The Illawarra Folk Festival Announces 2018 Lineup

Illawarra Folk Festival
Image Courtesy of Illawarra Folk Festival

Our favourite mid-sized folk festival, the Illawarra Folk Festival dropped its massive 2018 lineup this week and as usual we’re very very impressed

The Illawarra Folk Festival always manages to pull out the big guns and the best up and comers and 2018 is no different. The lineup this time around includes the likes of Eric Bogle, Cass Eager, The Go Set, Breaking Trad, Maggie Carty and Mairtin Staunton, Claire Anne Taylor, Devil on the Rooftop, Golden Whistler, Handsome Young Strangers, Lizzie Flynn, Paddy McHugh, Shelley’s Murder Boys, The Button Collective, The Northern Folk, The Raglins, The Royal High Jinx, The Scrims, Big Erle, Jane Aubourg, Kay Proudlove and many many more.

The Illawarra Folk Festival takes place in Bulli, NSW from the 18th to the 21st January. To get more information including how to get your hands on tickets check out the official site here.

The full lineup of Illawarra Folk Festival artists is below:

International Artists:
Breaking Trad (Ireland), Dan Walsh (UK), Edgelarks (UK), Eleanor McEvoy (Ireland), Faith i Branko (Eastern Europe), George Mann (USA), Himmerland with Mairi Campbell (Denmark/Scotland), Jonathan Bob Lynn (Canada), Josefina Paulson & Jonas Akerlund (Sweden), Ken Field’s Hoot Band (USA), Kevin Welch (USA), Maggie Carty and Mairtin Staunton (Ireland), Oi Dipnoi (Italy), Scott Cook & The Second Chances (Canada), Steve Turner (UK), The Beez (Germany), The Small Glories (Canada)

National Artists:
Eric Bogle, Mikelangelo (The Balkan Elvis), Cass Eager, Darren Coggan, Taikoz, The Go Set, Albion Fair Morris, Baz Cooper, Emma Nixon & Iain McKenzie, Black Joak Morris, Brian Bell, Bush Music Club Inc, Christopher Shaw, Claire Anne Taylor, Combined Union Choirs, Den Hanrahan and the Rum Runners, Devil on the Rooftop, Dom Ferry, Ella Belfanti, Franke, Glover & Sorrensen, Golden Whistler, Good Tunes, Greshka, Handsome Young Strangers, Honey & Knives, Jane Germain & Ian Simpson, John Broomhall, Karen Law & Family, Lagoon Hill Zydeco, Lisa Lazuli Music, Little Foot, Lizzie Flynn, Margaret Walters, Maurie Mulheron and Pat Craigie, The Merry Widows Unplugged, Michael-John Azzopardi, Nick Charles, Nick Rheinberger, Noel Gardner, Paddy McHugh, Peter Mace, Peter Willey, Robyn Sykes, Romisounds, Rusty & The Saint, Santa Taranta, Shelley’s Murder Boys, Snez Musica, Sydney English Country Dance, The Button Collective, The Grenadiers, The Honey Drippin’ Mudskippers, The Northern Folk, The Protesters, The Raglins, The Royal High Jinx, The Scrims, The Simon Kerr Perspective, The Ten Quid Poms, Tililili, Wally Byrne

Local Artists:
Alex Sreckovic – Smokehouse, Atif & Sako, AZ-I-AM, Beatmeisters, Big Erle, Carefree Road Band, Chord-eaux, Cinnamon Twist School of Belly Dance, Circus WOW, Cranky Franky, Curious Rendition Orchestra, Egypsy, Light Being Yoga-Erika Steller & Fiona Davis, Gobsmacked!, Heart to Heart Storytelling, Irish Famine, Jackie Dee, Jane Aubourg, Jimmy and Shay, John Nichols & Wolfgang Kloger, Josh C. Music, Kala Ilango, Kay Proudlove, Kenny Bartley, Kevin Sullivan, King & Queen of Green, LANEY and Friends, Lizzie Bennet, Love In The Jungle, Meridian, Murmur, No Such Thing, Roger Gordon Fyfe, Silver Lotus Tribal Bellydance, SingGongGo, Southern Gentlemen, Swing Booty, The Calamities, The Capricornia Project, The Con Artists, TheGroove, The Humphreys, The Scratchies, Steampunk Vagabonds, Swingaleles Wollongong, The Water Runners, Tia Juana, Vic Janko Orkestar, Wolf Gordon Music, Zlatkos Balkan Cabaret

