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The Red Austins set to rock Docklands
CFA band The Red Austins are one of the many star attractions at the Jubilation event in Docklands from December 12-14.
You will also be able to see our very own Kayla Dwyer perform, watch the CK and friends show, check out vintage and new trucks, cheer on the CFA volunteer parade, learn about fire safety and so much more.
The Red Austins formed a year ago by CFA members who agreed to volunteer their time, talent and equipment to provide entertainment at CFA and community events.
Originally the band was called Total Fire Band but they discovered there was already a jazz band in Northcote with that name.
After 6 months of intensive rehearsals (4 or 5 hours every Friday evening) the band played their first gig for family and friends at the Bell Hotel in South Melbourne in July. (They also used the night to raise funds to support two firefighters whose daughter suffers from a rare form of epilepsy.)
Since then they have played at Werribee Golf Club, donating their fee to the local brigade, at the CFA State Forum at Bell City in Preston, and at the Pt Cook Brigade Annual Dinner (one of the band members is a volunteer at Pt Cook).
Jubilation Dockland will be their biggest gig to date and band manager, Martin Anderson (who says he styles himself on Flight of the Conchords' manager Murray Hewitt [http://youtu.be/vDjJc_ZH6dk], "without the hair"), says the whole band is very excited to be playing at such a large event.
"When we were asked to play at the Jubilation Docklands event I immediately called a band meeting and, after checking everyone was present, I revealed the great news that we were playing at Ethiad Stadium," he said. "Well, just across the road. Everyone was so excited they almost broke their pencils."
The band says their musical backgrounds are long and varied. Before "selling out to the man and becoming an executive director", drummer Mark Sullivan played in a Sydney punk band. Sonia McClean, who plays rock French Horn, is a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts. Guitarist Martin Anderson performed Kumbaya at his Cub Scout camp in 1982.
The youngest member of the band, lead guitarist Seamus 'Schmoo' Bretag, likes to relax with a good book before a gig - it's his way of dealing with backstage nerves (or boredom, the other band members can't really figure out which.)
The other two members of the band, lead vocalist Magda Wozny and bass player/lighting technician Travis Hearn, are concerned that there may be people "after them" so have asked not to be named in any band promotional articles.
As you can probably tell, the band members don't take themselves too seriously but they have been practising hard and have had great feedback from the gigs they've performed so far.
Martin said: "Everyone is really enjoying being part of a CFA band and the opportunities it's providing for members to indulge their 'rockstar fantasies' are amazing. We even got asked what we wanted for a rider at the Jubilation event. Event staff are scouring the whole country right now looking for rainbow-coloured M&Ms!"