Thank Folk It’s Friday – 12th January

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Sydney based folk-rock band Fallon Cush released their latest single and video “Achilles Heel”. Details here

– The Peak Festival in Perisher this June announced its first nine artists including Hot Potato Band, Sahara Beck, Electrik Lemonade, His Merry Men, Hussy Hicks, Aliensworth, Felicity Lawless, Matiu, Lizzie Flynn & The Reckoning and Pete Denahy. Details here

– Adelaide indie-folk night The Porch Sessions has headed out on tour again this month with Stu Larsen & Natsuki Kurai, Tim Hart and Ryan Martin John hitting the road. Details here

– Sydney based singer-songwriter Sam Newton released his new single “Hazel Eyes”. Details here

– Sydney alt-country six-piece Papa Pilko and the Binrats released their new video “Surrender”. Details here

– We premiered two new songs from The Ahern Brothers, “There’s A Light” and “Passing Through”. Details here

First Aid Kit released their new 80s inspired video “Fireworks”. Details here

– Folk trio I’m With Her released their new single “Game To Lose”. Details here

Reviews

Gigs

“Our pick of the Falls Festival Byron Bay programming at The Grove was Ben Wilson – performing as a 3 piece act that had us hooked from from the first strum of a string. Between them, the outfit sported double bass, violin, acoustic guitar and harmonica, plus their fabulous harmonised vocals, crowded round a very vintage microphone, managing to capture their tunes before the breeze could” – Part 1 of our Falls Festival Byron Bay Review here

“From emotive choruses, to beautiful moments of quiet among the electricity of the band, Julia 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” – Part 2 of our Falls Festival Byron Bay Review here

Releases This Week

Bahamas
EarthtonesBahamas
iTunes

Winners 2018
Winners 2018 – Various
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Illawarra Folk Festival

Illawarra Folk Festival

January means it’s Illawarra Folk Festival time. The intimate event takes advantage of being right in the middle of Folk Festival season with a bunch of international touring artists and local favourites. If you live in Sydney take advantage of the musical trains to get you to the festival.

Thursday 18th to Sunday 21st January – Bulli, NSW

Gigs Next Week

19-Twenty
Friday 12th January – Lizotte’s, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 13th January – 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW
Sunday 14th January – Upper Lansdowne Hall & Happenings, Upper Lansdowne, NSW
Friday 19th January – Thredbo Resort, Thredbo, NSW

Allison Forbes
Friday 19th January – Tamworth Shopping World, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 19th January – Imperial Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 19th January – Fanzone Stage, Tamworth, NSW

Backsliders
Saturday 13th January – Milton Theatre, Milton, NSW
Sunday 14th January – Milton Theatre, Milton, NSW

Batch Sessions feat. Andy Golledge Band, Emma Russack, The Sweet Jelly Rolls, The Singing Skies
Sunday 14th January – Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Bluegrass at Yulli’s Presents Bluegrass at Balls Head
Wednesday 17th January – Balls Head Reserve, Sydney, NSW

Brad Butcher
Friday 19th January – The Green Owl, Brisbane, QLD

Breaking Trad
Friday 12th January – Heyfield War Memorial Hall, Heyfield, VIC
Saturday 13th January – Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 14th January – Old Kilmore Gaol, Kilmore, VIC
Sunday 14th January – Hotel Nicholas, Beechworth, VIC
Monday 15th January – Tathra Hotel, Tathra, NSW
Tuesday 16th January – Tathra Hotel, Tathra, NSW
Wednesday 17th January – Tathra Hotel, Tathra, NSW
Thursday 18th January – Tathra Hotel, Tathra, NSW
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW

Brooke Russell and The Mean Reds
Sunday 14th January – The Post Office Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Busby Marou
Friday 19th January – Whitsundays Clipper Race Party, Airlie Beach, QLD

Candice McLeod
Friday 12th to Sunday 14th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS

Catgut
Saturday 13th January – CERES Joe’s Market Garden, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 13th January – House Concert, Melbourne, VIC

Courtyard Sessions feat. Timothy James Bowen
Friday 19th January – Seymour Centre, Sydney, NSW

Cygnet Folk Festival
Friday 12th to Sunday 14th January – Cygnet, TAS

Dan Vogl
Friday 12th January – Bar Open, Melbourne, VIC

Dane Overton and the Joy Williams Band
Friday 12th January – The Townie, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 13th January – Lass O’Gowrie Hotel, Newcastle, NSW

Darby w/ Audrey MacAlpine, Rachel Ellis
Thursday 18th January – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Darol Anger’s Republic of Strings
Friday 12th January – Araluen Hall, Araluen, NSW
Saturday 13th January – Lass O’Gowrie Hotel, Newcastle, NSW

Darren Cross
Friday 12th January – Katoomba Social Club, Katoomba, NSW

Deadwood 76, Dave Favours & The Roadside Ashes, Ben Leece
Saturday 13th January – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Devil Goat Family String Band
Saturday 13th January – House On The Hill, Melbourne, VIC

Devil on the Rooftop
Wednesday 17th January – Bank Corner Espresso and Bar, Newcastle, NSW

Edgelarks
Friday 12th to Sunday 14th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS
Tuesday 16th January – Salamanca Arts Centre, Hobart, TAS
Wednesday 17th January – The Metropole Guesthouse, Katoomba, NSW
Thursday 18th January – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW

Eleanor McEvoy
Friday 12th to Sunday 14th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS
Monday 15th January – Masonic Hall, Lindisfarne, TAS
Tuesday 16th January – Mountain Mumma, Launceston, TAS
Wednesday 17th January – Jack Duggans, Bathurst, NSW
Thursday 18th January – Irish Club, Canberra, ACT

Emma Russack
Friday 12th January – The Penny Black, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 14th January – The Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Tuesday 16th January – Howler, Melbourne, VIC

Faith i Branko
Friday 12th to Sunday 14th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS
Thursday 18th to Sunday 21st January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW

Fanny Lumsden
Friday 19th January – Ben Lomond War Memorial Hall, Ben Lomond, NSW

Festival of Small Halls Summer Tour feat. Claire Anne Taylor, The Small Glories
Tuesday 16th January – Dunalley Hall, Dunalley, TAS
Wednesday 17th January – Triabunna Hall, Triabunna, TAS
Thursday 18th January – Broadmarsh Hall, Broadmarsh, TAS

Folk & Americana Acoustic Sessions feat. John Maddox, Banks Brothers, When Hawk Met Sparrow, That Red Head
Thursday 18th January – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

FolkSwagon feat. Frank Sultana, Jessy Wadeson, Gentle Leader
Wednesday 17th January – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Georgia State Line
Sunday 14th January – The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine, VIC

Gretta Ziller and Andrew Swift
Friday 12th January – BIG4 Narooma Easts Holiday Park, Narooma, NSW
Saturday 13th January – Murramarang Beachfront Nature Resort, South Durras, NSW
Sunday 14th January – Lake Conjola Entrance Holiday Park, Lake Conjola, NSW
Monday 15th January – Shoalhaven Heads Holiday Park, Shoalhaven Heads, NSW
Tuesday 16th January – Easts Beach Holiday Park, Kiama, NSW
Wednesday 17th January – Toowoon Bay Holiday Park, Toowoon Bay, NSW
Friday 19th January – Opening Concert, Toyota Park, Tamworth, NSW

