The Winnie Coopers
Gig Seeker Pro

The Winnie Coopers

Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia | MAJOR

Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia | MAJOR
Band Hip Hop Reggae

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


Tonight’s headliners, The Winnie Coopers, know how to make Aussie hip hop, as they assure us that, “We’re homemade, just like your mum’s lasagne”. The five piece, with Eloquence and The Educator on vocals, Young Tubs on bass, DJ Bigbad, and Fingers Malone on drums, fill the theatre with beats and rhyme, and coax even the most reluctant audience members into the light for a dance. At one point, they generously teach the more rhythmically-challenged folk in the audience some of the intricate dance movements of the 2-step. - Faster Louder


WHOLESOME is a description that doesn't often fit hip-hop acts and perhaps this explains the special appeal of the Winnie Coopers.
What could be sexier than a troupe of self-proclaimed nerds from the Gold Coast, whose official band website features study and essay writing tips, as well as a recipe for bran muffins?
Just ask the female fans who snapped up the Winnie Coopers' official line of women's underwear, which was briefly on sale at live shows. Despite selling out of every last pair of panties, the band has no plans to carry on with the merchandise, says rapper Charlie Thomson (aka The Educator).
"They actually sold like hot cakes," he says. "There is a real market there for us to go down the female clothing lines . . . but I don't know if that's an avenue our wives want us to go down."
Lacing party tunes with an endearing streak of self-deprecating humour, the Coopers have wooed fans nationally since their lucky break courtesy of Triple J last October.
After winning a station competition to support their American heroes Ugly Duckling at two sold-out Melbourne shows, the band enjoyed extensive airplay with the track Success from their debut album Being Different.
Last month, as they touched base with fans from Sydney to San Remo (near Phillip Island) on a Tour de Funk with Elation, the Coopers ranking among independent bands on the local MySpace charts rose to sixth.
The band will play the Valley Fiesta tomorrow night having been kicked by another rainbow selection as one of eight finalists in the People's Choice section of the inaugural Q Song competition, with their Analgesic Remix.
And yet, it seems the Coopers are a much harder sell to students at the Gold Coast Positive Learning Centre, where Thomson teaches Year 10 English and Maths.
"I've probably copped more flak from being in the Winnie Coopers than positive affirmation; some of the students know of the band, some don't and some just use it as a point of criticism," Thomson laughs.
"I appreciate it – I guess it reminds me that there's still a lot of work to be done."
Nevertheless, Thomson has success using rap in the curriculum as a vehicle for students to analyse Shakespearean themes, poetic devices and composition. He also sees hip-hop as a way for the Video Hits generation to give voice to their own culture, despite the commercial saturation of the American form.
"I think Australian hip-hop is still developing and I would say the majority of my students prefer the American urban-style of rap," he says. "But one of the things we really try to encourage students to do is to rhyme in their own native tongue and embrace their Australian culture and be proud of who they are and not try to mimic someone else from overseas, where the culture is different and not relevant."
There's no doubting Thomson's sense of vocation; the Educator can be found in the Coopers online forums offering high school fans help with tricky essay questions.
"We have had in the past some students email drafts of their assignments and they've actually asked for assistance, so that's something that we're happy to do," he says.
"I think that's good to encourage young people to do that and sometimes they feel more confident asking a stranger or someone they've met through a band than asking a teacher or parent."
The band's memorable handle came from growing up with TV show The Wonder Years and relating to the awkwardness experienced by the lead character, Kevin Arnold, as he pursued his childhood crush, Winnie Cooper.
"I guess we're all pretty nerdy and geeky people," Thomson says.
"(The Winnie Coopers) is a name that conjures up that period of our lives and a lot of people at shows remember the name and who she was, the stereotypical girl next door that everyone wanted."
Forming the Winnie Coopers in 2002 alongside turntablists Indelible and Webstar, Thomson relishes the current line-up with Eloquence also on the mic, Bigbad on decks, Young Tubs on bass and Fingers Malone on drums.
"It just adds more of a live band feel and I really think Australian audiences are more responsive to a live band," he says. The Coopers second album will include a track featuring guest rapper Dizzy Dustin, of Ugly Duckling, the very group who helped get the ball rolling for the nice guys of skip hop.
"(Dizzy) being a larger fellow and all of the Winnie Coopers enjoying our food, the tracks called Eating Disorder," Thomson says.
"It's all about not knowing when to stop eating, so its going to be pretty comical."
- The Courier Mail


They took their name from the ultimate first crush on '80s TV show The Wonder Years. Their new, second album, Worth The Weight, is presented in artwork imitating a pizza box. They have comedy hip-hop names such as Young Tubs and Big Bad.

