The McC­ly­monts

Sis­ters re­turn to the Gympie Mu­sic Muster for its 35th year

Life & Style Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - By Layne Whit­burn


Meet the 82-year-old Caloun­dra man who co-founded the Gympie Mu­sic Muster

FAM­ILY is a gift that lasts for­ever. One fam­ily with a mu­si­cal gift are the McC­ly­monts. And af­ter a suc­cess­ful decade of cre­at­ing coun­try mu­sic, th­ese sis­ters plan on stay­ing to­gether.

Brooke, Sam and Mol­lie McC­ly­mont are cel­e­brat­ing the mile­stone with a 10 show tour. Their last stop is at the iconic Gympie Mu­sic Muster.

“It will be nice to fin­ish the 10 shows off with a bang,” Sam said.

Orig­i­nally from Grafton, New South Wales, the singers hold a spe­cial place for Gympie in their mu­sic-thump­ing hearts.

“We def­i­nitely all love, love, love go­ing to the Gympie Muster,” Sam said.

“That’s where it kind of all started for us years ago.

“We used to en­ter the Gympie Muster tal­ent search.

“Brooke and I both won that when we were just teenagers. “And now we’re back on the main stage play­ing as a main act. So we’ve done the full cir­cle.”

Dur­ing this time, the trio have ex­ploded into the charts with sold-out shows across Aus­tralia and the US, gold al­bums, 19 chart­ing sin­gles plus mul­ti­ple awards.

With suc­cess on the gui­tar and mi­cro­phone, The McC­ly­monts have taken things fur­ther ven­tur­ing into TV.

Stick­ing to her coun­try roots, Sam made her TV de­but in Fe­bru­ary host­ing Farmer Wants A Wife.

Mean­while, Brooke has taken her per­for­mance skills to the big screen film­ing a movie called Spin Off set to come out this Septem­ber.

She joins Xavier Sa­muel (Fury, The Twi­light Saga: Break­ing Dawn – Part 2, A Few Best Men) and Mor­gan Grif­fin (San An­dreas, Louder Than Words, Char­lie & Boots) along­side

Lin­coln Lewis (Gal­lipoli, To­mor­row When the War Be­gan), Melissa Ber­g­land (Win­ners and Losers, Rel­a­tive Hap­pi­ness) and Tessa James (Love Child, Home and Away).

“We’ve all been out do­ing in­di­vid­ual projects within the in­dus­try just ex­plor­ing dif­fer­ent av­enues,” Sam said.

“It is re­ally great that peo­ple who may not have known us be­fore, even if we have been around for 10 years, are dis­cov­er­ing us and our mu­sic.

“So hope­fully that means we can go on another 10, 20 or 30 years.”

While The McC­ly­monts are hun­gry for more mu­sic, Sam said they do not take their ca­reer for granted.

“We feel very lucky to do what we do,” she said.

“Coun­try mu­sic is about sto­ry­telling and I feel peo­ple find them­selves in those sto­ries within the mu­sic and con­nect to it. “We got into it be­cause our par­ents loved coun­try mu­sic.

“So that’s why we fell in love with it.

“But I think now it re­ally has crossed over main­stream and peo­ple are find­ing coun­try for them­selves not just be­cause their par­ents lis­ten to it or their grand­par­ents.

“They are turn­ing on the ra­dio and hear­ing peo­ple on main­stream ra­dio.

“I think the good thing with mu­sic now is we’re not cat­e­goris­ing it much. We just want to hear good mu­sic whether it’s pop, whether it’s coun­try, whether it’s rock.

“I don’t think were la­belling it much any­more, we just want to hear good mu­sic.

“It’s a re­ally ex­cit­ing time for artists like us be­cause our au­di­ences are get­ting big­ger be­cause more peo­ple are find­ing our mu­sic.”

While The McC­ly­monts are mov­ing into an ex­cit­ing fu­ture in the mu­sic in­dus­try, they will al­ways re­mem­ber where it all be­gan, in Gympie.

This makes it all the more spe­cial to end their 10-year anniversar­y cel­e­bra­tions at the Gympie Mu­sic Muster.

While the three sis­ters will per­form on the main Muster stage this year, it is only be­cause of three broth­ers per­form­ing on their back­yard stage that this is pos­si­ble.

