Bill Quinn – Writer, MC, Radio Presenter

Bill Quinn and John Schumann (Redgum, John Schumann & The Vagabond Crew), Concert Stage, Woodford Folk Festival, December 2007

Owner/operator of Overheard Productions, 2003 to present

Sponsor of 102.1FM 8CCC Community Radio – Alice Springs & Tennant Creek (Dead Parrots Society and A Little Bit Country), 2021 to 2022.

Contributor to Trad & Now magazine (folk and anything roughly related), Ducks Crossing Publications, 2006 – present

to Central Coast Newspapers, 2014.

Festival and gig MC 2005 onwards

Radio presenter:

2008 to 2012 – Artsound FM 92.7/90.3FM/  (ACT)

2019 to 2020 – 104.1 Territory FM/ (NT)

2020 – Guest presenter via phone, 107.5FM 2EAR-FM/ Thursdays at 7.15pm AEST on Ian Traynor’s Thursday evening show (6-10pm)

2022 onwards 107.9FM Radio Fremantle, ‘Folking Around’, Mondays 9-11pm AWST and online at: 

Trivia quiz host 1992 – 2012. Maybe again…

Peripatetic, interviewer, blatherer Ongoing. Always. Ever-present.

Gypsy. Effectively on the road from Ngunnawal (Canberra) since March 2013, with a 2.5 year stop in Darwin (March 2019 to August 2021).

Currently in residence in Walyalup (Fremantle, Western Australia), on the lands of the Whadjuk people, and I pay respect to the custodians past, present, and emerging. These are lands that are called ‘Australia’ and Terra Australis, a land of many nations, that were never ceded by the traditional owners.

More details at

Bill The Housesitter
Bill Quinn, Bloke, v2011

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You Step In(trovert) I Step Out

Talking with Peter Buchstaller about Naked Tuesday
Bill Quinn (right) the introvert turned interviewer, Mordialloc Beach 2013

Talking about introversion and extroversion over the years has gotten me into a lot of strife, and lost me a lot of friends and acquaintances.

Mostly because people leap to conclusions so fast they break their legs.

Here are some common myth-conceptions I’ve encountered repeatedly:

  1. Introverts are shy wallflowers. If they do venture out to parties. They’re hiding in the kitchen or outside, talking with the dog or cat.
  2. Extroverts are gregarious, life-of-the-party, A-list, popular people who hate their own company. They also get more crumpet or schnitzengruben than Sinatra or Madonna.
  3. I’ve forgotten the third because I got carried away with the second point.

I have a little knowledge on these matters, but that’s all it is: a little.

And you know what’s said about a little knowledge? It’s truly a dangerous thing in the wrong hands.

I am no authority on personality types, Myers-Briggs Type Indicators, Belbins roles, psychology, psychiatry, or any of the other dark arts.

I know a little and enough to instruct enquiring minds in the basics, and then to inwite them to use their finely-honed critical thinking skills, to seek peer-reviewed research and findings and further study, and to locate credible and authoritative sources for their fuller enrichment.

Ack hack gargle ptooiee splat.

Sorry, just had to spit the academic-speak out of my throat.

I’m credibly and reliably informed as recently as last night at Corinda Compounding Pharmacy in south-west Brisbane (a fine, fine establishment with a wide selection of medicines, corn plasters, essential oils and unguents) that there is a lurgy going around Brisbane.

I’ve remained immune, but that’s purely good management, not good luck.

Where were we? Introversion.

I believe I am innately an introvert.

For many reasons.

But let’s just skate over that and speed through to 1983 when a Year 12 career library-dweller at lunch and recess decided this is no way to live, and asked if he could accompany his mates down to the quadrangle.

Um, derr, of course. You don’t need an invitation! (Well, actually I did. For me. I have a massive allergic reaction to and aversion to inviting myself to places.)

Then in 1985, I was a mild-mannered, quiet, reserved, clerk class 1 in the Australian Public Service, dressing like a computer programmer who thought Billy Joel and Jackson Browne were the height of hip.

And sat in the corner not saying a lot.

Until Monday 1 April 1985 when I burst into the office in an old suit with suspenders, outrageous fedora, huuuge fake moustache, carrying a violin case with my lunch in, and smoking a big fat cigar. Smoking bans in the office were a couple of years away.

I jumped in one leap onto my desk and announced to a variously amused, bemused, c-mused, embarrassed and calling security office:

“Hey ever’body! Ima Luigi Quinn! Ima Bill’s a-cousin from Verona. I come-a into work-a today for him cos-a he’s at home. He’s a-sick. He’s-a in bed. With my sister! I told you he’s a-sick!”

I did not break character even once for three, three and a half hours until midday when I leapt onto my desk again and announced (while slowly taking off the hat, moustache, etc.) that they had all been fooled and, “It was me all the time!” (Kenny Everett.)

There were a few head-shakes, a bit of a titter, but mostly: crickets and tumbleweeds.

Ok gag (for 1985). Wrong crowd, wrong setting, and such.

I toyed with the idea of repeating the effort, coming back stronger in 1986. But by then I had left Chandler Street, Belconnen and was all the way across town at Department of the Special Minister of State, West Block in the shadows of Parliament House (now Old Parliament House; the new one was just over two years away from being opened).

At DoSMOS, I did not need to wait for April Fool’s Day to be a dork. It had passed into my daily schtick.

My favourite gag was to walk in the entrance to our large open plan office, and get from there to my desk at the far end of the room, near the window looking east out to the carpark – and not touch the floor.

Desk-hopping. The floor is lava.

We debated whether I would be covered for compo if I fell. Most older, wiser heads said no, but my boss, mentor, and occasional micro-manager fully believed I was covered under a ‘youthful exuberance’ clause.

Funny bloke, Bruce. A wonderful morass of conundrums and enigmas (much like personality types and typing). He had a gorgeous French wife, and one night when we were all out, Fifi and I talked and talked and talked, me in my idioglot level of pigeon Creole conversational almost-there Frenchi-speak.

And danced. Oh, how we danced. Tutti Frutti on Rudi waa the highlight. Lowlight for those around us. Fifi was in stitches.

And I was beginning to develop those extrovert skills that I really wanted and have honed and continue to this day to develop and practice daily: talking, engaging, connecting, interacting, sharing with beautiful* people with no sleazy, slimy, nefarious agenda.

* My use of beautiful in this context comprises inner and/or external beauty. They’re overlapping, not mutually-exclusive concepts. Not in my book. But my use of the word has really given me some grief. Mostly with les partnters du jour.

The above could be the first couple of pages to my introduction to a book on personal insights into the two personality types, and how I’ve seen them present, and 36 different facets of each.

It may well be one day.

But I’ll finish with this.

In 1986 I did a Myers-Briggs test for the first time and rated INFP.

In 1992 I tested again at a middle-management week-long retreat and rated ESTJ.

In 2012 I tested as part of my AEC communication section’s team development workshop and I rated ESTP.

A couple of days ago, a new acquaintance heard me precis the above (without the fine detail) and dismissed my reaction to the meaning of it.

“Your MBTI score doesn’t change. Your personality type doesn’t change.” Or words to that effect.

Here’s my takeaway point which you can extrapolate to almost any observation on humans and the human condition: we’re seven billion carbon-based, ape descendant life-forms. (Douglas Adams.)

Consider that when you make any sweeping statement about people. Does your Yoda-like wisdom apply to Bill Quinn, currently of Capalaba Queensland, as equally as it does to Hank Jeugen Fleugen Of Heugen Deugen in Hoofddorp, Netherlands and Sun Ji Park in Seoul, Korea?

Then keep moving through the other 6 999 999 997 – please correct me if I haven’t got enough digits up there, as the proctologist said to the masochist.

And if you remember only one thing from this eclectic spray, it’s this: the most important letter in MBTI is the I.


It indicates a possible reality or experience. It does not dictate nor guarantee it.

I think we’re done. Shall we end the lesson here?

We shall.

Bill Quinn
The Strawberry Flavoured Big Cheesey
Overheard Productions

05:36h, Tuesday 6 September 2016
Capalaba, Queensland

‘All I Want’ by Sarah Blasko. All rights reserved.

I have a love-hate relationship with this song. The melody, the lyrical richness, the production values are just sumptuous and relentlessly infectious. The lyrics give me the heebie jeebies.

