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My CountryTown: Gareth Leach – Echuca, VIC

30 May 2023 | 10:40 am | Mallory Arbour

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

Gareth Leach

Gareth Leach (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 Gareth Leach.

Raised on the muddy banks of Echuca’s Murray River, Gareth draws inspiration from the introspective and reflective lyrical concepts of his outlaw heroes, tinged with guitar-riff driven hooks that have remained in his blood since he was a young kid growing up with a background in punk-rock.

In other words, Gareth writes, performs and delivers country music with attitude. But don’t think for a moment that Gareth hasn’t absorbed the nuances, emotion and craft of the very finest in country music. As record producer/engineer with diverse tastes and influences, Gareth has also collaborated with musicians from the rock, country, folk, punk and pop industries to further refine and realise the ideas of the songwriter.  

Gareth’s catalogue includes Settle Likes Stones (2016, EP), Death & Taxes (2018, album), and Trigger (2020, album), with his third album slated for release on June 23, 2023.

To get to know Gareth Leach a little better, we’ve asked what he loves about Echuca.


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1. Boats and Pubs!

Echuca is renowned for its history of trade down the Murray River in the form of their famous fleet of Paddle Steamers. Back in the day it was quite literally Australia’s largest inland port, and because of that industry (and tourism) grew in a big way! Thankfully, the town still boasts its very beautiful historic port area, with paddle steamers and all with the added bonus that, because of its history, a pub on practically every bloody corner in the main section of town!

2. Live Music, EVERYWHERE

Because there are so many pubs and bars in Echuca, you are totally spoilt for choice when it comes to seeing live music. Every weekend there are literally dozens of local and emerging artists honing their craft on a stage or in a pub corner providing background music for the punters. Whilst the original music scene is not so prominent, as it is a tourism town, the other side of the coin is that the town hosts 2 HUGE music festivals over the year in the Riverboats Festival and the Echuca Winter Blues Fest.

3. “Sometimes you wanna go, where everyone knows your name”

Cheers. HAHA! But seriously, as locals will agree having grown up, gone to school, worked and lived my whole life on the banks of the Murray in this township, you can’t go anywhere without having a serious amount of time blocked out for running into people for a chat and catch up. It’s so bloody nice having so many friendly people come up, say g’day and wanna stop for a chat… but if you’re in a rush, my advice is wear sunnies and look down otherwise you’re gonna run late!

4. The Murray River and the Bush

I know, I know… it’s just a bloody river, right!? Yeah, it is – but as a kid it was a place to go, hang out with mates, a beautiful detour to get lost around on the way walking to and from school and a place to cool off, and hang with family and mates on those scorching summer days that seem to last forever. Not to mention the bush! Oh man, as a kid I LOVED riding my AG motorbike down the dirt tracks and going out for bush damper and swims with my Mum, Dad and sisters. It was the best!

5. Everyone knows (and loves) Echuca

I’ve lived in Melbourne for some time now – my work, life and little family have planted our roots here, but every time I mention that I am from this town up on the Victorian/NSW border EVERYBODY tells me about the great times that they have had either on boats, shopping or visiting my hometown as a tourist. It feels so great to know that the town that I hold so dear to my heart holds special places in the hearts of others that have visited, even just once. I know it sounds kinda corny, but it gives me a great sense of pride in the people, the place and the town that I still call home to this day.

To keep up to date with Gareth Leach, follow him on Facebook here.