After taking over venues everywhere from Katoomba to Canberra, local band Club Halifax is about to hit their biggest stage yet, opening for internationally renowned singer-songwriter Louis Tomlinson at Qudos Bank Arena.
Club Halifax initially came together in 2021, when existing bandmates Bree Greasley, Cameron Browning and Cameron Hopcroft joined forces with new members Robert Jinks and Ethan Karpathy to create a brand new sound.
Over the last few years, the group has performed all over New South Wales and interstate whilst working collaboratively to write and release two singles, with Karpathy admitting that Glenmore Park local Hopcroft, whose home they record at, is always the “secret ingredient” in their music.
“I like a lot of heavier music, a lot of the other guys like a lot of the folkier stuff, so you blend that all together, and then our sprinkle on top is always Hop – whenever Hop brings his lead lines on, that’s when it goes from a song, to a Club Halifax song,” he said.
Everything changed for the band last year when a targeted advertisement came up on Karpathy’s Instagram looking for a local act to support the former One Direction member at his Sydney show on Friday, February 2.
Despite saying he ignored the advertisement at first, thinking the band had no chance at the spot, Karpathy ended up applying the next day with a short blurb and video of them playing at the Blue Mountains Theatre.
You can only imagine their shock upon opening an email from Tomlinson’s team just a few weeks ago naming Club Halifax as the official opener.
“[Browning] and I yessed it before we got everyone else saying ‘yes’ – we just knew it had to be done,” Karpathy said.
Club Halifax is one of three Australian bands opening for Tomlinson over the span of his tour, with The Velvet Club performing in Melbourne, and Safety Hazard in Brisbane – each local to their respective shows.
According to Greasley, artists like Tomlinson providing opportunities like these for smaller bands is an integral part of the industry locally, showcasing that there’s no shortage of musical talent in Australia.
“I think it’s awesome, because all of these smaller bands are getting so much momentum out of it, and hopefully opportunities out of it as well,” she said.
With the countdown now officially on, the band said they’re all dealing with mixed emotions, struggling to focus on day-to-day life without being reminded of the gig.
“I think we’re all feeling terrified, but excited,” Hopcroft said.
Ultimately, however, Jinks noted that they can’t wait to soak it all up, especially given they’ll be surrounded by loved ones who have bought tickets to support them.
“For a western Sydney band, this is a huge opportunity. I don’t think any of us saw this coming, and definitely not this quick. It’s the dream, but it doesn’t happen often,” Jinks said.
“I’m pretty excited that we’re going to have all of our friends and family in the audience. I think that’s going to be the only comforting thing in the whole gig – looking out and seeing mum. But also, brushing shoulders with pop royalty Louis Tomlinson is super exciting.”
As for what’s next for Club Halifax, Browning assured that there’s plenty more in the pipeline for 2024.
“There’s at least one EP, potentially two, in the works, and then other stuff beyond that, like merch and more gigs,” Browning said.
Cassidy Pearce is a news and entertainment journalist with The Western Weekender. A graduate of the University of Technology Sydney, she has previously worked with Good Morning Macarthur and joined the Weekender in 2022.