Bob Burling, now performing as Semanon, has been involved in music for most of his life. With 4 grandparents and 2 parents who all had musical talents, encouragement in this area was always there. He commenced his music with learning the drums (during the late 1950's) and, whilst at university in the late 60's, took up rhythm, lead and bass guitar. As the years progressed, he also took to keyboards and a host of other instruments. Major influences, musically, over the years were The Atlantics, The Hollies, The Moodie Blues, Yes and Tchaikovsky.
Semanon was set up as a Disco/Live Performance combination in 2000. In the early stages Bob Burling and Theresa Swilkes did the circuit around the New England, Australia area performing in clubs, pubs and at private venues.
The combination of disco presentation with a touch of live music proved to be quite different and very popular.
In 2001, Theresa moved to Toowoomba and her place was taken by Laura Stoddart, a fine up and coming singer with a very good voice. This added to the live presentations that were being done.
Laura stayed with Semanon until August 2001, when she opted to take time out to complete her HSC exams. Laura, a graphic artist, designed the cover for the Rocking Forward To The Past album.
Jo Rapley then joined the line up to take Laura's place. Whilst Jo was not a singer, she was an excellent sound engineer and this gave great flexibility to the presentation as she was able to present high quality mixng with the live performances. Jo was a final year science student at the University of New England.
By this stage Semanon played recorded music from the 50's through to the modern day in a disco format. Where we were different is that we included live music as an alternative and as a part of the mix.
We were also providing music for Old Time Dancing - Waltzs, Foxtrots, Quicksteps, Barn Dances, Canadian Three Step, Gypsy Tap, Maxina,Pride Of Erin and Jazz Waltz, just to name a few - with music provided by some top dance musicians on CD including Frank Bourke & The White Rose Orchestra and Victor Sylvester. We could even throw in some Bush Dances.
We did requests from our comprehensive catalogue of over 4000 different songs contained in our general catalogue. These songs were contained in very comprehensive booklets sorted either by the artists or the songs (a separate book for each sort). All people had to do was find the song or artist from our booklets and fill in the request form. Function organisers could also choose the music themselves.
For a brief time toward the end of 2001, they were joined by Aumony Forsyth. She was a singer but decided that being on the road a bit was not for her and went back to university.
At the beginning of 2002, Jo opted to further her studies in Tasmania and, at this point, Bob decided to leave the disco game and concentrate on writing and recording music. Genesis was the first album to be released (released under the name of InstrumentalOz). This album brought overseas sales into the equation.
By the beginning of 2002, Bob and Jo had done much of the ground work for a rock type album (Rocking Forward To The Past), finally released at the end of October, 2002. This album also saw the adoption of Semanon as a full stage name for live music.
From the middle of 2002, Semanon concentrated on album production and music writing and it wasn't until early 2005 that there was a return to the live music through discos and live performances.
At the end of September, 2005, a new album (Black Leather And Lace) was released. This album saw production return to some stronger styles that Semanon had been involved in earlier in his career. The songs were of greater depth, used a wider range of instruments, saw the stronger use of guitars and the extensive use of harmonies in many of the songs. The album also fulfilled a long dream to be able to release an album of only positive love songs. The songs, all written from the fast experiences and observations of life, gave a really positive feel to this album.
Details of the albums can be accessed from Semanon Albums page.