The Bottlers are performing at the Northern Beaches Festival in Narrabeen this weekend, the grand finale to a multicultural event that features a diverse range of arts, crafts and food, with music on five stages.
50 live music acts appear over two days beside picturesque Narrabeen Lagoon at The Tramshed and Berry Reserve, with The Bottlers , a boisterous folk-punk hybrid, closing the festivities on the Lakeview Stage.
Manly Observer caught up with The Bottlers’ frontman Matthew Black, and grilled the Aussie battler about what they’re bottling up and whether a genie will be released…
How’s life in The Bottlers’ camp?
“Pretty damned good!” he declared. “The last three months we’ve had a bit of a lull in gigs just to have a breather and not over-play. To rummage up some life stuff, alphabetise our sock drawers and set a few things in motion to FINALLY release our album Advance Australia Fear that got kicked in the pants a bit due to covid.
“But better late than never and best done great then better. We’re really looking forward to the rev up playing gigs again across the land.”
Anything noteworthy we can look forward to for your performance at the Northern Beaches Music Festival [eg: new song, new member, new beards?]
“Well I’m personally looking forward to seeing the beach in Christ-knows how long,” Matthew considered. “I mean we get the ocean here in Parramatta [his home town] but by the time it’s gotten down the river it’s brown and full of shopping trolleys. And I’m pretty sure hoisting into the soup on your boogie board in Parramatta may cause some kind of Ninja Turtles-style mutation!
“The good folk of Northern Beaches Music festival have also called us in for a 7am kick off on the telly on Sunrise [Channel 7 TV] on the day of the festival. So that should be a fun little number with just a scattering of us, before the full band headlines in the evening.”
Is this your first trek to Sydney’s Northern Beaches to play?
“It’s my first trek to Sydney’s northern beaches in any capacity in about five years I think,” he reveals. “So definitely our first round of the floor amongst the beaches there. Always loved the idea of getting out there and playing some tunes since throughout previous decades that corner of the map had such a brilliant tradition hosting some of Australia’s most iconic acts, especially within the realms of pub rock.
“I’m really looking forward to conversationally picking the brains of locals who used to see those bands blaze a mighty trail along the venue tracks out that way. I feel it’s always good to hear a few tales of Sydney and it’s outer regions past when there weren’t casinos and lock-outs and lockdowns and pokies weren’t so prolific and somehow attempt to replicate those times and energy.
“The good people of Sydney are still ready, willing and able to set celebratory fires to the weekends…”
You’re the last band on the last day of the festival, effectively the farewell act. Might it be a raucous session or a ‘gently go into the good night’ to sign off the weekend?
“School nights be damned!” he replied. “Especially when we’ve all been decked out for so long drenched in streaming services, smart phones, food deliveries and general home bodying.
“Nothing better at any time than brushing off the cobwebs, kicking up the dust (or in this case, the sand) and tearing a few speakers asunder. I have a good faith in the good folk of the Northern Beaches to show us Sydney slickers what a party is all about!”
Northern Beaches folk, you have been warned, get your dancing shoes ready!
Northern Beaches Music Festival website
Weekend program of music
Festival location: Berry Reserve, 1395 Pittwater Rd, Narrabeen
Cost: $100 for whole weekend, $70 per day Saturday and Sunday.
Free Stage Lakeside + World Food & Market Stalls 9am – 7pm (Sat and Sun).
Music indoors Sat 5 Nov 11am – 11pm
Music indoors Sun 6 Nov 11am – 9pm