Thank Folk It’s Friday – 28th August


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– US based Australian indie-folk duo Falls will be heading home next month to preview their upcoming album Omaha at a couple of intimate shows in Sydney and Melbourne. Details here

Father John Misty has announced plans to head to Australia this December. Details here

– Adelaide roots singer The Brouhaha will return to the stage tonight after a hiatus. Details here

– The inaugural Murwillumbah Country Roots Fest announced a cracking lineup including Kasey Chambers, The Audreys, Shane Howard, Archie Roach, Busby Marou, Bill Chambers, Henry Wagons, Pierce Brothers, Good Oak, The Davidson Brothers, Harry Hookey, The Wilson Pickers, Melody Pool, Karl S. Williams, Lachlan Bryan, Caitlin Harnett, The Mid North, Garett Kato, Katie Brianna, Sara Tindley, The Company, Mustered Courage, Gretta Ziller and many many more. Details here

– Mid-north coast based Galleri released their latest single “Countrylink”. Details here

Fanny Lumsden revealed full details of her debut album Small Town Big Shot. Details here

JamGrass announced their 2015 lineup along with a new format which includes a Friday night launch party and an outdoor one day festival on the Saturday. The lineup for both days includes Harts, TinPan Orange, Mustered Courage, Quarry Mountain Dead Rats, Richard in Your Mind, The Morrisons, The Imprints, The String Contingent, The Stetson Family, John Flanagan Trio, Mr. Alford Country, The Drunken Poachers, The Scrimshaw Four, The Ramblin’ Roses, Astro Cobalt, Little Rabbit and The Weeping Willows. Details here

Kaurna Cronin has announced show sin South Australia and Victoria when he returns from his European tour. Details here

Beirut have released their new video “Gibraltar”. Details here

– If you’re pining for the National Folk Festival never fear – they will be putting on a concert as part of the Floriade Nightfest. Details here

Perch Creek released their new video “Mama Sings”. Details here

– Indie-folk trio Little May released their new single “Seven Hours”. Details here

– Alt-country favourites Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes have announced plans to release their new album The Mountain next month. Details here

Releases This Week

White Lies and Melodies
White Lies and MelodiesMustered Courage

Sam Amidon
Home Alone Inside My HeadSam Amidon

Paper Kites
twelvefourThe Paper Kites

The Business
BusinessThe Snowdroppers

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

The Brouhaha w/ Caramigo, Corey Stewart


After suffering adrenal fatigue and burnout that forced her away from the stage The Brouhaha will make a triumphant return tonight.

Friday 28th August – The Exeter Hotel, Adelaide, SA

Gigs Next Week

Anna Cordell
Saturday 29th August – Little and Oliver, Melbourne, VIC

Eddie Boyd & The Phatapillars
Thursday 3rd September – The Pier, Port Macquarie, NSW
Friday 4th September – Lennox Point Hotel, Lennox Head, NSW

El Grande
Sunday 30th August – Front Bar, Canberra, ACT

Floyd Thursby & Mandy Connell
Saturday 29th August – La Niche, Melbourne, VIC

Folk By The Sea
Friday 4th to Sunday 6th September – Kiama, NSW

FolkSwagon feat. Tenderfoot, The Campervan Dancers, Darby
Wednesday 2nd September – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Gympie Muster
Thursday 27th to Sunday 30th August – Gympie, QLD

Immigrant Union
Friday 28th August – The Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay, NSW
Saturday 29th August – Solbar, Maroochydore, QLD
Friday 4th September – David Bowie Late Nights @ ACMI, Melbourne, VIC

James Teague w/Julia Jacklin, Brendon Moon, Danika Smith
Friday 28th August – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

JD Burgess Band
Sunday 30th August – Proper Music Social, Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Jess Ribeiro
Friday 4th September – Red Rattler, Sydney, NSW

