The Potbelleez

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The Potbelleez

Along with being recognised for their electrifying, melodic dance anthems, The Potelleez are also known for their vibrant energy and their fun-loving, laid back attitude. The first sign comes from their sarcastic name, a reference to the guys pot bellies.
The second is evident from Forté’s chat with lead singer Ilan Kidron, who beamed with enthusiasm and burst into song within the first few seconds of the interview.

“Talia, check this out, check this out: ‘I asked her her name, then I asked her again ay ay, ay ay’,” Ilan sings, strumming together the first few lines of what could possibly be a future single.

“I think I just came up with the first new line of a song. So glad I forgot your name after asking it 10 seconds before,” he laughs, still strumming along to the Ukulele.
Living in Los Angeles for the past two years and occasionally travelling to Sydney for gigs, the cheery vocalist is full of enthusiasm, harnessing the opportunity to work on his music in the middle of Sydney’s Centennial Park with his staffy, Pop.

Following The Potbelleez 2008 self-titled album and their 2011 follow-up album Destination Now, Ilan and his two band mates have been slowly drip-feeding their fans with single releases, and are sure to perform an energetic dance set for the beer-loving crowd at the Great Australian Beer Festival in Geelong this month, which returns for it’s fifth year with more than 200 brews on offer.

“It’s very apt for the Potbelleez. We’ve played beer festivals before, and they are obviously just a hoot,” Ilan says, before giving an insight into their headlining performance at the festival, set amongst the abundance of pop up bars.

“We love playing songs for us and for the audience so it’s a balance. It’s all got to do with the show, if it’s good on a day to play lots of oldies and chuck a few newbies in great, but if it’s more appropriate and we’re feeling like it, we’ll do a more experimental set. The whole thing is that it’s banging and it’s pounding, and we take people on a journey.

“It all comes down to one thing and that’s energy. And you know, that’s what music does and that’s why we’re in it.”

With anthems loved by a generation of Australian clubber’s and festival goers, these electrifying DJs make this festival their grand return to Geelong since 2012, where they originally performed as a four-piece before the departure of MC Blue that same year.

“Look it feels like a band of brothers now, we’re tied together. It’s a really tight unit and we just have fun and there’s no issues any more. It just used to be quite political, now it’s just an absolute cruise and we love each other,” he explains.
“It doesn’t feel like we’ve been forced to move in together or anything, metaphorically speaking.”

Releasing two singles in 2016, with the guys putting their own spin on The Isley Brothers classic ‘Shout’, Ilan reflects on their consistent style and direction of music.
“I don’t think we have changed in any way whatsoever. We’re all in it for the same reason. We say at every gig – we’re here for the music.

“We don’t aim to write anything for radio, we don’t aim to write anything except for what we want to do these days – and hopefully everyone comes along for the ride. It’s our own style. We can mix it up – you can have ukulele with what we do frankly. But it is meant to get everyone pumped and feeling different shades of greatness.”

The Potbelleez of course are best known for their critically acclaimed track ‘Don’t Hold Back’, from their self-titled debut album, which was co-written, and still loved, by Ilan.

“It is one of our favourites. You never get sick of your own smell. It’s like, some days it smells good, some days it’s bad, but it’s your smell and you love it. It’s like you can have a beer on a hangover can’t you? It’s the same with the song. It’s a very jestful song.

“And we love throwing it out to the people as well. They sing it back, we mix it up, we change the versions we are playing, we could do like a Ukulele version,” he says, strumming his Ukulele and breaking out in the first line of the chorus.

Between quoting The Simpsons episodes about beer, and self-admittingly a bit of clown, Ilan touches on the bands upcoming plans for 2017.

“We’ve got a single coming out in two months which I can’t disclose because we’re choosing between two really hot tracks, but it’s all about the energy for us. It [our future music]is probably going to be big, dance music tracks,” he reveals.

“Day by day we’ll figure out what we do. It’s been a pretty tough year actually, not for our job, just personally, so it’s about re-focusing. Things happen that you least expect, so you just have to get over it, strengthen and improve your foundation all the time.

“As for now, I might just get back to playing my Ukulele in the soft breeze.”

When & Where: Geelong Racecourse – February 18 2017

For tickets and more information visit the website.

Written by Talia Rinaldo