Airlie Beach Festival of Music is held in November, however, in the lead-up, the organisers stage what is arguably Australia’s biggest battle of the bands competition.
And you’d have to argue very convincingly to beat this: regional finals in (take a deep breath): Darwin, Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Nimbin, Newcastle, Sydney, Illawarra, Melbourne and Adelaide.
And budding musos are all vying for the chance to participate in the final at Airlie Beach in November.
As well as the performance opportunity in 2019, the overall winner gets to return to play the main stage the following year, receiving four nights’ accommodation, VIP main tent passes, a $1000 performance fee, and a spot on Music View TV (Cairns).
If you’re a regional muso aiming to get your music to a wider audience, it’s well worth a shot.
Mensch Monique!: Interview at Cobargo Folk Festival
Mensch, Monique! were in Australia earlier this year, 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).
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.
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.
Arriving in the Blue Mountains for a few days at short notice, I consulted the font of all knowledge on what was going on in most regions (Facebook Events), and it turned up an exhibition in Katoomba called ‘Witch’ by local artist Nina Lipscombe.
The paranormal, mythological, and mystical aren’t things that normally pique my interest, but increasingly, I’ll have a look at subject matter outside my normal interests. I’m glad I did.
‘Witch’ is an intriguing exploration of themes that may not exactly leap off the promo flyer or internet page. Speaking of our friend social media, a comment on the event page led to an exchange with the artist Nina Lipscombe, and a few days later, we were sitting in the leather-padded comfort of the guest lounge at the Carrington Hotel.
Bill Quinn: Just for my background, can you tell me a bit about how you came to be involved in art.
Nina Lipscombe: It’s an interesting story, because I didn’t do it very much in high school. I was doing theatre and television, but right after high school, I decided to dabble in it.
So I bought a kit from Hobby Lobby! It was Bill Alexander; he was the original happy painter. He’s the one that actually taught Bob Ross, with the happy clouds and the trees and everything else.
I bought this oil painting video, went to my garage, started painting, and I fell in love with it.
From then on, I started to make acrylics, water colours – mostly oils still – and it just kind of evolved from there.
I didn’t really get too involved with the arts scene in Tennessee at the time. But later in 2011, I moved to Argentina, and it kind of thrived from there.
I had exhibitions, I did workshops, I had private classes with really amazing teachers there, and I took off.
BQ: When I think about art around the world, Argentina definitely is on that list. I’m gonna say that the Tennessee art scene is not one that immediately springs to mind. What was that like?
NL: Yeah, you’re right about that! I’m not 100% sure; I never got highly involved with it. They do have some good art galleries, and really good art has come from Memphis. But the art scene there compared to Argentina and compared to here in the Blue Mountains is not quite as big.
A highly irregular series reflecting on the wide, weird world of folk from the side of the stage
Back to Cobargo
Cobargo Folk Festival (CFF) in early March 2019 was a breath of fresh air for many who made their way to the beautiful green valleys and rolling hills just north of Bega, New South Wales. Not too far south of Narooma, and within a five iron of a heaven.
For this peripatetic scribe, it was a homecoming of sorts to the world of Australian folk festivals. A temporary one, as it transpired.
CFF came towards the end of a week or so in the Eurobodalla/Sapphire Coast region, just after the last member of my immediate family had left their home of almost twenty years in Bodalla, on an estate overlooking the quite stunning ranges of the Deua National Park.
But it was also a proper return to folk festivals after roughly five and a half years of continually wandering up and down the Australian east coast, from the deep south of New South Wales to the middling far north of Queensland.
(A handful of hours at Slacky Flat, Bulli in 2016 and 2019 doesn’t really count, does it?)
In those intervening years, the closest I’d come to our festival culture was random assorted gigs, and attendances, media, and volunteering/MC-ing at regional Queensland festivals in Cleveland, Stones Corner, and Boyne Island.
Though all events had minor folk elements, it was wonderful to be back among the campers, revellers, singers, musos, and so, so many familiar faces in a dedicated folk festival.
This is the audio file wrapped up in a bit of Overheard FM nonsense. The full written version will be here on Monday 17 October 2016 at midday AEST, 10pm Sunday Kentucky, US and 3am Monday UK time.
To tell the story of Harry Manx would take several lifetimes, and hopefully a progression of life-forms over those lives to tell the story, because the story is so mesmerising and complex that we would not be very present and in the moment of most of those lives and that could put the telling of the tale at risk as we would not be making gradual and continuous improvement as…
I believe the expression you’re looking for is, “Ain’t nobody got time for dat!”
Harry Manx has already begun his 2016 Australian tour which will take him from Sydney down to Victoria (where he is on stage tonight, Friday 23 September in Frankston) then around to Queensland, South Australia, Perth and up to Broome and Darwin, ending in the beautiful, lovely, gorgeous, I-may-be-a-little-hereditarily-biased New South Wales locales of Katoomba.
Ah, Katoomba. If there’s a more intimate, special venue than Clarendon Guest House, I want it stuffed, mounted, and hung above my fireplace – or I at least want an invite to your venue that can safely kick the Clarendon into a cocked hat. Or any poultry millinery for that matter.
So it’s a very eclectic path Harry treads, and look, I’d draw you a picture if I had a free hand, but imagine a much-twisted paper clip that’s been sitting on your desk all day on a slow Friday when you’ve been watching the clock since 9:36am – now you’re in the ballpark.
OR picture a moose that somehow wandered into your yard, found your sippin’ liquor in the shed, and is now making a bedraggled, loquacious and somewhat winding stagger back to the forest by a circuitous route, two-thirds of it sideways. You got it! Continue reading →
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 the Lota 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.
On Friday 9 September 2016, at approximately 23:40, officers of the Queensland Flying Peleton Brigade boarded the train to Cleveland which had been held at Lota station and removed Bill Quinn.
Mr Quinn is current head of logistics for the Overheard Group, including Benevolent Ethical Entertainment Presenter (BEEP!) of Overheard Productions and Tawp Dawg at Bill The Housesitter.
Mr Quinn was spotted later that night in the comfy chair at #36. He’s chill. And there’s a perfect extra resource with some of these bit players.
[I’m leaving that sentence there because in time, the meaning of whatever the hairy heck it was that I meant may reveal itself. Picture a man, barely alive, lying in bed at about 3am, trying to stay awake long enough to post a brief update, but whose face kept falling asleep and slamming into the phone.]
Ask Bill if you’re looking for some promotional exposure.
But right now he’s talking Braille, so please check back at 11pm on Sunday 11 September (London time), 8am Monday 12 September (Brisbane time) or call +61-555-000-000 (for a good time).
Capalaba, Redlands Council District, Queensland, Australia