By LUCY WORMALD
A band of best mates from Perth is venturing across the ditch this week for its third tour of New Zealand, with Queenstown the first stop.
Great Gable, comprising Alex Whiteman on vocals and guitar, Christopher Bye on bass, Callum Guy on drums, and Matt Preen on lead guitar and the occasional backing vocals, has spent the last couple of years working hard to be heard within Australia’s music industry.
After becoming darlings of Perth’s gig scene, Great Gable’s star soon began to rise when their slew of 2020 singles such as Blur and All My Friends hit radio rotation and they made no.4 in the ARIA Vinyl charts.
Now selling out national and international tours, they don’t forget their success all started with a humble jam.
‘‘Alex and Preeny [Preen] grew up playing cricket together and they started jamming, and then I met Alex at uni and I pestered Alex for a jam because I was like, ‘man you have the coolest voice and I really want to jam with you’,” Guy says.
‘‘We became best mates after that … I knew Chris from uni and was like ‘dude, come play bass with us’, and then that made the four of us.’’
While their sound has changed a lot over the years — ‘‘we all have such different influences’’ — Guy sums it up as coastal rock … ‘‘it seems to work, it’s chilled out’’.
Guy, who’s played drums for over a decade and hails from Bunbury, a small town in Western Australia, says the music scene in Perth is ‘‘insanely good’’ and it only takes a glance ‘‘at the Perth exports to kind of see that’’.
“Obviously, the biggest being Kev [Kevin Parker] for Tame [Impala] and Spacey [Jane] right now … I mean, say no more.
‘‘It’s a privilege to be a part of that culture and there’s so many up-and-coming bands as well.
‘‘The gig scene is unreal, you can pretty much go out any night and there’s awesome bands playing, so it’s awesome to be part of.’’
Renowned not only for their cruisy and catchy tunes but for their keen work ethic, Great Gable has spent the past three years touring and pumping out songs — ‘‘we want to try and write anywhere between 30 to 50 songs [per album]’’, determined to make the most of their break.
Their 2020 album, Tracing Faces, is soon to be followed by the July release of their sophomore album, On The Wall In The Morning Light, a work which saw all four musicians bringing tunes to the table.
‘‘For Tracing [Faces], back then it was mainly Alex and Preeny bringing in the songs, and Chris and I would just jam along and help the arrangements.
‘‘But for this next album we all brought songs in over Covid because we had to isolate, so it forced us to write our own songs.’’
Guy says putting an album together is by far his ‘‘most favourite part about being in the band’’, and would love to ‘‘just write music at home and then release it like the The Beatles did”.
‘‘I just love the creative process.
‘‘We actually go down south in WA and just get an Airbnb for a week — we call it ‘phones off, stars on’ and we just go hard at writing songs.’’
Keen to get among NZ’s music scene, Guy is praying for an early southern snowfall so the band can sneak in a snowboard between shows.
‘‘Obviously New Zealand’s beautiful and we can’t wait to get over there.
‘‘I’m just keen to play … and just give people our show, enjoy playing to people and seeing people have a good time, to be honest.’’
Great Gable, Yonder, Thursday, June 9. Tickets $25 via undertheradar.co.nz