The Australian music scene is very strong, but it seems the Melbourne soul scene is bigger.

“What is Melbourne soul?” I ask. Within seconds, Steve answers, “It’s like a really little hub, I’m not sure why. There’s a lot of artists that have come out of Melbourne recently that are producing really great soul music. It sits afar from just typical soul music.”

Meet Steve ‘Foss’ Forss, the driver (and drummer) of That Gold Street Sound. Within the Melbourne Soul scene sits eight-piece band That Gold Street Sound – influenced by the likes of The Bamboos, Amy Winehouse and most importantly, the sounds around them. What makes this band so unique is the scene it sits within, thriving off participation and knowing how to get a rise from even the shyest punter.

“There’s a good community vibe. Bands supporting and seeing other bands perform, always willing to help out,” says Forss, “we could go off and play with other bands and hear what they’re doing, and it’ll inspire us to go try different things. Anyone can just pop out from anywhere, but it’s all a part of a little hub making a great scene.”

A fundamental part of their vision of Melbourne soul is taking performances to the next level. “The show is the aspect that takes us apart from other bands,” says Forss. “We like to involve the audience in ways that they don’t generally get involved in the performance. Whether it’s singing, clapping, we might even hand someone an instrument or let someone sing into a microphone. Building a real party and collaborative atmosphere with the audience.”

Completely self-funded and managed, the band took recording and writing to the next level, bringing listeners 100% independent Melbourne soul. Their debut offering “Trick of the Light” brings to fruition six years of hard work and storytelling for the band. The 10-track album takes listeners on a journey through disco undertones, R&B influences, slow jams and soulful romance, making it evident that the band have been performing together for years – and rely on performing live.

“The show is the aspect that takes us apart from other bands. We really try to perform and not just, play a bunch of songs. We involve the audience in our live performance,” says Forss. “We don’t dedicate enough time to writing new material, we spend all our time out playing and performing. That’s why we play music because we love being on stage performing.”

Having gone through a transformation musically, personally and with the change of a few members, the band replicates elements of the Melbourne soul scene into their own sound, maturing their sound and songwriting over the duration of their new album.

Although small, the band continues to thrive off the Melbourne soul scene. “We aim to just keep producing really good music, putting on a really good show and just hoping that people coming and see it, experience it and want to be a part of it. We can grow from there.”

That Gold Street Sound performed at Rocksteady Records, Lonsdale Street on the 23rd of March but you can find their music and new album Trick of Light on your music streaming service.

Photo: Jeff Parker at Constellation 8-8-14 (5 of 11) by pmonaghan available HERE under a Creative Commons license.