John Flanagan and Liz Frencham
Saturday 29th August – Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 30th August – House Concert, Mount Franklin, VIC
Thursday 3rd September – Goulburn Club, Goulburn, NSW
Friday 4th September – The Front, Canberra, ACT

Katie Wighton
Friday 28th August – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW

Little Features feat. Brendon Ludlow, Black Bird Hum, Michael Duchesne, Julia Jacklin
Saturday 29th August – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

Mary Chapin Carpenter w/ Tift Merritt
Friday 28th August – Gympie Muster, QLD
Saturday 29th August – Whitlam Theatre, Revesby, NSW
Sunday 30th August – Wests New Lambton, Newcastle, NSW
Tuesday 1st September – Anitas Theatre, Wollongong, NSW
Thursday 3rd September – Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo, VIC
Friday 4th September – National Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Mustered Courage
Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th August – Gympie Muster, Gympie, QLD
Sunday 30th August – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD

NICEFEST feat. We Lost The Sea, The Crooked Fiddle Band, Serious Beak, Dumbsaint
Saturday 29th August – Hermann’s Bar, Sydney, NSW

OXJAM Inner Western feat. Cruisin’ Deuces, Mark Lucas, Katie Brianna, Bree De Rome and Brian Manning
Sunday 30th August – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

OXJAM Sam Newton and Julian Elia
Friday 28th August – Burwood Uniting Church, Sydney, NSW

Perch Creek
Friday 4th September – Wheatsheaf, Adelaide, SA

Redland Spring Festival
Friday 4th to Sunday 6th September – Cleveland, QLD

Riley Pearce
Friday 28th August – Indi Bar, Scarborough, WA

The Brouhaha w/ Caramigo, Corey Stewart
Friday 28th August – The Exeter Hotel, Adelaide, SA

The Snowdroppers
Friday 4th September – Transit Bar, Canberra, ACT

Tim Wheatley
Saturday 29th August – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 30th August – The Grace Darling, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 2nd September – Cafe Del Mar, Sydney, NSW
Friday 4th September – The Metro, Sydney, NSW

Friday 28th August – UniBar, Adelaide, SA

Tom West
Friday 4th September – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC

Wirrina Bluegrass and Acoustic Roots Festival
Friday 4th to Sunday 6th September – Wirrina Cove, SA

Xavier Rudd & The United Nations
Friday 28th August – Civic Theatre, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 29th August – Central Coast Leagues, Gosford, NSW
Sunday 30th August – Dubbo RSL, Dubbo, NSW
Wednesday 2nd September – Katoomba RSL, Katoomba, NSW
Thursday 3rd September – Panthers, Bathurst, NSW
Friday 4th September – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Oklahoma Ponies” – Mark Knopfler

Last week we featured the traditional “Shove The Pig’s Foot (A Little Closer to the Fire)” for our Friday Folk Flashback. This week we thought we’d share the Mark Knopfler song “Oklahoma Ponies”, where he has added lyrics to “Shove The Pig’s Foot…”. The folk process in motion!

Watch the New Beirut Video “Gibraltar”

Image Courtesy of Beirut

We’re inching closer to the release of Beirut’s new album No No No on the 11th September and to get you in the mood the band have released their fantastical new video “Gibraltar”.

Directed by Bother Willis, the video features Beirut “picking their way through a fantasy Gibraltar to meet its Rock”. Check out the video below:

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 19th June


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– We were very sad to hear that Bellowhead have decided to call it a day. Details here

– Brand new Americana festival Dashville Skyline announced their first round of artists including Wagons, Bahamas (CAN), All Our Exes Live in Texas, Green Mohair Suits, Melody Pool, Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes, The Lonesome Heroes (USA), Olympia, Bell St Delays, Papa Pilko & The Bin Rats, Perry Keyes, Ben Wright Smith and Elwood Myre. Details here

– Irish band The Frames will release their new album Longitude this month. Details here

– Tonight the legendary Cj Shaw returns to Sydney for one night only. Details here

