The BordererS: To Canberra Polish White Eagle Club and beyond

The BordererS Live
The BordererS Live

The BordererS from Adelaide have forged a reputation for frenetic, energetic live performances, built on the back of relentless touring.

September and October sees no let up, as having only recently returned from a very special performance at the Sydney Opera House (for the Sydney LifeForce Memorial Service on Suicide Prevention Day), the next few weeks has the band bouncing in and out of NSW, Victoria, then back to NSW for the Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival.

First cab off the rank is a performance in Canberra at the revitalised Polish White Eagle Club. This venue has long been a favourite of Canberra music aficionados, helped by the fact that the club has been for many years completely pokie-free. (A phrase to gladden the heart of many fine musicians — especially acousticos.)

The BordererS have been slowly building a loyal following of Canberra fans with repeat appearances at the National Multicultural Festival, and some memorable gigs at King O’Malley’s irish bar among others.

A BordererS favourite review from National Multicultural Festival 2015
A BordererS favourite review from National Multicultural Festival 2015

They’ve also chalked up five appearances at the National Folk Festival and are always keen to return for more of the same. “The late night sessions at the National (when the festival shuts down for the night) with all of the top performers and the public all seated and singing together have been some of the most memorable nights in the band’s career,” Jim Paterson says. Continue reading

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The BordererS — performing for the young, old and in between in Canberra

The BordererS
The BordererS

My very first live to air radio interview was with The BordererS — an Adelaide band based around Jim Paterson and his wife, Alex. The BordererS play a blend of music that’s hard to defind — actually, it’s easy to find (see link above), it’s a tad difficult to define, but once you’ve found it, you won’t want to de-find it. Aren’t typos fun?

Where were we? If you put folk, Celtic, world and dance into a blender, it may come out sounding pretty much like this combo.

Ever since that first inexpert interview, stabbing at buttons and sliding of faders, I’ve had the great pleasure to interview Jim and Alex several times, both in and out of the studio. This weekend they’re heading to Canberra to do two quite different gigs, and when I asked Jim how he’d be placed on Wednesday night for an interview, he said he’d be placed in a comfy chair in his lounge room in Adelaide.

Which is where I caught up with him, telephonically.

Bill Quinn: Jim, I’ve spoken to you many times before, but for others who are just catching up, tell us a bit about The BordererS.

Jim Paterson: Well, I’m six foot five and look very similar to Brad Pitt.

BQ: That’s my recollection.

JP: Ehm, and my wife… she’s kind of like a midget.

No, we’ve been going for nearly 19 years now, and I was just talking with someone today — Gabi, she’s our backing vocalist — and I said that after 19 years, we should be doing the reunion tour now, rather than still going!

I’m Scottish and my wife [Alex] is Irish. And we play around the country and into Europe. And America next year; we’re going to go to America next September.

Continue reading

A Punter’s Perspective 14 — Countrified folk or folkified country? (Greg Champion)

Greg Champion
Greg Champion

A Punter’s Perspective

Random observations on the wide, weird world of folk from the side of the stage

#14 Countrified folk or folkified country? (Greg Champion)
First published in Trad and Now magazine, February 2009

When musical chat turns to genres, labels and identification, if someone poses the age old question, ‘Is it folk?’ or the broader chestnut, ‘What is folk?’ I suddenly hear my mother calling.

(For a woman with reduced lung capacity, she can make herself heard well enough from 300kms away when the need arises, God love her.)

They are worthy and valid questions of a kind, with multiple levels and directions of discourse, but to borrow a phrase another family member uses, if someone starts on these topics, I can just feel the backs of my eyes going dry.

It’s fair game (sometimes) if weighty matters are being discussed at a conference or workshop, but when someone decides to get all loquacious after 17 pints of the sponsor’s product at a festival, that indeed is time to throw them their guitar or bodhran or electric spoons and ask can they play that one about the boat/shearers’ strike/ode to Annie, Nancy or Gwinviere.

For all of that, there’s one related topic that I’m continuously interested in: folk versus country. Which is not some sort of fiddle and dobro slap-down in the cage with folding chairs at ten paces, but more of a mild interest on where the line is, or if it exists.

Are there points of intersection, cross-over (and pass your partner down the line) or even symbiosis?

I’m suspecting ‘yeah’ on all three.

But lord knows I’m a punter and do not presume to be capable of long treatises on-topic. Instead, I took the chance at last year’s Maldon Folk Festival to buttonhole a favourite performer, just one of many who move in both worlds of folk and country: Greg Champion, as he made his way through a lunch-time feed of Indian food outside the Guinness Tent. Continue reading