Hussy Hicks have been making a name for themselves since the arrival of their first LP in 2008.
The 11-track Life Plays Out, was the maiden collection of songs for the band, but for guitarist Julz Parker a history of playing and touring in bands spans long before the inaugural Hussy Hicks release.
Since then, the band has expanded, adding more members and subsequently more instrumentation, but guitarist Julz’ self-explained guitar geekiness has stood the test of time.
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With multiple performances coming up for the band at the Melbourne Guitar Show on Saturday and Sunday March 4 and 5, Julz is looking forward to not only showcasing the versatility of Hussy Hicks, but the satisfaction that will come from perusing new guitar constructions and trailblazing technology.
“We are playing a set with the big band,” says Julz. “Doing the acoustic jam with Nick Charles, both on Saturday. Then on Sunday we will be playing an acoustic set, in duo mode. Then we will also be hanging around for the blues roulette jam later that day.”
“I will definitely be walking around and checking out any of the workshops that I can, and any new things from instrument manufacturers, pedal makers and all that absolutely geeky stuff. The rest of the band will probably go and get a pub lunch and I’ll just keep geeking out. I am all about that stuff.”
This self-described geekiness has been something that Julz established in primary school. She was a 10-year-old student that would regularly been seen carrying a guitar around the campus she attended.
“I am a card-carrying guitar geek,” says Julz. “I was that kid who just carried a guitar round at school every day. I had the guitar player magazine on first reserve at the local library from when I was ten.”
While they join a bill packed with talent – Eric Bibb, Nick Johnston and Steph Strings just to name a few – there actually couldn’t be a more fitting band to have playing at the Melbourne Guitar Show than Hussy Hicks.
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Now with six studio albums in their discography, the band still identifies their live shows as the true strength to their repertoire. An experience that if one is lucky enough to have can expect key songs to construct the foundations of a show, but with lots of experimentation and fluidity acting as the conduits that sew the performances together.
“Generally, there will be some songs where the recorded version goes a certain way,” says Julz. “But for live performances there is room to expand that, to linger on an idea and see where it goes.”
“We are very much a live band. Above all that’s our main strength, we’ve all been playing since we were children. The live environment is really where we are most at ease and we come alive the most. The more engaged the audience the better the show.”
And if you can’t make it to the Melbourne Guitar Show to see Hussy Hicks who are based in Lismore on the Northern New South Wales Coast, the band are making the most of their trip down south. They have a show at The Wesley Anne in Northcote on Friday March 3. However, they are spending another week in Victoria with shows at multiple festivals the weekend that follows the Melbourne Guitar Show.
“We are getting into Melbourne on the 2nd,” says Julz. “We obviously do the Wesley Anne show on the 3rd and then the Melbourne Guitar Show that weekend, but we are hanging around too, because the following weekend we are playing the chillout festival in Daylesford and Arches Creek, down near Phillip Island, so we’ve got about two weekends in that greater Melbourne area.”
The Wesley Anne gig will see Hussy Hicks performing a double set in celebration of their EP launch.
“This is the second half of our EP launch so at this stage we will probably play both sets. We have 6 albums and it’s fun to have a bit more time to explore the set. At this stage we are just going to play a nice long show.”
With all the shows upcoming gratitude seems to be the prevailing attitude for Julz, who is by far and large a lover of all things guitar.
“I won’t count my blessings too quick, but so far it’s been great.”
The Melbourne Guitar Show will be held at Caulfield Racecourse on March 4 & 5, 2023. Visit the new Melbourne Guitar Show site for the latest show announcements and information.
This article was made in partnership with Melbourne Guitar Show.