When Daryl McKenzie takes to the Karralyka stage on Tuesday 9 June alongside his Code One band members it won’t be playing to a crowded theatre to which they’re accustomed.
While they won’t actually be able to see or interact with audience members due to social distancing measures, he hopes their presence will be felt during the band’s live-streamed performance.
“This is definitely a first for us,” says Daryl, who has a string of musical credits to his name, including as the band’s musical director since joining the group in 2006.
“I can’t say that I know what it will feel like, but I guess it’ll just be like being up on stage recording together,” he says.
This will be the second live stream event to be featured as part of Karralyka’s Toe Tapping Tuesday series – the first saw over 2,500 viewers tune in live on 5 May and in the weeks following.
The former Victoria Police band is part of a tradition of police bands stretching back more than a century.
The group has been running, in some form or other, since 1891, with the Code One line-up having once been exclusively made up of Victorian police officers.
Despite the occasional line-up change, the band continues to thrill audiences with its ‘anything goes’ style repertoire, from jazz, swing, soul, rock and pop.
The current day line-up of Code One comprises five members: Daina Jowsey (vocalist), Richard Bennett (drums), Rick Varlet (guitar and vocals), Lorena Novoa (lead vocals and percussion) and Daryl McKenzie (music director and bassist).
One of the more recognised faces of the band is Lorena Novoa, who back in 1984 at the age of 13 got her lucky break performing in the hit television show, Young Talent Time. Lorena later joined Victoria Police as a constable, where she became Code One’s lead vocalist.
It was during Lorena’s time on Young Talent Time that Daryl enjoyed a stint as the show’s musical director.
“It was great to be able to reconnect after our time on YTT. Lorena was already a member of Code One when I joined,” he said.
Daryl has orchestrated and conducted movie scores including The Truman Show, Hating Alison Ashley and Two Hands, as well as the Olympic and Commonwealth Games themes for the Seven Network. He currently lectures in orchestration and arranging at the Victorian College of the Arts.
Artists to use his musical arrangements include Ray Charles, Randy Crawford, John Farnham, Tom Jones, Joe Cocker, Barry Manilow and BB King.
While despite not being able to perform in front of an audience at Karralyka – the venue has the capacity to seat 430 people – Daryl says there is an upside.
It means at-home viewers can “get up out of their chairs and dance”.
“We will definitely be looking at what songs we will be performing to make sure there are a few people can get up and dance to,” he says.
Thousands tune in to first live-streamed Karralyka event
Councillor Rob Steane said Council was pleased to still be able to provide entertainment to residents, albeit from an online platform.
“We had a fabulous response to our first live stream Toe Tapping performance in May with over 2,500 people tuning in live and in the weeks following,” Cr Steane said.
“Karralyka is very pleased to be able to bring the performing arts into people’s homes and hearts during these difficult times for the performing arts industry, by supporting these artists and engaging with the community,” he said.
Tune into live-streamed event
Viewers can tune in to see Code One from 10.30am on Tuesday 9 June.
The live-streamed performance is being featured as part of Karralyka’s Toe Tapping Tuesday series.