In 1982, Ber­ard, Mar­ius and Fabian Webb de­cided to throw a party on their fam­ily farm Thorn­side, 30km west of Gympie.

The broth­ers made a stage from bush tim­ber and bor­rowed tar­pau­lins. Now 34 years later, the mu­sic com­mu­nity will cel­e­brate the 35th Gympie Mu­sic Muster with great coun­try mu­sic, mates and camp­ing.

Ber­ard Webb, 82, now re­tired in Caloun­dra, is the last of the Webb Broth­ers to tell this re­mark­able piece of Gympie Mu­sic Muster his­tory.

“Our grand­fa­ther was a pi­o­neer and set­tled on Thorn­side in 1882. He was a cat­tle farmer and the farm has been in the Webb fam­ily ever since,” Ber­ard said.

“It came to the 100-year anniversar­y of hold­ing the land and 25 years of the Webb Broth­ers record­ing mu­sic, so we thought, let’s have a joint cel­e­bra­tion.”

Lit­tle did the Webb Broth­ers know, this ca­sual shindig would turn into one of the na­tion’s favourite coun­try mu­sic fes­ti­vals.

“It turned out to be a proper party,” Ber­ard laughed.

With an al­ready es­tab­lished and suc­cess­ful mu­sic ca­reer, the Webb Broth­ers won two Golden Gui­tar Awards, fea­tured twice on the ABC doc­u­men­tary show A Big Coun­try and toured Aus­tralia and New Zealand mul­ti­ple times, all while re­turn­ing to their fam­ily’s cat­tle farm, Thorn­side.

It was their 1981 hit Who Put the Roo in the Stew that brought in­ter­na­tional at­ten­tion to­wards the cheeky trio.

That’s what we al­ways wanted it to be. Just a good fun week­end camp­ing out lis­ten­ing to mu­sic and rais­ing money for char­ity

It was dur­ing the time of the Aus­tralian meat scan­dal when kan­ga­roo was found in Amer­i­can ham­burger mince ex­ported from the land Down Un­der. In true Aus­tralian style, the Webb Broth­ers made fun of the con­tro­versy lead­ing to in­ter­na­tional head­lines.

“We al­ready had great sup­port from the lo­cal ra­dio sta­tions but that song re­ally went off,” Ber­ard said.

“So when we de­cided to have a party the fol­low­ing year, we ap­proached the ra­dio sta­tions to an­nounce the party and in­vite all lo­cals and fans to come to Thorn­side for a good old camp out coun­try mu­sic week­end.”

With great help from ra­dio sta­tion 4KQ, the Webb Broth­ers named the party, 4KQ Webb Broth­ers Coun­try Mu­sic Muster.

Ber­ard, Mar­ius and Fabian where pre­par­ing for not just another party but a cel­e­bra­tion worth nam­ing.

“In pre­vi­ous years we had made Thorn­side avail­able for fundrais­ing events for the ro­tary club in Gympie,” Ber­ard said.

“So we ap­proached the Gympie Apex Club to see if they wanted to get in­volved and they said they would take it on as their fundrais­ing event for the year.

“In fact they have been in­volved with the Muster ever since rais­ing funds for dif­fer­ent char­i­ties each year, which is great.”

Since its in­cep­tion, the muster has raised more than $14 mil­lion for char­i­ties Aus­tralia-wide.

“That’s what we al­ways wanted it to be. Just a good fun week­end camp­ing out lis­ten­ing to mu­sic and rais­ing money for char­ity,” Ber­ard said.

“So it’s great to see they have con­tin­ued that, just on a larger scale.”

In fact, a much larger scale. The Webb Broth­ers opened their doors to 6000 peo­ple in 1982.

Three years later, the party list grew to more than 20,000 peo­ple. This year, a whop­ping 60,000 are ex­pected to dance along to more than 120 artists in over 300 per­for­mances.

In 1985, the Webb Broth­ers handed the reins over to the Gympie Apex Club. The event then moved to Amamoor Park and was re­named the Gympie Mu­sic Muster.


The McC­ly­monts are cel­e­brat­ing 10 years in the mu­sic in­dus­try.


RIGHT AND ABOVE RIGHT: The Webb Broth­ers per­form at the 1984 Gympie Muster.

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