Grizzlee Train
Friday 12th January – Hotel Steyne, Manly, NSW

Gypsy Romp feat. Greshka, Hello Tut Tut, Vanishing Shapes
Friday 12th January – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD

Hello Tut Tut
Friday 12th January – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 14th January – Pacific Hotel, Yamba, NSW
Wednesday 17th January – Bank Corner Espresso and Bar, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 19th January – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Honey
Friday 12th January – Bingie Pottery, Bingie, NSW

Honk! Oz Street Music Festival
Thursday 11th to Saturday 13th January – Wollongong, NSW

Hussy Hicks & Raphael White
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st January – Thredbo Blues Festival, Thredbo, NSW

Illawarra Folk Festival
Thursday 18th to Sunday 21st January – Bulli, NSW

Illawarra Folk Festival – Folk School
Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th January – Illawarra Uniting Church, Thirroul, NSW

James Bennett
Saturday 13th January – Seabreeze Hotel, South West Rocks, NSW
Sunday 14th January – Tacking Point Tavern, Port Macquarie, NSW

Jana Garjana Dhol Pathak, Newport Gypsy Djangos, The Mudcakes
Saturday 13th January – Summer Sounds, McCormack Park, Melbourne, VIC

Jane Aubourg
Saturday 13th January – Rad Bar, Wollongong, NSW

Jed Rowe
Saturday 13th January – Bond Street Event Centre, Sale, VIC

Jess Cornelius
Friday 12th January – Polyester Records, Melbourne, VIC

Jess Holland
Friday 19th January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW

Kate Miller-Heidke
Friday 12th January – Arts Theatre at QSU, Toowoomba, QLD

Katie Brianna
Friday 19th January – FanZone Stage, Tamworth, NSW

Kelly Brouhaha, Rose Zita Falko, Andrew Thomson
Friday 12th January – House Concert, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 13th January – Kincumber Hotel, Kincumber, NSW
Sunday 14th January – No.5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW

Kim Churchill
Friday 12th January – 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW
Saturday 13th January – Flow Bar, Old Bar, NSW
Sunday 14th January – The Rhythm Hut, Gosford, NSW
Thursday 18th January – The Tea Club, Nowra, NSW
Friday 19th January – Milton Theatre, Milton, NSW

Lucy Wise
Sunday 14th January – CERES Joe’s Market Garden, Melbourne, VIC

Mal Webb and Kylie Morrigan
Friday 12th January – The Dungeon, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 14th January – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT

Molsky’s Mountain Drifters
Friday 12th to Sunday 14th January – Cygnet Folks Festival, Cygnet, TAS

Mofo at Mona
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st January – MONA, Hobart, TAS

Montgomery Church
Saturday 13th January – Rydges Hotel, Jindabyne, NSW

Mustered Courage
Saturday 13th January – Union Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Oi Dipnoi
Wednesday 17th January – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Paddy McHugh
Thursday 18th January – Junkyard Hotel, Maitland, NSW
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW

Paul Hayward and Sidekicks
Saturday 13th January – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Porch Sessions On Tour feat. Stu Larsen & Natsuki Kurai, Tim Hart, Ryan Martin John
Saturday 13th January – House Concert, Wollongong, NSW
Monday 15th January – Nethercote Hall, Pambula Beach, VIC
Wednesday 17th January – House Concert, Mount Martha, VIC
Thursday 18th January – House Concert, Melbourne, VIC

Quinton Trembath
Saturday 13th January – The Old Bar, Melbourne, VIC

Ramblin’ Nights feat. Rich Davies & The Low Road, The Weeping Willows, Peta Caswell
Wednesday 17th January – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

Ramblin’ Nights feat. Rich Davies & The Low Road, Peta Caswell, Sam Shinazzi
Thursday 18th January – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW

Rich Davies & The Low Road
Wednesday 17th January – Ramblin’ Nights, Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 18th January – Ramblin’ Nights, Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Friday 19th January – The Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth, NSW

Rising Appalachia
Friday 12th January – The Rhythm Hut, Gosford, NSW
Saturday 13th January – The Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 14th January – The Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 18th January – The Joinery, Adelaide, SA
Friday 19th January – Church of The Trinity Uniting Church, Clarence Park, SA

Rooftop Sessions feat. Craig Woodward, Jeremiah Johnson, Katherine Vavahea
Sunday 14th January – Oatley Hotel, Oatley, NSW

Shawn Lidster
Friday 19th January – Halekulani Bowling Club, Budgewoi, NSW

Smith & Jones
Saturday 13th January – Betties, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 14th January – Open Studio, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 16th January – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC

Tamar Valley Folk Festival
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st January – Georgetown, TAS

Tamworth Country Music Festival
Friday 19th to Sunday 28th January – Tamworth, NSW

Tamworth Country Music Festival Opening Concert
Friday 19th January – Toyota Park, Tamworth, NSW

That Red Head
Sunday 14th January – The Orient Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 18th January – Folk & Americana Acoustic Sessions, Django Bar, Sydney, NSW
Friday 19th January – North Sydney Twilight Food Festival, Sydney, NSW

The Ahern Brothers
Friday 12th to Sunday 15th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS
Friday 19th January – The Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD

The Beautiful Girls
Friday 12th January – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 14th January – Redland Bay Hotel, Redland Bay, QLD
Thursday 18th January – Wool Exchange, Geelong, VIC
Friday 19th January – Westernport Hotel, San Remo, VIC

The Black Sorrows
Saturday 13th January – Satellite Lounge, Wheelers Hill, VIC

The Djangologists
Friday 12th January – Hotel Blue, Katoomba, NSW

The Glorious North
Saturday 13th January – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

The Gypsy Scholars w/ Joe Oppenheimer, FÎntan, Ben K
Friday 19th January – Bar 303, Melbourne, VIC

The Johnny Can’t Dance Cajun Band w/ Craig Woodward & Jeremy Marcotte
Sunday 14th January – Open Studio, Melbourne, VIC

The Pigs
Tuesday 16th January – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

The Railsplitters
Friday 12th to Sunday 14th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS
Friday 19th January – Rosny Barn, Hobart, TAS

The Swamp Stompers
Friday 12th January – Club Sapphire, Merimbula, NSW
Saturday 13th January – Steampacket Hotel, Nelligen, NSW
Sunday 14th January – Dromedary Hotel, Central Tilba, NSW
Friday 19th January – Katoomba, NSW

The Sweet Jelly Rolls
Sunday 14th January – Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Monday 15th January – Ramblin’ Nights, Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 17th January – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 18tth January – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD

The Weeping Willows
Sunday 14th January – Union Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 17th January – Ramblin’ Nights, Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 18th January – The Fox Den, Gloucester, NSW
Friday 19th January – The Welder’s Dog, Tamworth, NSW

The Willing Ponies
Sunday 14th January – George Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Thredbo Blues Festival
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st January – Thredbo, NSW

This Way North
Friday 19th January – The Taproom, Castlemaine, VIC

Timothy James Bowen
Friday 19th January – Courtyard Sessions, Seymour Centre, Sydney, NSW

Twin Caverns w/ Deepsea Lights
Saturday 13th January – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

Ukulele Death Squad
Friday 19th January – Circa 1902, Queenscliff, VIC

Vanishing Shapes
Friday 12th January – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 13th January – House Concert, Byron Bay, NSW

Wartime Sweethearts and Ben Panucci Band
Sunday 14th January – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

Whiskey Dram
Friday 12th January – Tanswells Hotel, Beechworth, VIC
Saturday 13th January – The Old Factory, Myrtleford, VIC
Saturday 13th January – Empire Hotel, Beechworth, VIC
Sunday 14th January – Tanswells Hotel, Beechworth, VIC

Wine, Whiskey, Women feat. Cookie Baker, Ash Sumpter
Wednesday 17th January – The Drunken Poet, Melbourne, VIC

Yothu Yindi & The Treaty Project
Friday 12th January – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Wildflowers” – The Wailin’ Jennys

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.

