“We chose to release some songs every month and stream them during the first lockdown and then we had a bunch of shows scheduled and it just so happened that they were for the two months that there was no lockdowns, so we’ve kind of managed to dodge COVID a bit," Jolly said.
Nevertheless, when the five-piece outfit finally takes to the stage next month at Queenscliff’s much-anticipated By the Pier Festival, it will have been many weeks between live gigs.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun. I think it was meant to be our sixth show of the year, but instead it will be our first now.,” said lead vocalist Jolly. “It will be great to be playing live again, we’ve got a bunch of new songs that we’re going to play and it will be good to get the year going.
“It’s great that there’s going to be a festival again for young people to go to.”
Pandemic setbacks aside, the band – best friends from Ocean Grove, Geelong and Surf Coast - have been on a steady climb since coming together in secondary school. Their dynamic live shows have been described as a “must see,” their first album ‘Living Given’ was picked up by Triple J and the band named one of the station’s ‘Top 5 Victorian bands to keep an eye on.’
Despite their youth - the oldest member is just 23 – the band also notched up an impressive resumè of performances at festivals and live venues across the country and alongside distinguished international and Australian artists.
“We started writing songs when we were pretty young, the five of us were inspired by Creedence and the Beetles and those types of bands and we’ve kind of grown from there,” said Jolly. “We all write differently from song to song but everybody’s has got input to throw in.”
Having first performed at the Queenscliff Music Festival, where Bones and Jones was awarded an emerging talent grant, Jolly welcomed By the Pier’s focus on a younger demographic of music lovers.
The Bellarine in its entirety was fast becoming an important player in the industry, he said. A new seven inch album to be released this month, a collaboration with Folk Bitch, was produced entirely from Bonsai Records, his partner’s Wallington-based recording studio.
“I grew up playing at Queenscliff so it’s good to see that shift. Music has really grown across the Bellarine over the past 10 years and the festival probably played a big part in all of that,” Jolly said. “And with the Point Lonsdale Arts Collective and the events they are running at New Hall, and with more people living down on the coast every year, there’s definitely a growing crowd for it.”
The inaugural By The Pier Festival will run from March 25 to 27.
The lineup also includes Vera Blue, Client Liaison, San Cisco, Julia Stone, Briggs, Electric Fields, Jarryd James, Harvey Sutherland, Thandi Phoenix, Kim Churchill , Pierce Brothers, Sam Teskey, Didirri, Southern River Band,Telenova, Mama Kin Spender, Ryan Downey, Maple Glider, Cry Baby, Isabella Khalife, Hassall + Weekend and DJs Chook & Moluck.