STACK‘s Roving Reporter stops in at JB Hi-Fi Oxley Home (QLD) to chat music with Music and Movies Co-ordinator, Tammy Whitelaw.
Has anyone sent Brisbane the memo about the failing health of live music venues in Australia? If so, it got lost. “Brisbane’s so exciting for live music – we’ve got the Fortitude Music Hall opening this year,” says music and movies coordinator at JB Oxley Home, Tammy Whitelaw.
She describes the venue (which is the newest project between Powderfinger’s John Collins and builder Scott Hutchison, who co-own another titan of Brissie’s live scene, The Triffid) as a “massive addition” to her city’s cultural life, and she should know – she’s a live music devotee. “I saw Kasey Chambers at CMC Rocks recently; she is just one of the best live entertainers in Australia,” she says, adding that Sharon Van Etten and Jack River are in her calendar for the coming months. Tammy’s interest in strong female musicians began back in high school with Patti Smith and PJ Harvey, the latter of whom she’s seen several times, but: “I never saw Patti live, and I kick myself for not seeing her when she was here for Bluesfest recently!”
Tammy’s a child of the CD era, but it hasn’t bound her. “I have that music bug, so when the vinyl resurgence started I jumped on board,” she says. “I feel like a bit of a novice with vinyl, but for me, it’s always just about the music – so I’ve ventured in.” She’s stoked for the new vinyl shelving that’s just been fitted at the Oxley store, and how happy it’ll make her regulars. “They’re not afraid to explore new, exciting artists,” she explains, as they’re just as likely to pick up Billie Eilish’s recent debut on the black wax as they are classic rock or alternative.
Of the new batch, she’s been flogging Alex Lahey’s The Best Of Luck Club and admits she “drove [her colleagues] a bit crazy” with repeated spins of Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour.
She’s also further indulging her passion with a brand new endeavour into live music writing, which can only complement the best part of her role at JB: “Talking about music, connecting with people about music – it’s really the thing that I love most, especially with the wide mix of people you get coming to JB. You just can’t beat that.”