Thank Folk It’s Friday – 6th January

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– New Zealand folk duo Tattletale Saints hit Australia this week with dates in NSW and VIC. Details here

– Folk singer Kate Burke released a sad and beautiful track titled “All For Me”. Details here

– Popular Adelaide folk night The Porch Sessions is touring through SA, VIC and NSW this month with Stu Larsen, Luke Thompson and Tim Moore. Details here

– US folk rockers Thompson Springs have announced an Australian tour with Maia Marsh. Details here

– Experimental folk group Vanishing Shapes announced a January tour. Details here

– Tasmanian folk punks The Dead Maggies released their new single “She”. Details here

– This week’s Illawarra Folk Festival has an amazing lineup including Andy Irvine and Luke Plumb, FourWinds, Tattletale Saints, The Whitetop Mountaineers, Tim O’Brien, Wallis Bird, Daniel Champagne, Echo Deer, Handsome Young Strangers, Lime and Steel, Mandy Connell, Martin Pearson, Nigel Wearne, Shanty Club, The Squeezebox Trio, Tinpan Orange, Big Erle, Jane Aubourg, Joe Mungovan, Kay Proudlove, Shelley’s Murder Boys, The Lurkers and many many more. Details here

– Indie-folkers Winterbourne announced a February tour. Details here

Ryan Adams released his Neil Young-esque new single “To Be Without You”. Details here

– English big-band Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band have announced their new album Big Machine. Details here

– Banjo master Noam Pikelny has announced plans for his first official solo album Universal Favorite. Details here

– Sydney Americana singer-songwriter Katie Brianna treated us to a new track “Sticks and Stones”. Details here

Citizen of the World released their new video “In The Moment”. Details here

Releases This Week

11 Short Stories
11 Short Stories Of Pain & GloryDropkick Murphys
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

The Porch Sessions On Tour feat. Stu Larsen, Luke Thompson, Tim Moore

Porch Sessions

Adelaide’s popular folk night The Porch Sessions hits the road with shows in South Australia and Victoria this week featuring Stu Larsen, Luke Thompson and Tim Moore

Friday 6th January – The Cantina, Robe, SA
Sunday 8th January – Illowa, VIC
Wednesday 11th January – Lorne, VIC
Friday 13th January – Melbourne, VIC

Gigs Next Week

Acoustics Anonymous feat. Mckenzie Kay, Jon Maratheftis
Wednesday 11th January – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

Áine Tyrrell
Friday 6th to Sunday 8th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, TAS
Friday 13th January – Rosny Barn, TAS

Alanna and Alicia
Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, NSW

Andy Irvine w/ Luke Plumb
Friday 6th to Sunday 8th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, TAS
Tuesday 10th January – House Concert, TAS
Thursday 12th January – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Friday 13th to Sunday 15th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, NSW

Blue King Brown
Friday 13th January – Mona Vale Hotel, Mona Vale, NSW

Courtyard Sessions Presents Imogen Clark
Friday 13th January – Seymour Centre, Sydney, NSW

Cygnet Folk Festival
Friday 6th to Sunday 8th January – Cygnet, TAS

Deadwood 76, Dave Favours & The Roadside Ashes
Friday 6th January – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Don McGlashan
Friday 6th to Sunday 8th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, TAS
Wednesday 11th January – Grand Poobah, Hobart, TAS
Friday 13th January – Brookfields Shed, Margate, TAS

Dubmarine, Circle of Rhythm, Matiu Te Huki, New Venusians, Queen Porter Stomp, Deejay Bentley, Deepchild (DJ set)
Friday 6th January – The Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Folkswagon feat. Scott Rudd, Thompson Springs, Maia Marsh
Wednesday 11th January – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Fourwinds
Friday 6th to Sunday 8th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS
Wednesday 11th to Sunday 15th January – Illawara Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW

George & Noriko
Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, NSW

Gregory Page
Friday 7th January – The Caravan Club, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 8th January – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Thursday 12th January – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW
Friday 13th to Sunday 15th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, NSW

Heartbreakers Sessions feat. Jamie Hutchings, Ben Horder
Sunday 8th January – The Bearded Tit, Sydney, NSW

Honey
Sunday 8th January – Mudgee Brewing Co., Mudgee, NSW

Hootenanny feat. Echo Deer
Sunday 8th January – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW

Illawarra Folk Festival
Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th January – Bulli, NSW

Jaron Freeman Fox & The Opposite of Everything
Friday 6th to Sunday 8th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS
Sunday 8th January – MONA, Hobart, TAS

Joe & Harmony’s Trippy Hippy Band
Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, NSW

Josh Pyke & Bob Evans
Friday 13th January – Esk BeerFest, Launceston, TAS

Katie Brianna
Thursday 12th January – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

Kirsty Bromley
Friday 6th to Sunday 8th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS
Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, NSW

Lake Street Dive
Friday 6th January – Howler, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 7th January – Summer of Soul, Mossvale, VIC
Sunday 8th January – Caravan Music Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 13th January – Sydney Festival, Sydney, NSW

Nigel Wearne
Saturday 7th January – The Witches Garden, Mitta Mitta, VIC
Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, NSW

Ramblin’ Nights feat. Dan Brodie, JD & The Hungermen, Gana & Scotty
Saturday 7th January – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Roadhouse feat. Cruisin’ Deuces
Thursday 12th January – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW

Sharon Shannon
Friday 6th January – Mick O’Malley’s Irish Pub, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 7th January – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Friday 13th January – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC

Summer Sets at Hither & Yon feat. Aidan ‘Jazzy’ Jones
Sunday 8th January – Hither & Yon, Willunga, SA

Tattletale Saints
Friday 6th January – Tanswell’s Pub, Beechworth, VIC
Saturday 7th January – Minya Winery, Geelong, VIC
Sunday 8th January – House On The Hill, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 10th January – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 11th January – The Witches Garden, Mitta Mitta, VIC
Thursday 12th January – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 13th to Sunday 15th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, NSW

The Outside Track
Friday 6th to Sunday 8th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS
Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, NSW

The Porch Sessions On Tour feat. Stu Larsen, Luke Thompson, Tim Moore
Friday 6th January – The Cantina, Robe, SA
Sunday 8th January – Illowa, VIC
Wednesday 11th January – Lorne, VIC
Friday 13th January – Melbourne, VIC

The Saloon Daddies w/ Peasant Moon
Sunday 8th January – The Midnight Special, Sydney, NSW

The Settlement
Saturday 7th January – The Star, Port Fairy, VIC

The Spin Drifters
Wednesday 11th January – The Basement, Sydney, NSW

The Whitetop Mountaineers
Friday 6th January – Smiths Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 7th January – The Metropole, Katoomba, NSW
Sunday 8th January – Petersham Bowls Club, Sydney, NSW
Monday 9th January – Quarterdeck, Narooma, NSW
Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, NSW

Thompson Springs w/ Maia Marsh
Wednesday 11th January – Folkswagon, Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW
Friday 13th January – The Front, Canberra, ACT

Tim O’Brien
Friday 6th to Sunday 8th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS
Wednesday 11th January – Caravan Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 13th to Saturday 14th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW

Timberwolf
Saturday 7th January – Here’s To Now, McLaren Vale, SA

Vanishing Shapes
Friday 6th January – 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW
Thursday 12th January – Byron Fine Music House Concerts, Byron Bay, NSW

Wallis Bird w/ William Crighton
Friday 6th to Sunday 8th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS
Wednesday 11th January – Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 12th January – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 13th to Saturday 14th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW

Winter Wilson
Saturday 7th January – Music By The Sea Festival, Sandgate, QLD
Wednesday 11th January – Upper Lansdowne Hall, Upper Lansdowne, NSW
Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Father Had A Knife/Salonika” – Lynched

If you haven’t discovered Irish band Lynched yet then prepare to meet your new favourite trad artist.

