Mensch, Monique in Australia, 2019

Image courtesy of Mensch, Monique!

Folk On The Road

Mensch Monique!: Interview at Cobargo Folk Festival

Mensch, Monique! were in Australia earlier in 2019, playing gigs, house concerts and festivals. I caught up with Jule and Georg at Cobargo Folk Festival to find out how musical and family life had been treating them since the days of The Beez.

We spoke under a blazing sun, with welcome shade from the café marquee, perched
precariously on milk crates, sipping on ginger and lemongrass over cubed
ice (just brilliant on a baking hot day).

Cobargo Folk Festival 2019

Bill Quinn: How long has Mensch, Monique! been going? What are you doing? How is it going?

Jule Schroder: Well, actually, Georg and me, we have been playing since 2007.

BQ: And how about music?

JS: Exactly! Playing music! (And we’ve been playing together longer than that!) But I was in a band called ‘The Beez’; for such a long time.

BQ: The Beez? Can you spell that? I’m not familiar with this band.

[If you can’t pick up the irony in that sentence, go to where you can read just one or two articles about this band by the authour over the past decade.]

JS: Tee Hahr Eeh Bee Double Eeh Zsedh. We were one Australian, one American, and two Germans.

BQ: And one of the Deutshes is now Australierin!

JS: That’s right. Deta got married to Rob a long time ago and now she’s got her spouse visa.

So, anyway, I was playing with The Beez, being busy. And there was just no point [after the birth of first child]. We couldn’t play gigs. Or we could, but it was just too hard.

So when I left The Beez in 2014, we said, “Let’s write some songs together”. And why not in German? And that’s what we did!

And it just takes a long time. You know, we’ve got two kids now. But we do it in our own tempo. Our own speed, you know? And we love it!

BQ: That’s very interesting that you do your songs in German, with English being the lingua franca for the world, the language that the majority of the planet understands. Tell me about when you perform in Germany. Is it 100% in German? Or do you mix it up a bit?

JS: We mix it up, but it’s really interesting because I talk to a lot of musician friends from Germany, and we came to the… schluss? … conclusion that we just HAVE to write songs in German because it’s our language.

It just doesn’t make sense that we only write songs in English, because that’s not our language.

And it’s a bit hard to sing in German, I must say. And what is really interesting for me is, because I write most of the melodies, I don’t think in German when I write the melodies. I can’t do that. It’s really interesting.


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From The Vault: Interview with Myf Warhurst, Spicks and Specktacular, December 2011


In eight days’ time (Sunday 30 October 2016), Overheard Productions is closing its doors OR it might be transitioning into something similar only different.

Yeah, I’d put money on the latter!

Hold on. 30/10/2016 = 13 = 4 = death. Strangely appropriate in one way, but a bit final given my plans! Meh, that numbers game is like a horoscope to me. Interesting for shizs and giggles, but not to be taken overly serious.

[Just look over there while I throw some salt over my left shoulder and turn around three times.]

Over the next eight days, I’m going to (as time permits) resurrect some old interviews and sound files. I’m paying these days for unlimited Soundcloud space, so I might as well make use of it.

This is one that I strangely never attached to a WordPress document, which is very weird since it’s one of my favourites with one of my all-time favourite on air/screen people.

When the Spicks and Specks offered me a choice of Alan Brough or Myf to interview, I did think that Alan would be a fascinating man to speak with given his encyclopaedic knowledge of music and his brilliantly dry and funny wit.

But dude. Myf Warhurst. MYF WARHURST!!!


I was like a cat on a hot tin roof, though not as alley cat-like as my daughter figured (as mentioned in the interview).


Myf is currently presenting the lunch show (11am to 2pm ADST) on Double J radio (digital radio, online and Channel 200 on Free To Air television). Though at the time of writing (Saturday 22 October 2016), I believe she may still be overseas and the chair is being skillfully warmed by the aforementioned Alan Brough.

No, that must have been a pack of lies, as my late mother would say. Looks like she’s back!


