Review: Falls Festival Byron Bay, Part 2 – The Main Event

Photos by Stuart Bucknell Photography

The Falls Festival is increasingly trying to be everything to everyone, stretching across the East Coast and now hopping to the West, it’s a broad canvas to wash but we are still always delighted to spot some more folkier acts gracing the main line up. After checking out The Grove and finding some great local folk acts, it’s always nice to see what acts are gaining the attention of festival organisers and audiences alike. Falls Festival Byron Bay had a nice little selection to tide over the inner folky.

We’re going to start with the big guns. Not necessarily Folk, but the storytelling style and lyricism of Darryl Braithwaite’s glorious return certainly deserves a mention, as well as the sheer nostalgia of it all. We have to admit, when we first saw Braithwaite on the line up, we had to take a second look, then embraced the choice in all it’s glory. The veteran looked really happy on stage, and the crowd were going absolutely nuts, though we’re not sure how many of them were actually born in time for Braithwaite’s hey day. A true performer, he introduced his band with great humour and cracked open the set with an old favourite, “Rise”, with its rich with harmonica and the bulging crowd at front of stage clapped along enthusiastically. Braithwaite delivers a very different speed and sound to the rest of the festival but a joyful, rousing set, perfect for a celebration like New Years Eve.

Not pausing to breath, he and the band rolled straight in to “Not Too Late” then joked about doing ‘that song’ right then and being along with questioning the age of ever person in the audience.

It was a rollicking time as “Howzat”, “As The Days Go By” and “One Summer” made the most of their big synth moments, entire amphitheatre singalongs, rousing the crowd into a euphoric haze. And then those tell tale chords rang out across the crowd and sheer joy erupted for the entire amphitheatre to sing out every lyric of “The Horses”. A sentimental win, right there.

Continuing with the not-really-folk-but-we-want-to-include-them bandwagon are the wicked lyricists and activists Camp Cope. We couldn’t even get in to the tent it was so overflowing with eager punters before their set even began. But from their first syllables on stage, acknowledging the stolen land that the festival was on, imploring their audience to clean up and pick up after themselves, and calling out the atrocious behaviour and assaults at another Falls site, we knew Camp Cope were a whole other kind of band.

“Jet Fuel Can’t Melt Steel Beams” lashed out in the hot afternoon and the crowd went crazy, begging for more from the rapidly rising outfit. Their spirited performance, strong vocals and confident engaging performance drew comparisons the likes of Courtney Barnett meets The Smith Street Band. Definitely an act worth catching live. They have also taken heat after their call for events like Fall Festival to have a more diverse line up. We noted similar inequalities at Bluesfest last year and look forward to watching the industry and scene continue to evolve to better represent all musicians.

We had to dash from Camp Cope’s set to catch Julia Jacklin. A significant change to catch her tranquil vocals, soft as caramel, oozing out from the stage, sweetening the audience up immediately with dreamy tones of “Lead Light”. The anthemic ballad “Cold Caller” filled the space with catchy riffs and made the audience move together.

From emotive choruses, to beautiful moments of quiet among the electricity of the band, Jacklin had it all going on. Her rendition of folk song “Wonderland” showcased the solace of her voice accompanied by only her electric guitar, and the vibrato timbre to her voice had an enchanting effect on the audience. We’re looking forward to hearing more from Jacklin soon.

The much anticipated set from Fleet Foxes delivered a mix of old and new tracks to an albeit smaller than anticipated crowd. The weather, the relentless humidity and the hangovers from the previous night probably all had a lot to do with it. But the crowd that did arrive, were happily ensconced in the all too familiar Indi folk twists and turns of Fleet Foxes.

The glorious harmonies of “Grown Ocean” washed forth from the stage as the digital back drop changed continuously, carrying their songs visually through sunrises, abstract colours, and emotive pulses. Flowing from one song in to the next, “White Winter Hymnal” transfixed the amphitheatre, followed swiftly with rich red, bright backdrop and emphatic calling opening of “Ragged Wood”. A mix of old and new was on the set list, and once the final notes of “Your Protector” rung across the field, the newer transidentel tracks moved over the crowd in an ocean of sounds, trills, and unbridled experimental cohesion.

