May 3, 2022

Your dream job: David Corbet

5  minutes with Sound Doctor’s David Corbet.

Local GP by day and Sound Doctor by night. Is that you David?
Ok, that’s fair enough, I am a local GP during the day and The Sound Doctor is one of my many alter egos!

So what exactly is The Sound Doctor? What do you do?
The Sound Doctor is essentially a group of locals with a shared love of live original music. We put on shows in the Anglesea Memorial Hall that allow people to experience high quality performances that in many cases wouldn’t generally make it to a small coastal town like Anglesea.

How did it all begin?
On a whim really and with me as a music fan. I brazenly approached New York singer Joan As Police Woman and asked her to do a show in Anglesea, when she next toured Australia. She said yes and, buoyed by her response, we started producing shows with grant assistance from Creative Victoria and the Surf Coast Shire. Two years later, Joan played in Anglesea Hall, and it put The Sound Doctor on the live music map.

What makes a Sound Doctor show so special? What distinguishes it from say a pub gig?
There is a real focus on the music that can be a bit hit and miss in a pub. We have a bar but we close it while the show is on – a bit like a Concert Hall/Arts Centre show in a big city.

What’s the Anglesea Hall like as a venue for live music?

"In its rawness, it has awesome acoustics – which is a great starting point."

From an actual venue perspective, well, it’s a blank canvas. It’s limited only by imagination and effort. We have an incredible designer and a crew of dedicated volunteers. It’s this combined effort that makes it a great venue.

Is there really a market for live original contemporary music in Anglesea? Where do you draw your audience from?
There is a very strong local demand for Sound Doctor shows and the demand continues to grow. People love the idea of being able to walk or ride to the Hall and see an amazing live show. Having said that, we attract a lot of fans from Melbourne and all over Victoria, and even interstate.

Do you have loyal Sound Doctor people that wouldn’t miss a show?

"Absolutely we do – they come even if they have never heard of the artist. There’s a definite trust that we have built with our regulars."

They get to know our style, and trust that what they will see and experience will be fantastic. For some, the opportunity to catch up with friends and family is as much a drawcard as the music.

How do you sell your shows? Tell us your marketing secrets.
Our mailing list is critical. It gets bigger with every show and we always put shows on sale to our mailing list first. We can release a show to our mailing list and it can sell out before any social media campaigning starts – sometimes in just a day or two.

Is there room for another Sound Doctor on the Surf Coast?
There’s always room for more live music and arts events. The Arts is what makes life worth living, and the more of it we have, the better off we all are! Bring it on.

I imagine using the moniker The Sound Doctor creates a level expectation for your live music fans. Is a show at the hall with terrible sound your worst nightmare?

Absolutely, that’s our biggest fear. The sound is paramount. It’s such a big part of what we do. It makes it for the audience and the artists.

What is the most rewarding thing about putting on shows?

"Seeing amazing acts in that old hall and the community response. The joy that it brings the community makes it all worth while."

What are you listening to right now?
I’ve been listening to Lisa Mitchell’s new album A Place To Fall Apart, which just came out. It’s quite beautiful and we’re lucky enough to have her include Anglesea as part of her album launch in May.

If you weren’t practicing medicine and promoting live music on the coast, what would your dream job be?
Definitely a Professional Body Surfer. I’m just not sure it would pay the bills.

Thank you Doctor Corbet.

Profile written by Jim Lawson.

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