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My CountryTown: Brad Christmas – Manyana, NSW

6 June 2023 | 10:06 am | Mallory Arbour

To get to know Brad a little better, we’ve asked what he loves about Manyana.

Copperline

Copperline (Image: Supplied)

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Regional towns are in our blood here at CountryTown! From Ballarat to Toowomba, Bendigo to Tamworth, we love the pubs, the people and the places that make Australia tick. But most of all, we love the amazing country musicians our regional centres produce, like Brad Christmas from alt-country band, Copperline.

Copperline have had a storied career to date, with the 2018 release of their debut album Rusty Fords and Weatherboards delivering singles Woman’s Touch, King of this Country, Please Don’t Cry and Next Year, gaining new listeners and extensive airplay across the country. Their richly evocative music has seen them be named finalists for awards from the International Songwriting Competition, Tamworth Songwriters Association and Australian Songwriters Association.

Aside from his role in Copperline, Brad is also a highly sought-after session musician, playing in Steve Kilbey’s band The Church. This year, he also became a published author this year, with the release of his novel, Saltwater Boy. Released by Walker Books Australia, it explores father-son relationships through a heartfelt coming of age tale.

Copperline's latest single, Gabriel, is off their sophomore album, Borrowed, Broken and Blue, released mid last year. Gabriel is dramatic, gritty and fierce. Fitting for a track that derives its name from the Archangel of an all-powerful deity.

To get to know Brad a little better, we’ve asked what he loves about Manyana.

1. The beach 

It’s the obvious thing to mention about our little coastal village, but it doesn’t matter how many times I see it, it never fails to take my breath away. The same thing happens to anyone who comes to visit. On a clear day the water is turquoise and clear, and the sand is pure white. I love sitting on top of the dunes, looking out across the Tasman Sea and listening to the Black Cockatoos calling from the bush behind me.

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2. The people

Manyana is home to an eclectic mix of people from all walks of life. From artists, writers and washed-up old surfers to retirees and young families, there’s a place for everyone in our community. What unites us is a passion for the country we love, and a deep commitment to protecting and conserving it. That amazing community spirit was well and truly on show during the black summer bushfires of 2019-20 when we banded together to protect our homes and keep each other safe.

3. The lake

If you like your fishing – and I certainly do – Lake Conjola is one of the best places on the coast to bag a flattie, snapper, or maybe even a mud crab. It’s also a beautiful spot to sit back in your tinnie or kayak with something cold in your hand and soak up the scenery on the rare days when nothing’s biting. There’s nothing more satisfying than turning your catch of the day into dinner for two.

4. The parties

It might seem like a sleepy town, but when there’s a shindig on, the locals come out in force. New Year’s parties in Manyana are legendary and locals and blow ins alike are welcome. Copperline were also lucky enough to play at the very first Southerly Change Festival in 2022, a little event on our local soccer field that drew nearly 2000 people.

5. The neighbours

Surrounded on all sides by national park, us Manyana locals share our village with an eccentric cast of furry, feathered and sometimes scaley friends. Barely a day goes by when we don’t get a visit from Big Kev, the leader of our local kangaroo mob. Bandicoots, wombats and possums often pop by for a late-night snack, and rosellas, lorikeets, parrots and pigeons all pay regular visits from a nibble and natter. It’s good for the soul to feel so closely connected to nature.

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Keep up to date with Copperline on their Facebook page here.