– Country & Inner Western returns to Sydney this week with music from Cruisin’ Deuces, Lucky Luke and His Shooting Stars and Harry Love. Details here

– Nu-folkers Beirut announced details of their upcoming album No No No. Details here

Jenny Lewis has announced a single Sydney headline show when she’s here for Splendour. Details here

– To celebrate the tenth anniversary of Autumn Flow Lior has announced a series of shows in October. Details here

– Sydney singer-songwriter Sam Newton will be premiering his new video “Bill’s Lost Love” at a live show next Friday. Details here

The Staves team with the amazing video series La Blogothèque for their latest video “Teeth White”. Details here

– Sydney’s Lacey Cole & The Lazy Colts released their new video “Slackjaw”. Details here

– Melbourne alt-country legends The Stetson Family will be launching their new album with a gig at the end of July. Details here

Richard Thompson released his new single “Broken Doll”. Details here

Gurrumul has released details of his third studio album, The Gospel Album, and national tour. Details here

– The new Nathaniel Rateliff project Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats release their debut EP today. Details here

– UK nu-folk singer Lucy Rose released her new video “Like An Arrow”. Details here

Frank Turner has announced plans to release his new album Positive Songs For Negative People. Details here

Releases This Week

Nathaniel Rateliff
EPNathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Rebecca Bastoli w/ Laura & Susie, Catgut, Poppy Burnett

Bec Bastoli

Rebecca Bastoli has been a huge supporter of local folk music and now it’s your turn to give back as she fundraises for her debut EP. When you add Laura & Susie, Catgut and Poppy Burnett in support you’re in for a pretty sweet show.

Saturday 20th June – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Cj Shaw w/ Echo Deer
Friday 19th June – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

Country & Inner Western feat. Cruisin’ Deuces, Lucky Luke and His Shooting Stars, Harry Love
Wednesday 24th June – The Basement, Sydney, NSW

Davey Craddock & The Spectacles
Saturday 20th June – Clancy’s, Fremantle, WA
Monday 22nd June – The Ellington Jazz Club, Perth, WA

Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell
Sunday 21st June – Concert Hall, Perth, WA
Tuesday 23rd June – AIS Event Centre, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 25th June – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

James Kenyon and Tobias Hengeveld
Friday 19th June – The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine, VIC

Jed Rowe
Friday 19th June – Basement Discs, Melbourne VIC

Rebecca Bastoli w/ Laura & Susie, Catgut, Poppy Burnett
Saturday 20th June – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel
Friday 19th June – Ex-Services Club, Mullumbimby, NSW
Saturday 20th June – Barossa Regional Art Gallery, Tanunda, SA
Sunday 21st June – Vinyl, Adelaide, SA

Sam Newton w/ Direwolf
Friday 26th June – Glebe Justice Centre, Sydney, NSW

Sleepy Dreamers with Run Rabbit Run, Open Swimmer
Friday 19th June – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

The Pigs
Friday 19th June – Sol Bar, Maroochydore, QLD
Saturday 20th June – Broadbeach Country Music Festival, Varsity Lakes, QLD

Tracey McNeil & The Goodlife
Friday 26th June – The Yarra Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“Who’s Gonna Build Your Wall” – Tom Russell

With the recent comments made by Donald Trump and the constant immigration “debate” in this country I was reminded of this song.

Beirut Announce New Album and Release New Track “No No No”

Image Courtesy of Beirut

American nu-folkers Beirut this week announced plans for their brand new album No No No, due for release on the 11th September this year. This will be Beirut’s first album since 2011’s The Rip Tide and follows a physical and mental breakdown from Beirut frontman Zach Condon in 2013.

“I had completely broken down and my body was making me pay for it,” Condon explained. “For the first time in my life, I was facing extreme self doubt. I had hit rock bottom.”

