Northern Beaches Music Festival Reveal Artists for their 2015 Lineup

Luke Escombe
Image Courtesy of Luke Escombe

The Northern Beaches Music Festival has been something of a quiet achiever on the festival circuit. Held at Collaroy Beach on Sydney’s norther beaches, the festival showcases some of the best roots and folk music about and is only spitting distance from Australia’s largest captital city.

Held from the 9th to 11th October, the lineup for this year’s festival has been slowly revealing itself and so far features Anne Ridgway, Beautiful chaos, Belle Jar, Ben Osmo, Burnt Creek Deviation, Chantal&Cesar, Chich and The Soul Messengers, Christina Crofts, Dave Calandra and The Min Min Lights, Folklore, Green Mohair Suits, green tea serenade, Helmut Uhlmann, Jack Derwin, Jackie Brown Jr, Jake Berry, Jim & Kaz Pike, Juicy Ones, Julien Joel Clement, KNOX, Lagoon Hill Zydeco, Los Skeletone Blues, Luke Escombe (above), MaD aDaM, Men With Day Jobs, The Hollands!, The Mutual Acquaintances, The Scarlet Pymps, The Vegetable Plot, Wheeze & Suck Band and Wolf-Arrow Rain with more to be announced.

For more information on the Northern Beaches Music Festival, including how to get your hands on tickets, check out the official site here.

The Shack Celebrates its 50th Birthday Party

Dave Calandra
Image Courtesy of Dave Calandra

Iconic Sydney venue The Shack has announced plans to celebrate its 50th anniversary this weekend. The Shack, located in Narrabeen, has been bringing the best in folk music to Sydney’s Northern Beaches for so long that it’s become an institution.

To celebrate it’s 50th birthday, The Shack has gathered together an amazing lineup of musicians for a very special gig on Saturday 7th February. The lineup includes iconic folk trio New York Public Library, energetic group Grimick, The Shack’s resident band The Original Mid Lyfe Crysis, amazing solo performer Jim Jarvis and singer-songwriter Dave Calandra.

For more information on the night check out the official Shack site here.

Porch Light Sessions Announces June Lineup

Christopher Coleman Collective
Image Courtesy of Christopher Coleman

Sydney’s newest folk and acoustic night, the Porch Light Sessions, is going from strength to strength and with their June lineup it looks like the momentum is set to continue.

On Thursday 12th June the Petersham Bowling Club in Sydney’s inner-west will play host to three of the folk scene’s most exciting artists – Sydney singer-songwriter Dave Calandra, Tasmanian folk singer Christopher Coleman (above) and the one and only Elana Stone.

The music kicks off from 7:30pm and tickets are just $10 on the door. For more information check out the official Facebook event here.

Details of This Weekend’s Northern Beaches Music Festival

Northern Beaches
Image Courtesy of the Northern Beaches Music Festival

Don’t think for a moment that just because Easter has come and gone that the folk festival season is over – we’re still smack bang in the middle of some fantastic events right around the country.

If you’re in Sydney this weekend you’d do well to get yourself north of the bridge to the Berry Reserve in Narrabeen for the 2014 Northern Beaches Music Festival. Sydney itself doesn’t have a defining folk festival but it does have a bunch of smaller festivals that are within easy access scattered around its outskirts and the Northern Beaches Music Festival is definitely worth a day (or even weekend) trip.

This years bill includes a wealth of amazing local and national artists, including the likes of Laura & Susie, Luke Escombe, Dave Calandra, Charlie Gradon, Wheeze and Suck Band, Betty & Oswald, Direwolf, The April Maze, Alanna and Alicia, The Green Mohair Suits and many many more. The festival kicks off on Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th May and tickets are an affordable $35 for adults per day ($25 on Friday and $75 for all three days).

