‘Girls’ surprise Muster crowd

By Daniel Hughes

You could see the confusion register on the Deni Ute Muster crowd's faces when Round Mountain Girls took to the main stage on Saturday.

Five men ambled on to the famed stage, each with a different instrument, to play their original country rock style of music.

Although the five men are born in different parts of the world, they now all call Tweet Heads home, where they have the Round Mountain looking over them.

The band's performance was tantalising, entertaining and fun for the audience.

Speaking with the Pastoral Times before the performance, the band's mandolin player and song writer Chris Brooker, said they were immediately impressed with the atmosphere and the sincerity from the muster crew and festival folk.

‘‘It’s our first time here so we’re looking forward to that,’’ he said.

‘‘We’re coasters up on the Tweed coast so it’s definitely very different; it's just so different, it’s cool.”

Brooker says he is well known in the Tweed area, but for a very different reason.

By day he is a teacher at Wollumbin High School, and siad many of his students are unaware of his weekend life as a musician.

‘‘When they leave school and come to the pub they always come up and say 'hi' with a bit of surprise, so that’s always good.’’

Round Mountain Girls was formed four years ago, and the five bandmates have had an interesting journey with their evolving popularity and band name mythology.

‘‘We were just going to call ourselves Round Mountain, but someone called us girls as a joke and we just started making up stories, and one thing led to another,’’ Brooker explained.

‘‘Our mythology just started evolving since then with people coming up to us and suggesting what story we should tell next.

‘‘We started working on covers, just playing at pubs around town, not thinking much of making it bigger

‘‘After we started making some originals we found that people liked them so it just took off from there.’’

While the band has gained popularity over the last four years, Brooker is still surprised at the calibre of festivals they are invited to play.

‘‘We like the size of the Ute Muster and all the people who come to it.

‘‘For me, bringing my English and South African friend and fellow band members here was one of those things they had to come and see.

‘‘We’re among big company, it’s really exciting, we’ve got all of these famous people around us.

‘‘It’s great for people who come to see the bigger names who might see us and really enjoy it.

‘‘We pride ourselves on our live show. These festivals put us in touch with people who appreciate music so we always pick up new fans.

‘‘It’s quite a long way to travel for a five piece, but we’re really stoked that we’re here.’’

Other band members include Rabbit Robinson, Chris Eaton, Francois de Klerk and Chris Willoughby.