Check out the full track listing plus a stream of the title track below:

1. Gibraltar
2. No No No
3. At Once
4. August Holland
5. As Needed
6. Perth
7. Pacheco
8. Fener
9. So Allowed

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 14th September


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– The video for Jinja Safari and Kinfe’s collaboration on The Key of Sea Vol. 2 hit the interwebs and is a lovely insight into the making of this album. Details here

– The new Mumford and Sons video for “I Will Wait” hit the interwebs a day before we expected it which was a lovely little surprise on our Monday morning. Details here

– Folk-pop chanteuse Lisa Mitchell announced the details of her brand new album Bless This Mess along with the dates for a national tour in October and November. Details here

Corinbank Festival in Canberra is returning at the end of November after flash-flooding and landslides took out the festival site earlier in the year. Details here

– Tomorrow night The Vanguard in Sydney will be transformed into The Gem Saloon as the iconic venue pays tribute to the TV series Deadwood. What’s this got to do with folk? Well, Bellyache Ben and The Steamgrass Boys are providing the music for one thing. And there’ll be whiskey. What more do you want? Details here

Krystle Warren is in the country currently touring with Rufus Wainwright. But when that tour ends she has a handful of solo headline dates that your going to not want to miss. Details here

– The brand new album from Calexico, Algiers, hit stores this week and we have the first video from it for the track “Splitter”. Details here

– The new track from The Trouble With Templeton, “Six Months In A Cast”, has a brand new bloody video from director Josh Calder. Details here

Simone Felice has revealed details of a new EP featuring outtakes from his debut album and is offering up the track “War Movie” as a free download. Details here

– Alice Springs based Scottish ex-pat Colin Lillie has released the video to his heartbreaking song “Man’s Broken Heart”. Details here

Sarah Blasko has teased out the details for her upcoming new album I Awake which will hit shelves in October. Details here

Tigertown have released the video to go with their new single “Morning Has Finally Come” along with the dates of their upcoming national tour this October. Details here

The Mumford & Sons General Store & Saloon opens in Sydney today with streams of the new Mumford and Sons album Babel, screenings of The Big Easy Express documentary, live music and more. The location was revealed this week. Details here

Neil Young and Crazy Horse have revealed the details for their second album of 2012, the double D/triple vinyl Psychedelic Pill (you’ll see why when you see the length of the songs). Details here

– Irish singer-songwriter Damien Dempsey has just signed to local label FOUR | FOUR and is set to release his new album Almighty Love in October. Details here

– The two most Timber and Steel friendly artists on the Harvest Festival lineup, Grizzly Bear and Beirut, have announced sideshows this November. Details here

– The annual Ameircana Music Honors and Awards took place in Nahville yesterday with gongs going to the likes of The Civil Wars, Gillian Welch, Richard Thompson and more. Details here

– Check out the new video from folk/bluegrass trio Lime and Steel (no relation). Details here

– Sydney based singer-songwriter Catherine Traicos has announced a mini tour to promote her new album and released a brand new video. Details here

Billygoat & the Mongrels will be launching their new album Big City Low in Sydney on the 5th October. Details here


“One of the strengths of Corinbank is that it will showcase artists to Canberrans; artists that those Canberrans have never heard of and have never seen before. We guarantee that you will come away with a whole bunch of new favourite bands. I think this year especially, people will be in for a unique experience”Corinbank Festival General Manager Amy Moon chats to Bill Quinn. Interview here

“[It’s] particularly ironic in that [“New England”] says, I don’t want to change the world and I’m not looking for a new cultural identity – because that’s exactly what I’ve spent doing for the last 30 years. There’s a wonderful irony in that being my best-known song”Billy Bragg chats to Bill Quinn. Interview here

Spotlight On

Coty Hogue

Coty Hogue
Coty Hogue plays traditionally influenced, banjo led Appalachian folk music with a voice that is simply stunning. Infusing her music with the whole range of American roots styles – blues, swing, country, bluegrass – Hogue is all at once refreshingly new and instantly timelesss
Spotlight Here

