“We don’t win anything except consecutive Mars bars from Woolworths in 2002,” says Esther Henderson, one half of familial musical duo Gimme Gimme. With such a humble approach to life, it’s easy to see why the pair were surprised to learn that they’d been hand-picked by Crooked Colours to perform alongside them as part of their Smirnoff Origins appearance in March.
On March 9th, iconic Brisbane venue The Brightside opened the doors of its scenic venue for the second edition of the Smirnoff Origins series, featuring not only Perth outfit Crooked Colours, but also rising Coffs Coast duo Gimme Gimme.
With the events designed to help to reinvigorate and support the Aussie music industry, the Smirnoff Origins series has seen the iconic brand teaming up with acclaimed artists and famed local venues to put on events that music-lovers will carry with them forever.
In February, this year’s series held its initial event in Sydney, with Brisbane following shortly after. The intimate nature of these events made it clear that they were always destined to be a magical moment for the punters in attendance, but for the artists at the centre of the action, it meant so much more.
Proof of this lies within Gimme Gimme, who opened proceedings at the Brisbane gig. Comprising siblings Esther and Will Henderson, the duo have been making music since their earliest years meaning that they would ensure an opportunity like this one wasn’t one they would let pass them by.
“We grew up playing music together, and our sound has kind of morphed from starting with classical and Irish stuff from when we were very young,” recalls Will, who cites the Spice Girls, Justin Timberlake, Remi Wolf, and Still Woozy amongst their influences.
“Then we started doing lots of jazz, and then Essie moved to Melbourne and I moved to Berlin, and we started doing lots of lo-fi, soul-y stuff like that.”
This widescreen musical approach has been at the forefront of Gimme Gimme’s vibe, with their eclectic musical nature meaning that their work not only crosses boundaries and genres, but also appeals to music-lovers from all walks of life – especially Crooked Colours themselves.
“I guess the sound of Gimme Gimme, it’s pretty cinematic because we layer up lots of strings, we both play violin – we grew up playing violin together,” adds Esther. “I guess it’s a little bit soul, a little bit pop, and as lush as we can make it.”
It was this lush approach to their craft that caught the attention of Crooked Colours, who hand-picked the pair to open for them at the Brisbane edition of Smirnoff Origins.
Initially, it was Will who entered the group into the competition after seeing an ad on social media. But despite low expectations for any potential success, what started off as an entry on a whim soon morphed into Gimme Gimme performing before a horde of newfound fans at The Brightside.
“We were notified that we were finalists and that felt pretty wild,” recalls Esther. “We’ve never really won anything,” adds Will enthusiastically.
“And it’s such a beautiful thing for your band’s trajectory,” he continues, looking back to their humble beginnings. “We play a lot of shows around our hometowns and that kind of thing.
“And for someone like a band like Crooked Colours to have a listen to a bunch of tracks and think, ‘Oh yeah, we’d love these people to play with us’, It feels nice and it makes it feel pretty special.”
For the initial edition of the Smirnoff Origins 2023 celebrations, it was Melbourne-based producer Swayfever who managed to take out the honour of the emerging artist crowd, performing a stellar set alongside Sydney electro icons The Presets, and receiving proof that their artistic venture was worth it.
Similarly, for Gimme Gimme, it’s a testament to the fact that they’re on the right track, with the pair looking at the opportunity with a sense of validation and excitement as to what sort of doors it will open for them going forward.
“It feels pretty special to have won the Smirnoff Origins competition, and to be supporting a band like Crooked Colours, who are successful and killing it on the scene,” says Esther. “We’re pretty pumped.
“I think it’s going to be a good opportunity for us, Gimme Gimme, to kind of shoot through and have a bit of a break.”
“It’s pretty amazing and super validating,” adds Will. “It makes us feel pretty special as a band who’s been doing it for a while, and y’know, it’s awesome.”
While it remains to be seen where we’ll find Gimme Gimme in the coming years, you can be sure there will be countless fans who will look back to their stunning performance at The Brightside as one of those iconic “I was there” moments that they’ll be making their friends jealous with for years.
If you’re looking for another stellar way to ensure you’re taking part in all that the Aussie summer has to offer, make sure you’re also across the new Smirnoff Seltzer Cocktails. Featuring two new flavours, Spicy Margarita and Watermelon Margarita, they’re a bolder addition to any summer playlist.
While we’re all about having fun, please remember to drink responsibly. Smirnoff knows music, do you know your DrinkIQ?