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Local lads WHARVES return from Europe for East Coast Tour


Jessica Nelson
29 October 2019
WHARVES band (L-R) Fraser Perrott, Scott Finch, Matthew Collins and Mike Watson

Fresh from their 14-date European tour-of-a-lifetime supporting DZ Deathrays, Southern Cross University alumni band WHARVES are home ready for a headline tour down under.

Kicking off the eight-show Aussie tour in Melbourne on November 2, lead singer Matt Collins says the band is excited to bring new tunes to fans new and old, including their latest single ‘Never Missed Anyone Like I Miss You’ which has been hitting the airwaves around the globe since its launch on October 11.

“Supporting DZ Deathrays and Planet for a 14-show tour across Germany, France, UK, Switzerland, and Belgium has definitely been a highlight for us as a band, and we are playing tighter than ever ready for some East Coast shows back home,” Matt said.

The band met while studying the Bachelor of Contemporary Music at Southern Cross University Lismore campus in Northern NSW. After rehearsing together for a University showcase event, band members - guitar and keyboardist Michael Watson, drummer Fraser Rojo Perrott, bassist Scott Finch and lead singer Matt Collins - found their sound and formed WHARVES.

They went on to win the Triple J Unearthed competition to play on the main stage to Splendour in the Grass in 2017 and launched their debut EP ‘Sooner or Later’ a year ago. Audiences at Bigsound, Falls Festival, Festival of the Sun, Byron Guitar Fest and others have also been treated to WHARVES’ unabashed love affair with guitar rock in a powerful live show. They’ve scored supporting acts with bands including Wolfmother, The Living End, Rolling Blackouts, Kingswood and Dear Seattle.

Having gained the attention of Triple J Unearthed presenters, the boys are becoming go-to spokespeople for starting bands in regional areas and pursuing a career in music outside capital cities.

Southern Cross University was the first in Australia to offer a Bachelor of Contemporary Music. The recording studios at the Lismore campus have been refurbished with state-of-the-art equipment. The Songwriters’ Workshop series, a unique offering of Southern Cross University’s music program for 13 years and presented in partnership conjunction with APRA AMCOS, gives students access to some of the biggest names in Australian music, songwriting and composition. Students also get access to collaborative music-making initiatives, artists and producers at some of Australia’s biggest music events such as Splendour in the Grass, Byron Bay Bluesfest and Mullum Music Festival.

“It’s part of the WHARVES story that we met through studying music at Southern Cross. The access to world class lecturers and facilities really helped kick start us as a band,” Matt said.

“Also, being surrounded by like-minded musicians with similar ambitions is a great reason to study music at University, and the Northern Rivers is a hub for creatives – especially musicians.”

Other music alumni from Southern Cross include The Voice Musical Director Scott Aplin, CMAA-award winning Sydney producer Matt Fell, singer-songwriter Buoy, Yantra de Vilder, and US country music number-one hit songwriter Phil Barton. The University has plans to expand its current creative offerings in 2020.