Back to where it all be­gan

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Gizelle Ghidella

BRYCE Wearne is keen to get back to his old stomp­ing ground this week­end.

The Hill­billy Goats front­man will be back at the Cen­tral Ho­tel for its 140th birth­day to re­live how he got his start on the coun­try mu­sic scene.

Bryce spent 14 years en­ter­tain­ing crowds with a coun­try band called “Bet­tathana­chookraf­fle” be­fore start­ing the Hill­billy Goats.

“We were up there in the ‘90s do­ing our thing, then we did our first gigs ever as the Hill­billy Goats at the Cen­tral Ho­tel,” he said.

“My first solo gig was also at the Cen­tral.

“What’s hap­pened from start­ing out at the Cen­tral is we’ve gone from be­ing a lo­cal band to be­ing on the na­tional cir­cuit, we’re num­ber 21 on the coun­try charts and we’re sit­ting at about six on the Indie charts.”

Most of Bryce’s best mem­o­ries at the Cen­tral were back in the day.

“The ‘Bet­tathana­chookraf­fle’ days were a high­light,” he said.

“Just the old school at­mos­phere with all the lo­cals was great.

“There was a beer gar­den out the back be­fore it was ren­o­vated and when I first came to town it was pretty com­mon to see some­one ride into town on a horse, park out the back and sleep in a swag out the back of the pub for the week­end.”

Bryce re­calls pretty much the whole town com­ing out for the Sun­day sesh in the beer gar­den.

“There were loud rock bands and it was so busy,” he said.

“Most of the tradies and fish­er­men spent their time there, there wasn’t re­ally any­where else to go.

“It’s an hon­our to be in­vited back to cel­e­brate its 140th.”

The Hill­billy Goats have rubbed shoul­ders with big names in the mu­sic scene, like Kasey Cham­bers, the Black Sor­rows and Rus­sell Morris.

The Goats aren’t slow­ing down any time soon, they are set to play at the Syd­ney to Kan­ga­roo Is­land Mu­sic Cruise next year and will play on the same stage as Troy Cas­sarDa­ley and John Wil­liamson.

Pic­ture: ANTONY HANDS

The Hill Billy Goats Jac­inta Si­mons, Bryce Wearne, Mah­ney Wearne.

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