Thank Folk It’s Friday – 2nd June


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit released their new single “Cumberland Gap”. Details here

– Scots music legends Fiona Ross and Tony McManus kick off their double-bill Australian tour this weekend. Details here

– Melbourne based singer-songwriter Alanna Eileen released her stunning new single “Knowledge”. Details here

– Sydney band The Snowdroppers are calling it quits with a final tour. Details here

Sam Buckingham announced plans to tour her new album The Water nationally. Details here

Releases This Week

Charlie Fink
Cover My TracksCharlie Fink


Sam Buckingham
The WaterSam Buckingham

BloomTimothy James Bowen

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Stop Adani Disco-Hoedown feat. Lime and Steel

Lime and Steel

Get aware, get active, and get up on the floor! Help stop the disastrous Adani mine proposal on the Great Barrier Reef with some amazing folk music.

Friday 2nd June – Junction 142, Katoomba, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Áine Tyrrell
Friday 2nd June – The Naked Bean, Grafton, NSW
Saturday 3rd June – No. 5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW

Anna Cordell
Saturday 3rd June – LongPlay, Melbourne, VIC

Ben Aylward, Michael Plater, Carl Redfern, Rebecca Bastoli
Thursday 8th June – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Beth Orton
Friday 9th June – The Croxton Bandroom, Melbourne, VIC

Bill Callahan: Smog to Dream River
Friday 2nd June – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW
Friday 2nd June – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 3rd June – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 3rd June – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW

Bill Chambers & Raechel Whitchurch
Saturday 3rd June – Caravan Music Club, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 4th June – Instore at Nepean Music Centre, Mornington, VIC
Sunday 4th June – Baha, Rye, VIC

Bob Evans
Friday 2nd June – The Croxton Front Bar, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 3rd June – Workers Club, Geelong, VIC
Thursday 8th June – Grace Emily Hotel – Adelaide, SA
Friday 9th June – Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine, VIC

Busby Marou
Friday 2nd June – Launceston Country Club, Launceston, TAS
Saturday 3rd June – Wrest Point Casino Showroom, Hobart, TAS
Thursday 8th June – Miami Marketta, Gold Coast, QLD
Friday 9th June – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD

Catherine Traicos
Thursday 8th June – The White Horse Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Crooked Fiddle Band
Friday 9th June – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

Daniel Champagne
Friday 2nd June – Saints & Sailors, Portarlington, VIC
Saturday 3rd June – Baha, Mornington Peninsula, VIC
Sunday 4th June – Martians Cafe & Bar, Deans Marsh, VIC
Wednesday 7th June – The Commons, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 8th June – UOW UniBar, Wollongong, NSW
Friday 9th June – 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW

Dear Plastic, On Diamond, Broads
Friday 9th June – Bar Open, Melbourne, VIC

Diamond Duck
Sunday 4th June – Golden Barley Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Fanny Lumsden
Saturday 3rd June – House Concert, Gladstone, QLD

Fiona Ross & Tony McManus
Saturday 3rd June – Beasley Auditorium, Perth, WA
Sunday 4th June – Lauriston Hall, Kyneton, VIC
Friday 9th to Monday 12th June – National Celtic Festival, Portarlington, VIC

FolkSwagon feat. Lady Lyon, Brendon Moon, Romisounds
Wednesday 7th June – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

High Tea Feat. William Crighton
Thursday 8th June – Sydney, NSW

Hussy Hicks and Bonnie Kay & The Bonafides
Thursday 8th June – Lazybones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Jane Cameron and Greg Steps
Wednesday 7th June – The Retreat Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Jeff Lang
Friday 9th June – Ravenswood Hotel, Ravenswood, WA

Jemma Nicole, Howl at The Moon, Brooke Russell, Maddy Leman
Friday 9th June – The Old Bar, Melbourne, VIC

John Flanagan Trio
Friday 2nd June – Courthouse Cultural Centre, Auburn, SA
Saturday 3rd June – Barossa Regional Gallery, Tanunda, SA
Sunday 4th June – The Barn, Adelaide Hills, SA

