“So infectious that the most ardent climate sceptic would have trouble staying still”- Sydney Morning Herald
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 more-or-less-4-piece from Fremantle (via Melbourne), Australia have been touring both hemispheres for the past three years and aren’t about to stop now.
From their unexpected debut on the main stage at Eclipse2012 Festival in Australia, Formidable Vegetable Sound System has since chalked up an impressive backlog of shows including Glastonbury Festival (UK), Shambhala Festival (Canada), Symbiosis (USA), BOOM Festival (Portugal) and Woodford Folk Festival (Australia).
“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)
By busting out live shows based around Permaculture and other ecological principles, Formidable Vegetable Sound System is paving the way for a new kind of musical activism based around simple, fun solutions to some of the toughest challenges of our time 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 ukulele-strumming frontman of Formidable Vegetable Sound System, Charlie Mgee committed himself to composing a repertoire of swingin’ tunes 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 ‘rad-ish beet-box’.
Often joining him on stage is a throng of insanely talented musicians and performers including Melbourne’s legendary beatboxing, horn-playing multi-instrumentalist, Mal Webb, who has been involved with FVSS since the beginning as well as his partner Kylie Morrigan who has shredded violin in orchestras alongside the likes of Led Zeppelin, Barry White and Stevie Wonder. Numerous other virtuosic members come and go as they please, dependent on carbon footprint, availability and the millions of other bands they all seem to be in.
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)