Review: Falls Festival Byron Bay, Part 1 – The Grove

Photos by Stuart Bucknell Photography

The Falls Festival is an annual institution for many, with people waiting with baited breath to see if they land a coveted ticket. Most of what we see is all about the Main Stage acts and tight scheduling to see all your favourites, or to toss up who the best act to see at Midnight in the 31st will be (for the record, we had Flume and he was most excellent).

But one of the things we’ve always noticed and made mention of is the other performance areas, often known as The Village in Lorne and Marion Bay, and The Grove in Byron Bay. So what happens when you deviate away from the main stages and check out the other options? You discover a trove of delightful, folky acts!

Here’s a selection of some of the great local acts we caught at the other Falls stages in The Grove, at the Cafe de Rude, and Lola’s Bar.

Let’s start with the Singer/Songwriters.

First on our radar was singer/songwriter Reilly Fitzalan. An unassuming and modest chap who shares intimate thoughts with the small crowd. The venue, a small cafe in the Grove surrounded by a Peep Show, a Japanese Cocktail Bar, and Lola’s Bar (another stage), has to battle with the neighbouring music which is disappointing but to be expected.

Unperturbed, Fitzalan introduced himself and moved straight in to a ballad. Lovely affected vocals layered over the acoustic guitar, not dissimilar to a young Xavier Rudd. He introduces a new song, about his Dad (“a little bit”) which had a solid construction and lyrics over a subtle and subdued guitar. Fitzalan gave us short tracks without any pretentious attitude. His versatility was on show as he switched to a lower register vocal alongside sentimental plucky opening that sounds simultaneously familiar and new. A truly intimate and private moment, shared with a hushed crowd.

Next, we fortuitously heard about Damien Cooper. He was walking from his campsite to The Grove singing and our friends followed him like the Pied Piper of Hamlin to the Cafe stage, we joined them and weren’t disappointed! Cooper had a laid back air, perfect for the suffocating heat of Byron Falls. His songs were straight from life, like his track inspired by his brother, who he loves but also pisses him off, appropriately named “Love You Anyway”. Strummy and sentimental, with a stomp box for emphasis, we couldn’t help but smile at a quintessential lyric, “Sometimes I get what I deserve, sometimes you just get on my nerves”.

“Pale Blue Dot” was a curious song about how insignificant we are in the grand scheme of things, complete with a beach indie pop vibe and Cooper beatboxing in the instrumental! At 24yrs old, Cooper is more thoughtful than his years. His track “Patience”, about knowing the right time to act, had tones of a travel or journey song with strong, driven vocals, supported by stripped back acoustic to focus on the tale. A troubadour in the making.

We trekked to the cafe on the final day to catch Maisy Taylor and arrived in the middle of her beautiful rendition of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” followed swiftly by her enchanting vocals on “Sink or Swim”, her flowing melody not at odds with the drenching rain outside.

Knowing how to please a crowd, Taylor gave a fun, folky cover of “Blame it on the Boogie” in all its Acoustic glory, which become a songalong in the intimate enclosure of the cafe. Taylor took a moment to thank her Dad for introducing her to the music of Tristan Pettyman before launching in to his “In Bloom”. To finish we were treated with a strummy upbeat performance of “Little Birdy” – the epitome of happiness on a grey day, with mischievous tones on lilting notes.

While there were solid singer/ songwriters at The Grove, we can’t ignore the bands and groups who also squeezed on to tiny stages over the three days.

Over at Lola’s Bar, we came across 3-piece cum 4-piece, Banksia. Amongst the splendour of couches set both on stage and off for musician and listener alike to recline on, funky percussion and electric guitar with delicious vocals trickling over the chords, along with beautiful vocals in an indie singer/songwriter style was a welcome change from the maelstrom of Falls Festival humidity and crowds. They introduced their newest band member on what seemed to be almost every kind of instrument from keys and synth, to vocals and sax! Their diverse tastes were on display, first with their track “Vulnerable”, a light, lilting tune with a Kate Miller Heidke like vocal quality, haunting yet sweet and comforting, then moving in to another tune, a lackadaisical ballad with a bop to it

 

The Button Collective must be one of the hardest working bands on any festival line up. At Falls Byron they played multiple times, sometimes twice in one day! They squeezed on to the tiny Cafe de Rude stage, and ran rampant on the Lola’s Bar stage. In a tight formation on the Cafe stage, their plucky bluegrass merriment oozed joy, clustered around one mic, reminiscent of scenes in O Brother, Where Art Thou?. Whether on a stage large, or small, every player had their part, from the flautist trilling gayly, to the cheeky violinists, or the plucky banjo player and the boisterous lead guitarist. They brought everything, from sea shanties with an Aussie twang, to trad pieces and original larrikin works. As a tight group, they rolled with the punches, whether a broken guitar string and shake up to the set list to facilitate a restring, or pouring rain, suffocating humidity, or just plain fitting in to the rough and tumble of the Falls line up. Whether more subdued than usual and cramped on a tiny stage, or rollicking with more space on Lola’s stage, they’re a thoroughly entertaining act not to be missed!

And our pick of the Falls Festival Byron Bay programming at The Grove was Ben Wilson – performing as a 3 piece act that had us hooked from from the first strum of a string. Between them, the outfit sported double bass, violin, acoustic guitar and harmonica, plus their fabulous harmonised vocals, crowded round a very vintage microphone, managing to capture their tunes before the breeze could. Their sweet lilting sound competed with the boisterous Lola’s Bar next door, but the trio were unperturbed. Wilson’s folk felt like it had a dash of country and a splash of old time style to keep things moving. Pitched on the tiny Cafe de Rude stage, it was like watching a delicate dance for them to all manoeuvre around the one mic that delivered such a sweet and true voice. Their harmonies were terrific, and they hit their stride in spite of challenging neighbours. Buddy Holly’s “Peggy Sue Got Married” was a true testament to Wilson’s love of 50s & 60s pop writing and a burning desire for some hearty folk, rolling along with an almost honky tonk sensibility. Choosing in difficult conditions to switch to trad covers for a bit of fun, we were treated to an upbeat gritty rendition of “Hesitation Blues”, a plucky and cheeky “Old Black Dog” and a delightful rendition of “Strawberry Fields”. To finish an entrancing set, Wilson and co finished with an original, “Big River” complete with beautiful a Capella refrains to end. Bonus props to Ben Wilson et al for also featuring in The Button Collective, we’re not sure if they actually stopped playing at all over the 3 days!

