Entertainers of the Island – Erin May
Along with the seemingly endless number of seasoned entertainers that call our island home, there are also quite a few who are still only relatively new in what can best be described as a very tough and highly competitive industry and I recently had the opportunity to chat with the founder of a band which who has not only released their first two singles but has also produced their first video.
Featured Image(above): New band on the scene – Erin May
Erin May is the brain-child of former professional cricketer and passionate musician Kirk Jeffs who admits to being an avid music lover because of having spent his childhood listening to his dad’s extensive record collection and especially liking songs by The Beatles, the Kinks and The Doors as well as material by Australian bands such as The Easybeats and The Small Faces.. ‘I come from a musical family with my mum being a piano teacher and my father a record collector.
As well as that, I have five older sisters and they all play an instrument,’ said Kirk. ‘The eldest of my sisters studied classical guitar at the Conservatorium and even when I was about five years old, I used to head for her guitar whenever I had the chance. It was because of this that they got me my own guitar and I never really put it down,’ he explained. During his teens and whilst all the while composing his own music, Kirk played first-grade cricket for Toombul at the age of sixteen and at nineteen, he was chosen for The Bulls. He said that he only played for them for a short time before heading overseas where he played in Scotland and then England.
‘I used to play in England during their summer and then in Australia during our season,’ Kirk told me. ‘I ended up playing in the Victorian Premier League for one season followed by a season in Adelaide and that was when I met my wife, Stephanie. We then moved to Bribie Island and are really pleased with the move,’ he added. After spending his first year in the area without a game of cricket, Kirk contacted the Bribie club and began to play with them and he recalled that during the second season with the club, he discovered that the coach, Derek Pakuza, was also a guitarist and so began the start of a combination which would result in the formation of the band.
Erin May is made up of four talented musicians and, along with Kirk and Derek, there is Franky Goodtimes who Kirk met during a visit to the Guitar Exchange in Morayfield and also Paul De Chermont. I know that anyone who is reading this will be asking the question, “How does a band, made up of four guys, get to be called Erin May?” Well, to quote Kirk Jeffs, ‘After five girls, my mum really didn’t want any more kids but my dad wanted to keep trying until they had a boy who he could teach cricket to. Before I was born, they had decided that if I was a girl they would name me Erin May and even now if my sisters hear about me doing something a bit girly, they come out with “Ooh Erin May.” That’s where the name comes from,’ said Kirk.
Local filmmaker Cavell Schipp (the one with the camera) lent his artistic talent to the making of the Moonshine video
Having only becoming an official band very recently, Erin May has already been playing at gigs in the district including Locals Only and also is attracting attention from venues in other areas. They have released the singles “Spider” and “Moonshine” which have both moved onto the Triple J “Unearthed” charts and are available on iTunes and Spotify. With the artistic input from local filmmaker Cavell Schipp, they have also produced a video clip of Moonshine and for anyone who would like to take a look, just enter Erin May Moonshine into the search bar and the video will come up.
I must admit that I have watched this clip a few times and find it entertaining, a bit amusing and rather quirky. Knowing that there are new bands entering the industry is very pleasing and with a sound that at times reminds me of Mumford and Sons as well as a few other bands, Erin May should find their own niche in the market. To find out where this band is playing or to enquire about booking them for a venue, you can give Kirk a call on 0403 558 719.