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  • Queensland Music Festival

Carol Lloyd's Inspirational Legacy by Sean Sennett



The late Carol Lloyd was a force of nature. The singer, songwriter and fierce front woman left an indelible mark on any audience that had the privilege to see her perform. Carol’s career took off in the early 1970s as a member of Brisbane’s Railroad Gin. She later fronted the Carol Lloyd Band and had a worldwide record deal with EMI. Carol became synonymous with Railroad Gin’s biggest hit, “It’s Only A Matter of Time”, while her trademark red locks were insured with Lloyd’s Of London for $100,000. In May 1974 Carol brought the house down as she stood centre stage at Festival Hall and that was before the headliner Suzi Quatro had taken to the stage.


When Carol was initially diagnosed with Interstitial Pulmonary Fibrosis and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, she carried on as she always did, by making music. Carol led from the front as she not only worked on her own craft but continued to mentor and inspire a legion of women (and men) throughout Queensland.


The Carol Lloyd Award was instigated while Carol was still alive in 2016 by Queensland Music Festival’s Artistic Director, Katie Noonan. Carol Lloyd passed away on February 13, 2017.


Queensland Music Festival and the Queensland Government created the award in Carol’s name to honour her lifetime achievements and to support up-and-coming female artists. The Carol Lloyd Award is worth $15,000 and was presented for the first time in May 2017.


Each year Queensland Music Festival are swamped with entrants. Judges ensured with the responsibility of honouring Carol’s legacy with the award, include Katie Noonan, John Willsteed (Ex – The Go-Betweens), Joc Curran (The Zoo), prominent industry figure Leanne de Souza, performer Annie Peterson and music industry writer, songwriter and broadcaster, Sean Sennett.


The calibre of the artists is high and entrants have included genuine first timers who have recorded a demo tape in the bathroom through to artists who have already enjoyed radio play and have an industry ‘profile’ but could use the Carol Lloyd Award to break their music into the wider community.


The inaugural award was presented to Georgia Potter (front woman and singer-songwriter with Moreton). Potter calls herself ‘a genuine Carol Lloyd fan’ who was suitably inspired after seeing Carol perform in the famed Women In Voice concert series.


In 2018 the Award went to Cairns based singer-songwriter Leanne Tennant. The results have been immediate: Tennant went to work with producer Konstantin Kersting (Mallrat, Tia Gostelow) to record a new single ‘Cherry Cola’ which will be followed by an album late in 2019. A new direction for Tennant, ‘Cherry Cola’ has popped up on playlists everywhere from the BBC to Triple J.


A finalist in 2018, the recipient of the 2019 Carol Lloyd Award is Sahara Beck. Originally from the Sunshine Coast, Beck is a remarkable young songwriter and performer. Already a festival favourite, the Carol Lloyd Award will allow Beck to continue recording with LA based producer Tony Buchan on an album of original material that is slated for release in early 2020.


The Carol Lloyd Award not only honours Carol’s legacy, it has empowered three very special artists in Potter, Tennant and Beck. The reverberations of the Carol Lloyd Award are being heard at home, around the country and around the world.


For more 20th Anniversary stories click here.

Queensland Music Festival 2019
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