From The Vault: The Woodford Files 2014-2015 – Miami Marketta and Rabbit Radio (Gold Coast), December 2014

rabbitradio
Image courtesy of Rabbit Radio

Originally posted in Timber and Steel: https://timberandsteel.wordpress.com/2014/12/30/the-woodford-files-miami-marketta-and-rabbit-radio-gold-coast/

I’m not certain, but it may be that Rabbit Radio has gone the way of the dodo. Their website comes back with an error message, and their last tweet was some time in 2016. Shame.

RabbitRadio
Image courtesy of Streema

Bill Quinn’s Overheard Productions title is about many things, but mostly about the chance slivers of conversation or even a word or two that leads to a new discovery.

Standing in The Duck at The Chef’s Table, waiting on a plate full of life-giving nachos, Bill chanced to hear and then see Joey Channon, the stage manager at The Duck for the morning and early afternoon sessions, and had his interest piqued by Joey’s t-shirt (Rabbit Radio).

Two days later, and Bill and Joey were seated in the most salubrious of surrounds (on the slippery slope at the back of the gent’s toilets next to The Duck and The Travelling Sisters‘ caravan), chatting about performance spaces, and radio, and grass roots music development.

*** Audio file will be removed by the end of March 2020 ***

*** Audio file will be removed by the end of March 2020 ***

MiamiMarketta
Image courtesy of Miami Marketta

Continue reading

Harry Manx – 2016 Australian Tour

harrymanx-header
Image courtesy of Harry Manx

To tell the story of Harry Manx would take several lifetimes, and hopefully a progression of life-form hierarchies 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…

Moving on…

Harry Manx performs at the 2012 National Folk Festival
Harry Manx performs at the 2012 National Folk Festival

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 if it can go close to kicking the Clarendon into a cocked hat. Or any poultry millinery for that matter.

And finally wrapping it all up at Club Saffire in Merimbula.

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

A Punter’s Perspective September 2012: Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own Part III

Nobody gonna break-a my stride. Just give me a minute...
Nobody gonna break-a my stride. Just give me a minute…

A Punter’s Perspective

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

Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own Part III

First published in Trad and Now magazine, September 2013

“Do you have to go on stage? Can’t you just get a radio mic and just let them know it starts in ten minutes off stage?”

The speaker was (and still is) a talented musician and a lovely bloke and what he was to say next was in no way meant to be demeaning. He was in his own pre-game/pre-show warm up and consequently his head was processing a few things and on auto-pilot.

Meanwhile, the MC was fatigued and slightly ill, on the road for 11 days and 3000 kms by road, rail, air, sea, and lots of walking, pack mule style. He…

Ok, let’s leave this third person malarkey alone. I had been on the train down the escarpment to the gig, nodding off slightly as the NSW Trains carriage gently rolled about from side to side within a narrow range of oscillation.

The phone had rung and the gig promoter had asked me to step in at the eleventh hour to MC the big, almost sold out extravaganza that many in the area had been building up to for many weeks.

An MC's pharmacy shelves
An MC’s pharmacy shelves

I’d literally run down Crown Street then back onto the one that runs parallel, stopping off for a bottle of medicine for later after the show. You know the sort of medicine I’m talking about. It comes in 700ml receptacles, this one was blended (many are single malt), and there are fine healers from Scotland who distill and distribute it for its magical, health-giving properties.

(As it happened, the stopper never came out and it stayed parked outside the venue, and I went to bed, un-dosed and with my medicine uncapped.)

Back to the Green Room. Continue reading

Humph Hall: An Open Letter to Warringah Council (NSW, Australia)

Image courtesy of Humph Hall via NSW Folk Federation (www.jam.org.au)
Image courtesy of Humph Hall via NSW Folk Federation (www.jam.org.au)

### STOP PRESS. On Sunday 9 March 2014, I had a long chat with Wayne Richmond at Humph Hall about this epic saga.

There are two sides to every story, but this one’s more like a dodecahedron. Wayne was quick to acknowledge the positive input from Warringah councillors, mayor and even the personal attention of NSW planning portfolio.

