Pics, Audios and Videos from across the Years

January 2010, Marysville Pan Band (Matt's video)

In late January 2010, the nephew of Tony Richardson (Matthew Wells) came to Taggerty from Sydney for the Australia Day holiday. As a musician himself in a Big Band, he was impressed by the commitment of the players in the steel pan band. When he returned to Sydney, he made a video of what he had seen and heard with the band, and so put the band's first video up on YouTube. For the fledgling band, this was an eyeopener; that our little band could have an existence outside of the Triangle District.

November 2009, Where it all Began

The idea behind the steelbands in the Triangle District was born in mid-2009, some months after the Victorian Bushfires struck the region on 7th February 2009. This beginning and the events in late 2009 which made the idea a reality are captured in the two videos below.

March 2010, The First Gig, Marysville

The very first gig for Pans on Fire, only three months after formation, was at the Marysville Sustainability Exhibition on Sunday 28th March 2010. Although the repertoire was only 3 songs, everyone (band and audience) enjoyed the day. Amazingly, despite our inexperience, no one got the jitters and everyone performed to the best of their ability. One of our three songs, learned from Lennox Jordan, was Sugar Bum, a song we played many times over at future gigs.

May 2010, Illuminated by Fire, Flowerdale

At the Illuminated by Fire ceremony at Flowerdale, commemorating those lost in the fires, Pans on Fire played their limited repertoire several times. The fires in the barrels were a fitting reminder of where our band name came from.

September 2010, Vasili's Garden TV Recording, Marysville

Pans on Fire starred in an episode of "Vasili's Garden" when he came to Marysville to talk to members of the band about how they were re-establishing their gardens and their lives after the 2009 bushfires. Here are some band members talking about their recovery, and then kicking up their heels with Vasili in the sculpture gardens at Bruno's. Maresi!!

January 2011, QANTAS Competition (I still call Australia home)

In early 2011, Qantas ran a competition for non-conventional instruments playing their theme "I still call Australia home". Given that we were always looking for sources of financial support for the band, Rita Seethaler submitted an entry, which was placed in the Top 10 by viewer votes. Unfortunately, she didn't win, but we had fun making the video (apologies for the poor production quality - the playing was much better than the filming!)

January 2011, Recovery Recording Session, Taggerty

The band learned the meaning of patience as we set up the rehearsal room at Taggerty Primary as a makeshift recording studio, to record the Recovery soundtrack for the upcoming video. Joe Talia made the most of the surroundings and miked up as many instruments separately as he could manage. Over the next week, Barry Thomas went from houseblock to houseblock for each of the band members, getting them to play along with the sound track while he recorded video snippets for the final production.

January 2011, Final Video Session, Marysville

The band learned a little more patience while they waited for the cameras to be set up for the recording of the final scene in the Recovery video. Barry Thomas sets up the high camera on top of his 4WD, while our "sound speakers" are set up in the silver car with all doors and hatchback open.

February 2011, Recovery Video, Marysville & Triangle District

The result of all the work by Barry Thomas, Joe Talia and the Pans on Fire players was the video "Recovery". We put it up on YouTube and so far it's had over a 1000 hits in 9 months (PS: it's gone on to collect another 2500 views in the following 10 years).

February 2011, Emergence Concert, Fed Square, Melbourne

On the second anniversary of the Black Saturday fires, Pans on Fire played at the BMW Edge Theatre at Federation Square in Melbourne as part of the Emergence 2011 commemorations. Without a doubt this was the highlight of our short life to then. We still pinch ourselves at our ability to perform on the day, when 12 months earlier we didn't even know what a steel pan was. Wonders never cease! (Our thanks to Natalie Fisher (NSF Consulting) for the video clips included in this video).

July 2011, Newmarket Recording Studio, Kensington

Given our preposterous decision to make a CD after less than two years of existence, early July saw the start of the CD production adventure when the band made to journey to Melbourne to record a few songs at Newmarket Studios in Kensington. Once again, patience was the order of the day, as Julian McKenzie set up the mikes for the recording (despite having no prior experience with miking pans, which are notoriously difficult). After two days, and a great dinner on the first night, we had four songs in the can.

November 2011, Joe Talia Recording Studio, Taggerty

In November, after lots of rehearsals on some new songs, the band went to Joe Talia's new recording studio in Taggerty to lay down the rest of the CD songs. This time, things were a lot easier for Joe than they were when he set up our rehearsal room as a temporary studio back in January. After two days, and a bit more for voice-overs for percussion, guitar and vocals, we had all the material we needed for our first CD.

