Cat Randall is the front lady for the band, Oleander Grove. She is the heart and soul behind the lyrics and melodies which she wrote over many years. Having moved around the world a lot as a child, Cat's musical tastes have been influenced by an array of different cultures & sounds which can sometimes be noticed in her songwriting and phrasing.
In her early teens she picked up the acoustic guitar and developed a passion for songwriting, much like her idols at the time, Alanis Morisette, Jewel, Sheryl Crow and Tracy Chapman.
After her family finally decided to settle in Australia, Cat went to University to complete an Advanced Diploma in Music. She has worked for many years as a singer, in many touring bands over the years, performing both covers and originals. Cat prides herself mostly as a lead vocalist, backup singer, rhythm guitarist but she also recently taught herself to play the harmonica which you can hear on Oleander Grove's debut album.
Cat already had years of both studio and live experience under her belt, but having recorded the songs she wrote with the Award Winning Producer, Shane Nicholson was most certainly a career highlight.
Her most recent achievement was placing as a finalist in the CCMA National Songwriter of the Year Awards (Tamworth, NSW) for the song, How Can This Be Wrong (which she co-wrote with Ayden Baxendine in 2014).
Ayden Baxendine was born in New Zealand. At age eleven he picked up his first guitar and instantly fell in love with the instrument. Having moved to Australia, Ayden felt that playing guitar was a way to express himself throughout life and has spent many years perfecting his craft and experimenting with different techniques to play with sound.
To say that Ayden is passionate about playing guitar would be an understatement.
As a young child Ayden would look up to his Idols such as Jeff Beck, Slash and Jimmy Hendrix and dream of stepping into their shoes. He would play around with making effect pedals that he could implement and use in his every day playing as well as selling them to other musicians.
After graduating high school Ayden worked for many years as a guitar technician and repairperson in a music store. He also performed many gigs and shows in cover bands such as Johnny Cash and Rolling Stones Tribute Shows.
Being a creative person, Ayden always had the desire to play his own parts in an originals band. When he applied and got accepted into University to study music he learnt a fair bit about the recording process and networked with a lot of musicians.
This is also where he met fellow musician and band mate, Cat Randall.
Jon Merigan started playing drums at a young age. He loved jamming with his father playing all the classics from the 60s and 70s. Jon’s musical idol growing up was Phil Collins and taught himself the drums purely by relentlessly playing to Collins songs until he mastered them. Never having had formal lessons, he relies totally on listening to the song which has enabled him to bring great timing and dynamics to his original projects.
Jon has worked for many years as a session drummer and has supported a handful of well-known Australian and International artists. He has an array of studio and live experience.
Mike O'Brien's musical journey,
started when he was 6 years old. His parents would take him along to their "old time dancing" at a small community hall in Cairns, Far North Queensland. He recalls gazing up at the stage and watching the musicians entertain the crowd, a memory that would develop into his love of music for the rest of his life.
Mike was also then a member of a number of cover bands over the years, playing at various pubs, beer gardens and private functions across the Cairns and districts areas. He was very influenced by great Australian and International artists such as INXS, Australian Crawl, Little River Band, Pat Benatar and Fleetwood Mac, just to name a few.
Mike's musical and spiritual journey took a different approach when he was in his early twenties where he became involved in the church music scene up until the mid 2000’s.
With children and family to provide and care for he kept his love of music going by playing at church and with friends.As his children become adults and left home he worked on further developing as a musician and joined jam groups and started to perform live again. It is here where Mike met fellow band mate, Jon Merigan and forged a friendship which would be instrumental to joining Oleander Grove.
Throughout his life, Mike's biggest muse has been his late grandmother Edith, who was a very talented violinist performing at the Brisbane Concert Hall in 1927 at age 15. It is to Edith which he dedicates his musical journey.
Born in Sri Lanka and then moving to St Kilda, Melbourne, in the 1960's Andrew L'Almont always had a love for music.
Whilst he founded and operated a number of successful companies in finance his real passion was to inspire others through music.
Over the years Andrew has played in a number of professional bands in both Australia and New Zealand.
Andrew's influences come from a variety of artists which a span over the decades. Being a keyboardist, he is most inspired by artists such as Billy Joel and Elton John. You can hear these influences in his playing. Along with his exceptional keyboard skills his backup vocals provide a strong backbone to the live performance shows of Oleander Grove.