Townsville’s Band of the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment – aka the 1RAR Band – will present Rock Swings this weekend. The two shows promise an upbeat night reimagining some of the past decade’s most popular songs. We caught up with Officer Commanding 1RAR Band, Major Matt Chilmaid, to find out what to expect.
Where did the idea behind this particular concert come from?
There has been a growing appetite for remixing, and reimagining, classic and popular songs for the last decade. This is a great way to blend the Band’s love of both Big Band and rock/pop genres in an exciting way.
What will funds raised from the concert go towards?
Proceeds will be divided between Legacy, for the families of those who have served, and Dancenorth’s Community Outreach program, providing dance opportunities for the marginalised in our community.
Can you tell me a bit about the relationship between 1RAR and Dancenorth?
Townville’s two biggest professional arts organisations started their relationship in 2017, partnering on community engagement events such as Dance Tropics Dance and this concert series. Both groups have a strong focus on involvement in the community, world leading professional performances, and charitable events. Our collaboration allows us to combine our strengths to heighten the audience experience.
What sort of music can we expect at the concerts – is dancing encouraged?
From Bruno Mars to Britney Spears, via Phil Collins, KISS, Nelly, Chaka Kahn and many others – this concert features a smorgasbord of popular tunes and artists sourced from the last few decades. Each song has been given a signature 1RAR Band twist, from beautiful ballads to hip shaking Latin makeovers. Groovin’ in the aisles and chair dancing are strongly encouraged!
1RAR have been busy on tour lately – will you be on the road much more this year?
We are currently working on several plans to perform in other parts of North Queensland. Whilst nothing is yet confirmed, look out for us in Cairns, Cooktown, Mackay and Sarina. The recent tour of Western Queensland was a great success. We were able to reach many regional audiences, to focus on community morale and spirit raising, through concert performance. It was wonderful to see so many, who have suffered for so long through drought (and now flood), relax for a while and reconnect with neighbours.
Catch Rock Swings at Dancenorth this Friday and Saturday night, with tickets available here.