Five Mile Town
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Five Mile Town

Sunbury, Victoria, Australia | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Sunbury, Victoria, Australia | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Alternative Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos




The first support act, Cider Tree Kids, have a terrible name but an impressive catalogue of tunes like ‘Magician’ and ‘Under The Sun.’ They even had a fairly impressive rendition of Alt-J’s ‘Tessellate’ up their sleeves. The young guys, who’ve only been together for a year, had the best of stage report of the evening. Lead by singer and guitarist Ronan Johns’ whose looks resemble Matt Corby merged with Jaime Lannister. While guitarist Sean Dwyer‘s passionate shredding solos raises the excitement in the bands playing, and the audiences enjoyment. Even though Cider Tree Kids haven’t been together for very long, and the fact their style isn’t completely unique, these guys could do well if they keep things up.

The heat had defiantly risen in the little black room by now, it was sizzling. But Selahphonic from Brisbane didn’t seem to mind and hit the stage running with a loud set of energetic jangly synth pop that was delivered by the keenest bunch of blokes in the town. The poppy synths, catchy melodies that build to the chorus of ‘Hollywood Kids‘ was a highlight of their set.

Hiding With Bears then took to the stage a much calmer presence than the previous act, but did have a few moments where things seemed unprepared, most notably in a few acapella harmonised song entries. Overall their set was full of enjoyable moments of percussion driven tunes, filled with chirpy guitar licks that are impossible not to make you boogie.

Despite Hiding With Bears’ chill set, the room was so damn hot it was inducing rolling balls of sweat on the brows of every punter as they queued at the bar for frosty beers.

For tonights Melbourne leg of their Australian and New Zealand tour, Five Mile Town were joined by The Cactus Channel‘s Louis Coleman on keys which added a nice flair to the four piece’s live show. Tracks from their recent EP Other Ghosts, including ‘Without Myself‘ and ‘Curious Creature‘ made up the bulk of their set.

A few times throughout they group kept reminding me of the early acoustic sounds of The Kooks, especially in Louis McDondal‘s clear and calm vocals. But then they also combine that chilled factor with uptempo moments full of heavy strumming and uplifting bass and drum you might find in the county folk of Mumford And Sons.

‘Headlights‘ was a favourite of mine from the EP and the live rendition really made the impact of the huge drop towards the end of the track so wonderful to experience as the steadily rocking guitar melodies rebounding off the dark stoney walls.

‘Cigar and a 78’ has a great bluely line through the track, but the magic was lost a little by the rowdy audience in the front few rows and blaring beats coming from the restaurant below. ‘Solo‘ is and charming little story driven track that was the second single released off the Other Ghosts EP. Building to two climax’s within the four and a half minute tune, it’s a song that if you’d never head it before you’d still be able to sing along to the chorus, bask in the wonderful harmonies that surround your ears, or get carried away in the vibrant guitar fills.

Before their guitars were placed back on the rack, the rowdy audience demanded more and ‘If I’m Asleep‘ is what they were given. Five Mile Town are a musical force to watch out for. Once they’ve toured more, spiced up that stage presence and produce a full length album (fingered crossed it’s in the next year or two) there’ll be no stopping them. - The Ripe


Other Ghosts is a seven track EP from some Melbourne based Auckland expats, who we’re apparently mates with the almighty Lorde when they were twelve. But Five Mile Town give you reason to want to spread their musical goodness to anyone who will listen, and it’s not because of their famous connections.

The four piece deliver goose-bump inducing song structures, coupled with lyrics that conjure strange thoughts, all matched with skilful instrumentation to awaken your mind into actively listening rather than passively letting the song go by. The harmonies spot on in ‘Curious Creature‘, they’re kind that makes the soul melt. Then that bass and soft drum kick in at just the right second to sweep you off your feet and put an un-wipeable smile on your face.

‘Solo‘ is the second single of the release, which opens up with a nimble guitar picked melody, again, Levi Heeringa’s bass part is perfectly timed. “You took my soul now I’m solo” I don’t usually get too caught up by lyrics that often, but this line just caught my attention regardless. Building to the end with masses of volume from the guitars, drums, and bass. ‘Solo’ is easily one of the best tracks on the release, and was accompanied by a clip that captures the song without a skerrick of cliché or tackiness.

Bluesy guitar licks seem to speak their own longsome line amongst the lyrics, while ‘Cigar and a 78’ tries to squish too much lyric into musical space they’ve created. At first it doesn’t sit right, but the after the sparse intro, things settle once more of a tame rock style develops.