In stark contrast to the inclement weather and oppressive grey skies, the monumental crowd for homegrown favourites Angus & Julia Stone were bright and cheerful in the Valley Stage’s amphitheatre, in spite of the gloom. Their set was a graceful mix of both new and old, with the familiar trumpet solo of “Private Lawns” to the cool, calming choruses of “Chateau” echoing across the grounds.

“My House Your House” had a mass, emphatic singalong in the amphitheatre only to be outshone by “Big Jet Plane”, the song everyone had been waiting for. The hit track, delivered in a relaxed and melodic fashion, had everyone is enraptured in spite of the steady rain. The enormous, spirit lifting cheers at it’s finish heralded the true love for our homegrown Angus & Julia Stone. To finish off a set, virtual flurries and soft white snowflakes overwhelmed the backdrop and the soothing, feminine refrains of current hit “Snow” were a perfect counterpoint to the humid, rainy northern NSW climate. A hallmark performance cementing the place of the folk, indie and alt genres at one Australia’s most loved music events, The Falls Festival.

You can check out all of our Falls Festival photos on our Facebook Page, and read Part 1 of our Falls Festival Review featuring great acts from The Grove stages.

Watch the New Marlon Williams Video “Vampire Again”

Marlon Williams
Image Courtesy of Marlon Williams

Celebrated New Zealand born alt-country artist Marlon Williams has just released his amazing new video “Vampire Again”.

“Vampire Again” is Williams’ first new material since his 2015 debut album and it’s quirky, croony and features an amazing video.

“The germination of this song began in LA last year,” Marlon Williams explains. “It was indeed Halloween again, and I was bored, having spent a week locked away in an Airbnb by the airport trying in vain to write a song. Any song. Nothing came. So Halloween comes around and I figure, “Hey, I’m gonna go out tonight. Alone. Comfortably alone. Comfortably alone to see the LA Opera performing a new score to accompany my fave scary flick Nosferatu at the Ace Hotel. I’m gonna dress as the spindly creep himself. What’s more, I’m gonna get super blazed before I go. And be comfortably alone”. So, off I go, having spent far too much on a last minute outfit, and step out of the Uber and onto the red carpet with a nauseating air of self-confidence. “This is my night. I am strong. I am human and it is my right to express myself how I see fit”. Turns out I was running late, and when I finally enter the theatre everyone was already seated and the overture had begun. What’s more, no one else was dressed up. Well they were, but in tuxedos and lovely dresses. And there was nowhere for stoned ole spindleboots to sit. So, I hunched and crawled my way down the aisle and sat on the floor like it was the most reasonable thing to do at an opera. I made it through the whole film and then calmly turned tail, satisfied that I’d had a good time and sure that I’d heard whispers of “bad-ass” as I left the building. I’d like to believe that this was, at least in part, the catalyst for a whole new period in my life and my art. But that’s bullsh*t. Anyway, here it is, my own demented tale of New Age self-affirmation; “Vampire Again”.”

Check out video for “Vampire Again” here:

Marlon Williams has announced a handful of Australian shows this November including an appearance at this year’s Mullum Music Festival – the full of dates are below:

Wednesday 15th November – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 16th November – Howler, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 17th November – Mullum Music Festival, Mullumbimby, NSW
Sunday 19th November – Howler, Melbourne, VIC

The Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival Announces 2017 Lineup

Foghorn Stringband
Image Courtesy of Foghorn Stringband

Every year the Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival manages to deliver one of the most exciting lineups of the year, featuring the best in bluegrass, old time and folk artists from around the country and around the world.