Youth Artists:
Claire Doherty, Fergus Bailey, Folkaphonic Youth Orchestra, James & Jackson, Little Glory, Paddy & The Wonderband, Shalani Music, The Bowhemians, Tim Lukey, Whisper Out Loud, Zingara

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 – 26th February

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Melbourne indie-folk darlings TinPan Orange announced details of their new album, released a new video “Rich Man” and announced national tour dates. Details here

The Gum Ball have announced their final artists for 2016 including William Crighton, Devon Sproule, Davidson Brothers, Grace Turner, Galleri and many more. Details here

If You See Her, Say Hello comes to the Adelaide Fringe Festival this weekend featuring the music of Ali E, Al Parkinson, Amarina Waters, Amy Parkinson, Brooke Russell, Cookie Baker, Elizabeth Barker, Emilee South, Gretta Ray, Jac Tonks (Amarillo), Jemma Nicole, Kate McMahon, Kelsey James, Layla Fibbins (The Sideshow Brides), Loni Rae, PHIA and more. Details here

– Brisbane’s Sahara Beck released her new single “Here It Comes”. Details here

– Sydney folk-fusion trio Devil on the Rooftop have announced a show with The Crooked Fiddle Band. Details here

The Brisbane Folk Club has announced its March lineup including The Timbers, Anna & Jordan and Luke Morris. Details here

– Melbourne based singer-songwriter Liam Gerner has announced a national tour. Details here

William Fitzsimmons announced details of his new EP Charleroi: Pittsburgh, Volume 2. Details here

– Sydney alt-country band Mark Lucas and The Dead Setters have a new album and an upcoming east coast tour. Details here

– Violinist Jane Aubourg released her new single “The Girl with the Ash Brown Hair”. Details here

– UK based nu-folk five-piece Treetop Flyers released their new video “31 Years”. Details here

– NZ songstress Aldous Harding has announced a couple of Australian shows. Details here

Blog

“This year’s Cobargo Festival presents a great opportunity to take a world tour of the different styles of Celtic music and dance” – Peter Logue outlines the Celtic music program at the Cobargo Folk Festival. Blog here

Reviews

Gigs

“This is a band that has reached its stride and now has a career pace that they could maintain for the veritable marathon ahead. While their new stuff is developing a new sound and direction, their old stuff is just as open to new interpretation and appreciation. Their rendition of “Rabbit Song” was beautiful, with a slowed bridge the seems to hang in its own air only to roll and tumble down from the stage, out across the audience. The quality of this performance brought a whole new grace and beauty to a well known favourite”KT Bell reviews Boy & Bear. Details here

Releases This Week

Elsewhere
ElsewhereGretta Ray
iTunes

The Continental Drift
The Continental DriftMark Lucas and The Dead Setters
iTunes

Timber and Steel Presents

The Timbers

William Fitzsimmons

Thursday 3rd March – Brisbane Folk Club, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 4th March – Sol Bar, Maroochydore, QLD

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

If You See Her, Say Hello feat. Ali E, Al Parkinson, Amarina Waters, Amy Parkinson, Brooke Russell, Cookie Baker, Elizabeth Barker, Emilee South, Gretta Ray, Jac Tonks (Amarillo), Jemma Nicole, Kate McMahon, Kelsey James, Layla Fibbins (The Sideshow Brides), Loni Rae, PHIA

If you see her

If You See Her, Say Hello comes to the Adelaide Fringe Festival showcasing some of Australia’s top artists for one night only

Saturday 27th February – The Garden of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide, SA

Gigs Next Week

Amistat, Ben Whiting, Oliver’s Army
Thursday 3rd March – House Concert, Newcastle, NSW

Beth Patterson
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th February – Cobargo Folk Festival, Cobargo, NSW

Burnt Creek Deviation
Friday 4th March – The Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Brisbane Folk Club feat. The Timbers, Anna & Jordan, Luke Morris
Tuesday 2nd March – The Foundry, Brisbane, QLD

Calexico
Wednesday 2nd March – Hamer Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 4th March – Town Hall, Meeniyan, VIC

Catherine Traicos
Saturday 28th February – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

Cobargo Folk Festival
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th February – Cobargo, NSW

Colin Hay
Friday 4th March – Melbourne Zoo Twilights, Melbourne, VIC

Courtyard Sessions feat. Fanny Lumsden
Friday 4th March – Seymour Centre, Sydney, NSW

Davey Craddock
Friday 26th February – Major Toms, Kyneton, VIC
Saturday 27th February – Junkyard, Maitland, NSW
Sunday 28th February – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Dawn Landes
Friday 4th March – Jet Black Cat Music, Brisbane, QLD

