Songs of hope and passion

KC and the Moonlight Band performing at the Loona Lounge. This Friday, the Loona Lounge will host a 'protest song' songwriting challenge. IMAGE: Your View Queensland

One look at the news will tell you the world has seen better days. Entire countries are in turmoil; unsuspecting innocent people aren’t given the chance to live a full life; Donald Trump.

There is so much happening, not just overseas, but in our own backyard. And this Friday night, a lineup of Townsville’s most talented musicians will sing about the issues that are on their mind.

The Loona Lounge’s annual songwriting challenge returns to the Commonwealth Hotel on Friday, with this year’s theme ‘protest song.’ Loona Lounge organiser Lu Dulvarie said the theme of the night couldn’t have come at a better time.

“We do a yearly song challenge and had picked the date and were bouncing ideas around for the theme. After a rather emotional conversation with my son about Adani (my son works for the Department of Natural Resources and Mines), I thought ‘Protest Song Challenge’. I know there are so many issues in our world that people want to have a say about, and music is one of the best ways to get a message through,” said Lu.

“Song Challenges are something we will keep doing. As writers we do get writer’s block. We have had artists that thank us because they would never have written a new song if they didn’t get a little inspiration, or write a song with that content as it’s not something that comes to mind.  It takes you out of your comfort zone and gets the creative juices flowing.

“Music has the ability to bring people together to bring awareness to so many issues – be it good or bad. As Michael Franti says, ‘We can bomb the world into pieces, but we can’t bomb it into peace.’”

The songwriting challenge will feature a full roster of both Loona Lounge regulars as well as new faces.

“We are really impressed as there are a lot of artists new to Loona and some regular supporters, so will be posting the lineup before Friday.

“A band recently said to us, ‘You guys have created a place for live music, with a format and vibe people want to go to and which artists want to play at because of the ease of walking in, plug in and play, with great sound.’ That is exactly what we wanted to do, be inclusive: we love all types of music and try to offer a wide range of styles to the punters. Our main aim was to be ‘more than an open mic’.

“Loona has gotten to a point where we are booked out most Chalkboard Nights and the artists are of such a high calibre – every musician, emerging or established, needs to have that environment to grow.”

Catch the Loona Lounge ‘Protest Song’ songwriters challenge at the Commonwealth Hotel this Friday from 6:30pm. The artist lineup includes Twisted Whisker, Kitten Crash and TOO FOLD, with a full artist roster on the Protest Song Facebook event.

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