Held in the small northern NSW town of Dorrigo, the Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival is an intimate, community run event with a really nice vibe and so much great music. Their lineup this year includes so many amazing artists including Foghorn Stringband (above), Genni Kane, Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton, Luke Plumb and Peter Daffy, Mac Traynham and Shay Garriock, Mile Twelve, The Freewheeler, The New Macedon Rangers, Andy Gordon with John Kane, Angus Gill, Cat and Clint, Chloë & Jason Roweth, Chris Matthews, Corn Silk, Fat Cousin Skinny, Fireside Celts & Friends, Flora Knight & Sean Donald, Freya Josephine Hollick, Golden Whistler, High and Lonesome, John Bennett with David Hyams, Kaurna Cronin, Kazoobafak Jug Band, Loren Kate, Mandy Connell, Michael Waugh, Misty Mountain Players, Monique Clare, Montgomery Church, Pete Denahy, Pitts Family, Sohum Women’s Choir, The 3 Jimmies, The Daughters of the Rum Rebellion, The Mae Trio, The Martins, The Northern Folk, The Pipi Pickers, The Sinners, The Tawny Owl Stringband, The Tin Can String Band, Thor and Jasmine Phillips, Tommy Chandler and the Continental Drift, Twin Peaks, Two If By Sea, Watling & Bates, Whoa Mule and Yhan Leal.

The Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival takes place in Dorrigo from the 27th to the 29th October – check out the official site for more details.

This year they’re also holding the inaugural Old-Time Music School in the lead up to the festival, from the 25th to the 27th October. The Old-Time Music School will give players to learn alongside some of the best musicians in the business – this year will feature the likes of Ashlee Watkins (The New Macedon Rangers), Shay Garriock, Andrew Small (The New Macedon Rangers), Mac Traynham, Jeremy Marcotte and Foghorn Stringband. Workshops at the school will include traditional fiddle and banjo music, instrument workshops, old time ensemble workshops, folk singing, concerts, jamming and a festival performance opportunity – for more information check out the official site here.

Watch the New Georgia State Line Video “Older Than I Am”

Georgia State Line
Image Courtesy of Georgia State Line

The new single from alt-country six-piece Georgia State Line, “Older Than I Am”, now has a brand new video filmed and directed by Agostino Soldati. Set at a suburban bowls club the video is wonderfully retro.

“We crashed Saturday morning bowls at the Glenroy Bowls Club to film a video with the brilliant Agostino Soldati, aiming to reiterate the idea that age is never a factor nor a limit, plus we got a bit of help from our wonderful actors Violet and John busting out some moves,” front woman Georgia Delves explained.

“Older Than I Am” is taken from Georgia State Line’s upcoming EP Heaven Knows due on the 7th July. Check it out below:

Georgia State Line will be officially launching “Older Than I Am” at the Union Hotel in Melbourne on the 17th June with Small Town Romance in support – check out the official Facebook event for more details.

Watch the New Catherine Traicos Video “Crashing”

Catherine Traicos
Image Courtesy of Catherine Traicos

Singer-songwriter Catherine Traicos has just released the video for her haunting tracking “Crashing”, the first taste of her upcoming sixth album.

“Crashing just kind of presented itself to me mid solo jam late at night as songs often do,” Traicos explained. “Mostly they are forgotten or just fill up my phone until I delete them to make space for more. I remember reading somewhere that Duke Ellington never wrote anything down, saying that the good songs will stick around. And this song did just that. Everywhere I went over the next few days it would nudge me and prod me to go home and finish it. There was a moment when it was just “now or never” and I jumped on a bus, abandoning my commitment that day in favour of completing the song. It was almost as if had I not gone home and finished it then, I would have lost it forever.”

