Peats Ridge Adds More Artists to 2012/13 Lineup

Sarah Humphreys
Image Courtesy of Sarah Humphreys

Yesterday afternoon the Peats Ridge Festival, held over New Years just north of Sydney, revealed a further 98 artists for their 2012/13 lineup. And while a lot of the new additions are more in tune with the electronic end of the musical there are a few folk bands and singer-songwriter in amongst the mix.

The latest lineup includes the likes of Charlie Gradon, Elstow, Loren Kate, Zoe Elliot, Jenna Murphy, Sarah Humphreys & The Volunteers (above), Anna Weatherup and many more.

Peats Ridge takes place from the 29th December to the 1st January. For more information including the full lineup check out the official site here.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 7th December


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Arlo Guthrie has announced headline dates on top of his appearances at the Blue Mountains Music Festival and Port Fairy Folk Festival next year. Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion will be in support. Details here

– Folk rock legend Richard Thompson will be releasing his new album ELECTRIC in February next year featuring guest appearances from Alison Krauss, Siobhan Maher Kennedy and fiddle player Stuart Duncan. Details here

Mama Kin has released the brand new video for her track “Was It Worth It”, taken from her upcoming album The Magician’s Daughter. Details here

Julia Stone has performed a gorgeous cover of Redgum’s “I Was Only 19” for the History Channel doco The People Speak. Details here

– Speaking of Julia Stone she has been announced as the first artist to tour for Heavenly Sounds in 2013. Details here

– No one quite does a bluegrass cover like The Pigs. Check out their video for Kanye West’s “Gold Digger” to see what we mean. Details here

– The Blue Mountains Music Festival has added a few more artists to its 2013 lineup including Kate Miller-Heidke, Go Jane Go (Keiran Kane, Lucas Kane and David Francey), Baby et Lulu, The Popes, Mama Kin, Jordan Millar and The Barons of Tang. Details here

Emily Barker is home in WA for Christmas and has a handful of local shows planned while she’s here. Details here

– Cathy Guthrie and Amy Nelson, AKA Folk Uke, will be performing two headline shows in Sydney when they’re in the country for the Woodford Folk Festival. Details here

– The Melbourne leg of international monthly house concert series Sofar Sounds has announced plans for a Christmas party this month featuring Brous, Francolin, Ainslie Wills, The Harpoons and Elana Stone plus five secret guests yet to be announced. Details here

Dropkick Murphys are putting the dysfunctional back into Christmas with their festive track (and video) “The Season’s Upon Us”. Details here

– Currently making his way through Canada, Kim Churchill already has his sight set on home with the announcement of a massive summer tour beginning in January. Details here

– A follow up to the 2006 pirate-themed album Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys, produced by Johnny Depp, Gore Verbinski and Hal Willner, has been announced next for year, titled Son of Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys. Details here

– UK-born, US based singer-songwriter Bobby Long has finally revealed the details of his upcoming album Wishbone. Details here

– Most of the artists that the Peats Ridge Festival added to their lineup this week were electronic in nature but there were a couple of folky gems in there including Charlie Gradon, Elstow, Loren Kate, Zoe Elliot, Jenna Murphy, Sarah Humphreys & The Volunteers and Anna Weatherup. Details here

Glen Hansard revealed his new video “High Hope” ahead of his Australian tour next year. Details here

– Alt-country artists The Stillsons are stripping back to a duo for a handful of shows in and around Adelaide in the lead up to Christmas. Details here

Emmy The Great and Tim Wheeler are re-releasing their This is Christmas album this year and this week revealed the video for the track “Zombie Christmas”. Details here


“I know when I was starting out, seeing Ryan Adams and I listened to his music and loved it so much. The one way I found to not sound like him was to listen to less Ryan Adams! And did more living, and went out on the road, meeting people and stuff like that. And you know that it’s not going to be so much the influences of the sound of other music”Jordie Lane chats to Bill Quinn. Interview here

“There’s not many jug bands around Melbourne, so we’ve kind of got our own little thing going on” – Camilla and Eileen Hodgkins from The Perch Creek Family Jugband chat to Bill Quinn. Interview here