For more information on the Northern Beaches Music Festival check out the official site here.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 14th March


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Melbourne band Dan and Amy have released their new single “Pretend”. Details here

– Melbourne’s Oh Pep! have been busy touring recently but they’ve also managed to release their new video “Rest Assured”. Details here

William Fitzsimmons has released a beautiful live version of his track “Fortune”. Details here

– Sydney artist Willowy has released her new track “Waiting On You”. Details here

– Singer-songwriter Dave Calandra released his brand new video “The Deluge”. Details here

– The two tracks that have emerged from the upcoming Eels album The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett are definitely on the singer-songwriter side of the spectrum. Details here

– English singer-songwriter Blair Dunlop has announced the details of his new album House of Jacks. Details here

The Gum Ball Festival has added a bunch of singer songwriters to its lineup including Steve Smyth, Melody Pool, David Garnham & The Reasons To Live and The Septembers. Details here

– “Crown the Pines”, the new single from S. Carey, features his Bon Iver bandmate Justin Vernon on backing vocals. Details here

– Ex-The Low Anthem member Mat Davidson has released his new single “Ashville Farm Remedy” from his Twain project. Details here

The Melbourne Folk Club will be launching a weekly live show in Melbourne from the April. Details here

– A beautiful live version of “Xavier” by Melody Pool has been doing the rounds. Details here

Lacey Cole and the Lazy Colts have been debuting a new video a week throughout March. Details here

– UK singer-songwriter VerseChorusVerse has released his whiskey soaked track “Common Prayer”. Details here

– Sydney band Yetis have released their new single “Kind Eyes” and will be touring it at the end of this month. Details here


“I’m a lover of folk music, for me it’s a real passion … [but] I think you need to keep evolving as musicians whatever you do. For Mumford and Sons it made sense to make quite a similar [second] record I suppose but for us we were always going to do something different and we’ll probably do something different again the next time” – Tim Hart from Boy & Bear chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

I think the nice thing about playing in a band with more than one other person is that there’s something about the tunes that really get you going and it tends to be a very individual thing. One of the amazing things about getting to know Cam is his brain just works really differently on the tunes. Especially when he’s writing tunes he just comes up with stuff that when I hear it it just makes so much sense but I just never could have produced it myself – Hilary Glaisher from Tolka chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Releases This Week

Christopher Coleman CollectiveChristopher Coleman Collective

Daniel Champagne
The Gypsy Moon – Volume IIDaniel Champagne

o Vertigo
O Vertigo!Kate Miller-Heidke

Micah P Hinson and the Nothing
Micah P. Hinson and the NothingMicah P. Hinson

Phil Smith
Year of the DogPhil Smith

StrangersSimone Felice

Till My Tears Roll Away
Til My Tears Roll AwayThe Audreys

Life Labors in the ChoirTwain

Timber and Steel Presents

British Blues
The British Blues w/ Boy Outside, Emma Davis
Friday 21st March – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW
Facebook Event

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Sásta and Tolka


On Monday the world will turn green for St Patrick’s Day, with celebrations planned all over the country this weekend. St Patrick’s Day is a highlight of the folk calendar – it’s one of the few times of year that Irish trad music is in almost every pub. The must see gig this weekend takes place at The Gaelic Club in Sydney on Saturday night where two of Australia’s finest trad bands, Sásta and Tolka, take to the stage.

Saturday 15th March – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Adelaide Fringe Festival
Friday 14th February to Sunday 16th March – Adelaide, SA

Arbori w/ Colin Jones, Little Bighorn, Yetis
Saturday 15th March – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

Ash Grunwald
Friday 14th March – The Abbey, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th March – Blue Mountains Music Festival, NSW
Thursday 20th March – Ramsgate Hotel, Adelaide, SA

Billy Bragg
Sunday 16th March – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW
Tuesday 18th March – Manning Bar, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 19th October – Canberra Theatre, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 20th March – Tivoli, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 21st March – The Northern, Byron Bay, NSW

Blue Mountains Music Festival
Friday 14th to Sunday 16th March – Katoomba, NSW

Brunswick Music Festival
Sunday 2nd to Sunday 16th March – Melbourne, VIC

Caitlin Park
Friday 21st March – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW

Christopher Coleman Collective
Saturday 15th March – Baby Black Espresso Bar, Bacchus Marsh, VIC
Wednesday 19th March – Babushka Bar, Ballarat, VIC
Thursday 20th March – The Music Man Megastore, Bendigo, VIC
Friday 21st March – Shebeen, Melbourne, VIC

