FREE RADICALS: Sonya Carr and Russell James all smiles after being awarded Most Australian Performance at the Apple and Grape Festival.
FREE RADICALS: Sonya Carr and Russell James all smiles after being awarded Most Australian Performance at the Apple and Grape Festival.

Killarney duo’s shock after Apple and Grape win

WITH one goal in mind, the region's top buskers flocked to Stanthorpe in the hope to claim a title at the Australian National Busking Championship south east Queensland finals on Saturday.

For Killarney performer Sonya Carr - one half of busking duo Free Radicals - the experience at the Apple and Grape Festival is one she'll never forget.

"It was awesome - apparently it was the biggest one they've had in five years, with the most amount of performers," she said.

"10 out of 10 for the experience on Saturday - it was full on but as a busker we thoroughly enjoyed it."

Unexpectedly making it through to the finals held at the Civic Centre, Ms Carr and her partner Russell James walked away with the Most Australian Performance award.

"We were shocked," she said.

"Some of the talent that was there was absolutely amazing.

"When they called it out, I was almost in tears because we'd chosen the genre particularly because Russell plays the didgeridoo and it goes really well with the Australian music and the spoons."

Killarney musicians Sonya Carr and Russell James brought their Australian performance to the Glengallan markets after winning Most Australian Performance at the Apple and Grape Festival.
Killarney musicians Sonya Carr and Russell James brought their Australian performance to the Glengallan markets after winning Most Australian Performance at the Apple and Grape Festival.

It's a performance the Free Radicals have only been working on for 12 months, transitioning into the music business after a long career in the food industry.

Seeking a less stressful lifestyle, Mr James admitted there was stress throughout the day, but it is what's known as 'you stress'.

"The music is what they call 'you stress' - the good stress," he said.

"Even though yesterday was stressful, we felt good having done it."

With an array of Australian classic in their repertoire, the Free Radicals were looking to share the joy of music with those around the area.

"We're not doing it to be the next hit thing, we just like playing music," he said.

"It was a challenged to us because we're not trying to be competitive.

"What we did last year, we went and had a look and we saw people busking, and we thought we can do that for fun."

With a busking title now to their name, the duo are yet to lock down their next competition, however are adamant music will continue be their drive.

"Our brand, we speak to anti-ageing and part of that concept for us is the more you challenge yourself, the more you'll be able to keep the neurons firing," he said.

"it was completely out of our wheelhouse, our comfort zone to do that, so we thought we'll get that done.

"Now it's like 'that's ticked off' and look for what comes up next."