Full Lineup of the 2017 Illawarra Folk Festival

Illawarra Folk Festival
Image Courtesy of The Illawarra Folk Festival

One of my favourite folk festivals of the year, The Illawarra Folk Festival, hits the Bulli showground in New South Wales on the 12th to the 15th of January and the lineup is incredible.

Despite being a medium sized festival The Illawarra Folk Festival manages to attract some pretty amazing acts and this year is no different. The lineup includes, but is not limited to, Andy Irvine and Luke Plumb, FourWinds, Tattletale Saints, The Whitetop Mountaineers, Tim O’Brien, Wallis Bird, Daniel Champagne, Echo Deer, Handsome Young Strangers, Lime and Steel, Mandy Connell, Martin Pearson, Nigel Wearne, Shanty Club, The Squeezebox Trio, Tinpan Orange, Big Erle, Jane Aubourg, Joe Mungovan, Kay Proudlove, Shelley’s Murder Boys, The Lurkers and many many more.

Tickets are still available for the festival and can be picked up here. If you live in Sydney I’d recommend jumping on one of the Music Trains down to Bulli for the full festival experience.

The full lineup for The Illawarra Folk Festival is below:

International Artists:
Andy Irvine (Ire) and Luke Plumb, Azzband (Italy/Spain), Christine Collister (UK) & Michael Fix, FourWinds (Ire), George & Noriko (Japan), Girls with Knives (Canada), Gregory Page (USA), Ken Field’s Hoot Band (USA), Kenta Hayashi (Japan), Kirsty Bromley (UK), London Klezmer Quartet (UK), Tattletale Saints (NZ), The Haywood Billy Goats (USA), The Outside Track (Scot) , The Sauerkrauts (Germany), The Whitetop Mountaineers (USA), Tim O’Brien (USA), Wallis Bird (Ire), Winter Wilson (UK)

National Artists:
1917: Strike!, 8Foot Felix, Adder’s Fork, Alanna and Alicia, Albion Fair Morris Dancers, Alex Hood, Baltic Bar Mitzvah, Black Bear Duo, Black Joak Morris, Blakboi, Brian Bell, Bruce Mathiske, Bush Music Club, Charlotte Emily, Chloe & Jason Roweth, Col Hardy, Colleen Z Burke, Daddy Longlegs & the Swamp Donkeys, Daniel Champagne, Dave de Hugard, Dave Elliston, Den Hanrahan & the Rum Runners, Dingo’s Breakfast Oz Music & Poetry Band, Echo Deer, Equus, Errol Gray, Fettler’s Yard, Folkaphonic Youth Orchestra, Free Fried Chicken, Genni Kane, Geoffrey W Graham, Glenn Skuthorpe, Glover & Sorrensen, Gone Molly, Good Tunes Band, Gordon Lightfoot Tribute Band, Graham Maureen Seal, Rob & Olya Willis, Gregory North, Handsome Young Strangers, Hillbilly Goats, Homegrown Quartet, Ionia, Jaga Band, Jay Wars & The Howard Youth, Jim Haynes, Jody + Innes, John Broomhall, Junkadelic Brass Band, Kate Maclurcan & The Loose Ends, Lime and Steel, Lindy lady of the Forest: Storyteller, Lisa Couper, Lizzie Flynn & The Reckoning, Low Down Riders, Malcura, Mandy Connell, Mark Cryle & Carmel Newman, Martin Pearson, Matthew Dames , Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club, Men With Day Jobs, Nigel Wearne, Out of Abingdon, Pat Drummond, Pete Denahy, Peter Hicks, Peter Mace, Peter Willey & Matthew Hobbs˜, Rory Faithfield, Rosie Burgess Trio, Rough Red, Rusty & The Saint, Sadie & Jay, Shanty Club, Sissybones, Taylor Pfeiffer – The Banjo Girl, The Good Girl Song Project, The Northern Folk, The Squeezebox Trio, The String Family, The Three Marketeers, The Trippy Hippy Band, The Wish List, Tinpan Orange, Tom Dockray, Tulalah, Women in Docs , Yellow Blue Bus

Local Artists:
Alex Boston, Astarte Studio’s Steampunk Gypsies, Big Erle, Brian Jonathon, Brynn Luker, Cake Tin Rattlers, Carefree Road Band, Cat Walk City and Friends, Chord-eaux, Cinnamon Twist Belly Dance, Circus WOW, Chinese Lion Dancers, Cross Rhythm Dance Company, Dani Karis, Erika Steller, Festival Choir & Orchestra, Five Sad Men, Gobsmacked!, Grace Gladwin, Harman & Hellens, Illawarra Breakfast Poets, Illawarra Flame Three, James R Cooper, Jane Aubourg, Joe Mungovan, John Littrich & The Water Runners, Josh Maynard, Kay Proudlove, Kenny Bartley/Super Kenny, King & Queen of Green – The Pearlies, Leo, Lizzie Bennet Band, Love In The Jungle, Man from the Misty Mountains, Maya & Tala, Maypole with Molly, Melanie April, Moscateros, Murmur, My Secret Window, No Such Thing, Paddy & The Wonderband, Patrick Lyons & The American Creek Band, Patron Saints Of Folk, Ralph Scrivens, Rani’s Fire, Ribbon Gang, Ruido Indy Flamenco, Scientists Behaving Badly, Shalani & Chloe, Shelley’s Murder Boys, Silver Lotus Tribal Bellydance, SingGongGo, Soul Flamenco, Southern Gentlemen, Story Beats, Stringline, Swamp n’ Beats, The Beatmeisters, The Bowhemians, The Calamities, The Con Artists, The Derby Dolls, The Lighthouse Keepers, The Lurkers, The Scratchies, The Swingaleles, Three-Sixty, Vic Janko Orkestar, Zlatkos Balkan Cabaret, Zumpa

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 29th January

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Canberra indie-folk band Pocket Fox released their new single “Kingdom Come”. Details here

Boy & Bear kicked off their national tour this week. Details here

– Canadian trad trio The East Pointers have added three months worth of dates to their Australian tour. Details here

– Adelaide based troubadour Tom West released his new single “High Again”. Details here

Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel announced details of their upcoming album Southern Light. Details here

Timber and Steel will be presenting the upcoming national album launch tour from The Timbers. Details here

The National Folk Festival added a bunch of indigenous artists to its lineup including Stephen Baamba Albert, Rayella, Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse, Jacinta Price, The Djaadjawan Dancers, Larry Brandy and more. Details here

– American folk icon Dawn Landes has announced a couple Australian shows next month. Details here

– Rowdy folkers The Button Collective have released their new video “Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy”. Details here

– Sydney jam and concert night Bluegrass @ Yulli’s is back this February with The Sweet Jelly Rolls. Details here

– Singer-songwriter Sam Newton announced an east coast tour this February. Details here

Blog

– We picked 10 artists to watch in the first half of 2016 including All Our Exes Live in Texas, Bon Iver, Eagle & The Wolf, Imogen Clark, John Flanagan, Matt Corby, Matthew and The Atlas, Radical Face, Rowena Wise and The Timbers. Check out the blog here

Reviews

Gigs

“For the first time in ages I committed to heading to the Illawarra Folk Festival for the three main days this year, even if it meant commuting to and from my base in Sydney every day. I was determined to see as much music as possible without dealing with the inevitable clashes that comes from trying to see everything in one day. This year I was going to lose my weekend to the Illawarra Folk Festival”Gareth Hugh Evans reviews this year’s Illawarra Folk Festival. Review here

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Gillian Welch

Gillian Welch

How could I not choose the first round of Australian shows from Gillian Welch? These shows are going to magical – have you got your tickets?