Releases This Week

TempestBob Dylan


SheildsGrizzly Bear

The Carpenter
The CarpenterThe Avett Brothers

Timber and Steel Presents

Laneway (album launch) with The Promises, Cookie Baker, The Wild Ripping Hail Collective DJs
Sunday 16th September – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

Gigs Next Week

Friday 14th September – WIN Entertainment Centre, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 15th September – Twin Towns Auditorium, Tweed Heads, NSW

Charlie Mayfair with The Falls
Saturday 15th September – Grace Darling, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 20th September – Queens Wharf Brewery, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 21st September – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW

Hayden Calnin
Wednesday 19th September – FBi Social, Sydney, NSW

John Williamson
Friday 14th September – Juniors, Kingsford, NSW
Saturday 15th September – Penrith Panthers, Penrith, NSW
Wednesday 19th September – 99 on York, Sydney, NSW

Julia Stone
Saturday 15th September – The Metro, Sydney NSW
Wednesday 19th September – The Spiegeltent, Brisbane Festival, QLD
Thursday 20th September – The Spiegeltent, Brisbane Festival, QLD
Friday 21st September – Community Centre, Byron Bay NSW

Katie Noonan and Karin Schaupp
Friday 14th September – Jetty Theatre, Coffs Harbour, NSW
Saturday 15th September – Glasshouse Theatre, Port MacQuarie, NSW
Wednesday 19th September – Captital Theatre, Bendigo, VIC
Thursday 20th September – Wellers Restaurant, Kangaroo Ground, VIC
Friday 21st September – Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne, VIC

Friday 14th September – The Wheatsheaf, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 15th September – The Palais Theatre, Hepburn Springs, VIC
Sunday 16th September – Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 20th September – The Front, Canberra, ACT
Friday 21st September – The Heritage Hotel, Bulli, NSW

Lanie Lane
Friday 14th September – Milton Theatre, Milton, NSW
Saturday 15th September – Street Theatre, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 20th September – Beav’s Bar, Geelong, VIC
Friday 21st September – The Loft, Warrnambool, VIC

MoFo feat. Ash Hansen and Little Big Wolf
Friday 14th September – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Nexus World Music Series
feat. Aloysious Leeson, Mike Bevan (Caliente) and Doug de Vries

Friday 14th September – Nexus 
 Centre, Adelaide, SA
Banjo Jackson and Golonka
Friday 21st September – Nexus 
 Centre, Adelaide, SA

Nick and Liesl
Saturday 15th Septembver – Living Smart Festival, Lake Macquarie, NSW

R.L. Jones
Wednesday 19th September – The Mumford & Sons General Store & Saloon, Sydney, NSW

Rufus Wainwright with Krystle Warren and Teddy Thompson
Saturday 15th September – Hamer Hall, Arts Centre, Melbourne
Monday 17th September – Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide
Wednesday 19th September – Riverside Theatre, Perth

The Beautiful Girls
Friday 14th September – Port Panthers, Port Macquarie, NSW
Saturday 15th September – Plantation Hotel, Coffs Harbour, NSW

Tim Hart
Wednesday 19th September – Lizottes, Kincumber, NSW
Thursday 20th September – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 21st September – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW

Traveller and Fortune
Saturday 15th September – JIVE, Adelaide, SA

Friday Folk Flashback

“Jolene” – Ray LaMontagne

In the past month I think I have seen more live covers of Ray LaMontagne‘s “Jolene” than any other. It seems to be the cover of choice at the moment and it’s easy to see why – it’s a really amazing song.

Grizzly Bear and Beirut Announce Harvest Sideshows

Grizzly Bear
Image Courtesy of Grizzly Bear

The two most Timber and Steel friendly artists on this year’s Harvest Festival bill, Grizzly Bear and Beirut, have today announced plans for sideshows while they’re in the country. Grizzly Bear will be keeping their headline shows to Sydney and Melbourne whereas Beirut will be touching down in Sydney and Adelaide.

