Callum and Jackson McPartlane haven’t paused for a second since we last spoke to them two years ago. In fact, these Mornington Peninsula identical twins just keep surprising everyone with their determination and maturity. The 15-year-olds make up the band Bo’Ness, named after their grandmother’s home town in Scotland. Having just recently opened for Reece Mastin again at the Publican in Mornington, they’re on a high — and why shouldn’t they be?
“Reece Mastin’s manager called after seeing a video of us on Facebook and asked us to come and support Reece again,” said Jackson. “Reece wants to write with us too. He knows how difficult it was to start in the industry at a young age, so he’s very supportive.”
Seven years ago they were teaching themselves to harmonise perfectly and secretly practising in their bedrooms, and now they’re among only 20 students to be chosen to attend the junior course of The Academy in Tamworth from July 6-12. During the country music-style course, the twins and their mum, Sally, will learn about the music industry from award-winning insiders and professionals in areas of songwriting, music business, promotion, media, interviewing techniques, recording and performance.
And they’ve just performed again at the National Celtic Festival at Portarlington. “The manager of The Lumber Jills walked by and heard us,” said Callum. “They then asked our mum, who is our manager, if we’d come over to Canada for the Arcadian Festival if they flew us out. It’s very exciting. Next we’re aiming to release an EP, hopefully when we go to Nashville for a holiday. We’ll be working on songwriting with Sam Hawksley, and he’s got some songs set aside for us too.”
With Sally working in the music industry, step-dad Pat a sound engineer and country singer Adam Brand as their godfather, they’ve grown up immersed in the music industry, specifically country music. The house is filled with music memorabilia, including Adam Brand’s guitar and drum skins signed by Jimmy Barnes in the music room. Shannon Noll has even been over for a coffee, and Chris Cheney from The Living End went to school with Sally and is more than keen to write with the boys in his home studio. Chocolate Starfish and Vanessa Amorosi have also spent some time talking music with the pair.
After experiencing bullying first-hand, they’re passionate about wearing their ‘Kind is Cool’ t-shirts to spread the important message of kindness and stand up against bullying with other musicians; $1 from every t-shirt sold goes to the Alannah & Madeleine Foundation, which works to keep children safe from violence.
Callum’s written his first song and scored the lead in the school play at Mount Erin, which is only fair because Jackson scooped it up last year. The pair continue to busk and donate a portion of their takings to charity or a friend in need of new shoes. From playing at nursing homes, fundraisers, or such events as Motivate Mums at Melbourne Arts Centre or Brain Cancer Research at Crown, they’re simply unstoppable.
You’ve got to hear them to believe it. Check out their sound on Facebook at @BoNessmusic