• Digby Robinson

Sounds Like Manly, Duan & Only

All the way from NZ's South Wairarapa, Duan & Only has become hot music property on the Northern Beaches.

When did you move to Manly?

Late 2010

Did you start performing in Manly immediately?

I was pretty lucky, moving in with a chick who ran Insitu. She knew I played guitar and had a PA, but I hadn’t really been gigging. She took me to meet the owners. I played them a few songs and they gave me a weekly Thursday spot off the bat.

Was that the only place you played?

I played Murray’s as well. That place used to go off on Sundays.

I remember that place being awesome until they got hit with all the noise complaints. Was great while it lasted though. What was your gear set up like back then?

I had a loop pedal and just a couple of guitar fx for solos. I didn’t have a drum so I’d use the body of the guitar for the beat and percussive stuff and loop that, then loop the rhythm and go from there.

Were you always doing solo stuff, or did you have a band too?

Around 2012 I put together a band called Mana Lion and we got our start here in Manly at Moonshine Bar.

When’s it looking like they might have some more music to release?

No solid timeline at the moment, but last year I released a lot of solo stuff that fell flat because I had no promo, but that’ll change this time, so keep an eye out later in the year.

That’s great to hear as that is something so many artists won’t do in the beginning and the release falls flat. Always put the money into promo as much as you do the release. So, 2020 was tough in the music scene, did you manage to work much?

My flatmate, who does live web casting and streaming, had lost a bunch of work like myself, so we set up a studio in our living room and started doing live shows. We planned on having guests but unfortunately everyone ended up flaking, so we did it as a solo show.

Did it go well?

Yeah man, we planned on doing one a week and that suddenly turned into every other day due to popular demand. Then we did a lot of online corporates for people like CANVA and AMEX. Then started doing collaborations with Four Pines.

Speaking of Four Pines, I saw you all over TV last year during the Bledisloe Cup in the Four Pines Beer commercial. How did that come about?

I was still doing online shows and one of the reps called me, wondered if I wanted to be involved. I obviously said yes, and the pay was pretty good. I was just there for the day and they dressed me up as the “Vibe Lord” and made me look like I was floating on a cloud with heavenly lighting, when I was actually sitting on a table on a dolly. They’d push me towards the camera and it was all green-screened, pretty incredible.

Where can fans see you play?

I play the Steyne on Sundays, Harbord Hilton Fridays and the Diggers on Saturday/Sundays. I also do a lot of weddings, performing at the ceremonies and during dinner or canapes as well. My style’s basically a soul/rnb/pop/hip hop thing with mash ups, very chilled. People can hire me for that too.

Awesome Duan, good luck for 2021. I’m sure we’ll see you around.

Listen to Duan & Only on Spotify. For bookings email duan.and.only@gmail.com


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