The full list of dates for both tours, plus the Harvest Festivals, are below:

Monday 12th November – Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide, SA
Wednesday 14th November – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Grizzly Bear
Monday 12th November – Billboard, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 16th November – Metro, Sydney, NSW

Harvest Festival
Sunday 11th November – Werribee Park, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 17th November – Parramatta Park, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 18th November – Riverstage, Brisbane, QLD

New Beirut Video, “The Rip Tide”

Image Courtesy of Beirut

We’re more than a little excited that Beirut will be making their way to Australia this November for the Harvest Festivals. So excited in fact that we just had to show you their brand new video “The Rip Tide”.

Taken from the album of the same name “The Rip Tide” video was directed by Houmam Abdallah. Check it out below:

Grizzly Bear and Beirut Announced for Harvest Festival 2012

Image Courtesy of Harvest

There’s been a lot of buzz around the first lineup announcement for this year’s Harvest Festival. And while most people have been eagerly talking up the inclusion some iconic 90s alternative rock artists in amongst the announcement are two names Timber and Steel readers are no doubt excited to see: Grizzly Bear and Beirut.

The dates for Harvest this year are:

Sunday 11th November – Melbourne – Werribee Park
Saturday 17th November – Sydney – Parramatta Park
Sunday 18th November – Riverstage, Brisbane

The question now remains when the sideshows for both Grizzly Bear and Beirut will be officially announced – the former’s dates seem to have already been leaked. We’ll let you know as soon as we hear more.

New Beirut Video “Vagabond”

Image Courtesy of Beirut

If you enjoyed Beirut’s recent visit to Australia then you’ll be happy to hear that the band have just released their brand new video for the single “Vagabond”. Taking its queues from the low budget war films of the 1960s the video plays up on what was socially acceptable in another time. Just take a look below and see what we mean.

Falls Festival Review: In the Beginning

Review by KTBell, photos by Stu B.

What do a Matador, Pirate Princess, Bumble Bee and a Koala have in common? The Falls Festival, Lorne apparently. We arrived late in the afternoon on the first day of the festival only to feel like there was a costume party that no one had told us about. It seems dressing up with your mates is one of the key ingredients in the Falls Festival experience, we saw superheroes, all manner of animals, and too many body suits to mention.

Nouvelle Vague                            Lilikoi Kaos       Melbourne Ska Orchestra

Wednesday was the first afternoon of the 19th annual Falls Festival with the first and second days alternating between the two stages, Wednesday starting the festival off in The Grand Theatre at the top of the hill. The days line up was a bit light on the folk front, but Peter Combe helped wayward 20-30 something’s reclaim their youth complete with “Newspaper Mama” hats for the crowd. Anna’s Go-Go Academy taught the gathered crowd how to Go-Go and it was entertaining to see the whole audience dance in time with moves like the “Yay Titties” and the “Human Nature”. We caught French outfit Nouvelle Vague whose two female vocalists made me feel like I should be flying Pan Am and ordering Singapore Slings. Their take on popular songs were sassy, jazzy and a little bit Bossa Nova. Lilikoi Kaos, a circus and burlesque star, wowed the crowds with hula hoops, high heels, a seductive strip and a whole lotta splits. We rounded our night out with the huge numbers of the Melbourne Ska Orchestra who filled the half capacity theatre tent with cool, attitude, ska and wacky old school dancing. At one point the crowd faced off with the orchestra with the maestro controlling it all, very silly, but oh so fun. The cold got the better of us and we headed off to catch some hopefully warm sleep.

