Heart Of St Kilda

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Heart Of St Kilda


Day in and day out the tireless workers and volunteers are out on the streets feeding and helping the needy with little to no media coverage or fanfare. So, in order to give something back to the charity, the annual Heart Of St Kilda fundraiser concert is on again, bigger and better than ever.

Held at what’s undoubtedly one of Melbourne’s grandest theatres, The Palais, this year the event will host an array of musical and comedic talent including Paul Kelly, Jimeoin, Adalita, The Wolfgramm Sisters, Even and Tripod plus many, many more.

Beat caught up with two of the performers for this year’s event: Brian Nankervis of RocKwiz fame – who will be playing host for the evening – and Talei Wolfgramm, one-third of The Wolfgramm Sisters, who will also be performing on the night. So firstly, what does Brian have in store for punters this year? “Yeah, well, that’s in a very, very loose sense,” he says in regards to his hosting role. “I’m sort of going to kick things off and make sure everyone’s happy, everyone’s settled and that the vibe in the room is good and then off we go.”

Any event held at the majestic Palais Theatre has a sort of charm and elegance to it that very few other venues can match. Both Brian and Talei are both undeniably excited at the prospect of performing at one of Melbourne’s most loved venues. “It’s a wonderful night, we’ve done three of them now and performing in the Palais Theatre is always a thrill,” admits Brian.

“It’s a beautiful, beautiful theatre, you know, it’s got a lot of history. We do all of our Christmas shows for RocKwiz [there] but it’s also a room that has played host to all sort of wonderful acts.” Talei chimes in, happily adding “I love The Palais. I think it’s a gorgeous venue, so it’s always a buzz whenever we get to perform there.

“I love the way the bill is a mixture of music and comedy,” she continues on the subject of the Heart Of St Kilda lineuo. “I think that it’s sort of like an old-school variety show.”

Indeed. With so much talent and variety on the one bill punters are certainly spoilt for choice. “I’m looking forward to seeing Even ’cause they’re one of my favourite bands,” reveals Brian. “They’re our house band, so not only do they play a couple of songs by themselves they also will be backing some of our artists.”

“I’m looking forward to seeing Tripod, ’cause they’re friends of ours and I think they’re amazing,” adds Talei. “Who else?” interjects Brian. “Paul Kelly, I always like seeing Paul play. The Little Stevies, I’m looking forward to seeing them as well. I haven’t seen them [before], I’ve heard a bit about them and there’s a bit of buzz [about them] at the moment.”

Talei is looking forward to Paul Kelly’s set for another reason too: “Paul always puts on a great show. [I’m] looking forward to possibly singing [with him]. We’re not quite sure if we’re doing backing vocals for all the acts; we might just do backing vocals for some, so that’s always nice a bit of collaboration with solo artists.”

It clearly means a lot to all the artists involved, to give up their time and services for free, all in the name of charity and a worthwhile cause. It also shows how highly regarded and loved The Sacred Heart Mission is in Melbourne. “It’s an opportunity to put a little bit of something back into the community. I’ve lived in St.Kilda or in the St Kilda area – Elwood and St Kilda –for about 20 years,” states Brian. “I’ve been aware of the Sacred Heart Mission and their work for ten or 15 years. I really like what they do.

“I’ve been in to watch their kitchen at work,” he continues. “They don’t turn anyone away; they serve hundreds of meals a day and I just think in this crazy world, you look around and you can see that some people are doing it tough and this is an opportunity to perhaps inject joy into people’s lives and certainly to put some money into the coffers of The Sacred Heart Mission.”

Talei concurs: “I’m interested in this charity because it’s local. You know, when there’s a natural disaster you get it on the news and in newspapers and it’s very visible. So it’s easier to have a real gut reaction and then want to get involved. Something like Sacred Heart Mission where they just do day-to-day work with people who are in need, or who have found themselves in circumstances that are unfortunate, sometimes you can kind of forget and you can sort of overlook it.”

This year’s Heart Of St Kilda concert is without doubt set to be a cracker. And what better way for the entire community, performers and the punters alike to give a little something back to this tireless organisation.

“I’m excited about the fact that they’ve organised an event with an amazing line-up: you pay for a ticket and it goes to a fantastic organisation,” says Talei. “But I’m also just excited about the fact that we’re involved on a real local level.”

Brian is looking forward to the spotlight aspect just as much. “Performing in front of a pretty big house: it’s just a great room… it’s just always a great sense of occasion. I think it’s becoming one of those great traditions in the calendar. You know, this is our fourth one and it’s great to do these things year after year and people come knowing that they’re going to have a fabulous night.”