Elephant Unplugged was held every Wednesday night at The Elephant Hotel, Wickham St Fortitude Valley, running from October 2011 right through til June 2014.
During this time it literally saw hundreds of acts perform their stuff LIVE & ACOUSTIC on stage each week across all genres and styles.
It was a really great initiative between Mark and the venue to provide a place for musicians and groups to be able to perform their original music to a great crowd in a fantastic beergarden setting. Mark put this event together each week taking care of all the bookings, setting up the PA, pulling sound and MC'ing the event which ran from 7~11pm entertaining punters not only with the great tunes from the acts but also interacting with prize give-a-ways wherever possible too.
It was a really cool thing and is something that Mark may re-establish again in the future.
Jaime is a very talented singer/songwriter who signed a publishing deal in Canada and released a full length album in 2009. Putting together this group to support the tracks live, the Jaime Wells Trio featured Jaime (vocals), Shane Calderbank (piano/keys) and Mark Bono (guitar/backing vocals) and performed at local Brisbane originals venues and Bayside Festivals before performing their last gig together at Ric's Cafe on July 20, 2010.
Jaime now writes for mamamia.com.au
Check out some of her stories here: https://www.mamamia.com.au/search/jaime+wells/
Formed in 2002, this popular covers trio performed all over Qld and beyond for the following 7 years. While a few fill-in players were required from time to time, Angry Dwarf maintained all its original members from their first gig at Brisbane's Irish Murphy's, right through til their last at the Chalk Hotel on July 27, 2009, consisting of (pictured above left to right); Mark Bono (Vocals/Bass), Carl McGrath (Vocals/Guitar) and Bryan Macaranas (Drums).
An acoustic duo of Angry Dwarf also performed throughout this time, with Mark (Vocals/Stand-up Drums) and Carl (Vocals/Acoustic Guitar).
For about two years from late 2006 to September 2008, Mark hosted a variety of Trivia shows usually held on a Tuesday or Wednesday night. These included regular nights at RG's in the Valley Mall, at The Oxley Tavern and most notably a long run at The Chalk Hotel in Woolloongabba.
Mark brought his own unique spin to his trivia nights, trying to make them as all inclusive for punters from all levels of knowledge and quirks to ensure everyone had a great night and always had a chance to win either that night or with the monthly team prizes. To do this Mark created his own trivia questions each week incorporating local and current events, music and physical gamechanger games into the more traditional trivia night.
At Chalk, regular teams would attend each week with a showing of anywhere between 60~120 people. These were good times and usually started with a Jagerbomb to kick off the night!
Early in 1998, following the recording of his first Australian full length album, Scottish singer/songwriter Gordon McDowell (Skip) needed a band to support his material live.
After meeting Mark through a friend, and now with only 10 days til the albums launch date at Brisbane's Pineapple Hotel, Mark pulled together a backing line-up which rocked the launched gig, and soon collectively became Halcyon Daze.
They performed at all the usual original venues of Brisbane for the next coming year with the addition of a 3 set show on the main stage of Brisbane's Annual River Festival "Riverfire" held at Southbank in October, 1998.
Skip had been signed to UK label Cherry Red in London earlier in his career, and now with this band, he was gaining some label interest but, as happens all too often, nothing ever eventuated and the band dissolved.
Pictured above (from left to right), Halcyon Daze were: Skip (Vocals/Acoustic Guitar), Mark Bono (Vocals/Lead Guitar), Anthony Bono (Drums) and Robyn Bowden (Bass).
Bottomline saw the re-forming of the members of the originals act Tripy Tripy Ka Ka who disbanded in mid 1996.
This time though, the band set out to perform covers instead of their own tunes and partied through all of its short year long existence from mid 1997 gigging in and around Brisbane and the Gold Coast, plus the craziest New Years Eve gig ever... A back yard party resembling more like an outdoor concert event, playing for a crowd of hundreds on a purpose built stage... 500 +, in a back yard (field) in the eastern Brisbane suburb of Wynnum - it was awesome!
Tripy Tripy Ka Ka was an experimental outfit which was put together by brothers Mark and Anthony late in 1995, penning an entire set of new and interesting songs based around the post grunge/metal bands of the time.
Members of both Bottomline and Tripy Tripy Ka Ka were: (as pictured above from left to right) Scott Kefford (Bass/Backing Vocals), Anthony Bono (Drums) and Mark Bono (Vocals/Guitars)
Dionysus was formed by school mates long before Mark joined the group sometime in late 1993. Pictured above (from left to right) Dionysus now was: Scott Kefford (Bass/Backing Vocals), Jamie Wren (Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals), Jason Powell (Drums) and Mark Bono (Vocals/Lead Guitar).
The group performed a wide array of their favourite bands songs giving them their first ever paid gigs, performing everywhere from pubs and clubs, to private parties and local festivals, and even at a drag-bike weekend in Gladstone!
Dionysus, were cutting their teeth, and it wasn't too long before things slowly evolved.
Wicked Rumour soon came to fruition and with the band's name change, came a new focus on original material. Combining the few original songs the original Dionysus members had, with a stack of new ones Mark had brought in, the group began developing their sound performing original gigs and regularly appearing at the Zan Zi Bar in Brisbane as both a support and headlining act. Other interests outside of music lead to the bands gradual end sometime in 1995.