Home fes­ti­val a treat for trav­el­ling DJ

The Cobram Courier - - NEWS - By Pa­trick Tansey

Af­ter spend­ing much of the year trav­el­ling the globe, play­ing tunes at some of the most iconic dance-mu­sic scenes such as Ber­lin, Co­bram’s Court­ney Clarke re­turned home to play at her home fes­ti­val, Straw­berry Fields.

While fam­ily and friends know her as Court­ney, fans across the world have come to know and love her as CC:Disco!

Although Ms Clarke has gained some­what of a cult fol­low­ing abroad, she is still revered at home.

She had the lo­cal crowd in the palm of her hand on the main stage at Straw­berry Fields on the Sun­day, daz­zling them with her disco-based style of mu­sic she con­sid­ers up­lift­ing and happy.

‘‘The at­mos­phere was in­cred­i­ble; it was prob­a­bly one of my favourite sets there so far,’’ Ms Clarke said.

Con­sid­er­ing it was her sixth con­sec­u­tive ap­pear­ance, it was a com­pli­ment fes­ti­val or­gan­is­ers should not take lightly.

The vi­sion to re­lo­cate the fes­ti­val to a new site has been vin­di­cated, just ask Ms Clarke.

‘‘I think the new site was a lot bet­ter. I think it to­tally changed the fes­ti­val ac­tu­ally,’’ she said.

‘‘Hav­ing a stage right on the river ab­so­lutely blew ev­ery­body away I think and gave it a dif­fer­ent vibe in terms of mak­ing it more relaxed.’’

The well-known DJ rel­ishes the chance to re­turn home and said hav­ing the op­por­tu­nity to play at a fes­ti­val prac­ti­cally on the doorstep of where she grew up made the oc­ca­sion all-the­more spe­cial.

‘‘Es­pe­cially now that I’m tour­ing Europe a lot more and play­ing festivals overseas, I’ve come to re­alise that Straw­berry Fields is one of the best festivals in the world,’’ she said.

She said there are a mix­ture of el­e­ments which made Straw­berry Fields such an at­trac­tive propo­si­tion for artists from across the world.

‘‘I think the land­scape is one of the big­gest draw­cards to it, the qual­ity of the sound is al­ways re­ally good and the cal­i­bre of acts is re­ally high,’’ Ms Clarke said.

‘‘It’s not lit­tered with re­ally high-pro­file artists, but it’s made up of a lot of artists that are tak­ing risks and might not be so well-known and that brings a re­ally good sur­prise el­e­ment and sense of in­trigue to the fes­ti­val.

‘‘And of course I’m from the area, so I’m al­ways re­ally proud to go there and play.’’

Ms Clarke said de­spite liv­ing in Melbourne and tour­ing a lot, she never felt dis­con­nected from her roots.

‘‘It’s re­ally nice to meet peo­ple from Co­bram. Even when I’m play­ing in Melbourne, peo­ple will of­ten come up and tell me they’re from 3644 and that’s re­ally ex­cit­ing. I’d love for more peo­ple from Co­bram to come to my sets and events.’’

Straw­berry Fields was the per­fect chance for Ms Clarke to re­turn home af­ter a hec­tic tour­ing schedule, which is only set to get busier in the com­ing months.

She has toured Europe three times this year, with vis­its to In­dia and Bali in be­tween.

She will fin­ish the year by play­ing a set of shows in Brazil, be­fore re­turn­ing home for the sum­mer. As soon as she re­cu­per­ates she will be board­ing a plane back to Europe for a six month tour.

It is cer­tainly no mean feat to crack the in­ter­na­tional dance­mu­sic mar­ket like Ms Clarke has man­aged to achieve and she fol­lows a linage of artists mak­ing big waves in for­eign lands.

‘‘I’m not sure what it is, maybe they just like a crazy Aus­tralian. There are a lot of Aussies who are mak­ing it overseas at the mo­ment which is great,’’ she said.

Mak­ing a ca­reer out of mu­sic not some­thing Ms Clarke con­sid­ered to be a re­mote pos­si­bil­ity in the early days.

The for­mer St Mary’s of the An­gels stu­dent left Co­bram at 17 to pur­sue mu­sic, work­ing in ra­dio be­fore spin­ning decks in packed out venues around the world.

‘‘I started do­ing ra­dio when I was 15 at ONE FM in Shep­par­ton and the DJ thing was nearly an ac­ci­dent al­most,’’ she said.

‘‘I never thought I’d be do­ing this as a job, let alone play­ing in a place like Rus­sia.

‘‘I just love it so much and for the first five or six years I started do­ing it, I just played as much as I could and played any­thing and ev­ery­thing and worked my back­side off to get to this point, which has been good in a way be­cause it’s al­lowed me to slow down a lit­tle bit now and focus on tour­ing overseas more.’’

If you are keen on catch­ing CC:Disco! on Aus­tralian soil, is play­ing a se­ries of Aus­tralian festivals, in­clud­ing Beyond the Val­ley, Let Them Eat Cake and Lost Par­adise.

Home turf: Fes­ti­val. CC:Disco! finds her rhythm at Straw­berry Fields Pic­ture: Dunoc­graphic

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