Melbourne group, The Do Yo Thangs, respond to cultural appropriation criticism

Recently seen on stage supporting other Melbourne favourite, Sex On Toast, alt-R&B group The Do Yo Thangs have today announced that they’ll be changing their name, in response to claims of cultural appropriation. As songwriter and bandleader Hugh Rabinovici explains, the feedback the band received had brought issues to mind that simply were not thought about at the time of the band’s inception.

“We recently received some feedback on the name of our band.” he explains in a statement. “The feedback highlighted inappropriate use of African American vernacular as branding by a predominantly Anglo Australian group. Admittedly, when I named the band, this was not on my radar. Although in the years since starting the band, I’ve learnt more about the dynamics of power, privilege and identity, I evidently hadn’t reflected on this in relation to our band name.”

“Rightly, this feedback made me uncomfortable. After some discussion, we quickly acknowledged the name was out of line with our values and we needed to do something about it. I genuinely appreciate the feedback and the time and thought that was put into it. I’m grateful for the opportunity to grow and develop, to hold up a mirror to what we’ve been doing and make a change.”

The band – now to be known as Leisure Centre – have put a slight postponement on the release of their debut album Mind Full, with the record now slated for a July 20th release. The band remain excited about the months ahead.

“I’m excited about the new name,” Hugh states. “Leisure Centre, for me, represents an iconic part of the landscape in which I grew up, along with some poolside good times. I think it’s a much better fit for who we are as a group.”

Leisure Centre will be performing cuts from their debut album on 3RRR’s Breakfasters program on April 6th  – tomorrow! 


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