Before you hear a note of their music, you might think Gold Coast five-piece the Winnie Coopers are thirtysomething clowns with a mental age of 14.

"That is very accurate," says the Educator, the MC sometimes known as Charlie Thomson. "Three of us are still under 30, so I sort of resent that. But no, I often think when we're touring that we are the most immature band in Australia."

Why is that? "Oh, just really a poor sense of humour and practical jokes.

"I did make it nearly all the way from Sydney to the Gold Coast without realising I had panda eyes and the word 'panda' written on my forehead."

Yes, the Winnie Coopers are wacky guys but they're genuinely funny and musically gifted. Worth The Weight is a smart collection of Australian hip-hop, all confident rhymes and funky beats and samples, kept fresh with live guitar, bass and drums. The band's reputation as pranksters doesn't do their music justice.

"A lot of the songs have a bit more depth to it than a lot of people might think," Thomson says. "That's OK - if people are attracted on a superficial level and get something out of it which they might not have expected ... that's a positive thing."

Their sounds have scored at least one high-profile fan: the rock superstar-turned-politician, Peter Garrett.

"He put us in, like, a Top 10 list of bands to listen to in the shower. So, a good visual ... I'd love to just sit Peter Garrett down and just, y'know, offload." Thomson cracks up at his unfortunate choice of word. "It's always nice to receive high praise from someone who is not biologically related."

The Winnie Coopers' tour with Adelaide's Lowrider overlaps with another; the Unified tour is taking them and three other rising stars of Oz-hop - Bliss N Eso, True Live and Funkoars - to 25 of the country's leading universities. Thomson is hoping the tour will live up to its name.

"There's a bit of tension between some of the groups," he says. "I hope it brings everyone closer together - campfires, marshmallows, that sort of vibe; stay up late, talk about boys."

Tension? What's the Australian equivalent of gun-toting American hip-hop beef? "Just really abusive text messages, I think that's as far as it gets. Name calling. It hasn't got physical yet. We're hoping that it doesn't because ... we're all lovers, not fighters.

"We are trying to do something a little different and when you do that you can't please everyone - nor are we trying to. And we're not the easiest guys to get on with. We're actually really annoying."

- The Sydney Morning Herald


It’s a crazy world where a silent two finger call for peace is trite, but it is undeniable that it has lost a little meaning. Thankfully, Michael Franti & Spearhead’s restless dedication to peace through the championing of rights, equality and understanding restore a little of its dignity, and did so on Thursday night.

Spearhead shows are undoubtedly charged, and with a packed house and their last show in Aussieland, the air was buzzing with good vibes, excitement and anticipation. Queensland lads The Winnie Coopers kicked it off and easily got the crowded moving. Aussie hip hop on a stick with simple beats and fun lyrics. Thankfully, the boys don’t take themselves too seriously and this results in a good mood for all. Their contribution is reminiscent of beer and chips in the summer time, and will surely make you thirsty for another.

The lads gave way to a bit of Bob Marley action by the dj, which ended up being the reoccurring theme of the night. Shortly after feeling the love, Jamaican songstress Cherine Anderson came on to woo the crowd a little further. This dancehall diva has talent on all counts. Her brilliant gospel voice wrapped up Marley’s Redemption Song to which the audience wholeheartedly sang along. Next, the girls got a little envious and the boys a little jealous at Anderson’s screaming hips while she cooed through Coming Over Tonight. Impressing and a little mesmerising, with enough rebel reggae power to get everybody moving, she was the perfect support for Spearhead.

A show by Spearhead guarantees a good time.

- Fastlouder.com.au


Bouncy!


For a funny bunch, The Winnie Coopers sound unhappy. Maybe unhappy’s a bad word, what they sound like is dissatisfied. Restless. Get What You Got is a song about the dangers of getting stuck in a rut that rips itself out of a rockrap rut to turn into full-on lounge music. They dabble with reggae, end one song with an epic scat, turn in a solid Ugly Duckling impersonation and recruit Kate Miller-Heidke to sing a pop hook. There are moments where this careening between hip hop and other genres brings Butterfingers to mind, although maybe that’s just because opening track Ends Meet features their frontman Evil Eddie. It’s a song about being broke that lets you know this because MC Eloquence acrostically spells out the subject in rhyme. Fellow MC The Educator gets in plenty of good lines, especially in Lost In The City, which I empathise with wherever it’s about: “Only deep thing here is the ocean.” Oh, zing. Take that, urban environment. The absolute highlight is UNO/Yahtzee, in which they go all Wu-Tang minimalist only replacing their chess obsession with family games. “You better learn / Yes, it’s still my turn.” All that nomadic shifting means they’ll probably hit a genre you don’t care for – me, I can give most reggae a miss – but it also means you’ll only be bored for a moment. And rhyming Annikin with mannequin deserves some kind of award.