Justin Bernasconi
Friday 2nd June – The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine, VIC
Saturday 3rd June – Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 8th June – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 9th June – The Skylark Lounge, Upwey, VIC

Kevin Crawford, Colin Farrell & Patrick Doocey
Friday 9th to Monday 12th June – National Celtic Festival, Portarlington, VIC

Kim Churchill
Saturday 3rd June – Fremantle Town Hall, Perth, WA

Laura Marling
Thursday 8th June – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD

Leah Senior
Friday 9th June – Korova Lounge, Ballarat, VIC

Les Thomas
Friday 2nd June – Kingsbury Bowls Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 9th June – Kingsbury Bowls Club, Melbourne, VIC

Liam Gerner
Friday 2nd June – Music On The Hills, Red Hill, VIC

Liz Stringer’s Big Tuesday String-a-long feat. Dr Lou Bennett
Tuesday 6th June – The Gasometer, Melbourne, VIC

Lolo Lovina
Friday 9th June – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Lowdown Hokum Orchestra
Friday 9th June – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Lucy Wise
Sunday 4th June – Joe’s Market Garden, Melbourne, VIC

Mal Webb and Kylie Morrigan
Saturday 3rd June – 303, Melbourne, VIC

Mary Coughlan
Friday 2nd June – Illawarra Folk Club, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 3rd June – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 4th June – Canberra Irish Club, Canberra, ACT

Mick Thomas
Friday 2nd June – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 3rd June – Lizottes Restaurant, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 4th June – Hotel Gearin, Katoomba, NSW
Friday 9th June – Wagga Wagga Civic Centre, Wagga Wagga, NSW

Monni Sparrow w/ Skyscraper Stan
Sunday 4th June – The Taproom, Castlemaine, VIC

MOTH feat. Liz Stringer, Liam Gerner
Friday 2nd June – Music on the Hill, Red Hill, VIC

National Celtic Festival
Friday 9th to Monday 12th June – Portarlington, VIC

Palm Creek Folk Festival
Thursday 8th to Sunday 11th June – Mountain View Lake Eco Park, QLD

Papa Pilko And The Binrats
Saturday 3rd June – Rad, Wollongong, NSW

Perisher Peak Festival
Friday 9th to Monday 12th June – Perisher, NSW

Porch Light Sessions feat. The Button Collective, Sally & George, Taryn La Fauci
Thursday 8th June – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Quinton Trembath
Thursday 8th June – House Concert, Newcastle, NSW

Raised By Eagles
Friday 2nd June – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 3rd June – Lizottes Restaurant, Newcastle, NSW

Red-Eyed and Blue: Katie Brianna & Adam Young
Sunday 4th June – The Bearded Tit, Sydney, NSW

Rhythm & Blues BBQ feat. That Red Head, Don Hopkins, The Sweet Jelly Rolls, Jesse Redwing
Thursday 8th June – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW

Sally & George
Friday 2nd June – No. 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW
Saturday 3rd June – Megan Hall, Dorrigo, NSW
Tuesday 6th June – Newcastle Uni, Newcastle, NSW
Tuesday 6th June – Sunset Studio, Sandgate, NSW
Wednesday 7th June – Smiths Alternative Bookshop, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 8th June – Porch Light Sessions at The Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 9th June to Monday 12th June – Peak Festival, Perisher, NSW

Sam Buckingham
Saturday 3rd June – Lismore City Hall, Lismore, NSW

Sara Tindley w/ Nick Payne
Sunday 4th June – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Stop Adani Disco-Hoedown feat. Lime and Steel
Friday 2nd June – Junction 142, Katoomba, NSW

Sun Kil Moon
Saturday 3rd June – Theatre Royal, Hobart, TAS

Sydney Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Get-together
Saturday 3rd June – Annandale Community Centre, Sydney, NSW

Taasha Coates
Friday 2nd June – Kingston Town Hall, Moorabbin, VIC
Friday 9th June – The Bison Bar, Nambour, QLD

The McClymonts
Friday 2nd June – Commercial Club, Albury, NSW
Saturday 3rd June – GV Hotel, Shepparton, VIC

The Northern Folk & This Way North
Thursday 8th June – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