Releases This Week

Seth Lakeman BBC Concert Orchestra
Live with the BBC Concert OrchestraSeth Lakeman
Proper Music

For Folk’s Sake It’s Christmas 2012 – Various

Timber and Steel Presents

Bobby Alu
Bobby Alu with Saritah
Sunday 9th December – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

Gigs Next Week

Achoo! Bless You
Friday 7th December – Yah Yahs, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 8th December – Pure Pop Records, Melbourne, VIC

Andrew Drummond
Saturday 8th December – Mars Hill Cafe, Parramatta, NSW
Friday 14th December – House Gig, Wyong, NSW

Charles Jenkins
Friday 7th December – Notes, Sydney, NSW

Darren Hanlon
Friday 14th December – The Grand Poobah, Hobart, TAS

Finders Keepers Sydney
8th and 9th December – CarriageWorks, Sydney, NSW

Homebake (feat. Angus Stone, Julia Stone, Husky, Jinja Safari)
Saturday 8th December – The Domain, Sydney, NSW

Wednesday 12th December – Mojos, Fremantle, WA
Thursday 13th December – The Bakery, Perth, WA

Jack Carty
Sunday 9th December – The Retreat Hotel, Melbourne, VIC (6pm)
Sunday 9th December – The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC (8pm w/ Katie Noonan)
Friday 14th December – Camelot, Sydney, NSW (w/ Katie Noonan)

Joe Robinson
Saturday 8th December – Toff In Town, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 13th December – The Street Theatre, Canberra, ACT

Jordie Lane
Wednesday 12th December – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 13th December – Drill Hall, Mullumbimby, NSW
Friday 14th December – Great Northern Hotel, Newcastle, NSW

Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson
Friday 7th December – Goldfields Arts Centre, Kalgoorlie, WA
Saturday 8th December – Mundaring Weir Hotel Amphitheatre, Mundaring, WA
Sunday 9th December – Drakesbrook Hotel, Waroona, WA

Friday 14th December – The Lomond Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Missy Higgins
Saturday 8th December – Fremantle Arts Centre (South Lawn), Perth, WA

Perch Creek Family Jugband
Friday 7th December – Coogee Diggers, Coogee, NSW
Saturday 8th December – The Royal Exchange, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 9th December – The Newsagency, Marrickville, NSW [Sold out]
Tuesday 11th December – The Newsagency, Marrickville, NSW [Second show added]
Thursday 13th December – 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW
Friday 14th December – Mullumbimby Drill Hall, Mullumbimby, NSW

Regina Spektor
Monday 10th December – Sydney Opera House, Sydney
Friday 14th December – The Plenary, Melbourne

The April Maze
Friday 14th December – The Front Canberra, ACT

The Key of Sea feat. Jinja Safari, The Tiger and Me, etc
Friday 14th December – Hamer Hall, Melbourne, VIC

The Pigs
Friday 14th December – Pretoria Hotel, Mannum, SA

The Seals with The Davidson Brothers
Saturday 8th December – Amplifier Bar, Perth, WA

The Trouble With Templeton
Friday 7th December – Bon Amici Cafe, Toowoomba, QLD
Saturday 8th December – 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW
Wednesday 12th December – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 13th December – Front Gallery, Canberra, ACT
Friday 14th December – Barcode, Wollongong, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Sweeney” – Bloodwood

Bit of an indulgent one this week. This Henry Lawson poem about a drunken swaggy has also been sung by Slim Dusty, but is here reimagined in the minor key by Alice Springs band Bloodwood from their 1981 album Man Made Music. What makes this indulgent? Well my Dad is in Bloodwood. Enjoy!