Articles to come here and at Timber and Steel soon.

Humph Hall: An Open Letter to Warringah Council by Bill Quinn

Written on the E89 bus from Bilgola Plateau to Railway Square, Sydney NSW, Australia

Friday 7 March 2014

If a picture says a thousand words, here’s several million for you.

Go to Google Images — http://www.google.com/imghp — and search on ‘humph hall’ then scroll, view, scroll view, next page, etc. That will tell you the value of this venue more eloquently than I can. But do read on!

______________________________________________________

When it comes to angrily shaking my fists in a Peter Finch/Shaun Micallef ‘I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore’ style of protest, I prefer direct contact.

I just don’t online petition. I’m glad for you to do so, but don’t ask me to sign one.

So having read in The Manly Daily about the latest in the legal wrangle over fire and safety at Humph Hall, and the fact that Warringah Council is now dragging Wayne Richmond and Gial Leslie into court over the matter, I took time out from my morning ritual of staring inquisitively out the bus window along Barrenjoey Road to Haymarket, and tapped out the below, patiently navigating council’s rather confusing and limiting web-site to submit my two cents’ worth.

To contact Warringah Council, go to: http://www.warringah.nsw.gov.au/

“Liking Facebook pages and reposting memes is not enough in days like these.”
— Bill Quinn via Billy Bragg. Continue reading

A Folking Memory of Songs and Under-garments and Bravado and Musical Performance Advice from an Illawarra Folk Festival, Bra’

  • Andrew Winton, David Hyams and Bernard Carney at the bar, Illawarra Folk Festival. Photo by Bill Quinn.

Andrew Winton, David Hyams and Bernard Carney at the bar, Illawarra Folk Festival, 2012. Photo by Bill Quinn.

Last night a song came on the Saturday Night Forever Classic Hits and Memories Relive Show on the radio which was a perfect soundtrack to my current never-ending task of cleaning, packing, clearing, selling, and carting stuff to op shops, charity stores and the tip.

Lyric cheat
Lyric cheat

Anyhoo, this song (Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da by The Beatles) I learnt via ABC Sing books in primary school and ABC Radio 2CN and 2CY back in the 1970s.

And from listening to Beatles records in the Dickson Library in Canberra after school.

I took the song in my head to a ‘Songs We Sang In School’ themed concert at Illawarra Folk Festival a few years ago, in answer to a callout from the organisers. I’d worked up a bit of vaudeville to go with it, but the setting for the concert was an intimate affair up in the Chapel (at that time just the chapel itself, not the awesome little elevated tent show it’s now become). The small, subdued crowd didn’t really seem to suit the energy of what I’d planned, so I did a Dylan song instead.

However, I *did* mention to Bernard Carney in passing that I was planning to do the song before I changed plans. Bernard Carney, apart from his decades-long anthology of original music, has made a regular feature of his all-singing, all-dancing, multi-muso, multi-instramental, multi-style Beatles singalongs at festivals around Australia.

At my casual remark, Bernard shot me one of his trademark sideways looks, twiddled his ‘tache and said, “Why don’t you sing it at The Beatles Singalong?”

Me. Mr Amateur Plus, who occasionally slides off notes like a slippery dip. Singing with electrified accompaniment in front of ~400 people.

Feel the fear and don’t think twice, it’s alright.

“Oh, yeah. Alright.” Always up for a challenge, me. That a man’s grasp should exceed his reach – or vice versa. I never can recall.

Come the appointed night, with the thought of going on stage and singing with a backing band, I had so much adrenaline pumping through the veins, you could stick a cord into any orifice and light up a small city.

Ask Craig Dawson — he was sat next to me and had to ask permission to say something before I went up there.

Singing at full belt is a service I do provide
Singing at full belt is a service I do provide.