I met Sarah in 2008, I think, and introduced her on stage to about 2-3000 adoring fans and new likers.

That experience of meeting Sarah, getting her to sign my copy of her then current double album – I’m going to say ‘Songs From The Sea’ or ‘She’ but I won’t Google it. Please tell me if you feel inclined.

That whole process of meeting, chatting briefly, having her sign my album copy, giving her the drum about the on-stage intro (“I’ll be brief; they’re here to see/hear you not me,” then casually observing her in the hour leading up to go-time, and the introduction and performance is enough to explain quite a bit of the mystery of introversion versus extroversion.

But that is for another time.



I make a lot of comments on musicians’ pages and their personal Facebook walls if I’m friends with them. The issue is that most musicians tend towards the INFP which is GREAT for art creation, but hopeless for admin.

Just this week I have tried to engage with a dozen or more artists to offer my old services/new title at no cost to them, lots of added value – and have got nothing in return.

Even a comment on social media to them directly should at least get the tacit acknowledgement of a click on a thumbs-up button. But no.

One band I’ve tried through three different media to ask about helping them publicise a CD are an extreme example. My most recent attempt went unanswered, and just now, one of the members has posted this to their timeline: I like everything bagels with peanut butter.

That may be my new ironic rallying cry to get these lovely creative petals to open up.

Drop the bagels. Step away from the peanut butter.

And FFS: just tell me how much are you selling your trio’s CDs for!


In Praise Of The Itinerant Peripatetic Lifestyle


A little post in salute and celebration of the ‘work from home’ opportunities that house-sitting affords (no pun intended, well maybe just a little unintended! 😉 )
It’s just past the witching hour in east coast Australia, which I usually refer to as the Antipodes, which is accurate and a misnomer.
But I like the look and feel of the word; much of my literature and cultural background comes from Mother England or ‘Blighty’, so it fits. And if my ‘mother’ is England, my father is ‘Ireland’, though the older I get, the less I feel those ties unless there’s a pinte of Guinness on offer!
So hands up who knows I’m a cultural communicator! And I run two enterprises being the Bill the Housesitter and my entertainment presentation entity.
Where were we? Just gone midnight.
While most of my Australien compadres, copains et vrienden zijn tucked up in bed, ready for the morning commute, drudgery in a wage slave’s airless office, office politics, squabbles in the tea room, I have the sun and the sand and the clouds and the roads, and the parks and the pubs/clubs/cafes that are my offices.
It was at a quiet moment last week (I choose not to have too much quiet in my life for two mostly physiologically-based reasons. Let’s call them both ‘noise’, as one literally is noise, and the other is something we communications exponents term ‘noise’ to capture the gamut of interferences in what would otherwise be a perfect communication environment. e.g. static on the line, bad reception, visual cues, our cultural biases, distractions, etc.)
And at that time I had a reverie and reaslisation. I fantasised in about 2006 of a time when I could flip around the country and the world, following the festival guide, always living in the festival moment, or going to, just leaving from one.
This lifestyle now allows that dream to become reality. I’ve just rolled out of one and I have two more planned. Come April 2017, some of the shackles that keep me Oz-bound shall be rent and ripped and broken. Free bird.
Ok, now you are all being ‘Quinned’!
The original meaning comes courtesy of my late brother (6.Nov.1971 – 22.Aug.1998) who would just drop a song lyric seamlessly into a conversation, so much so that his now widow got her copy of the Oxford English Dictionary and wrote the word and her meaning into the appropriate place under Q.
Greg was a muso, and he would play at a local Mexican restaurant in Canberra at the pleasure of the owners who saw him busking late one night and really dug his stuff.
And it was 9 o’clock on a Saturday when the regular crowd shuffled in, and there was an old man sitting next to him who was, get this, making….. ok, you got it! #BillyJoel
And I swear I am not making this up, but at this very instant, the Billy Joel mix on @youtube has just flicked up ‘I May Be Crazy’ which I was having great fun sharing with one of the HSW members from…..agh, forgotten which state of the union. But my comments were pure Quinning.
Back to topic.
Hooray for house-sitting. Hooray for facilitating the lifestyle. Hooray for Tim and Lou and Jodie and Nat et al for doing the behind the scenes work, and shepherding/funnelling discussion of a far-flung, disparate group, with many cultures en heel veel talen et beaucoup des langues and even lots of languages. And cultures and perspectives.
“Herding cats” is my go-to phrase for this!
I’ve been a manager most of my life, a manager of volunteers, and a volunteer in (no exaggeration) at least 36 different ways and settings since age four when Dad used to drive around to various houses in the parish after Sundee church and sell Silver Circle tickets. For that, I think my Irish Catholic background – we are relentless volunteers and givers of our own time for worthwhile causes.
It’s not notable or laudable. It just is. It’s how we’re hard-wired.
So as we cruise into the first hour of Wednesday 14 September 2016 in the deep south — happy 48th birthday to my sister; sad five weeks since my benevolent, lovely, stoic, always ALWAYS smiling yet deathly sick mum died just a smidge short of 80 years — I fully intend to kick on through to probably see the sun come up.
Because I can!
Yours in housesitting
Bill Quinn
Capalaba, Redlands Council District, Queensland, Australia
(until 28 September)
P.S. The photo is on point! I might include the reason in the next market day or blog spot! 😉20160914_0015131