Despite their Kiwi/Aussie exposure the boys tend towards singing in an Americanized and occasionally British accent (‘Without Myself‘), which for me is a petty hate. Why do bands feel the need to do this? Regardless, they do have their own sound in the indie folk rock without mirroring (the biggest stylistically faux Americanized band) the Appalachian mountain range banjo plucking Mumford & Sons.

But like just a few that have come before them, these guys are talented Kiwi’s I’d gladly call Aussies.

Five Mile Town have some show dates left in Aus before heading back to their homeland.




Over the autumn season, The Toff has been opening its doors back up for Communion on a Sunday night. There’s been acts like Willy Mason, Thelma Plum, Deap Valley, India Bourne, Playwrite, Mustered Courage and I, a Man. I made it down to see them wrap up the season in a final show.

Zack Buchanan was first to grace the stage, playing his first ever gig. Armed with a guitar and a harmonica, he sung coming-of-age tales. ‘Home’ was for how he felt being back after spending time in London, and ‘Little River’ was the title track from his debut EP. A gentle way to begin the evening, the crowd hushed around candle-lit tables while the young songwriter shone.

Sean O’Neill was up next and became my favourite for the night. The artist, based in London, had his ‘Melbourne band’ beside him, complete with backing vocals, drums, a trumpet and a trombone. An intimate space for a horns section, they concocted this full-bodied sound that was completely enrapturing. Billowing between soft and subtle to loud and encompassing, Sean’s vocals were smooth and repetitive. Songs included ‘A Heavyweight’ and ‘The Dying Bird’.

Miles and Simone were quite the dynamic duo and injected a kind of Cabaret-infused energy into the night. Music set in a country/folk tradition, they told narratives of old and lost loves. The highlight for me was Simone flexing her full operatic range during their last number.

Garrett Kato is new to the Australian music scene, relocating from Canada to Byron Bay only recently. Riding solo with his guitar, his husky tones were pretty pleasing but his stage presence was a ripper. He injected a few funny stories in between each song and was gracious while trying to interact more with the crowd. Covering ‘Atlantic City’ from Bruce Springsteen was a favourite with the crowd, as was his instance to step away from the microphone, gather the crowd closer to him and perform one number acoustically.

We ended our night listening to the big rock/folk sounds of New Zealand band, Five Mile Town. Another group that have emigrated to Melbourne, these guys proved that being young men in a young band is certainly no barrier to performing a set of well-executed, engaging songs. Their self-titled EP is available now.

Overall the night wrapped up Communion’s autumn season with a decent crowd and some fantastic emerging musicians. They should be back in spring to continue their support of homegrown and international talent. - The Ripe TV

"Kimbra, Five Mile Town singer win international song contest"

Kiwi pop princess Kimbra, and rising local star Louis McDonald have each won a category in the annual International Songwriting Competition. Kimbra took out first place in the Pop category for her song Good Intent, while McDonald, who is the singer in Auckland band Five Mile Town, won the Teen category with his song You Would Know. McDonald's prize includes a scholarship to Berklee College Of Music's Summer Performance Program, and both of them win a variety of gear, music industry services.

A total of 68 winners were selected from over 20,000 entries worldwide, and the grand prize - which includes US$25,000 and US$40,000 worth of equipment and services - was won by American Indie folk songwriter Joshua Hanson. Kiwi singers Gin Wigmore, Kimbra, and Moana Maniapoto have each won the prize in past years.

The judges for this year included Tom Waits, Nas, Keane, Jeff Beck, Robert Smith, Janelle Monae, Tegan and Sara, Basement Jaxx, and reggae star Toots Hibbert along with many other artists and industry executives. - New Zealand Herald

"NZ Songwriters Honored In Us-Based International Competition"

... 17-year old Louis McDonald has taken this year's First Place win in one of ISC's most competitive categories--the Teen category--with his song "You Would Know." In addition to the regular prizes awarded for winning the Teen category, McDonald also wins a full scholarship to Berklee College of Music's 5-Wk Summer Performance Program in Boston, MA, USA. McDonald founded the band Five Mile Town in 2011, and their self-titled debut EP was released soon after in March of 2012. Following their debut release, the band took New Zealand by storm and has since played some of the best festivals and top venues in the country. This year, Five Mile Town is journeying across the Tasman Sea for an Australian tour; armed and ready for new adventures with a brand new single in hand, called "Kids And Their Chemicals." They were recently nominated for Rip It Up's "Best New Act" in New Zealand and were invited to showcase at the prestigious South By South West (SXSW) conference in Austin, Texas earlier this year. With McDonald's songwriting talents at the forefront and a strong group of determined band mates behind him, Five Mile Town has only just begun its journey down the road toward undoubted success ... -

"Five Mile Town Headed On An Upward Path"

Having agreed to meet the young lads of Five Mile Town at an Auckland bar for their interview, one unspoken question arises before they're even seated - are they old enough to be offered a drink?