The Shack Presents Pat Drummond, Distant Sons, Nick & Jazz
Saturday 3rd June – The Music Lounge, Sydney, NSW

The Tim Hulsman Trio
Friday 2nd June – Suttons House Of Music, Ballarat, VIC
Sunday 4th June – Sooki Lounge, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 9th June – KUBU Studio, Geelong, VIC

Thomas Oliver
Wednesday 7th June – The Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA
Friday 9th June – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD

Tom Stephens
Thursday 8th June – Golden Age Cinema & Bar, Sydney, NSW

Tom West
Saturday 3rd June – Jive, Adelaide, SA

Top Half Folk Festival
Friday 9th to Monday 12th June – Glen Helen Homestead, NT

Sunday 4th June – The Last Jar, Melbourne, VIC

Vaudevillia by Mic Conway’s National Junk Band
Sunday 4th June – Camelot Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Waterloo Sunset Sessions feat. Weatherboard Heart
Sunday 4th June – George Hotel, Sydney, NSW

William Crighton
Thursday 8th June – High Tea, Sydney, NSW
Friday 9th June – The Ex-Services Club, Mullum, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Naked As We Came” – Iron and Wine

The Snowdroppers Call it Quits With Final Tour

The Snowdroppers
Image Courtesy of The Snowdroppers

Sydney blues-rock favourites The Snowdroppers have announced after ten years together than they’re calling it quits. Over the last decade The Snowdroppers have established themselves as one of the country’s favourite live acts with thee albums, an EP and countless festival appearances, tours and more under their belt.

But before they hang up the tenor banjo The Snowdroppers have announced one final tour this October and November. The shows will see The Snowdroppers play their Too Late to Pray album in full as well as a selection of their favourite tracks from over the last 10 years.

Make sure you snap up tickets now because these are guaranteed to sell out – check out the full list of dates below:

Saturday 21st October – Transit Bar, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 28th October – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 4th November – Jive, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 11th November – The Brightside, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 18th November – The Wickham Park Hotel, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 25th November – The Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Folk and Roots Bands Announced for Meatstock

Image Courtesy of Meatstock

This weekend in Sydney prepare to celebrate all things meat with the Meatstock Festival at the Sydney show grounds. Held on the 13th and 14th February Meatstock brings some the cities finest meat based food together with some of Australia’s finest musicians – almost all of which will delight readers of Timber and Steel.

The musical lineup for Meatstock includes Adam Eckersley Band, Mustered Courage, The Snowdroppers, The Beards, Henry Wagons, Davidson Brothers, Big Blind Ray, The Buffalo Grass Boys, The Punk Rock Hillbilly, Sahara Beck, Hussy Hicks, Roy Rose and more. Quite a lineup right? Enough even to entice your vegetarian friends to Meatstock.

For more information on Meatstock including how to get your hands on tickets check out the official site here.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 4th September


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Imogen Clark announced her new EP Love & Lovely Lies along with a launch show in October. Details here

– This Sunday’s Heartbreaker Sessions in Sydney will feature Darren Cross and William Crighton. Details here

Sam Amidon released an album of home recordings titled Home Alone Inside My Head. Details here

– Sydney roots trio Eddie Boyd and The Phatapillars released their new video “A Lover And A Fool”. Details here

– We premiered the new video from Ayleen O’Hanlon, “Send Me Spinning”. Details here

– Adelaide band The Timbers have released their new single “All I’ve Got Time For” and have announced a national tour. Details here

The Weeping Willows will be hosting Americana Hayride in Melbourne at the end of October featuring Bill Chambers, Justin Bernasconi, Cat Canteri and Dan Waters, Bill Jackson. Details here

– We premiered the new video from Brisbane’s Youngsmith, “Wither”. Details here

– The September Live ‘n’ Lounging will feature The Bollands, The Campervan Dancers, Kay Proudlove and Huckleberry Hastings. Details here

– Blues rockers The Snowdroppers head out on a national tour from today. Details here

Aldous Harding released her new video “Stop Your Tears”. Details here


– We contributed to the September mixtape from Americana Australia along with Post To Wire and Unpaved. Take a listen here

Releases This Week

Heath Cullen
OutsidersHeath Cullen


Suzannah Espie
Mothers Not Feeling Herself TodaySuzannah Espie

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Ayleen O’Hanlon w/ Tobias Hengeveld, Georgia Spain

Ayleen O'Hanlon

The stunning Ayleen O’Hanlon will officially launch her brand new album Blend and Spill with a show at The Toff in Town this Sunday. O’Hanlon’s been winning a lot of fans recently and this show is the perfect way to see what all the fuss is about.

