Saturday, 17 May 2014

Tommy Rando - Discover his brilliant sound

There are plenty of delicious calorie-filled creations to enjoy in Australia. One of them happens to be Tim Tams


However for those who like their melting pleasure moments  on their ears* as opposed to on the hips there is Tommy Rando

                                                         Tommy Rando

The first thing that captures your ear's attention is the  tone of his voice, it is unique, warm, husky, sometimes even a gravelly texture, then there are those impressive guitar skills.

 His resume/CV is impressive, he has played with some of Australia's finest bands including Boom Crash Opera  and has written songs for Vanessa Amorosi,  as well as for Australian Idol artists Anthony Callea, amongst many more.

 With his growing catalogue of songs, Tommy Rando has his tunes playing regularly on film and television. You will have even have heard some of them on Neighbours

Speaking of which, Tommy is part of Neighbours' star Alan Fletcher ( aka Dr Karl Kennedy) 's popular band Waiting Room ,  ( 'Fletch' ,Tommy,  Chris Hawker and New York's Jeff Consi  (who has also drummed for Nuno Bettencourt amongst many other greats! )

                                                       visit the Waiting Room HERE  (and say hello to the 'good doctor' too)

 Tommy also co-wrote the ballad I Will for pop sensation Oryon (featured on the popular hit TV show "The O.C.") which became a runaway hit on the American Billboard Top 40 as well as co-writing  the number one Australian hit 'WASABI' for Lee Harding (debuting at #1 in the Australian ARIA Singles Charts in December 2005 )

                   a real treat live!


In 2010 Tommy Rando released his EP 'Signature', you should also check out his album Winter Sky . Both releases have captured my ears attention and has me well and truly hooked. Reviews to follow.

'Neighbours' stars Stefan Dennis (Paul Robinson)  & Alan Fletcher (Dr Karl Kennedy) on the red carpet for the launch of Tommy Rando's  EP  'Signature'
Tommy Rando Band 'So Predictable' (From album 'Winter Sky' on TV's 'Good Morning Australia' (spot Jeff Consi on the drums! Along with Kit Riley (bass) Mark Amato (keys) & Chris Hawker (guitar)

                                                           Tommy with band

                                                          Herald Sun press cutting

from 'SignatureEP  - I fell in love with this track the moment I first heard it .
Do yourself a favour, check him out, your ears will certainly thank you.

The  All Important links

* Personally I enjoy both!! :-)

Marilyn Michaels 2014 ( Find me here on Twitter  Facebook )

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Neighbours Naughty Nutcracker Naomi aka Morgana O'Reilly ( & she's to appear at the Edinburgh Fringe Fest )

Right now I am meant to be cosily tucked up in bed having that elusive early night that keeps evading and escaping me but insomnia & ideas were biting like font fleas .

So I decided to write a post instead. (as you do)

Monday May 12th saw me take a trip down memory lane to a place I had been many many manyyyy years ago, but that is another story  but basically I was at a certain TV studio to interview various members of the cast from hit TV show  Neighbours*.

The adrenaline was  a-pumping through this Radio Girl 's veins from the moment I arrived. Having not seen the show in a while due to hectic gypsyish lifestyle of late , ( nor wanting to  spoil it for myself when I finally get to watch/catch up on some recorded episodes)  I was not totally sure of where things were currently  at, although knew some pointers ( cue SouthPark style v/oOMG! They killed 'Kate' !!! )

I said above that the adrenaline was a-pumping, what I should say was that during my interview with New Zealand's  Morgana O'Reilly, it started to pump that adrenaline at 3 times the normal rate. This lady was  f-u-n   fun  fun funnnnn !!

Now  at the time of our interview I had not yet seen Morgana acting in Neighbours , or in any thing for that matter, so despite having been emailed a bio, I knew it was going be one of those wing-it-adlib-it & improvise-it style interviews.   (which I love ! )

So  Morgana plays Naomi Canning,  (the daughter of  'Sheila Canning'  as played by Colette Mann (both pictured above) and what a fiesty firecracker she looks to be!!  (like mother like daughter I reckon! ) It will be interesting to watch how it all develops, a new character means new adventures for sure!

                  Meowwwwwww ! Naomi Canning (Morgana O'Reilly) in a catfight! Some women will go to any extreme to   get a lift from  cop Matt Turner (Josef Brown) eh?!

We had a really fun interview, totally bouncing off each other and bantering  like crazy, (my word she'd be brilliant to do a show with live on-air ) and I laughed my butt off in  the cab home afterwards while listening back to it.