Greenacres Motel & Van Park, Benaraby

BQ: Roughly a week ago, I came wandering up the path here at Greenacres Caravan Park and Motel, singing, “Greenacres is the place to be…!”

And there was a tall streak of pelican shit we’ll call ‘Les’, and he was there by the pool. He turned around and he saw this bloke walking up his drive and probably thought, ‘What fresh hell is this?’

He’s shaking his head and saying something I can’t repeat on tape!

Les from Greenacres, g’day and how’re you going?

LD: I’m very well, thank you.

BQ: Now Les, tell us about Greenacres Caravan Park and Motel, and how long you’ve been here for.

LD: Greenacres is a lovely place to relax. It’s 22kms south of Gladstone. It’s probably half way between Brisbane and Mackay. We’ve been here two years now (as of May 2017).

We kicked out a lot of permanents, a lot of dogs and a lot of cats.

BQ: So, it’s more of a tourist park and not so much a residential place, yeah?

LD: That’s right mate, yeah. We got rid of all the residentials!

BQ: Let me start by saying what I’ve observed from being here for a week. I have never spoken more Dutch in my life as this week. There was a family of three, then there were a couple of footballers from the south of the country, and then most recently, a lovely young couple were here the other night.

So, are they mostly backpackers? Are they travelers? Are they Aussies? Who are you getting in here?

LD: This time of the year, the last few months. It’s backpackers. And overseas people of different nationalities. And at the end of July, we’ll start getting all the grey nomads heading north.

BQ: And do they already know about you when they come here, or are they like me and come walking – or more likely driving along the road; not everyone’s mad enough to be walking around the road! Are they driving along and see that you’re here, or they know about you and they’re coming back?

LD: Because we’ve only been here two years, mate, we’ve had to change the reputation of the park. It didn’t have a very good reputation. So now this year, we’re starting to get bookings from people who’ve been here before. Some people are just driving past and then all of a sudden, they think, “We’ll just pull in here”.

And we also have a couple of websites like WikiCamps and all that kind of stuff where people can find us.

BQ: One thing that I saw that resonated with me, because it has to do with what I do in housesitting is “pet friendly”. That’s a bit rare for a caravan park.

LD: We like to pick and choose what pets come in here. Mate, we don’t encourage permanents anymore. But we have pets. It’s mostly just people passing through. A lot of people travel with their small dogs or cats, whatever they’ve got. We’ve seen birds as well.

It’s up to our discretion really.

BQ: How does that work if somebody comes in with Foofy the small poodle that’s going to run around and yap all night? Do you just say, “Look, sorry; no good”?

LD: We tend to put those down the back, the yappy ones! I know it’s hard to tell which ones are yappy and not. But we do tell them that they must be on a lead and under control. Not roaming around.

BQ: How about the yappy people like me? Do you put them down the back as well?!

LD: No, we love yappy people, mate! That’s what caravan parks are all about: talking and mingling with other people, learning different stuff. It’s great.

