LOCAL band Phat Tracta entertained the crowd at Red-C events last Saturday with an array of 1980’s music covers and are hoping for a music revival on the Coffs Coast after their most challenging ever year as musicians.
Lead singer and guitarist Scott Anlezark from Woolgoolga told News Of The Area, “We used to perform at all of the local venues but when COVID struck everything got cancelled, not only do we lose income from performing, we lost what we love doing, it’s been the worst year in my music career.
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“We weren’t entitled to JobKeeper for loss of earnings, it affected some of us more than others, our drummer John Sawyer is retired so it had less impact on him but myself and bass player Phil Grayson had to figure out other ways to bridge the gap.
“The worst thing is losing what we love most and that’s performing music, I feel so thankful we are able to play again.
“It’s only once a month, we hope it continues so we can get back to something like it used to be,” said Anlezark.
The buoyant crowd lapped up 80’s covers from the likes of INXS, Midnight Oil and a rendition of Pink Floyd’s Another Brick In The Wall which resulted in a standing ovation.
“80’s music is the best, 80’s music is timeless, epic bands producing epic anthems everyone knows the words to, the 90’s and after weren’t as good and that’s why we’re happily stuck in the 80’s,” said the charismatic frontman.
There could be light at the end of the tunnel for local bands doing it tough as the NSW Government launch the Dine & Discover NSW scheme to encourage the community to get out and about to support dining, arts and tourism businesses.
The scheme allows NSW residents aged 18 and older to apply for four $25 vouchers to be used at participating venues.
There are two different types of vouchers, 2 x $25 Dine NSW vouchers to be used for eating in restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs and clubs and 2 x $25 Discover NSW vouchers to be used for entertainment and recreation, including cultural institutions, live music, arts and venues.
“We are hopeful this (the Dine & Discover scheme) will help, there’s very few venues doing live music at the moment, the whole hospitality industry has been doing it tough so hopefully this is a catalyst to get things going again and we hope the community gets right behind it,” said Scott.
There was more good news for local performers as the NSW Premier announced further easing of restrictions from Monday 29 March which includes no restriction on dancing including weddings and in pubs and nightclubs, all venues to move to the one person per 2sqm rule and 100% seated capacity at entertainment venues including stadiums and theatres.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the easing of restrictions is a significant step forward as NSW continues its COVID-19 recovery.
“With no community transmission and our quarantine and frontline workers now receiving their second vaccinations, the timing is right to further ease the restrictions across the state,” said Ms Berejiklian.
By David WIGLEY