[VIDEO] The Great Overheard Productions Train Tomfoolery Continues: Tuesday Updates, September 2016


Overheard Productions and the Queensland Police Service: trying to get our ducks in a row

This ongoing police procedural drama/situation comedy is sponsored by the makers of the Matt Barker Radio interview on Overheard Productions:

I’ve said it before and will keep saying it: you just cannot make this shit up!

Three days after the Friday night police incident where a whole passenger train was detained for ten minutes while members of the QPS swarmed around me at the Lota train station, and after many phone calls, I’m still in the dark.

I’ll give you the Wednesday updates later, but for now, here is where Ankerss Ahrr-Whey tracks down a neighbour of mine to find out what the heck is going on.

Garry briefs us for a short while until his meal starts to go cold and his accent ships off from north England to…. we’re not quite sure where.

And for those of you who saw the teaser, you know want some more of this:

(A little tip for amateur video-ers, Youtubers: if you’re recording a live performance, be sure to include even just a little of the applause at the end. Otherwise, it’s a bit like a door slamming shut in your face when you stop talking with a friend. I was going to go with a butt cheeks analogy; aren’t you glad I didn’t?)

And now that we’ve gone there, let’s go here. Muggins is there, front and centre at about 0:10. A time of my life when song just took me somewhere I’d never been before.

ENDS hopefully this century…

Police Halt Overheard Productions For 48 Hours: Sunday Updates, September 2016

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

With less than seven hours before the Matt Barker Radio interview bursts out of the Overheard Productions media megalith offices, we’re getting to the bottom of the police incident on Friday night where Bill Quinn, the CEO, choir-director and head bird fancier of Overheard Productions was detained and questioned by members of Queensland State Police.

The incident was captured in song and performed the next night in Tokyo where ace reporter Phillip McKawfee-Khupp captured these images:

Somehow, via the magic of radio, during that song, Phil has magically appeared in Lota, Queensland and filed this report.

Phillip McKawfee-Khupp has taken up a strategic position on the lawns between the Redlands Performing Arts Centre and The Bench bar, ready to pounce on the next plod who comes out of the cop shop.

More details as they come to hand. We return you now to regular programming and ‘Policing And The Law Around The World’ focuses tonight on the UK:


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

Billy’s Going The Nude Nut: World’s Greatest Shave (with help from Creative Image Hairdressers)

Billy Hairy O'Quinn from County Clare.
Billy Hairy O’Cuinn from County Clare. It was his forefather (or possibly his fifth father) Seamus O’Cuinn who started the family tradition of the first male born of every litter to not have eyes equally open when selfie photos are taken on smart phones. First recorded incidence: 1757.

### STOP PRESS — I dropped into the salon that’s going to shave my head and interviewed Teresa from Creative Image Hairdressers, cnr Boddington Crescent and Carleton Street, Kambah, ACT, Australia (phone +61-2-6231-4217). An absolute pleasure to speak with someone who loves what they do for a living, focussed on family and community, and quick with the wit when it comes to a shaggy do put-down for fun about the willing victim! Coming here now! ###

The photo above is me, though not as you may know me. (Actually, looking at that photo again, I look a bit like one of Dr Who’s Cybermen!)

I’m raising funds for the Leukemia Foundation.

Cancer is an insidious little [unmentionable] of a beastie and it discriminates not based on age, gender, race or creed.

It doesn’t give a damn whether you’ve lived a good, bad or indifferent life. Whether you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth or struggled from day dot to make ends meet.

It can advance and ride rough-shod over our lives and our relationships and our families, and it doesn’t give a flying fig who it takes down on its merry dance.

I know. It took my baby bro’ out in 1998 at the wizened old age of 26, and then just to waggle its arse at us, it crept up from nowhere and took out Dad out in 2006.

I’d like to meet Cancer some day and kick it fair and square in the nads.

I can’t.

I can only do what I’ve done in some ways since 1992 and rattle a tin under your nose.

