IT was no happy accident that The Appointments finished runners-up in the University of Newcastle band comp in May after just a handful of shows.
For two years the reggae-rock four-piece of Rhys Love (guitar, vocals), his brother Eli (drums), Duncan Brown (percussion) and Kurt Spiers (bass) have been honing their craft and songwriting in rehearsals at their Merewether share house.
"I basically said when we started the project, that I didn't wanna release anything until I feel like our sound is developed," Rhys Love said.
"Rather than going through what I call the growing pains of a band in public, let's do that all behind the scenes and come out of the gates swinging pretty hard."
The Appointments, have indeed, swung hard. Over the past six months they have been among the busiest emerging Newcastle bands, performing everywhere from the Lass O'Gowrie, Hamilton Station and Cambridge Hotels to Lizotte's and even the Denman Hotel.
Their breezy summertime blend of reggae, roots and indie rock has also found a sweet spot online. The Appointments have released the singles You're Welcome, My Mind's Eye and on Friday they drop their third track Sweet Life.
The Love brothers wrote Sweet Life together during last year's lockdown when they were confined to their house.
"We just came up with a groove during that little period of inactivity as a band and from there it came together pretty easy," Rhys said. "We had other songs that were finished or in different degrees of finish, but we ended up recording this one before the others because of how easy it came together."
The Appointments launch Sweet Life on Friday in their Cambridge headliner debut with support from Slapjack and Saylor and the Flavor.
PIPER THUNDERS ON
BACK in April Newcastle Americana teen Piper Butcher gave the world a taste of her original music with the release of her debut single Haunting Your Thoughts.
The track has since attracted more than 37,000 streams on Spotify. This week the 16-year-old showcased another side of her songwriting in brooding second single Before The Thunder.
The five-minute epic features a steady and simmering Americana waltz with flourishes of blues licks.
"The song emanates from a story of when someone wants something they can't have and tries to cross the line to make it happen," Butcher said.
TURNER MOVING ON
THREE weeks ago Newcastle indie singer-songwriter Grace Turner dropped a surprise cover of Sydney band Tesse's brooding track Powerball and fans can expect more soon.
Turner told the Herald this week she's planning to record a new original track in the studio once Melbourne lockdown ends and hopes to have it released before the end of the year.
LAST year during Victoria's second lockdown Newcastle-bred musician Jonty Carlin teamed up with his Melbourne housemate Callum Riordan to record a bunch of songs to pass the hours of boredom.
Next week those six songs will be released as Munroe's debut EP A Seasonal Warning.
The duo's sound is a warm blend of indie-folk reminiscent of Boy & Bear.
THE singles keep coming from Catherine Britt's album Home Truths. The Newcastle country queen has released single No.4 from the record with the title track, which was co-written by former Novocastrian Melody Moko.
Britt said the song was inspired by Moko and her relationship with husband Michael Muchow.
"A love that understands who you are and loves you anyway," she said. "A love that can gently guide you - with words, kindness and understanding - into the light and keeps you on a true path. Everybody needs some home truths every now and again from the right person."
The video for Home Truths features Britt wandering the night time streets before being delivered some "home truths" by Moko.
SHOW TO SLEEP ON
THERE are 346 sleeps until British metalcore band While She Sleeps perform at the Newcastle Hotel.
The Sheffield five-piece will bring their debut Australian headline tour to Newcastle on July 2, 2022, becoming the first foreign act to gamble on playing in the Hunter next year pending the opening of international borders.
While She Sleeps released their fifth album Sleep Society in April and the band performed their first live show in almost 18 months in June at Download's pilot festival near Nottingham.
BOO TRIPPIN' ALONE
TICKETS for the first Boo Seeka tour since the departure of percussionist Michael May last month went on sale on Wednesday.
Newcastle's Ben Gumbleton is continuing Boo Seeka as a solo project and is hoping to perform shows on his The Trip Tour in Byron Bay, Melbourne, Hobart, Launceston, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth throughout September and October.