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       Solo Blurbs             Career Highlights, Lowlights and Brushes with Fame          Flattering Quotes  

Blurb
(100 words: Other blurbs below)
Around the world and into your brain, vocal adventurer, multi-instrumentalist and looping beatboxing songwriter Mal Webb sings his songs about all manner of stuff, using all sorts of vocal techniques, guitar, mbira, slide trumpet, trombone, chromatic harmonica and a loop recording pedal called Derek. It's a lip to lung journey through the physics, physiology and phrivolity of all the sounds a face can make. Sideways yodelling, beatbox, harmonics, throat singing, uvular fluttering, advanced clapping. He's like Bobby McFerrin, Aphex Twin and Cole Porter playing scrabble. Ebulliently eclectic. Nefariously varied. Family fun free from facile frippery. "You're a freak!"-Ani DiFranco

Full Bio:
Mal Webb, B.Ed.(music) Melbourne Uni
Born in Melbourne in 1966, Mal started learning percussion at the age of 4. This led to singing, piano, moving to Canberra and writing facile pop songs with his brother John for the imaginary band, Spider. At 10, he took up trombone. At 12, and back in Melbourne, he started getting into jazz theory and composition. At 14, he did his first paid gig, playing trombone with a big band at the Hilton Hotel ($80 and a meal: It set quite a precedent!) At 16, he took up bass guitar. From 1984-88, he studied secondary teaching at Melbourne University Institute of Education. At this time, he became very into Ghanaian music with the group Adzohu, as well as being the musical director of the major theatre show, Wogs Out of Work. Mal's diverse tastes in music led him to be a member of many groups (6-16 at any one time to the present day). He played the support for David Lee Roth in Melbourne, Australia with Afrodisa (a soucous/hilife band).
1987 saw the start of the Oxo Cubans, a brass, percussion and vocal group that went on to tour much of Australia and release 4 CDs, before taking an extended break in 1996. In the Oxos, Mal became more involved in singing and song writing. In 1994, he toured to the Bogota Theatre Festival (Colombia) with roving circus drumming group, Batacuda (of which he was a founding member). The same year, he took up guitar and began doing solo gigs.
Mal's interest in the vast possibilities of the voice increased and in 1996 he did his first solo a cappella show (for the Boite) and formed the a cappella trio Milo, which became Sock after a change of personnel. It featured 3 men, complex arrangements of swapping parts, vocal drumming and a little comedy. Sock went on to release a CD and tour a little. Also in 1996, Mal began using his (slightly rusty) teaching skills, running workshops in alternative vocal techniques and being a band. His piano composition called Schvink Chass was published in the book, "Piano Miniatures" (Red House) and later recorded by Michael Kieran Harvey. In 1997, Mal got the job writing, playing, singing and recording the music for the ABC TV and Working Title co-production, "The Adventures of Lano and Woodley". The show went for 13 episodes and honed Mal's recording skills. In 1998, he recorded the Sock CD and the award winning CD "Aloukie" by Zulya Kamalova. That year he also began playing trombone and recording with the Overtones, which became Bomba. In 1999, the Sock recording of his song "Roofrack" come runner up in the Canadian Acapella Song Contest (tragically, to a song called "Humpty Dumpty Jumped").
In 1999, Mal recorded his first solo CD, Trainer Wheels. He formed Totally Gourdgeous with Penelope Swales, Carl Pannuzzo and Andrew Clermont, all playing gourd instruments (Mal playing bass, mbira and trumpet). They have recorded 3 CDs and are touring extensively (including Germany, Austria, UK, Denmark and Slovenia). In 2000, Mal began working with hurdy gurdy player Barb Dwyer. They have toured to France and Germany with their band, Hurly Burly. In 2002, Mal became musical director (and brass teacher!) of theatre company 5 Angry Men for their Melbourne Festival show, The Flag.
Mal played mbira and sang "Eagle Rock" with Ross Wilson on John Safran's Music Jamboree on SBS. In the 2003, 2004 and 2005 Australian Science Festivals, he performed solo and gave workshops in the physics of "beatbox and beyond". In 2004, he began working as part of Music Outback Foundation, teaching music at Ti Tree School in Central Australia (focusing on songwriting in the indigenous languges there). And he gave workshops at the Spark 2005 Arts Conference for People with a Disability and has done similar work for Nulsen Haven in Perth.
He did mouthdrums and stuff for Kaya on the X Factor (Channel 10) and in 2006 he made an appearance on the "Look what they've done to my song mum" segment of Spicks and Specks (ABC TV). In 2006 he joined Chambermade Opera's "Phobia" for tours of Singapore and the Nederlands. The same year, he began helping out with research into voice acoustics, principally with French physicists Nathalie Henrich and Lucie Baille, but also with all manner of physicists who are keen to poke cameras into his face. In 2008, he began doing a few collaborations with electronic/ music producer Spoonbill.
In 2009/2010, Mal recorded horns for Aurora Jane's album "Deep End" and has toured with her around Australia, Canada and India. In 2010, he composed 5 songs for the Ping online music teaching program (in collaboration with Songroom). In 2010 and 2011, he began collaborating with many others, including Casey Bennetto (Keating the Musical) and Opera Australia counter tenor, Tobias Cole. In 2011, he wrote, performed and recorded the music for Frank Woodley's TV show, "Woodley" (ABC). In 2012, he accompanied legendary Sundanese poet Kang Godi Suwarna on his Australian tour. In 2013, Mal recorded horns and began touring with Formidable Vegetable Sound System, including UK, Denmark, Portugal, New Zealand, Canada and all over Australia.
In the same year, he began performing with ex-Orchestra Victoria violinist Kylie Morrigan and wrote and recorded the music for Little Wing Puppets' production "Spike the Echidna". Also in 2013, his song "Bike" was included in the ABC Sing! book (and a corrected version was added to the following year's book) and in 2014 the same song was published (correctly) in Bloomsbury Press UK's "Music Express".
In 2015, he toured to Indonesia with Kang Godi Suwarna in Mainteater's "Urat Jagat" and wrote and recorded the music for UK puppet company Wishworks' production "Whsipering Smith".

Mal has made three solo CDs and a DVD "Live and Instructional". See gigs for current events.


Highlights, Lowlights and Brushes with Fame.
(chronological and yes, it's all true!):

Doing my first paid gig at 14 with the Diamond Valley Big Band at the Hilton ($80 and a steak meal... it set quite a precedent).
Being musical director of a show I didn't understand (Wogs out of Work).
Playing a Jewish wedding gig with Virgil Donati (the highlight was the drumroll for father of the bride!)
Having Rachel Griffiths walk past my house singing my song "2 and a Dog" (she wasn't famous yet).
Hearing Tiddas sing one of my songs and get the words wrong.
Hearing Scottish singer Ruby Carter sing one of my songs and not understanding my own lyrics.
Supporting David Lee Roth at Melbourne Park with a soucous/hilife band (Afrodisa).
Being billed below the Harley rides at a uni gig (Oxo Cubans).
Performing alongside the original Stomp at a remand centre in Adelaide (Oxo Cubans).
Having Simon Jeffes (Penguin Cafe Orchestra) be a fan at me while I was packing up after a sound check (and then me realising who he was!) (Oxo Cubans).
Being supported by the Australian Wallabies Rugby team and the Baby Animals at a bubble gum swap card launch (Oxo Cubans).
Touring South America with a drumming band (Batacuda).
Being randomly invited on stage to sing with Salif Keita and his band (his backing vocalists noticed me singing the lyrics and took a risk!)
Doing a 6 gig, 2 day tour of New Caledonia as a One Man Band ...ouch!
Meeting Michael Winslow at a radio station in Darwin (he was very grumpy, but still amazing).
Having my piano composition recorded by Michael Kieran Harvey ("Piano Miniatures").
Having my first T.V. soundtrack job aired for the first time in Belgium(The Adventures of Lano and Woodley).
Doing my First comedy show at the Last Laugh (Sock)
Singing "Mr.Sandman" as "Mr. Stats Man" on The Footy Show.
Doing 25 programmed gigs, plus umpteen sit-ins, at Woodford Folk Festival 1997/98, thus setting a record. (Honky Trash, Sock, solo, Penelope Swales' Band and the fire event).
Having Ani Di Franco rave gushingly at me after a Port Fairy gig with Sock.
Having my song, "Roofrack", come runner up to a song called "Humpty Dumpty Jumped" (Canadian Acapella Song Contest).
Doing a tea totalling pub crawl of Dublin with Jimmy Barnes (who doesn't mind a pun!)
Giving looping/beatbox lessons to DubFX and Mihirangi before they got famous.
Playing "Eagle Rock" on mbira with Ross Wilson for John Safran's Music Jamboree (SBS TV).
Playing with The Cat Empire at Womadelaide (nice).
Teaching Kerri-Anne to beatbox on her morning show (Channel 9).
Doing mouthdrums and stuff for Kaya on the X Factor (Channel 10).
Winning the Tamworth Country Music Festival Cavalcade (with Totally Gourdgeous, playing "Pub with No Beer").
Performing to Patch Adams' naked buttocks as he sat on the edge of a hot-tub at a party in his honour in Northcote.
Playing Surfin' with Ernest Ranglin (and Adam Simmons)
Appearing with Greens senator Bob Brown and Dolly Putin in the comedy show, "Me and Mr Brown" (with Totally Gourdgeous).
Appearing with renowned ethicist Peter Singer and Dolly Putin in the comedy show, "Dolly Goes Down on the Farm" (with Totally Gourdgeous).
Appearing solo on Spicks and Specks as the band playing obscure versions of songs... tough gig! (ABC TV).
Helping to arrange, perform and tune the bottles for the VB Stubbie Symphony
Doing my first double allnighter (53 hours no sleep) to finish the music for first episode of Woodley (ABC TV)
Making my first pun in the Anmatyerr language (when I swapped "thang arkwem" (I love them all) for "nthwang arlkwem" (eat a man)).
Accompanying legendary Sundanese poet Kang Godi Suwarna on his Australian tour.
Having my song "Bike" was included in the ABC Sing! Book (even though they got it wrong!)
Playing trumpet on "Cows with Guns" with Dana Lyons.