In 2013 I’m shaving my hairy bonce and visage to support the Leukemia Foundation.

Will you help? You can, and it can cost you from zero to whatever you want to put into the tin.

Click here and you can just leave me a message of support or donate if you like. Believe me; if you don’t have the means to make a donation, just a short message will mean all the world to me.

If you have the ability to chuck in a few bucks that’s grand, but it’s not a requisite.

It’s totes your call. And I’ll love you either way, whether you’re shucking clams into the donation pot, or leaving words of encouragement.

And if you’re at the National Folk Festival, it all gets real on Easter Sunday at 12:36pm outside the Session Bar.

Facebook event is here:

And my special thanks to Teresa from Creative Image Hairdressers in Kambah for doing the hack and slash work. If you’d like Teresa and the team to do something a wee bit more sedate and considered, give Teresa a yodel on 02 6231 4217.

And tell her Billy sent yer!

No Bills.
No Bills.

National Folk Festival: two weeks and counting

Image courtesy of the National Folk Festival (Australia)
Image courtesy of the National Folk Festival (Australia)

In two weeks’ time, on Thursday 28 March 2013, the grounds of EPIC (Exhibition Park in Canberra) will eschew all traces of horse floats, cattle-judging, burnouts and street cars named ‘WarnieRoolz’, and will burst into life, colour, song, dance, percussion, spoken word and related arts for the 2013 National Folk Festival.

I stopped across its threshold in 2005 for the first time ever; never mind that I grew up two decent golf swings away from its front door.

I’ve been making up for this yawning gap in my musical life ever since.

On that first night in situ at Flemington Road, Mitchell I fell hopelessly in love with an event and a music genre/genres.

(I also fell in love and found another almost-ex-Mrs-Quinn in the CD Shop, but that’s another story…)

Bodhrans in the Grandstand. Photo by Billy Quinn.
Bodhrans in the Grandstand. Photo by Billy Quinn.

Eight years down the track, gearing up for a ninth consecutive, I’m excited again as the Canberra air chills in the early mornings and late evenings, as the leaves decide they’ve had a good run over summer and now it’s time to turn brown, red, or amber and see if they can jag an invitation to go meet the ground.

I’m excited as I drive past the EPIC show grounds every couple of days, and sense movement at the station and strange new structures being erected or imagined.

No, it’s not a car show. Dorothy, we’re not in Deniliquin anymore.

It’s the National Folk Festival. Arrayed in a slightly different configuration this year, with some changes, tweaks and sundry twists and turns.

If you were sat at home thinking, aw, might give it a miss this year, my suggestion would be this.


Firstly, for Canberrians, ACT is the feature state in this Canberra’s centenary year. So Canberra will be well-represented for the festival and the world to see.

Spoilt for choice. Photo by Billy Quinn.
Spoilt for choice. Photo by Billy Quinn.

Secondly, there is an eye-watering line-up of quality music and song and all that other stuff catalogued above.

Over the next two weeks and across the festival itself, I’ll be bringing some tastes and teasers and forecasts of things to come and those that are here and now.

The microphone’s primed, the camera (lol) is warmed up and the video camera has just been fished out of the garage sale pile.

Join me as I preview the National Folk Festival 2013, and please do join us all as we welcome the world in this year again at Easter at our church of the blessed folklore in Canberra. And much as in Rome there will be white and black smoke issuing from the……………………… fire buckets. Where did you think I was going with that?!

Full program available in read only format here:

Tickets available here (early bird tickets on sale until Sunday 24 March):

Handy set of FAQs:

Billy FJ Quinn

Overheard Productions

Reporting from EPIC, this is Overheard Productions...
Reporting from EPIC, this is Overheard Productions… Oh, just for clarification, I’m not with Artsound FM anymore, and the dongle and laptop have also gone to meet their makers. The beer too has been drunk (unlike the drinker).

A treasured moment from 2012 National Folk Festival — The Miss Chiefs are back and on the program this year. Listen to my interview with them earlier this year here: