‘GONE WESTERLY’ TURNS CHALLENGE INTO CHARITY

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By Marty Fluker and Veronica Hall

Gone Westerly are a musical duo based in here in Melbourne’s Inner West.  Together, Marty Fluker and Veronica (V) Hall can be heard playing their original, folksey, bluesey music while out busking around town or performing at one of Yarraville’s local cafes. You may have seen Marty playing his lap steel slide guitar and heard him singing while V plays her 5 string electric violin.

For Marty, writing and playing music has become an essential therapy. As a chronic migraine sufferer he has found that this creative outlet provides a welcome distraction.

“Prior to COVID-19 I couldn’t play guitar at all. It was while I was both locked down and dealing with regular migraines I discovered lap steel guitar – and fell in love with it.  Since then I’ve written over 40 songs and have busked whenever I am able”

V has been playing violin (classical music) since she was a child and has played in some community orchestras in Melbourne, but had never previously improvised or played other styles of music. 

“We decided to form our Gone Westerly duo during the first COVID-19 lock down to deal with the boredom! Marty was my bubble buddy and was learning to play lap steel. I spent hours re-learning how to play the violin and how to improvise” V said.  “Once we had written a few songs and practised them in our lounge rooms, we then thought it would be nice to share our music with others and busking seemed like a good idea.”

From the start, Gone Westerly made the decision to give all busking proceeds to charities who assist people in need and are situated locally (Melbourne based). So far, this duo has passed on over $7,000 to sleepbus and Foodbank Victoria from the people hearing their music and making generous donations.

What’s coming up next? Well, Gone Westerly are hosting a concert in June, together with local jazz sensation Elissa Rodger and some of her students. Gone Westerly want to provide the opportunity for them and other budding musicians to gain experience and exposure as well as raise awareness and more money for Foodbank.

The Foodbank Fundraiser Gig will be held at the Main Stage of Kindred Studios, Yarraville on Saturday afternoon, 11 June. Doors open at 1:00pm, and it will be a 2 hour concert.

Entry to the event is FREE however patrons are encouraged to “pay what they feel” by making a donation to Foodbank on the day. Tickets must be booked in advance from the Eventbrite website (search for “Gone Westerly”).
Donations to Foodbank will be welcomed on 11 June either in cash or by using your phone via the QR code provided.

Gone Westerly and friends would love to see you there and hope that you’ll enjoy the show!

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