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

MoochersInc
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

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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.

MoochersInc2
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.]

MoochersInc3
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.

Moochers1
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.

Moochers2
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.

Moochers3
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…

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