Tom Gillespie, Jarrod Hall and Darcy Cavanough are: Venice on Fire.
Tom Gillespie, Jarrod Hall and Darcy Cavanough are: Venice on Fire. Peter Carruthers

Battle of the bands winners stoked to be in Airlie

THEY didn't play the main stage or have their band name printed in 100-point type on the promotional posters.

But up-and-coming Toowoomba-based three-piece rock outfit, Venice on Fire, sure made a noise at the Airlie Beach Festival of Music.

Forming in the outback mining town of Roma, Venice on Fire started out playing Blink 182 and Green Day covers before making the move to the Garden City on the fringe of the Lockyer Valley, west of Brisbane to make their own music.

With stars in their eyes the trio entered a battle of the bands competition hosted by a seedy bar, infamous for its semi-nude dancers, called the Fiveways Hotel.

Drummer Darcy Cavanough admitted not many punters showed up but they won the battle and secured a gig at the Whitsundays' favourite music festival.

"We won that heat and got sent to the festival and it was actually real," he said.

The band said they had been promised big gigs but they had never come off.

"But this one is very, very real."

Front man and guitarist, Tom Gillespie said organiser Gavin 'Butto' Butlin and the festival team had been outstanding.

 

Venice on Fire play Magnums Hotel at the Airlie Beach Festival of Music.
Venice on Fire play Magnums Hotel at the Airlie Beach Festival of Music. Peter Carruthers

"I want to commend them, they made us feel instantly welcome," he said.

"At no point were we made to feel like outsiders. I think that has something to do with the Airlie Beach community at large.

"It's transient by nature so you just embrace people for who they are.

"We have been loving it.

In 2016 the band released the EP Home and this year recorded their first LP called Tempt a Saint.

Gillespie described the sound as rock or hard rock with indy influences.

Driving guitar and a heavy beat defined a sound that walked the line between metal and hardcore and commercial pop rock.

"We are trying to be that difference," he said.

The band said on Sunday afternoon they all had a blast in Airlie and would definitely be up for coming back next year.


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