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SCU band ‘Ladyslug’ to battle against state’s best


Jessica Huxley
30 August 2016
Southern Cross University will again defend its coveted title at the Queensland state finals of the National Campus Band Competition on Thursday September 1, with Ladyslug sliding to victory at the SCU campus final recently.

Ladyslug is hoping to bring home a state-title trifecta for SCU, following in the footsteps of Nocturnal Tapes in 2015 and Parkside Orchestra in 2014. Both Nocturnal Tapes and Parkside Orchestra went on to be crowned winners of the National Campus Band Competition (NCBC).

The Lismore-based four piece will bring its neo-soul vibes to the state finals, to be held at Lismore campus Unibar, where they will battle against Griffith University Gold Coast campus’ Keelan Mak, Griffith University Nathan campus band Rawr Vanity and North Coast TAFE Grafton campus outfit Living Proof. Lismore and Grafton are classified as Queensland for the purpose of the competition.

Ladyslug officially began in February this year, with frontwoman and lead singer Kodi Twiner saying SCU had been ‘instrumental’ in the band’s formation.

“We are really looking forward to representing the musical community of SCU. We have the home-ground advantage, so we will hustle to get a good crowd there,” the 24-year-old said.

“There was such a good vibe at the SCU comp on August 18. Everyone had a great time with a real sense of community - music lovers and musicians in the same place.

“We were pleasantly surprised to come away with first place, we just wanted to play a tight gig – that was our game plan and it worked.”

Kodi, now in her third and final year at SCU, said she has had a keen interest in singing from a young age, and was thrilled to make the transition from assessment-focussed university ensembles, to a fully-fledged act with practicing professionals. Ladyslug’s recordings are already making their way across the country via Youtube and Soundcloud.

“Everyone in the band is either enrolled in or has completed the Bachelor of Contemporary Music degree at SCU, with our drummer and saxophonist Lachlan Dwyer in his second year and keys player Luke Rosten finished his Honours. Ben Jackson our bassist also plays euphonium – it’s like a small tuba – and he’s a graduate who now works at SCU.

“Ben and I met up in Cuba at the end of last year, and during the travels the idea of co-founding a band came about. Now we are Ladysluggin’ it.”

The band collaboratively writes its neo-soul tracks, with R’n’B and contemporary jazz vibes and elements of fusion.

“We have extremely diverse individual musical influences which filters through to our composition which makes it hard to define what we’re writing. We never know what the songs will turn out like,” Kodi said.

“We are defining own success and recording our EP at the moment, hoping to release it in November in time for a launch tour to Sydney and Melbourne. We are also playing Surfing the Coldstream Festival in Yamba in October and Mullum Music Festival in November.”

Kodi said the band was excited for the changes to the restructured music course at SCU next year, which will be available as a Bachelor of Music.

“There is already a stronghold of musicians gravitating towards Lismore and practising their craft. It is such a strong part of the culture here – it’s the perfect place to study and hone your craft.”

The impressive prize pool for this year’s Queensland state final winner includes free event tees from Red Octopus, an interview in Scenestr, two full-day conference passes to 2016 BIGSOUND from QMUSIC, one-day of recording at The Music Farm, Coorabell with sound engineer/producer Paul Pilsnenks, and return airfares and overnight accommodation to Melbourne to represent Queensland at the 2016 national final of the NCBC at the Northcote Social Club on Wednesday 21 September.

The winners at the national final will take home $5000 worth of prizes and a three-day studio hire and in-house engineer at Ginger Studios in Melbourne.

Around 400 bands from more than 40 institutions have competed in the NCBC in the past 23 years, making it the longest university and TAFE band competition in the country. The Winner will join the ranks of NCBC alumni including Eskimo Joe, The Vines, Jebediah, George, Grinspoon, Waikiki, Frenzal Rhomb, 78 Saab, Augie March and The Vasco Era.

The NCBC is coordinated by Tertiary Access Group – Student Experience and sponsored by Lipton Ice Tea.

Support Ladyslug at the Queensland state finals this Thursday, September 1 at the SCU Lismore Unibar with a happy hour pre-party on The Deck with $5 hot dogs from 7pm. Doors open at 8pm.

Event information: