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.)
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 →
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…
Victorian Celtic quartet Co-cheòl are launching their debut EP (‘Co-cheòl’) at the Boite World Music Café in North Fitzroy on Saturday 11 October 2014.
Boasting a wealth of instrumental skill and experience, a real strength of the group is in their vocal harmonising which comes to the fore in their EP. The group was also recognised with a runner-up award in the recent AUS-ACA A Capella Championships, plus awards for ‘Best Band’ and ‘Best Comedy Song’.
Co-cheòl made their festival debut in January 2014 at the ever-popular Cygnet Folk Festival in Tasmania to rapturous responses from audiences.
The group started singing together in October 2013 and this self-titled EP is their first recording.
Co-cheòl comprises Claire Patti (vocals/harp), Georgina Walton (vocals/ukulele), and twins Merrily Hansen (vocals/flute) and Ginger Hansen (vocals/accordion).
Ginger Hansen provided a little more background on where the band originated and what makes them hum (no pun intended):
‘Claire, Merrily and I have all sung together in the past at one point or another in a community choir. Claire has her own solo career as well as singing with Taliska. She was doing a solo album and obviously can’t do harmonies with herself while performing!
So she asked Merrily and I if we could give her a hand with concerts.
We did the backing tracks on her album and thought this is a good thing; we’ll keep doing this.
Claire works at a school where Georgina works, and one day Claire was singing to herself at work and then this other voice, Georgina, joined in with a great harmony line – and that was it!
We want to do more original material. We have one or two original numbers, as well as some lyrics that are ready to be put to music. Aside from this, we do all our own arrangements of a mix of traditional and more modern stuff.’
Co-cheòl is pronounced ‘Co-shaal ‘ and appropriately means ‘harmony’ in Scots Gaelic. Ginger spoke briefly about the origins of the band’s chosen music.
‘We have a family connection with Celtic music to varying degrees. We’ve all just had different amounts of exposure to it.
The National A Capella Championships were great. The event was incredibly well-organised, really well-attended, and it was just amazing to get in contact and make friends with a lot of other musicians and groups.
Quite of lot of groups from New South Wales and South Australia as well. When we go to Adelaide we’ll be meeting up with those people.
It was great to be in the company of a lot of other music nerds who enjoy singing as much as we do!
A capella is definitely a buzzword at the moment, so people are focussing on that aspect which is fine. They don’t necessarily have a picture of our music when they think of our singing, so that’s a nice surprise for them when they come to see and hear us.’
Victorians and South Australians have several chances to see Co-cheòl perform starting with the EP launch:
Saturday 11 October — Boite World Music Café, North Fitzroy (Vic)
Saturday 18 October — Darebin Music Feast, Wesley Anne, Northcote (Vic) 21 to 22 November — Carnival of Music, Clare Valley (SA) Sunday 23 November — Creatively Celtic, Church of Christ, Aldgate (SA) EP Launch
I was initially attracted to the sound of Tolka as they reminded me strongly of one of my favourite Australian folk bands. I won’t say which one, though it was mentioned in dispatches and a subject of some discussion when we spoke — press ‘Play’ below to find out more.
When we spoke earlier in the year, on a sultry Saturday evening when the Illawarra Folk Festival was fairly humming, strumming, beating and dancing, Tolka hadn’t at that point put one foot inside the recording studio for their debut album.
However, last weekend, ‘Tunes From The External Hard Drive’ was launched with appropriate fanfare in their hometown of Melbourne.
There are more chances for you to see Tolka for yourself via their gig listing. The album will be available soon at Bandcamp, or contact Tolka directly about where to snaffle a copy.
The band has played many live radio and television performances in Australia and overseas.
With a mixture of traditional Scottish and Irish music and modern self penned Celtic rock the band represents the best of new age Folk Music.
Through a diverse and unique mix of sound’s featuring guitar, mandolin, fiddle, military snare, the highland bagpipes and even a didgeridoo, it is little wonder Claymore are one of Australia’s most popular festival acts. A not to be missed extravaganza.
Claymore are one of the first bands to spark my interest in folk music. Unless you count that village fair in Surrey in 1979 where I first experienced Morris Dancing (and have been in therapy ever since).
Nothing was ever quite the same after that, even if it did take another three and a half years to distil the experience and step over the threshold of the National Folk Festival in Canberry for the very first time. My ninth is coming up this month.
It was wonderful to see Claymore perform in Queanberra last Saturday as I prepared to leave the city of my birth for good.
I’ve been lobbying William Hutton and co. to come here for about four and a half years since I had the great pleasure of being the band’s MC at the Guinness Tent at Maldon Folk Festival to a heaving, throbbing and bobbing crowd. That they were here near the nation’s capital just before I’m folking off for the rest of my naturals was a dream come true.
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.