won the West­ern Aus­tralian Mu­sic awards for most pop­u­lar new act and most pop­u­lar live act as well as fea­tur­ing on the cover of the lat­est Rolling Stones mag­a­zine.

“We got back from an East­ern States tour about a month ago and it’s hard to say any­thing has topped that and we’ve been lucky enough to play with some of our idols,” Batch­e­lor said.

The band is do­ing a number of shows around Perth over the next few months, as well as play­ing at Wood­ford Folk Fes­ti­val in Queens­land at the end of the year.

“We have a pretty eclec­tic sound, I think, and in­ter­est­ing things hap­pen on stage. Nel­son our MC draws all the art­work around POW him­self, which is re­ally cool.”

Pic­tures: Face­book

POW! Ne­gro show­case their high-en­ergy style.

Toby Batch­e­lor play­ing at Chevron Fes­ti­val Gar­dens.

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