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By Rhys Lett

First Gig Experiences

The most nervous performance of your life is always the first gig. It all gets easier from then onwards. Some of our students will be performing publicly for the first time in the next month. We have our Showcase concert on November 26th as well as our end of year performance nights. Here the Eastern Suburbs School of Music teachers reflect on their first gig.

Rhys Lett – Owner – Eastern Suburbs School of Music

My first gig was playing in my high school student centre in year 9. We did a three song set before the year 10 band played. One song we played was Mustang Sally. It was all barre chords which killed my hands to play! The band played very well. I used the school red electric guitar that was straight out of the 1980s. Our drummer in the band was also Eastern Suburbs School of Music drum teacher Troy Eckhardt’s brother Scott. The performance confirmed for me what I wanted to do with my life in being a professional musician.

Bruno Jambrecina – Guitar/Ukulele/Bass – Carrum Downs/Boronia

I played my first gig in the Gippsland area. It was for a charity event and a friend of mine asked me to play guitar on a few of her original songs. The stage was on the back of a semi trailer. Even though the set up wasn’t great and we had a few technical issues we had fun playing a few original indie/soul tunes to a crowd of about 50 people.

Jason Fados – Guitar/Banjo – Boronia

My first gig was at a friends 16th birthday party. Our set was absolutely terrible and I remember me and the other guitarist broke 5 strings throughout the show.

Troy Eckhardt – Drums – Carrum Downs

First gigs was when I was 13 yo at an 18th party. We played originals and covers. It was interesting learning how to use PA system and balance of sounds. My first pub gig was at Armidale Hotel age 16 with original band “On The Rocks ”

Dan Slater – Drums – Boronia

My first gig was at a local primary school fete. My band and I were in Year 9 and played a couple of hours worth of covers. I still have a recording somewhere! Lots of speeding up, bad notes and off key singing but our friends still loved it. The sooner you get out there, the sooner you start really learning about music – how it fits together and how it engages an audience.

Nick Hughes – Drums – Boronia

My first performance was at the first ESSM concert in 2012. We played about 4 cover songs and finished with Enter Sandman by Metallica. I’ll always remember the nerves of playing in front of such a large group of people for the first time.

You can watch Nick’s first performance by following this link to the video of this concert at around the 1 hour mark.

Dalys Hill – Piano/Singing – Boronia

My first gig was in year 12 singing with my band Dusk. My friends dressed me in blue sequinned pants and my mum bought me expensive ear plugs. One verse into the first song, the earplugs came out and put on the guitar amp. Never to be seen again. I learnt that it can be mighty hard to hear yourself sing in a fold back, and not to leave things on the guitar amp!

Dave Hartney – Guitar/Singing/Piano/Ukulele/Bass – Boronia

My first gig was with The Victorian Boys Choir in 1988 when I was ten. It was in Robert Blackwood Hall at Monash University. It was the concert in my first year of the choir. I remember that we practiced very hard every Friday night. We had to make our words and diction very clear. I remember seeing the older groups of the choir sing and thinking that I wanted to be able to sing as good as them.
Two years later when I was 12 I got my first professional payed gig singing in the boys chorus for The Victorian Opera Company’s production of Bizet’s opera Carmen at Rod Laver Arena (then called The National Tennis Centre). All the shows were sold out. I got to sing there again two years ago in the choir with the tenor Andrea Bocelli and Delta Goodrem and orchestra.

Hayden Blaby – Guitar/Ukulele – Boronia

My first gig was with my Original band ‘Roulette’ at the Boronia Senior Citizens Hall. It was for an 18th birthday. We played two originals that I wrote as well as Motley Crue, Ozzy And Kiss covers. The gig was a great success and we become quite popular at school after that! I remember being more excited than nervous before the gig. Was the beginning of a great run of gigs around Melbourne for us.

Luke Shore – Drums – Boronia

My first gig was when I was 16 years old at a Freeza Battle of the Bands competition. I can’t exactly remember the venue, I think it was a church in Clayton. Due to an intense amount of nerves, the whole performance was a blur. But I do remember that night I asked a girl that I liked to my school’s formal and she said yes. And our band won the competition that night.

Daniel Lijnders – Bass – Boronia

My first memory of a live performance was playing recorder at the Mountain Gate shops with my Primary School music class. I learned how to stand in a group and tuck my shirt in but don’t remember being too nervous. My first gig as a teen was on drums at a School Fete with the class rock band and I learned how much effort it was to set up drums and how much responsibility there was the starts the songs & keep everyone in time.