By Bob Gordon
Having popped their Blues at Bridgetown cherry last year, Esperance trio Grand Casual are champing at the bit to get back.
“A highlight of 2018 was the overwhelming support we received at Freemasons Hotel on the Friday,” says vocalist/guitarist, Kyron Smithson. “If I recall correctly, we were one of the first acts to perform for the festival, Freemasons was absolutely packed making our first performance at Bridgey truly memorable.”
Festival appearances are entirely desirable to Grand Casual for an understandable range of reasons.
“Festivals are absolutely brilliant to perform at,” Smithson says. “They are a great avenue for reaching a wide audience as attendees are all music lovers and generally interested in discovering new artists. We love the networking aspect of festivals as we meet many musicians and others involved in the music industry through our performance.
“They’re also particularly special for regional artists. Being based in Esperance, we find that getting our music out there involves a great deal of travel, with set-up and pack-down of a PA system for each gig. Blues at Bridgetown is an absolute treat for us as all sound is supplied, and we remain in the one location across the event. So that allows us to perform fresh – not off the back of hectic travel – and also to have a few beers without having to worry about driving, etc.”
Grand Casual have so far released two singles, The Sound (followed up by a successful run of shows across three weeks in the South West and Goldfields) and Stationery, with an EP set to follow in early 2020.
“A good deal of our music is influenced by blues rock’n’roll music,” Smithson says. “Matt Cooper on guitar is influenced a great deal by blues whereas Joe Franzone on drums finds his key influences in reggae and coastal surf rock. It makes for a fluid, blues-related sound with an interesting edge.”
Highlights of Grand Casual’s career thus far include festival appearances at Bridgetown and the Nannup Music Festival. In 2018-19 they were nominated for a WAM Award for ‘Best Regional Act’ and live performances alongside the likes of Ash Grunwald, The Southern River Band and Swamp Thing have proved inspirational.
In 2020 the trio hope to get a second EP out later in the year and push their touring further north in WA and over to the East Coast. This weekend though, is all about Blues at Bridgetown.
“Our goal is to present a high-energy live performance each time we take the stage,” Smithson says. “We connect well, and our enjoyment of performing shows through when in front of an audience. Our original music is quite eclectic, so if you’re looking for something a little different, make sure to check out Grand Casual.”
Grand Casual perform from 5.30pm at the Freemason’s Hotel on Friday November 8, and at 10.15am, Centre Stage on Saturday, November 9.