Clint goes Wowee Zowee on Main St

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Oi! Someone’s back in town, bringing a pounding sound and old-school groove with him. Something For Kate drummer Clint Hyndman is ready to rock with a new bar bursting with grunge, grunt and late-night classic cocktails. Wowee Zowee — named after a Pavement album — will have a jukebox and southern-style staples such as fried chicken created by current Paringa Estate head chef Simon Tarlington too. But let’s go back a bit first.

Clint and his Something For Kate cohort Paul Dempsey are both ex-Padua boys. Clint grew up in Rosebud out the back of an old milk bar called Martins Corner on Boneo Rd; he moved to Mount Martha with his family about three years ago after a stint in town and has never looked back. Very happy to be bumping into friends at Bentons Square and Mount Martha Village with his wife, Lis, and their three kids Milo, Sonny and baby Birdie in tow, this Mornington Peninsula boy likes where he lives and lives the lifestyle well. 

He explains: “I moved up to town at 19 when Paul and I started the band. Then I moved back to Balnarring for a while and back to town before finally settling in Mount Martha. I remember entering the Battle of the Bands at Padua when we were in Year 12 and we lost to a bunch of Year 9s. That was pretty devastating, but we were signed to Silverchair’s label Sony within six months of being in Melbourne. That was 1994. Right place, right time and Paul has always written great songs. The hard work just paid off and we are still great mates. Stephanie Ashworth (another band member) is also one of my closest friends. It’s a tight-knit group. We are just about to head up to Byron Bay to record our seventh album. The days of touring non-stop through the States and Europe have slowed right down these days. We try to stick to doing weekend gigs because we’ve got families, but I still love doing it as much as I did when we first started out.”

Clint is a man of action. Want to be in a band? Do it. Want to open a bar? Do it. He’s been running his Yellow Bird Café in Windsor for the past 12 years and thought why not keep with the theme and open something a bit closer to home. He was playing Tuesday night tennis in Mornington and overheard something that fuelled the flame — Backyard Bar at 37 Main St was up for lease. Ripper! He continues: “I’d been looking for a space for a while. Of course, I’ve taken a bit too much on with recording, Yellow Bird and now this, but I’m really looking forward to it. I love being behind a bar. Cam Marshall (Garagiste winery), Craig Baum, who runs a bar fabrication and hire company, and Simon are on board. There’ll be room for about 80 people, the music will consist of ‘60s and ‘70s rock’n’roll vibe plus there’s a courtyard. Should have it open by September.”

They say that life swings in roundabouts. Clint laughs: “I was 14 when I started playing the drums in the back room of that milk bar on Boneo Rd. My old bedroom is a Thirsty Camel now. I loved growing up in Rosebud. We used to hang out at the Peninsula Surf Centre, Rye skateboard park and jump on the bus to Sorrento back beach. I never surfed because the water was too cold for me, but I loved to skate. Still do a bit of it now my two boys are into it. You just can’t beat the lifestyle here, and the golfing is great. Lots of people who’ve been away have come back to the Peninsula and I don’t mind the travelling up and down to town. It’s well worth it.”

Now 43, this dad, drummer and bar owner is pretty happy with where he’s landed. Watch out for Wowee Zowee and you will be too.

LIZ ROGERS

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