The boys from Mary Handsome have made the cut in the Rockin' the Puburbs competition.
The boys from Mary Handsome have made the cut in the Rockin' the Puburbs competition. Contributed

North Coast band makes Puburbs top 10

SURF rock band Mary Handsome is among the top 10 acts short-listed for the first ever AHA NSW Rockin' the Puburbs competition.

The Tintenbar-based band plays new wave surf rock style music but spokesman Roy Kellaway (guitar and backup vocals) said there were also other influences at play.

"My old man Stu Kellaway was a founding member of Yothu Yindi (Australian musical group with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal members) along with Dr Yunupingu,” he said.

"Aboriginal culutre has influenced alot of my music.”

Both Kellaway and singer/lead guitarist of Mary Handsome, Reid Cooper, played music together as young men in the Northern Territory.

"We often played in Arnhem Land in the Aboriginal community,” Kellaway said.

When they both finally ended up on the Northern Rivers they formed Mary Handsome, along with Dan Polson (bass) and Lewis Stiles (drums) and have been making their mark on the Brisbane scene.

"We usually play around Brissie and The Valley, having pretty much done most of the hot spots.”

After seeing the ad for the Puburbs competition Kellaway thought it would be a good fit for the band.

"It looked like an awsome thing to do as we love playing gigs and live shows,” he said.

"The whole pub scene is something we are quite well-versed in as we love the intimate vibe of it.”

Kellaway said he rang his father straight away when they found out they had been whittled down to the top 10 acts out of 300.

"I suppose I immediately felt really optomistic and hopeful,” he said.

AHA NSW CEO John Whelan said the Association was blown away by the success of the competition.

"This new initiative continues the hotel industry's long and proud history of supporting live music acts,” he said.

"Many national and international music acts first got their start down at the local.

"The goal of Rockin' the Puburbs is to find top local talent and help them establish themselves in the industry.

"Live music has always been an important part of entertainment for many North Coast hotels and it's great to see top finalists come from the area.”

Rockin' the Puburbs is an AHA NSW initiative backed by APRA AMCOS and the Live Music Office with Aussie music legend Mark Lizotte (Diesel) as the official ambassador.

The winner picks up a $15,000 prize package - courtesy of AHA NSW - including live gigs at hotels across NSW in 2017/18, a dedicated tour publicist, mentoring sessions with industry ambassadors and a performance at the AHA NSW Awards for Exellence in front of a crowd of up to 1000 in Sydney on Tuesday, November 21, 2017.

The Rockin' the Puburbs winner will be announced on Wednesday, 8 November 2017.



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