When you venture into West End, Brisbane, you never know who you'll meet or end up jamming with.
Just ask 4101 resident and local legend Ofa Fanaika. The Chocolate Strings, Captain Dreamboat musician has reignited the regular Sunday West End jams with CHURCH happening every Sunday afternoon at The Bearded Lady.
A couple of Sundays ago (5 February), Ofa was at the bar during the intermission for the very first CHURCH when she began chatting with an American man. Unbeknown to Ofa at the time, she was chatting with Frank Ferrer aka the Guns N' Roses drummer.
She invited him up onto The Bearded Lady stage to jam with the local musicians of 4101. “I asked him what the name of his band was called, and he said a rock band called 'The Gunners' and asked if I'd heard of 'em. I said nah... but that doesn't mean much.
"I'm a bit out of the loop with these kinds of things. Always heaps of rad stuff happening in the neighbourhood, so I get a bit sheltered here.”
When 'Franky' is called up he starts laying out a shuffle where the rest of the musicians start vibing on it, fleshing out some gospel feels where Ofa comes in to lay down some vocals. “I was definitely feeling it. So I improvised a bunch of lyrics and got deep into it. Was an experience to remember.”
Kel Timmons (Bankrupt Billionaires) who later joins in on vocals as the jam progressed was amazed by Franky's appearance. “I know we have something special in West End. It's not unusual that big name artists (with spirit) sniff us out when they're on tour here. They see it too.
“I've seen it many times with many artists that have been to many places. That's how I know it's not just bias. People get impressed and uplifted.”
Ofa wishes to encourage musicians to come along with their instruments to these Sunday sessions and join in on the amazing talent the 4101 holds. Because you never know what is going to come out of West End: it might just be the drummer from Guns N’ Roses.CHURCH takes place every Sunday at The Bearded Lady (Brisbane) from 3pm. Free entry.