Saturday 30th January – Perth Concert Hall, Perth, WA
Wednesday 3rd February – Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide, SA
Friday 5th February – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Gigs Next Week

A Man Called Stu w/ The Morrisons, Post To Wire DJ
Thursday 4th February – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW

Ainsley Farrell
Thursday 4th February – LazyBones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Beth Patterson
Friday 29th January – Ocean View Hotel, Urunga, NSW
Saturday 30th January – Mother’s Milk, Sawtell, NSW
Thursday 4th February – Nimbin Hotel, Nimbin, NSW

Boy & Bear
Friday 29th January – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 30th January – Red Hill Auditorium, Perth, WA

Elwood Myre
Saturday 30th January – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 4th February – No. 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW
Friday 5th February – Nimbin Hotel, Lismore, NSW

Far From Folsom Featuring Tex Perkins and The Tennessee Four with Rachael Tidd
Friday 29th January – Melbourne Zoo Twilights, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 30th January – Twilight at Taronga, Sydney, NSW

Gillian Welch
Saturday 30th January – Perth Concert Hall, Perth, WA
Wednesday 3rd February – Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide, SA
Friday 5th February – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Honey
Saturday 30th January – Roth’s Wine Bar, Mudgee, NSW

Irish Mythen
Friday 29th January – The Wesley Anne, Northcote, VIC
Saturday 30th January – Baby Black Espresso Bar, Bacchus Marsh, VIC

John Butler Trio
Thursday 4th February – Twilight at Taronga, Sydney, NSW
Friday 5th February – Twilight at Taronga, Sydney, NSW

John Flanagan and Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel
Friday 5th February – The Cube, Wodonga, VIC

José González
Friday 5th February – Melbourne Zoo Twilights, Melbourne, VIC

Josh Pyke
Friday 29th January – Twilight at Taronga, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 30th January – Canberra Theatre Playhouse, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 4th February – Studio 56 @ Miami Marketta, Gold Coast, QLD
Friday 5th February – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD

Little Rabbit w/ Fat Cousin Skinny
Thursday 4th February – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

One Up, Two Down
Friday 29th January – Hotel Gearin, Katoomba, NSW
Saturday 30th January – Bella Union, Melbourne, VIC

Out of Abingdon
Saturday 30th January – The Milton Theatre, Milton, NSW
Sunday 31st January – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Pepperjack
Saturday 30th January – House Concert, Melbourne, VIC

Ruby Boots
Saturday 30th January – Melbourne Zoo, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 2nd February – Capitol Theatre, Tamworth NSW
Thursday 4th February – Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre, Bathurst NSW

Sam Newton
Friday 5th February – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT

The Brisbane Folk Club feat. Sons of the East, The Forty Thieves, Andrea Kirwin
Wednesday 3rd February – The Foundry, Brisbane, QLD

The Brouhaha
Friday 29th January – The Wheatsheaf, Adelaide, SA

The Button Collective
Sunday 31st January – Black Wire Records, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 4th February – The Wild Rover, Sydney, NSW

The Franklin Electric
Friday 29th January – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 30th January – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD

The String Contingent
Thursday 4th February – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

The Waifs
Saturday 30th January – Melbourne Zoo Twilights, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 31st January – Riverstage, Brisbane, QLD
Tuesday 2nd February – Capitol Theatre, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 4th February – Bathurst Entertainment Cent, Bathurst, NSW

Tom West
Sunday 31st January – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

Willowy, Direwolf, Maia Jelavic
Friday 5th February – Desire Books & Records, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“The Blacksmith” – Andy Irvine & Donal Lunny’s Mozaik

I saw The Button Collective perform a cracking version of this song at their Illawarra Folk Festival blackboard set and it’s been stuck in my head ever since. I had to chose the Mozaik version of the track for my FFF just because of how much energy it has.

Review: Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW

Illawarra
Image Courtesy of Illawarra Folk Festival

As the summer roles around each year I take a look at the packed folk festival calendar and try to work out which events I’ll be attending over the season. There are always a few festivals that fall into the “one day” category because of the effort required to get to them (making it down to Cygnet and Georgetown in Tasmania for instance is a two week commitment I’m yet to make). And then there’s those events that have to be a trade off – if I head to WOMADelaide it means I’m missing out on Nannup or Port Fairy.

Then there are those events that are a must – and the Illawarra Folk Festival is at the top of that list. Just an hour and a half from Sydney by train, the Illawarra Folk Festival is a no brainer, even if just for a day or two over the long weekend. The festival sits somewhere between the smaller boutique folk festivals hosted by country towns and the “big three” folk festivals of Woodford, Port Fairy and The National – it manages to attract the best and brightest of the international and Australian folk scene while maintaining a unique community vibe.

For the first time in ages I committed to heading to the Illawarra Folk Festival for the three main days this year, even if it meant commuting to and from my base in Sydney every day. I was determined to see as much music as possible without dealing with the inevitable clashes that comes from trying to see everything in one day. This year I was going to lose my weekend to the Illawarra Folk Festival.

Friday

I walked into the festival on Friday morning nursing a slight hangover courtesy of The East Pointers, The Button Collective and a few too many Guinnesses at The Gaelic Club the night before. I had decided against patronising the opening night of the Illawarra Folk Festival in favour of The East Pointers’ headline show in Sydney – I knew I was going to catch them over the weekend but the opportunity to see them in my own backyard was just too appealing.

It’s been a long while since I’ve spent a Friday at the Illawarra Folk Festival and I have to say it was the perfect way to kick the event off. The smaller Friday crowd made for a lazy day wandering around the Bulli showground taking in music at all of the venues and getting a feel for the place.

I kicked off my day getting on top of my hangover hiding out for a couple of acts in the Grandstand restaurant. I managed to catch the amazing bouzouki player Beth Patterson who is touring the country at the moment spreading her take on traditional and contemporary folk. I’d never considered the bouzouki as a solo instrument before but Patterson brought a maturity to the instrument that was just spellbinding. I hung around for Adelaide based singer-songwriter Banjo Jackson on the recommendation of Kaurna Cronin and was not disappointed – Jackson can stand tall with the new breed of folk singers coming out of Adelaide at the moment with the type of music that is instantly relatable and the perfect pairing of solo, finger-picked guitar and effects laden fiddle.

I’d drunkenly promised Rebecca Bastoli the night before that I would be at her debut programmed festival show at 2:15pm so I staked out my spot in the Nags Lounge early. Despite a couple of unavoidable technical problems (she was mortified when she broke a string halfway through the performance) Bastoli delivered a stunning set, backed by a full band of fiddle, flute, box and bass. It boggles my mind how talented Rebecca Bastoli is – in such a short time she has mastered both the guitar and mandolin and written some of the most poignant songs I’ve heard in ages.

A revelation of the festival was Irish singer O’Leary. If I’m honest I only caught his set by accident but I was mesmerised throughout. The way he brought a humility and reverence to traditional songs was amazing and the backing percussion, electric guitar and flute just enhanced his music.

It wouldn’t be an Illawarra Folk Festival without Australiana-punks Handsome Young Strangers so I made a point of catching their set at The Miners Camp before wrapping my day up and jumping on the train back to Sydney. Handsome Young Strangers are a folk music institution and they tore through their catalogue with the usual devil-may-care attitude. It’s amazing seeing Australian bush and folk music updated for a modern audience while still maintaining respect for the work.

Saturday

Saturday at the Illawarra Folk Festival is always hectic and this year was no different. Watching the crowd stream through the front doors and fill up the venues. Watching a packed festival like this fills me with joy – it proves once again that folk music is thriving and that the people behind the Illawarra Folk Festival should be so proud of the community that they’re created.