I’m glad he did because he said, “Give it everything. Don’t hold back. Leave it all out there on the stage.”

I can’t remember getting more timely or salient or sage advice.

Thanks, Campusoid. I strode out, barefoot and in shorts, bandages around my legs where the gumboots had bitten into my calves, plonked a bag on the stage, nodded to no less than Liz Frencham on bass, David Hyams on geet, and Bernard also wielding an axe. Forgotten the others.

I fluffed the first line because I am *crap* at singing lead with accompaniment and never know when to come in, but I made it up, and when we hit the first chorus, I had props.

“Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, life goes on, bra…” ♪♪♪

And every time I hit the word ‘bra’, I threw a St Vincent de Paul shop-bought bra out into the audience.

If I missed a note, or got a half-tone off or slurred a word, who cared? Everyone was tossing bras around the crowd.

An enduring memory shall remain as I sang, “Desmond stays at home and does his pretty face!” and on every syllable stabbing a finger at Billy Folkus – picture an Australian twin of Billy Connolly – in the fifth or sixth row. Billy had one of the bras tied around his head like some large, hairy, pseudo-effeminate character from a Jane Austen novel.

I walked off stage to shrieks of laughter and gales of applause, cheering and clapping, and the knowledge that noone — not one single person — needed to know my name, just that they had a fun time and laughed lots and maybe had a story to tell. It chrystallised everything that’s core to my being about performance and writing and speaking and radio and singing:

It's not about me; it's about us.
“It’s not about me; it’s about us.”

It’s not about me. It’s about you.

It’s about them. It’s about us.

I don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy old world and never aim to. That people can tell me stories as if anew that prominently featured me but they don’t realise it was me is a cause for great personal joy.

It’s the song, not the singer.

And another enduring memory out of all of that was the amused, bemused and c-mused look on Bernard’s face as I bounced off stage and over to the bar to collect the bottle of wine I’d won as a runner-up prize in the Yarn Spinning Contest earlier that day (and necked it in about 15 minutes which only partially damped down the raging flames of heat and adrenaline).

“I think we’ve reached a seminal moment in Beatles Singalongs!”

The next morning, as we were setting up in the Slacky Flat Bar for the day’s shows, one of the cleaners walked up to me swinging one of the bras around her fingers with an incredulous look on her face:

“What went on here last night?!”

That, my friends, is why I folk.

The Pat Drummond interviews, May 2012

Pat Drummond tribute concert, Merry Muse, Canberra
Pat Drummond tribute concert, Merry Muse, Canberra

Pat Drummond interviews

The day after the tribute night before

Pat Drummond has built up a formidable musical legacy. And he’s not done yet.

So while he could attend his own tribute concert, sit in the front row, and inevitably jump up and provide a fair slice of the entertainment himself, he did just that.

The brain-child of long-time friend Craig Dawson, the night was held at The Merry Muse, Turner Bowling Club on Friday 18 May 2012.

For more details on the actual night, see the ‘A Punter’s Perspective’ column in the May edition of ‘Trad and Now‘ magazine. $4.90 in newsagents and considerably less online.

And for the audio of the actual interviews, click below. My apologies for the quality of the audio; my MP3 recorder is taking a holiday somewhere without me and has resisted all entreaties to Saint Anthony to show itself. So the audio tracks are on a very average voice recorder on my soon-to-be ex-phone.

*** THE AUDIO OF THIS INTERVIEW HAS BEEN DELETED FROM SOUNDCLOUD DUE TO SPACE LIMITATIONS ***

and

*** THE AUDIO OF THIS INTERVIEW HAS BEEN DELETED FROM SOUNDCLOUD DUE TO SPACE LIMITATIONS ***

Thanks, Pat, for the last 35 years. Looking forward to the next 35.

Pat Drummond starts the evening as a mere spectator
Pat Drummond starts the evening as a mere spectator
Pat Drummond, Geoff Drummond and Fred Pilcher -- video to follow!
Pat Drummond, Fred Pilcher and Geoff Drummond — video to follow!

