“C.W. Stoneking has a deep voice, dripping in intrigue, with a bit of a slur like he’s been chewing on something important. It’s one of those old storytelling voices, the kind that sets a mood…” wrote Ley Aydelotte for a now-defunct music magazine from far northwestern America.We couldn’t have said it better Lexy, and in speaking with Deep in the Weeds (DITW) organiser and Sailors Grave co-founder, Gabrielle ‘Gab’ Moore, we get struck by a weird, but beautiful, resonance as she explains that, “Having C.W. [at DITW] was a highlight. He was always an act that really embodied Sailors Grave.”
Yeah, dripping in intrigue, mulling something important, captivating storytelling and always dressed impeccably, the links are obvious now.
“I really want to bring something that noone's seen before.”—
In its fourth year, DITW comes to life in the depths of winter, when the solstice keeps its Orbost home draped in darkness the longest.
The event’s yearly evolution is something that your host, Gab, loves. “What I really enjoy most about DITW is coming up with a concept and executing it. I really want to bring something that no-one’s seen before.
“It’s really great that DITW has now joined up with East Gippsland Winter Festival; it creates real momentum in the region.
“My approach has always been to challenge and surprise the attendees… Everyone that comes says it's the best one yet, every year, so that’s a real success for me.”
Chris, Gab’s partner in life and brewing, isn’t going to shirk the challenge of keeping the beers fresh and unique each year either. For the 2023 edition of the event, Chris crafted a Twin Peaks-inspired chocolate stout called Shadow Self brewed from koko organic, single-origin cacao tea, and a dark black IPA (Indian Pale Ale), called Deep in the Weeds.
Meatsmith Melbourne, led by Chris Watson, were eager to again accept the challenge of pairing a hearty dinner with the distinctive Sailors Grave drops. Says Gab, “They’re such a pro team… Chris brings a new concept that matches mine every year, and it’s always delicious.
“This year we added a dessert from Lindenow Long Paddock – a favourite venue of mine. They came up with a chocolate meringue pie to pair with our Twin Peaks-themed beer. My brief was to come up with a dessert that would be served at the Double R diner from the show. I talked our operations manager Emily into dressing up in a diner waitress uniform for service – she was a good sport and looked amazing!”
We’re sensing that you’re getting the diary out and starting to check dates for next year’s event, so it’d be good to know who’s joining you on the dance floor in 2024.
“A third of the attendees are hyper-local from the Orbost district, a third from greater Gippsland, and the rest is made up of people from Melbourne and surrounds, and further afield like Canberra, Sydney, Adelaide – all over really, which is great to see!
“But it's the locals that come that I get the real kick out of. They have such a great time and really let loose.” And the Orbostians had something extra to celebrate this year when local act Misty Harlowe took to the stage – she’s one to watch!
We don’t like getting ahead of ourselves, but we can’t help but wonder what Gab has in mind for next year’s event.
“I want a very rock/punk vibe, I’d really love to have The Peep Tempel, and Cash Savage and The Last Drinks play.
“But coming up this year, we have Flotsam & Jetsam on September 2, which is our seventh birthday party. It will be a family-friendly day rave that gets a little grittier as the sun goes down and the kids head home. Then we have our Oktoberfest event, held across our Orbost and Meeniyan locations.”
Leaving, Gab adds that once the Sailors Grave ‘Dunetown Project’ is further progressed, there will be four killer festivals each year. C.W. would be impressed, the future plans are dripping in intrigue…