ON TOUR OF DUTY

The mem­bers of Shag Rock weren’t go­ing to let their uni stud­ies get in the way of a truly golden op­por­tu­nity to hit the road with The Rubens

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY - AM­BER MACPHER­SON

What do you do when you’re com­ing up to the crux of univer­sity se­mes­ter and you’re asked to go on tour with The Rubens? You say ‘yes’, ob­vi­ously. “Three of us are at uni,” Shag Rock lead singer and gui­tarist Alex Wil­son says.

“It’s a bit of a strug­gle. With this Rubens tour, this is some­thing we couldn’t turn down. We said ‘we’re just go­ing to have to cope’.”

Tonight, Bris­bane in­diepop band Shag Rock will open for The Rubens at Beer­gar­den, Surfers Par­adise as part of their huge re­gional Aus­tralia tour.

It will be the sec­ond Gold Coast gig in a month for the band, play­ing to a 3000- strong crowd at Surfers Par­adise Live on May 5.

While their band name is slightly cringey – does any­one re­ally say “shag” apart from Austin Pow­ers? – the lads have de­vel­oped a strong pres­ence and a tight sound.

With Alex’s vel­vety voice, ac­com­pa­nied by Ja­cob Reed’s del­i­cate riffs, Nick Cav’s smooth bass and Max Beech’s slink­ing drum beats, the easy-lis­ten­ing band has tal­ent for days.

With two al­bums re­leased in their eight-year his­tory, it was the suc­cess of sin­gle Sun­bleached Girl that saw the boys head to the US to per­form at the Mondo Mu­sic Con­fer­ence and spend most of last year tour­ing.

De­spite this suc­cess, Alex says the band al­most called it quits a cou­ple of years ago.

“We de­cided to take a year off, we were a bit hes­i­tant,” he says. “It was a bit up in the air whether we were go­ing to pur­sue the band or not.

“Then we sold out the Bright­side (Bris­bane mu­sic venue) after a big Aus­tralian tour and it was just like, we re­alised we could keep do­ing this for a while.

“Ev­ery­one was re­ally stoked, it was such a great feel­ing.”

Look­ing for­ward, Shag Rock have a pretty packed sched­ule after help­ing out The Rubens with their Queens­land shows.

The lads will head to the stu­dio to record, have a short two-week break and then kick off their own tour in June called Dou­ble Life, the name­sake of their next sin­gle.

“I think Dou­ble Life is sort of a dig at pop songs,” Alex says.

“Ev­ery­thing has to be di­gestible th­ese days, songs have to be three min­utes short, in­ter­net videos have to be 30 sec­onds.

“And Dou­ble Life’s a suc­cinct rep­re­sen­ta­tion of that.”

If only a univer­sity de­gree were as di­gestible and feel­good as their songs.

Oh well – hope­fully they’ll find time to squeeze in some study in be­tween life on the road as emerg­ing in­die­rock stars.

The Rubens with Cloves and Shag Rock at Beer­gar­den, Surfers Par­adise tonight. From 8pm. Tick­ets $50. 18+ event.

Shag Rock will open for The Rubens tonight at Beer­gar­den, Surfers Par­adise.

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