As it turns out the answer is both yes and no. Double bass player Levi Heeringa is 17, as is lead singer Louis McDonald, while guitarist Adam Quigley and newly recruited drummer Ryan Wilson are both 18.

But being surprisingly mature young men, the question is not even raised - they're all sensible enough to order sodas or french fries as they settle down to chat about their quick rise to popularity - and earning enough fans to book themselves a show at the Town Hall Concert Chamber this weekend.

"The Concert Chamber is cool - it's in the Town Hall," Quigley laughs. "And playing a seated show works for us."

A seated gig in the somewhat prestigious - and large - Concert Chamber from a relatively new teenage band might seem a bit incongruous, but despite their young age and forming only last October, Five Mile Town are already well on their way to success. They've played the Waiheke Jazz festival, performed in Wellington and a variety of interesting Auckland venues, been booked for several corporate gigs and been to Australia to support Sydney band Set Sail.

Not to mention being short-listed for an APRA Silver Scroll award.

They're youthfully ambitious and enthusiastic, while being level-headed enough to take their time. But to be honest, they make it sound like a pretty easy ride so far.

They all went to different high schools, but when Quigley (son of the Nairobi Trio's John Quigley) and McDonald met through a mutual friend last year, they formed a duo for Rockquest.

"We were attempting to be an Irish folk duo," laughs Quigley.

Heeringa came on board after they bumped into him at the Rugby World Cup and decided they needed bass, and Wilson is a more recent addition, as their need for a fourth member and live drummer became apparent.

Though they're not quite sure how to class their music in terms of genre (it's not traditional folk, but "we're an alternative band who play songs acoustically", offers Quigley) they seem to appeal to a wide age range - a fact they're rightfully proud of.

"I guess it's kind of like Adele, she's got a broad appeal age-wise," Quigley muses.

"At our EP release it was mostly teenagers, and a lot of people we didn't know, which was cool, because we thought it would be just our friends, but then there were parents as well," McDonald adds.

"I've had lots of friends say 'oh yeah, my mum really likes you too'. It's nice to be able to play to anyone, or share your music with anyone," Quigley finishes.

Not many teenage bands would already have a professional-looking and sounding EP to their name but even the decision to record after only a few months together was an easy one. They were lucky enough to be mates with Rich Bryan, who'd just started working at Big Pop Studios, so they thought it was a good opportunity to lay down the tracks.

"He's our mate, he's got ProTools, he's got some mics, he knows what he's doing," Quigley shrugs. "And he's really good at vocals. That was the main thing. And we thought the vocals were important."

So far the direction of their music has been mostly influenced by their chosen instruments and their natural abilities, rather than particular musical heroes.

"Something like the fact that Levi plays the double bass, it changes the way he plays the bassline. I think before Adam joined we were quite limited in what we could do with just the three of us. We didn't have a drummer, we had to be creative. And that moulded the way we wrote songs, we had to create rhythms between us rather than using drums for rhythms."

One of their key reasons for recording the EP, however, was to prove their talents to their friends.

"We kept telling our mates how we're in this band, and they'd be like 'oh yeah, everyone's in a band', so we wanted to have something for them to listen to."

With 70,000 views on their video for debut single Saturated and a slot at the Rhythm and Vines festival at New Year, their friends are sure taking notice now.

So how long will it be before they're playing the actual Town Hall?

"As soon as we can pack it out," Heeringa says with a grin.

Who: Auckland band Five Mile Town
Where and when: Performing at the Auckland Town Hall Concert Chamber on Saturday night, with Great North.
Listen to: Debut self-titled EP released in March - The New Zealand Herald - APN

"FIVE MILE TOWN: Five Mile Town EP"

By Ben Martin
There are some gorgeous moments throughout this five track EP, with singer Louis McDonald’s soulful voice the main attraction as he guides the listener through a number of catchy and pleasantly surprising melodic lines. Instrumentation is subtle and skillfully arranged, with banjo, mandolin and double bass all contributing to the folky undertones of the record. Overall it’s a polished, well-defined sound, one that would sit comfortably on a playlist with UK based pioneers of the folk revolution, Mumford and Sons. If I could wish for anything more from this record it would be a lift in pace and dynamic at times in order to really drive home a chorus or two. But really this is a minor criticism of an extremely accomplished second release for the young Auckland three-piece. Recorded at Big Pop Studios and mixed by Rich Brian, it’s a shame that ‘Five Mile Town’ is not a full album and I sincerely hope to hear more from this obviously talented trio. - NZ Musician Magazine

"Must-listen/watch: FIVE MILE TOWN release debut 'Saturated' music video."

