The Woodford Files 2014-2015: Trouble In The Kitchen (Sarah Island), December 2014

Trouble In The Kitchen at the Concert Stage
Trouble In The Kitchen at the Concert Stage

Youtube has a simple facility where at the push of a button, your shaky video is stabilised and appears much more professionally-recorded than you could manage when you were adding some extra jigginess via mundane bodily functions such as breathing or sneezing.

Or as I was here, weeping uncontrollably.

Let’s go back a few years.

At probably my first Woodford Folk Festival, I got a treasured copy of the then very new ‘The Next Turn‘ album by Trouble in the Kitchen. As I set off down the D’Aguilar Highway on 3 January, processing eight days’ worth of festy wonderfullness, I was in an emotional, impressionable state, making listening to the 14 tracks all the more powerful.

(Some of my most treasured and loved folk albums have seared straight into the deepest levels of my cerebrum by dint of being absorbed in post-festival drives.)

However, my attention must have wandered on Track Five as I didn’t pick up all the lyrics nor their significance. I acquired and adopted a handful of mondegreens, and ran with those for many months until one day I sat with a stack of 20-25 Woodford-collected/purchased CDs and…

I read the liner notes.

Continue reading

The Woodford Files 2014-2015: The Lettering House, December 2014

The Lettering House at Woodford Folk Festival
The Lettering House at Woodford Folk Festival

Bill Quinn was sitting having his ritual cup of peppermint tea in Fine Earth Foods at Woodford Folk Festival when a postie came into the venue and started attempting to deliver letters.

To people.

He sought out the recipients by announcing certain characteristics like a writer from Sydney (“Hello!”) with blue eyes (“Strike one!”)

And then someone with odd socks.

What could possibly be happening? What was this specifically non-specific form of delivering items of mail?

After an intrepid search through the back-blocks behind the Holy Cow chai tent, we managed to find Roger the Postie who explained all.

Image courtesy of Woodford Folk Festival

*** Audio file will be deleted by end March 2020 ***

*** Audio file will be deleted by end March 2020 ***

And as mentioned in the rambling intro, and to Roger off air, the whole shebang gave a strong resonance of Jacques Tati in Jour de Fete.


Continue reading

The Woodford Files 2014-2015: Underwater Basket Weaving with Aly de Groot, December 2014

Underwater Basket Weaving at Artisania
Underwater Basket Weaving at Artisania, Woodford Folk Festival

Woodford Folk Festival has an amazing array of hands-on arts workshops clustered into an alley called Artisania.

Bill Quinn stopped on his amble along the individually decorated paving bricks to chat with Aly de Groot about her workshops.

Book for Aly’s workshops at the Artisania office opposite the Coopers Bar.

*** Audio file to be deleted by end of March 2020 ***

*** Audio file to be deleted by end of March 2020 ***

Image courtesy of Aly de Groot

Continue reading

The Woodford Files: Fred Smith On The Couch With Melanie Tait (ABC RN), December 2014

Image courtesy of Fred Smith
Image courtesy of Fred Smith

Fred Smith is at Woodford Folk Festival showcasing his Dust of Uruzgan and Home albums, with a killer backing band.

Melanie Tait: image courtesy of ABC Radio National
Melanie Tait: image courtesy of ABC Radio National

After packing them in at The Bazaar today, Fred is going to take it easy, put his feet up and have a chat on the couch with Melanie Tait from ABC Radio National.

It takes place tonight in the Greenhouse at 8pm, so that gives you plenty of time to shovel down a plate of Govinda’s indian goodness or some gozleme or a plato spaghetti up the Junction, and wash it down with a quenching beverage at the Tokyo Bar before joining Fred and Melanie.

If they’re still hanging around at that hour of the day, be sure to have a chat to the lovely Michael just outside the Greenhouse about Future Super (getting all ethical on yo’ asses about where you put your retirement pesos) and the other green stall whose number plate I just can’t recall right now.

Fred’s other remaining gigs at Woodford folk Festival:

Wednesday 31 December, 3.30pm – Small Hall
Thursday 1 January, 11am – Concert Stage

The Woodford Files 2014-2015: Andrew Clermont (Woodford Supper Club and Totally Gourdgeous), December 2014

Image courtesy of Totally Gourdgeous
Image courtesy of Totally Gourdgeous

Andrew Clermont is a hard man to miss or lose in a crowd. So when Bill Quinn was tip-toeing around the outskirts of the musos’ precincts at Woodford Folk Festival, it wasn’t hard to spot the towering fiddle-player from Tamworth.

