Bio and Quotes
A fiery yet charming five piece band of brass, guts, words and skins who crank out up-tempo songs, turning ordinary shoes into dancing ones.
From Melbourne, Australia, Flap! play original music that is both old and new, inspired by the entire human diaspora. Influences from 1920’s jazz, Gypsy brass, English Folk and Trinidadian Calypso can be heard peeping through their antipodean veneer.
From major festivals, to grotty pubs, Flap! have audiences smiling and dancing wherever and whenever they play.
Formed during an informal jam at the 2007 Port Fairy Folk Festival (Victoria, Australia) and playing their first gig at the Woodstock Cafe at Christiania, Copenhagen that same year, Flap! have since become Festival favourites all across Australia. Performing at the 2008 Port Fairy Folk Festival, and the 2009 Apollo Bay Festival where they wowed the crowds, and got them off their fold-up chairs and on their feet dancing, The Tarerer Festival, The Melbourne International Jazz Festival, The Melbourne International Comedy Festival, The Rainbow Serpent Festival, The Brunswick Music Festival, The Thredbo Jazz Festival, Falls Festival, The Woodford Folk Festival, The Adelaide Cabaret Festival, The National Folk Festival, The Tasmanian Circus Festival and heaps of other gigs to happy punters all over Melbourne and Australia. Their self-titled Debut CD was released in late 2008.
Words of Praise for Flap!:
John McAuslan – Director, Brunswick Music Festival. Oct. 2008
Jamie McKew – Director, Port Fairy Folk Festival. Oct. 2008
David Campbell -Artistic Director , Adelaide Cabaret Festival
Caroline Moore – Director, Apollo Bay Music Festival. May. 2009
Flap! are an astonishing band. Their music is difficult to categorize in terms of musical genre or style, I’ll leave that to the journalists and publicists. What is easy to say is that their music is energetic, up-beat, harmonious, cheeky, enjoyable, impressive, their lyrics clever, amusing, slightly edgy without being confronting.
Consisting of top-rate instrumental musicians, with catchy, quirky and energetic original songs, they provide infectious entertainment. Each musician is highly skilled and experienced in many areas of music and the Showbizniz. Apart from being in the business of creating fun they are also serious professionals who will Get The Job Done.
I’ve had the pleasure of knowing these musicians personally and musically for many years and witnessing their respective developments from well before they banded together to form flap! They have each established themselves securely in the Melbourne music scene by virtue of their musicianship, adaptability, personality and professionalism. The result is a band made up of seasoned and dedicated artists combining to make something quite unique and special.
If you didn’t either dance to the music, laugh with the lyrics, marvel at the instrumental skills or fall in love with one of the singers, then you obviously weren’t there……
Steve Grant – musical director, CW Stoneking and his Primitive Horn Orchestra
From very mainstream rock fans at The Falls Festival to a very family oriented crowd at Edinburgh Gardens in inner city Melbourne, Flap! consistently find a way to reach into every crowd and get them dancing. This band of virtuosic musicians, who have cooked up a winning blend of hard swing, good time music really are the business. They have the songs, they have the chops and they are easy on the eye to boot…. Flap! are, quite simply, a sure thing.
Ian Pidd, Programming Artistic Director, The Village.
Flap! are inimitable to the Melbourne (nay, Australian) music scene. Not a pinch of indie-electro or arrogant rock-wank about them; this delightful five piece make joyous, earthy tunes that make you dance and smile. Simple as that! Led by vocalist/uke player Jess Guille and co-vocal/ trumpet man Eamon McNelis, the band played from their debut self-titled record… Think Barons of Tang led by an adorable blonde with a honey-sweet voice. Gypsy jazz. Swing. Big band. Melodramatic Popular Song. Call them what you will, I can’t classify them for the life of me.
Token tracks for this beaming punter were Eamon’s lyrical wit in Tomorrow is a Fat Man (it’s as good as it sounds) and Down, Down, Down; an ode to the fun and frivolity of being young, in good company and as careless as you can make yourself…. Flap! kept everyone on their feet with their gorgeously sweet and spicy tunes. I can’t say enough about these guys, except: they’re amazing. GET INTO IT.
Lisa Dib, The Dwarf Online Music Mag 2009
The Pulse FM 2009
“It was quite a random and unbelievable incident, even for Melbourne,” says Guille, reflecting on the night not so long ago where the entire audience, as well as the band, went au naturale. “But if we managed to achieve nudeness in all of Australia’s states and territories we could all die happy. Honestly though, it is definitely one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced. Wear clean underpants when at our shows, you never know when the collective urge will strike to strip off again.”
This year sees Flap! appearing for the second time at Woodford, and Guille is full of praise for the event.
“We’re quite excited about heading back up to Woodford. Last year was so amazing. We felt like our lucky numbers just kept getting called. We’ve all been preparing mentally and physically for this year’s week in festival land, as it’s certainly quite a challenge to mind and body, but one we have been practicing for. I can say without doubt that Woodford is the best festival I’ve ever been to. I won’t forget my gumboots this year, that’s for sure.”
And not only will we be seeing an album from Flap! next year, but they’re already planning a return trip to the north.
“At this stage we’re planning to get into the studio fairly early in the New Year. It’s not that far away really, time is a speedy beast. Here’s hoping it all goes smoothly and we get the new record on the road STAT. We’re hoping to get back up into sunny Queensland in March/April. As for what you’ll hear, our sound is bit jazzy, a bit calypso-y, a bit reggae-y, a bit heaps of stuff, but really it’s just Flap! music.”
“FLAP!” yelled Jess Guille to a bird battling headwinds in the stratosphere – and so, as legend has it, the name of this fiery Melbourne band was born.
One of the headline acts for this weekend’s Bellingen Jazz and Manouche Festival, Flap! describe themselves as playing original music, old and new, inspired by the entire human diaspora.
“We love playing to mixed age audiences because there are often references to old jazz songs or English folk riffs in the music I write – young people don’t get that, older audience members do,” said trumpeter Eamon McNelis.
“Festivals like this are wonderful for that – I think we are booked for four hours of music but I can’t imagine that’s all we’ll do!”
Mr McNelis has already made a name for himself as one of Australia’s few jazz musicians to be widely respected in both the traditional and modern jazz circuits.