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 12th October


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– If you’re heading to the Mullum Music Festival this year make sure you catch the Jesse Younan tribute concert featuring Jordie Lane, Jen Cloher, Greg J Walker (Machine Translations), Emily Lubitz (TinPan Orange) and M Jack Bee. Details here

– Sydney folk-pop duo Achoo! Bless You released their catchy new single “Before We Say Goodbye” as a free download ahead of their new EP later this year. Details here

Mumford and Sons got together with some friends to record a Daytrotter session filled with traditionals and covers. Details here

– Melbourne six-piece The Tiger and Me have finally announced the details of their upcoming tour to support their new album The Drifter’s Dawn. Details here

Jen Cloher revealed her brand new video and single “Mount Beauty” this week. Details here

Roland Kay-Smith of Roland K Smith & The Sinners and Smitty & B. Good fame has released his debut solo acoustic EP Blue and Green. Details here

Corinbank Festival announced its “Take 2” 2012 lineup on Wednesday morning after the original event was washed out earlier this year. The lineup includes Busby Marou, Dallas Frasca, The Barons of Tang, Jack Carty, Heath Cullen, Lucie Thorne, Julia & The Deep Sea Sirens, The Ellis Collective and more. Details here

– In other festival news WOMADelaide revealed the first four acts in its 2013 lineup – The Cat Empire, Hugh Masekela, Jimmy Cliff and The Herd. Details here

– Yet another festival to make a lineup announcement this week was the Falls Festival who added a bunch of artists including Rodrigo Y Gabriela. Details here

– Old-time blues and folk master William Elliott Whitmore has announced a handful of sideshows when he’s in the country for Bluesfest next year. Details here

– In other Bluesfest sideshow news Glen Hansard and The Frames have announced headline shows in Sydney and Melbourne and are bringing Lisa Hannigan along in the support slot. Details here

– And then of course Bluesfest itself revealed its second artist lineup including Luka Bloom, Seth Lakeman, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Michael Kiwanuka and more

– Not to be outdone the Blue Mountains Music Festival also revealed their first round of artists for 2013 including Arlo Guthrie, Gurrumul, Luka Bloom, Seth Lakeman, Ngaiire, Spooky Men’s Chorale, Kim Churchill, The April Maze, Perch Creek Family Jug Band, Jack Carty, Nick And Liesl, Bellyache Ben And The Steamgrass Boys and many more. Details here

– As if there weren’t enough festival announcements this week Peats Ridge also added a bunch of artists including Tin Sparrow, Brian Campeau, Sam Buckingham, Bec Sandridge, Little Bastard, Fanny Lumsden & The Thrillseekers, The Green Mohair Suits, Traveller & Fortune, Belle and the Bone People and more. Details here

– Sydney nu-folk four-piece Tin Sparrow revealed their new single “The Beast” from the upcoming EP Fair & Verdant Woods. Details here

TinPan Orange have released their beautiful new video for the track “Flowers”. Details here

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros released their new video for the track “Child”. The video was directed by Michal Byra, a fan who won a competition to make a clip to any Edward Sharpe track off the new album Here. Details here

Willy Mason touches down in Australia today to start his support slot with Mumford and Sons and has just released his new single “I Got Gold”. Details here

– Two of Australia’s most exciting neo-folk artists, Patrick James and Texture Like Sun, have announced a co-headline tour this November. Details here


“It sounds like I have dreamed of sounding in my head for many many years. I’ve been happy with every single recording I’ve done but this one is just a little bit more beautiful to my ears”Sarah Humphreys chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here



“Opening with the waltz “Birdy” the first thing you notice, as always with TinPan Orange, is Emily Lubitz glorious, sumptuous voice. Part Edith Piaf, part indie-pop chanteuse Lubitz’s voice has always been the centre upon which the rest of TinPan Orange revolves and it’s great to hear her up the front of the mix in almost every track on Over The Sun – producer Steven Schram has done a fantastic job here”Gareth Hugh Evans reviews TinPan Orange’s new album Over The Sun. Review here

Releases This Week

Bless This Mess
Bless This MessLisa Mitchell

Blue and Green
Blue and GreenRoland Kay-Smith

Fragile Heart
Fragile HeartSam Buckingham

Every Child a Daughter, Every Moon a Sun
Every Child a Daughter, Every Moon a SunThe Wooden Sky

Timber and Steel Presents

Don’t Think Twice feat. Hayfever
Sunday 14th October – The Annandale Hotel, Sydney, NSW