'' I have so much fun on this show, I spend most of my days laughing. ''   -Morgana O'Reilly

 '' Naomi is a uhhh very interesting chick, I dunno, I think we'd be friends,  I think we'd have a good time  but sometimes I'd just  wanna slap her  and be like ''Girl you can't do things like that , you can't go about life like that !'' so it's wonderful as an actor to try and justify why people do what they do''  - Morgana O'Reilly on her character Naomi Canning

I'm not going to reveal much more as I cannot wait for you to hear it ( now with me working with two stations I should let you know that the series of Neighbours cast interviews will  be airing on the Radio Deeside one at some point soon, so I will keep you posted about  dates and times ) We spoke about Neighbours and about how Morgana has been known to  pop up in  people's living rooms (and not just via a tv set) and various other things including  her  appearances happening later this year at  Edinburgh's famous Fringe Festival

Doing some research I found this:

' THE HEIGHT OF THE EIFFEL TOWER is an intimate epic created by actress Morgana O'Reilly and director Abigail Greenwood. First performed at The Basement in 2009, this little show that could went on to celebrate success the following year at the New York Fringe Festival.
To fundraise for the New York season, Morgana and Abigail reframed the show as a popup event which could be performed in domestic spaces. This now infamous "living room" tour has seen Morgana and Abigail travel the globe, racking up quite a few pins on the map: Auckland, Wellington, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Nevada, Los Angeles, Sydney and Melbourne
Via 'shape-shifting solo performance', Morgana plays all of the members of a nuclear family, over the course of one side-splitting, torturous lunch,  But it's not all just laughs and giggles. At its heart is a woman, who perhaps, just perhaps, is ready to become the person she always intended to be. It's heartfelt. It's hilarious. And it's uniquely Kiwi.

"Goofy, funny and poignant. It's perfect."

So there you have it -  BUT flights cost £, digs cost £, food costs £ etc etc so to find out more about it and to help Morgana on her Edinburgh Fringe Fest quest  click here ------> yes just  HERE   You will find a page for it on Facebook too .If you are going to see  her at the festival try your hand at saying 'Kia ora tena koe ' (hi how are you )


 Owchhh what's going on here then?  She's cheeky ,  vibrant ,funny as heck and  she'll definitely grab Edinburgh by the uhhh  'spheres'. *Note this video contains some swearies !

Since recording the interview I've seen a few episodes (guess who couldn't resist) and loved what a cracker of a character 'Naomi Canning seems to be.

 Follow Morgana here on Twitter

Marilyn Michaels (find me here  on Facebook & Twitter  )

*My thanks to Kelly Davis


Monday, 12 May 2014

FireHouse's Bill Leverty - keeping those rock fires burning

earlier this morning  I ended a pre-record phone interview with  guitarist/singer/songwriter Bill Leverty with an absolutely aching face from smiling and feeling like I had known him for a long time. The reality is this had been the first time we had spoken, albeit we had been in email contact for a couple of weeks with mails whizzing back and forth. I had been due to  interview him the week before  however as Murphy's law would have it, had woken that day  feeling like I had been gargling razors and batter acid (do NOT try that at home!! ) He is a Radio Girl's dream interview ,  speaks clearly (heck of a great voice for radio) knows his stuff  and  a really  friendly personality that made it an easy interview (aside from  slight delays on phone!!) He even took my scolding him for snipping off those long locks in good humour (ah woe is me come back long haired rockers!!)

 Now, Bill is in the band FireHouse (yes yes the ones who had that great track in the 90's 'Don't Treat Me Bad  and Love of a Lifetime amongst many others)  he  was responsible for writing many of the band's hit songs

Their self-titled debut album in 1990, 'FireHouse', was met with much critical acclaim. (The band won the American Music Award for Best New Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Band of 1991,  (as well as Metal Edge Magazine's Best New Band , Young Guitar Magazine's Best Newcomer and Music Life Magazine  reader's pop poll Best Newcomer of  1992)  That first album sold over two million copies in the United States alone, and was certified double platinum. The band are still going strong all these years later. (in fact find them right here on their website  

The Bloom Is Off The Rose
However I had not realised  that Bill Leverty also had  a great solo career and other musical projects on the side as well.  It was one of those stumble upon moments via YouTube and this Radio Girl was kicking herself wondering how she had missed it!  

But better late to the party than never, right?

