YOUNG musicians have struggled to find performance venues with the tightening of liquor licenses and overhead charges.
So, in stepped Capitol Music owners Sharon and Ashley Hawken on a mission to bridge the gap between current and upcoming musicians with the inaugural Junior Talent Showcase.
“We’ve had a few kids come in and say they don’t have places they can play because they’re underage,” Ms Hawken said.
“It’s somewhere for the kids to gain some stage experience while playing a live venue with some professional backing musicians to help them along the way if they need it.”
Open to anyone under 18, the first showcase featured everything from soloists to full bands.
The youngest performer was just eight years old, with well-travelled blues musician Buddy Knox opening the afternoon with his usual effortless finesse.
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Knox works with young, talented musicians to grow their skills and said the concert was a great opportunity for inexperienced performers.
“It was one of the best concerts I've been to in a long time,” he said.
“It's exciting to see young people who are so good, I hope they keep having it."
Performer Brooke Thompson took to the stage for the first time, she said the showcase was a great idea.
“It builds confidence and also it is great to play with the band, which I don’t get to do very often,” she said.
Without rehearsals, the kids sent in charts for the backing band and rocked up ready to perform.
“Some of them were nervous, some are semi-seasoned performers so they were quite comfortable, but some of the other kids – the ones who don’t play frequently - were quite nervous but they did a great job overcoming their nerves,” Ms Hawken said.
“It was a totally relaxed family environment which is what we wanted to create, no pressure on the kids, just get out there, play some music and experience it.
“I think it’s important because it helps mould the kids into what kind of music they want to do, a lot want to be the rock star and be on stage but once they do its a whole new world.”
The next Junior Talent Showcase is set for The Loft at Hogs Breath on November 4. Performers can register with Capitol Music, the event is free to attend.