The Eastern
The Eastern
Friday 12th October – The Clarendon, Katoomba, NSW
Saturday 13th October – The Block, Hunter Valley, NSW
Sunday 14th October – The Junkyard, Maitland, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Ainslie Wills
Friday 12th October – The Metro, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 18th October – The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC

Billy Bragg
Friday 19th October – Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC

Busby Marou with Slip On Stereo
Friday 12th October – Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns, QLD
Saturday 13th October – Jupiters Hotel & Casino, Townsville, QLD
Sunday 14th October – Andergrove Tavern, MacKay, QLD
Thursday 18th October – The Irish Village, Emerald, QLD
Friday 19th October – Gladstone Entertainment Centre, Gladstone, QLD

Crooked Saint and Ashleigh Mannix
Friday 12th October – Western Port Hotel, Westernport, VIC
Saturday 13th October – Baby Black Café, Bacchus Marsh, VIC
Wednesday 17th October – Lizotte’s, Central Coast, NSW
Thursday 18th October – Front Gallery & Café, Canberra, ACT
Friday 19th October – Clarendon Guesthouse, Katoomba, NSW

Elliot the Bull
Friday 19th October – Burdekin Upstairs, Sydney, NSW

Folk In The Foothills feat. Le Vent Du Nord, Gregory Page, Sunas, The Stetson Family and more
Sunday 14th October – Jamberoo Valley Lodge, Jamberoo, NSW

Hat Fitz and Cara
Friday 12th October – Camelot Lounge, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 13th October – Katoomba RSL, Katoomba, NSW
Sunday 14th October – Lizotte’s, Lambton, NSW
Thursday 18th October – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC
Friday 19th October – The Harvester Moon, Bellarine, VIC

Friday 12th October – The Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS
Sunday 14th October – Uni Bar, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 18th October – Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD

Josh Pyke with Jack Carty
Friday 12th October – Fitzroy Hotel, Windsor, NSW
Saturday 13th October – Zierholz @ UC, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 14th October – Heritage Hotel, Bulli, NSW
Friday 19th October – Lizottes, Dee Why, NSW

Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival
19th to 21st October – Kangaroo Valley, NSW

Katie Noonan and Karin Schaupp
Friday 12th October – Laycock Street Theatre, Gosford, NSW
Saturday 13th October – Street Theatre, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 14th October – Street Theatre, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 18th October – The Majestic Theatre, Pomona, QLD
Friday 19th October – Powerhouse Theatre, Brisbane, QLD

Lisa Mitchell with Alpine and Danco
Thursday 18th October – Bar on the Hill, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 19th October – The Metro, Sydney, NSW

Little Features feat. Arbori, Miss Elm, Lyall Moloney and Charlie Gradon
Saturday 13th October – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

Mama Kin
Friday 19th October – Town Hall Nannup, Nannup, WA

Mark Wilkinson
Wednesday 17th October – Lizotte’s, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 18th October – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Friday 19th October – Heritage Hotel, Wollongong, NSW

Mumford and Sons and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Saturday 13th October – Belvoir Ampitheatre, Perth, WA
Monday 15th October – Entertainment Centre, Adelaide, SA
Wednesday 17th October – Riverstage, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 18th October – Entertainment Center, Sydney, NSW

Nexus World Music Series
feat. Chris Finnen and Cal Williams jr.

Friday 12th October – Nexus 
 Centre, Adelaide, SA
feat. Le Vent du Nord with Louise Blackwell
Friday 19th October – Nexus 
 Centre, Adelaide, SA

The New Worlds with George Jackson
Wednesday 17th October – The Cat and Fiddle, Sydney, NSW

The Paper Kites (with Art of Sleeping, Battleships)
Friday 12th October – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 13th October – The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 18th October – Fowlers, Adelaide, SA
Friday 19th October – Mojo’s, Fremantle, WA

The Pigs
Friday 12th October – Heritage Hotel, Bulli, NSW
Saturday 13th October – Kinross Woolshed, Albury, NSW

The String Contingent
Saturday 13th October – Wauchope Arts Council, Wauchope, NSW