Check out our Photo Gallery on Facebook for more photos, and stay tuned for Part 2 of our Falls Festival Byron Bay Review, coming soon!

Angus & Julia Stone Add More Dates to 2018 Tour

Angus and Julia Stone
Image Courtesy of Angus & Julia Stone

If you were a little disappointed when Angus & Julia Stone only announced three dates for their 2018 tour (and to be honest, we thought it was light on) then never fear – the brother-sister duo have just added a whole bunch more shows throughout May.

Of course if you have tickets to the Falls Festival you’ll get to see Angus & Julia Stone much earlier than May. The full list of upcoming dates for the duo are below:

Saturday 30th December – Falls Festival, Marion Bay, TAS
Sunday 31st December – Falls Festival, Lorne, VIC
Tuesday 2nd January – Falls Festival, Byron Bay, NSW
Saturday 6th January – Falls Festival, Fremantle, WA
Saturday 28th April – Eatons Hill Hotel, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 29th May – Pilbeam Theatre, Rockhampton, QLD
Tuesday 1st May – Entertainment Centre, MacKay, QLD
Wednesday 2nd May – Entertainment Centre, Townsville, QLD
Friday 4th May – Munro Martin Parklands, Cairns, QLD
Saturday 5th May – Ski Club, Darwin, NT
Wednesday 9th May – Anitas Theatre, Thirroul, NSW
Thursday 10th May – UC Refectory, Canberra, ACT
Friday 11th May – Civic Theatre, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 12th May – Horden Pavilion, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 17th May – Ulumbarra, Bendigo, VIC
Friday 18th May – Costa Hall, Geelong, VIC
Saturday 19th May – Festival Hall, Melblourne, VIC
Tuesday 22nd May – Odeon, Hobart, TAS
Wednesday 23rd May – Princess Theatre, Launceston, TAS
Friday 25th May – Flinders University Plaza, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 26th May – Arts Centre, Fremantle, WA

Fleet Foxes Announce Falls Sideshow in Melbourne

Fleet Foxes
Image Courtesy of Fleet Foxes

When Fleet Foxes were announced for this year’s Falls Festivals in Lorne, Marion Bay, Byron Bay and Fremantle there was no guarantee we’d be getting any headline shows. When Fleet Foxes were last in the country earlier this year for VIVID they didn’t tour any further than Sydney.

But never fear! Fleet Foxes have announced today a single Falls sideshow in Melbourne at the Palais Theatre on the 3rd January. Whether there are more show announcements on the way remains to be seen, but a show in Melbourne is definitely a start.

The full list of dates (including Falls Festival) are below:

Thursday 28th to Sunday 31st December – Falls Festival, Lorne, VIC
Friday 29th to Sunday 31st December – Falls Festival, Marion Bay, TAS
Sunday 31st December to Tuesday 2nd January – Falls Festival, Byron Bay, NSW
Wednesday 3rd January – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 6th to Sunday 7th January – Falls Festival, Fremantle, WA

Watch the New Angus and Julia Stone Video “Chateau”

Angus and Julia
Image Courtesy of Angus & Julia Stone

Angus & Julia Stone have just dropped the latest video from their new album Snow, the dreamy “Chateau”.

The video is set in Mexico City and features Australian actors Courtney Eaton and Dacre Montgomery. Check out the video for “Chateau” below:

The upcoming tour from Angus & Julia Stone is completely sold out but the pair have been added to the Falls Festival lineup – the full list of dates is here:

Thursday 21st September – Tivoli, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 23rd September – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 26th September – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 28th September – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, SA
Friday 29th September – Perth Concert Hall, Perth, WA
Saturday 30th December – Falls Festival, Marion Bay, TAS
Sunday 31st December – Falls Festival, Lorne, VIC
Tuesday 2nd January – Falls Festival, Byron Bay, NSW
Saturday 6th January – Falls Festival, Fremantle, WA

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 1st September

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

The Audreys have announced the end of their hiatus with a series of shows celebrating the anniversary of their debut album Between Last Night & Us. Details here

– Singer-songwriter Stu Larsen released the gorgeous new video for his track “Chicago Song”. Details here

Joe Mungovan released his new single “Steppin Outta Line” and announced tour dates with Greta Stanley. Details here

– Indie-folk singer-songwriter Tim Wheatley released his new video “Her Wicked Ways”. Details here

– New York’s The Lone Bellow released their new video “Time’s Always Leaving”. Details here

– The Mullum Music Festival added Husky, Caiti Baker, Stella Donnelly and Strange Daddy to its already full lineup. Details here

– Teeth & Tongue singer Jess Cornelius released her new solo single “Jealousy”. Details here

– Indie-folker Dean Lewis announced a tour this November. Details here

– Tonight is the first show for Sydney folk night Slow Train Presents. Details here

– English singer-songwriter Martha Tilston released her new video “Stories”. Details here

– Brisbane singer-songwriter Jordan Merrick released his brand new single “Travelin’”. Details here

– Brisbane based folk-punk foursome Fox n Firkin released their new video “Bastard Brigade”. Details here

Fleet Foxes were announced as headliners for this year’s Falls Festival. Details here

Releases This Week

Ben Salter
Back YourselfBen Salter
iTunes

Giffen
Hiding PlacesGiffen
Bandcamp

Gretta Ziller
Queen of BoomtownGretta Ziller
iTunes

Jake Bugg
Hearts That StrainJake Bugg
iTunes

Joan Osborne
Songs Of Bob DylanJoan Osborne
iTunes

Trails and Tribulations
Trails & TribulationsMartin Simpson
iTunes

The Wreckage
The WreckageMelody Moko
iTunes

Neil Finn
Out of SilenceNeil Finn
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Slow Train Presents feat. Jed Rowe, Leroy Lee, Sam Newton

Jed Rowe

New Sydney folk, Americana and acoustic night Slow Train Presents debits tonight. The show is aimed at audiences who are engaged, listening and looking to connect with the artists. The kick off show will feature sets from Jed Rowe, Leroy Lee and Sam Newton

Friday 1st September – Village Church Annandale, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

A Tribute to Bob Dylan Feat. Oh Mercy
Friday 8th September – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD

Alanna and Alicia
Saturday 2nd September – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Andy Golledge
Sunday 3rd September – The Lady Hampshire, Sydney, NSW

Anna Smyrk
Wednesday 6th September – Front Bar, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 7th September – House Concert, Maryville, NSW
Friday 8th September – 5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW

Ben Mastwyk
Friday 8th September – The Melba Spiegeltent, Melbourne, VIC

BigSound
Tuesday 5th to Thursday 8th September – Brisbane, QLD

Bill Chambers w/ Arna Georgia
Thursday 7th September – The Royal Hotel, Portland, VIC

Bluegrass Banjo Workshop with Dave Hellens
Saturday 2nd September – Annandale Neighbourhood Centre, Sydney, NSW

Bluegrass Guitar Workshop with Tommy Chandler
Saturday 2nd September – Annandale Neighbourhood Centre, Sydney, NSW

Brooke Russell
Saturday 2nd September – Charles Weston Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Claire Anne Taylor
Friday 8th September – Junction Arts Festival, Launceston, TAS

Dan Sultan
Friday 1st September – Wool Exchange, Geelong, VIC
Saturday 2nd September – Forum Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 8th September – Odeon Theatre, Hobart, TAS

