In today's day and age where sex sells and it’s all about shock and awe, it seems that live talent is almost forgotten. So, it's refreshing when a new act comes to the stage and takes you on quite the unexpected journey.
School boy friends, James Draper and Jordan Brady, are seemingly an understated duo, however, each weekend they manage to command the attention of everyone who visits Pitt Street Mall. Hailing from the Central Coast, the boys are no longer intimidated by the 'top end' of the mall. Long gone are the days when they would nervously play their instruments, with no amplification, to anyone who passed by the lower end. These boys now quietly take the 'stage', and within seconds, their ethereal music draws people in.
Polished well beyond their busking experience with their stage presence and writing, you could easily be mistaken for thinking you've come across a well-known band doing an undercover public gig. For the past four years the dynamic pair have been busking, and with the release of their EP earlier in the year, things are well and truly moving forward.
At age 11, James started with the guitar, Jordan following a year and half later. Multi-instrumentalists, it's a refreshing change – and rather impressive - to see the boys swap instruments mid way through their set. They're the real deal. Jordan plays a mean mandolin, so rare young girls mistake it for a banjo. James reels you in with the guitar and together, they serenade the crowd, their harmonies disarming.
Sharing the same guitar teacher, the boys' music abilities grew and developed from those early days as pre-teens at their music lessons. Life carried on in the central coast - AC/DC, Simon and Garfunkel, and The Beatles their soundtrack. It wasn't until the boys left school in 2011 that they started writing and playing together, and before they knew it, their first musical adventure, 'Everything After' was born.
Gathering a serious fledge of fans rather quickly, only a couple of years went by before their label snapped them up. A couple of months later, with a brand new name, Winterbourne was unleashed on the world, and the boys haven't looked back.
Skip forward to May, 2014, and the boys launched their EP to a massive crowd at their stomping ground of Pitt St Mall. A big milestone in any bands career, the boys are unashamedly proud of the release. Their EP, All But The Sun, went straight to the top ten in the album charts on iTunes just two days after it's release. It is clearly the result of seeking nothing but perfection. Featuring rich acoustic folk and strong melodies, it makes you nostalgic for the days when you'd go on a road trip to the beach with your best mates. Whilst the boys could be compared to the likes of Boy and Bear or Of Monsters and Men, their sound is definitely their own, and there's no mistaking James' voice for anyone else's. In their first single off the EP 'Cold', James' earthy tone takes you worlds away.
Having supported Acts such as Joe Moore from Australia's Got Talent, Woodlock, and Patrick James, the boys are now embarking on their own tour, and they’ve already sold out their first Adelaide show. They've even bought their own tour van - essential to any band going on the road. First stop, Baker St, Central Coast. November 7 kicks off their first ever headline gig.
The boys are both nervous and excited about the upcoming tour. Out on the streets it's all about being able to pull the crowds up and stop and listen. Once you start booking venues, 'they're there just to see you' says Jordan, who from a young age, always wanted to be a singer. With their smooth voices, catchy rhythms, and central coast charm, it shouldn't come as any surprise to the boys that people are lining up to listen to what they've got. There are already 300 confirmed for an intimate performance due to take place at the end of October, James laughed nervously when he realised that he might need to confirm the venue capacity. It’s just further proof the boys are onto something special.
Alongside their growing reputation as great live performers, Winterbourne are on track to develop new material for release next year. But choosing from the 15 songs that didn’t make it onto the EP isn’t an option. Instead, between busking and their tour, they plan to write a collection of new songs.
Jordan and James are creating the kind of music that’s reminiscent of times gone by. Winterbourne manages to cast a spell over their audiences, weekend after weekend. Their earthy tones and folk rock sound is the product of their perfectionism, they are confident in their abilities to tell a story. Their story is really just beginning.
Find them here.
Images: Ainslie Daniels