                                              Fun tongue -in-cheek track Ace Bandage,

 Bill has released four albums; Wanderlust, Southern Exposure, Deep South and Drive.   Do have a look /listen

Those lucky enough to be going to FireFest Final Fling in Nottingham, UK  later this year  can see FireHouse   headlining on the Saturday (October 25) of this 3 Day rock fest . For the complete line-up  click HERE.  Be aware, that at the time of posting this  that day is already 80% SOLD so if you want to  be there you better get those skates on whooooooosh!

I will let you know when you can hear the interview feature I did with Bill for Classic Rock Radio

and  I'd say ''oh go onnnn lets have this one too'' however for some reason best known to itsself, Blogger does not  want to let me post another vid  so instead click here and watch/hear FireHouse 'Don't Treat Me Bad' (well over 933,000 views   and  ahhh look at the long hair!!)

The All Important Links:

For more info click :  Bill Leverty Website        Twitter         Facebook

To keep in touch with me join me at Facebook   & Twitter

This post will also be found on Classic Rock Radio blog here

(c) Marilyn Michaels May 13 2014


Thursday, 8 May 2014

Mama's Gun Film interview (behind the scenes in radio land)

Ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes during a radio interview? The other day I had the pleasure of a really fun one (and trust me not all interviews are that!! Though  I  usually tend to be very lucky in that department)

Sometimes I get wined and dined. Sometimes  my hair even gets towel dried for me when I arrive rain soaked ( ala James Brown (R.I.P) & his bodyguards  ) or sometimes it is a nightmare of a grotty dive or  of arriving early and being kept waiting for ages (translation: hours ) by someone who does not think I may have a schedule as well! 

I have been extra extra  busy recording various music/tv/film/theatre features at present so after a few busy stressful days when I found myself at the chilled , laidback incense scented home of  photographer/writer/producer/director Leanne Hanley sipping chamomile tea and chatting about  this and that until actress Carla Bonner arrived (along with trusty nutribullet smoothie in hand   )  I was by then relaxed and ready  to talk movie!

Carla Bonner

Now Carla  is probably best known for her  role in Neighbours as  'Steph Scully , albeit she has of course had other roles as well and later this month they are about to start filming a short film noir called  MAMA's GUN  in which she will take on the gritty challenging lead role of Mary Wylie.  Which of course I was there to find out more about.

Mama's Gun  is set in Melbourne in 1942. It is the dark  twisted tale of a 'diabolical mother, 2 sons & an opium business set to go up in smoke.'  It will be made by all female crew.  (hurrah)

So why is Mary so scary? I am sure being sold into prostitution as a young girl can  make you hard and twisted .  Mary is obviously scarred and complex , complicated - deep down  yearning for love, yet unable to give it apart from via the S word (you know!)  


                                                                  Leanne Hanley

Excerpt below transcribed from  part of radio interview*:

Marilyn Michaels: Steph Scully ( Carla's role in Neighbours) started off as a really cool 'biker chick' , looked like a rock chick too I thought, and then somewhere along the lines became 'psychotic' (Carla laughs) Poor poor Steph, my heart was breaking for her, though some great scenes came out of it. Do you think it might have given you a bit of a grounding  for this twisted twisted role that you are going to play as Mary in Mama's Gun? 

Carla Bonner:  Oh, well, I like to think that Steph wasn't evil like Mary Wiley , (chuckles)
Steph was just a bit, you know, she was on medication and she went off her meds,  so you know it wasn't something that was with her her entire life, unlike Mary.
Umm Mary has a history of abuse  and  just a really really tough life, she had no love. There are  many, many differences between  Mary and Steph. But poor Steph!  (laughs) She was cool, she is stll cool  she's just in a facility right now.  (laughs)

MM: Nobody could blame Steph for having had a breakdown, because she had an accident with her best friend on a motorbike, went off with her best friend's man,  what else did she get up to, oh yeah her sister, her sister Felicity aka  Flick ( played by Holly Valance) stole Marc! I don't know it all off the top of my head, oh I do to a point, (but)  no wonder she ended up having a breakdown, and didn't she run over 'Ringo' ?

CB: Yeah but she was drunk! No, no, no ! Ok technically she had alcohol in her system.  I don't advocate drink-driving at all, absolutely not,  Steph was going through Post Natal Depression at the time, regardless of the fact that she did indeed have a baby to her best friend's ex husband
 and then got her  other best friend to step in and say that he was the babys father and then they even went to the lengths of getting married again you know and
okay  so she made a few little  woopsies but you know she's paid for it, she has ,and  like i say, she's recuperating. she' ll get there

MM:   We love Steph in the UK and hope she is better soon, ok that's our Neighbours bit out of the way, I want  to know how the idea for Mama's Gun came up, what was the  background to it ?