Elwood Myre
Friday 26th February – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 4th March – Nannup Music Festival, Nannup, WA
Friday 4th March – The Odd Fellow, Perth, WA

Exile: Songs & Tales of Irish Australia
Monday 29th February – QPAC Concert Hall, Brisbane, QLD

Frances Folk Gathering
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th February – Frances, SA

Get Folked! English Bitter Launch feat. The Crooked Fiddle Band, The Baudelaires, Handsome Young Strangers, BDSM
Sunday 28th February – Frankie’s Pizza, Sydney, NSW

Hussy Hicks
Thursday 3rd March – Settlers Tavern, Margaret River, WA
Friday 4th to Sunday 6th March – Nannup Festival, WA

If You See Her, Say Hello feat. Ali E, Al Parkinson, Amarina Waters, Amy Parkinson, Brooke Russell, Cookie Baker, Elizabeth Barker, Emilee South, Gretta Ray, Jac Tonks (Amarillo), Jemma Nicole, Kate McMahon, Kelsey James, Layla Fibbins (The Sideshow Brides), Loni Rae, PHIA
Saturday 27th February – The Garden of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide, SA

James Thomson
Friday 26th February – The Grand Junction Hotel, Maitland, NSW
Saturday 27th February – Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 3rd March – The Retreat, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 4th March – Baha, Rye, VIC

Kasey Chambers
Saturday 27th February – Melbourne Zoo Twilights, Melbourne, VIC

Kate Miller-Heidke
Wednesday 2nd March – The Spiegeltent, Adelaide, SA
Friday 4th March – J-Shed, Bathers Beach, Fremantle, WA

Lady Sunday feat. The Lyn Taylor Band, Megan Cooper, Georgia Mulligan
Sunday 28th February – The Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Liam Gerner
Thursday 3rd March – Four5Nine, Perth, WA
Friday 4th to Sunday 6th March – Nannup Music Festival, Nannup, WA

Lime and Steel
Saturday 27th February – Humph Hall, Allambie Heights, NSW
Sunday 28th February – The Rhythm Hut, Gosford, NSW

Little Features feat. Gentle Leader, The Campervan Dancers, Gostwyck, Ed Wells
Saturday 27th February – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

Nannup Music Festival
Friday 4th to Sunday 6th March – Nannup, WA

Not Good With Horses
Sunday 28th February – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Passenger
Saturday 27th February – The Riverstage, Brisbane, QLD
Tuesday 1st March – The Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 4th March – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, SA

Patrick James
Friday 26th February – Howler, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 27th February – Anita’s Theatre, Wollongong NSW
Friday 4th March – The Basement, Sydney, NSW

Pocket Fox
Saturday 27th February – Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

Sam Joole Band w/ Ainsley Farrell
Thursday 3rd March – Spring Street Social, Sydney, NSW

Sam Newton
Saturday 27th February – Treehouse on Belongil, Byron Bay, NSW
Sunday 28th February – The Rails, Byron Bay, NSW

Sian Evans
Saturday 27th February – Club Greenslopes, Brisbane, QLD

Sufjan Stevens
Friday 26th February – Hamer Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 27th February – Hamer Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 28th February – Hamer Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 2nd March – Red Hill Auditorium, Perth, WA
Friday 4th March – QPAC Concert Hall, Brisbane, QLD

The Beards
Friday 26th February – Waratah Hotel, Hobart, TAS
Saturday 27th February – Red Hot Music, Devonport, TAS

The East Pointers
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th February – Cobargo Folk Festival, NSW
Thursday 3rd March – Bulli Heritage Hotel, Bulli, NSW
Friday 4th to Sunday 6th March – Nannup Music Festival, WA

The Little Stevies
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th February – Cobargo Folk Festival, Cobargo, NSW
Wednesday 2nd March – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 3rd March – Adelonia Theatre, Adelong, NSW
Friday 4th March – Tallangatta Memorial Hall, Tallangatta, VIC

The Plough
Sunday 28th February – The Coach and Horses, Sydney, NSW

The Rambling Boys
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th February – Cobargo Folk Festival, NSW
Thursday 3rd March – Milton Theatre, Milton, NSW
Friday 4th March – City Diggers, Wollongong, NSW

The Timbers
Wednesday 2nd March – Brisbane Folk Club, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 3rd March – Sol Bar, Maroochydore, QLD

The Weeping Willows
Friday 4th March – Basement Discs, Melbourne VIC

Tim Easton
Friday 26th February – Major Tom’s, Kyneton, VIC
Saturday 27th February – The Junkyard, Maitland, NSW
Sunday 28th February – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW
Tuesday 1st March – Jane’s, Wollongong, NSW
Wednesday 2nd March – The Midnight Special, Sydney, NSW

Vin Garbutt
Friday 26th February – Cobargo Folk Festival, Cobargo, NSW

Willowy
Friday 26th February – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Raggle Taggle Gypsy” – Planxty

Another version of the “Gypsy Davy” tradition, this time performed by the amazing Planxty.

