I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – soul style. Now that’s a different way to celebrate the Christmas season.
Acclaimed and stylish, nine-piece big band, The Milford Street Shakers will be throwing themselves into the Yuletide spirit with a few Christmas carols in their own inimitable style at Perth’s newly opened music venue The Sewing Room on December 22 for the Milford Street Shakers Party Extravaganza. Band leader Dom D’Leno said the Milford Street Shakers versions of some of the Christmas carols we all know and love would be a little more up-beat than we are used to hearing. “Imagine White Christmas with a full-blown horn section behind it and you get the idea,” Dom said. As well as the nod to the Christmas season the band will incorporate many of its 1960s favourites into the dance party to get the audience into the groove. DJ Mister Kicks, Gavin Needham, will also be bringing his rare and original vinyl of upbeat, infectious 1960s dance music, made for the dance floor to the party. Dom said the appearance at The Sewing Room would be the first of several regular appearances planned for the band at the venue in 2018. “We’re hoping to bring something a little different to our performances with our smart Sixties style dress and big-band sound. There’s certainly nothing like us in WA,” he said. The Sewing Room is in the basement of one of Perth’s most beautiful old buildings at 317 Murray Street. The building in Wolf Lane was built in 1910 and the basement was once a sewing room for one of Perth’s leading fashion houses. Launched in October, with a rare nightclub license it will open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night from 8pm to 5am and will also be available for touring acts, functions and events on all other nights. The Sewing Room has been purpose built as a live music venue with all new equipment including a state-of-the-art sound system, flexible staging and the latest mixing and lighting equipment. In the last 12 months The Milford Street Shakers have rapidly earned a name for themselves as one of the State’s most dynamic bands. Concerts have included an audience of 2000 people at Music Under the Stars Concert at ECU Joondalup, Fringe World Summerset Arts Festival, a sell-out twilight concert to 600 people at the Parkerville Tavern in February, 4000 people dancing to their music as support for James Taylor at Leeuwin Estate Winery in February, two shows at the Wheatstone Gas Project in Onslow in April, a high-energy show at the Regal Theatre in Subiaco in July, an audience of 2000 people at the nameless Jarndunmunha Festival in Tom Price and the forthcoming City of Perth New Year’s Eve Celebration in Northbridge for an expected 3500 people. Dom said the band’s style of music appealed to a wide age range. “People love the hits of the 60s Soul and Motown era. Its music you want to dance to. “We’ll have 21-year-olds up and dancing on the same floor as 75-year-olds,” he said. The band’s line-up includes Lee Morunga on lead vocals, James Vinciullo on bass, Dominic D’Leno on drums, Imogen Thomson on percussion, Kallan Phillips on guitar, Austin Salisbury on keys, Robert Bresland on trumpet, Glyn MacDonald on trombone and Mark Sprogowski on baritone sax. Dom said the Milford Street Shakers had evolved from his previous 60s Soul band, Stratosfunk. When lead singer Yara Neto left the band to have a baby, Stratosfunk went on hiatus before Dom brought some of the former members back to form the Milford Street Shakers line-up with a slightly new direction and style. “This band is so much fun, both to watch from an audience perspective as well as to perform in,” Dom said. “Lee’s background experience working with Disney and musical theatre around the world adds another level to our show. “Her beautiful, warm energy radiates through her delivery of a song, which is often breathtaking.” The Band: Lee Morunga, lead vocalist has spent 10 years touring with The Lion King with Disney in Germany and throughout Europe as well as an Australian tour. James Vinciullo, bass player and Musical Director, who has recently completed a Bachelor in Music at WAAPA. Dominic D’Leno, band leader and drummer. A background in jazz/swing big band drumming. Performs with various bands around Perth and co-director of Retro Music Box Entertainment Agency. Imogen Thomson, percussionist. She, along with most of the rest of the band, is WAAPA trained and teaches music. She has recently toured with Danny Susnjar’s Afro-Peruvian Jazz Group on an Australian Tour. Kallan Phillips, guitarist and singer. A Perth singer songwriter who performs his original music and performs in several bands around Perth. Austin Salisbury, keyboards. Is a jazz musician. Leads his own band, the Austin Salisbury Quartet he recently completed his Bachelor in Music (Honours) at WAAPA. The M STREET HORNS Robert Bresland, trumpet. One of Perth’s busiest session musicians who performs in many acts around town. Glyn MacDonald, trombone. Is also an accomplished pianist who has his own band, the Glyn MacDonald Group. They are often seen performing as a backing band for vocalists around town which include Libby Hammer and Bronwynn Sprogowski. Mark Sprogowski, baritone sax. A professional musician, performs with many bands around Perth, including the Army Band.