Sisters return to the Gympie Music Muster for its 35th year
THE WEBB BROTHERS
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.