Leanne Hanley:  I guess, you know,  it came quite organically   from conversations  between   my partner and  our writing and producing partner  Jonah Klein  who,  we all have interesting mothers let's say  - it just sort of developed from conversations over dinner and we started talking about an interesting female character  because we find that there's a lack of them and 'women of a certain age'   let's say. so I started thinking about Ma Barker actually, and did some research on her , then the idea for  Mary came from that research and we decided to do an Australian version of  this, kind of not quite 'Mafia Mother' but you know, a very strong  gritty mother

MM:  And she's a very dark Mom isn't she, when I read the synopsis  I thought gosh this is  the Mom Of Nightmares

LH :  True but I think in reality   people  maybe have even much more to deal with that , with their mothers, and i guess that Freudian  aspect of things  crept in unintentionally in a lot of ways  but when we read the script we looked back and went  ' wow  either  we're really screwed up,' (Carla laughs)  'or Mary is' , so I'm going to blame Mary!

MM:  What do you think Carla?

CB :  I think it's actually really sad , I think Mary unconsciously  just wants love , like everybody  just wants love , but she doesn't know  how to express that. She doesn't know how to give it because she's never had it , therefore she's a product of her upbringing and  it's really sad.
 She does yearn for a type of love that she is familiar  with but it's not the pure beautiful organic rich love  that we are all fortunate enough to feel so  yeah,  even though Mary is all  those things, I  still really love her,   I LOVE her !

LH:  Someone's got to

CB: No judgement

MM: Well someone's got to be in her corner, do you think she equates sex with love then?

CB : Yes most definitely, even if it is with...

LH: Don't spoil it Carla!

CB . (laughs) I'm not, i wasn't going to (laughs more) yes , dot dot dot! You'll have to wait and see!

MM : There's a teaser!  So without giving too much of the story away, what can you tell me about how it develops?

LH:  In a lot of ways it's  a traditional noir film  that opens with a murder  and actually we give you  almost all of the information in the very beginning so there's not much to spoil  but  basically it's about a family in 1942  Melbourne,  so it's war time .They are obviously in a type of struggle,  however Mary has a little more money than most at a time  when she shouldn't because what she's actually doing is running an opium den. she owns a haberdashery store , which is her 'front'  but  she, out the back, is running probably a lot of scams that we don't  even know about  so  it's just the tale of woe really of that family and how they are all  embroiled  in terrible goings on

MM: Opium den, I haven't visited one of those actually

CB (laughs)  Can't say i have either

That is just part of our interview.  It was a most enjoyable one with a lot of laughter, as well as it's serious moments.

But  wait, that is not all ! How would you like to be 'involved' in the 'film family' that is behind the production. Mama's Gun is being funded through crowd-funding  and there are some great perks to be had for contributing  some money!

 How about your name in the credits, or an executive producer credit? Oh and  chocolate, (a girls best friend, diamonds tend to crack the teeth) Carla will also be on a  limited edition Mama's Gun chocolate wrapper (she told me she had been  on the cover of a condom pack but I think chocolate is  uhhhh better to chew over ;-)    )

 Or she can even answer your phone for you as your voicemail message when you are busy chewing on whatever (chocolate??)  and cannot answer your phone.  If that has got you curious to know more, may I suggest you  swiftly head on over to  HERE and find out! I say swiftly because the  indiegogo crowd-funding campaign for this film ends today May 8th at 11.59 PST. so get your skates on! The clock is a-ticking!  There is a short video teaser on that  page also .

Having appeared in two indies myself and sick of multi-million $ CGI/FX  I have a love of indie film and was happy to contribute to this project earlier today, after all these films are where the  acting tells the story not expensive and fancy schmancy computer effects

My thanks to both Leanne and Carla for a very enjoyable interview which  then turned into a  modelling session of my No More Page 3 campaign T-shirt.  However that is a another story!

   Carla in my No More Page 3 campaign shirt, I don't usually tend to point at  other women's boobs but I guess there was always a first time!

                                              Carla gets in on the No More Page 3 Campaign

                    *The Mama's Gun interview  feature aired  a few times the last few days on Loose Ladies show on Radio Deeside (click here)  I will let you know when it can be heard again

              Mama's Gun Facebook  & Twitter
Carla Bonner on Twitter
Leanne Hanley on Twitter 
Find me on Facebook & Twitter
NoMorePage3 Facebook   & Twitter
PS -this post is not sponsored by Nutribullet however I am open to offers from them. Radio is thirsty work ;-)  
go on, make me a smoothie please!
(c) Marilyn Michaels