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Coasting : Issue 1
4 AT HOME with Kasey By DAVID STEWART Chambers Kasey Chambers and her family were on their way from South Australia to set up house at Byron TALON’S MUM: Kasey Chambers likes the small town vibe of Copacabana, where “no-one cares” about her celebrity. Pic: Aaron Brown. Bay when a chance encounter with Keith Urban at Avoca Beach Hotel changed everything. It was circa 1994 and the sign out the front of Avoca Beach Hotel read “Keith Urban here live”. “No-one had ever heard of Keith Urban back then, but we knew who he was,” Kasey Chambers said, smiling as she recalled her first impressions of the Central Coast. Kasey, her father Bill, mother Diane, and brother Nash figured that any town that would host a country music gig was worth a look. “So we got a spot in the caravan park at Avoca and went to see the show that night and came to realise that Keith played there regularly,” she said. “He played there, right in the front bar, like once a month. He told us that he loved the area and said the hotel was really good to him because they gave him a gig -– which is so funny to think about now. He wouldn’t have much trouble getting a gig these days,” she said laughing. RATTLIN’ RAP: Kasey and husband Shane Nicholson accept one of the five Golden Guitars they received for their No 1 album Rattlin’ Bones at the CMAA Country Music Awards in Tamworth in January. Pic: Janie Barrett. And that was that. One unsolicited endorsement of the Central Coast by a fellow country muso sealed the deal for the Chambers clan. The South Australian-based family, who had been preparing to move to Byron Bay, decided instead that Avoca Beach would do nicely. At the Copa Kasey and husband Shane Nicholson now live at Copacabana, along with children Talon, 6, and Arlo, 18 months, and a stack of Golden Guitars, ARIAs and assorted gongs. Kasey loves the “small town” vibe of the place (“although it’s not so small that everyone knows your business”), she’s a regular at Copacabana’s Cafe Sirocco and Fubah On Copa (bar and restaurant), and knows everyone who works in town. She’s even on the school P&C and fundraising committee. Kasey appreciates that she can walk around Copacabana and nobody will give her a second glance or make a fuss. “At school, I’m Talon’s mum. I’m not Kasey Chambers. No-one cares,” she said, “and I love that.” The vice-captain If ever Kasey needed proof that Central Coast people were straight shooters it came a few years ago during a karaoke night at the then Terrigal Country Club. Kasey was enjoying the show and, for a bit of fun, decided to get up and join the competition. But Terrigal can be a tough crowd. “I came third. A girl who did one of my songs, The Captain, came second. And this guy with an amazing voice won it,” she said with mock indignation. “I sang True Colours and I’ve got to say I was feeling pretty confident,” she said, laughing. “But in the end I was lucky to get third. I think they felt sorry for me and thought they’d better give me something.” Musical challenge Karaoke is not the only musical challenge that Kasey embraces. In 2007, Kasey, Shane and her father Bill set up a little covers band that they called The Lost Dogs. “We played every Thursday night for a year at the Avoca Beach Hotel. We didn’t advertise that it was us, and we’d just play alternative country music that people don’t get to hear on the radio,” Kasey said. Every week The Lost Dogs would have a guest performer join them for a set. Usually it would be a young up-and-coming local country muso. “But every now and again we’d have a friend like Adam Harvey or Beccy Cole sing with us, and Jimmy Barnes even came along one night and did a few songs,” Kasey said. And a regular feature of The Lost Dogs gigs was the ‘’musical challenge’’ where each member of the trio would be challenged to perform a song chosen by the other two. Among Kasey’s favourite musical challenges was the time Shane had to perform I’m Too Sexy (originally performed by Right Said Fred), her father performed Man, I Feel Like A Woman (Shania Twain) and she did Mickey (Toni Basil). The good news is that The Lost Dogs are about to make a comeback. “Doing The Lost Dogs gigs was a lot of fun and I loved it. In fact, we’re going to start up The Lost Dogs again soon,” Kasey said. The two of us Punters who catch the Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson gigs at Lizotte’s at Kincumber on May 13 and 14 will be witnessing history. It will be the first time ever that the award-
December 15th 2008
Issue 2 2009