Bellingen a place for romance and relaxing
His left foot methodically taps on the pedal as his hands flick the drumsticks.
He records his voice and plays it on repeat, masquerading as a back-up singer, as well as the lead.
The sound is intoxicatingly, head-boppingly good.
His name is Claude Hay and he's basically a five-man band.
He's a pleasant surprise on our long weekend away to Bellingen, on the NSW mid-north coast.
This hamlet, about 30 minutes south-west of Coffs Harbour, is a drawcard for creative souls.
A number of writers, artists and musicians make up a fair amount of the 2700 residents.
"It's like a little Byron Bay, without the pretension," a friend says before our arrival.
As Hay pumps out tunes from his latest album at a Bellingen cafe-cum-bar, I take in the audience.
There is the intoxicated blonde Brit who's determined to sweep this musician off to bed. There's the middle-aged couple snuggling against the back wall. To my right, a troupe of hippie parents sprawl on an aged lounge with their young hippie children. When they get up to dance, their long straggly hair and loose clothing sways wildly to the beat.