Former south-west musician Oliver Brian is wiggling his way into children’s hearts all over the world.
The former Mortlake Buskers Festival winner, who spent his gap year teaching guitar to several south-west children, is creating a career with popular children’s entertainers The Wiggles.
Returning to the region to perform at the Lighthouse Theatre, the talented 30 year-old took a break from performing to answer this week’s Q&A.
When did your musical career begin? I started playing piano aged six, then learnt guitar, banjo and drums.
Would locals recognise your prior musical talents? I was in a band called The Axis and we played regularly at the Seanchai and we won the Mortlake Buskers Festival in 2006 so there’s a plaque there with our name on it.
What job would you be terrible at? Any job that requires muscle. I learnt the hard way when I took a summer job at Midfield Meats that those guys work incredibly hard. I admire how tough the farmers are in the area and always think I couldn’t do what they do.
Where do you see yourself in 20 years? I’m not entirely sure. I tend to take each day as it comes. I’d like to become more involved in community projects, like my friend and local hero Tom Richardson. Everything else is a bit up in the air with the obvious exception of music. If I’m not still touring I’d love to continue to be a writer of children’s music.
What is your favourite dish to eat? A family secret recipe called ‘messy chops’ which my mum made when the Wiggles came over for dinner this week. I can’t say much more than that though because it’s a secret. I think it’s just Worcester sauce baked on chops.
What south-west icon should become the next Wiggles character? It would have to be the Blue Yabby from Lismore or Willy the Whale.
What don’t we know about you? We’ve got this little side project, a folk group called the Unusual Commoners, we do little shows and busk overseas. Anthony (Field) is right into it, he plays the bagpipes and loves traditional music.
Will we see you at the Port Fairy Folk Festival? Anthony’s never been so we’ve been talking about getting him there one year. Our first real gig is coming up in New Foundland, we’ll see how we go there.