Friday 12th October – Side Bar @ Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 13th October – Heritage Hotel, Wollongong NSW
Sunday 14th October – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Thursday 18th October – Ya–Ya’s, Perth, WA
Friday 19th October – Norfolk Basement, Fremantle, WA

TinPan Orange
Saturday 13th October – Woombye Pub, Sunshine Coast, QLD
Sunday 14th October – Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD

Friday Folk Flashback

“Music For A Found Harmonium” – Patrick Street

When I was living in Dublin a number of years ago I would sit in on the céilí at my local pub every Tuesday night and the musicians there would always play this tune. It wasn’t until a few years later that I discovered it wasn’t a traditional piece and was actually written by Simon Jeffes from The Penguin Café Orchestra and made famous by Patrick Street. Versions of this song have been used everywhere from ads to TV and movies. You might recognise Patrick Street’s version from Napolean Dynamite.

Peats Ridge Adds New Artists to 2012 Lineup

Little Bastard
Image Courtesy of Little Bastard

The Peats Ridge Festival just made the decision of what to do this New Years Eve either a little easier. Yesterday the NSW festival added a dizzying amount of artists to it’s 2012 lineup and folk, acoustic, alt country and singer songwriters are once again well represented.

For fans of Timber and Steel’s favourite genres Peats Ridge is offering up the likes of Tin Sparrow, Brian Campeau, Sam Buckingham, Bec Sandridge, Little Bastard (above), Fanny Lumsden & The Thrillseekers, The Green Mohair Suits, Traveller & Fortune, Belle and the Bone People and more to entice you.

The Peats Ridge Festival takes place in the Glenworth Valley from the 29th December to 1st January. Tickets are available from the official web site. The full list of artists added to the lineup is below:

Luke Slater
Blood Red Shoes
Theo Parrish
Clairy Browne & the Bangin’ Rackettes
Tijuana Cartel
Electric Empire
Hey Geronimo
The Tongue
Young Magic
Wild Marmalade
The Griswolds
Ganga Giri
The Liberators
Current Swell
All The Colours
The Delta Riggs
Winter People
The Crooked Fiddle Band
Cass Eager & The Velvet Rope
Half Moon Run
Gung Ho
Tokyo Denmark Sweden
Claude Hay
The Falls
Glass Towers
Tin Sparrow
Royston Vasie
Woe & Flutter
Fanny Lumsden & the Thrillseakers
The Guppies
Traveller & Fortune
Little Bastard
Kate Martin
Pear Shape
Enola Fall
The Green Mohaire Suits
Nic Cassey
George & O’Sullivan
Richard Cuthbert
Brian Campeau
Belle and the Bone People
Anabelle Kay
Deseven Zyklus
Stuart Ridley (emagica)
The Atlas Room
Bec Sandridge
Elwood Myre
Sam Buckingham
Sam Westphalen
Tim Humphreys
Valley Of Kings

John Butler Trio to Headline Peats Ridge Festival

John Butler Trio
Image Courtesy of Peats Ridge

For the past couple of years Timber and Steel has chosen The Peats Ridge Festival, held in the Glenworth Valley just north of Sydney, to see in the New Year. It’s definitely not the biggest New Year festival going and it’s certainly not the folkiest but it is one of the most chilled out ways to spend what can be a hectic time of year and there’s always a selection of Sydney’s finest indie-folk acts to keep even the staunchest Timber and Steel reader happy.

This afternoon the lineup for the 2012 Peats Ridge Festival was announced and this year the headliner is probably the biggest name in Australian roots music – the John Butler Trio. Add to that artists like Mat. McHugh, Gossling, Hat Fitz and Cara, Tigertown and Microwave Jenny and the festival has the acoustic fan covered.

The full lineup for Peats Ridge 2012 is below. Tickets go on sale on the 20th August via the official web site.

