By Corin Mackay
The Lakehouse Crew, a local music quartet, have expanded this year from a trio to incorporate a fourth member due to increased demand for a wider variety of music.
As it stands now, the crew consists of Phil O’Connor on drums, Glenn Flanady on guitar, Mark Plumb on second guitar and vocals, and the newest member Dave Loveland on bass guitar.
In an interview with the Lake News in December last year, Phil said he saw an increase in anxiety and depression in the socially-starved residents of Forest Lake, and came up with the idea to get funding from Forest Lake Ward councillor Charles Strunk to start a jazz band.
“A lot of people got depressed and anxious during Covid … everyone was indoors all the time,” Phil said.
“I live across the road from the lake, and I was taking my dog for a walk every day. I kept walking past the stage and thought ‘we need to put something on here, and get people going.
“[Councillor Strunk] has been a great supporter since it started, and has continued to fund and support all the live music we put on there each fortnight.”
The original Lakehouse Trio stuck strictly to laid back, soothing jazz, to provide a calm space for stressed members of the community to relax on a weekend.
However, over time, and with an increasing number of audience members, demand for music changed, and the band changed with it.
To accommodate audience requests for more popular artists like Stevie Wonder, Santana, The Beatles, and George Benson, Phil requested and received more funding from the council for a new member; the bassist, Dave Loveland.
79-year-old Dave is an avid musician, having recorded over 500 original songs throughout his career, and is currently selling a CD.
Beginning his musical journey in England at 16, he picked up guitar, which he now writes lyricless instrumental rock music for.
“I was always someone who wanted to do something with my hands – I used to make model aeroplanes, until the guitar came along, and it was perfect.
“I’ve tried writing songs with lyrics, but I get one line in and that’s the end of that…I grew up with bands like the Shadows, instrumentalists of the ‘60s, and they made my music what it is” he said.
Dave said he began teaching music at age 25, earning his income through tutoring for the next 50 years, at schools like John Paul college, Cannon Hill, Villanova College and Girls Grammar, hoping to inspire the next generation of musicians.
“It’s why I’m very adamant about melody in my music. I’ve seen young, aspiring musicians be let down by low standards in a lot of places, and I think melody fixes that,” Dave said.
Now in retirement, Dave says his short time with the band has been great to keep him in practice and continue to do what he loves.
“It’s been excellent, really. They’re a great bunch of guys, it’s been really fun to play with them.
“The thing about musicians is that when you’ve been in the industry for so many years, you learn that not everyone is a superstar, but these guys are so down to earth.
“It’s been lovely to have a connection with musicians that have been around and know the business, enjoy playing from the heart and entertaining people,” he said.
The Lakehouse Crew play every second Sunday of the month, and will be live at the lake on the 17th of September.