Need a gift for a gifted musician?
Every band has a story to tell about how they started out and where playing their music has taken them. But few can say they have gone from busking on the streets to gracing the stage at Glastonbury in just four years. Yet for Melbourne band Saskwatch, this is just one of many remarkable feats in their short history.
It was at notorious Melbourne bar Cherry that the 9-piece established their reputation as one of the city’s most electrifying live acts. With ecstatic horns, one of the tightest rhythm sections in town, and Nkechi Anele’s soaring vocals, capable of breaking hearts one minute and eliciting frenzied dancing the next, they refused to be ignored. As more and more people stumbled upon their performance at the bar’s weekly soul night, word spread and soon their residencies had people lining AC/DC Lane for an opportunity to watch, listen to, dance to and sweat with Saskwatch. Their commitment to playing shows locally and then interstate led to a strong following in their home city, state and, eventually, country. Landing a spot at a major festival in late 2011 was a small sign of what was to come.
2012 was a big year for Saskwatch. They released their debut album, Leave It All Behind, to widespread acclaim. The lead single, “Your Love”, became a triple j favourite and exposed them to the nation in a big way. National touring ensued before the band headed to Europe to play an intensive series of shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as well as gigs in London. Back home, they were given the ultimate local tick of approval by being invited to perform at two of Australia’s most coveted music festivals: Meredith and its sister festival, Golden Plains. They also took their music to entirely new audiences with support slots for international acts Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Maceo Parker and Earth, Wind and Fire.
Things just keep coming for Saskwatch. So far, 2013 has seen the band share a stage with Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, return to Cherry for a record-breaking residency, perform to rapturous reception at Byron Bay’s Bluesfest, and receive invitations to BlackisBack festival in Spain as well as the world’s biggest music festival, Glastonbury. They recorded a new single, “I Get Lonely”, with Mikey Young (Eddy Current Suppression Ring/Total Control), which saw low-fi garage rock merge with their trademark horns and dynamic vocals. They’ve taken their unanimously adored live show around the country again, and as soon as they’re done with Europe, they’re heading into the studio to record their sophomore album.
If you haven’t heard their music or experienced them in the flesh, chances are you will soon. This is one band that won’t be content until they’ve taken their infectious, powerful brand of music to all the corners of the world – and so far, the world is willing.
"I want to go on record with my call on this year's break-out sensation – Saskwatch." – Christian Morrow, Northern Star newspaper, reporting on Byron Bay Bluesfest, 2013
You can hear their debut album, Leave It All Behind, at:
At Meredith Music Festival 2012:
Hills Are Alive! Festival 2012 (instrumental only):
Performing "Your Love" on the Marngrook Footy Show:
Pared back on Balcony TV: