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ADVANTAGE GERVER

Pic: Linda Dunjey

Around The Sound and WAM - Celebration of the WA Music Industry

Gate One Theatre, Claremont Showgrounds

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Richard Gerver is a formidable, yet utterly friendly presence. That’s what makes him one of the world’s best public speakers in a career that sees him travelling the world consulting different industries on what is perhaps the most pertinent topic in business and life in 2017 – coping with change.

And while I’m no stranger at this stage when it comes to saying a few words behind a microphone, it seemed a formidable duty to say some opening comments before our guest took to the stage, but also an honour and quite fitting in that Around The Sound was created within - and because of - an ongoing, seemingly eternal, season of change within both the media and music industries.

Similarly, the venue for the occasion, Gate One Theatre, fulfils both a new approach in Perth plus many-and-varied niches as a multi-faceted auditorium, bespoke to the needs of any particular artist or event.

Gerver exudes a confidence that is approachable. Hs anecdotes were full of famous names, but he places himself at a distance – he has access to their world but he does not live in it. What resonates when these names are mentioned is that already successful people engage with him in order to continue their forward momentum they recognise that simply doing the same thing as before does not guarantee the same results when the goalposts change every other week. There is no point in awaiting a new normal that is not going to arrive.

“Lots of gurus cross lots of stages telling lots of people how to go about their business and nothing changes,” Around The Sound co-founder, Andrew Thompson, who organised the visit, said after the event.  “Gerver doesn’t do that.  He tells stories about encounters with what he calls his ‘celebrity friends’, and then he asks questions.  The sort of questions that, if you’re paying attention, if they catch you at the right time, could just change how you go about minding your own business, maybe even your life.”

So, while the likes of Nick Raphael, Richard Branson, Jay Z, Steve Wozniak and Sam Smith (whose stickability over a decade of rejection is a tale in itself) received multiple mentions, ultimately the real take-homes are the changes you can make in your own sphere, business and way of life.

“What did he tell us?” posits Thompson. “Success is easy, really, if you can recognise opportunity and have enough self-belief to just go for it.  Try to make it by modelling yourself on others and you’ll probably fail.  Need a lot of management - fail.  Success is about people being themselves.  Authenticity counts.  Success is about being driven, persistent and not taking no for an answer.

“Success is hard.  Don’t expect your manager, agent or record company to make it for you.  The only person who can make sure you’re successful is you.  Once you understand that, it’s just a case of how successful you want to be and how hard you’re prepared to work for it.

“Most of all, if you’ve achieved any measure in success, don’t rest there.  The very next thing you need to do is ask yourself, ‘What next?’  Then, get on with it.”

Following Gerver’s presentation Imperials took to the stage, led by vocalist/guitarist, Ben Pattison, soldiering on dynamically despite a bout of tonsillitis. There’s some excellent Brit-flavoured songwriting within and a good stage relationship between the four members.

Jaime Page Dark Universe followed, launching a new era in which the forthcoming album, Into The Black, will be released. It’s progressive metal, with soaring melodies – from Page’s inspirational guitar-playing and Donna Greene’s commanding vocals and stagecraft – with chops for miles coming from all band members. They would not at all be out of place sharing a stage with Alice Cooper when he tours here later in the year.

Having played recently at The Hen House Live (@ Badlands) for our first event, Lionizer are already Around The Sound buds of the highest order. Things were getting on by the time they took the stage, but they played a rock show that transfixed the audience, showing exactly what’s possible with a three-piece-dynamic when the songs are the leader of the band and total energy and commitment are there in the playing. Plenty of shout-outs to the other bands and all involved in the event display how important a sense of community is to Lionizer and how important they are to that musical community.

Thanks to Richard Gerver, WAM, Imperials, Jaime Page Dark Universe, Lionizer, Squasha and all at Gate One Theatre, Boffins Books, Linda Dunjey Photography and everyone who attended and supported this Around The Sound event.

Check out our full photo gallery of the occasion at https://www.facebook.com/pg/aroundthesoundau/photos/?tab=album&album_id=277665879363850