Check out the video for “Crashing” here:

To celebrate the release of “Crashing” Catherine Traicos will be heading out on tour with shows in Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne. Check out the full list of dates below:

Thursday 8th June – The White Horse, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 11th June – The Two Sisters, Adelaide, SA
Friday 16th June – Bassendean Hotel, Perth, WA
Saturday 17th June – Fremantle Winter Music Festival, Swan Lounge, Fremantle, WA
Sunday 25th June – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Review: The Morrisons, The Morrisons

The Morrisons
Image Courtesy of The Morrisons

To call The Morrisons’ debut self titled album “long awaited” would be an understatement. For a band that’s been kicking around for well over five years (and longer if you count their previous incarnations) and has developed a loyal fanbase in the process, recorded music has been something of a rarity.

But now with the release of The Morrisons this week we can all breathe a sigh of relief. Finally we have something to fill our ears while we wait eagerly for the next round of Morrisons shows. Finally we can own the songs we’ve grown to love as we’ve followed the band since its inception.

Kicking off with live favourite “Cumberland Plain” The Morrisons establish themselves as a uniquely Australian (and for that matter Sydney-centric) bluegrass band. Singing about the working class being pushed out of areas of Sydney like “Surry Hills, Newtown, Redfern, Balmain” right up front is a nice way of declaring your intention to not fall into the American tropes that often burden the bluegrass genre in this country. It’s also a banger of a track (as the kids say) and the perfect way to suck you in.

The Australian themes continue with tracks like “Sugar Cane” (a rollicking number firmly planted on the northern Australian sugar cane fields), “Two Years In The Mines” (following the story of a refugee from the Kosovo crisis coming to Australia), “Rabbit Skin Cheques” (about a rabbit trapper), “Route March” (adapted from the Henry Lawson poem “The Route March”) and more. The Morrisons have managed to take a purely American genre and refocused it through a local lens without making it sound laboured or trite.

Firm live favourites “Ruby” and “Wild Eleanor” are highlights of the album with the band at the peak of their powers. A surprising highlight for me is the stripped back “Good Christian Man” which has so much Paul Kelly influence I almost had to double check that it wasn’t an obscure cover version of one his songs. Closing the album with the instrumental “Southern Flavour” is a lovely touch as well, giving the listener the feeling that The Morrisons are just getting warmed up and will be jamming through the night once the recording is switched off.

Stylistically The Morrisons has a wonderful live feel to it. I’m not sure how the album was recorded but all I can picture the band crowded around a single condenser microphone belting out each track in one tack with practiced ease. Each player is given their time to shine on the album with Anna McInerney on fiddle taking a lot of the limelight. Selfishly I would love to have heard more from Jimmy Daley’s mandolin in the overall mix but that’s just down to how much I enjoy his playing. When you have the best bluegrass players in Sydney together in one band that is so in sync with itself it’s hard to put a step wrong. And can I just say that the harmony singing is simply sublime.

The Morrisons is everything I want from an Australian bluegrass record – fun, engaging, emotional, tight and insanely listenable. I’m not going to lie – since I received my copy of The Morrisons just over a week ago I’ve been reluctant to listen to anything else. We may have been waiting for five years for this album but the result is something pretty special.

The Morrisons is available now from all the usual outlets. Listen and download on Bandcamp here. For details of their upcoming tour check out the dates here.

More Acts Announced for The National Folk Festival

Trouble In The Kitchen
Image Courtesy of Trouble In The Kitchen

33 more acts have just been announced for 2017’s National Folk Festival and once again they’re bringing out the big guns.

From an international point of view The National has added folk-fusion band Harpeth Rising from the USA, Ghanan multi-instrumentalist Bortier Okoe, The Changing Room and from the UK, Norwegian-Swedish group SVER, Greek blues quartet Apodimi Compania, New Zealand duo Gilly Darbey and Vikki Clayton, German comic band The Sauerkrauts and the wonderful Alan Reid and Rob Van Sante from Scotland.

The Australian componant of the announcement is just as strong with Trouble in the Kitchen (above), Greshka, Ben Whiting, Mal Webb with Kyle Morrigan, GhostNoises, Fred Smith, Señor Cabrales, Siobhan Owen, The NEO, Old Empire Band, Wedderburn Charming Emus, Direwolf, Saoirse, Martin Doherty & Leigh Birkett, The Rhymer from Ryde and many many more.