December 2011, Rehearsal Room, Taggerty

Practice was cut short on Tuesday night when a box of "Recovery" CDs arrived from Implant Media. It was all excitement as the first box was opened by Rita, and then a bit of quiet time as we listened to some of the tracks. Is that really us?

December 2011, Australia All Over, ABC Radio

Pans on Fire hit the national airwaves when Macca (Australia All Over, ABC Radio) read out a letter from Rita about our upcoming CD "Recovery", and then played some of Julian's favourite track "African Marketplace". Listen to what he had to say about the band below.

December 2011, Lindy Burns Drivetime Show, ABC Radio

Pans on Fire was a featured guest on Lindy Burns' Drivetime Show on ABC Radio, when she came to Marysville to broadcast. Lindy interviewed Rita, Doug Walter and Sharen Donovan about the role that the band had played in the recovery process in Marysville, after which Pans on Fire played two tracks from the upcoming CD "Recovery".

December 2011, Launch of "Recovery" CD, Marysville

We brought 2011 to a great conclusion with the launch of our first  CD "Recovery" before an appreciative crowd in Marysville. Every number on the CD was played, along with a few others, with the help of Joe Talia, who did a lot of the recording and audio analysis for the CD and also played guitar on the CD and at the launch party. Listen here to a sampler of the ten numbers on the CD.

January 2012, Samba de POF, Marysville

To celebrate Rita's birthday in late 2011, the band got together to give her a surprise party. Here, Lisa Nolte released her version of Sambre de Orfeo, which she composed and sang to tell the story of Pans on Fire. The song made it onto the Recovery CD, and Tony put together a video to illutrate the song.

January 2012, Australia Day Parade, Marysville

January 26 saw Pans on Fire continued a tradition started in 2011 when they again performed "on the back of Dicko's Truck" in the Australia Day parade in Marysville. The theme this year was Farming, so we decorated the float with all the trimmings of a Trinidadian rum farm.

April 2012, Apollo Bay Music Festival, Apollo Bay

The first big music festival appearance for Pans on Fire occurred in April 2012, when they aapeared at the Apollo Bay Music Festival. They played in the Big Tent on Saturday, and followed up with a Sunday morning performance at the Mechanics Institute. A great learning experience for all involved.

April 2012, Apollo Bay Music Festival, Geelong Advertiser

After playing at the Apollo Bay Music Festival, we shared a write-up in the Geelong Advertiser with Barry Morgan and his World of Organs. We even scored a nice comment from "Tony of Fairfield".

April 2013, 1st Australian Steelband Festival, Marysville

April 2013 saw the holding of the 1st Australian Steelband Festival in Marysville, just four years after the devastation caused by the 2009 bushfires. it was attanded by over 1000 people and was a fitting testimony that Marysville was starting to get back on its feet. The event was well promoted beforehand by Barry Thomas and VideoVision.

The spirit of the weekend itself was expertly captured by Barry Thomas, and a horde of numerous volunteer camera-people. The smiles all round made all the effort worthwhile.

26 January 2014, Tidal Rhythms at the Bowl, Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne

Pans on Fire had the privilege of playing with the Melbourne Ska Orchestra  at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl for the Tidal Rhythms at the Bowl Concert organised by Multicultural Arts Victoria on Australia Day.

Before a crowd of 5000 people, Pans on Fire were welcomed to the stage by the arrival of the Roulettes precision flying team, and then played a 30-minute set to start the show. They returned to the stage later to join the Melbourne Ska Orchestra, led by Nicky Bomba, with whom they played Coconut Woman and Paradiso. The two bass players snuck back on stage later to join MSO in a rendition of Perfidia.

The concert demonstrated how far Pans on Fire had come since forming in late-2009 after the bushfires earlier that year. For a group of people with virtually no prior musical experience, this journey has shown what hard work, enthusiasm and resilience can produce.

Videos of some of the songs they played during their set are shown below.

March 2014, Moomba Parade, Melbourne

Pans on Fire played in front of their biggest audience of an estimated 50,000, plus half a million on live TV, when they played in the 60th Annual Moomba Parade in Melbourne on the Labour Day holiday on 10th March 2014.

On the back of "Dicko's Truck" a team of dedicated workers designed and built a float that rivalled the professional floats built in the Moomba Float Factory. To the Caribbean sounds of Netty Netty, Sugar Bum, Raga Poom Poom, Jump in the Line and Sly Mongoose, Pans on Fire played without a break in the hot sun on the 50 minute trip down St Kilda Road, accompanied by nearly 100 Caribbean dancers from CaribVic (the Caribbean Association of Victoria).

Their joint display had the crowds bopping along, with a plethora of cameras and video recorders saving the event for posterity in many homes around Victoria.