Havea makes his return

Simon Wooldridge | Bendigo Weekly | 11-Jan-2018


Tongan-born, Melbourne-raised, and now resident of Germany, singer-songwriter Joel Havea makes a welcome return to Bendigo after almost three years.

Havea has played more than 500 gigs in more than 20 countries since 2012 – an impressive schedule for the young performer who fuses blues, roots, reggae, soul, and pop. 

Havea has been compared to the likes of Jason Mraz, Ben Harper and Jack Johnson. His mixed Tongan-Dutch heritage also influences his unique musical style.

Havea’s travels have seen him play in Piraeus in Greece, a 1000-year-old castle in Germany, in Mauritius, and across Asia. 

He has previously recorded material in Poland. Quite the musical internationalist. He’s set to check in at Bendigo’s Old Church on the Hill – an ideal venue for his distinctive sound – on Friday, January 19. 

He comes to Australia on the back of his well-received 2017 album, Setting Sail.  This tour, which encompasses 12 dates across Victoria and New South Wales, sees Havea joined by his brother, Dave, aka Auto Luna. 

The brothers learned their live craft, playing together in the mid-2000s in Melbourne.

Late last year Havea wrote and recorded a seven-track soundtrack to accompany a book, Rowan and Eris, written by Germany-based, Australian author, Campbell Jefferys. 

“I wrote the music in character, as Rowan Davidson, bringing the songs described and mentioned in the book to life,” Havea said. The book is due for a February release.

Joel Havea plays at The Old Church on the Hill on Friday, January, 19. Doors at 7.30pm. Admission is $15. Support comes from popular Bendigo singer-songwriter, Trevor Petrie.

Damaged Goods Ltd is a covers band with a difference. 

The Weekly spoke with bassist Phil Reed ahead of their Golden Vine gig next Saturday, January 20.

“We cover some numbers by Wishbone Ash and Jethro Tull,” Reed said. 

“Stuff you don’t often hear on the pub circuit. But it’s more the way we play everything. We do Deep Purple – but without the keyboards. We get a very full sound though.”

Their repertoire extends back even further, “We do Chuck Berry, and The Easybeats in what we call Aztec-style – as in Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs. We heavy them up.”

Damaged Goods Ltd is a Castlemaine-based four-piece. Reed is joined by Shane Biggs on vocals, Phil Sidgwick on drums, and Steve Taylor on guitar. 

They’re all seasoned performers, but this particular outfit has only been together for around six months. 

“We have a ripper guitarist who can do the Stevie Ray Vaughan stuff that not many guitarists can touch,” Reed said. 

“And we found a really good singer in Shane. Phil (Sidgwick, drummer) and I have played in bands together before.”

Damaged Goods Ltd are forging a name for themselves in the Western Highway to Melbourne corridor. This will be only their second Bendigo gig, and a Golden Vine debut.

Doors at 8.30pm on Saturday, January 20. Entry is $5.

– Simon Wooldridge

Twitter: @spwooldridge


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