The National Folk Festival is held from the 13th to the 17th April in 2017 – for more information and tickets check out the official site here.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 4th November


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Releases This Week

Battle of Broken HillHandsome Young Strangers
Folk Til Ya Punk Records

DrylandsMel Parsons

Metal EP
The Metal EPThe Brothers Comatose

Will varely
Kingsdown SundownWill Varley
Xtra Mile Recordings

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

FolkSwagon feat. Timber and Steel, Kay Proudlove, Merpire


Timber and Steel (the band that became the blog) will be performing their last Sydney gig for a very long time so do your best to get down! And stay for the magnificent Kay Proudlove and Merpire for a great night at Folkswagon.

Wednesday 9th November – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Adam Eckersley & Band
Friday 11th November – Dubbo RSL, Dubbo, NSW

Áine Tyrrell
Thursday 10th November – The Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 11th November – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

All Our Exes Live In Texas
Friday 4th November – Music on the Hill, Red Hill, VIC
Saturday 5th November – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 6th November – Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adeladie, SA

Americana Showcase feat. Key To The Highway, Luke O’Shea, Catherine Britt, James Thomson & The Strange Pilgrims, Little Georgia, The Weeping Willows, Rory Ellis
Friday 4th November – Australian Music Week, Cronulla, NSW

Bendigo Blues and Roots Music Festival
Thursday 3rd to Sunday 6th November – Bendigo, VIC

Blues At Bridgetown
Friday 11th to Sunday 13th November – Bridgetown, WA

Boy & Bear
Wednesday 9th November – Regent Theatre, Ballarat, VIC
Thursday 10th November – Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo, VIC
Friday 11th November – Costa Hall, Geelong, VIC

Cruisin’ Deuces
Thursday 10th November – Rock Lily, Sydney, NSW

Fanny Lumsden & The Thrillseekers
Friday 4th November – Carabost Hall, Carabost, NSW
Saturday 5th November – Thowgla Hall, Corryong, VIC

FolkSwagon feat. Timber and Steel, Kay Proudlove, Merpire
Wednesday 9th November – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Foothills Music Festival
Friday 4th to Saturday 5th November – Brigolong, VIC

Fred Smith
Friday 4th November – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 5th November – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Handsome Young Strangers
Friday 11th November – Brisbane Hotel, Hobart, TAS

Heartbreaker Sessions feat. Mark Moldre, Callum Wylie
Sunday 6th November – The Bearded Tit, Sydney, NSW

Henry Wagons
Friday 4th November – 48 Watt St, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 5th November – 5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW
Thursday 10th November – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave, VIC
Friday 11th November – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC

Thursday 10th to Sunday 13th November – Hobart, TAS

Hootenanny feat. Chiptooth
Sunday 6th November – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW

Jep and Dep
Friday 4th November – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Jordie Lane
Saturday 5th November – Sutton’s House Of Music, Ballarat, VIC
Thursday 10th November – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 11th November – Heritage Hotel, Wollongong, NSW

Ken Nicol
Friday 4th November – Albert Park Port Lounge, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 6th November – House Concert, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 9th November – Red Hill Folk Club, Brisbane, QLD

Little Wise
Friday 11th November – The Treehouse, Byron Bay, NSW

Maia Marsh, Swamp Fat Jangles, Crush Hour
Thursday 10th November – Sly Fox, Sydney, NSW

Majors Creek Festival
Friday 11th to Sunday 13th November – Majors Creek, NSW

Medusa’s Wake
Friday 4th November – Moore Park View Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Nigel Wearne
Thursday 3rd to Saturday 5th November – Bendigo Blues & Roots Music Festival, Bendigo, VIC

Leah Flanagan
Friday 4th November – Bella Union, Melbourne, NSW

Lost Ragas
Friday 4th November – Brisbane Hotel, Hobart, TAS

Porch Light Sessions feat. Don McGlashan
Thursday 10th November – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Saturday 5th November – Dundas Sports Club, Sydney, NSW