Andrew, like many folkies, wears many hats (some of them at the same time) and at Woodford he’s virtually juggling them. His supper club has two showings at Bill’s Bar every day, and Totally Gourdgeous are launching their new live DVD. Also, in the background, Andrew’s Blu Guru fusion band has found a surprising niche.

Bill caught up with Andrew under slightly trying circumstances in the media centre, with a couple of locals providing some sound spill to give that really authentic festival feel.

(Luckily you can’t hear the sound of me throwing books of post-it notes at one individual as Andrew was talking about what he’s been up to.)

Image courtesy of Andrew Clermont

Continue reading

The Woodford Files 2014-15: Care Yourself*

An ounce of prevention beats a buttload of cure
An ounce of prevention beats a buttload of cure

Many festival survival guides are out there on the world wide weird, and sparticularly in the blogosphere. (Note: blogger roughly translates as, “I coulda been a journalist, but couldn’t be arsed to do a 3+ year degree in it.” WFJ Quinn, BAComms – not a journalist.)

So I don’t intend to replicate, duplicate, spiflicate or update those tomes of great wisdom, but I do want to share a few insights into preventative healthification gathered over many, many years spent curled up in tents and the backs of cars in far flung places.

Have you ever gone to a festival or been on the road and woken up one morning feeling like a rather large, furry toad has crawled into your larynx and is now doing early morning Zumba on your tonsils?

Or have you started heading into that long night when you really want to sit around the campfire singing 36-verse ye olde Englishe folke songse til the dawn breaks, but find you’ve started a coughing fit that might wake the dead? And you envisage joining the souls of the dearly departed in the not too distant future? 💀☠👻

The dirty little secret is something that one of my many, many former employers (at a medical Not For Profit/Public Beneficial Institution) will tell you about in great depth and detail under the banner of ‘antibiotic resistance’:

Some lurgies exist that you just can’t duck because they’re viral, and the best you can do is to pump up your general levels of healthiness and wellbeing, and look after your immune system.

The bad news on that score for folkies is that to best keep your system in good health, you should:

* avoid coffee
* avoid or limit alcohol intake
* avoid fatty, salty, sugary foods
* get lots of sleep
* don’t stay out at night in the cool air ingesting campfire ash
* don’t strain your vocal folds
* don’t sleep on uncomfortable, unsupportive mattresses or straight onto the ground
* and other stuff your mum told you, and
* always wear clean underwear.

It’s pretty much the anti-folk menu.

Continue reading

The Woodford Files 2014-2015: The Soldier’s Wife, December 2014

Image courtesy of Sugarrush Music
Image courtesy of Sugarrush Music

One of our roving Timber and Steel reporters, Bill Quinn, has 36 000 rules and observations for festivals. An important one this time of year is that if you sit in one place for the whole festival, then eventually the whole festival passes you by.

And so it was on Boxing Day that one of these myriad chance happenings happened.

Sitting in the cool of the Tokyo Bar at Woodford Folk Festival, sipping cool ginger beer on ice, the lovely Chanel Lucas turned to say g’day, and how are you going, and whatcha doing? “I’m becoming a Queenslander for four months, and you?” I’m about to perform a song in a themed concert called The Soldier’s Wife.

(For porpoises of clarification, Bill is the new temporary Queenslander and Chanel is performing in The Soldier’s Wife.)

This led to a meeting with the just as lovely Deborah Suckling, the brains and organisational brawn behind The Soldier’s Wife. Currently an irregularly performed concert, matching female singer-songwriters with “..the partners of Australian servicemen – both past and present – and putting the experience, emotions and lives of those women into song”.

Read more about this wonderful project and the fundraising goodness it does for Legacy Australia at Sugarrush Music.

And/or push play on the link below and hear Deborah tell us all about it in a tick over eight minutes:

*** Audio file will be deleted by the end of March 2020 ***

*** Audio file will be deleted by the end of March 2020 ***

Image courtesy of Sugarrush Music

Continue reading

The Woodford Files 2014-2015: Moochers Inc., December 2014

Image courtesy of Moochers Inc.

For the next eight days and then some, I’ll be filing stories about the Woodford Folk Festival in south east Queensland.
Follow the stories and adventures here.

Bill Quinn, December 2014
Either Kingsgrove NSW or Woodford Qld


OK, some sort of spanner flew into the works here, because on checking back to this article on Thursday 6 February 2020, the above three lines are all that’s showing and there are no pictures. Some sort of poltergeist is in play.

So, to re-create from memory. Prior to attending the 2014-2015 Woodford Folk Festival, I got in touch with a stack of bands and did short interviews over the phone. I followed that up with a few face-to-face chats at the event, plus a few more general posts about goings on and proceedings over the nine days that I was on site at Woodfordia.

I called the whole shooting match: The Woodford Files.

The first cab off the rank with the pre-fest chats was with Rafe Morris, at the time resident in Canberra and one of the driving forces behind Moochers, Inc.

For the next few weeks, you can hear the audio here:

But after the end of February 2020 it, along with dozens of other audio interview files, is being archived to my Dropbox.

It shall live on in text format. Ah… Wait…

The penny hath dropped. This was originally a Timber and Steel article. Right. That’s why this article on my website was previously devoid of my usual drivel.

Image courtesy of Moochers Inc

Here’s what I said at the time of the December 2014 post:

The wonderful Woodford Folk Festival kicks off on the Sunshine Coast hinterland in a magical kingdom called Woodfordia on Saturday 27 December 2014, and ends in a fiery extravaganza on the evening of Thursday 1 January 2015.

If you’ve not experienced Woodford before, then don’t delay. There’s still time to kennel the cat, grab your significant other, and point the wagon train north to Caboolture* and peel off left. Or south to Palmview and peel off to the right past Beerwah.

Ok, I could keep going but you’ve probably got Google Maps too, so you can keep playing at home if you like.

This is the first in a series of interviews, vignettes**, features and story-ettes that will seek to entice you off the couch and away from the Boxing Day Test to a sport far more interactive (and you can get in on the cricket action with the Woodford XI).

OR if geographically, monetarily, fiscally-responsibly***, or familyscomeoverfromSweden-ly you’re not able to, you can pull up a bean bag, grab a bag of Smith’s Chips and a Passiona and tune in for a Christmas and New Year of music, song, dance, spoken word, art, community, and probably a shipload of rain and mud OR stinking heat and 40+ degree external saunas.

Me, I personally take Woodfordia in all its many-splendoured glories. If life sends you a baking sidewalk, cook eggs and bacon. (I was never into lemons or lemonade.)

First cab off the rank is a wonderfully fun, fast and very toight outfit from Canberra called Moochers Inc. As Rafe Morris says in the interview, they’re a band for dancing, singing and drinking with — during the show, and before and after if the mood takes you and them.

Warning: jazz students sitting in the first row trying to follow the complex chord progressions, you may have your view impeded by writhing, sweaty, beautiful young dancing bodies. Which can’t be a bad thing. I’d jump right in, if I were you.

I probably will.

I do carry on with some bollocks at times. I have no idea what the * or ** was supposed to signify. [Rolls eyes several times.]

Image courtesy of Moochers Inc

Here’s the text of the interview:

Bill Quinn: Coming up very shortly, the Woodford Folk Festival kicks off on the 27th of December in south-eastern Queensland at a magical place called Woodfordia. I’m speaking this afternoon on the line with Rafe Morris from Moochers Inc. Good afternoon.

Rafe Morris: Good afternoon, Bill. How’re you doing?

BQ: I’m doing fine. And your good self?

RM: Nice one. It’s pretty sunny and lovely and close to Christmas and close to Woodford, so really nothing to complain about.

BQ: Now, Rafe, when I spoke to you earlier this morning, I made a fatal error: I called your band ‘Moochers’, and you were quick to correct me and call it ‘Moochers Inc’. Tell me about the ‘Inc’; I’m fascinated.

RM: Well, I think that really the main reason for the ‘Inc’ was that ‘Moochers’ was already taken. But then, if we were to make things up, we could say that we’re a very formal group, we’re incorporated, we have a very established business structure and model, and organisational charts.

And although there are only six band members and we’re all horrible at admin, we just like to formally recognise…

BQ: Your ‘Inc’-ness!

RM: That’s right!

BQ: Because you do the jazz stuff, you could go with a bit of homonym stuff and say, “If you like the Ink Spots, you’ll love Moochers, Inc!”

RM: We could do that. We’ve never done that and we probably never will, but we could.

Image courtesy of Moochers Inc

BQ: Let’s go back a step, Rafe. Tell us a bit more about the band.

RM: There are six of us. We play fun, fast, sloppy trad jazz but people say we play it well. So that’s nice when they say that. It’s a mix of old jazz standards, maybe some that people might not be too familiar with. And a mix of originals written by myself and the trumpet player, Cameron Smith.

And we have a lot of fun. Six of us: we have the trad jazz line up with the sousaphone at the back there with the drums, the guitar, trumpet and clarinet and the trombone making a bunch of noise. And we call kinda yell and sing and jump around.

