Bendigo Autumn Music Festival Bang on the Money

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Bendigo Autumn Music Festival Bang on the Money

A brand new festival explodes into Bendigo and it is massive. Bendigo Autumn Music Festival (BAM) is a fusion of music, arts, culture with the full program containing 150 performances with artists from regional Victoria, Australia, New Zealand, Mali, Senegal, US, UK, South Africa, Israel, Iraq and Spain. Running from April 25 to 28, the music line-up boasts a boat full of talent with Kurt Vile, Mojo Juju, Tex Perkins and the Fat Rubber Band, Vika and Linda Bull, Sibusile Xaba (Sth Afr), Xylouris White, No Mono, Tiny Ruins (NZ) and Cash Savage and The Last Drinks.

Cash Savage and The Last Drinks will be popping up left, right and centre at the festival, stepping onto the stage twice, headlining Friday in the Tap Room, and doing a late afternoon set at the Ulumbarra Theatre on the Saturday.

“It’s huge, it’s amazing,” Savage says of the inaugural event. “There’s heaps of people on that bill, including Vika and Linda Bull- I’ve never seen a line-up with them on it before and I think that they are two of Australia’s best singers so I’m excited to see them- and I’m excited to see Kurt Vile again. Where do I start? It’s huge! I’m doing two sets with The Last Drinks and then singing with the Indie Voices Saturday so I’m really looking forward to it. It’s going to be great!”

The band will be showcasing a range of songs from their catalogue, particularly tracks from the 2018 ‘Good Citizen’, an album of frustrated arrangements written during the period of the marriage equality plebiscite, a challenging period in Australian history, particularly for Cash and the LGBTQI+ community.

“I didn’t ever really think I would have a political voice,” Savage says. “I guess being a kid of the 80’s I thought politics and music were, you know, Bob Dylan and Bob Geldof and Bono singing for kids and poverty and stuff. For me I hadn’t really delved into that world of political music, I guess I now have more of an understanding of it, but when I was writing ‘Good Citizens’ I wasn’t necessarily writing it as a political stance. I was more writing it as a ‘this is more how I feel now’ and how I was feeling right now was pretty jaded at the current political system,” explains Savage.

She continues, “I guess when I look back at that period I think ‘we have a collective voice that is more powerful than we know’ and that we are told that collectivism as such does not necessarily have any power, and that’s not true because it wasn’t the LBGTQI community that put that vote across, because if it had have just been them it would have been 5-6 per cent… It was quite a strong percentage of the Australian community saying that we’re not going to treat a minority like that and that’s pretty powerful.”

Adding to that voice, Bendigo Autumn Music Festival attendees will be given the chance to showcase theirs. Melbourne Indie Voices (MIV) will be running a workshop to learn Cash Savage and the Last Drinks fourth albums’ title track and perform it with Savage herself. The workshop will recreate and extend on the powerfully haunting choir version arranged by Phia from MIV (Melbourne Indie Voices) and performed by an 18 piece all male ensemble released last year, this time with more of a focus on collective voices of change.

“I feel like there is a segment of the community that is much more likely to listen to people that look and sound like them,” Savage says. “Also I think the message coming from men, it just felt like it would be taken more seriously coming from men than coming from me and for all of the people coming to our shows, it’s me singing it and for all of the people buying our albums they listen to that, but I guess the idea was to get that message to a bigger audience than I could achieve with my own voice and I thought that 18 men could achieve that and that in itself was a statement.”

“It has a different impact [live]. It’s one of the songs that I like performing the most at the moment,” says Savage. “Also people really stand to attention to it and I guess now a lot of people know the words so they sing it with us which is fun and terrifying at the end when everyone is yelling ‘get fucked’ at me” she laughs.

Start practicing your scales and get those vocal gymnastics flying- with Cash Savage taking on Bendigo Autumn Music Festival you won’t want to miss out.

Bendigo Autumn Music Festival takes place Thursday 25 April – Sunday 28 April 2019. Head to for the full lineup and ticketing info.

Written by Tammy Walters
Photo by Naomi Beveridge