Hey, so I actually have a favourite new New Zealand band now...

FIVE MILE TOWN - Louis McDonald, Adam Quigley and Levi Heeringa - only formed last year, but already show more promise with their debut single 'Saturated', than 99.99% of the unsolicited music-listening requests I've received so far this year from artists with major record label publicists and big-budget-everything.

The unsigned trio are aged from seventeen to eighteen-years-old, and hail from Central Auckland and Devonport. Apparently they're working on plans to tour extensively, so hopefully I will get to see them live soon.

Also, I am very much looking forward to hearing the band's debut EP, which is due for release on March 31st, 2012!

Watch the 'Saturated' music video below, which was filmed in Wellington...

P.S. Yes, no doubt Mumford & Sons comparisons will be the first thing to come to mind... but let's remember a very important fact. I don't actually like any of Mumford & Sons' songs. But I like this. So, go figure.
- Coup de Main


March 31st 2012
The Five Mile Town EP released. Five songs including 'Saturated', 'You Would Know', 'Kids And Their Chemicals', 'Balloons' and the 2012 APRA Songwriting NZ nominee 'Fatal Flaw'. ('Saturated', 'You Would Know', and 'Fatal Flaw' are also semi-finalists in the 2012 ISC with the finalists beng announced Feb 28th 2013)

Five Mile Town EP on SoundCloud

March 31st 2012
The debut single and music video 'Saturated' released.

'Saturated' on SoundCloud

'Saturated' on YouTube

November 19th 2012
Second single and music video 'Kids And Their Chemicals' released

'Kids And Their Chemicals' on SoundCloud

'Kids And Their Chemicals' on YouTube

May 2013
Curious Creature and music video (being shot Feb 2013) will be released

Pre-release Five Mile Town - 'Curious Creature'

The debut album from Five Mile Town is slated for release in mid 2013. It includes 10 new finished songs the band have been gigging in New Zealand to raptured audiences including "astonishing debut songs" (a quote from Republic Records L.A.'s Maureen Kenny) 'Without Myself', 'The Lucky Ones', 'Evening Commando', 'I'm Asleep', 'Headlights', 'Curious Creature', 'Solo', 'Cigar & A 78', 'No Need To Be Nervous'

Reference Mixes Five Mile Town 'Debut Album Candidates'

For more information please call or email Ian McDonald, FlingItAtEm Management email:



On the back of a successful Australasian tour that included a venue-fire in Adelaide and a sold-out show in Melbourne, Auckland ex-pats Five Mile Town have recently completed their biggest tour to date in support of their latest single 'The Lucky Ones'.

Releasing their first single in 2012 the band had humble goals. After their music video ‘Saturated’ received over 50,000 views on Youtube in a week, momentum built and their debut self-­titled EP quickly followed. That same year their song ‘Fatal Flaw’ was APRA Silver Scroll nominated and ‘You Would Know’ won the International Songwriting Competition Teen Category, cementing the band as one to watch.

After a festival appearance on the main stage of New Zealand’s Rhythm and Vines Festival, 2013 saw the band move to Melbourne, a tradition paved by artists from Crowded House to Kimbra. They continued to develop their sound by touring Australia, influenced by a desire to prove themselves in a new environment.

The release of their Sophomore EP ‘Other Ghosts’, recorded by VNZMA Award Winning engineer Andrew Buckton (Midnight Youth, Clap Clap Riot), brought a strong end to 2013. Singles ‘Curious Creature’ and ‘Solo’ showcased a band matured beyond their years. Thoughtful arrangements and lyrics show the makings of true songwriters, reminiscent of artists like Neil Finn as much as international acts Wilco or Arcade Fire.

2014 begins with ‘The Lucky Ones’, arguably the bands strongest offering to date. The song reveals a new side to the band previously unseen on their earlier output.

An Australian single tour in March and a national New Zealand tour in April, including a support for Irish band Kodaline at Auckland's Powerstation and appearance at the Waiheke Island International Jazz Festival, has showed that Five Mile Town are showing no signs of slowing down.

Band Members