Sunday 6th September – The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC

Gigs Next Week

Aldous Harding
Friday 11th September – Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD

Ash Grunwald
Thursday 10th September – The Rosemount Hotel, Nth Perth, WA
Friday 11th September – Divers Tavern, Broome, WA

Ayleen O’Hanlon
Sunday 6th September – The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC

Eddie Boyd & The Phatapillars
Friday 4th September – Lennox Point Hotel, Lennox Head, NSW
Saturday 5th September – The Rails, Byron Bay, NSW
Sunday 6th September – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 11th September – Helm Bar, Mooloolabah, QLD

Tuesday 8th September – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC

Fanny Lumsden
Thursday 10th September – Black Bear Lodge, Fortitude Valley, QLD

Folk By The Sea
Friday 4th to Sunday 6th September – Kiama, NSW

Folkswagon feat. The Bollands, The Campervan Dancers, Big Strong Brute
Wednesday 9th September – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Heartbreaker Sessions feat. Darren Cross, William Crighton
Sunday 6th September – Freda’s, Sydney, NSW

Immigrant Union
Friday 4th September – David Bowie Late Nights @ ACMI, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 5th September – The Grand Poobah, Hobart, TAS

Jess Ribeiro
Friday 4th September – Red Rattler, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 5th September – Phoenix Bar, Canberra, ACT
Friday 11th September – Trinity, Adelaide, SA

John Flanagan and Liz Frencham
Friday 4th September – The Front, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 5th September – The Stables, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 6th September – Acoustic Sunday @ The Silver Shed, Millthorpe, NSW
Thursday 10th September – Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA
Friday 11th September – Courthouse Cultural Centre, Auburn SA

Mark Lucas
Wednesday 9th September – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Mary Chapin Carpenter w/ Tift Merritt
Friday 4th September – National Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 5th September – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC

Neurum Creek Music Festival
Friday 11th to Sunday 13th September – Neurum Creek Bush Retreat, QLD

Perch Creek
Friday 4th September – Wheatsheaf, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 5th September – Mojos, Fremantle, WA
Sunday 6th September – Mojos, Fremantle, WA
Friday 11th September – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

Pierce Brothers
Friday 4th September – Arnhem Club, Nhulunbuy, NT
Saturday 5th September – Arnhem Club, Nhulunbuy, NT

Redland Spring Festival
Friday 4th to Sunday 6th September – Cleveland, QLD

Sian Evans
Sunday 6th September – Carnival on Collins, Cairns, QLD

The Buck Loner Revue
Sunday 6th September – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

The Mae Trio
Friday 11th September – Hotel Blue, Katoomba, NSW

The Snowdroppers
Friday 4th September – Transit Bar, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 5th September – Wickham Park Hotel, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 10th September – Bigsound, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 11th September – Helm Bar, Mooloolaba, QLD

The Timbers
Friday 4th and Saturday 5th September – Folk By The Sea, Kiama, NSW

The Waifs
Thursday 10th September – Goldfields Arts Centre, Kalgoorlie, WA

Tom West
Friday 4th September – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 5th September – Cootha Classic, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 6th September – The Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA
Tuesday 8th September – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD

Wirrina Bluegrass and Acoustic Roots Festival
Friday 4th to Sunday 6th September – Wirrina Cove, SA

Xavier Rudd & The United Nations
Friday 4th September – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 5th September – Waves, Wollongong, NSW
Sunday 6th September – UC Refectory, Canberra, ACT
Friday 11th September – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“Summer Before the War” – Fairport Convention

When I was a child our family went to the UK and Ireland for an extended three month holiday, much of which was spent in the car driving from place to place. Our soundtrack for that trip was a tape of Fairport Convention’s 1988 album Red and Gold. The album itself is over-produced in that 80s let’s-put-synths-on-everything kind of way but the songs are pretty special. Red and Gold always make me think of Summer in England.

