New record label showcases Wollongong bands: free download

Zach Stephenson and Billy Fleming from Windang band Hockey Dad. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR
Zach Stephenson and Billy Fleming from Windang band Hockey Dad. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR

Ben Tillman wants to help get bands out of Wollongong.

The driving force behind music agency Yours & Owls, Mr Tillman will next week launch the F/O record label, the latest project of the Farmer and The Owl collaboration with Jeb Taylor, of record store Music Farmers.

He said the venture was about promoting and supporting local talent, and showing the rest of the country Wollongong had something to offer.

"Bands are good here, but nobody gets to hear them," Mr Tillman said.

"It's a shame Wollongong seems to get lost when you talk about music. It would be nice to have the area putting out good stuff and be recognised for that."

The F/O label will officially launch with their first compilation album Beached Friends, to be celebrated on May 29 with a bumper gig at the Unibar.

Windang surf-rockers Hockey Dad have been announced as the label's first signing, and will play alongside local acts Jenny Broke The Window, Shining Bird, The Walking Who and more at the launch party.

"Everyone on the album has something to do with the area," Mr Tillman said.

"The album is an introduction to the rest of the country, a reflection of what we hope to achieve and a concept for the way we want the label to be."

Mr Tillman said he hoped the label launch would encourage other locals to start their own music endeavours - record labels, festivals, bands and promotion agencies.

"If you want to be involved in a creative industry in Wollongong, you have to do it off your own steam," he said.

"It's pretty difficult, so hopefully people will see this as proof you can actually do stuff like this in Wollongong."

The Mercury is offering readers a free download of Beached Friends all week, featuring 17 tracks from Los Tones, The Walking Who, Hockey Dad, The Pinheads and more. Visit to get your copy.


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