****

- Rave Magazine


Discography

Being Different: 2005
Still Different: Vinyl Release 2007
Eating Disorder CD Single: 2008
Worth The Weight: 2008
Surface Parasites: 2010

'Substance', 'Hoodie' and 'Success' have all had national high rotation on Triple J, Australia's leading alternative station.

YOUTUBE LINKS FOR THE WINNIE COOPERS’ FILM CLIPS:
1. Substance
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=vNIlVDAVwZk
2. Success
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=G4qM-UWdHm0
3. Geek Manifesto
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3_hRYyFLmg
4. Eating Disorder
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=MLDuwPa4ob4
5. Sound Check
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=kpuHjZdupBQ
6. Analgesic Remix
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=Td1DqNFbUcQ
7. Burning Up Hot Fire
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=jRXWJScojkQ

Photos

Bio

The Winnie Coopers- Surface Parasites

We all know a place like Surfers Paradise, or as the locals call it, Surface Parasites. A place caught somewhere between hope and despair, beauty and horror and love and hate. This is the cityscape backdrop for Gold Coast hip-hop stalwarts The Winnie Coopers' third album, Surface Parasites.

Yet this offering is more than a commentary on the neon-soaked and plastic environment the live five-piece call home, it is a vulnerable insight into their growth and development not just as musicians but also as people. "This is definitely our most honest album, and I guess it was time that Australia's most immature group grew up a little...the songs are our letters to home, our journals of life on the road, our goodbyes to those who have passed and our hellos to those we have welcomed to the world," founding vocalist The Educator explains. Calling in the renowned services of ARIA award winning Brisbane producer Magoo (TZU, Regurgitator and Midnight Oil to name a few) and with guest spots from the indefinable pop songstress Kate Miler-Heidke and the mischievous cult hero emcee Evil Eddie (Butterfingers), this album bleeds Queenslander maroon.

With their hearts on their sleeves, and with nods to those they have toured with, The Beastie Boys, Michael Franti and Ugly Duckling, this is the Winnie Coopers at their humorous and thought-provoking best. After saying farewell to drummer/producer Fingers Malone, the Winnie’s have acquired the skills of Captain James Crook, who has not only taken up the rhythm reins, but has also played various instruments on the latest long player. Once again the lines between hip-hop, rock and reggae are blurred with sugary-sweet harmonies and infectious hooks as the Coopers make fun of the industry, the haters but above all themselves. Following up the lauded Worth the Weight (2008) (Rolling Stone 3 ½ stars) and the Triple J favourite Being Different which featured Success, Surface Parasites is sure to get tongues wagging and heads nodding again. Enjoy your stay, but watch your bag.

Detailed Biography:

The Winnie Coopers have their basis in the community — community groups to be exact. Charlie Thomson, who raps as the Educator, began performing when only 12 years old as part of a Gold Coast community group's outreach program. Although he was sidetracked by rock & roll in his teenage years, joining a band called Nagasaki, by 2002 hip-hop had called him back. With DJ Indelible he recorded a four-track EP, which, although it was never released, became the foundation of the debut Winnie Coopers album. That album, Being Different, was released independently in 2005 with help from DJ Webstar. They financed the album themselves and, with no way of getting the word out and selling copies, found themselves in debt.

The Educator, so named because of his day job teaching high school, was blessed a second time by a community group when he met fellow rapper Eloquence working at a youth center. The two were soon writing rhymes together while carpooling. With Eloquence sharing the microphone duties as well as playing the guitar, they had the basis for an actual band. They were joined by Young Tubs on bass, Bigbad on turntables, and Fingers Malone on drums just in time to win a competition to support Ugly Duckling at two of their sold-out Australian concerts.

Based on that exposure, they played the Big Day Out Festival in 2006 and supported several other big-name acts on tours of Australia, including De La Soul, the Beastie Boys, and Jurassic 5. After a delay, their second album, Worth the Weight, was released in 2008, featuring as its lead single a love song about food called "Eating Disorder," which featured Dizzy Dustin of their friends Ugly Duckling. The group, containing two former school captains and a member of the chess club as well as a teacher, naturally gravitated to geekier topics than are usual in the blokey, beer-soaked world of Australian hip-hop, which was only fitting for a group named after the nerd heartthrob of TV show The Wonder Years.