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Free Fun in the Sun

Good vibes, beers, and live music: three things you can expect to find at our Sunday Sundown gigs at Coogee Rooftop and The Newport this Australia Day.

Falling on a Thursday (cheeky four-day weekend anyone?), our Oz Day celebrations will showcase a variety of homegrown acts, including The Bamboos, Luke Million, Winston Surfshirt and Dro Carey.

To get you in the mood for an afternoon of chilled beats (and chilled drinks!), we caught up with Lance Ferguson of The Bamboos to chat Australia Day traditions, the unfortunate decision to don a suit in summer, and what we can expect from the soul band’s Sunday Sundown show. 


The Newport, January 26

This eight-piece Australian funk and soul band hailing from Melbourne weave a sound that is at once both nostalgic, yet refreshingly original.

As a Melbournian of New Zealand Heritage, what do your Australia Day celebrations usually entail? Obviously this time of year is gratuitous, but [Australia Day] does usually involve some kind of gathering in the backyard, a barbecue sizzling, some refreshing drinks, and good times with friends.

After an overseas tour what do you look forward to most on your return to Oz? Well, it’s funny because when we go away on tour it’s hectic and at times you get homesick. After maybe the third or fourth week you sort of feel like, ‘Oh gee, it’s time to come home,’ and then what happens is every time I come home I sit around for a few weeks and wish I was on stage with the band again (though of course I love to see my family and partner!). It’s kind of a grass is always greener type of scenario. There’s no doubt The Bamboos’ tours can be threatening to one’s health, so it’s probably a good thing we don’t tour all the time.

What do you love about summer in Australia? I should preface this by saying I live in Melbourne, so it’s not so black and white. I love it when it’s a nice kind of LA-vibe climate and not earth-shatteringly hot!

And hate? For some reason, years and years ago, I decided that the band uniform would be suits, and that’s kind of morphed a little bit over the years into permutations of suits – whatever that means – but suit jackets in high humidity and hot weather is pretty full-on! Sometimes I regret that decision, but you know, the show must go on.

Who’s your favourite Aussie act? I am and always have been a massive fan of Tame Impala.

Are you looking forward to playing Sunday Sundown? Absolutely! I’ve never actually hung out at The Newport but I’ve seen lots of photos and I’ve heard lots of people say that it’s a totally fun show to do, so we’re really vibed to get there.

For those who haven’t seen you guys live before, what can they expect from your performance? I DJ as well, and I kind of like to superimpose that musical sensibility onto the live band experience, so that the music doesn’t tend to really stop too often. We segue many of our songs together in a kind of 'live mix' to keep everybody moving.

Have you got anything special planned for the gig? We just finished recording a brand new album that will come out sometime this year, so there will be some songs that no one has ever heard before.

You guys are the kings of collaborations (teaming up with the likes of Tim Rogers, Daniel Merriweather, and Alice Russell). If you could collaborate with an artist you haven’t had a chance to yet, who would be it and why? There are a couple of amazing vocalists coming out of America, including Leon Bridges, who I really, really love and would definitely love to work with, but going back to my number one [Aussie act], I would say Kevin Parker from Tame Impala. I would love to do something with him - that would be a dream come true!

Sunday Sundown is presented by Summer Bright Lager. Check out the entire Sunday Sundown line-up here!