The Snowdroppers Announce Album Launch Tour

Image Courtesy of The Snowdroppers

Blues-rockers The Snowdroppers last week dropped their highly anticipated new album The Business and will this week head out on a national tour to support it. The Business was recorded with The Snowdroppers’ longtime sound man Ryan Hazell and is purported to come close to capturing the band’s frantic live show.

Speaking of which The Snowdroppers are heading out on tour from this Friday. The full list of dates, along with a stream of their new single “Devil Child” is below:

Friday 4th September – Transit Bar, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 5th September – Wickham Park Hotel, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 10th September – Bigsound, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 11th September – Helm Bar, Mooloolaba, QLD
Saturday 19th September – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 25th September – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 1st October – Ed Castle, Adelaide, SA
Friday 2nd October – Prince of Wales, Bunbury, WA
Saturday 3rd October – The Boston, Perth, WA
Sunday 4th October – Newport Hotel, Fremantle, WA
Friday 9th October – The Brightside, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 10th October – The Spotted Cow, Toowoomba, QLD
Sunday 22nd November – HiFi Days Festival, Cronulla, NSW
Thursday 26th November – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS
Friday 27th and Saturday 28th November – Queenscliff Music Festival, VIC

Two Big Artist Announcements from The Sydney Blues and Roots

Busby Marou
Image Courtesy of Busby Marou

Ok, we’re a little bit behind the times here. Because there’s already been two massive lineup announcements for this year’s Sydney Blues and Roots Festival and this is the first time we’re posting about it.

Held in Windsor in Sydney’s west, the Sydney Blues and Roots Festival takes place from the 23rd to the 26th October. The lineup this year is already massive with the likes of Busby Marou, Black Sorrows, The Snowdroppers and more on the bill.

To find out more information including how to get your hands on tickets check out the official site here. The full lineup so far is below:

Busby Marou, The Black Sorrows, Kevin Borich, The Snowdroppers, The Radiators, Rick Price, Kevin Bennett & The Flood, Harper and Midwest Kind, Spectrum Plays the Blues, Ray Beadle, Darren Jack, Robert Johnson Blues Review, Steve Edmonds Presents Mescalero, Daryl Roberts & Hey Gringo, James Southwell Band, The Grahams, The Shane Pacey Blues Trio, Blue Eyes Cry, Liza Ohlback, A Band Named Trevor

Plenty of Folk at The Newtown Festival 2013

The Morrisons
Image Courtesy of The Morrisons

The annual Newtown Festival is set to descend on Camperdown Memorial Park in Sydney on Sunday 10th November and once again they’ve outdone themselves in terms of a musical lineup – especially when it comes to folk music.

For just a small donation upon entry (with all money going to the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre) you get three stages jam packed full of music – with so many bands we cover on Timber and Steel it’s like they’ve been reading our blog.

The Federation Stage will feature among it’s jam packed day of musical entertainment the likes of The Green Mohair Suits, Nicky Bomba and The Snowdroppers. There’s a bunch of non-folky music happening at the Essential Stage as well but if you like your folk music you’re most likely going to park yourself in front of the Vocal Local stage which boasts The Little Stevies, Swamp Phat Jangles, Fanny Lumsden & The Thrillseekers, The Morrisons (above), Godfrey Uke & His Orchestra, La Tarantella, Ray Mann Three and Hobo Bordeaux. We told you it was impressive.

The festival kicks off early so make sure you do too to score some shade and a nice patch of grass. For more information on the Newtown Festival, including set times for all the bands, check out the official site here.

Bluesfest Adds New Australian and Kiwi Artists to Lineup

Hat Fitz
Image Courtesy of Hat Fitz and Cara Robinson

The Bluesfest announcements keep coming with the addition of a bunch of Austrlian and Kiwi artists to the 2013 lineup this morning. The likes of The Cat Empire, Xavier Rudd, The Beards, The Snowdroppers, Busby Marou, The Wilson Pickers, Hat Fitz & Cara Robinson (above) and more will be joining the already huge list of amazing local and international artists.

