The Wanted Gems
In 2020, Micaela and Maddison Hull of Alice Springs duo The Wanted Gems were preparing to finish high school and propel themselves into giving it a go as musicians. They had exciting things in the pipeline, like their upcoming gig at BASSINTHEGRASS thanks to winning Battle of the School Bands and were even signed up to appear on The Voice. Cue COVID, exit plans. Hannah Muir caught up with the talented twins for a chat.
Tell me about your upbringing, was your house particularly musical?
Madison: We grew up with our Baba, who is our mum’s dad. He’s a massive musician, he’s always been in a band – biggest Beatles fan ever. He was on the news for having one of the largest Beatles collections in America. We would listen to The Beatles every day on the way to school and when he would pick us up, whenever we would go over to his house.
Micaela: Before we moved to Australia, from America, we were always surrounded by his music – we would go to his band practices with him and his gigs. I guess when we moved here it was the complete opposite, no music at all.
Madison: Yeah! Then we started doing music class and one of our friends was playing the ukulele, we were like, ‘what is that?’ and so we just started playing it and singing, and have been every day since.
Do you find anything particularly musically inspiring living in Alice?
Madison: Alice Springs is a really musical town. If you’re a musician, you know all of the other musicians, and everyone is so supportive. We started doing Jump Inn Jams here in town to get us confident and ready, and everyone was just so welcoming and so encouraging.
Micaela: Yeah, it really was the perfect place to start performing.
Any particular Territory role models?
Madison: Yeah, I would say Colin Lillie. He’s given us some pretty good advice which has been really helpful. We were supposed to open one of his shows, but COVID cancelled it, as it has been cancelling a lot of our gigs.
Micaela: He was really helpful and supportive when we were going to go on The Voice, too. He has so much experience.
What kind of gigs are you doing at the moment? I saw you perform at the Off The Leash launch at Montes, which was great.
Madison: At the moment, we’re doing some weddings, Juicy Rump, Jump Inn – we are doing a lot of hosting of open mic at Epilogue and the Jump Inn. We have the Fringe Festival in Darwin coming up!
Photo: Nico Liengme