Six Dollar Willies
Wednesday 9th November – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Friday 4th November – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Stray Hens
Friday 4th to Saturday 5th November – Foothills Festival, Brigolong, VIC

Sydney Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Get-together
Saturday 5th November – Annandale Neighbourhood Centre, Sydney, NSW

Taasha Coates
Friday 4th November – Four5Nine, Perth, WA
Saturday 5th November – Prince of Wales, Bunbury, WA
Sunday 6th November – Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle, WA

Tay Oskee
Saturday 5th November – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

The Mae Trio
Friday 4th November – Australian Music Week @ St Andrew’s Church, Cronulla, NSW
Monday 7th November – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

The Newsagency 5th B’day Sessions feat. Lola Sola, Jenny Biddle
Thursday 10th November – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

The Pigs
Saturday 5th November – Warrumbungle National Park, NSW
Friday 11th November – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Tom Dockray
Friday 4th November – Taps The Valley, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 5th November – Eumundi Markets, Eumundi, QLD
Saturday 5th November – Humpybong Espresso and Bar, Stafford, QLD
Sunday 6th November – Solbar, Maroochydore, QLD
Thursday 10th November – Lass O’Gowrie Hotel, Newcastle, QLD
Friday 11th November – Flow Bar, Old Bar, NSW

Tom West
Saturday 5th November – Two Goats Café, Armidale, NSW
Sunday 6th November – The Farm, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 11th November – The Kitchens, Robina, QLD

Friday Folk Flashback

“Within The Rose” – Matthew and the Atlas

HOBOFOPO Release Full Lineup


Tasmanian folk-punk festival HOBOFOPO have revealed their final lineup additions and the whole event looks like it’s going to be huge.

Joining the HOBOFOPO lineup will be Craicpot, FOPO DJ, Runebilly Rattle, The Dominic Francis Grief Ensemble, Quinton Trembath (above), Andy Paine, All The Best, The Dead Peasants, Ryan Garth & Emily Wolfe Duo, BrodyGreg and GT Mongrel.

HOBOFOPO takes place in Hobart from the 10th to 13th November across a number of the city’s venues. For more information about HOBOFOPO check out the official Folk ‘Til Ya Punk site here. The full lineup is below:

The Dead Maggies, The Go-Set, The Ramshackle Army, Handsome Young Strangers, The Australian Beefweek Show, Fox ‘N’ Firkin, The Stragglers, This Is A Robbery, Squid Fishing, Hairyman, Craicpot, FOPO DJ, Runebilly Rattle, The Dominic Francis Grief Ensemble, Quinton Trembath, Andy Paine, All The Best, The Dead Peasants, Ryan Garth & Emily Wolfe Duo, BrodyGreg and GT Mongrel

New Tasmanian Folk Punk Festival HOBOFOPO Announces

Dead Maggies
Image Courtesy of The Dead Maggies

The geniuses behind Tasmanian convict-folk band The Dead Maggies and folk-punk label Folk ‘Til Ya Punk Records have announced Australia’s first folk-punk dedicated festival HOBOFOPO.

Taking place in Hobart from the 10th to 13th November HOBOFOPO promises a four day folk-punk orgy across the cities many pubs and venues including The Republic Bar, Willie Smiths Apple Shed, The Brisbane Hotel, Big Dan’s Franklin Tavern, Frankies Empire Cafe and more.

So far the festival has revealed a who’s who of Australian folk-punk bands on its lineup including The Dead Maggies (above), The Go-Set, The Ramshackle Army, Handsome Young Strangers, The Australian Beefweek Show, Fox ‘N’ Firkin, The Stragglers, This Is A Robbery, Squid Fishing and Hairyman with more announcements coming soon.

For more information about HOBOFOPO check out the official Folk ‘Til Ya Punk site here.

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