COUN­TRY CHARM

THE MCC­LY­MONT SIS­TERS BRING THEIR SPE­CIAL BRAND OF COUN­TRY TO THE COAST FOR A FREE FES­TI­VAL

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - KATHY MCCABE

It’s tough enough pick­ing the per­fect wed­ding song for the big day. So it has got to be one of the most daunt­ing ex­er­cises to write one. For your sis­ter. When The McC­ly­monts were wrap­ping up the writ­ing ses­sions for their fourth al­bum, Here’s to You & I, early last year, they de­cided to have a crack at pen­ning a song for the first dance at Sam’s wed­ding to her pi­lot beau, Ben Poxon.

Mol­lie and Brooke were de­ter­mined to com­pose some­thing they could per­form at the wed­ding, which hap­pened in De­cem­ber at MONA in Tas­ma­nia. With pro­ducer and renowned writer Lind­say Rimes, the three sis­ters came up with the gor­geous For­ever Be­gins Again.

“We were look­ing at all the songs we have and re­alised we didn’t have a wed­ding (song). Sam get­ting mar­ried was huge and we didn’t have a song for that,” Mol­lie says.

“Ev­ery­one loves a wed­ding song; they’re not go­ing out of fash­ion any time soon.”

The four writ­ers pic­tured the scene: Sam and Ben danc­ing to­gether for the first time as a mar­ried cou­ple.

Brooke re­calls her sis­ters head­ing home from her writ­ing “shed” and lis­ten­ing to it “more than 20 times” just to make sure it was “the song”.

But an un­ex­pected road test con­firmed their gut feel­ing about the right­ness of For­ever Be­gins Again af­ter the al­bum was re­leased last July, about five months be­fore the big day.

Its first air­ing as a wed­ding song wasn’t at Sam and Ben’s nup­tials. Dig­i­tal ra­dio sta­tion Smoothfm ran­domly started play­ing it, the sis­ters de­cided to re­lease it as a sin­gle and then be­gan re­ceiv­ing mes­sages that fans had cho­sen to use the song at their wed­dings.

“We told peo­ple to go for it. Sam was to­tally OK with it, she’s so easy,” Brooke says.

But the eldest McC­ly­mont was anx­ious about singing it with Mol­lie at the wed­ding.

“I think she thought other peo­ple would think it was weird that we were singing a McC­ly­monts song but it wasn’t; it was about those two and it was in­cred­i­ble, such a goose­bumps mo­ment,” Mol­lie says.

The song may get a re­peat air­ing at another McC­ly­mont wed­ding, with Mol­lie now en­gaged to Aaron Young.

The McC­ly­monts have been writ­ing, record­ing and tour­ing al­most non-stop since they formed their sis­terly trio al­most a decade ago. They have amassed a loyal fan­base and won the re­spect of peers, adding two more Golden Gui­tars to their tro­phy cab­i­nets this year for High­est Selling Al­bum and Group of the Year.

This week­end, The McC­ly­monts will head­line the an­nual Broad­beach Coun­try Mu­sic Fes­ti­val along­side Beccy Cole, Casey Barnes and Ben Ran­som.

The trio have been part of Aus­tralian coun­try mu­sic’s cross­over into the pop charts with­out shed­ding their in­trin­sic coun­try­ness.

They have no­ticed the flowon ef­fect of those chart feats in the widen­ing de­mo­graphic at their shows.

“It is also a case of good songs peo­ple are con­nect­ing with, and a good song will find its au­di­ence,” Brooke says.

“You re­alise who that au­di­ence is at the shows and we’ve no­ticed they are get­ting a lot younger – 20-year-olds are lov­ing our mu­sic.”

With wed­dings, en­gage­ments and the birth of Brooke and hus­band Adam Eck­er­ley’s daugh­ter Tiggy to celebrate in the past cou­ple of years, the sis­ters know how to sched­ule. They aren’t out on the road five days a week any more, which makes “gig­ging” even more en­joy­able.

“It just be­comes this job cy­cle when you are out there all the time, so we re­ally, re­ally look for­ward to get­ting on a stage now,” Mol­lie says.

Af­ter their For­ever Be­gins Tonight tour wraps midyear, the trio will start work on their fifth al­bum.

The McC­ly­monts, Broad­beach Coun­try Mu­sic Fes­ti­val’s Surf Pa­rade Stage, Sun­day at 3.40pm

Pic­ture: CRIS PAVLICH

SIS­TER ACT: The McC­ly­monts, Mol­lie, Sam and Brooke, head­line the Broad­beach Coun­try Mu­sic Fes­ti­val.

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