Review: Mudsling Festival, Mudgee

Mudsling
All Photos by Elizabeth Walton, 2016

Mudsling!!!

What a fabulous event and success! For a first time event it was great to see so many people.

The crowd just kept on coming all through the day and they were ready to enter well before kickoff time of 2.00pm. The workshops created a lot of interest with Warwick Hargreaves and Daniel Champagne giving very generously of their time and talent plus playing a few select songs to display their talent and know how. Then the action moved to the front bar with Franke Stoove from Brisbane and Garry Furlong from Kiama delighting the audience with their home spun songs and covers before local musical luminaries Nick Wall and Euripi revved up the energy meter…it was just like the Roth’s Wine Bar of old (oldest continual license in NSW circa 1923) with the standing room only space rollicking along to hearty singing.

A short rest before the big bands kicked off on the main stage with Mudgee based band Honey sending everyone into passion and delight with their delicate sounds and thunder. Look out for the imminent release of their debut album at Easter.

Honey

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.

Next Out of Abingdon cut swathes of cool jazz through the hot summer evening and their sassy approach had the place humming. This date is kicking off their Long Hot Summer tour and they are ready to swing. Their takes on Kylie and Bjork, where they jazzified the songs added to their cool and already apparent hip instincts. In anticipation for the main attraction the crowd was swelling and an audience member from Leura was quite taken by their interpretations of unlikely songs.

Daniel Champagne

Daniel Champagne certainly knows how to fill a room and by now the place was full. The surprise of an artist (Sam Paine) onstage painting him live while he played only added to the drama of the evening. It definitely was a sight to see and will have people talking about it for a long time to come in this little town. His dexterity and energy were light as a feather and cutting like a knife and the crowd was stunned by his show stopping virtuosity.

Showcasing new material from his American tour this is his second stop, after Woodford, on his short Australian Tour before he heads back stateside. Mudgee was very lucky to snaffle him during his quick stopover. He was like a purring engine and fully on fire after racking up 250 shows last year alone.

The raffle was huge and festival director Richard Lawson said a quick speech while he got Warwick Hargraves from Out of Abingdon to draw the lucky winning ticket who took off the 2500 dollar prize.

Saltwater Sound System

Benji and the Saltwater Sound system are formerly Southerly Change and they closed out the evening. Ben Fowler, the leader, is just back from a year in the Solomon Islands and this was their first show since their sellout show in January at Tomerong Hall on the South Coast of NSW. He rounded up his South Coast cohorts in the Saltwater bus and they headed to Mudgee to be joined on drums and percussion by former Lime Spiders drummer Richard Lawson and his best student Jacob Barnes. They filled the venue with the rousing sweet sounds of dance reggae. Sometimes it became a frenetic percussive filled African vibe with a swirling wall of rhythm. By now the crowd was well and truly sweaty and dancing up a storm.

The night finished with the crowd joining in with vocal harmonies and the lines between the audience and performer were blurred and everyone became equal…but isn’t that what the best festivals are all about!!!

POSTSCRIPT

Out of Abingdon continue their Long Hot Summer tour at the Illawarra Folk Festival this week for the rest of January before heading back to Europe in Autumn.

Daniel Champagne is also stopping in at Illawarra before finishing his short Australian Tour and heading back to the states.

Ben from Benji and the Saltwater Sound System is boarding a plane to back to the Solomons Islands.

Mudgee’s own Honey are preparing for the imminent release of their debut album at Easter

Details of the Mudsling Mini-Festival in Mudgee

Mudslig
Image Courtesy of Mudsling

As we all wake up from the inevitable Christmas and New Year coma this January and realise that the sun is still shining and the working year hasn’t really kicked in yet, we’ll all no doubt be looking for some sweet, live music to keep the holiday spirit alive. And do we have the perfect event for you!

On the 9th January Roths Wine Bar in Mudgee, NSW will be hosting the mini-festival Mudsling featuring ten artists across two stages all for just $50.

The lineup for Mudsling has been confirmed with Daniel Champagne, Saltwater Sound System, April Maze, Out of Abingdon and Big Erle all making the trip out west to join local bands Honey, Euripi, Nick Wall and more.

Mudsling will be a taster of what punters can expect from the first Mudgee Music Festival which is due to kick off over the October long weekend in 2016.

“The thriving town of Mudgee in the Central West of NSW has always been a haven for artists and musicians and the home of the fantastic Huntingdon Music Festival and Day on the Green,” Mudgee Music Festival organiser Richard Lawson explained. “Now there is a festival coming to Mudgee that bridges the gap between the big production worlds of rock and classical. We want to bring quality music to a larger audience in Mudgee, by bringing it off the main stage and into a relaxed, eclectic range of venues that really add to the art of the sound – from churches to wine bars, from pubs to parks and cafes  – to truly bring out the vibrancy and independence of a wonderful musical world.”

For more information on Mudsling check out the official Facebook event here or head over to the Mudgee Music Festival web site here.

The Gulgong Folk Festival Reveals Its Full 2014 Lineup

Bearded Gypsy Band
Image Courtesy of The Bearded Gypsy Band

If you’re like me and you’re busy working out which festivals to attend this summer it’s time to add another one to the list – The Gulgong Folk Festival. Located in the historical gold rush town of Gulgong outside of Mudgee in rural NSW, The Gulgong Folk Festival is one of my favourite events of the year and is neatly wedged in between Christmas and New year from Friday 26th to Sunday 28th December. And best of all it’s absolutely free!

The lineup for the 2014 Gulgong has just been revealed and it’s peppered with a bunch of Timber and Steel favourites including The Bearded Gypsy Band (above), Daniel Champagne, Crooked Fiddle Band, Sweet Jelly Rolls, Freddie White (Ireland), Lexi Marie (Canada), Genevieve Chadwick, Honey (formerly Fig Jam), 19 Twenty, Squeeze Box Trio, The Fruit Trees, Southerly Change, String Theory, Allan Caswell, Out of Albingdon, Terry Serio, The Plough, Slightly Off and many more.

For more information on The Gulgong Folk Festival including the full program check out the official site here.

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