BQ: You said that when I turned up, and I must admit, I was very attracted to this area that we’re sitting in. And I must admit, it’s become a bit like my home for the last week: I’ve just perched here and have hardly moved.

It’s a beautiful spot. We’ve got two BBQs, we’ve got a roaring open fire, dartboard. There’s a fridge, a microwave, a grill, double hot plates. It’s well set up as a camp kitchen, isn’t it?

LD: Yeah, it’s good for travelers and backpackers like yourself that don’t have anywhere to cook. There’s room to put stuff in the fridge, and as long as people keep it all nice and tidy – which most of them do – it’s a good place to hang out.

BQ: And it’s one thing when I go camping I like to get away from, but this week it’s been good that there’s a little TV in the corner.

LD: Yeah, that’s to watch the AFL, mate!

BQ: And when we’re watching the AFL, Les, who are we barracking for?

LD: We’re barracking for Port Adelaide, mate! They come from South Australia. Best team!

BQ: Port Power, who I believe had a little win over in China, is that right?

LD: Yes, they did, actually. Did you watch the game?

BQ: I saw a little bit of it. Your lovely partner Sue was there and she had it on. And as I said, there’s a blood bath over there with the Gold Coast Suns not doing too well, and I went back to watching my late father’s Parramatta Eels getting on the end of a smacking around too.

LD: It was Mr [David] Koch, the president of the Port Adelaide football club, he started organizing that match a few years ago, and it’s finally come true. Getting everyone together, and the Gold Coast Suns jumped on board, and I think it was very successful for the team and the game.

BQ: Well, hats off to Mr Koch. I can’t watch his breakfast program, but good on them, they do some wonderful stuff and if they’re opening up markets for our sports people…

We seem to have wandered off caravan parks, haven’t we?

Tell me about your lovely pool.

LD: You did that!

The pool. I love my pool. It can get a bit chilly this time of year, but people like yourself don’t seem to mind it.

BQ: People from places that, this time of year, are gearing up for -6C or -7C?

LD: Yes, because I believe that you’re from Canberra, so you’re used to those temperatures.

My pool’s not quite that cold, though!

BQ: I was just saying to somebody yesterday that in this region (Boyne Island, Tannum Sands, Benaraby, Calliope) I have actually stood and shivered at night in 20C+ temperatures. It gets that way, doesn’t it?

LD: Yes, in July it can get down to 8C at night.  But then we have fine, sunny 26C days. It’s beautiful.

BQ: Well, I can tell you that the pool is big enough for doing lap swimming. I’ve done lap swimming twice a day some days, and at least once a day the other days. Ten strokes will get you from one end to the other. It’s a lovely clean pool, and you can stand there drying yourself off while people are passing by in their cars.

LD: I notice someone had been in my pool because I had to keep topping the water up! The tide was down a bit.

BQ: I do draw a bit of a bow wave!

So Les, if someone’s trying to find Greenacres Caravan Park and Motel online, where would they find you?

LD: You can Google Greenacres Motel Van Park, Benaraby. You can find us on Facebook. You can find us on WikiCamps. And GeoWikiCamps as well.

BQ: And just for those playing at home, spell Benaraby for us.

LD: [Well, this is the printed version, so let’s not bother spelling that out again, shall we?!]

BQ: Benaraby: south of Gladstone, north of Jin Jin, and just about as close to paradise as it comes.

LD: That’s it, mate! It’s what it’s all about.

BQ: Les, thanks for having a chat.

LD: Thanks, mate.


Roy Martinez (Chilali And The Chief) – Chatting On Air

Roy Martinez (left) with Rose Parker and David Hyams, Freo.Social, 2022

Bill Quinn: This evening I’m joined by Roy Martinez. Now Roy, you and I go back a long way.

Roy Martinez: A long way back. A couple of days? A few days?

BQ: A long. long way. Last Thursday evening. We were there [at The Local Hotel] for Local Heroes with Bob Gordon to see the amazing David Hyams in conversation and performance. That was a really fantastic evening, wasn’t it?

RM: Yeah, well I’ve known Dave for a long time, but I actually learnt a whole lot more about his history. It was very informative.

