Melbourne-based rock band, the ‘Smoking Figs’, known for their eclectic sounds and original compositions reflecting the human condition, are set to perform at Melbourne’s Antipodes Festival.

Organised by the Greek Community of Melbourne and Victoria, the Festival celebrates Hellenic culture and promises an unforgettable experience on the weekend of March 24 and 25 along Lonsdale Street.

The band, with a musical journey spanning over fifteen years, seamlessly weaves influences from the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s into a tapestry that transcends generations.

But what sets this performance apart is the band’s unique homage to their roots.

For the first time in their career, the ‘Smoking Figs’ will be delivering a set mainly in the Greek language, celebrating their predominantly Hellenic background.

Lead singer Nicks Karamouzis, lead guitarist Brett Rothnie, bass guitarist Con Koulouris, rhythm guitarist Simon Stratus, drummer Zino Lentini, along with keyboard player Will Rothnie, all have strong connections to Greek heritage.

The decision to perform in Greek is not just a musical choice; it’s a celebration of cultural identity.

The Smoking Figs (L-R): Simon Stratus, Brett Rothnie, Nick Karamouzis, Zino Lentini, Con Koulouris. Photo: Supplied

“The older I get, the more I appreciate my Hellenic background. Playing Greek rock is a natural extension of what we have been playing over the years,” Con Koulouris shared.

Nick Karamouzis also expressed his excitement about the upcoming performance, saying, “I’m really looking forward to performing at the Antipodes festival with a selection of songs that will get the audience rocking.”

The Smoking Figs were the first band to play after the natural disaster for the residents of the flood impacted town of Rochester (60km northeast of Bendigo), after the performance at the Shamrock Hotel the band was invited behind the bar by owner Ian Crouch for a commemorative photo. The bar was inundated with water during the floods, it was rebuilt, and is now known as the “Shamrock Flood Bar” – see neon sign.
From left: Zino Lentini, Con Koulouris, Nick Karamouzis, Iam Crouch (owner of the Shamrock Hotel), Paul Orfanos (Manager) Brett Rothnie, Simon Stratus. Photo: Supplied


To further underline the band’s respect for Hellenic culture, drummer Zino and partner chose the Greek island of Santorini as the location for their wedding, another example of the deep appreciation the band members have for Greek traditions.

Brett Rothnie echoed the sentiment explaining that “Having a partner who is of Greek background has introduced me to the wonderful Hellenic culture. I see the upcoming performance as my way of giving back to the community.”

(L-R) Simon Stratus, Zino Lentini, Paul Orfanos – Manager, Nick Karamouzis, Con Koulouris, front Brett Rothnie. Photo: Supplied

In addition to their set, the ‘Smoking Figs’ will perform ‘Thick as Thieves’, a song penned by Simon Status which will be presented in Greek.

“I’m delighted that one of my songs will be performed to a ‘new’ audience, and I hope that they enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed writing it,” Simon said.

Nick Karamouzis and Con Koulouris. Photo: Supplied

The band’s manager, Paul Orfanos, highlighted the natural connection between the ‘Smoking Figs’ and the Antipodes Festival.

“The Smoking Figs are great to work with, and because of their Hellenic links, it was natural for them to perform at the festival. I invite music lovers to come down and see the performance. They’re a great band,” he emphasised.

Mark your calendars for Sunday, February 25, at 3pm, if you are keen to experience a Greek-infused rock set while at the Antipodes Festival.