Inspired by a life on the waves and a sleepy little coastal existence, benjalu’s tunes draw influence from many diverse styles, such as early jazz and blues, roots and today’s modern acoustic contemporary musicians. Throughout 2009 they demonstrated why they are one of the Hunter Region’s most successful young bands with a relentless touring and recording schedule that included over 120 performances right up and down the east coast of Australia.
Despite only playing together since March 2006, Benjalu have impressed music aficionados across Australia, winning numerous awards for their original music and their warm live shows. In 2006 the band took out the annual YouthRock awards: they were also named by MUSICOZ as one of the top 10 School bands within Australia: and they took out the prestigious TAFE Newcastle Music Week award for the Open School Section.
Benjalu’s radio–friendly tracks were further honoured at YouthRock awards, when the band were given an additional award by fellow Novocastrians Silverchair, recognising their strong and original song-writing talents.
2008 saw the boys driving the highways and dirt roads of Australia, playing two to four gigs a week, clocking up over 130 shows throughout the year finished up the year with a sold out show at Prince Of Wales Hotel Merewther.
Benjalu has extended their touring reach and kept up the pace in 2009. Throughout the year they supported numerous high profile bands including as The Badloves, Paul Applekamp, Diesel, The Living End, Children Colide, Beccy Cole and Jon Stevens. They received two awards at the 1233 ABC Newcastle Music Awards. They recorded and released their second EP titled ‘Waterfalls’. They performed at the 21st birthday celebrations of the Youth Rock competition and graced the stages of the Peats Ridge Music Festival. In total they performed over 120 shows all across South-Eastern Australia. They finished 2009 in style, supporting The Living End on New Years Eve at Queens Wharf Brewery.
Below is a summary of the band’s achievments throughout 2009. Included for context is a complete list of gigs they played.
Early 2009 – Relentless Touring
Throughout early 2009 Benjalu toured extensively throughout eastern Australia:
- Friday January 2 – Crescent Head Country Club – Crescent Head
- Saturday January 3 – Manning Point Bowling Club – NSW
- Sunday January 4 – Amble Inn – Corindi Beach NSW
- Tuesday January 6 – Chilli Lounge – Grand Hotel – Wyong NSW – With Bonjah – ($10 On Door Thanks)
- Thursday January 8 – Sussex Inlet Tavern – South Coast NSW
- Friday January 9 – Lakeview Hotel Merimbula NSW
- Saturday January 10 – Railway Hotel – Bunyip Victoria
- Sunday January 11 – Long Board Surf Cafe – Dromana Victoria
- Wednesday January 14 – Torquay Hotel – Torquay Victoria
- Friday January 16 – Gordon Hotel – Portland Victoria
- Saturday January 17 – The Globe Hotel – Deniliquin NSW
- Sunday January 18 – Albion Hotel Albury NSW
- Thursday January 22 – Great Southern Inn – Eden NSW
- Friday January 23 – Air Raid Tavern – Moruya South Coast NSW (small Door Charge $10) Doors Open At 7pm
- Saturday January 24 – Hornsby Inn – NSW (across The Road From The Westfield Shopping Centre On The Corner)
- Sunday January 25 – Prince Of Wales Hotel Merewether & Guest Paul Appelkamp Under 18′s Adult S/vision Upstairs
- Monday January 26 – Australia Day Festival – Mean Fiddler Hotel – Rouse Hill NSW – Australia Day Festival – Merrylands Oval – Merrylands NSW
- Friday January 30 – Bangalow Hotel Bangalow NSW
- Saturday January 31 – Railway Hotel Byron Bay -
- Thursday February 5 – Sand Bar – Mildura Victoria
- Friday February 6 – Lake Wallace Hotel – Edenhope Victoria
- Saturday February 7 – Commerical Hotel – Horsham Victoria
- Sunday February 8 – Kincraig Hotel – Naracoorte – South Australia ($10 Entry Thankyou)
- Thursday February 12 – Meningie Hotel – Meningie South Australia
- Friday February 13 – Louisiana Tavern At Elizabeth South Australia
- Saturday February 14 – Loxton Hotel -($7 Ticket At Door) Loxton South Australia
- Sunday February 15 – Cornwall Hotel – Moonta South Australia ($10 Entry Thankyou)
- Thursday February 19 – Streaky Bay Hotel – Streaky Bay – South Australia
- Friday February 20 – Commerical Hotel Cowell – South Australia
- Saturday February 21 – Seabreeze Hotel – Tumby Bay South Australia
- Sunday February 22 – Coffin Bay Hotel – Coffin Bay South Australia
- Friday February 27 – Northern Star Hotel Hamilton – Free Entry Supporting Rogerthat.
