Coldplay Support King Ibis On 'The Importance Of Major Artists Coming To WA'

13 November 2023 | 4:05 pm | King Ibis

Upon scoring a life-changing support slot for Coldplay, Perth-based indie rock band King Ibis (singer Nadene Burchell, guitarist Matthew Oakley, bassist Samantha Goddard and drummer John McAndrew) stress the importance of big bands playing in WA.

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The Western Australian music scene is a vibrant and talent-rich ecosystem filled with incredible people working hard on their craft. We feel this just as we’re sure all others feel the same about their respective scenes.

Unfortunately, here in WA, we are very insulated from pretty much everywhere and everything, courtesy of our state's vast distances and sparse population. Most bands that come out of WA don’t truly begin to make waves until they have crossed the ocean of sand between the eastern states and us, or indeed a real ocean into the world at large. This is why it is so important to our music community and the community in general that we have major artists visit our corner of the world.

As mentioned, our WA population is relatively small and VERY spread out. This means playing shows exposes us to a very small portion of the population, even if an act can get all over the state. Converting that small group into new fans and potential bums on seats at shows is a challenge. So, when a big international act with its own gravity comes to town, pulling hordes of people in, it creates an enormous opportunity for exposure to a whole new group of people who would have been out of reach without this.

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Western Australian music needs these major artists to keep coming to shine a light on what we have here and help us to reach new audiences everywhere.  

Starting out as a band or solo artist in WA presents many challenges, one of which plays a big part in the growth and sustainability of a project is finance. According to a recent survey by triple j, for most Australian acts, live gigs make up over half of the income they generate from music. One of our major challenges as a band has been finding ways to pay for recording, touring and other expenses relating to both of those things and more.

Having big acts come to WA creates an opportunity for smaller bands to make some financial gains, both in support performance opportunities, government investment in the sector creating grants funding and extra performance opportunities after the exposure gained by supporting big-name acts who come to WA. As stated above, live performance makes up the majority of most acts’ income, so anything that creates more chances to get on stage in front of more audiences is the most helpful thing to an act that could happen.

One of the most incredible things that happens when big bands come to town is that it reminds locals how great live music is to see. Sometimes, convincing people to get up and out in our little city can feel like a challenge, but when a huge band comes, people get inspired by seeing their favourite music live. This often acts as a catalyst for them to go out into their town and find new music they can enjoy more often, bringing new or old live music fans back into local venues for bands to play to, which we all like very much.

There are just so many reasons we think it’s important for big bands to keep coming to WA; talking about them all would take several novels. These are a few of our thoughts, but the most important of all is that live music is important, and the people of WA deserve to see their favourite big bands live as much as anyone else!

King Ibis’s new single, Watch My Mind Bend, is out now.