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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Music-makers tread own path

It’s part of the human condition to seek neat narratives with a distinct beginning, middle and end.

But the journey is not so linear for Australian roots musical collective The Beautiful Girls.

Frontman Mat McHugh says the concept of a musical collective is not as easily grasped by audiences as a traditional band, in which the members stay the same.

McHugh is The Beautiful Girls – a solo project supported by a network of artists he calls one big family.

The result? An ever-changing line-up that evolves with McHugh’s signature sound and plays to each artist’s strengths.

Sometimes, The Beautiful Girls will play as a three-piece; other times there will be six or seven artists on stage.

“We went with the band angle for 10 years, but then the press started using old band photos and, because the line-up was always changing, it got confusing,” McHugh tells Newcastle Weekly.
“Playing as a musical collective has been the easiest and best thing [for my music], but the hard part is trying to explain that to the world.”

McHugh founded The Beautiful Girls in 2001, born of a love for hip-hop, reggae and punk rock music, reminiscent of his childhood spent surfing and skating.

Over the years, the collective has produced such hits as I Thought About You, La Mar and Periscopes.

The latest single, Beautiful World, is at the heart of the collective’s cruisey 2018/19 summer tour, which makes its way to The Cambridge Hotel in Newcastle on Sunday 20 January.

Joining McHugh is long-time bass player Paulie B and former Xavier Rudd drummer Bobby Alu.

McHugh says the audience can expect a unique performance of all the songs they know and love, with the lyrics providing only a framework, and the tempo open to interpretation, meaning no two gigs are the same.

Tickets are available at sbmpresents.com/tour/thebeautifulgirls

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