One fur the kitties
NERISSA ROWAN finds out from JAY BULL and DEBORAH BRIGHT how Brisbane musicians have pulled together to help out homeless kittens.
Paws up if you love music and kittens! The Beetle Bar is hosting a celebration of both at the Paw Play fundraiser on Sunday 7 October. An impressive local line-up has donated their time to support Little Paws Kitten Rescue, a South-East Queensland non-profit charity that helps abandoned kittens find love.
The line-up is eclectic. Quirky band Little Planes Land consists of Jen Boyce (Ball Park Music) and the occasional special guest. The Plastic Fangs cite their influences as “surf guitar, punk, psychedelia, psychobilly, shoegaze and alternative rock.” Dan Acfield is an indie pop singer-songwriter, while Winners of the Tour de France promise a huge rock sound. The Medicine Show is influenced by a range of blues sounds through to country and hillbilly music with a dash of garage and alternative vibe, and soloist Fantastic Mr Fabulous continues the blues rock vibe complemented by his rich voice.
Event organiser Jay Bull says the wide-ranging line-up virtually built itself.
“I did a callout via Facebook and my own personal contacts — it was pretty much a case of first to reply got the gig. A lot of bands were interested but unable to play the date I had booked; they have been lovely enough to show support instead via donating prizes, helping promote the show, offering to play at future fundraisers I may put on . . . so I think we chose each other!”
A Little Paws foster carer herself, Jay was aware of the high costs of caring for abandoned kittens and cats awaiting adoption. Little Paws pays for the vet costs, with the remainder paid for by the volunteers themselves. But with more than 100 cats coming through the Little Paws network some months, resources are tight.
“Many of my muso friends are also animal lovers, so I figured it was time to put on a show for Little Paws with whoever was willing to help me! I’ve helped produce a few shows back in my deep dark past and it seemed like a fun idea to try again.
“It’s still a bit daunting to know that I’m producing a show on my own this time — without a production budget and relying totally on the goodwill of others. But I’m loving the challenge and the kindness this is bringing out in so many folk.”
Generous individuals and businesses have donated their time, skills and goods to make the event happen.
“My mate (and fellow kitty carer/volunteer) Jeff Haase helped inspire the event and approach the bands,” says Bull. “And he is the best raffle ticket seller ever so he’ll be strutting his stuff on the day. A few pet shops and vets have also been lovely enough to offer prize packs for raffles too. It’s amazing what can come out of approaching a business to put up a poster.”
While it’s been a lot of work to pull the event together, Bull says her own foster kitties are working hard to inspire her. Punters will be reminded of the reason for the event by posters of kittens that Little Paws currently has up for adoption.
Little Paws president Deborah Bright says the organisation has been operating to keep homeless cats off the streets since 2004. “As a no-kill organisation, our volunteers care for the cats until new, loving, furever families are found, ensuring they have peace and contentment throughout their lives.”
Bright says all funds raised at the benefit concert will go directly to the care and upkeep of the cats and kittens (including microchipping, desexing, vaccination and parasite treatments), as well as the education programs Little Paws runs.
“Little Paws is funded wholly by donations and fundraising events,” says Bright, “so we rely on the public’s generosity to continue our important work.”
PAW PLAY takes place at The Beetle Bar on Sunday 7 Oct, from 3pm. Tickets are $10.
As a poet, performer and writer, NERISSA ROWAN dabbles at the edges of Brisbane’s arts scene. She is on Queensland Poetry Festival’s Program Committee and reviews for Arts Hub.