Sydney six-piece Winston Surfshirt had their best year in 2017 and plan to keep the momentum going with more live shows and new material.
Taking part of their name from Dr Winston O'Boogie, the moniker famously used by John Lennon (Winston was also Lennon's middle name), the group originated as a solo project for titular frontman Winston Surfshirt.
Since 2014 they have developed into a full sextet that has earned a loyal following from their dynamic live performances.
Last year saw the band finally release their debut album 'Sponge Cake', which Winston says had already been recorded prior to the band being picked up by a record label.
“The album had already been written and recorded but then we got picked up by a label, so then it took a while longer for it to actually come out. I'm glad it's finally out now,” Winston says.
'Sponge Cake' is a defining debut album for Winston Surfshirt, encompassing the band's broad, sonic palette and succinctly showcasing Winston's skills as a lyricist, vocalist and rapper.
The album has earned high praise from both fans and critics, particularly for the two singles 'Be About You' and 'Ali D', allowing the band to sell-out their national tour last year.
Although 'Sponge Cake' has been a significant launch pad for the band and their foray into national and international touring circuits, Winston quietly downplays its success and dismisses any notion of concern about how he'll follow it up. “The album hasn't gone that well, really,” he says.
“So I'm not really worried about [the next record]; I'll just keep writing and doing what I do.”
Despite his own, modest assessment of how well 'Sponge Cake' has fared, Winston Surfshirt have managed to acquire some fans in high places, namely Elton John who recently specified the group on a list of emerging Australian artists in which he is personally interested.
Not bad for an album that 'hasn't gone that well'. Last year the band also made several high-profile live performances supporting RUFUS on their national tour as well as opening for Midnight Oil's comeback show prior to their world tour.
Winston Surfshirt extend their live prowess to Groovin The Moo this year, playing alongside contemporaries such as Alex Lahey, Vera Blue and Skegss (click here to read our February 2018 interview with the band) as well as more established acts like the genuine Aussie legend Paul Kelly, who Winston affectionately calls 'the bomb'.
In an added bonus for GTM audiences, they'll most likely get a double shot of Winston when he performs with his own band and also good mates Cosmo's Midnight, who he collaborated for their track 'Get To Know'.
Winston says he is relishing the opportunity to strut the GTM festival stage twice and give the crowd one hell of a good show. “Cosmo's Midnight are playing Groovin The Moo as well so I'll probably be jumping up with them to do 'Get To Know', which I'm really looking forward to.”
Groovin The Moo Tour DatesFri 27 Apr - Adelaide Showground (Wayville, SA)
Sat 28 Apr - Maitland Showground (NSW)
Sun 29 Apr - University of Canberra (ACT)
Sat 5 May - Bendigo’s Prince of Wales Showground (VIC)
Sun 6 May - Murray Sports Complex – Townsville Cricket Grounds (QLD)
Sat 12 May - Hay Park (Bunbury, WA)