Performing a song with a plea to ‘sober up’ at a pub named The Drunken Poet may not immediately endear you with patrons.
But Cassie Ward and Bianca Maes, who form the talented duo ‘Cass’, are discovering a rich vein of new opportunities and new fans since their move from Heathcote to Melbourne.
The pair have been performing at many popular Melbourne venues of late including The Brunswick Hotel, Open Studio, and The Drunken Poet, but return to Bendigo for this Sunday’s Ewes, Brews, Stews & Blues at the Goldmines Hotel – a venue Ward clearly enjoys.
“Goldmines (Hotel) is definitely a hub for live music and provides a welcoming space for musicians to work their magic.
“There are so many great artists performing at this showcase. Some of my local favourites as well as artists from out of town. I am always eager to hear Sleepy West and Alister Turrill but am also excited to hear from some performers I haven’t had the chance to see yet such as William Alexander.”
Melbourne’s influence and a growing maturity combine to create a “more chilled, electric vibe” in Cass’ new songs, written since last year’s wildly successful Bendigo Blues and Roots Music Festival.
“I think as people age they also grow musically. By exposing yourself to different genres and other people’s music you unconsciously model your own,” reflected Ward.
“With more life experience comes a higher level of wisdom and I think that shows in people’s music, especially in song writing. Our sound has definitely moved forward reflecting our growth as both individuals and a group.”
That personal growth has led Maes to become part of the Musicians for Detainees program, organising musical performances for refugees being held in detention centres.
Despite a greater understanding of their industry, their surrounds, and themselves, Ward isn’t sure what the future holds for Cass. But right now that seems unimportant, preferring instead to simply enjoy the time spent with their audiences.
“I used to be quite unnerved by people closing their eyes whilst they listened to our music. But I’ve since learnt that deep listening requires full attention to the music and sometimes that involves blocking out visual distractions.
“I really appreciate people paying that much attention to our music.”
Lovers of Cass can catch their gig at Ewes, Brews, Stews & Blues on Sunday 19 July at Goldmines Hotel, or on their second tour of the Blues Tram on 22 August.