The Potbelleez in Byron Bay
IF you watch television network Go!, you are probably more than familiar with the theme song, Hello.
So, when I say “hello, are you ready to go?” a tune will follow and your voice will pump into action soon after.
The band responsible for that dance floor ditty is The Potbelleez. The band released its second album, Destination Now in May. Singles Hello and Shake It preceded its release and set the scene for the rest of the album.
They are pop-dance numbers which will see you making a beeline for the dance floor tomorrow night when they play live at LaLa Land, Byron Bay.
The Sydney foursome, featuring founding members Dave Goode and Johnny Sonic, and the add-on vocalists Blu and Ilan Kidron have been together since 2006.
When Kidron met the rest of the band it was like a shotgun wedding involving a beer, a bathroom and few high notes to pass the time.
When Pulse chats to lead vocalist and principal songwriter Kidron, it is clear there is more to the guy than knocking out ARIA-award nominated hit singles (Don’t Hold Back, 2008).
He has been up early, after taking his son to piano lessons and he’s just as happy chatting about his wife and kids as the band’s latest single or the success of their debut self-titled album.
This year alone the band has managed sales of 100,000 for their singles and Kidron is more than happy with their success.
“Our sales have always been driven by our singles, so we’re really happy,” he says.
Kidron says the market tends to be singles-based now, so releasing them before the album is just part of the marketing of any band.
The band’s first hit Don’t Hold Back was written on the kitchen floor with a bottle of vodka within reach and Kidron says the scenario is common for a Potbelleez writing session.
“Hello was done in quite a familiar setting actually,” Kidron says. “Our songwriting sessions are not scheduled – they always come out of sessions like that.”
The four members have varied backgrounds including electronic, dance and jazz. Kidron is classically trained. His training however, doesn’t have too much impact on his songwriting he says.
“My parents pushed me to do flute and piano lessons,” he says. “But it’s really about music for me – rock or folk or classical, whatever, it doesn’t matter. I was lucky enough to have parents who treated music lessons at school like they did any other subject.”
This is something Kidron has carried through to his own children, not as a pressure but as an important part of their education.
In March this year, The Potbelleez supported American R’n’B legend Usher on his 11-date tour around the country. An experience Kidron likens to a well-oiled machine.
“It was amazing to see this massive spaceship going from one place to the next,” he says. “They were all really nice and open to jams, and they like a good party too, so it was great. It was a fluid family machine.”
From touring massive stadiums to performing at clubs, Kidron says the buzz is always there. But he looks forward to when The Potbelleez headline stadiums, too.
“I think every band wants that,” he says. “Doing festivals and having those massive crowds – it just feeds you – and it bounces from one to the other.
“You still get that in smaller venues like LaLa. It’s just different, you can feel the sweat – it’s great.”
The Potbelleez play live at LaLa Land, Byron Bay tomorrow night. Tickets $18 at www.lalalandbyronbay.com.au or from the venue.