Davidson Brothers, Brad Cox, El Cosgrove
Saturday 2nd September – Katherine Outback Experience, Katherine, NT

Elwood Myre w/ Maia Marsh
Thursday 7th September – The Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Fanny Lumsden
Sunday 3rd September – 48 Watt Street, Newcastle, NSW
Tuesday 5th September to Friday 8th September – Bigsound, Brisbane, QLD

FolkSwagon feat. Suami Amabel, Sasha March, Shelley’s Murder Boys
Wednesday 6th September – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Garrett Kato
Friday 1st September – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 2nd September – Grace Darling, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 8th September – Four5Nine, Perth, WA

Giffen
Friday 1st September – The Metropole Guesthouse, Katoomba, NSW
Saturday 2nd September – Gorman House, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 3rd September – Thirroul Railway Institute Hall, Thirroul, NSW

Gretta Ziller
Thursday 7th September – “Whiskey Jam”, Rooty Hill RSL, Sydney, NSW
Friday 8th September – Sunset Studio, Newcastle, NSW

Hannah Matysek
Sunday 3rd September – Newtown Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 7th September – Since I Left You, Sydney, NSW

Hinterlandt
Saturday 2nd September – Urge Records, Thirroul, NSW
Saturday 2nd September – The Front Gallery, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 3rd September – Jura Books, Sydney, NSW

Imogen Clark
Friday 1st September – Rooty Hill RSL, Rooty Hill, NSW

Ight Club Folk Til Ya Don’t Staysafe feat. Quinton Trembath, The Berkeley Hunts, Dead Peasants, Ian Flood, Vernon Surly, Jacob Thomas
Sunday 3rd September – Aeso Studio, Melbourne, VIC

James Bennett
Friday 8th September – NightQuarter, Gold Coast, QLD

Jed Rowe
Friday 1st September – Slow Train Presents @ Village Church, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 2nd September – The Shack, Brookvale NSW
Sunday 3rd September – Cobargo Hotel, Cobargo, NSW
Friday 8th September – The Melba Spiegeltent, Melbourne, VIC

JD & The Hunger Men, The Roadside Ashes, Peta Caswell
Sunday 3rd September – Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Junction Arts Festival
Wednesday 6th to Sunday 10th September – Launceston, TAS

Justin Bernasconi
Friday 8th September – Selby Folk Club, Selby, VIC

Karl S Williams
Saturday 2nd September – Wintermoon Spring Festival, Camerons Pocket, QLD
Thursday 7th September – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW
Friday 8th September – The Edwards, Newcastle, NSW

Kelly Brouhaha
Friday 1st September – Two Goats Cafe and Baa, Armidale, NSW
Saturday 2nd September – Panthers, Port Macquarie, NSW
Sunday 3rd September – Ballimore Inn, Ballimore, NSW

Kev Walsh w/ Ash Steel
Saturday 2nd September – The House Dining, Sydney, NSW

Lime & Steal
Saturday 2nd September – Paragon Cafe, Katoomba, NSW

Lizzie Flynn
Saturday 2nd September – Maleny Music Festival, QLD

Maggie Carty
Friday 8th September – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Maleny Music Festival
Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd September – Maleny Showgrounds, Maleny, QLD

Mama Kin Spender
Tuesday 5th to Thursday 8th September – Bigsound, Brisbane, QLD

Mark Olson
Wednesday 6th September – Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 7th September – The Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 8th September – Shambles Brewery, Hobart, TAS

Mark Wilkinson
Friday 1st September – House Concert, Kincumber, NSW
Saturday 2nd September – House Concert, Segenhoe, NSW
Sunday 3rd September – House Concert, Gillieston Heights, NSW
Friday 8th September – House Concert, Oakdale, NSW

MOTH 3rd Birthday Show feat. James Kenyon, Broads, Amarina Waters
Friday 1st September – Music on the Hill, Red Hill, VIC

Mr Alford Country
Sunday 3rd September – Union Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Neurum Creek Music Festival
Friday 8th to Sunday 10th September – Neurum Creek Bush Retreat, Neurum Creek, QLD

NGV Friday Nights feat. Kate Miller-Heidke
Friday 8th September – National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, VIC

Paddy McHugh
Tuesday 5th September – Bigsound, Brisbane, QLD

Papa Pilko And The Binrats
Thursday 7th September – Frankies Pizza, Sydney, NSW

Pete Murray
Friday 1st September – Wintersun Hotel, Geraldton, WA
Saturday 2nd September – Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle, WA
Sunday 3rd September – Dunsborough Tavern, Dunsborough, WA
Wednesday 6th September – Empire Theatre, Toowoomba, QLD
Thursday 7th September – The Ville, Townsville, QLD
Friday 8th September – Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns, QLD

Pierce Brothers
Friday 1st September – UNO Danceclub, Geelong, VIC
Saturday 2nd September – Darwin Entertainment Centre, Darwin, NT
Thursday 7th September – The Northern, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 8th September – Woolly Mammoth, Brisbane, QLD

Psycho Zydeco w/ Chris Allan
Friday 8th September – The Acoustic Picnic, Sydney, NSW

Rachel Caddy
Tuesday 5th September – The Gasometer Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Red-Eyed and Blue feat. The Ramalamas, The Tawny Owl Stringband
Sunday 3rd September – The Bearded Tit, Sydney, NSW

Redland Spring Festival
Friday 8th to Sunday 10th September – Redland, QLD

Russell Morris
Thursday 7th September – Centro CBD, Wollongong, NSW

Shane Nicholson
Friday 1st September – Rooty Hill RSL, Sydney, NSW
Friday 8th September – Flow Bar, Old Bar, NSW

Shir Madness
Sunday 3rd September – Temple Beth Israel, Melbourne, VIC

Skyscraper Stan, Dominic “Tourettes” Hoey, Hayley Couper
Wednesday 6th September – Old Bar, Melbourne, VIC

Slow Train Presents feat. Jed Rowe, Leroy Lee, Sam Newton
Friday 1st September – Village Church Annandale, Sydney, NSW

Spring Acoustics feat. Jim Lawrie, Jess Locke, Daggy Man
Tuesday 5th September – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD

Sydney Bluegrass & Traditional Country Music Get-Together
Saturday 2nd September – Annandale Neighbourhood Centre, Sydney, NSW

Tex, Don & Charlie
Sunday 3rd September – Memo Music Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 5th September – The Street Theatre, Canberra, ACT
Wednesday 6th September – The Street Theatre, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 7th September – Laycock Street Theatre, Gosford, NSW
Friday 8th September – The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, NSW

The Dead Setters
Sunday 3rd September – LazyBones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

The Dusty Millers w/ The Collingwood Casanovas, Lucky Oceans
Saturday 2nd September – Caravan Music Club, Melbourne, VIC

The Montgomery Brothers
Friday 1st September – Brisbane Eat Street Markets, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 2nd September – Scarborough Originals, Scarborough, QLD
Saturday 2nd September – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 3rd September – Moffat Beach, Caloundra, QLD
Thursday 7th September – Solbar, Maroochydore, QLD
Friday 8th September – The Basement Bar, Townsville, QLD

The Newsagency Sessions feat. Sarah Belkner w/ Diamond Duck
Wednesday 6th September – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