Listen to the New Jane Aubourg Single “The Girl with the Ash Brown Hair”

Jane Aubourg
Image Courtesy of Jane Aubourg

Violinist and looping pedal master Jane Aubourg recently released her brand new single “The Girl with the Ash Brown Hair”. The track is inspired by a photo of performance artist Tamara Elkins and “uses a slowed and reversed performance of Debussy’s The Girl with the Flaxen Hair, layered with 5-string violin”.

We think this is pretty stunning and well worth a share. Listen to “The Girl with the Ash Brown Hair” below:

Illawarra Folk Festival Reveals Full 2014 Lineup

Sarah Humphreys
Image Courtesy of Sarah Humphreys

Just a week or so after revealing their first lineup for 2014 the Illawarra Folk Festival has gone the whole hog and given us every single artist for the event. We could call out a bunch of Timber and Steel favourites that have just just joined the lineup – like Martin Pearson, Sarah Humphreys (above), Handsome Young Strangers, Jane Aubourg, Oh Pep! and Chaika – but instead we though we’d bring you one full list of all the musical acts:

Afenginn, Andy Irvine, Dom Flemons, Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys, Harry Manx Band, Jaaleekaay, John John Festival, Klezmorim, London Klezmer Quartet, The Beez, The Hollands!, The Latchikos, The Underscore Orkestra, The Whitetop Mountaineers, Astro Cobalt, Bitchpick, Harman and Hellens, Cassidy’s Ceili, Enda Kenny Band, Riogh, Ange Takats, Another Train, Australian Union Choir, AZ-I-AM, Belle Jar, Bernard Carney, Bygone Error, Chippo Days, Chloe & Jason Roweth, Fly With Me, Graeme Morrison All Stars, Greg Champion, Jim Green, Kavisha Mazzella, Lola Wright’s Keg Night, Martin Pearson, Matthew Fagan “Lord of the Strings”, Merryweather, Rough Red, Sally Harris & Little Big Smoke, Sarah Humphreys, Solidarity Choir, Swingaleles, The Three Sisters, Tia Juana, Wongawilli, Bazinga!, Big Erle, Bruce Mathiske, Frank Povah and Chris Cruise, Funkier Than Alice (and Friends!), Glenn Skuthorpe, Graeme Morrison All Stars, Handsome Young Strangers, Jane Aubourg, Kay Proudlove, Kenny Bartley/Super Kenny, Love In The Jungle, My Secret Window, Oh Pep!, Pete Thomas & Blue Salt Band, Shellie Morris, Smokehouse, The Lazy Farmer’s Sons, The Ribbon Gang, The Timbers, Tracey Bunn, Alison Johnston, David Beniuk, Gemma Glendenning, Glenn Skuthorpe, Kavisha Mazzella, Merryweather, My Secret Window, Patrick Lyons & The American Creek Band, Robbing Steve, Shellie Morris, The Lazy Farmer’s Sons, The Littlest Fox, The Miss Chiefs, The Ribbon Gang, Tracey Bunn, Another Train, Bob Campbell Band, Bush Music Club ‘URBAN SCRUB’, Bygone Error, Chloe & Jason Roweth, Chord-eaux, Christiaan Dolislager, Denis McKay, Franklyn B Paverty, Good Tunes Session, Illawarra Pipe Band, Kavisha Mazzella, Lola Wright’s Keg Night, Louisa Lawson Tribute, Songs you do not sing to children!, The Raglins, The Roberts Family Reunion, Ayanamsha, Beatmeisters, Belle Jar, Chaika, Dall’ Italia All’ AUstralia, I Viaggiatori, Mat Brooker, Mr Cuttlefish, Rapskallion, Ruido, SingGongGo, Somesing Laik Zat, Spirit of Serpentine, Spyglass Gypsies, Taiko no Wa, The Con Artists, Zumpa, Alison Johnston, Caitlin James, Harry O’Brien, Lucette, Melanie April, Nyssa and Alex, Paddy & The Wonderband, Rosie and the Bluesters, Shalani Thomas, Tim Lukey, and many more

The Illawarra Folk Festival will take place from the 16th to 19th January next year – for more information on the festival including how to get your hands on early bird tickets check out the official site here.

