Chances are you have heard of FLAP, probably from a friend who saw them live and is now a die-hard fan. Or perhaps YOU are the one who saw them live and now spreads the word.  It’s not the sort of music you hear on commercial radio, with its banjo and horns and lilting lyrics with a sense of humour. But this is a band building a huge fan base by simply being fantastic, and working hard at it. From touring Europe with The Cat Empire, back to the Mornington Winter Jazz Festival by popular demand, Eamon McNelis shared with Pearl some of FLAPs tales from the road.

PEARL: How did you guys form FLAP?
FLAP: Ah, it was at the Port Fairy Folk Festival 2006, maybe it was 2009…Jess was jamming with mark in the Green room, late one night.  I was living with Jess at the time and I very quickly got roped in. And someone said “We should start a band!”

PEARL: FLAP. What a name… Where did that come from?
FLAP: Well, that same night there was a bird struggling against a head wind, desperately trying to get somewhere, and Jess yelled out at it FLAP! And it was more an instruction for life. You know, it doesn’t really matter if you’re not getting anywhere, you just have to keep going, flapping.

PEARL: well, you guys are known for your party atmosphere and energetic stage shows, how do you maintain that vibe show after show?
FLAP; Drinking helps (laughs). No really I think we just feel like it’s our job to bring it and we take that really seriously.

PEARL: If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?
FLAP; Well my girlfriends in the circus, so I think I’d like to do some writing for music for them to perform to.

PEARL: You guys seem to be on the road a bit. Does everyone get along super well? Or do you just avoid each other in the AM?
FLAP: Ha ha, we have to definitely, or we’d kill each other! No we generally do get along great, but you find ways of getting around. Like I read 35 books while we were on our last international tour.

PEARL: Erm, how long were you on tour for?
FLAP: About a month that time, doing a lot of jazz festivals. But when we were supporting the Cat Empire on their European tour that was hectic. We’d drive all day, play a show that night, find somewhere to sleep for a bit, wake up, have a coffee and drive again. It was amazing. We played some great shows, like the Brixton Academy in London to 5000 people. It was terrifying but very fun.

PEARL; So the Mornington Jazz Festival again! What are you most looking forward to this time?
FLAP: The big venue! It’s like we’ve had an upgrade! It’s very exciting. We are gonna crank out our greatest hits about drinking and dancing and other pursuits!

If you are keen to be in the audience when FLAP brings the party to Mornington Winter Jazz Festival on June 8, you can get tickets and more info from www.mornintonjazz.com.au

LOUISE MACGREGOR

 

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