John Butler Trio
Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings
The Black Seeds
Friendly Fires DJ Set
Krafty Kuts vs A.Skillz
The Herd
Kaki King
Blood Red Shoes
King Tide
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Electric Wire Hustle
Mat. McHugh & The Seperatista Sound System
Deep Sea Arcade
Gold Fields
Will & The People
Chapelier Fou
The Medics
Northeast Party House
Hat Fitz and Cara
The Cairos
The Preatures
Lime Cordiale
Daily Meds
Jones Jnr
Microwave Jenny
Brow Horn Orchestra
DJ Morgs

Preparing for The Gum Ball

The Gum Ball 2011The Gum Ball 2011 by KTBell

After last year’s taste of The Gum Ball, we are very keen to be heading back to Belford for what is sure to be a folkin’ great weekend away. We’re making plans to catch as much of the weekend as possible by packing the car on ANZAC day so we can get the jump on the traffic on Friday afternoon. We’ve got our gumboots at the ready, just in case of rain, and we’ve been going over the playing times and are hanging out to see the newly reformed The Bakery, TnS fave Kim Churchill, the country swagger of Wagons, raw roots power of Ash Grunwald with Vika and Linda and can’t wait to see where Jinja Safari are taking their tunes too. And they’re only the ones we’re familiar with, with the Perch Creek Family Jug Band opening Saturday’s bill and a raft of our faves from other genres, this is going to be an exciting festival in the perfect setting!

With less than a week to go, and with a spate of struggling festivals cancelling across media headlines for months, it’s dishearteneing to see a news story this past week about the struggle the event is experiencing with lower than anticipated ticket sales and the bureaucratic red tape faced every year. The most inspirational part to come out of the struggles is that the festival still manages to support Beyond Blue, The National Depression Initiative.

In an effort to make the Bedford location more accessible for all, The Gum Ball have announced on their facebook page that they will run a shuttle service from Newcastle on Friday with a return service at 10am Sunday, all accessible by train from Sydney. Bookings for all are essential for all services

The Gum Ball 2011

That’s all well and good if you live near-by, but this festival is really the perfect escape for any Sydney-sider but it’s like Sydney just haven’t grasped that yet. Perhaps The Gum Ball needs to be compared to something a little more familiar. Stu and I have been looking forward to the Gum Ball for a year, and I’ve been contemplating why. The Gum Ball has the crowd participation and pleasure of The Falls Festival (Falls is like the Op Shop Bop on steroids), the atmosphere and idyllic setting of Peats Ridge Festival and the community spirit and village vibe of Woodford Folk Festival, it just doesn’t have the sense of occassion of New Years Eve.

Perhaps the problem is the comfort zone – the big, established festivals are a given and punters will make the trek. It’s boutique festivals like The Gum Ball, tucked away in the most divine bush setting, that are an unkown quantity, but music lovers should bite the bullet and make the effort because what awaits you is a spectacular and unique experience. Still not convinced? Check out their blog for details of the Op Shop Bop, Sid’s Circus Playground, Yoga, Tai Chi and Hula Hoop workshops, the Silent Disco for all those night owls that want to rage in to the early hours of the morning. If you’re worried about camping and food – the festival food on site is guaranteed to be great once again – we’re not planning to pack anything to eat! However, it is a BYO festival (no glass!), so no queues at the bar and no disappointment at having to choose from drinks you don’t like.

In reality – this is the kind of festival punters have been crying out for for years after over-regulation of the large scale events have placed more rules and regulations on the festival experience. This is the chance to get back to great music and a brilliant music festival experience. With tickets still available for only $120 for Saturday or $165 for the whole weekend, plus a tank of petrol split between some friends – this is the perfect way to spend a cheeky weekend away with mates.

The Gum Ball 2011

Not coming this year means you might not get another chance if numbers don’t rise. So come and support Australian music and a family run festival. They’re welcoming you on to their property, we guarantee you’ll welcome them in to your hearts.

Peats Ridge Festival – Highlights and Wrap Up

Peats Ridge
Image Courtesy of The Peats Ridge Festival

We may have only managed about 36 hours of The Peats Ridge Festival over New Years but what an amazing time was had by all. You can probably tell from our reviews of the folk, acoustic and alt country artists at the festival (see this link for more details) that we fell head over heels in love with the music at Peats Ridge and we even managed to see and enjoy some bands outside of our genre scope.

