Chewin’ the fat with Peach Fur, winners of the 2021 Gold Coast Music Awards Live Act of the Year
By: Malina Hamilton-Smith On: 5 November 2021
We are extremely proud supporters of our local music scene, and that of course includes the Gold Coast community’s very own annual red-carpet music celebration, the Gold Coast Music Awards.
Each year for a number of years now, we’ve had the honour of sponsoring the Live Act of the Year Award, which recognises an original act who consistently performs live to a high standard. Touring experience is taken into account, and this year, consideration was also given to how bands have adapted and maintained their live performing practice during Covid pandemic restrictions.
The winners of this year’s Live Act of the Year Award are the irrepressible Peach Fur, who have managed to storm ahead with scores of sold-out shows across Queensland in spite of the pandemic.
They’ve also kept their fans happy with some brilliantly creative and appealing ideas for sharing their music, such as recording a soul-soothing live acoustic session from a creek in Mudgeeraba in the Gold Coast hinterland, complete with twittering birds and gently babbling water noises – a stroke of genius that transforms the recording and resulting youtube video into a life-affirming and meditation-worthy oasis of calm. Exactly what everyone needed in those uncertain early months of 2020.
We recently caught up with the delightfully fuzzy fellas, Denny Hilder, Benny Crichton, Liam Ward and Mikey Woodworth, for a chat about winning the award and how they’ve managed to succeed despite such a challenging year.
We also thought we’d ask them what gear they use to create their distinctive and dreamy psych-surf rock sound, which has taken them beyond cult band status on the Gold Coast to the nation’s airwaves in a short number of years.
Peach Fur performing to a sold-out crowd at The Tivoli, Brisbane on 20 February 2021. Live photos courtesy photographer Max Wenke.
GCM - How does it feel to win the Gold Coast Music Award for Live Act of the Year?
Peach Fur - Amazing hey! We love playing on the Goldy and we have spent a lot of years looking up to some amazing artists, it's quite uplifting to think we've gotten to the point where we'd be considered the best live act on the coast!
GCM - How do you find the Gold Coast music scene?
Peach Fur - Honestly, the Gold Coast is THE place to be a creative at the moment, there's a unity and a passion that's absolutely shining and it's so warming to see the amount of support and love that comes from every direction. The Gold Coast music scene is one big family of wonderful weirdos.
GCM - Has the pandemic affected you guys much? How have you found the past year and half? – You had a few cancelled gigs back at the start of the shutdown early last year, but since then you guys have managed to play quite a few shows including some pretty big ones, for example your sold out shows at BBQ Bazaar and The Tivoli, and two sold out shows at The Zoo… Things seem to be going really well in spite of the various challenges of the last year. How have you had to adjust to keep up your momentum?
We were very lucky that certain larger shows fell inside some of the more relaxed restrictions but ultimately we lost an uncomfortable amount of revenue through cancelled shows in the last 18 months. Our booking agents have worked very hard to get our fee up to a point where we can finally start to see a return on all the years of pouring time and money down the drain in the pursuit of our dream. We are at a stage where we have to pay thousands of dollars to ensure our releases meet people's expectations but we are not given the opportunity to recoup that money or grow our audience through touring which is incredibly disheartening.
The part that is hardest is that our entire team puts the same amount of work into planning and promoting shows sometimes three or four times over, only to have the pin pulled sometimes as late as the day before the show. All of these people are working for free all throughout the industry just praying that things will get better soon and our resilience will be rewarded.
On a positive note we have been looking inwards and are hoping to expand regional touring within Queensland as a solution to closed borders. We've been blown away by how much support for indie music there is in the country and we want to get out there more!
GCM – Do you have any advice for other local musos finding it tough at the moment?
Get out to shows and introduce yourself to other musos, venue owners, booking agents and production staff. Shake hands, make friends, support the local music community and you will find very quickly that you will have an entire network of support coming back your way whenever you need to promote your music. This means looking up and down in the scene and just being supportive of anyone that is making a genuine attempt to create art. We've got a great family here on the coast and that's one of the reasons we've been able to keep wind in our sails during these hardest of times.