The Shack Presents Ami Williamson, Jed Rowe, The Pumps
Saturday 2nd September – The Music Lounge, Brookvale, NSW

The Slipdixies
Sunday 3rd September – Open Studio, Melbourne, VIC

The Twoks
Friday 1st September – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 2nd September – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT

Tim Wheatley
Saturday 2nd September – John Curtin Bandroom, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 8th September – Oxford Art Factory Gallery Bar, Sydney, NSW

Timothy James Bowen
Friday 1st September – Front Gallery, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 2nd September – Gorman House, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 3rd September – Thirroul Railway Institute Hall, Thirroul, NSW

Tori Forsyth
Sunday 3rd September – Longley International Hotel, Longley, TAS

Two if by Sea
Saturday 2nd September – Paragon Cafe, Katoomba, NSW
Sunday 3rd September – Club Millthorpe, Millthorpe, NSW

Wintermoon Spring Festival
Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd September – Camerons Pocket, QLD

Wirrina Bluegrass & Acoustic Roots Festival
Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd September – Wirrina Cove Holiday Park, Wirrina Cove, SA

Friday Folk Flashback

“Flash Company” – June Tabor and Martin Simpson

Fleet Foxes Announced as Falls Festival Headliners

Fleet Foxes
Image Courtesy of Fleet Foxes

While it’s definitely not a folk festival every year the Falls Festival manages to deliver a smattering of really exciting artists for Timber and Steel readers.

For 2017 the Falls Festival has really outdone itself with indie-folk legends Fleet Foxes amongst the headliners. Joining them on the folky and acoustic side of things will be Angus & Julia Stone and Julia Jacklin with more artists promised to be announced soon.

Falls Festival is held in Lorne, Marion Bay, Byron Bay and Fremantle over New Year with Lorne and Byron Bay already sold out. For more details including the full list of artists on the lineup so far check out the official site here.

The full list of festival dates are below:

Thursday 28th to Sunday 31st December – Lorne, VIC
Friday 29th to Sunday 31st December – Marion Bay, TAS
Sunday 31st December to Tuesday 2nd January – Byron Bay, NSW
Saturday 6th to Sunday 7th January – Fremantle, WA

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 15th January

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Sydney singer-songwriter Lissa released her first new music in ages, the single “Run”. Details here

– New Sydney chamber-folk project OM Collective released their cover of Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble”. Details here

Catherine Traicos released her new video “Stolen Wings”. Details here

– Central Coast based band Elwood Myre have announced a full band tour. Details here

– The Cobargo Folk Festival announced its 2016 lineup including The Rambling Boys, The East Pointers, Beth Patterson,Nicola Hayes & Hélène Brunet, Kirsty Bromley, Alistair Brown, Vin Garbutt, Truckstop Honeymoon, Trouble in the Kitchen, Fred Smith & Liz Frenchman, The Backsliders, Daniel Champagne, Danny Spooner, Old Empire Band and many, many more. Details here

– Newcastle duo The Wayward Henrys released their new single “Early Grave”. Details here

– The final artists have been added to the WOMADelaide lineup including De La Soul, Asha Bhosle, Ainslie Wills, Ajak Kwai, Alpine, Apy Choir, Eska, Marcellus Pittman, Sarah Blasko, 숨[su:m] and Tek Tek Ensemble. Details here

– The Top Half Folk Festival have announced their 2016 headliners including Kate Burke and Ruth Hazleton, Bill Jackson and Sonsy. Details here

Reviews

Gigs

“Upon arrival, the utter beauty of the organisation struck us plain and simple – from excellent signage on the roads leading to the venue, through to the process of getting in to the festival, it was all sweet and no fuss. We had wondered how a 3 day festival, that is usually a build up to the penultimate celebration on New Years Eve, would fare when the night in question was in fact the first night of the 3 day affair. It seems that for Byron Bay, the crowd for New Years was good, but instead the numbers grew significantly for the 1st and 2nd January days”KT Bell gives us an overview of this year’s Falls Festival in Byron Bay. Review here

“Over in Lola’s Bar, on New Years Eve, we stumbled upon a likely scene of rag-tag musicians and a tent full of eager punters. It was 2pm but the Button Collective soon had the dance floor packed with joyful revelry. Appearing as a 6-piece line up each day of the Byron stint, the sheer energy and cheer emanating from the stage was infectious”KT Bell chronicles her highlights of this year’s Falls Festival in Byron Bay. Review here

“I feel like I have waited my entire adult life to see a collaboration like Paul Kelly presents The Merri Soul Sessions. On the first day of the new year, I lined myself up in the perfect spot to soak up their entire Valley Stage show. From the get go, it was clear this is a slick set of friends who can bounce off each other and share the stage equally. A cool, soulful beat introduced the ladies and gents to the stage, Vika and Linda Bull, Clairy Browne, Kira Puru and Dan Sultan! The Bull sisters took the reigns with their contributions What You Want and Smells Like Rain that held the crowd captivated. I’ve never seen Dan Sultan as a backup singer but he took to the role well and provided his beautiful timbre to the depths of the harmonies”KT Bell reviews the unmissable acts at this year’s Falls Festival in Byron Bay. Review here

“I think my favourite find for the whole of Festival has to be Oh Wonder, a London-based duo who were performing in Australia for the first time thanks to the Falls Festival. You’ve got to love a band who brings their own stage backdrop, a 2-metre-tall set of light up initials for their band name… which read ‘OW’, It’s probably an appropriate sentiment for the level of hangovers, hair of the dog’s and sunburns that were evident post NYE celebrations”KT Bell recounts the artists she discovered at this year’s Falls Festival in Byron Bay. Review here

“A very special moment was when Out of Abingdon joined Honey on stage for a set including the beautiful rendition of “Blue” by Vince Jones sung by Elizabeth Walton and a haunting stirring version of “Amazing Grace” with Tina from Out of Abingdon’s arced bass. An audience member Craig from Mudgee remarked it was the most moving part of the whole event” – we review Mudgee Music Festival’s Mudsling event. Review here

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Deep Down South feat. Lachlan Bryan, Les Thomas, Mr Alford Country, Jemma Nicole, Andrew Swift, Brooke Russell, Tom Dockray, Gretta Ziller

Deep Down South

The best of the Melbourne alt-country scene meander their way up the east coast before arriving in Tamworth for the Tamworth Country Music Festival

Friday 15th January – Hotel Nicholas, Beechworth, VIC
Saturday 16th January – Encore, Wollongong, NSW
Tuesday 19th January – The Family Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 20th January – The Tudor, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 21st January – Dag Sheep Station, Tamworth, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Allison Forbes
Friday 15th January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 15th January – Imperial Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 16th January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 17th January – Albert Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 17th January – Toyota Star Maker Final, Town Hall, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 18th January – The Pub, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 18th January – The Albert Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 19th January – Longyard Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 21st January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 21st January – Southgate Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – The Pub, Tamworth, NSW

Andrew Swift
Sunday 17th January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 18th January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 19th January – Post Office Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 19th January – Family Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 20th January – Albert Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 20th January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 21st January – Dag Sheep Station, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 21st January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – Hogs Breath Stage, Tamworth, NSW

Beth Patterson
Tuesday 12th to Sunday 17th January – Ilawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW
Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th January – Newstead Live Folk Festival, Newstead, VIC

