From Westside Melbourne, The Hackkets are a band made up of members with and without disability and are part of the Footscray Community Arts ArtLife program. The Hackkets originally focused on covers, immersing themselves in universal classic hits that win over even the most hardened in-car sing-along scrooge. Since 2011, they have channelled their love of such classics into their own songs.
Singers Stuart Flenley (guitar/vox), Peter Tolhurst (guitar/vox) and Victoria Cini (keys/vox), bring three distinctly different approaches to the songs they co-write in the band. Stuart merges his twin heroes Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra with a sense of humour that invariably breaks through, while Victoria has crafted her own Rock Chick persona through which she projects a rebel without a cause for the smart-phone generation. Rounding out the band is drummer Andrew Paganella who has been keeping the band in time since 1999. Of the drums, Andrew says, ‘I chose drums because I want to get somewhere to make the crowd jump out. Once I switched to drums I stayed.’ The Hackkets is facilitated by Melbourne-based musician, Joe Vella and singer/songwriter Tim Reid.
Gigging for over two-decades, The Hackkets have performed extensively throughout Melbourne and beyond including at Adelaide Fringe Festival, Seddon Festival, Maribyrnong Inclusive Recognition Awards (MIRA), Murrindindi Festival and more.
Russell Morris is one of Australia’s most enduring singers. A major pop star in the late ’60s, he went on to become one of the country’s first singer/songwriters. Both ends of his career feature predominantly in the soundtrack to the movie The Dish. Russell Morris’ career started in September 1966 with the formation of the Melbourne group Somebody’s Image, which rose to prominence with a local hit version of the Joe South song “Hush.” Morris was convinced to leave Somebody’s Image for a solo career. His manager/producer, local music identity Ian Meldrum, spent unprecedented hours and money to create a seven-minute production extravaganza around a song called “The Real Thing.”
Once the result was released to shocked radio programmers who had never been asked to play such a long Australian single before, it was up to Morris’ personality, singing, and performing talents to make the record work. It reached Australia’s number one spot in June 1969. Without any promotional support from Morris, “The Real Thing” reached number one in Chicago, Houston, and New York.
28 Napier Street Footscray