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Sunday 16 August 2015 @ 02:00pm :  -
Formidable Vegetable Sound System

photo: Dom Hook

Western Australia’s Formidable Vegetable Sound System are the world’s most triumphant experiment in ‘ecological electroswing’ busting out energetic, quirky mashups of speakeasy-style antique-beats with live ukulele wonk, hyperactive horns and the principles of permaculture. WAM Song of the Year and Australian Independent Music Video Award winners, the 4-piece from Fremantle (via Melbourne), Australia have been touring both hemispheres for the past two years and aren’t about to stop now.

From an unexpected first show on the main stage at Eclipse2012 Festival in Australia, Formidable Vegetable Sound System (from Fremantle, Western Australia) has since chalked up an impressive backlog of shows including an incredible 8 stages at Glastonbury Festival (UK), Shambhala (Canada), Symbiosis (USA), Rainbow Serpent (Australia) and Woodford Folk Festival (Australia).

By busting out live shows based around the principles of Permaculture (regenerative ecological design), Formidable Vegetable Sound System is paving the way for a new kind of musical activism based around simple, fun solutions to some of the largest problems on the planet and are rapidly becoming a favourite on the Australian and international festival circuit with packed dance floors and workshops alike.

Realising that music is one of the best tools for bringing about cultural change, globetrotting permaculture troubadour and the mind behind Formidable Vegetable Sound System, Charlie Mgee dedicated the last couple of years to composing a repertoire of swingin’ tunes on a ukulele addressing the principles of permaculture in various musical styles ranging from ‘energy-descent electroswing’ and ‘climate-change dubstep’ to ‘peak-oil polka’ and ‘post-apocalypso’, which make for an eccentrically entertaining and unforgettable dancefloor experience when pumped through the ‘beet-box’. Vocal adventurer, multi-instrumentist and looping beatboxing songwriter Mal Webb sings using all sorts of vocal techniques, guitar, mbira, slide trumpet, trombone, chromatic harmonica and a loop recording pedal called Derek, and Kylie Morrigan (who''s played with Orchestra Victoria and the likes of Stevie Wonder and Barry White!) adds violin and voice.

Formidable Vegetable Sound System has performed all over the world alongside such legendary favourites as Fat Freddy’s Drop, The Cat Empire, JPOD, Spoonbill, Thom Yorke and The Rolling Stones (actually!).

In a world gone mad, there’s one thing you can do to improve the party: Lettuce Turnip the Rad-ish Beets and Rocket!

Formidable Vegetable Sound System is: Charlie Mgee (ukulele, vocals) and any given combination of the following amazing people: Mal Webb (slide trumpet, trombone, beatboxing, vocals, interpretive dance), Kylie Morrigan (violin, vocals), Katrina Button (Beet Box), DJ Hap (aka Jamie Bretman – samples, FX & vocals), Sam Walker (drums). Alex Burkoy (violin, mandolin, ukulele, U-bass, mini-guitar), Tim Bennett (drums, vocals), Kevin Jones (trombone, harmonica, vocals), Harry Jakamarra (banjo, vocals), Olly Watkins (drums), Mayuka Juber (clarinet, sax), DJ McFace (Radish Beets)/Ginger LaMinge (permaculture burlesque & interpretive dance)



“So infectious that the most ardent climate sceptic would have trouble staying still" ~ Sydney Morning Herald

“Formidable Vegetable Sound System are spearheading a new and exciting form of musical activism and becoming one of the most important voices in a global cultural movement that began right here in Australia” ~ Harry Angus, The Cat Empire/Jackson Jackson

photo: Ernesto Lanz