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Acoustic Soup at the ANU Food Coop, Canberra City (Acton)

ANU Food Coop
ANU Food Coop

Acoustic Soup at the ANU Co-op Food Shop

Third Wednesday of the month

Let’s hear it for doing new stuff. CS Lewis opined that you should do six impossible things before breakfast. Well, here’s one new thing to do next month. And here are six things you can do there:

  1. Try some of the most delicious, nutritious vego soup with chick peas and awesome bread
  2. Try some home brew from Albury mayhaps
  3. Listen to/watch some of the best acoustic music that Canberra’s independent music scene has to offer
  4. Meet some really amazing gals and guys who are passionate about community and sustainable futures
  5. Browse an incredible array of organic and ethical products, and finally (wait for it, brace yourself)
  6. Poo in a bucket!

OK, there’s method in the madness of that last one. In fact, before this post is done and dusted, thou shalt have a link to what that’s about. Continue reading

ANU School of Music 24 Hour Concert ends with a marching band, Monday 14 May 2012

ANU School of Music 24 Hour Concert

Ends with a marching band

Monday 14 May 2012

http://www.facebook.com/AnuSchoolOfMusicSaveYourDegree

24 Hour Concert comes to an end
24 Hour Concert comes to an end
2:30am, apparent temperature of -6.8 degrees Celcius
2:30am, apparent temperature of -6.8 degrees Celcius
Questions?
Questions?
Practice start for WIN TV
Practice start for WIN TV
The protest spreads out into the city (with petition forms)
The protest spreads out into the city (with petition forms)

 

Pete Akhurst plus Minh Ha at Beyond Q bookstore and cafe, Curtin (ACT)

'Footprints' by Pete Akhurst (photogaph by Somewhere Photography)
‘Footprints’ by Pete Akhurst (photograph by Somewhere Photography)

Pete Akhurst

Beyond Q bookstore and cafe

Support: Minh Ha

4pm, Saturday 12 May 2012

I recently had the pleasure of doing my first guerrilla interview with the very savvy, very switched-on and very talented Pete Akhurst.

So it was great to see that he’ll be doing a gig, up close and personal this Saturday in the very intimate surrounds of Beyond Q bookstore and cafe, downstairs in the Curtin Shops.

Pete will be playing songs off his EP ‘Footprints’ plus some new stuff, plus introducing his colleague in song and music, Minh Ha.

It’s free, but you can show your appreciation by throwing some money into the jar and maybe buy a copy of Pete’s very fine CD, ‘Footprints’.

Listen to my guerrilla interview with Pete here:

 *** THE AUDIO OF THIS INTERVIEW HAS BEEN DELETED FROM SOUNDCLOUD DUE TO SPACE LIMITATIONS ***

*** THE AUDIO OF THIS INTERVIEW HAS BEEN DELETED FROM SOUNDCLOUD DUE TO SPACE LIMITATIONS ***

And see you on Saturday afternoon at Beyond Q in Curtin.

Here are some more links:

Pete Akhurst on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/peteakhurstmusic

Pete Akhurst on MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/peteakhurst

Beyond Q bookstore and cafe on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Beyond-Q-Books-Bar-Barista/151201208289970

Paul Greene guerrilla interview: on tour around Australia

Paul Greene
Paul Greene

Paul Greene on tour around Australia

In Canberra on Thursday 10 May

The Front Café and Gallery

Paul Greene is making his way around Australia, and on the digital version of two cans with a bloody long string between them, Bill Quinn caught up with Paul on the road as he motored from Port Lincoln, South Australia towards Melbourne for a TV appearance.

*** THE AUDIO OF THIS INTERVIEW HAS BEEN DELETED FROM SOUNDCLOUD DUE TO SPACE LIMITATIONS ***

*** THE AUDIO OF THIS INTERVIEW HAS BEEN DELETED FROM SOUNDCLOUD DUE TO SPACE LIMITATIONS ***