Heel Toe Express by KTBellThursday saw The Valley Stage spring to life while The Grand Theatre took a day off. While the stage opened with some heavier surf rock and grunge, we ambled over to The Village and stumbled across the delightful Melbourne based 5 piece, Heel Toe Express. Delivering exactly what you want from a folk band with a twinge of bluegrass rhythm, the crowds relaxed on the grass and were carried away by lilting fiddle, twanging banjo and plodding double bass. I know it’s a traditional song, but it was great to hear their rendition of “Roll In My Sweet Baby’s Arms” which I am more accustomed to in The Snowdroppers rockin’ blues style. Heel Toe Express transported me, and the whole crowd, to a completely different time and place away from the Falls Festival, I occasionally thought I should be at a fiddlers convention, barn dance or country show, but in a good way. They don’t restrict themselves performance wise, frequently switching between female and male lead vocals, whipping in some harmonies, harmonica and a bit of a honky-tonk vibe just to mix it all up, exactly the kind of band to relax through the afternoon with. Or perhaps the toe tapping, hoe down kind of wind up to kick off the day.

Clairy Browne and the Bangin Rackettes by Stu BBack at the Valley Stage, Guineafowl had the crowds bopping to their Indietronic, smooth grooves, they made me feel like U2 would be playing the same line up. One of my favorite swinging 60s style souls girl groups, Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes hit the stage in their synchronized, mid set set tear away costume changing, take the audience by storm kind of way. Not folk but a whole lot of fun, kind of like a 60s soul singing Amy Winehouse with backup singers. The New York outfit Easy Star All-Stars“Dub side of the Moon” reggae dub performance was great, entertaining and funky to boot.

Missy Higgins at the Falls Festival, Lorne VIC. By Stu BMissy Higgins was a sign that the stakes were raising with the the evening’s lineup stretching tantalisingly ahead of us. Her last releases were way back in 2007 so I was really keen to see what she had been up to in that time and gauge whether there’s anything exciting in the pipeline to get excited about. The crowd went wild as she took to the stage sporting a cute, short, blonde coiffed do. Higgins opened with a sweet rendition of “Secret”, oozing with a funky slow beat and a dash of Aussie soul. It was a gutsy full band sound but with her trademark acoustic guitar at the forefront. Her whole set was thoroughly enjoyed by the crowd, singing along at every opportunity. She later tweeted “Argh wow! Show was so amazing tonight, Nashville guys were blown away by how loud the crowd were singing!! So fun. So good to be back. Xx” and believe me, we are all very happy to see her back!

Beirut by Stu BAfter such a fulfilling performance, I was excited to finally catch Beirut live and they took to the stage with fans screaming. Having not had a chance to familiarise myself with their back catalogue, the accordian and xylophone opening was enchanting and the trumpets brought it all together for a harmony laced scene. I felt like an oom-pa band and folk band had a love child in Beirut, it’s chilled out fantasy kind of stuff! The ukulele made an appearance to many cheers from the audience and Zach’s voice floated liltingly across the huge crowd. While not everyone’s cup of tea, their set to me was like lullabies for adults, instantly calming, comforting and a sense of security. Their set was nothing short of beautiful and the crowd, blissed out across the vast sun drenched hill, were sated with the delicacies Beirut served up.

John Butler Trio by Stu BLater in the evening, after more indie, dance and DJ sets had infused the cold night with happy revellers, the tempo changed and with it, the anticipation increased. The legendary John Butler Trio was greeted with a huge roar from the crowd and they warmed the chilly night with the funk infused roots of “Don’t Wanna See Your Face No More”. The slapping base was phenomenal and could be felt all the way up the hill. As a huge crowd favourite, the trio looked completely at home onThe Valley Stage, I’m sure the entire crowd never wanted it to end. But alas, when their time was up the chill of the night had reallt set in and it was time for me to climb in to a warm sleeping bag for the night. What an amazing first couple of days and we were only half way through.

Check out our feature reviews of Missy Higgins and John Butler Trio, in an attempt to keep this review to a sensible length, we’ve decided to put together some more in depth reviews of our festival highlights.

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