Illawarra Folk Festival Announces 2012 Program

The Quarry Mountain Dead Rats
Image Courtesy of The Quarry Mountain Dead Rats

While the summer months see some of the nation’s biggest festivals strut their stuff it’s the little regional folk festivals that really shine in our books. One of our favourite regional festivals roles around every January – The Illawarra Folk Festival in Bulli just north of Wollongong, NSW.

Being within spitting distance of both Sydney and Canberra the Illawarra Folk Festival manages to attract some amazing national and international talent and is set in one of the most beautiful parts of the country. The 2012 festival will be held from the 12th to the 15th January and boasts a program featuring the likes of Dougie Maclean, George Kamikawa & Noriko Tadano, The Beez, Andrew Winton, Cj Shaw, Evelyn’s Secret, Get Folked, Jack Flash, Lucy Wise & The B’Gollies, Margaret & Bob Fagan, Martin Pearson, The Quarry Mountain Dead Rats (above), Skipping Girl Vinegar, The Bearded Gypsy Band, The String Contingent, The Woohoo Revue, Big Erle & the Limb Looseners, Jane Aubourg and of course Wongawilli.

The program for the event has just been released and is available on the official Illawarra Folk Festival web site – which is also where you can get the full lineup and all the information on how to get tickets. Looks like our January is planned then.

Spotlight On: Jane Aubourg

Jane Aubourg
Image Courtesy of Jane Aubourg

The marriage of traditional musical instruments with technology has seen the face of folk, classical and jazz music change dramatically in the last few years. Thanks to looping and effects pedals solo vocalists and musicians suddenly find themselves with the ability to create majestic soundscapes without the need of a full band or even a wide range of instruments. Of all the instruments that seems to have benefited from this technological renaissance it’s the humble violin that has risen to prominence thanks to the likes of Andrew Bird, Owen Pallett and Colm Mac Con Iomaire – and now we can add another name to that list: Wollongong’s Jane Aubourg.

Jane Aubourg is not a folk artist but she sits very easily under the auspice of the folk scene. Her music is expansive, grandiose and sublime drawing generously from influences in soundtrack, classical, jazz and traditional music. While some artists who utilise looping and effect pedals become slaves to their technology, Aubourg’s compositions and arrangements are intricate, almost orchestral soundscapes that set her above her contempoaries and completely enrapture her audience.

Choosing a brightly coloured electric violin over the the traditional instrument (the above photo aside) Aubourg’s on stage persona is charismatic, personable and immediately likable. She takes time to connect to her audience both through her music and through her banter when she could well be focusing her efforts on her tools. Aubourg is very obviously classically trained and arrangements of classical pieces make up a large part of her repertoire, however she goes beyond convention and tradition giving her music a contemporary edge that folk, indie and pop audiences will very much connect to.

Jane Aubourg released her debut album Ostinato in 2009 and is currently working on her follow up Looking for Blue. She is also honing her skills at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and regularly gigging around the NSW capital and beyond. If you head to her web site and sign up to Aubourg’s mailing list you can download her fantastic version of “Scaborough Fair” which she has titled “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme”.

Country of Origin: Australia (Wollongong)
File Under: Augmented Classical
Sounds Like: Andrew Bird meets Owen Pallett via Colm Mac Con Iomaire
Myspace: myspace.com/janeaubourg
Official Site: www.janeaubourg.com.au

Jane Aubourg and Eirwen Skye at The Gaelic Club (Upstairs)

Jane Aubourg
Image Courtesy of Jane Aubourg

Sydneysiders are probably not aware that The Gaelic Club in Surry Hills, the home of the city’s Irish National association, is home to some of most exciting folk, celtic, acoustic and contemporary music around. Not to be confused with its downstairs cousin, the famous Gaelic Hotel, The Gaelic Club has been looking beyond its regular trad sessions and dance workshops to showcase up and coming talent on Friday and Saturday nights.

This Friday is the perfect example of The Gaelic Club’s new commitment to live music with two stunning artists lining up to take the stage.

Jane Aubourg (above) is an exciting solo violinist who uses digital effects and loop pedals to create her unique sound. Taking her inspiration from all over the musical spectrum seeing Aubourg has been described as an orchestral experience.

When Eirwen Skye played Shut The Folk Up! in May our reveiwer described her performance as “thickly rich emotive music, layered skilfully like a wedding cake”. Another fan of the loop pedal, Skye combines elements of folk, classical, blues and jazz to create her own brand of the singer songwriter.

The show starts at 9pm and is just $15 at the door. And this is just a taste of what The Gaelic Club (Upstairs) has to offer over the coming months and we’ll be sure to spotlight the best on offer.

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