I was determined to see local singer-songwriter Kay Proudlove after I missed her set last year, and I was not disappointed. Proudlove is the consummate performer, delighting crowds between songs and delivering lyric driven music that is instantly relatable. I am now determined to see Kay Proudlove every time she ventures north to Sydney (or at least to program future Illawarra Folk Festivals around her sets).

Having heard nothing but amazing things about Irish Mythen I just had to see what all the fuss was about – and I have to say I was not disappointed. Watching one woman with a guitar command the largest stage at the Illawarra Folk Festival was astounding – her stage presence and the way she worked the audience was truly a masterclass in performance. Her version of “The Auld Triangle” is a crowd favourite for a reason and absolutely brought the house down.

The next few hours were a blur of amazing music. Shane Howard once again proved why he is Australia’s best songwriters for those people who braved the mud to venture into the Black Diamond Marquee. Out Of Abingdon added touch of jazz to the festival with their vibey folk tunes. The Redfern Shanty Club turned their performance at The Miners Camp into an all-in singalong session. The Button Collective’s impromptu blackboard session at the Tantric Turtle was the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon coffee. And The Dead Maggies rounded out a bunch of amazing music by tearing up the stage with a mostly cobbled together new lineup.

I rounded out the day by catching trad band Fresh Off The Boat at their intimate Café de Rude. Made up of some of Sydney’s best trad players (most of which you can catch at the Friday night Gaelic Club sessions) Fresh Off The Boat breathed fresh life into traditional Irish music and delighted the local crowd. The sound at the gig was not amazing, mainly owing to the fact that the entire band couldn’t fit on Café de Rude’s stage, but just watching the skill of the players was enough to overcome any issues. The perfect way to round out a hectic Saturday of music.

Sunday

On the third day the Illawarra Folk Festival became about two things – catching all the artists I hadn’t seen yet and revisiting those that had made an impression over the weekend.

I kicked off my day with Queensland based singer-songwriter Mia Wray. Alternating between guitar and piano Wray brought a maturity to her music that seemed to defy her young age. Her original songs were just stunning and she had the audience eating out of her hand with her easygoing stage presence.

I’d seen Japanese Irish trad band John John Festival a couple of years ago at the Illawarra Folk Festival a couple of years ago so I jumped at the chance to catch bodhran player Toshi Bodhran and fiddle player Mana Okubo again as part of Tim Scalan’s band – and I was not disappointed. While I loved Scalan’s masterful singing and harmonica playing it was Toshi Bodhran who stole the show – the man can turn the bodhran into a melody instrument like no one I’ve ever seen before. Special mention has to go to Mana Okubo who performed the entire set with her baby strapped to her back.

The Wish List proved that the fiddle is all you need to accompany a voice and that three fiddles with three voices is even better. This was one of the most innovative bands at the Illawarra Folk Festival – I can’t wait to see these girls live again.

In the afternoon I dragged myself up the hill to the Small Halls Concert in order to catch Liz Stringer and then The East Pointers. For too long people have been telling me that Liz Stringer is the best songwriter in Australia and watching her set at the Illawarra Folk Festival those same people may be proved right. Stringer has an intensity to her songwriting that is tempered with a warmth in her performance not matched by many. I implore you to see Liz Stringer wherever and whenever you get the chance.

Despite having seen The East Pointers in Sydney a couple of days earlier there was no way was going to miss their final set at the Illawarra Folk Festival. These guys are probably the most exciting trad band I have seen in the last 12 months and their live set is incredibly tight. Their use of foot percussion and bass effects on the guitar elevate this three piece from session band to festival headliners and the ease at which they interact with their audience makes you feel included in the experience.

The rest of Sunday evening was spent drifting from tent to tent catching whatever music was playing before idling my way to the Grandstand Restaurant for a final set from The Button Collective and then jumping on the train home.

The organisers of this year’s Illawarra Folk Festival have a lot to be proud of, building an event that caters to almost every facet of the “folk” genre all the while maintaining a community spirit. There’s a reason why performers and punters come back to the Illawarra Folk Festival every year and why it remains a must attend on my festival calendar. Bring on 2017!

Out of Abingdon Announce NSW and ACT Tour

Out of Abingdon
Image Courtesy of Out of Abingdon

Brisbane acoustic-groove duo Out of Abingdon are one of the exciting artists that will be gracing the stage at the Mudsling mini-festival in Mudgee this Saturday. And the show will also mark the kick off of Out of Abingdon’s tour of NSW and the ACT that will take in dates throughout January including a stop over at the Illawarra Folk Festival.

Out of Abingdon are touring their latest album Small Steps. Check out the full list of dates below:

Saturday 9th January – Mudsling Mini Music Festival, Mudgee, NSW
Sunday 10th January – Lounge Sessions @ Hotel Blue, Katoomba, NSW
Thursday 14th to Sunday 17th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW
Saturday 23rd January – Nethercote Music Factory, Nethercote, NSW
Wednesday 27th January – Hippo Co, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 30th January – The Milton Theatre, Milton, NSW
Sunday 31st January – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 25th September

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– We finally posted the new video from Tim Wheatley “Valerie”. Details here

Timber and Steel favourites Arbori have announced a return to the stage with a residency in Sydney throughout October. Details here

The BordererS hit the road from this Friday. Details here

– The Illawarra Folk Festival revealed a huge lineup for 2016 including Dougie MacLean, The East Pointers, Catgut, Chaika, Daniel Champagne, Handsome Young Strangers, Liz Stringer, Rebecca Bastoli, Shane Howard, Shanty Club, The Button Collective, The Dead Maggies, Big Erle, Joe Mungovan, Kay Proudlove and many many more. Details here

– Queensland based singer-songwriter Greta Stanley released her new single “Lakes”. Details here

– A couple of live videos have surfaced from Sarah Humphreys and Kris Morris’ new duo project. Details here

– Canadian trad trio The East Pointers will be releasing their debut album in October. Details here

Calexico released their new video “Tapping On The Line” featuring Neko Case. Details here

Bluesfest announced their second round of artists for 2016 including The Decemberists, Jackson Browne, Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson, Tweedy, Steve Earle, Nahko and Medicine for the People and Blackberry Smoke and many more. Details here

– Irish singer Foy Vance announced headline shows while he’s in the country supporting Ed Sheeran. Details here

– Sydney duo Jep and Dep released their new video “Cut All Ties”. Details here

Winterbourne released their poppy new single “To Get To Know You”. Details here

– Irish singer-songwriter Glen Hansard released his new video “Her Mercy”. Details here

– Folk and bluegrass trio One Up, Two Down announced details of their upcoming EP A Day On The Quay. Details here

– Next Monday and Tuesday will see 21 singer-songwriters will converge for If You See Her, Say Hello as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival including Ali E, Al Parkinson, Amarina Waters, Ayleen O’Hanlon, BABY BLUE, Bek Street, Brooke Russell, Claire Hendry, Cookie Baker, Emilee South, Georgia Spain, Gretta Ray, Jemma Nicole, Jemma Rowlands (Jemma & The Clifton Hillbillies), Kate Boston-Smith (Modesty), Kate McMahon, Kelly Day (Broads), Ladie Dee (Howl at the Moon), Loni Rae and Shannon Busch (WILSN) plus special guests. Details here