March 2009 – In The Studio Recording The ‘Waterfalls’ EP
The tracks vary from funky rock to folk and roots, showcasing both new tracks and songs that have been popular at the band’s live shows. The title track ‘Waterwalls’ presents catchy guitar licks, a thumping rhythm section and an expressive vocal delivery, perfectly relating to the lyrics, which relay the build up of strong emotions and their effect on life. Another of the CDs stand outs, So High, features funky guitar, a catchy chorus and a rockin’ jam out of clarinet and guitars. Other highlights include the CDs’ opener The Lie, Grey Old Man and Benjalu’s oldest song, Java, which was recorded outside at night, capturing nature at its best.
‘Waterwalls’ was produced by Ian Pritchett.
April/May 2009 – Local Touring and Finalising The EP
Benjalu performed a series og gigs relatively close to home throughout April/May 2009 while they finalised the mixing and mastering of their ‘Waterfalls’ EP. The EP was released on May 29 2009 at Queens Wharf Brewery, Newcastle.
- Friday April 3 – Melodica Concert All Ages Youth Arts Warehouse Gosford
- Saturday April 4 – Youth Rock Celebrates 21 Years- Starts 3pm (benjalu At 7pm) Event Finishes 10.30 $15 Door
- Thursday April 9 – Crescent Head Country Club – NSW Easter Long – Weekend
- Friday April 10 – Annandale Hotel Sydney With State Radio & Fisherking (door Charge)
- Saturday April 11 – Laurieton Hotel – Laurieton NSW
- Sunday April 12 – Lennox Head Tavern NSW – Lennox Head Further Details TBC
- Wednesday April 22 – Round House Sydney Uni -(unsw – Beer Garden) Outdoors
- Thursday April 23 – Armidale Club – Armidale ($5 Entry Thankyou)
- Friday April 24 – Albert Hotel Tamworth
- Thursday April 30 – The Brass Monkey- At Cronulla Supporting Paul Applekamp $14 Door (duo Acoustic)
- Friday May 1 – Sussex Inlet Tavern NSW
- Saturday May 2 – Penrith RSL Club – NSW With The Badloves + More TBC ($20 + Booking Fee)
- Sunday May 3 – Bateau Bay Hotel (central Coast NSW) – Bateau Bay
- Friday May 29 – Waterwalls Ep Launch – The Queens Wharf Brewery Newcastle – Nickson Wings At 10pm
June – Lizotte’s Newcastle Grand Opening
On Tuesday June 2, 2009, Benjalu played live at Lizotte’s Newcastle grand opening, sharing the stage with Diesel, Deni Hines, Beccy Cole and Jason Lowe.
Benjalu performed 3 of their songs in front of a packed venue and showed why they’re a band on the rise. Watch a sample of their performance in this video filmed & produced by Total Recall Films.
‘Waterfalls’ Spring Tour
Benjalu toured extensively around regional NSW to promote their Waterfalls EP. From June 2009 the band played 63 dates in a five month period, covering much of NSW and the ACT in the process.
