Leisure Networks supports Kane “Mr Guitar” Whistance to perform at Geelong Disability Expo

Friday Feb 23, Kane “Mr Guitar” Whistance will take to the stage at the Geelong Disability Expo. Alongside his support worker, Mark Huglin of Leisure Networks Kane will perform an instrumental set: Shadows to ACDC. 

“It will be a trip down memory lane for older people,” explained Kane describing the set which will feature instrumental music from The Shadows (1950s) through the likes of The Doors, Pink Floyd to the heavy rock style of ACDC. 

Kane’s passion for music, especially guitars, has been a central aspect of his life. Playing the guitar is his true calling, and it brings him immense joy. Leisure Networks has been supporting Kane for over eight years, matching him with supports to pursue his musical journey. 

Throughout his life, Kane’s grandfather has been a guiding force, encouraging him to immerse himself in music.  

“When he was little there was an old guitar around the house,” said his mum, Sandra. “It only had three strings, but Kane taught himself to play. His grandpa would sing, and Kane would accompany him. There was always music in the house.” 

“Yep, I taught myself to play by ear, even though my hearing’s buggered,” said Kane who is visually impaired and has difficulty hearing. “When I played in a band, they complained I had the amp up too loud.” 

“It’s difficult for Kane to hear himself when he’s in a band,” said support worker Mark Huglin, Leisure Networks. “There’s too much background sound with the other musicians playing. When I play with Kane, I keep the volume tuned quite low, and we play with a drum machine. So really, we’re a three-piece.” 

“So much better than a real drummer,” joked Kane, “it always turns up on time and doesn’t talk back.” 

Kane and Mark have been playing together for a couple of years now, busking around Geelong and regularly performing at the Torquay Cowrie Market. In 2019 Kane participated in a Shadows tribute band gig at Knox and was also invited to Queensland to honour the memory of legendary Australian guitarist Phil Emmanuel. 

“Performing is a great way for Kane to work on his goals around building his confidence and self-esteem,” Mark explained. “When he comes back from playing a gig, he’s really pumped.” 

“Performing makes me feel good. Really happy.” Kane agreed. 

“I’m never nervous,” says Kane talking about the upcoming performance at the Geelong Disability Expo. “I’m feeling pretty good about it.” 

Kane is performing at 10.30am Friday 23 at the Geelong Disability Expo, Geelong Arena. 

Leisure Networks respectfully acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands and waters of Australia. We are committed to inclusive communities.