Bluesfest takes place in Byron Bay over the Easter long weekend, Thursday 28th March to Monday 1st April. Check out the full list of artists added this morning below:

The Cat Empire
Fat Freddy’s Drop
Xavier Rudd
Rockwiz Live
The Break (Feat. Members Of Midnight Oil, Violent Femmes, Hunters & Collectors)
Beasts Of Bourbon
Karise Eden
The Bamboos
The Beards
Melbourne Ska Orchestra
The Snowdroppers
King Cannons
Grey Ghost
Busby Marou
The Wilson Pickers
Round Mountain Girls
Hat Fitz & Cara
Mason Rack Band
The Songs Of The Haight Ashbury Stage Show
Lil Fi & The Dirty Rascals
Wards Xpress

End of the Line Confirms Musical Lineup for This Weekend’s Festival

The Twoks
Image Courtesy of The Twoks

This Saturday 24th November the End of the Line Festival is taking over Belgrave, Victoria (just east of Melbourne) with a whole host of arts, performance, markets and or course folk and acoustic music for your entertainment.

Kicking off at 10am the End of the Line Festival has an amazing array of musical acts from the area (or who love the area) to check out including Timber and Steel favourites The Twoks (above), Daniel Champagne, Oli Dear, The April Maze, The Heel Toe Express, The Snowdroppers and many many more.

Entry to the festival is free (the festival runs 100% on donations from the local community) and is due to go late. For more information check out the official website here.

The full lineup and a sampler of some of the bands are below:

Cisco Caesar
The Twoks
Daniel Champagne
Saffron Avenue
Oli Dear
The Shivering Timbers
The April Maze
The Heel Toe Express
Rob Moss
Michael Waugh
Coen Dixon
Morning of the Earth
Kate Crowley
The Snowdroppers
Ella Ruby
Feed your Munkie
Folk Train
Justine Walsh
Boy Red
Dominic Mckay
Carly Fern
The Pillgrams
Tom Rule
Jimmy Daniels
Seamus Anthony
Jenny Biddle
Erik Parker
Sarah Mclinden
Brittany Leo
Carolyn Oates
Alice Make Music
Great Earthquake
Tash Sultana

Falls Festival Review: In the Beginning

Review by KTBell, photos by Stu B.

What do a Matador, Pirate Princess, Bumble Bee and a Koala have in common? The Falls Festival, Lorne apparently. We arrived late in the afternoon on the first day of the festival only to feel like there was a costume party that no one had told us about. It seems dressing up with your mates is one of the key ingredients in the Falls Festival experience, we saw superheroes, all manner of animals, and too many body suits to mention.

Nouvelle Vague                            Lilikoi Kaos       Melbourne Ska Orchestra

Wednesday was the first afternoon of the 19th annual Falls Festival with the first and second days alternating between the two stages, Wednesday starting the festival off in The Grand Theatre at the top of the hill. The days line up was a bit light on the folk front, but Peter Combe helped wayward 20-30 something’s reclaim their youth complete with “Newspaper Mama” hats for the crowd. Anna’s Go-Go Academy taught the gathered crowd how to Go-Go and it was entertaining to see the whole audience dance in time with moves like the “Yay Titties” and the “Human Nature”. We caught French outfit Nouvelle Vague whose two female vocalists made me feel like I should be flying Pan Am and ordering Singapore Slings. Their take on popular songs were sassy, jazzy and a little bit Bossa Nova. Lilikoi Kaos, a circus and burlesque star, wowed the crowds with hula hoops, high heels, a seductive strip and a whole lotta splits. We rounded our night out with the huge numbers of the Melbourne Ska Orchestra who filled the half capacity theatre tent with cool, attitude, ska and wacky old school dancing. At one point the crowd faced off with the orchestra with the maestro controlling it all, very silly, but oh so fun. The cold got the better of us and we headed off to catch some hopefully warm sleep.