- Friday June 5 – Albion Hotel – Albury NSW
- Saturday June 6 – Long Board Surf Cafe Dromana
- Sunday June 7 – Globe Hotel – Deniliquin NSW
- Thursday June 11 – The Pub – Bendigo Victoria ( With The Rockstsmiths, The Smoke) $6 On Door Thanks
- Friday June 12 – Torquay Hotel – Victoria
- Saturday June 13 – Powerhouse Hotel – Yallourn Victoria ($5 Tix On Door Thankyou)
- Sunday June 14 – Elwood Lounge (duo Acoustic)- Elwood Victoria
- Tuesday June 16 – Steyne Hotel – Manly NSW (acoustic 3 Piece Tonight)
- Wednesday June 17 – Lizottes Live & Cookin At Lambton NSW Door Charge One Jonathon – Jason Lowe
- Friday June 19 – Sussex Inlet Tavern NSW
- Saturday June 20 – Northern Star Hamilton NSW Benjalu Full Show As Marty Simpson Unable To Play (free Entry)
- Thursday June 25 – Belmore Hotel Maitland NSW
- Wednesday July 8 – Jax Bar – Canadian Hotel At Mt Eliza Victoria ($7 Tix On Door Thanks)
- Saturday July 11 – Long Board Surf Cafe Dromana Vic
- Sunday July 12 – Private Function Mt Eliza – Victoria
- Thursday July 16 – Armidale Club – Armidale NSW – Benjalu Live From 8pm ($5 Tix On Door)
- Wednesday July 22 – EP Launch Lizottes C/coast $13.50 Supported By Kim Dewar All Ages With Adult
- Saturday August 8 – The Oxford Tavern – Wollongong With Dimity Claire & The Bleeding Hearts
- Friday August 14 – Lass O’Gowrie Hotel Wickham – With Vamp, Sketching Coto And Opei
- Saturday August 15 – Lizotte’s Lambton – Benjalu Acoustic Supporting – Jon Stevens
- Sunday August 16 – Lizotte’s Lambton – Acoustic Benjalu Supporting Jon Stevens
- Wednesday August 19 – UTS Glasshouse Bar Broadway Syd (university Of Technology) With Jordan Millar & The Question
- Saturday August 22 – Bay Hotel/motel – Bonnells Bay NSW
- Friday August 28 – Armidale Club – Armidale NSW ($5 On Door) Support TBA
- Saturday August 29 – Lennox Point Hotel – Lennox Head NSW
- Monday August 31 – Railway Friendly Bar Hotel Byron Bay Acoustic & Relaxed
- Tuesday September 1 – Railway Friendly Bar – Byron Bay NSW – Acoustic Show
- Wednesday September 2 – Koala Bar – Noosa Queensland
- Thursday September 3 – Billy’s Hotel – Gympie Sunshine Coast Queensland
- Saturday September 5 – Private Corporate Function
- Wednesday September 9 – Charles Stuart University Campus Wagga Wagga NSW With Solver
- Friday September 11 – The Area Hotel – Griffith NSW – Acoustic Night With Solver
- Saturday September 12 – The Area Hotel – Griffith NSW With Solver (lets Party)
- Thursday September 17 – Sydney Ep Launch At Raval The Macquarie Hotel Surry Hills NSW (acoustic) Supports $12
- Friday September 18 – Sussex Inlet Tavern – NSW
- Saturday September 19 – Holy Grail – Kingston At Canberra ACT
- Sunday September 20 – Perisher Mountain (out Front Of Jax Nightclub) – Smiggins Hotel – Smiggins Hole Near Perisher (staff Function Invite Only)
- Wednesday September 23 – Albion Hotel Albury NSW
- Friday September 25 – Romanos Hotel – Wagga Wagga NSW
- Saturday September 26 – Astor Hotel Motel – Goulburn NSW
- Sunday September 27 – Old Manly Boatshed – Manly NSW ($5 Entry)
- Thursday October 1 – Macquarie Hotel + Supports TBA – Port Macquarie NSW
- Friday October 2 – Sawtell Hotel – Sawtell NSW
- Saturday October 3 – Armidale Club – Armidale NSW $5 Door + Supports TBA
- Friday October 9 – Laurierton Hotel – Mid North Coast NSW
- Saturday October 10 – Crescent Head Country Club NSW
- Sunday October 11 – Manning Point Bowling Club NSW
- Thursday October 15 – Coachman Hotel /motel -parks NSW
- Friday October 16 – Lithgow Hotel – Lithgow NSW Supports To Be Advised.
