JAKE’S A CHILD OF THE ‘50S

You can’t choose what era you were born in, but you can pick your life’s theme and in Jake Maloney’s case that’s rocking ‘n’ rolling

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY MOVIES - ROSE SADLEIR

Jake Maloney al­ways felt like he was born in the wrong era. Grow­ing up un­der the bright lights of dance halls, Jake reck­ons a piece of his soul be­longs to the jiv­ing times of the 1950s.

The 18-year-old rock ’n’ roll prodigy has made it his mission to keep those golden rock­a­billy times thriv­ing to­day.

“I do wish I grew up in that era but now I guess I have the best of both worlds, and I am try­ing to keep it alive with the younger gen­er­a­tion,” says Jake.

An ac­com­plished dancer, dance teacher and mu­si­cian, Jake’s up­bring­ing was noth­ing like that of his young friends.

“My grand­mother would babysit me on a Fri­day night – and that just so hap­pened to be her danc­ing night,” says Jake.

“She would stand me on the ta­ble and spin me around as a two-year-old. That’s when I fell in love with it.”

While he still takes his grand­mother out danc­ing, th­ese days Jake’s the one tak­ing the lead.

“Danc­ing comes nat­u­ral to me and I’ve man­aged to pick things up quickly as well just from watch­ing other peo­ple,” he says.

“I love ev­ery­thing about rock­a­billy and rock ’n’ roll – the out­fits, the mu­sic, the fact it’s real in­stru­ments and not crappy DJs. I love how sim­ple the mu­sic can be but how amaz­ing the sim­plic­ity can make it. Some­times less is more.”

In high school, Jake man­aged to get a 1950s themed rock ’n’ roll band to­gether.

Three years on and Cadil­lac Rock­ers are still rocking.

Jake says the band formed for a youth tal­ent quest at Cooly Rocks On, and this week­end they’ll be tak­ing it back to where it all be­gan.

“I will be there ev­ery sin­gle day danc­ing to all the dif­fer­ent bands,” he says of the vi­brant nos­tal­gia fes­ti­val, which takes over the streets of Coolan­gatta un­til Mon­day.

The an­nual event also fea­tures a colour­ful line-up of clas­sic cars, retro fash­ions and rock ’n’ roll bands.

Cadil­lac Rock­ers, a fourpiece band with three vo­cal­ists, are host­ing a spe­cial dance night at South Tweed Sports Club tonight for Cooly Rocks On.

“It’s go­ing to be lots of fun – lots of high-en­ergy songs,” says Jake.

“We are play­ing with a seven-piece orches­tra called Seven Deadly Sins.”

Be­tween his sets, Jake says he’ll be hit­ting the dance­floor to “cut a rug” with his dance part­ner Angie Nis­sel.

“I met Angie at a fes­ti­val my band was play­ing at. In my break I asked her to dance and we had an im­me­di­ate dance con­nec­tion,” says Jake.

“We both looked at each other and said ‘wow you can dance!’ That was 10 months ago.”

Since then, Jake and Angie have picked up a swag of ac­co­lades for their moves.

The pair were win­ners at the re­cent Aus­tralian Rock’n’ Roll Dance­s­port Coun­cil cham­pi­onships.

“Ba­si­cally we have only ever had one train­ing ses­sion – we nor­mally just go so­cial danc­ing to dif­fer­ent venues,” says Jake.

“We have won a cou­ple of com­pe­ti­tions and that’s com­pletely freestyled. “We love to im­pro­vise.’’ The movers and shak­ers also teach dance classes on Tues­day nights at Tigers AFL club at Labrador.

Jake’s aware that 1950s rock ’n’ roll is not a nor­mal pas­time for a teenager.

“It’s re­ally en­joy­able for me. I have an ab­so­lute ball,” he says.

“Cooly Rocks On is tes­ta­ment to peo­ple’s in­ter­est in this era. I would love to do this as a ca­reer for the rest of my life – that would be a dream.”

As for Jake’s other ul­ti­mate life goal?

“To drive down Route 66 in a Cadil­lac. It’s some­thing I’ve wanted to do since I was lit­tle.”

Pic­ture: JERAD WIL­LIAMS

Jake Maloney from Cadil­lac Rock­ers and his dance part­ner Angie Nis­sel are ready to rock Cooly.

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