Would you rather? Kids EP Launch Party | 12pm, Saturday, 18 November 2023 | The Great Club, Marrickville
Josh Shipton and the Blue Eyed Ravens are familiar faces in Sydney's Inner West music scene. You may have experienced Josh hosting a show dressed as a clown bride (or probably more memorably, still dressed in this costume in a Macca's drive-thru) or many of his other shenanigans. However, if you have heard the emotionally raw and heavy music the Ravens play, the last thing you would think is "Hey, they should make a children's album!". But like a clown in a drive-thru, they are the unexpected.
"I want kids to see that there are weird and wonderful adults in their own community."
You may be wondering, what inspired such a severe change in genre? Why put on an all-ages show at The Great Club this Saturday? As you can imagine, I had a lot of questions. So I went straight to the source, Mr Josh Shipton, to get some answers.
"I wrote the title track “Do You Wanna?” with my cellist’s daughters Summer and Lilly and they pestered me to record and release it until it finally came together. I also wanted to release something of quality that wasn’t too serious. So much of the Ravens stuff is really serious, heavy and emotionally intense that I thought we should have a bit of levity. Also… I like being unpredictable", explained Josh.
What has had me bursting with excitement the last month in the lead up to this EP launch is 1) I've heard Josh perform "Do You Wanna?" and it may be my favourite song ever 2) The show's lineup is filled with mad geniuses; Sandwich Magic, S.Miles and Doctor Robot - that if you have had the pleasure of witnessing, always have the crowd giggling and dancing the night away.
Josh describes what to expect from the show best,
"A variety show of local entertainment. When I had seen acts like Sandwich Magic, S.Miles and Doctor Robot I had always thought that kids would LOVE them. They’re great adult entertainment but I want kids to see that there are weird and wonderful adults in their own community. The Ravens will be doing both a kids' set and an adult set. There’ll be sing-alongs and silly dances and fun for everyone. No swears I promise".
Why would I spend my precious Saturday at a gig? I know we've all thought it. But never fear, you're night's still clear! This show is the rarely seen in the wild, afternoon gig. Starting at 12pm - enjoy kooky, dazzling entertainment and be home in time for dinner (or to go to a bar or something if you're an extrovert with youthful energy). Josh has thought of it all,
"Well… I dislike waking up in the morning, so I’m really taking one for the team BUT I think there’s a place for a matinee not just to entertain kids but also for an audience that works all week and are asleep by ten at night. I also like that I can go get some dinner after the show and it’s not a burger at 2am".
Waking up early is not the only thing that Josh is willing to do for the Sydney music scene. He is making music, gigging, producing shows and cheerleading, listening to and giving out friendship to fellow local artists all year round with relentless energy and enthusiasm. The music scene can be hard and unforgiving, and just plain tiring...so, how does Josh do it?
"Oh! I’m a lifer. I don’t have another option. Sure, I could have an extremely successful career in market research but I find the reward in art a little higher than collecting data. I’m extraordinarily lucky to be able to work in the arts and it would be offensive of me to not do my best to make my community a weirder place. And while I have something to say and give I will say and give it."
I admire Josh's outlook so much and agree wholeheartedly. What a privilege it is to find such joy in art and to be able to make it, listen to it and be around it. I know I'm preaching just a little, but we are so lucky in Sydney (particularly the Inner West) to be able to discover good, interesting, a little weird live music around every corner.
Josh really understands the power and importance of the live gig, so you know it's going to be a great show,
"Very simply, [gigs] bring people together. They create a connection between all different types of people. They create a sense of community. And they talk to our emotions and what makes us human in a very direct and intimate way."
Now you've heard all the reasons why you should join me at The Great Club this Saturday. I'll leave it to Josh to sum it up...
"Because there genuinely won’t be another all-ages show like it this year. Because it’s cheap. Because your kids deserve the best entertainment available in their town."
So there you have it. Buy your tickets now.