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I found out the night before that The Hooley Dooleys were coming to Brisbane, performing at 11am at the City Botanical Gardens.  Perfect chance to meet them prior to reporting on The Last Weekend event, organised by Unions NSW in Sydney latter that month.  This event was organised to promote and protect Workers Rights at which The Hooley Dooleys would be performing. 


  The Hooley Dooleys. Photo taken by Chrissy Layton, AusNotebook Music & Creative.
Admitting to myself I had no idea who The Hooley Dooleys were, I got onto the good old internet and viewed their website.  It became obvious to me that they were a children’s entertainment band similar to The Wiggles.  I keenly take notes; you know you can always trust the Internet!  A bit of a rush job for my liking, but nevertheless, fingers crossed I am hoping I will get a chance to have a chat to them the following day.

On the day I am introduced to the two main performers David Butts and Antoine Demarest, approximately ten minutes before they were to preform on stage. My first comment to David is about his keen interest in Soccer.  I read it on the internet so it must be true!  David smiles and has no idea what I am talking about.  Then he informs me, “Never trust the internet!”  Okay guys I know this but I was desperate.  Another thing the internet was misleading with is this.  They are much cuter in real life than they are in their website photographs!  That’s not sexiest is it?  If anyone is offended I sincerely apologise! 

Antoine politely tolerated me having a hard time pronouncing his name, it’s French which was not my best subject at school I informed him.  Antoine jokingly replies, “I’m not very good at French either.”  Antoine has previously been in a number of rock bands including Parisian 'Dragster'.  He met Country musician Keith Armitage in Paris in 1981 where they formed a musical relationship and were involved with bands including 'Middle Distance' and 'Paradise Garage'.

Because The Hooley Dooleys were performing at the ‘Last Weekend’ event I had to ask the question, "Are Russell the Muscley Kangaroo and Tickle the Doodat in a Union?"  After agreeing there could be a Kangaroo Union, David explains, “You know those guys are only four and five years old?  They rule the world already!”  Mmm, I thought.  Okay, I must have my facts wrong.  The characters looked bigger on the internet.  These  characters in animal suits must actually be children, and not adults which is what I originally thought.  So my next question is, "How do the kids go with performing?  Do they have a lot of fun?"    David querying, “What! the kids?”  I could see by his response that these characters were not children but were actually adults after-all.  So, I quickly pretended I knew this all along and I was just going along with the joke. Too early in the morning for this journalist, but I think I fooled them!

It was obvious that these two members of The Hooley Dooleys really enjoy their jobs.   “Actually the whole thing keeps us all young, it's fun.  The guys who are Russell and Tickle have a ball.  Playing to kids and being in this type of environment we are in, we are so lucky.  Our job is to go out and to make kids laugh and look at those smiling faces and take them on a journey with us.  It’s just the best thing.  There needs to be more of it,” says David.  Both performances in Brisbane and Sydney definitely proved The Hooley Dooleys achieved this goal.

After speaking to both David and Antoine, it was apparent that these two artists were not just down to earth, friendly fun guys with a sense of humour, but they were very intelligent. Both gave me some excellent views and comments for my article ‘Celebrities Support Campaign’ in relation to Workers Rights: Worth Fighting For.   To top that off they are actually very talented performers.

The Hooley Dooleys consist of David Butts and Antoine Demarest, and the characters Penelope Perfect, who, going by their website, (there goes trusting the internet again!) loves singing and dancing and the colour pink.  Captain Catastrophe is a Super hero with special powers, and is obviously a bit clumsy.  Then there are the “kids” Russell the Muscley Kangaroo, and Tickle the Doodat which is a female character that is supposedly related to a koala.  Lastly there is Poss, a hand puppet that sometimes accompanies the rest of the group.


The Hooley Dooleys in Brisbane. Photo taken by Chrissy Layton, Music & Creative.



The Hooley Dooleys in Brisbane. Photo taken by Chrissy Layton, AusNotebook Music & Creative

Article and photos by Chrissy Layton, AusNotebook Music & Creative (26/8/05)


The Hooley Dooleys support various charities by either preforming at a charity event, or donating their merchandise to be auctioned to raise money.

The Hooley Dooleys website is http://www.hooleydooleys.com/

Associated article:-  Celebrities Support Campaign
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