– Adelaide’s Sam Brittain announced an October residency. Details here

– The Port Fairy Folk Festival announced their first round of artists for 2016 including Ayleen O’Hanlon, Claymore, DakhaBrakha (Ukraine), Dave Arden, Eric Bogle, Fourplay, Grigoryan Brothers, John McCutcheon (USA), Katie Noonan’s Vanguard, Lloyd Spiegel, Manran (Scotland), Mary Black (Ireland, above), Moxie (Ireland), Nicky Bomba’s Bustamento, Pierce Brothers, Ruby Boots, Steve Poltz (USA), Sara Storer, Shellie Morris, Suzannah Espie, The Bushwackers, The East Pointers (Canada), The Ugly Uncles, Truckstop Honeymoon (USA), Three Kings, The Woohoo Revue and The Young’uns (UK). Details here

– We premiered the new video from The Timbers, “All I’ve Got Time For”. Details here

– Americana singer-songwriter Suzannah Espie released her new video “I’m Sorry” and announced a national tour. Details here

Releases This Week

Now
NOWAsh Grunwald
iTunes

Lachlan Bryan
The MountainLachlan Bryan & The Wildes
iTunes

Pierce Brothers
Into The DirtPierce Brothers
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

If You See Her, Say Hello feat. Ali E, Al Parkinson, Amarina Waters, Ayleen O’Hanlon, BABY BLUE, Bek Street, Brooke Russell, Claire Hendry, Cookie Baker, Emilee South, Georgia Spain, Gretta Ray, Jemma Nicole, Jemma Rowlands (Jemma & The Clifton Hillbillies), Kate Boston-Smith (Modesty), Kate McMahon, Kelly Day (Broads), Ladie Dee (Howl at the Moon), Loni Rae and Shannon Busch (WILSN)

If You See Her Say Hello

21 of Melbourne’s favourite female singer-songwriters are coming together for this Melbourne Fringe Festival show. Each singer will be performing their songs backed up with a choir of the other performers. This is going to be something special

Monday 28th September – The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 29th September – The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC

Gigs Next Week

Ainsley Farrell w/ Georgia Mulligan, Catgut
Friday 2nd October – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

April Maze
Friday 25th September – Private House Concert, QLD

Arbori
Thursday 1st October – The Bald Faced Stag, Sydney, NSW

Ash Grunwald
Friday 25th September – The Corner, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 26th September – Torquay Hotel, Torquay, VIC
Thursday 1st October – Wickham, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 2nd October – Yours and Owls Festival, Wollongong, NSW

Batch Sessions feat. Andy Golledge, Caitlin Harnett
Wednesday 30th September- Batch Brewing, Sydney, NSW

Dana Hassall
Friday 25th September – Johnny Cash: The Concert, The Events Centre, Caloundra, QLD
Saturday 26th September – Johnny Cash: The Concert, Empire Theatre, Toowoomba, QLD

Dustin Tebbutt w/ Jesse Davidson, Caitlin Park
Friday 25th September – Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Friday 2nd October – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD

Eddie Boyd & The Phatapillars
Friday 25th September – Baroque, Katoomba, NSW
Saturday 26th September – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW

Fanny Lumsden
Friday 25th September – Wanganella Hall, Wanganella, NSW
Saturday 26th September – Sandigo Hall, Sandigo, NSW
Sunday 27th September – The Birdhouse, Wagga Wagga, NSW

Finders Keepers Markets Melbourne
Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th October – Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne, VIC

Forest Falls
Friday 2nd October – Cafe Go, Geelong, VIC

Fred Smith, Humbug
Saturday 26th September – City Diggers, Wollongong, NSW

Goulburn Gathering
Friday 2nd to Monday 5th October – Goulburn, NSW

If You See Her, Say Hello feat. Ali E, Al Parkinson, Amarina Waters, Ayleen O’Hanlon, Baby Blue, Brooke Russell, Clare Hendry, Cookie Baker, Emilee South, Georgia Spain, Gretta Ray, Jemma Nicole, Jemma Rowlands, Kate Boston-Smith, Kate McMahon, Kelly Day, Ladie Dee, Loni Rae, WILSN
Monday 28th September – The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 29th September – The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC

Jess Ribeiro
Saturday 26th September – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Joan Baez
Sunday 27th September – Theatre Royal, Hobart, TAS
Wednesday 30th September – Perth Concert Hall, Perth, WA

John Flanagan and Liz Frencham
Saturday 26th September – House Concert, Newstead, VIC
Sunday 27th September – The Boite Music Cafe, Melbourne, VIC

Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes
Saturday 26th September to Saturday 3rd October – Mildura Country Music Festival, VIC

Lime and Steel
Thursday 1st October – Yarra Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 2nd October – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave, VIC

Little May
Saturday 26th September – Jack Rabbit Slims, Perth, WA

Lost Ragas
Saturday 26th September – Café Burrinja, Burrinja, VIC

Madeleine Duke w/ Tim Haines
Saturday 26th September – Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

Mark Lucas and Chris Porter
Wednesday 30th September – The Midnight Special, Sydney, NSW

Martha Wainwright
Friday 2nd October – The Basement, Sydney, NSW

Mildura Country Music Festival
Friday 25th September to Sunday 4th October – Mildura, VIC

Murwillumbah Country Roots Fest
Friday 2nd to Monday 5th October – Murwillumbah, NSW

Pierce Brothers
Thursday 1st October – Rolling Stone Live Lodge, Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 2nd October – Murwillumbah Country Roots Festival, Murwillumbah, NSW

Rowen w/ Brother Fox, Charlotte Emily
Saturday 25th September – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD

Sam Brittain
Friday 2nd October – The Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA

Semaphore Music Festival
Friday 2nd to Monday 5th October – Adelaide, SA

Surry Hills Festival
Saturday 25th September – Sydney, NSW

The AU Sessions feat. Kay Proudlove, Paul Mason
Tuesday 29th September – The Hive Bar, Sydney, NSW

The BordererS
Friday 25th September – Polish White Eagle Club, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 26th September – The Clarendon, Katoomba, NSW
Sunday 27th September – Pittwatter RSL, Mona Vale, NSW
Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th October – Murtoa Big Weekend, near Horsham, VIC

The Muso Next Door Sydney feat. The Cope St Parade, Diamond Duck, Justine Eltakchi
Friday 25th September – House Concert, Sydney, NSW

The Snowdroppers
Friday 25th September – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 1st October – Ed Castle, Adelaide, SA
Friday 2nd October – Prince of Wales, Bunbury, WA

The Timbers
Friday 25th September – Solbar, Maroochydore, QLD
Saturday 26th September – Queen Street Mall, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 27th September – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD

Upstairs & Underground feat. The Gypsy Dub Sound System, Edema Ruh
Friday 2nd October – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Uranquinty Folk Festival
Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th October – Uranquinty, NSW

Wallaby Creek Festival
Friday 25th to Sunday 27th September – Rossville, QLD

Winterbourne
Friday 25th September – Club 54 Launceston, TAS
Saturday 26th September – Uni Bar, Hobart, TAS
Friday 2nd October – ANU Bar, Canberra, ACT

Wollombi Music Festival
Saturday 26th September – Wollombi, NSW

Xavier Rudd & The United Nations
Friday 25th September – Albany Entertainment Centre, Albany, WA
Saturday 26th September – Belvoir Amphitheatre, Perth, WA
Sunday 27th September – 3 Oceans Winery, Margaret River, WA

Friday Folk Flashback

“Spike Island Lassies” – Moxie

This was a last minute sub in for FFF after I saw this video posted on a friend’s Facebook wall and then fell down a Moxie themed YouTube rabbit hole. Moxie will be in the country next year during the folk festival season – make sure you get out and see them!

The Illawarra Folk Festival Drops Its 2016 Lineup

Dougie MacLean
Image Courtesy of Dougie MacLean

You know that the year is getting well and truly getting away from you when 2016 festivals start to drop their lineups. The first to do so is the incredible Illawarra Folk Festival and it’s simply amazing.