Heel Toe Express by KTBellThursday saw The Valley Stage spring to life while The Grand Theatre took a day off. While the stage opened with some heavier surf rock and grunge, we ambled over to The Village and stumbled across the delightful Melbourne based 5 piece, Heel Toe Express. Delivering exactly what you want from a folk band with a twinge of bluegrass rhythm, the crowds relaxed on the grass and were carried away by lilting fiddle, twanging banjo and plodding double bass. I know it’s a traditional song, but it was great to hear their rendition of “Roll In My Sweet Baby’s Arms” which I am more accustomed to in The Snowdroppers rockin’ blues style. Heel Toe Express transported me, and the whole crowd, to a completely different time and place away from the Falls Festival, I occasionally thought I should be at a fiddlers convention, barn dance or country show, but in a good way. They don’t restrict themselves performance wise, frequently switching between female and male lead vocals, whipping in some harmonies, harmonica and a bit of a honky-tonk vibe just to mix it all up, exactly the kind of band to relax through the afternoon with. Or perhaps the toe tapping, hoe down kind of wind up to kick off the day.

Clairy Browne and the Bangin Rackettes by Stu BBack at the Valley Stage, Guineafowl had the crowds bopping to their Indietronic, smooth grooves, they made me feel like U2 would be playing the same line up. One of my favorite swinging 60s style souls girl groups, Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes hit the stage in their synchronized, mid set set tear away costume changing, take the audience by storm kind of way. Not folk but a whole lot of fun, kind of like a 60s soul singing Amy Winehouse with backup singers. The New York outfit Easy Star All-Stars“Dub side of the Moon” reggae dub performance was great, entertaining and funky to boot.

Missy Higgins at the Falls Festival, Lorne VIC. By Stu BMissy Higgins was a sign that the stakes were raising with the the evening’s lineup stretching tantalisingly ahead of us. Her last releases were way back in 2007 so I was really keen to see what she had been up to in that time and gauge whether there’s anything exciting in the pipeline to get excited about. The crowd went wild as she took to the stage sporting a cute, short, blonde coiffed do. Higgins opened with a sweet rendition of “Secret”, oozing with a funky slow beat and a dash of Aussie soul. It was a gutsy full band sound but with her trademark acoustic guitar at the forefront. Her whole set was thoroughly enjoyed by the crowd, singing along at every opportunity. She later tweeted “Argh wow! Show was so amazing tonight, Nashville guys were blown away by how loud the crowd were singing!! So fun. So good to be back. Xx” and believe me, we are all very happy to see her back!

Beirut by Stu BAfter such a fulfilling performance, I was excited to finally catch Beirut live and they took to the stage with fans screaming. Having not had a chance to familiarise myself with their back catalogue, the accordian and xylophone opening was enchanting and the trumpets brought it all together for a harmony laced scene. I felt like an oom-pa band and folk band had a love child in Beirut, it’s chilled out fantasy kind of stuff! The ukulele made an appearance to many cheers from the audience and Zach’s voice floated liltingly across the huge crowd. While not everyone’s cup of tea, their set to me was like lullabies for adults, instantly calming, comforting and a sense of security. Their set was nothing short of beautiful and the crowd, blissed out across the vast sun drenched hill, were sated with the delicacies Beirut served up.

John Butler Trio by Stu BLater in the evening, after more indie, dance and DJ sets had infused the cold night with happy revellers, the tempo changed and with it, the anticipation increased. The legendary John Butler Trio was greeted with a huge roar from the crowd and they warmed the chilly night with the funk infused roots of “Don’t Wanna See Your Face No More”. The slapping base was phenomenal and could be felt all the way up the hill. As a huge crowd favourite, the trio looked completely at home onThe Valley Stage, I’m sure the entire crowd never wanted it to end. But alas, when their time was up the chill of the night had reallt set in and it was time for me to climb in to a warm sleeping bag for the night. What an amazing first couple of days and we were only half way through.

Check out our feature reviews of Missy Higgins and John Butler Trio, in an attempt to keep this review to a sensible length, we’ve decided to put together some more in depth reviews of our festival highlights.

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