Rockin’ Women Wednesdays – Stonefield

It was great to see the girls from Stonefield last night at The Northern who were in town supporting another favourite – and big fan of our Surf Spa Food – Dan Sultan . We caught up with the girls a while back and they shared their almond cake with apricot and vanilla bean syrup recipe with us. Here’s their story. #RWW #repost

My kinda reality

It all started in a shed in a tiny rural township just north of Melbourne. The four Findlay sisters Amy, Hannah, Sarah, and Holly Findlay hail from Darraweit Guim, a small town in rural Victoria nestled amongst the Macedon Ranges.

Now what my readers may not know is that my family once owned the Mount Macedon pub from 1982-1985 . In fact, that’s where my apprenticeship began – in the bar of The Gowings Hotel, Mount Macedon – and what a wild ride that was. I was 18 and fresh out of HSC – but back to the band….

Checkout their first clip ‘Through The Clover’ – the highly-anticipated debut video which was shot in the band’s hometown.

 

Their back-story goes like this – the girls had been granted their wish of a drum kit by their parents, whose Zappa, Hendrix and Zeppelin records had long been the shared soundtrack of the household. The shed, which housed little other than old furniture and a broken billiards table, was the obvious place in which to contain the young siblings’ inexpert bashings. Amy (Lead Vocals & Drums) – the oldest Findlay, though at that time just 15 – took a particular shine to the kit and soon began lessons, her practice sessions echoing out across the family’s acreage.  Hannah, then 13, (Guitar & Backing Vocals) started on guitar. Sarah (Keyboard & Backing Vocals), 12, took on the keyboard and Holly Findlay (Bass & Backing Vocals).

However, six years later, as Stonefield begin to reveal themselves to the world via spirit-capturing recordings and live shows that bring the word ‘incendiary’ back from rock journo heaven, it’s hard not to believe there was a more astute instinct at play. That is to say: listen to Stonefield and try to figure out what else the Findlays could possibly be doing. Who knew back then that these burgeoning rock chicks would go on to become the earthen psych-rock opal that is Stonefield. Oh and would end up baking for Rockin’ Women Wednesdays!

By 2010 Stonefield had won the 2010 triple J Unearthed High contest with their song Foreign Lover – all because they took their good ol’ Mum’s advice to enter this prestigious comp! (Love that bit). So after the win the band was placed on high rotation and they recorded Through The Clover (see clip above) with ARIA winning producer Greg Wales. They were also an Unearthed J Award nominee in 2010.

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Stonefield was invited to showcase at the inaugural One Movement music and arts conference in Perth, where they were approached after their set by the conference’s meetings manager Martin Elbourne who invited them to play Glastonbury. in 2011. At home, they still write and practice in the shed, their explosive jams reverberating out across the paddocks. The only difference now is that we all get to share in rock’n’roll’s newest family story.

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Stonefield’s almond cake with apricot and vanilla bean syrup
(Original recipe found on taste.com)         

250g butter, softened
2/3 cup caster sugar
4 eggs
2 cups almond meal (ground almonds)
1/4 cup rice flour
Double cream, to serve

Apricot and vanilla bean syrup
1 vanilla bean, split
1/2 cup caster sugar
4 apricots, halved, stones removed, cut into thick wedges

  • Preheat oven to 160°C/140°C fan-forced. Grease a 6cm-deep,22cm round cake pan
  • Line base and sides with baking paper
  • Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  • Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in almond meal and flour
  • Spread mixture into prepared pan
  • Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted in centre comes out clean
  • Stand in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes
  • Make syrup Using a sharp knife, scrape seeds from bean
  • Place seeds, bean, sugar and 1/2 cup cold water in a saucepan over medium heat
  • Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until sugar dissolves (don’t boil). Bring to the boil
  • Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 7 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add apricots
  • Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until apricots are just tender. Remove from heat
  • Remove and discard bean
  • Place cake on a plate. Spoon over apricot mixture. Serve with cream

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1. What’s your survival food when you’re on tour? 

We always request fruit on our rider because it’s quite difficult to travel around with fresh fruit. We absolutely love summer fruits in particular. It’s refreshing and gives us a great energy boost before a show.

2. What’s your healthy go-to comfort food – either at home or in a restaurant – when you come home?

Mum’s roast is always a winner. After a tour, home cooked food with lots of veggies is the best!

3. Do you have a secret remedy that keeps your voice in shape? (Or one of your artists?)

Manuka Honey in hot water is my saviour. Pineapple is great and as all singers would say.. water!

4. What’s the most obscure rider request you’ve ever heard?

A garden gnome, requested by Melbourne band Kingswood (not to be confused with Melbourne singer Tracy Kingman’s band Kingswood with Tim Henwood)

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