If you’ve never made it down to the Illawarra Folk Festival before then 2016 might be your year. Held in the historic town of Bulli just north of Wollongong, the festival is held from the 14th to the 17th January and manages to attract an impressive lineup of international, national and local artists.

The 2016 lineup includes the likes of Dougie MacLean (above), The East Pointers, Catgut, Daniel Champagne, Handsome Young Strangers, Liz Stringer, Rebecca Bastoli, Shane Howard, Shanty Club, The Button Collective, The Dead Maggies, Big Erle, Joe Mungovan, Kay Proudlove and many many more.

For more information about the festival including how to get your hands on tickets check out the official site here. The full lineup is below:

NTERNATIONAL ACTS: Beth Patterson (USA), Donna Dean & The Tui Melody Boys (NZ), Dougie Maclean (SCOT), The East Pointers (CANADA), Environmental Encroachment (USA), Irish Mythen (CANADA), Jonathan Bob Lynn (CANADA), Ken Field (USA), Paul McKenna Band (SCOT), Reg Meuross (UK), Santa Taranta (ITALY), The Poozies (UK), Tim Scanlan & Toshi Bodhran (JAPAN), Underscore Orkestra (USA), Ward Macdonald (CANADA)

NATIONAL ACTS: Alma Mater, Ami Williamson, Andalus Arabic Choir, Astro Cobalt, Banjo Jackson, Black Joak Morris, Black Vat Trio, Bob Rummery, Bush Music Club Inc., Catgut, Chloe & Jason Roweth Band, Craig and Simone Dawson, Daniel Champagne, David Beniuk, David Bridie, Denis Murphy Puppets, Dingo’s Breakfast, Duo Agogo, Ethnodelica, Folkaphonic Youth Orchestra, Frank Yamma, Fresh Off The Boat, Glover & Sorrensen, The Goodwills, Handsome Young Strangers, Harman and Hellens, Humbug, Inka Marka, Innes, James Blundell, Jan Preston’s Boogie Circus, Jeannie Lewis, Jordan McRobbie, Kaisha, Karen Lynne Bluegrass Circle, Ken Field, Keystone Angel, Kutcha Edwards Duo, Lagoon Hill Zydeco, Lily and King, Liz Stringer, Lorraine McCrimmon, Matt Glass and the Loose Cannons, Maypole with Molly, Mexidhalia Dance Group, Merryweather, Mia Wray, Mick Daley, Mick Thomas, Mike Martin, Neil Murray, O’Leary, Out of Abingdon, Peter Mace, Peter Willey and Matthew Hobbs, Queen Porter Stomp, Rebecca Bastoli, Riogh, Santa Taranta, Scarlet’s Revenge, Señor Cabrales, Shane Howard Trio, Shanty Club, Solidarity Choir, Sydney Irish Ceili Dancers, The Button Collective, The Dead Maggies, The East Pointers, The Goodwills, The haBiBis, The Junkadelic Brass band, The Pie Eaters, The Rhythm Hustle , The Settlement, The Wish List, Ungus Ungus Ungus, Union Choirs

LOCAL ACTS: Ana Otero Flamenco, Aviva Sheb’a, Ayanamsha, Az-I-aM, Beatmeisters, Big Erle, Brynn Luker, Chord-eaux, Cinnamon Twist Belly Dance, Circus Wow , Curious Rendition Orchestra, Dane Overton, Declan Jenkinson, Denis McKay, Doux Manouche, Dru Yoga with Erika Steller, Duncan Chalmers, Eaton Gorge Theatre Company, Fly With Me, Gobsmacked!, Good Tunes Session, Hernan & Janis , Illawarra Breakfast Poets, Illawarra Pipe Band, Illawarra Union Singers, Joe Mungovan, John Broomhall, John Littrich, John Tubridy, Kay Proudlove, Kenny Bartley/Super Kenny, Lilli Story, Love In The Jungle, Melanie April, Merryweather, Middle Eastern Jam, Mz Mally Moo, No Such Thing, Paddy & The Wonderband, Patrick Lyons & The American Creek Band, Rani’s Fire, Ribbon Gang, Ruido, Scientists Behaving Badly, SingGongGo, Southern Crane Martial Arts Academy Inc., Steve Robinson, Stewart Holt, Swing Booty, Swingaleles Ukulele Group, Tamnesia, The Con Artists, The Humphreys, The Legs, The Scratchies, The Shield Maidens & the Celt, Three-Sixty, Tia Juana, Vic Janko Orkestar, Zingara, Zlatkos Balkan Cabaret, Zondrae King, Zumpa

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 30th January

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– London based Australian singer-songwriter Emily Barker has announced a new solo album The Toerag Sessions. Details here

Timothy James Bowen released his new video “Let Me Be Your Fire”. Details here

First Aid Kit released their new video “Master Pretender”. Details here

– Singer-songwriter Jess Locke released her new video “Change The Sheets” from her forthcoming album Words That Seem To Slip Away. Details here

Bear’s Den have released their new video “Think of England”. Details here

– Bluegrassers The Pigs released their new video “You Just Like Me ‘Cos I’m Good In Bed” featuring Fanny Lumsden and Red Symons. Details here

– English husband-wife duo Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman released their video for the track “Child Owlet”. Details here

Brad Butcher confirmed his new album Jamestown will be out in March along with dates for a national tour. Details here

Xavier Rudd & The United Nations have announced a new album plus dates for a national tour. Details here

The Wild Comforts released their new video “Better Off Dead”. Details here

– UK four-piece Stornoway have released the video for “The Road You Didn’t Take” along with details of their new album. Details here

– Perth Bluegrassers The Seals have announced their plans to finish up this year but not before a final show in their hometown. Details here

– English folk darling Bella Hardy has announced her new album With The Dawn. Details here

– Sydney old-timey three-piece Catgut are streaming their new album Flying Spiders Over Texas online. Details here

The National Folk Festival added more artists to its 2015 including Kutcha Edwards, Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse, the Djaadjawan Dancers, My Friend The Chocolate Cake, Shane Howard, Christopher Coleman Collective, Restless Legs, The Button Collective, Folklore, Lime and Steel, The String Contingent and many more. Details here

– Sydney duo Winterbourne have announced their first ever national headline tour. Details here

Darren Hanlon has announced details of his new album Where Did You Come From? as well as a national tour this March and April. Details here

Reviews

Recordings

“One House is an outstanding release from one of the true rising stars of the Australian folk scene. A completely contemporary folk album that is rooted heavily in the tradition, One House is Tolka at the peak of their powers”Gareth Hugh Evans reviews One House by Tolka. Review here

Gigs

“And then I was off! Having just a day at the festival meant I needed to see as much as possible in a small amount of time. Anyone tracking my progress around the showground would have seen me almost running between venues, ducking in halfway into sets, saying g’day to the artists as they clambered off stage only to then piss-bolt to the next gig”Gareth Hugh Evans recounts his 12 hours at the Illawarra Folk Festival. Review here

Releases This Week

Catgut
Flying Spiders Over TexasCatgut
Bandcamp

S
SEmmy The Great
Rough Trade

Sailing By The Stars
Sailing By The StarsRoland Kay-Smith
Bandcamp

The Lone Bellow
Then Came The MorningThe Lone Bellow
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Bell St Delays

Bell St Delays

Bell St Delays, the duo project of singer-songwriters Tracy McNeil and Luke Sinclair (Raised By Eagles) make their way to Sydney and Maitland this weekend bringing their beautiful harmonies and stunning folk songs to their NSW fans

Friday 30th January – Petersham Bowls Club, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 31st January – The Junkyard, Maitland, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Alanna Eileen
Wednesday 4th February – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW

Angus and Julia Stone
Wednesday 4th February – Kings Park & Botanic Garden, Perth, WA
Friday 6th February – Entertainment Centre, Darwin, NT

Ann Vriend
Friday 30th January – Sovereign Resort Hotel, Cooktown, Qld
Saturday 31st January – The Reef Casino, Cairns, Qld
Sunday 1st February – Brisbane Jazz Club, Fortitude Valley, Qld
Thursday 5th February – House Concert, Tallai, Qld
Friday 6th February – Mother’s Milk, Sawtell, NSW

Bernard Fanning with Little May
Friday 30th January – Twilight At Taronga, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 31st January – Melbourne Zoo Twilights, Melbourne, VIC

Bell St Delays
Friday 30th January – Petersham Bowls Club, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 31st January – The Junkyard, Maitland, NSW

Black Market Tune
Friday 30th January – Albert Park Yacht Club, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 31st January – Roxby Hotel, Sydney, NSW

CW Stoneking
Friday 6th February – Milton Theatre, Milton, NSW

Husband
Friday 30th January – The Prince of Wales Hotel, Bunbury, WA

John Flanagan
Wednesday 4th February – The Yarra Hotel, Abbottsford, VIC
Thursday 5th February – The Singing Gallery, McLaren Vale, SA
Friday 6th February – The Bluebee room, Adelaide, SA

Kim Churchill
Friday 30th January – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 31st January – Solbar, Maroochydore, QLD
Sunday 1st February – Festival of King Island, TAS
Thursday 5th February – Jive, Adelaide, SA
Friday 6th February – Amplifier Bar, Perth, WA

Lachlan Bryan w/ Jack Henderson, Sam York, Aleyce Simmonds
Friday 30th January – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Monday 2nd February – The Loft, Melbourne, VIC

Mandy Connell with Tom Ciccone
Saturday 31st January – Retreat, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 4th February – Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Melody Pool
Tuesday 3rd February – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Passenger
Thursday 5th February – Darwin Entertainment Centre, Darwin, NT

Peasant Moon
Friday 30th January – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

The Melbourne Folk Club feat. Jeff Lang, Emma Swift, Matt Langley
Wednesday 4th February – Bella Union, Melbourne, VIC

The Wild Comforts
Saturday 31st January – The Old Bar, Melbourne, VIC

Tim Edey
Friday 30th January – Harvest Moon, Bellarine, VIC
Saturday 31st January – Flying Saucer Club, Caulfield RSL, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“‘S iomadh rud tha dhith orm/Ciamar a ni mi ‘n dannsa direach” – Carolina Chocolate Drops

This is one of my favourite tracks from the Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis live album where Carolina Chocolate Drops singer Rhiannon Giddens performs it which then prompted me to hunt out some CCD versions on Youtube. Look out for the traditional “raising of the foot” to signify the change in songs in this video!

12 Hours at the 2015 Illawarra Folk Festival

Illawarra Folk Festival
Image Courtesy of Illawarra Folk Festival

Every year as my train pulls away from Bulli station after another successful tilt at the Illawarra Folk Festival I promise myself “next year will be the year I come for the whole weekend, not just a day”.

Then when January finally rolls around again and my pockets are empty following the excess of the Christmas period I always find myself whittling down my expectations and deciding “just one day at Illawarra will do”.

But one day is never enough.

The Illawarra Folk Festival is no longer the little festival I first started going to when I moved to New South Wales 10 years ago. And 10 years ago it had already outgrown its life as a “little festival” having moved to Bulli from Jamberoo to accommodate a much larger audience. This year saw more than 11,000 people make their way through the gates of Bulli Showground proving once and for all that the Illawarra Folk Festival is one of the big guys.

There’s plenty of reasons why I’ve always loved Illawarra. The fact it’s an easy train ride from Sydney for one. It’s mid-January timing meaning it manages to attract the best talent from the New Year’s festivals for another. And that despite the fact that there were 11,000 people through the door I can spend my day walking around the site bumping into old friends, making new ones and feeling right at home.

This year I chose Sunday as my one day at Illawarra for no other reason than it fitted my schedule best and the timing of the final concert – around 6pm – meant I wouldn’t be ridiculously late home. I caught the first train down, rocking into the festival before 9am and before, it turns out, most of the music had started. I parked myself where I could see a blackboard session featuring Mandy Connell in the Tantric Turtle, studied the program intently and let the upcoming day wash over me.

And then I was off! Having just a day at the festival meant I needed to see as much as possible in a small amount of time. Anyone tracking my progress around the showground would have seen me almost running between venues, ducking in halfway into sets, saying g’day to the artists as they clambered off stage only to then piss-bolt to the next gig.

This sort of program onslaught meant I missed more than a few of the artists I wanted to see because of clashes including The Mae Trio, Cloudstreet, Fred Smith, Sparrow-Folk and Big Erle. It also meant I managed to catch snippets of artists that I originally didn’t have down on my list like the Tim Edey Trio as I cut through the Slacky Flat Bar on my way to another gig. Plus it meant that by the time I realised I should really eat something most of the stalls had shut up shop for the weekend and I was left with the option of chip-on-a-stick or a sandwich when I got home. I chose the latter.

But I did see some amazing music. And the variety! This is what is special about the Illawarra Folk Festival – in one moment you can watch a contemporary singer-songwriter like Joe Mungovan (who slipped a James Taylor number into his set because he felt is was the only folk song he knew), run between competing folk-punk shows from The Go Set, The Bottlers and Handsome Young Strangers (who were strangely playing at exactly the same time in different venues) or soak up the jazzed up trad of Stray Hens. Artistic director David De Santi is obviously a lover of folk music in all it’s various guises and this flows through to possibly the most eclectic lineup of any festival in Australia.

Of the international guests I was most impressed with Canadian trad trio The East Pointers and the Euro-Scottish folk of Black Market Tune. The former were just a powerhouse live – one of the tightest bands I’ve seen in a very long time and so charismatic! I can imagine they won the hearts of many young ladies in the audience and may even have inspired more than one person to pick up the tenor banjo (well, I was inspired, so that counts). The latter ingratiated themselves with the crowd with the simple charm and ability to switch their Austrian accents to Scottish brogue as their music demanded. I can’t recommend either of these bands enough.

The Stray Hens were my pick of the local acts. I’m sure I’ve seen these guys at The National before but this was the gig that truly made me fall in love with them. Mandy, Sally and Rowena (along with Richard and Ryan in their rhythm section) are interpreting and elevating traditional songs in a way I’m not seeing many Australian artists do and it’s mesmerising. Festival bookers take note – get the Stray Hens on your lineup or forever be sorry.

And then there’s Eric Bogle. I tried not to fill my Illawarra Folk Festival seeing artists I’d seen 100 times before but somehow I still managed to find myself in the Black Diamond Marquee listening to the songwriting legend. And he was everything you’d expect – funny, passionate, engaging and beautiful. When he played “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda” introduced with an explanation that he’d been asked to sing the song at the Anzac Day 100 year anniversary sans the final verse (“bugger that”) it was just magic.

As the Finale Parade made it’s way through the Showground I ducked out of the festival and dragged myself up the road to catch the train back to Sydney, exhausted but ultimately satisfied. Once again the Illawarra Folk Festival had exceeded my expectations and left me wanting more – exactly what I want from a folk festival.