BQ: It was, and let me just ease your mind about when we start talking, because I want to ask you some questions in a little while (after I’ve done the gig guide and the parish notices). Don’t worry; I’m not going to ask you what your first memories were and what you were doing when you were five or six years old.

Because we did find out a lot about David Hyams!

RM: Yes, that’s right, of course. I’m going to do one of those Local Heroes myself (as Chilali and The Chief).

BQ: Chilali was going to join us tonight, and we were going to have live music here in the studio, but she’s not able to join us.

RM: She’s not. She’s listening to us now, probably. Her voice hasn’t quite recovered from her bout of whatever lurgie’s going around.

BQ: I’m so sorry to hear that. Chilali, if you’re listening, get the manuka honey into you.

Now you’ve brought in this EP. Tell us more about Chilali and The Chief.

RM: Well, Chilali is my wife. We met because she was writing some songs and we were actually working together, and developed a relationship.

Here we are fourteen years later, and now we’ve finally got a bit of momentum and are trying to make it a career now, the both of us.

Image courtesy of Roy Martinez
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The Human Highway Celebrates 50 Years Of Neil Young’s ‘Harvest’

This article also appeared in Trad And Now magazine, issue no. 153, December 2022

2022 has been a big year for fans of Canadian folk-rocker Neil Young.

(Arguably it’s been a big year for Neil himself, but he wasn’t available for comment prior to press time.)

It’s been 50 years since Young’s seminal album ‘Harvest’ was released in February 1972. (The column author was in first grade at Rosary Demonstration School at the time and was sadly oblivious to this moment in musical history.) ‘Harvest’ was the best-selling album of 1972 in the USA and has remained Neil Young’s best-selling album to date.

‘Harvest’ was remastered and re-released on 2 December 2022, and not surprisingly in this digital, multi-platform age, it comes with a host of extras. The reissue comes in either vinyl or CD box set form, with both including two DVDs. Young’s much-bootlegged ‘BBC In Concert’ is included on CD and vinyl in the respective packages, and three ‘Harvest’ outtakes are also made available in physical form for the first time – on a third CD or a 7-inch record in the vinyl set.

And early December 2022 saw the debut limited release of the 1971 film ‘Harvest Time‘, a documentary covering the ‘Harvest Barn’ sessions at Young’s northern California farm, his performance with the London Symphony Orchestra in London, and in Nashville there are scenes of Young working on various album tracks.

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Mick Thomas’ Roving Commission in Western Australia

Image courtesy of Mic Thomas’ Roving Commission

Mick Thomas‘ Roving Commission are back in Western Australia for what’s becoming a festive season tradition.

The band are playing three dates this coming weekend:

Friday 16 December – The River, Margaret River
Saturday 17 December – Fremantle Navy Club
Sunday 18 December – The Oxford Hotel, Leederville

Support act is the wonderfully talented local singer-songwriter Carla Geneve.

MTRC have a new seven-track EP out and about – ‘Back In The Day’. It’s a mixture of reworked Weddings, Parties, Anything and Mick Thomas and the Sure Thing tracks, plus some others from The Saints, Johnny Thunders, and Neil Young & Crazy Horse. It’s a teaser for a 2023 album in the works titled ‘Where Only Memory Can Find You’.

On Monday 12 December in Fremantle time for the interviewers, and just a tick or three of the clock into Tuesday for the interviewee in Melbourne, Mick generously gave some of his time at the witching hour to talk with Frank Hodges and Bill Quinn from 107.9FM Radio Fremantle about the upcoming dates in WA.

Image courtesy of Mick Thomas’ Roving Commission

Bill Quinn: Hopefully on Saturday we can bung on some balmy weather, but joining as from the cold, Siberian-like/Arctic wasteland that is Melbourne, we can say hello, good evening, Mick Thomas.

Mick Thomas: Hello to you.

BQ: Is it as bad over there as we’re hearing? Is it really, really cold?

MT: It’s too cold for this time of year, in my opinion.

BQ: Mick, before we dive into questions about the EP and the upcoming album and the gigs, I’ve got a bit of a confession. In the last ten years or so, I’ve lost track of the Mick Thomas story since the days when I was part of the furniture at the Illawarra Folk Festival – where you were always a very welcome visitor to the Slacky Flat Pavilion.

