Interview: Ann Vriend (Canada) 2015 Australian Tour

Image courtesy of Ann Vriend
Image courtesy of Ann Vriend. Photo by Brad Gibbons.

Ann Vriend is always a popular visitor to Australia at about this time every year.

The contrasts between frozen Alberta, Canada and sizzling Australia are rarely more stark than in January/February, so Ann can hopefully leave the tissues and cough syrup behind, and look forward to sandy beaches, dazzling coral reefs, and the inside of a string of popular Australian venues on her ‘For The People In The Mean Time’ tour.

On an afternoon when frying eggs on the pavement in rural Queensland was definitely an option, Bill Quinn spoke with Ann from her sick bed in Edmonton, as she was putting the final touches on her tour, and readying to hop on a plane the following week.

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Interview: Trish and Sam the Jazz/Swing Dancers (Sydney)

Swing Dancing
Swing Dancing

Interview with Trish and Sam

Swing/jazz dancers, Rock Lily, Sydney

Earlier this year I lobbed into The Star Casino and having no interest in the gambling diversions, I stumbled into the Rock Lily venue and a great little gig featuring Jordan C Thomas and Pia Andersen and Her Lonesome Playboys.

After recording interviews with both the headline and support acts, I then managed to grab a few minutes with two of the fabulous dancers who were providing such wonderful visual accompaniment to the music:

Vintage Allsorts dancers from Sydney Swing Katz and Swingtime dance troupes backed by the High Tops Brass Band at the re-launch of The Bourbon in Sydney:

Interview: Pia Andersen (Sydney)

Pia Andersen
Pia Andersen

Interview with Pia Andersen (Sydney)

Jazz, swing and barrelhouse blues

This is the second of three interviews I did one steamy summer evening in Sydney earlier this year when I found myself strangely at a loose end at The Star Casino in Sydney. This is not a regular haunt for me and so to discover the Rock Lily venue down one end of the gaming floor was trés welcome.

While the crowd was modest to start with, a healthy dance-floor-full of swing dancers materialised as Pia Andersen and Her Lonesome Playboys took the stage and the music started.

It was a visually and musically arresting performance and I took the opportunity to interview Pia and sax player Frank Bennett afterwards:

Pia Andersen has a gig on Thursday 26 June at Palmer and Co in Sydney and you can find more information on other upcoming gigs and news at her Reverbnation page.

The Acca Daiquiris: with a twist of jazz

The Acca Daiquris
The Acca Daiquris. Image courtesy of The Acca Daiquiris.

When you break down the name of some bands, they really do tell you exactly what you need to know. In this case, it’s taking hard driving rock numbers and serving them up in the cocktail bar (at Lounge Lizard O’Clock) with a smooth finish.

I had heard the name The Acca Daiquiris before through friends in high and low places associated with Thursday nights at the National Press Club and other jazz-related venues, but gun to my head, I’d struggle to pick them out of a line-up.

So when bass player Geoff Rosenberg contacted me via social networking last week, I had little to go on. But true to my congenital affliction (chronic interviewitis), come 7pm on Friday night we were conversing o’er the telecom lines, and I started by pointing out to Geoff that I was breaking some very new ground with this interview.

Bill Quinn: Now Geoff, this is the first time I’ve done an interview with a covers band so please be gentle with me.

Geoff Rosenberg: Yeah, I suppose we are a covers band, but we don’t always see ourselves as such. We do do covers, but we do original arrangements.

BQ: Just on that point, do you find there’s any snobbery on that? “We do originals and you do covers?” Continue reading