“I’ll be bringing in the new year once again by making music. Not with a band. Not at a wedding or pub. But on the main street of Albury, raising money for those in need. Every cent I make tonight will go directly to the RFS NSW. It may not be heaps in the scheme of things, but I believe that if everyone makes small efforts like this we can turn this mess around.”Matt Cross
When Busker What’s Your Story? went in search of a busker on New Years Eve in Albury, we got more than we bargained for.
Matt Cross, who grew up in Lavington and was home from Newcastle on New Years Eve, was not out celebrating with the lads, choosing instead to give up his time to support the NSW Rural Fire Service. This at a time when fire has ravaged regions surrounding Albury and taken the life of a local volunteer fire fighter.
It was heartening to see young revellers tossing notes and coins in his case where they could. Those who didn’t have any change shook his hand, appreciative of his support. Matt made an impressive $926.90 for the Rural Fire Service.
He doesn’t do a lot of busking these days, this was for a special event. Usually Matt is gigging with his band Glovers Lane of which he is a founding member and the keyboard player.
Matt was just doing his thing, a young muso wanting to give something back. At Busker What’s Your Story? it reaffirmed why we write this blog. Life is full of stories, tragic, funny, interesting and heartwarming. Music is often the glue that brings people together. Find out more about Matt Cross and his band Glovers Lane below.
You grew up in Lavington – What drew you to music as a child?
“Music has always had a hold of me. It’s a magic that’s hard to explain. So choosing to study music was an easy decision. Some memories growing up that stand out would be making music with my siblings. Both my sisters and brother learnt as well, and it was always a lot of fun trying to fit us all on the piano. These days making music with others is still just as fun. That’s a big part of the magic I think.”
What’s a standout memory from your busking days?
“I remember busking on a Christmas Eve a few years back. A lovely family from Melbourne passed through to have a listen. Not only did they donate money, but their two daughters both had a sing on the mic – and were really good! We played songs from The Beatles and Elton John. By the end of it, they had a great crowd gathered, and brought in a small fortune! Was a fantastic night.”
What’s a lyric that is special to you – and why?
“Tim Minchin’s tune “White Wine in the Sun” is up there in my top 5 songs – especially this time of year. The lyrics in the chorus talk about the importance of family over the holiday period. It gets to me every time!”
Do you write your own material?
“I have two original projects that I write for. “Glovers Lane,” a five piece band from Newcastle. And “My Friend Rupert,” an acoustic duo consisting of female and male vocals.”
What’s a great advice you’ve been given in your lifetime?
“It’s a cliche one, but so many people have told me to do what you love. I’m fortunate enough to say that I am doing that, and I’ve never been happier.”
Do you think busking can survive in an increasingly cashless society?
“A cashless society makes it difficult, but the busking scene still seems to get by. I’ve seen progressive buskers with eftpos machines haha! It gives the punters no excuse.”
What’s something really interesting about you?
“I can juggle…
I also make a good lasagne (recipe passed down from mum of course)”
Where else can people see you gig/perform?
“For Albury locals, I’ll be back home on the 26th of January performing at the SS&A with local band “Mia Grace and the Aviators”.
“For Newcastle residents, my next show will be with Glovers Lane on the 11th of January, supporting Ash Grunwald at the Cambridge Hotel. Alternatively, follow my Instagram for all shows @mattcrossmakesmusic”