Before we wrap up our coverage of Peats Ridge we thought we might bring you some of our highlights and observations from the festival that didn’t make it into our reviews:

  • The La Toosh Caravan Stage. One of the hidden gems of festival was this french style coffee shop complete with an acoustic stage on its roof. The stage was not featured in the program and felt very much like a rooftop folk club featuring sets from the likes of Cj Shaw and Leroy Lee. Oh and of course there was the nightly burlesque show whose performers then went on to sell coffee from the caravan – and damn good coffee at that.
  • Flair Bar Tending. Despite running out of cider early on New Years Eve the bar staff remained professional and helpful throughout the festival. And not once, not twice but three times we witnessed some top notch flair bar tending from the staff – a little bit of class in the bush
  • Stonefish. The swimming holes in the creek around Glenworth Valley were closed reportedly due to a couple being stung by a stonefish. The creek may be tidal but we thought we were a little too far away from the ocean for stonefish?
  • San Cisco. These kids are not folk so this is probably the only time you’ll read about them here. But wow they play some fine indie rock
  • Costumes. Everyone loves a dress up and Peats Ridge on New Years Eve brings out the best. Check out their gallery on Facebook. Our favourite? The Gotye and Kimbra duo killed it.
  • King of the Kids. We loved the family atmosphere at Peats Ridge having grown up at festivals ourselves. So many kids rocking out to some awesome music (many of them in comically oversized noise canceling headphones)
  • We’re All in This Together. There’s such a collaborative, community atmosphere at Peats Ridge whether it’s people making sure the right rubbish is going into the right bins, the politeness in line to toilets or food stalls or the willingness of people to strike up a conversation with just about anyone. Our favourite moment was when a volunteer overbalanced their trolley spilling a load of glasses everywhere only to have people running from all over to help clear them up.
  • Artists Watching Artists. You know it’s a festival artists want to be at when you spot them in the crowds at each other’s gigs. Throughout the weekend we spotted Husky at listening to Passenger, Thomas Busby (Busby Marou) taking in the Husky gig, Luke Escombe poking his head into Fanny Lumsden and Leroy Lee pretty much everywhere.
  • 2011 – Somebody That I Used To Know. Like 10,000 other people on NYE we were watching Gotye’s band jam as they killed time before midnight. And when the clock struck twelve we got what is probably going to be remembered as the song of the year.

Peats Ridge is such a unique and wonderful way to spend New Years Eve in a beautiful part of the country. If you’ve never been we think it’s time you started planning for NYE 2012 – it’s never too early.

Check out highlights from the Peats Ridge Festival via their official YouTube channel

Peats Ridge Festival Review: Hanggai

Image Courtesy of Hanggai

Saturday – Bellbird

Hanggai were definitely one of our unexpected highlights at 2011’s WOMADelaide Festival so when we saw they had made the Peats Ridge Festival lineup we were suitably excited. We arrived at their Bellbird set a little late due to a clash with Fanny Lumsden and a sea of people were already rocking out in front of the festival’s largest stage.

If you haven’t come across Hanggai before you’re in for a treat. Think of the them as a Mongolian Mumford and Sons – a contemporary folk-rock band who draw on the traditional music of China (in particular Mongolia) to create new and exciting sounds.

Hanggai may not sing in English, they may not play music that is recognisable to the majority of Australian ears, they may have a banjo player, but when these guys get going they get the crowd jumping. The pure energy pouring off stage during Hanggai’s set was incredible, infectious and unstoppable. Watching the band members bounding around the stage while they performed their own brand of folk-rock fusion you could tell they were in their element, loving every moment of it. Watching the shirtless lead singer crack a beer, shout a thickly accented “Cheers!” and having the crowd roar in return was just a perfectly executed rock and roll moment.

With a handful of shows left around the country (details here) we’d recommend going out and experiencing Hanggai for yourself. They are a stellar festival act so we can only imagine that their headline sideshows would be amazing. Here’s hoping they keep coming back to Australia again and again.

