A local musicians that would’ve been referred to as a ‘hipster’ ten years ago, is still getting quite a lot of mileage out of the late 2000s / early 2010s British folk rock sound.

Ageing millennial muso, Merrick Tilley (39) has been playing covers of once-popular chart-toppers, as well as his atrocious originals that are clearly inspired by these once-popular chart-toppers, for the best part of two decades now.

Once part of the ‘dapper gent’ renaissance of beard oil and craft beer – Merrick is still keeping the dream alive with his acoustic axe and carefully enunciated British vowels.

This is despite that fact that his Gen-Z successors are far more interested in Billie Eilish-style alt-pop and the revival of country music.

However, with a balding noggin hidden under a tartan paddy cap, and a string of rockabilly girlfriends who still think he’s hot shit, Merrick refuses to accept that he is no longer a tastemaker when it comes to contemporary music.

In a beer garden out the back of Betoota’s light industrial Flight Path District yesterday afternoon, the scene was set for this alt-folk-rock troubadour to remind some young families and retirees what real music sounds like.

The micro-brewery patrons had so far treated Merrick’s music like it was simply the ambient background music he’d been hired to perform, but about halfway through his three hour set, it became clear he wasn’t mucking around.

He opens with a fast-paced guitar riff.

He doesn’t have a banjo or keyboardist with him, but those who know, know.

“Weep for yahself, my muun
You’ll never be whut is in your harrrrt
Weep, little lion mun
Yarr not as brave as you were at the staaaart”

He’s doing it. He’s singing the indie-folk anthem of the Facebook generation.

The crowd marvels at this late-30s Australian singing in an upper-class London accent.

Is he going to do it. They hold their breath.

Is he going to sing that word that nobody had ever sung in a mainstream rock song before 2009?

“But it was nuuut your folt but my-ane
And it was your heart on the ly-ane
I really FUCKED it up this time
Didn’t I, my dear?
Didn’t I, my-“

There’s nearly smoke coming off the strings of Merrick’s guitar. The crowd should’ve never doubted his commitment to this Triple J Hottest 100 winner.

One chorus in, and he’s got four more of these F-bombs to get through, and he will be taking each as seriously as the last.



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