If you’re an underage music lover in Sydney at the moment, things are probably less than ideal for you. With most shows accessible to a minor crowd being larger headline tours of more established international acts instead of smaller, local bands, it’s hard for kids to get an appreciation of home-grown music.
However, initiatives and events like XraySpeX, Spaghetti Fest and the supplementary under 18 version of Yours & Owls festival are attempting to make a change. Catering to not only the underage punter but underage bands and aspiring music industry workers, they are providing a beacon on hope for Sydney and Wollongong based kids in need of a live music hit.
Nestled within the lineup for XraySpeX this year is Candy Air, an underage Sydney five-piece churning out some thumping, quirky songs that sound well beyond their years. Already gathering recognition from triple j Unearthed, the young band show immense maturity in their sound and impressive pro-activeness when it comes to getting themselves out there.
Candy Air are a band proving that your age doesn’t dictate the quality of your music, and it’s high time Australia started getting behind them.
“As much as we might complain about Year 12, balancing music and school is less of a challenge and more of a gift. Rehearsing gives us all a couple of hours to breathe and forget about assessments and what not.”
In many ways, this is why live music opportunities for minors are so important in a nutshell. Underage individuals need to have things outside of school that they can focus and rely on.
Whether you’re feeling the heat from assessments or dealing with something more serious like bullying, young people should be able to form communities externally from school and find activities that make them feel more like a part of society.
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/290630263″ params=”color=000000&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
“Once we’re all free next year we can’t wait to do a lot more writing and experiment with sounds and ideas but in the meantime it’s a great thing to have going on alongside all the school work”.
The first time you press play on a Candy Air track, you’re going to hear a sound that will instantly draw you in. Letting other acts inspire their sound but not direct it, they already display an ability to carve an authentic presence and command listeners.
“A lot of the covers that we played when we first started out have definitely influenced not only the shape our music has taken but the kind of energy our performance and our band has.”
“We covered a song called Shut Up by Savages and after that they started to influence our work with sounds that were a little less clean and that had more energy behind them. We’re all big fans of The Creases and have taken note from them and their sound.”
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/274054788″ params=”color=000000&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
You never really know where you stand as an underage act. Some pubs might let you play, some might not. Some festivals are going to embrace you with open arms and some are going to treat you like less than.
“We are really thankful for events such as XraySpeX at the Oxford Art Factory and Genext at the Museum of Contemporary Art for putting together such great events for young musicians to gain experience and share what they love doing.”
Instead of relying on dodgy festivals or pubs to create spaces for underage bands, we need to actively work on improving the designated spaces for youth.
“It’s been really great to get to know and collaborate with other underage bands. Sydney could definitely improve the experience of the young music community by providing more space for underage bands and crowds through these underage targeted events.”
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/217408908″ params=”color=000000&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
I’ve got a feeling we’re going to be seeing big things from Candy Air in the years to come and by the sound of it, that’s about right.
“We are going back to the studio to record a lot more music in June. We also have two music videos to be released. Our first music video has just finished shooting and is currently being finalised at this moment (it may or may not include a bunch of grannies rocking out).”
“Bella and Charlie B are busy writing new songs which we have been messing about with in rehearsals. We can’t wait to play at XraySpeX in July and support some more crazy good artists in the months to come.”