Bluegrass @ Balls Head
Wednesday 20th January – Balls Head Reserve, Sydney, NSW

Boy & Bear
Friday 22nd January – Odeon Theatre, Hobart, TAS

Cake & Cordial Sessions ft. Paddy McHugh, Megan Cooper, Gretta Ziller, Andy Golledge, Brad Butcher
Friday 22nd January – St Paul’s Anglican Church, Tamworth, NSW

Dana Hassall
Friday 15th January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 16th January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 17th January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 17th January – Country Turns Pink, Blazes @ Wests, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 18th January – City Plaza, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 18th January – Songhouse Sessions, Tamworth Services Club, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 20th January – This One’s For The Girls, South Tamworth Bowls Club, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 21st January – Writer’s in the Round, Tamworth Services Club, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 21st January – Late Night Alt, Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – City Plaza, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – FanZone, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – The Songwriters Round, Capitol Theatre, Tamworth, NSW

Deep Down South feat. Lachlan Bryan, Les Thomas, Mr Alford Country, Jemma Nicole, Andrew Swift, Brooke Russell, Tom Dockray, Gretta Ziller
Friday 15th January – Hotel Nicholas, Beechworth, VIC
Saturday 16th January – Encore, Wollongong, NSW
Tuesday 19th January – The Family Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 20th January – The Tudor, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 21st January – Dag Sheep Station, Tamworth, NSW

Dirty Three
Friday 15th January – State Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Eagle & The Wolf
Wednesday 20th January – House Concert, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 21st January – The Pub, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 21st January – The Pub, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – The Longyard, Tamworth, NSW

Elwood Myre
Sunday 17th January – Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Fanny Lumsden
Monday 18th January – Frog and Toad, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 18th January – Fanzone Stage, Peel St, Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 19th January – The Family Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 19th January – Frog and Toad, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 20th January – Late Night Alt at the Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 21st January – Blazes Showroom at Wests, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – Capitol Theatre, The Songwriters Round, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – Longyard Deck, Tamworth, NSW

FolkSwagon feat. Mystery Guest Headliner, Elliot Maginot, The Campervan Dancers
Wednesday 20th January – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Illawarra Folk Festival
Thursday 14th to Sunday 17th January – Bulli, NSW

Imogen Clark
Sunday 17th January – Tudor Front Bar, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 18th January – Songhouse Sessions @ Tamworth Services Club, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 21st January – Capitol Theatre, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 21st January – Americana in the Park, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 21st January – The Pub, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – Tudor Upstairs, Tamworth, NSW

Irish Mythen
Thursday 14th to Sunday 17th January – The Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW
Wednesday 20th January – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Thursday 21st January – Lizotte’s, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 22nd January – The Django Bar, Marrickville, NSW

Joanna Newsom
Thursday 21st January – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW

John Butler Trio
Friday 22nd January – Belvoir Amphitheatre, Upper Swan, WA

Julia Jacklin
Monday 18th January – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW
Tuesday 19th January – Old Bar, Melbourne, VIC

Kev Carmody
Sunday 17th January – The Famous Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW

Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes
Friday 22nd January – The Tamworth, Tamworth, NSW

Late Night Library: Library Folk feat. Alex Guthrie, Taryn La Fauci
Wednesday 20th January – Hyde Park North, Sydney, NSW

Liam Gale & the Ponytails w/ Direwolf
Thursday 21st January – The Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Matthew E White
Friday 15th January – Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 16th January – Lennox Theatre, Parramatta, NSW

Megan Cooper
Saturday 16th January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 19th January – TSA Awards Show, Longyard Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 20th January – Richo’s Roundup, Dag Sheep Station, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – Cake & Cordial Sessions, St Paul’s Anglican Church Hall, Tamworth, NSW

Melody Feder
Sunday 17th January – South Tamworth Bowling Club, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 17th January – Cafe Retro, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 17th January – Country Turns Pink, Blazes @ Wests, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 20th January – Pig & Tinder, Tamworth, NSW

Newstead Live! Music Festival
Friday 22nd to Monday 25th January – Castlemaine, VIC

Numeralla Folk Festival
Friday 22nd to Monday 25th January – Numeralla, NSW

One Up, Two Down
Tuesday 19th to Saturday 23rd January – Andrew Clemont’s Supper Club, Tamworth, NSW

Out of Abingdon
Thursday 14th to Sunday 17th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW

Peasant Moon, Ben Horder, Matt Ward
Friday 15th January – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Ryley Walker
Friday 22nd January – The Famous Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW

Sir Richard Bishop and Daniel Bachman
Sunday 17th January – St Stephen’s Uniting Church, Sydney, NSW

Songhouse Sessions feat. Luke O’Shea, Felicity Urquhart, Darren Coggan, Michael Bryers, Katie Brianna
Tuesday 17th January – Tamworth Services Club, Tamworth, NSW

Tamar Valley Folk Festival
Friday 15th to Sunday 17th January – Georgetown, TAS

Tamworth Country Music Festival
Saturday 15th to Sunday 24th January – Tamworth, NSW

The Beards
Wednesday 20th January – West Tamworth Leagues, Tamworth Country Music Festival, NSW

The Button Collective
Friday 15th to Sunday 17th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW
Friday 22nd January – Smiths Alternative, Canberra, ACT

The East Pointers
Friday 15th to Sunday 17th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, NSW
Monday 18th January – Bagdad Community Hall, TAS
Tuesday 19th January – Sulphur Creek Hall, TAS
Wednesday 20th January – Wynard Wharf Hotel Theatre, TAS
Thursday 21st January – Longford Town Hall, TAS
Friday 22nd January – Chudleigh Community Hall, TAS

The Franklin Electric
Friday 15th January – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 16th January – Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, NSW
Tuesday 19th January – Fly By Night, Fremantle, WA
Wednesday 20th January – Indi Bar, Fremantle, WA
Thursday 21st January – The Rosemount, Perth, WA
Friday 22nd January – The Fat Controller, Adelaide, SA

The Plough
Sunday 17th January – The Coach and Horses, Sydney, NSW

The Wayward Henrys
Friday 15th January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 17th January – The Pub, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 17th January – FanZone, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 18th January – Dag Sheep Station, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 20th January – Post Office Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 21st January – Courthouse Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 21st January – Cafe Retro, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – Hogs Breath Cafe, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW

Thredbo Blues Festival
Friday 15th to Sunday 17th January – Thredbo, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“3 Slip Jigs” – Planxty

Falls Festival Review: Falls Festival Finds

Goodnight from Falls general_20160101-19Festival: Falls Music and Arts Festival
Location: Byron Bay – North Byron Parklands
Date(s): Thursday 31st Dec 2015 – Saturday 2nd Jan 2016
Featured Artists: The Imprints, Merry Jeann, The Scrimshaw Four, Vardos, Soak and Oh Wonder.
Photos by Stuart Bucknell

At festivals like Falls, there’s always big name acts, there’s always Timber and Steel style acts we’re anticipating, and then there’s always a raft of acts we’ve not come across or had an opportunity to see before. It’s one of our utter pleasures to go out of our way to check out the quirky and unknown acts on festival line ups and see what’s new to discover. As I mentioned in my Overview, Lola’s Bar in the Festival Village was a gold mine for the kinds of acts we love here at Timber and Steel.