Peats Ridge Festival Review: Fanny Lumsden

Fanny Lumsden
Image Courtesy of Fanny Lumsden

Fanny Lumsden
Saturday – Chai Temple

Peats Ridge is not strictly a folk or acoustic music festival but they have a lot of Timber and Music friendly music on offer. And while most of programing was helpful for us Saturday evening was challenging: Husky and Fanny Lumsden (and later Hanggai) overlapped. But never ones to let a challenge get in our way we raced from Husky to Fanny Lumsden and managed to catch the final half of her set, enough to (hopefully) write a decent review.

As I skulked into the Chai Temple and found a cushion up the back Lumsden was asking the crowd whether they’d caught the Crooked Fiddle Band set the night before. Apparently Gordon Wallace from The Crooked Fiddle Band had borrowed the pants from Lumsden’s bass player Dan Stanley Freeman, a fact that the entire band seemed quite proud of. I missed whether Dan Stanley Freeman was back wearing the same pants again but given how energetic Wallace was during The Crooked Fiddle Band gig I can’t imagine they smelt any good.

But enough about pants – we need to talk about Fanny Lumsden’s music. Lumsden has her feet firmly in the “country” side of the folk genre with her big Dolly Parton voice and a band that features drums, bass, guitar, mandolin, banjo and piano-accordion. Her melodies are fun, danceable numbers that sometimes verge on the ridiculous (“Here’s a song about how my Granddad shot his toe off with a shotgun”) but always induce toe tapping from the audience. Part of what makes Fanny Lumsden so good live is the skill of her band in particular Adrian Leighton on mandolin, Kate Parson on the piano-accordion and the ever-wondeful Leroy Lee wielding his mighty banjo.

The encore is a rare occurrence at a festival so the fact that Lumsden and co were cheered back on stage to perform a medley that included “You Are My Sunshine” speaks volumes for just how appreciative her audience at Peats Ridge was. By all accounts it looked like she was having an absolute ball up on stage and the result was one of the most joyful performances of the festival.

You can catch Fanny Lumsden at Crooked Fiddle Band’s Post Festival Party at the Annandale Hotel on the 28th Januray. Details here.

Peats Ridge Festival Review: Husky

Image Courtesy of Husky

Saturday – Lyrebird

At some point in 2011 Husky went from a little known Melbourne four piece that Timber and Steel was trying to convince everyone to go and see to a band who could fill out Peats Ridge’s second biggest venue the Lyrebird stage. The triple j airplay may have had something to do with it (Husky were named among triple j’s Next Crop artists to watch in 2012). Or it could be their gorgeous 2011 debut album Forever So. Or maybe it’s the relentless touring and amazing support slots the guys have managed to score. Whatever the reason we sure are glad that the Australian music going public has woken up to Husky.

One of the first things I noticed when Husky began their Lyrebird set was just how good the sound was. Festival sound can be pretty hit and miss (although all sorts of credit has to go to sound engineers at these events – dealing with minimal sound checks and all the problems outdoor stages must cause is no doubt a nightmare) so it was refreshing to see Husky put on a show that was just as good as anything you’d hear at a dedicated venue. When I was chatting to the Husky guys at the festival later on and complimenting them on their sound they told me they’d used their own sound engineer – obviously the secret to a successful festival set.

Husky’s dreamy, ambient melodies and acoustic folk-pop sensibilities were exactly what Peats Ridge needed in the late afternoon of New Years Eve. Just as the crowd was about to drift off to their tents to get their costumes on for the night they were treated to the perfect soundtrack – I couldn’t have placed Husky better on the festival program myself.

My favourite songs from the set are probably a bit predictable – “Dark Sea”, “History’s Door” and “Hundred Dollar Suit” – but it’s these songs that got me to fall in love with the band in the first place. “Hundred Dollar Suit” is a particular favourite of mine live due to it’s unique rhythm, a fact I always find strange as it’s no where near my favourite track on the album – I guess some songs were just made to be performed in front of an audience.

I get the sneaking suspicion that Husky’s set at Peats Ridge will be among the favourites of so many of the festival goers and has probably gained the band a legion of new fans. If you’re yet to catch these guys live make it a must in 2012 – you won’t be sorry.

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