BQ: When people say that a track needs more cowbell, I always say no, no; it needs more sousaphone.

RM: Yeah, everything needs more sousaphone. I’m standing on the street right now and I can’t see a sousaphone anywhere. So that’s one thing that needs more sousaphone: this street.

BQ: Now you say you have fun, and I pick up on that because when I was on Artsound FM 92.7 FM and we’d play a lot of jazz, people would ask what I think of it. And I’d reply it’s not really my thing and I especially don’t really like trad jazz, but I’m guessing you’d make it more accessible than what I think of as trad jazz.

RM: Yeah, you know what? I think that what we’ve found is people are surprised when they see that they like us. Because it would be very easy to pigeonhole us as being a very cheesy trad jazz band that appeals to a dying population. But if you approach anything with a bit of fun, a bit of humour, and you don’t take it too seriously, then that shines through and then people enjoy it because you’re enjoying it.

We move around a lot, we joke around a lot, we drink maybe more than we should sometimes.

And people like that. We approach it with fun and irreverence, and it’s not boring.

BQ: That’s interesting because my resonance of trad jazz is going to, say, the yacht club on a Sunday afternoon and you’d get a string of standards or originals, and it starts with one verse and then 87 solos.

RM: Yeah, and those same people, they don’t look at the audience, they’re staring at the ground and they’re looking like they’d rather be asleep.

That’s not us. Our songs, we try not to drag them on for too long. We’re quick and fun, we get people up dancing and we get good reactions wherever we go, I think generally because we enjoy what we do and that’s a bit contagious.

Image courtesy of Moochers Inc

BQ: That’s excellent because I’ve only ever been to one jazz festival in my life, which we won’t mention which one it was MoruyaJazzFestival and what I did notice was a lot of students sitting in the front row intently watching every chord, every move, every muscle – I’m guessing those people in the front row will be dancing at your gigs.

RM: Yeah, they do that, they do that. And generally, they’re those same jazz students as well, I think. No, those festivals are interesting, and we do play a couple of jazz festivals around the south coast quite regularly. It’s a funny mix of people sitting and staring, and the audience kind of knowing that music is for dancing but for every other band they’ve been sitting and watching. So, there’s some confusion at first until they realise that dancing is ok.

BQ: Excellent. So from the south east, you’re going to be heading the wagons up to the north. You’ve been to Woodford before?

RM: Yeah, I used to play in a fun reggae/rock/ska band called Dahahoo and we went up a couple of times, and did lots of gigs on the way up and back. But I haven’t been in about six years, I think, so I’m sure it’s changed tremendously. This is the first time Moochers Inc has been up as a band, so we’re pretty excited, pretty excited.

Image courtesy of Moochers Inc

BQ: You’d have a few little Woodford virgins there [in the band]; have you given them a briefing of what to expect, or are you just going to let them experience the wonderment when they get there?

RM: Can you believe that one of our band members had never heard of Woodford? And he’s like, “Oh guys, I don’t know…”

And we’re like: “Just shut up. Stop talking. Just say yes. Stop talking.”

BQ: Just use the Corinbank approach. Just immerse.

RM: That’s right. There’s not much you can do to explain the enormity of it, is there? It’s something you’ve got to experience. You can only say: “It’s gi-normous and awesome!” so many times before those words kind of lose their meaning.

We’ll let them figure it out for themselves.

BQ: Yeah, just three words you need to let them know: hydrate, hydrate, and… what’s the other one? Hydrate.

RM: Ah, I thought the other one was ‘Clown Poo’. Wasn’t that the alcoholic slushies with all the funny colours?

BQ: I’ve not experienced that one!

RM: Aw, it’s good. I hope they’ve still got that.

BQ: Sounds like far too much fun, Rafe.

Looking forward to seeing you up there myself and have a happy Woodford.

RM: Thank you. I should probably say that we’re coming with our newly-launched EP. Maybe six tracks on it; they’re all originals. We’ll be selling them for about ten or twelve dollars. It’s called Standing In Front Of A House.

And you can tell it’s our CD because it’s got a picture of us standing in front of a house.

And we would encourage people to buy that because we’ve got so many CDs and it’s a dying technology, so we need to sell them before CD players become non-existent.

BQ: There’s that, and as I always say, it’s an ecologically responsible thing they’re doing by buying your CDs because it means that your carbon footprint is reduced on your return journey – and that’s very important now that we don’t have a carbon tax anymore.

RM: That’s right. What is it? Positive action or direct action.

