Bela Chase back home for first gig in a decade

STREET WISE: After almost a decade plugging away in the UK music scene Bela Chase believes she has found her true sound on debut solo EP Velocity Raptor.
STREET WISE: After almost a decade plugging away in the UK music scene Bela Chase believes she has found her true sound on debut solo EP Velocity Raptor.

HEADING to London on a journey of self discovery is a rite of passage for many young Australians, however, it worked in reverse for Bela Chase.

After almost a decade of building her career in the UK, the Newcastle singer-songwriter returned home last year finally free to become the electro pop artist she craved. It was realised with the release of her solo debut EP Velocity Raptor in October.

The former St Francis Xavier vice-captain then known as Cara Boersig McPhillips left Newcastle at 18 bound firstly for Sydney, and then London. Using the stage name Bela Chase, she eventually fronted the indie-pop band Bela Takes Chase.

Bela Chase - Space Kicks

The band released EPs Rough Luxe (2012) and Radiate (2014) and achieved a strong following in the UK after appearing at festivals like Lubstock, while being relatively unknown in Australia. By the end of 2015 Chase was done. 

“It was the hardest thing I ever had to do,” Chase said. “By then the band was naturally coming to an end. I hit a wall with my manager and we both wanted different things. I was in the big pop industry and I was being pushed. Everything was about image, how it was all presented.”

Chase briefly moved to Berlin with her brother and learnt how to produce her own music. The German capital inspired a new batch of atmospheric electro pop.

“I really felt a shift in me and something was missing,” she said. “When I left London for Germany I started to do all the producing myself, so now my set is more the sound I want to be. That’s me on my laptop and keys mixing all the pads and synths.

“It took me a long time to find that sound and it took me all over the world looking for it, so it’s ironic that I found it back here.”

Back settled in Newcastle, Chase is preparing to release her next single Clouds. To celebrate the track Chase will perform her first Newcastle show in nearly 10 years at The Edwards on March 23.

A BROAD CHURCH

dave - Take It All

FROM a musical standpoint Newcastle rock band dave and local experimental electronic artist e4444e inhabit opposite ends of the spectrum. However, the two acts are united by blood.

E4444e, the moniker for 19-year-old Romy Church, will be supporting his older brother Noah and his band dave when they launch new single Take It All on Sunday at the Oriental Hotel. 

“I like the contrast between us and him, it works well when we play live together,” Noah Church said.

Dave dropped the video for Take It All on Sunday, which is the lead single off their forthcoming seven-track EP YOCH! Bangers Volume 1. It shows dave playing in King Edward Park rocking out before a random group of drunk university students, wearing re-appropriated VB shirts with WB “World’s Biggest Wednesday,” joins them. 

The track is also the band’s first as a three-piece following guitarist Alex Rutherford’s move to Vietnam to teach. 

“My dad said Alex was the intelligentsia of the band so now he’s gone we’ve got to play faster and louder to make up for it,” Church said.

CHILDREN GET OILY

THE Treehouse Children will celebrate the end of their biggest tour to date by being the first Newcastle band to headline the weekly Good Oil sessions at The Edwards on Thursday. The indie four-piece have been touring the east coast in support of their debut EP Please.

Newcastle acts The People and Us and Thomas Macokatic will provide support.

JACKED THURSDAY

THURSDAY is the new Saturday night, well at least this week. Punters are spoiled for choice around town with most of the major original music venues booking shows.

Lizotte's has Canadian music royalty in Martha Wainwright and the Cambridge Hotel is promising to reveal a band who hasn’t played an Australian gig in six years at their secret launch show. Indie-folk songwriter Jack Carty (5 Sawyers) and rock band My Echo (Cambridge warehouse) are also stopping by.

The night became even bigger this week with South Coast NSW folkie Jack Biilmann announcing a free gig at the Stag and Hunter Hotel. Biilmann released his second album Streams last month, which reached No.3 on the singer-songwriters iTunes charts.  

BLUES MOTION

IF you’re heading to Bluesfest at Byron Bay this Easter you might hear a slab of Novocastrian rock. Young local band In Motion have been selected to compete in the semi-finals of the Bluesfest Busking Competition at Byron’s Beach Hotel.

If successful the three-piece, who released their debut EP Change last year, could perform at Bluesfest on Good Friday. Last year Newcastle psycho rockabilly band Bad Luck Kitty earned a spot at Bluesfest.  

GET BUSKING

IF you fancy yourself with a guitar or keyboards Buskers By The Creek wants to hear from you. Australia's biggest busking festival runs on October 14-15 at Currumbin Creek on the Gold Coast and features 20,000 performers. To enter, log onto www.buskersbythecreek.com.au/buskers.