imprints_20160101-1The Imprints, a two-piece hailing from Melbourne, played Lola’s Bar on New Year’s Day with their quirky strings and drums combo to a quiet crowd recovering from their midnight revelry. Their clever use of looping pedals made for intricate fiddle tracks that melded together in beautiful harmonies. Their set featured opportunities for them to build up multi tracks of fiddle plucking, playing, strumming and harmonizing, along with a retinue of drum beats, and then strip the sound right back to a simple beat and chord. Watching them, it was clear they had a strong link, feeding off each other throughout their live performances, no doubt developed from their time playing pure improvisation. Part way through the set, Violinist Willow asked for people to come forward, even just to lay down on the dance floor and chill, because it was always weird to play to people sitting so far away. Without dropping a beat, there was a mass movement of people, and their chairs, forward. The Imprints had made a good impression.

merrynjean_20160101-2Merryn Jeann played a 10am set in Lola’s Bar on the last day of the festival, the perfect start to a day clouded in sleepiness and people just coming terms with the day. Merryn was the epitome of a folk musician, clad in an embroidered blouse, long skirt, bare feet and jaunty flat cap. Freshly arrived home from performing at the Woodford Folk Festival, Merryn started the last day of Falls with a cover of Bombay Bicycle Club’s Dust on the Ground. Her lulling, husky voice wrapped the gathering crowd in the comfort of lyrics and time, at times haunting, at times humming around you like a bumble bee. Her set included tracks like Death at Lincoln Park, usually sung with her folk band, but with a different blues style lament when performed as a solo. Having recently returned from a 6-month stint living in Berlin, Merryn took advantage of the opportunity to perform in her home town by bringing along a friend or two to join her on stage. Maeve and her violin joined the set with haunting violin chords that supplied liquid undertones to Merryn’s finger plucking.

Merryn has an unassuming, raw and honest style, playing direct from the heart. She had people transfixed, woke them to the day, and lulled them through the morning, and drew people in to sit and chill, taking in her tunes.

scrimshawfour_20160101-2The Scrimshaw Four had the lunchtime shift at Lola’s Bar on the last day of the festival. We turned up to count 5 performers on stage and figured it was a happy bonus. Or maybe they can’t count. With a line up of guitar, fiddle, bass drum, double bass, banjo and Hawaiian Lei, we knew it was going to be a vibrant show from the Melbourne lads. They kicked off the set with the country-esque fiddle and boppy vocal harmonies of Stealin’. Once the audience was properly warmed up, it was time to get down to the real business of party tunes! When a song is introduced as being about a ‘romantic day’ on the beach and starts off with the line “I don’t want to give you a diamond ring”, you know it’s going to be a fun story-telling style set. I Just Wanna Give You My Heart turned out to be just that, with a bluegrass jam, upbeat tempo and a Mic Conway like frivolity. To follow that up with an hilarious cover of The Little Mermaid’s Under the Sea but at a fast, almost manic pace, was exactly the right formula for a happy crowd.

The Scrim deftly swung through country, folk, gypsy jazz, and everthing else on the old and gutsy jazz spectrum, to ragtime beats and high energy dance tracks. They reminded me of The WooHoo Revue but with their own brand of quirk. They have stellar stories that create their songs and make for great anticipation-laced intros, like the one about the girl who misheard his invitation to show him her moves, instead as show him her boobs! The Scrimshaw Four are a solid festival band sure to get you dancing, whether it’s to a polka, some Roma gypsy jazz, some hillbilly and bluegrass, or just some country and folk, you won’t be able to stop your toes from tapping.

vardos_20160101-6We came across the witty, character filled trio Vardos at Lola’s bar early in the afternoon of New Years Day. All kinds of gypsy music, from Transylvanian Romanian to “Modern” flowed from the lively crew with fiddle, accordion and double bass ablaze. From the outset it was clear they genuinely have fun on stage, moving and dancing round each other with some fun choreographed moments of teasing and taunting. All three took turns singing songs and the fake accents that tended to slip in and out were all a fun part of the ruse. They sing about love, beauty, life, ups and downs, all the while maintaining a vibrant and direct connection with audience, picking out people to play to in each song. The three are playful on stage and fun to watch, like witnessing a battle of wills between the violin and bass and an accordion playing the referee.

But, finding something new wasn’t just restricted to the small stages of the festival, both the Forest and Valley Stages also offered a little something to discover.

soak_20160101-5Irish songstress Bridie Monds-Watson, aka Soak, had the unenviable task of opening the main stage for the final day of Falls. But once the Valley was open to punters for the day, a steady stream of eager listeners made their way to a grassy spot to soak up her sounds. “Soak” comes from a phonetic mash-up of ‘Soul’ and ‘Folk’ but her style is still more genre defying than such a straight forward combination. Her set traversed her musical explorations, through floaty chill-out moments, ethereal soundscapes, indie infused sounds and haunting vocal melodies. Sea Creatures and Blud, her most signature tunes to date, washed over the crowds and set the tone of the day.

As Soak, Bridie has a strong sense of her vocal diversity, engaging a delightful head voice when it fits, and smashing out those power driven notes when the point needs to be hammered home. She reminded me of both Lisa Mitchell and Emma Louise (in her Jungle days) in ways, her vocal stylings in particular. I think ultimately the physical enormity of the Valley Stage meant she could not engage authentically with the audience, she could have benefitted from a more intimate setting, like the Forest Stage, to really allow the audience in to her realm. She does have potential to grow and emerge as a staple festival act, so keep your eyes on Soak!

ohwonder_20160101-1I think my favourite find for the whole of Festival has to be Oh Wonder, a London-based duo who were performing in Australia for the first time thanks to the Falls Festival. You’ve got to love a band who brings their own stage backdrop, a 2-metre-tall set of light up initials for their band name… which read ‘OW’, It’s probably an appropriate sentiment for the level of hangovers, hair of the dog’s and sunburns that were evident post NYE celebrations.

Oh Wonder created instant atmosphere with a smoke machine and tension filled hanging notes as they entered the stage to launch their set. The assembled crowd  gave huge cheers for each of the duo as they took to the stage. Described as electric folk, their style encapsulated the nuances achievable with looping tones and beats, while layering piano and electric guitar over the top. Their vocal unison was compelling, more so when they slipped seamlessly in to close harmonies and back out to unison again. Their voices compliment each other tonally, Josephine is the lead vocalist but Anthony’s smooth, silky voice wraps her delicate breathy beauty and grounds it in the electro beats they employ. Both are multi skilled, multi instrumentalists that lend their talents to each others musical moments, creating thick, rich tones to lose yourself in. Highlights of their set were the heavy bass and rolling piano melodies of Livewire, and the at times reggae-like bass and sparkling impact of Dazzle. The one descriptor that keeps coming to mind for Oh Wonder, is “gorgeous”. Check them out and cross your fingers for another visit down under from them soon.

So, that wraps up our 2015 Falls Festival Byron Bay experience. A wealth of acts to see and one of the best festival experiences we’ve ever had. Byron Bay is a definite contender for anyone looking for a great way to spend New Years Eve, no matter the line up.

Read our other Falls Music & Arts Festival reviews:

Overview of Falls Festival Byron Bay 2015

Timber and Steel Highlights

Unmissable Acts

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