NEWCASTLE Americana singer-songwriter Ben Leece has admittedly been skeptical of livestream performances since they became all the rage for musicians at the start of the pandemic.
"I really don't like streaming," Leece says. "I've resisted it and I've been happy to let others play it out and I'll join in again when things are happening again."
But at the insistence of his Left Of The Dial bandmate Trent Crawford (Something With Numbers, One Dollar Short), he's not only agreed to a livestream performance, Leece is attempting something far more elaborate.
On Sunday from 8pm Leece will host Exhausted TV. The livestream will be part live gig, part TV show.
Exhausted TV is free, but viewers need to register through Rudderless Records' website to gain access.
Viewers watch the performance through Zoom and will be able to see other users which Leece hopes will create a more interactive experience.
Leece will perform live from his home and interview friends, plus there will be a mix of archival video packages from shows at Dashville and the Stag and Hunter Hotel, studio recordings from the making of Leece's forthcoming EP and live crosses to guests.
Crawford will serve as the Exhausted TV's producer from his home in Gosford.
"It'll hopefully feel closer to an actual event, rather than your average stream," Leece says. "It's essentially live TV. I'll have an ear piece and I'll be communicating [with Crawford] and I'll host and throw to the different segments."
Meanwhile, Leece is aiming to release his new EP this summer. The record was scheduled to drop ahead of his performance at Dashville Skyline in October, but the festival was postponed to February 25 to 27 due to the pandemic.
The pandemic has also forced Leece to contribute more time to his fledgling vinyl shop, Rudderless Records. The Newcastle West shopfront is closed, but it's launched an online portal to keep the business going.
"The last few months has been such a pivot with the shop, just to keep it open," he says. "Other stuff has taken bit of a backseat. The business has halved, but the work has doubled to keep up with it."
Register for Exhausted TV for free at rudderlessrecords.com.au. The broadcast begins 8pm Sunday.