Can you just fill us in with what you’ve been up to in the last ten years or so?

MT: I’ve been making records and putting together bands, different bands. Yeah, I just kept making music; that’s my thing. That’s why I keep making records.

The new thing is The Roving Commission which is me and Wally [‘Mark “Squeezebox Wally” Wallace] who was in the Weddings with me – Weddings, Parties, Anything. Wally came back into it and had a big part – a big role in it.

We thought we wanted a second singer in it, so we’ve run through a bunch from Shelley Short to Ayleen O’Hanlon to Jac Tonks to Brooke Russell. And we finally ended up with Brooke Taylor who’s there at the moment, and she’s sort of killing it, and we really like that.

So I really like that second singer. We’ve played lots, we’ve made some records during the lockdowns of Melbourne, which is something you guys in Perth didn’t get.

But we got it. It was pretty big and it was pretty strong, and it really affected us. But we made a couple of records. And we made them in our back rooms and we sent our files to each other. It was a big deal.

Image courtesy of Mick Thomas’ Roving Commission
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Albany International Folk’n Shanty Festival 2022

This article also appeared in edition 152 of Trad And Now magazine in November 2022.

Having not ventured from Perth/Fremantle since landing in Western Australia in April 2022, it was great to zip off for two weeks in a rented campervan to see the great south west, mostly to take in the 2022 Albany International Folk ‘N Shanty Festival. Heading off towards a weekend of music, song, and good people is hard to beat.

It was my first time driving in Western Australia and proved quite the revelation. WA for me conjures up images of stark rocky ranges, miles of pindan dust, and a harsh, dry climate. But Freo to Albany and return via Denmark, Nannup, and Margaret River has the look and feel of south east NSW or Victoria. Dairy cow, vineyard, and tall tree country.

Albany is quite stunning. Turning up early and staying late was wise. A boat across Oyster Harbour and up Kalgan River, a morning zip around King George Sound on a whale-spotting boat, a spin out to the wind farm, and wanderings around the tops of Mounts Melville and Clarence (Corndarup) – all recommended diversions. Bring a jumper.

Add in a trip to a local brewery and the giniversity and that was a pretty full first visit. Now add 2.5 days of a shanty festival and stir liberally.

Albany Town Hall
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Fo’c’s’le Firkins – Shanties And Songs Of The Sea

Image courtesy of The Original Fo’c’s’le Firkins

This article also appeared in edition 151 of Trad And Now magazine in September 2022.

Here in south west Australia, and in niche but growing enclaves around the country and the world, many of us are starting to get a little excited for the upcoming Albany International Folk ‘n’ Shanty Festival which takes place from Friday 30 September to Sunday 2 October 2022.

“From fireside folk sessions and concerts, to full blown pub shanty singing, from tales of pirates, whales and shipwrecks; the Albany International Folk ‘n Shanty Festival turns historic Albany/Kinjarling into a playground of maritime culture.” –

Albany may not lay claim to the most remote festival venue on the continent, but there would be few that could beat it. Albany is 3,335kms by road from Melbourne, 3,864kms from Sydney, and about a five hour drive south from Perth.

But more of the festival itself in a future edition. I mention it here for context to say I’ve been booked in to attend for a while, so when news of a CD launch of sea shanties and songs of the sea* bobbed up, my interest was already piqued.

* There’s a difference between the two. All shall be revealed hereunder.

The Original Fo’c’s’le Firkins launched their live CD in Fremantle at the Navy Club on Saturday 20 August 2022. It was a nice piece of musical recording symmetry as the album was recorded in 2021 at the same venue.

Band members were understandably taking any chance to plug the CD and gig around Fremantle in the lead-up, and group member Jon Cope spent some time during ‘Folking Around’ on Radio Fremantle to talk in detail about the recordings’ evolution and background.

Normally, I would have been one of the interviewers, however, I was struck down by a debilitating (non-plague) illness that week, so my colleagues of the airwaves manned the bridge and took the wheel: Frank Hodges (asking the lion’s share of the questions) and Alan Dawson (on the panel, knobs, buttons, and light comic relief).

Image courtesy of The Original Fo’c’s’le Firkins
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