My train wound its way through the mountains back to the big smoke and I made a promise to myself – next year “next year will be the year I come for the whole weekend, not just one day”.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 16th January

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Sydney duo Elwood Myre released their new video “Water to the Moon”. Details here

The Staves gave us a taster of their upcoming album with the single “Steady”. Details here

Sufjan Stevens has confirmed that he’s going back to his folk roots for his new album Carrie & Lowell. Details here

– This Saturday will see some of Adelaide’s finest come together for the Feelgood Folk Festival. Details here

Bluesfest released their sixth artist announcement including Hozier, The Waterboys, Jeff Lang and many more. Details here

– Sydney artist Sam and the Bird released their new single “I Believe In Ghosts”. Details here

Sam Lee & Friends announced their new album The Fade In Time to be released this year. Details here

– Sydney based singer-songwriter Taryn La Fauci released her brand new video “All of Me”. Details here

– Melbourne singer-songwriter Leigh Bacchetti released his new single “We Are Helpless”. Details here

– Melbourne singer-songwriter Ayleen O’Hanlon released her new single “Loverless”. Details here

– Melbourne’s Forest Falls released their new video “Heavy Hearted Girl”. Details here

– Melbourne singer-songwriter Mandy Connell has a bunch of home town shows coming up starting this week. Details here

– The Kyneton Music Festival announced its 2015 lineup including Laura Jean, Little Bastard, Tully on Tully, Charles Jenkins & The Zhivagos, Liz Stringer, Tracy McNeil and many more. Details here

– We posted Ainsley Farrell’s latest single “Salt/Swallowing Sea”. Details here

Iron & Wine has announced the Archive Series Volume No.1 album featuring early unreleased material. Details here

– If you’re in Sydney for Australia day head to The Rocks for free music from Thelma Plum, Dustin Tebbutt, The Morrisons, Winterbourne, Little May and more. Details here

– Sydney singer-songwriter Roland Kay-Smith has announced details of his upcoming debut solo album. Details here

Stornoway released their new single “The Road You Didn’t Take”. Details here

Interviews

“A wise person once said regular gigs are your backyard, festivals are like visiting a friend’s backyard and we always keep a mindful eye of who is in our festival audience – particularly if there are kids”Sparrow-Folk chat to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“Eric Bogle’s songs were a mainstay through their many mediums in my house growing up and I even got to take a songwriting workshop he put on a few years back at the Illawarra. Will be bloody fantastic to see his personal interpretations of the songs he wrote and that were made so famous”The Bottlers chat to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“We started as a band playing Australian folk festivals and for a while that was all we did. Playing to a festival crowd feels a bit like playing in our home town and we always look forward to it”The Mae Trio chat to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“My drummer Ben and I were going to make giant paper mache pearl hats as our costumes for the festivals 30th Anniversary Pearl Ball. I doubt it will happen as neither of us have much time or know how to paper mache. Perhaps by my 30th anniversary I will have learned how to paper mache. If I have, that’s how I will celebrate. I’ll also probably write a song about it as that seems to be a thing with me”Kay Proudlove chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Blog

“Volunteering is THE best intro to a festival, especially for the slightly or very out-of-pocket, and definitely for the sole traveller”Bill Quinn reflects on volunteering at the Woodford Folk Festival. Check out his thoughts here

“As the sun set slowly over Kilcoy, we bade farewell to the last performance at Woodford Folk Festival as Fantuzzi reggaed the crowd into a fervour”Bill Quinn bids farewell to the Woodford Folk Festival. Watch his video here

Reviews

Gigs

“But here’s the thing: I just don’t have a program focus. As in a focus on programmed artists. I skimmed a few headliners and others about three days before kick-off, and only really seriously started looking at the performer list on Christmas night, as I was kicking my heels back in Bankstown, waiting for a share ride to materialise from Melbourne via the Eurobodalla Nature Coast, and thence to Kariong, Mermaid Beach and Woodfordia. Oh, look. The Violent Femmes are coming! And Cat Empire. And Big Erle!!!!”Bill Quinn wraps up his Woodford Folk Festival experience. Review here

Releases This Week

Dan Mangan
Club MedsDan Mangan + Blacksmith
iTunes

Absent Fathers
Absent FathersJustin Townes Earle
iTunes

The Decemberists
What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful WorldThe Decemberists
iTunes

Another Day
Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis – Various
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Passenger

Passenger

Passenger is well and truly in the country and has a bunch of sold out shows all over the place this week. If you have tickets, congratulations! If you don’t I’d recommend doing everything you can to get your hands on some – these shows are going to be magical

Friday 16th January – Theatre Royal, Hobart, TAS
Saturday 17th January – The Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday, 18th January – The Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 20th January – AEC Theatre, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 22nd January – Canberra Theatre Centre, Canberra, ACT
Friday 23rd January – Qantas Credit Union Arena, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Alanna Eileen
Sunday 18th January – The Toff In Town, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 21st January – Republic Bar & Cafe, Hobart, TAS

Bernard Fanning with Little May
Thursday 22nd January – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD

Black Market Tune
Friday 16th to Sunday 18th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW
Wednesday 21st January – Sale Performing Arts, Sale, VIC
Thursday 22nd January – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Charm of Finches
Friday 23rd to Monday 26th January – Newstead Live Music Festival, VIC

Elbury
Saturday 17th January – Hoo Ha Bar, Brisbane, QLD

Far From Folsom
Saturday 17th January – Parramatta Gaol, Parramatta, NSW

Feelgood Folk Festival
Saturday 17th January – The Backyard, Port Adelaide, SA

Husband
Friday 23rd January – Mojos Bar, Fremantle, WA

Illawarra Folk Festival
Thursday 15th to Sunday 18th January – Bulli, NSW

Iva Bittová
Wednesday 21st January – The Famous Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW

Joel Barker
Friday 16th January – Smiths Alternative, Canberra, ACT

Kim Churchill
Friday 16th January – The Abbey, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 17th January – Karova Lounge, Ballarat, VIC
Wednesday 21st January – Birdhouse Bar, Wagga Wagga, NSW
Thursday 22nd January – Anita’s Theatre, Thirroul, NSW
Friday 23rd January – The Cambridge, Newcastle, NSW

Lachlan Bryan w/ Jack Henderson, Sam York, Aleyce Simmonds
Sunday 18th January – The Capitol, Tamworth, NSW

Mandy Connell
Thursday 22nd January – Post Office Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Newstead Live
Friday 23rd to Monday 26th January – Castlemaine, VIC

Numberalla Folk Festival
Friday 23rd to Monday 26th January – Numberalla, NSW

Passenger
Friday 16th January – Theatre Royal, Hobart, TAS
Saturday 17th January – The Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday, 18th January – The Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 20th January – AEC Theatre, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 22nd January – Canberra Theatre Centre, Canberra, ACT
Friday 23rd January – Qantas Credit Union Arena, Sydney, NSW

Peasant Moon
Sunday 18th January – Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Slow Club
Friday 16th January – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 17th January – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

Tamar Valley Folk Festival
Friday 16th to Sunday 18th January – George Town, TAS

Tamworth Country Music Festival
Friday 16th to Sunday 25th January – Tamworth, NSW

The Melbourne Folk Club feat. Oh Pep!, Open Swimmer
Wednesday 21st January – Bella Union, Melbourne, VIC

Thredbo Blues Festival
Friday 16th to Sunday 18th January – Thredbo, NSW

Time Edey
Thursday 15th to Sunday 18th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW
Thursday 22nd January – Canberra Irish Club, Canberra, ACT
Friday 23rd to Monday 26th January – Newstead Live, VIC

Tiny Ruins
Friday 16th January – The Aurora, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Barbara Allen” – Dolly Parton and Altan

For Christmas I received the book Wayfaring Strangers: The Musical Voyage from Scotland and Ulster to Appalachia by Fiona Ritchie and Doug Orr and I’ve been devouring it ever since. The book comes with an amazing album which opens with this track – a version of the classic traditional ballad “Barbara Allen” performed in English by Dolly Parton and in Gaelic by Altan from Parton’s 1994 live album Heartsongs – Live from Home. Beautiful stuff.

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