Lo­cal muso wins big

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - ENTERTAINMENT - JESSIE TOL­SON

A BAND fronted by a Chris­tian rocker born and bred in Moss­man has taken out a pres­ti­gious song­writ­ing com­pe­ti­tion.

Color The Hills, an orig­i­nal acous­tic duo fronted by for­mer Moss­man­ite Mikhail Lax­ton, have taken out the 2012 Easter­fest Spot­light com­pe­ti­tion, win­ning a five-track EP record­ing con­tract with Ham­mered Sil­ver Stu­dios.

The Chris­tian mu­sic duo only formed in Glad­stone ear­lier this year, with Lax­ton on lead vo­cals and gui­tar and Ja­son Breed on lead gui­tar and back-up vo­cals.

“We love God and we love mu­sic and we want to use our gifts and tal­ents to fol­low what God has planned for us,” Lax­ton said.

“My mum Natasha Czy­gan has al­ways been in­cred­i­bly sup­port­ive and knew from when I was a small boy that I had mu­si­cal tal­ent.

“She or­gan­ised gui­tar lessons from lo­cal leg­end Ben­nett Walker and Omid Mas­ters to help me get started.”

The band played in front of a 10,000-strong crowd and took on eight other bands as part of the com­pe­ti­tion last month, with a 20-minute set of four orig­i­nals writ­ten by Lax­ton prov­ing pop­u­lar with the crowd and judges alike.

En­trants were judged by mu­sic in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als in­clud­ing for­mer man­ager of Boy and Bear Rowan Brand and Ham­mered Sil­ver Stu­dios man­ager Tim Weather­all.

The acts were judged on mu­si­cian­ship, creative mar­ket­ing and pro­mo­tions, crowd size and re­sponse and feed­back given by in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als.

An­other bonus of first place is a spot on the Easter­fest main stage in 2013 which has hosted heavy­weight acts such as Switch­foot, Guy Se­bas­tian and Stan Walker.

“We are hop­ing to maybe head back to Moss­man and Port Dou­glas to play there at some stage and bring some­thing to the area they may not have heard be­fore.” Lax­ton said.

“There have been talks of a Se­cret Gar­den Tour in NSW, which is made up of in­ti­mate live mu­sic ses­sions in front of small crowds, some­thing like what up and com­ing star Matt Corby has been do­ing down south.”

Color The Hills will be­gin record­ing their EP on June 29 and are hop­ing to re­lease it be­fore the end of the year.

Photo by ELOISE RI­LEY

Mak­ing waves: Mikhail Lax­ton

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