Glen Hansard with Lisa O’Neill
Friday 14th March – Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 15th March – Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan, VIC
Thursday 20th March – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW

Jordan Millar
Friday 14th March – Free The Wild Presents, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 15th March – Front Gallery, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 16th March – Front Gallery, Canberra, ACT
Friday 21st March – The Pier, Port Macquarie, NSW

Josh Pyke
Friday 21st March – The Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW

Julia and the Deep Sea Sirens
Friday 14th March – YouAreHere Festival, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 15th March – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW
Friday 21st March – Rad @ Yours n Owls, Wollongong, NSW

Kate Crowley
Saturday 15th March – Montsalvat Barn Gallery, Eltham, VIC

Friday 14th March – Orange Civic Theatre, Orange, NSW
Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th March – Blue Mountains Folk Festival, Katoomba, NSW

Lost Ragas w/ Raised By Eagles
Friday 14th March – Coogee Diggers, Coogee, NSW
Saturday 15th March – The Factory Floor, Marrickvile, NSW
Sunday 16th March – Grand Junction Hotel, Maitland, NSW
Friday 21st March – The Tote, Collingwood, VIC

Mark Wilkinson
Thursday 20th March – The Grand Poobah, Hobart, TAS
Friday 21st March – Spirit Bar & Lounge, Traralgon, VIC

MoFo at The Gaelic feat. Catgut
Friday 14th March – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Peter Rowan
Friday 14th March – Illawarra Folk Club, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th March – Blue Mountains Folk Festival, Katoomba, NSW
Tuesday 18th March – Biddy Walsh’s Irish Pub, Orange, NSW
Wednesday 19th March – Lizottes, Sydney, NSW

Sásta and Tolka
Saturday 15th March – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Sydney St Patrick’s Day Festival
Sunday 16th March – Hyde Park, Sydney, NSW

The Beez
Friday 14th March – Old Mill Flour Gallery, Mildura, Vic
Saturday 15th March – Richmond, Vic
Sunday 16th March – Burrinja Café, Upwey, Vic
Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd March – Yackandandah Folk Festival, Vic

The British Blues w/ Boy Outside, Emma Davis
Friday 21st March – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

The Bottlers
Sunday 16th March – St Patricks Day Parade, Hyde Park, Sydney, NSW
Monday 17th March – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

The Good Ship
Saturday 15the March – Gluttony, Adelaide, SA
Friday 21st March – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

The Little Stevies
Sunday 16th March – Gasworks, Brisbane, QLD

The Pierce Brothers
Friday 14th March – Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 15th March – Torquay Hotel, Torquay, VIC
Thursday 20th March –Prince Of Wales, Bunbury, WA

The Stray Sisters
Saturday 15th to Sunday 16th March – Blue Mountains Folk Festival, NSW
Tuesday 18th March – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 20th March – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Friday 21st March – The Basement, Sydney, NSW

TinPan Orange
Sunday 16th March – Oakleigh Music Festival, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 20th March – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 21st March – FBi Social, Sydney, NSW

Yackandandah Folk Festival
Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd March – Yackandandah, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“We Might Be Dead By Tomorrow” – SoKo

If you’ve watched the First Kiss video that’s been making waves on the net this week (and has been revealed as an ad for clothing company WREN) you may have wondered what the song was in the background. Well that song was “We Might Be Dead By Tomorrow” by French artist SoKo (who was also behind the indie hit “I’ll Kill Her”) and it has a really sweet clip.

Watch the New Dave Calandra Video “The Deluge”

Dave Calandra
Image Courtesy of Dave Calandra

Sydney singer-songwriter Dave Calandra has been a champion of the local folk scene for some time now so it’s a surprise he’s only thus far received a passing reference on Timber and Steel. We’ve seen Calandra perform live a number of times, just never gotten around to writing about it.

Well that changes now with the release of Dave Calandra’s new single and video “The Deluge”. Taken from Calandra’s 2013 album Gone Too Far the video was directed and produced by Tim Glastonbury and Dave Calandra. Check out “The Deluge” below:

Leroy Lee Puts on Second Nick Drake Tribute Night in Sydney

Nick Drake

Following the success of last year’s local Sydney Nick Drake tribute concert organiser and Timber and Steel favourite Leroy Lee is repeating the exercise with a second show this Thursday 2nd April.