Who knows what next?
Send me an eMal if you'd like to know details of any of the above.



Some flattering quotes.

"Terribly clever....I haven't heard lyrics like that since Cole Porter"
-Phillip Adams (ABC radio).

"I didn't know beatboxing could be so musical" - Mark Holden

"Cute songs"
-Kaz Cooke.

"Gosh, to imply a sharp nine chord with only 3 voices... that's brilliant arranging!"
-Simon Jeffes (Penguin Cafe Orchestra).

"That was great. I wish you'd played more, though I can understand why you didn't"
-Crystal Wilkenson (nee Bailey) at a pub gig in Tamworth (Australia's country music capital).

"You have an amazing voice, but we don't like your kind of music here"
-High school student in Ceduna, South Australia.

"Nah Man, you sound like Stevie Wonder"
-Vince Jones (just after I'd sung "Kimba the White Lion").

"Gee, and I thought I did weird shit with my voice!"- Julian of the Mighty Boosh

"I'm just off to buy your CD...are you sure you want to swap?"
-Rory McLeod. We did a swap... of course!

"Is he alright? He sounded a bit like a chook" 
-Elderly Sydney ABC radio listener. 

"You're a freak"
-Ani DiFranco, after I did a support for her at Port Fairy Folk Festival 1998.

"Like a cross between Ella Fitzgerald and Bobby McFerrin"
-Monica Trapaga (Play School and stuff)




Blurbs

  25 word blurb:
Around the world and into your brain, vocal adventurer, multi-instrumentalist and looping beatboxing songwriter Mal Webb sings his songs about all manner of fun stuff.

40 word blurb:
Around the world and into your brain, vocal adventurer, multi-instrumentalist and looping beatboxing songwriter Mal Webb sings his songs about all manner of stuff. He's like Bobby McFerrin, Skrillex and Cole Porter playing scrabble. Family fun free from facile frippery.

50 word blurb:

Around the world and into your brain, vocal adventurer, multi-instrumentalist and looping beatboxing songwriter Mal Webb sings his songs about all manner of stuff. He's like Bobby McFerrin, Skrillex and Cole Porter playing scrabble. Ebulliently eclectic. Nefariously varied. Family fun free from facile frippery. "You're a freak!"-Ani DiFranco

70 word blurb:
Around the world and into your brain, vocal adventurer, multi-instrumentalist and looping beatboxing songwriter Mal Webb sings his songs about all manner of stuff, using all sorts of vocal techniques, guitar, mbira, slide trumpet, trombone, chromatic harmonica and a loop recording pedal called Derek. He's like Bobby McFerrin, Skrillex and Cole Porter playing scrabble. Ebulliently eclectic. Nefariously varied. Family fun free from facile frippery. "You're a freak!"-Ani DiFranco

100 word blurb:
Around the world and into your brain, vocal adventurer, multi-instrumentalist and looping beatboxing songwriter Mal Webb sings his songs about all manner of stuff, using all sorts of vocal techniques, guitar, mbira, slide trumpet, trombone, chromatic harmonica and a loop recording pedal called Derek. It's a lip to lung journey through the physics, physiology and phrivolity of all the sounds a face can make. Sideways yodelling, beatbox, harmonics, throat singing, uvular fluttering, advanced clapping. He's like Bobby McFerrin, Skrillex and Cole Porter playing scrabble. Ebulliently eclectic. Nefariously varied. Family fun free from facile frippery. "You're a freak!"-Ani DiFranco

Other blurb stuff you might like to add to make your own Mal blurb (you can trim it down however you like):
Mal Webb plays too many instruments in too many styles to too many people. He gives solo performance a bad name, and that's Mal, whatever your language. Music that stomps all over stylistic boundaries. It's as grittily human as it is other worldly, as clever as it is stupid, as playful as it is ponderous. Ballads, beatbox and beyond. A jolly jaw dropping journeyman. Eclectic, ebullient and even educational. A founding member of the Oxo Cubans, Sock and Totally Gourdgeous, Mal did all the music for the Lano and Woodley TV show and Wogs Out of Work, played mbira and sang "Eagle Rock" with Ross Wilson on John Safran's Music Jamboree on SBS and has done a few spots on Spicks and Specks (ABCTV).

Workshop blurb (40 words...for more, click here).
Exploring the physics, physiology and phrivolity of every sound a face can make. A cultural jaunt into your gob. Sideways yodelling, beatbox, throat singing, looping and safe vocal distortion. Be a band with your voice and the lead singer too.