On a cold autumn’s night, hundreds of music enthusiasts, environmental activists, and generally cool people gathered at the Evelyn Hotel to help raise funds for one of Australia’s most vibrant environment collectives, Quit Coal
. The aptly named, Quitcoalapalooza, was a night filled with heart-felt folk, stompin' funk acoustic rock, garage, and gamelan inspired polyphonic ambient beats. The diversity in music was a sure match for the diversity in crowd. Throughout the night, the room was a-flurry with laughter as some of Melbourne’s finest slam-poets and impromptu comedians also took to the stage. Everguide took time out after the show to interview lead singer Paul Connor of headline band, Wildcat General Strike
So Paul, what compelled you to come out and perform for free after one of Melbourne’s coldest autumn days on record?
I love music and I don't love the coal industry killing our planet, so the night ticked a couple of key boxes for me. Also no one told me it would be so cold.
What is the significance of your band’s name?
Ah, a wildcat strike is one that happens without any official leadership or unions calling for it, and a general strike is one that involves workers from all sorts of fields, like what happened in Egypt recently. A wildcat general strike is a combination of the two. It was kind of like a meme put out there by the magazine Adbusters before they thought of the whole Occupy thing. It hasn't caught on yet.
Quit Coal is obviously an anti-mining activist group. So do you think music plays any role in bringing about social and political change?
That's a very good question. I think there may be too many variables involved in social change to ever give a scientific answer as to what causes what so i'll sit on the fence and say I don't know. It sounds good though.
Do you feel this night was a success?
Sure do! We all had a blast and we also raised some serious coin for the fantastic work that Quit Coal is doing, which was great to be a part of.
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