The concert will take place at Camelot Lounge in Marrickville from 8pm and will feature performances from Leroy Lee, Dave Calandra, Nic Cassey, Michael Dorman, Louise Nutting (Wartime Sweetheart) and Matt Tonks. Tickets are $15.

For more information check out the official Facebook invite here

Review: Nick Drake Tribute, The Red Rattler, Sydney

Nick Drake

Nick Drake Tribute
Elana Stone, Brian Campeau, Leroy Lee, Katie Wighton, Brendan Maclean, Jack Carty, Dave Calandra, Matt Tonks, Andy Golledge, James Edgar Francis, Andy Gordon, Ben Daley, James Daley
28th June 2012, Red Rattler

It’s sometimes hard to comprehend just how big an impact Nick Drake has had on modern folk music. During the height of his career in the late 60s/early 70s through to his death in 1974 Drake was a relative unknown and his three albums, Five Leaves Left, Bryter Layter and Pink Moon, failed to sell on initial release despite his obvious talent as a songwriter and the profile of the musicians and producers he worked with. It wasn’t until the early 80s when Island Records reissued the three albums in a boxset that audiences started waking up to the music Drake had made. Now it’s impossible to listen to modern folk music without hearing the hallmarks of Nick Drake’s sound – the inspired fingerpicking, his unique way of crafting a melody, those amazing lyrics.

When Leroy Lee first floated the idea of a Nick Drake concert in Sydney I must admit I was both skeptical and excited. Excited because I’m a massive fan of Nick Drake’s music and I know Leroy Lee and his mates would do the man justice. Skeptical because I wasn’t sure just how much recognition of Nick Drake’s music there was outside of the musical community and surely those who are fans had already been sated by last November’s Way to Blue concerts.

I needn’t have worried. By the time I turned up at the Red Rattler the place was absolutely packed with one of the most attentive audiences I have ever seen.

While Way to Blue was probably a more polished tribute to Nick Drake (and let’s face it – being at the Sydney Opera House and the Melbourne Recital Centre it probably had to be), the concert at the Red Rattler last week had a really homly, community feel. Here were a group of musicians who are genuine friends who were having a ball jamming together and celebrating this wonderful music.

Nick Drake’s three albums were amply represented throughout the night with most of the players staying true to his orignal compositions and arrangements. Highlights for me included Leroy Lee’s cover of “Cello Song” complete with hummed cello part (although for some reason I kept hearing Al Pacino’s voice in my head during the song), the sets from both Jack Carty and Dave Calandra who sang as if the songs had been written for them and Elana Stone, Brian Campeau and Katie Wighton reinterpretation of Nick Drake through the Casio keyboard’s drum tracks.

Which I guess was my one main gripe fo the night. There were a lot of solo guitarist/singers and, while this may have been exactly what Nick Drake was, I felt like there wasn’t enough reinterpretation. I would have loved to have seen a more diverse range of instrumentation on stage and some different takes on Nick Drake songs. Even Leroy Lee, who I know best as a fine banjo player, pretty much stuck to the guitar for most of the night.

But this gripe is a minor and the night in general was a roaring success. Getting the entire cast on stage for “River Man” at the end of the night was a stroke of genius and the perfect way to wrap up a wonderful concert. I hope there was more than a few people in the audience that had never heard Nick Drake’s music before and are now new fans.

All we have to do now is ask – what’s next Leroy Lee?

The Songs of Nick Drake at The Red Rattler

Nick Drake

12 of Sydney’s finest folk singers will be getting together at the end of the month for a night of music to celebrate the songs of Nick Drake. Elana Stone, Brian Campeau, Leroy Lee, Katie Wighton, Brendan Maclean, Jack Carty, Matt Tonks, Andy Golledge, Edoardo Santoni, James Edgar Francis and Dave Calandra will all be lending their voices to this very special tribute to one of the most influential folk musicians ever.

The Songs of Nick Drake will be held at The Red Rattler in Marrickville on the 28th June from 7pm. Tickets are $15 for adults or $12 concession and can be pre-booked here. For more information check out the official Facebook event.

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