GCM – Very good advice. We are indeed lucky to have such a supportive, inclusive and pretty resilient scene here.
OK…. The Peach Fur sound captures some classic psychedelic elements – trippy, shimmering pedal effects like phasers, tremolos, echo delays and such that hark back to the 60s. Can you share with us what gear you guys use live?
Oh god, here we go!
Denny Wilder (guitar, lead vox)
Benny (lead guitar)
My go to set up to play live is using my white Fender American Stratocaster, maple neck stocked with 10-46 Elixir strings.
Running a clean - semi dirty tone through my orange thunder-verb 50 amp head and 4-12 orange cab.
My pedal board has some nice tones with the Strymon Big Sky for reverb, Dunlop Crybaby Wah, vintage Boss DC-3 Digital Dimension, which I leave the level on most of my songs for some subtle chorus tones. Ibanez Tube Screamer I use a lot for gain boosting. Boss DS1X Distortion for juicy solo action. Boss PH3 Phaser. Eathquaker Nightwire for some trippy tremolo. This is just to name a few.
Liam (bass + backing vocals)
Running through a Fender Rumble 350w bass amp.
Peddle board consist of a tuner, Bass Big Muff fuzz pedal and some trippy voodoo lab tremolo guitar pedal
I play a red sparkle Pearl Masters Maple 5 piece kit bought from some legends at a music store in Southport...
- Promark FireGrain 5A drumsticks
- Black Beauty Ludwig snare
- 14 in A custom Zildjian crash
- 19 inch K Zildjian sweet crash
- 21 inch A custom medium Zildjian ride
GCM - Do you use the same gear to record? If not, what gear do you prefer to record with?
Yeah, effectively we will use all that gear to record. We also have a great network of friends that we will borrow anything and everything from to try and chase new sounds in the studio. Generally we have a few days to work with and while you might run the one set up on stage, it can be beneficial to experiment in recording. We've used a plethora of different guitars, pedals, cymbals and snares trying to find the right sound for any given song. As you probably know, most roads lead back to Fender at the end of the day haha.
GCM - Mikey just came into the store a couple of weeks ago and bought a brand new kit... : ) ... It's a pretty damn sexy red kit. What was it about the Pearl Masters kit that appealed?
Ultimately it was Bryan Ferrysexual (Glenn's) amazing service that got us to that kit! He took the time to pull down all different kicks and we tried different combos of gear to try and find what sounded and felt the best. We were in three days running swapping things in and out. The ultimate selling points of that kit were its monstrous kick, two rack toms (uncommon in the indie scene but a big deal for Mikey) and that gorgeous red sparkle. When Glenn chucked in that ridiculous Black Beauty snare it really all came together and there was no way it wasn't leaving the store with Mikey haha.
GCM - What’s coming up next for you guys?
We have a few local shows coming up, some postponed festival slots will hopefully be able to go ahead along with the more regular headline shows. We will be hitting the studio again soon to try and get the next singles down and once they are complete we can re-re-reschedule our AUS/NZ tour and get out on the road again!
GCM – Awesome. We’ll look forward to those shows. Anything else you'd like to add?
Just that we are thankful to have a store on the Coast like GC Music. Fully stocked stores have been few and far between in the internet age and what Stewy and the crew have done building the store up from where it was only a couple of years ago is amazing! The service you guys provide is always amazing and I don't think we've ever had to pay the ticket price, they reward being a regular customer by trying to help out however they can. SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL MUSIC STORE!
GCM- Awwwww… J J Thanks for the kind words, fellas, we do our best! Thanks so much for chatting with us. Congrats again and all the best for the year ahead!
You can check out the sweet Creek Session acoustic version of Preloved from Peach Fur’s 2020 Awake EP below, and to explore more of Peach Fur’s music, visit www.peachfur.band/music.