BQ: Rafe, thanks so much for talking with us this afternoon for Timber and Steel and various other publications, and we’ll see you at Woodford.

RM: Cool. Thanks, Bill.


Timber and Steel

The wonderful Woodford Folk Festival kicks off on the Sunshine Coast hinterland in a magical kingdom called Woodfordia on Saturday 27 December 2014, and ends in a fiery extravaganza on the evening of Thursday 1 January 2015.

If you’ve not experienced Woodford before, then don’t delay. There’s still time to kennel the cat, grab your significant other, and point the wagon train north to Caboolture* and peel off left. Or south to Palmview and peel off to the right past Beerwah.

Ok, I could keep going but you’ve probably got Google Maps too, so you can keep playing at home if you like.

This is the first in a series of interviews, vignettes**, features and story-ettes that will seek to entice you off the couch and away from the Boxing Day Test to a sport far more interactive (and you can get in on the cricket action with…

View original post 315 more words

Surely Goodness and Kindness: Talking With Brian on Manly Wharf

Manly Wharf, New South Wales, Australia
Manly Wharf, New South Wales, Australia

I overheard a man on Manly Wharf beach one afternoon and his story became one of the most compelling interviews.

Let’s get there, unlike the Manly Ferry which darts out of Circular Quay and pretty much makes a beeline for Cabbage Tree Bay.

Let’s take a slightly circuitous root.

I grew up in the mid sixties and seventies with something of a hefty disdain for Manly.

It was a disdain maintained from a distance of about 366kms away in Canberra, and it was all based on the eternal battle between the mauve of the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles (‘Silvertails’) and the Black and White of my beloved Western Suburbs Magpies (‘Fibros’). Rugby League, for the uninitiated.

Traditional geographic and tribal rivals

My family hailed from the west: Parramatta, Harris Park, Guildford and Baulkham Hills. My anti-Manly bias was born of those silly tribal rivalries that sound so pointless in smaller towns like Canberra where I have never been able to take the north vs south thing seriously.

“We’re not that [farnarkeling] big!”

Cliff Notes: I’d never spent much time there, and while visiting friends in Fairlight and on other trips, I was looking for reasons to like the area.

Yes, we’ve fast-forwarded to 2013, and for some reason one day, I’d gone across the briney foam from Circular Quay to Manly Wharf and drifted up and down the Corso and around the back lanes and alleys.

And fell completely and totally and hopelessly in love with the place.

When you get just a little bit out of the centre of Manly, things get a little beige, bland and neo-conservative. But right in the middle of town, it’s like a little melting pot, albeit a flashier more glamorous pot than some other localities that host meetings of many cultures within the scope of what is loosely termed ‘Greater Sydney’.

Me, I love them all.

Walk from Punchbowl train station to the Boys High School (which I did when I first moved to Sydney in March 2013, to interview the assistant principal) and you see pretty much no white faces, hear no Australian spoken, and smell smells that don’t feature in, say, the main street of Miranda.

Take a walk along Forest Road in Hurstville CBD and to have a conversation or transact some business, a working knowledge of Mandarin, Cantonese or Korean would serve you well.

Hang out around various parts of Liverpool and a little Italian will get you a long way.

I know a little Italian. His name’s Marco and he’s a retired jockey.

(Dips the hat towards the film ‘Top Secret’ for that gag. I’m here all week, tip your wait staff, try the risotto.)

Continue reading

The BordererS Live — A Couple Of Videos To Share

Image courtesy of The BordererS
Image courtesy of The BordererS

(This one is going to be a work in progress while I’m progressing other works.)

Over roughly ten years mucking around with music, MC-ing, radio, print, a little light advocacy and jumping around selling merch for people I like, The BordererS have been a real constant.

They have a powerful gift of music and it just lights a little fire in my heart, soul, spleen and it spreads to the balls of my feet.

And in a short space of time, Jim Paterson and I have discussed some matters of no scant import.

(No scant importance? No Scant Imports are located in Glasgow and do wholesale homewares and fashions from the Netherlands and selected Scandinavian and Baltic countries.)

On Wednesday this week, we were chatting about religion in the context of our respective upbringings, the Phillips Hughes funeral and memorial services, and where we ourselves had gotten to, as middle-aged men o’ the world.

Bill: “Do you know which song of yours resonates with me the most right at this very moment right now, Jim?”

“Erm, is it, ‘Will You Love Me When I’m Fat, Bald and Ugly?‘”

Not quite, but well played. Bloody Scots! They’re ready with a zinger, as the PR man said to Colonel Sanders.

Continue reading