The sad reality of the closure of pubs and clubs across Australia is slowly kicking in.

The new restrictions have taken their toll on business owners and employees of ‘non-essential’ premises.

And it’s not just those directly employed by these venues who are being hit hard.

Musicians have been left with no crowds and no settings for their voices to be heard.

But there is one stage for musicians – social media.

One artist who took full advantage of that platform is former Narrabri resident and lead singer for The Viper Creek Band Damien Baguley.

With a guitar in hand Damien, who is the son of Neville and Kerry Baguley, played live on The Viper Creek Band’s Facebook page for an hour and 45 minutes on Sunday night.

As well as playing some tunes, Damien interviewed fellow musicians Max Jackson, Jeremy Minett and Troy Kemp.

The popular live stream (see below) reached about 15,000 views, generated 636 likes, 1600 comments and 74 shares.

VCB – FUCV – Live from the man cave!

VCB – FUCV – Saturday Night Live from the man cave!

Posted by The Viper Creek Band on Saturday, 28 March 2020

Saturday night’s live stream.

The audience showed their support for the musician sending videos of them singing and dancing along to Damien’s tunes.

Damien said the idea of the stream was created because of the fans’ requests.

“A lot of people were asking us to do it,” he said.

“It’s kind of hard for us to do it all together as a band with all the limitations that are in now.

“I thought I might just have a small Saturday night stream and have a few drinks, play some songs, call some friends, interview them and have them play some tunes.

“And it was probably also for my own sanity.

“It’s not a financial thing, this is what I do and this is what I’ve done for every weekend for the last 25 or 26 years.

“I really miss getting out there and playing for our fans and supporters.”

Damien said the video reached different areas of the world.

“There were around 500 people watching it at the time of live streaming,” he said.

“Because we’ve travelled a lot we had fans all across Australia tuning in.

“We had people from Scotland, we had people from America, Canada, New Zealand.

“There was even someone from Italy who commented.

“It was sort of a weird feeling, sitting in your studio and there are people all across the world sitting there and watching you, enjoying what you’re doing.”

Damien said he appreciated the different parts of the stream.

“I really enjoyed chatting to Troy Kemp and Jeremy Minett, who is the guitarist with our band, his fiancé Max Jackson is also an artist so I got them on to play some songs.

“But just the banter was great.

“There hasn’t been much connection in that way so that was a lot of fun.

“People commenting and asking for requests was great too, it was interesting to see what people wanted to hear played.”

Damien scrolled through the comments after he had finished the stream and said he took a lot away from the fans’ enthusiasm.

“It was great to see everyone saying g’day and how they were enjoying it,” he said.

“There were people putting up photos of them streaming to their TVs while dancing and having a good time.

“The positive thing for me was just to see people having fun.

“And that’s what it was like for me, I switched the news off for that hour and 45 minutes and kind of forgot that there was this going on in the world.

“It just a bit of an escape and some kind of normality going on even though it’s not normal at all.”

The success of the live stream has prompted Damien to do it all again.

“It’s just a really amazing platform,” said Damien.

“People seemed to enjoy it so I’m going to make it a regular thing every Saturday night.

“If it gets even crazier we might even throw in a mid-week one as well.”

With the break in the music scene Damien said The Viper Creek Band’s plan is to write some new music.

“I was actually supposed to go to Nashville in June for a month to write,” he said.

“All my friends in Nashville are in the same boat right now so we might hook up a video stream and talk about it.

“We’ve just released a new single last week which is the last single in our ‘Beautiful Destruction’ album.

“There’s definitely going to be a brand new single put out by the end of the year.”

Damien said it’s important to support local artists during these tough times.

“It’s a tough time for everyone, we lost about $50,000 in gigs so far,” he said.

“At the moment I think the best thing people can do is buy albums and buy merchandise from the artists.

“It always helps and our fans have been great, we’ve sold a fair few t-shirts over the last couple of weeks.

“I know a fair few artists who live stream are putting a ‘tip jar’ on the stream.

“People can find lots of different ways to support them, even wearing the merch helps.”

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