- Sunday October 18 – Old Manly Boat Shed – Manly NSW ($5 Tix Thanks)
- Thursday October 22 – Golden Sheaf Hotel – Double Bay Sydney NSW
- Friday October 23 – The Tea Club Nowra NSW $10 Tix General Admission
- Saturday October 24 – The Tea Club Nowra NSW Supporting Justin Carter $10 Tix
- Sunday October 25 – Bateau Bay Hotel – Bateau Bay NSW (on Stage At 3pm)
- Thursday October 29 – Home Tavern ( $8 Tix On Door)- Wagga Wagga NSW
- Friday October 30 – Albion Hotel – Albury NSW
- Saturday October 31 – Jax Bar – Mt Eliza Victoria Charity Function – Everyone Welcome Come Support
- Wednesday November 4 – Armidale Club Armidale NSW + Support TBA ($5 Door)
- Thursday November 5 – Macquarie Hotel Port Maquarie With Juke Baritone And The Swap Dogs & Marisa Mars
- Friday November 6 – – Town Green Inn – Port Maquarie NSW – Support TBA
- Saturday November 7 – Albert Hotel- Tamworth NSW
- Sunday November 8 – Grand Junction Hotel – Maitland NSW
- Tuesday November 10 – Steyne Hotel – Manly NSW
November 2009 – ABC Newcastle Music Awards
On Thursday November 12 2009 Benjalu were announced as winners of the Blues & Roots category in the 2009 Newcastle Music Awards with their song So High. They also won the Best Young Talent category with their song Grey Old Man.
November/December 2009 – More Touring
- Friday November 13 – Sawtell Hotel – Sawtell NSW
- Saturday November 14 – Lock N Load Bistro – West End Brisbane Qld
- Wednesday November 18 – Koala Bar – Noosa Head Qld
- Thursday November 19 – Beach Hotel – Byron Bay NSW
- Friday November 20 – Illawong Hotel – Evans Head NSW
- Friday November 27 – Marlin Hotel – Ulladulla NSW
- Saturday November 28 – Bay Hote/motel – Bonnells Bay NSW
- Sunday November 29 – Old Manly Boatshed – ($5 Tix) Manly NSW
- Wednesday December 2 – Lizotte’s – ABC Music Awards Showcase – Zoe K & The Money Shot, Mark Wells, Stick Up Kids $23
- Friday December 11 – Sussex Inlet Tavern – NSW
- Saturday December 12 – Great Southern Inn Eden – NSW
- Sunday December 13 – Imperial Hotel – Bombala NSW
- Friday December 18 – Lizottes Lambton Newcastle Supporting Jon Stevens – Christmas Party
- Saturday December 19 – Crescent Head Country Club Crescent Head NSW
- Sunday December 20 – Laurieton Hotel – Laurieton NSW
- Tuesday December 29 – Peats Ridge Music Festival – NSW On Stage 1.30pm – Performing On " Phoenix Satge"
- Thursday December 31 – Peats Ridge Music Festival – NSW – On Stage 2pm – Performing On "phoenix Stage"
- Thursday December 31 – NYE! Queens Wharf Brewery Newcastle With The Living End And Children Colide – $66 +BF
What an amazing year of performances, over 120 in total. Along with several accolades at the ABC Newcastle Music Awards and the successful release of their second EP, 2009 was indeed a huge year for Benjalu, but the band is not resting on their laurels. They plan to continue their gruelling performance schedule throughout 2010 as they continue to promote their Waterfalls EP.
Throughout early January 2010 Benjalu will be playing a series of five events along the north coast of NSW before arriving at the Tamworth Country Music Festival on January 15.
For more information about Benjalu visit their website at www.benjalu.net.au.
Benjalu’s latest EP ‘Waterfalls’ is available on iTines.
Posted on January 3rd, 2010 in Artists