A Punter’s Perspective #39: Warren “Arch” Bishop: Bush folklore for the kids

Arch Bishop (centre) at 2012 Illawarra Folk Festival with Peter 'Pearl' McLeod, Rick Saur, Rosie McDonald and Billy Arnett
Arch Bishop (centre) at 2012 Illawarra Folk Festival with Peter ‘Pearl’ McLeod, Rick Saur, Rosie McDonald and Billy Arnett. Photo by Bill Quinn.

A Punter’s Perspective

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

#39 Warren “Arch” Bishop: Bush folklore for the kids

First published in Trad and Now magazine, December 2012

When I was introduced to “Arch Bishop” at Cobargo Folk Festival in 2007, it took a while to confirm there wasn’t some sort of wind-up going on. (After I’d genuflected, crossed myself, mumbled ‘Your Excellency’, and kissed his ring – just in case).

Warren Bishop (universally known as Arch or Archie) is a master of the straight-face. He even got me hook, line and sinker when I rang for this interview, though I can’t repeat the story here until ‘Trad and Now’ magazine develops a sealed section.

“Arch” is a larger than life part of the New South Wales folk festival scene as a poet, story-teller and raconteur. He’s a man who loves to laugh – especially if he’s sharing the joke with others.

And stories. He’s got more stories than….. a very tall building that has lots of floors. Lately he’s been finding new horizons for this mastery of the spoken word, and it was these developments and potential new pursuits I was keen to talk with him about. Continue reading

2013 Illawarra Folk Festival — interview with David de Santi

Sarah from the WooHoo Revue, appearing at the 2013 Illawarra Folk Festival
Sarah from the WooHoo Revue, appearing at the 2013 Illawarra Folk Festival

On Sunday 6 January 2012, I mooched into the Illawarra and managed to pinch 2’56” of artistic director David de Santi’s valuable time as the countdown to the Illawarra Folk Festival ticks inexorably down.

Note: after a two-hour session at Dicey Riley’s Hotel in Wollongong, the constabulary were testing patrons’ ability to say or spell ‘inexorably’ in order to test levels of sobriety.

The session was one of a series held at Dicey Riley’s Irish pub in Crown Street to get punters in the mood for the merriment to come at Slacky Flat, Bulli from Thursday 17 to Sunday 20 January 2013.

So here’s that brief interview, and the text is available at the Timber and Steel blog.

*** 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 here’s the very fine TV ad for this year’s festival:

A Punter’s Perspective 04 — National Folk Festival 2007

IMG00924-20100401-1644A Punter’s Perspective
Random observations on the weird world of folk from the side of the stage

#4 National Folk Festival 2007
First published in Trad and Now magazine, June 2007

 

By Bill Quinn

The 2007 National Folk Festival is by now but a handful of dim, fuzzy, yet pleasant memories on the rear horizon. Before the festivals themes of Western Australia, water and the Middle East fade completely away, here are a few observations on some of the talent and goings on in Canberra over April.

Lessons learnt from the Easter weekend at EPIC: the Canberra Contra Club did not receive arms (or any other body parts) from the US Government in the mid-1980s. The Lawnmowers are not available for freelance landscaping jobs. Madviolet did not take their name from an aggressive (and since discontinued) Dulux paint chart. But it is true: the Jinju Wishu Academy were approached for next year’s Tamworth Country Music Festival – until Academy members quietly explained they are in fact ‘lion dancers’.

The Western Australians were in town in greater numbers than usual, and hopefully those present took the time to meet, greet and hear from a bunch of singers, songwriters and musicians that might not ordinarily make it to the east.

Simon Fox (from WA via Vancouver) treated audiences to a stack of his original tunes, including one that nearly got him evicted from his apartment during the creative process. He’d practised the bluegrass licks so many times that his neighbour above was going quite spare.

Simon claimed it was revenge for his having to listen to his country and western neighbour incessantly banging his foot on his floor (Simon’s ceiling) in time to his own brand of music. The audience burst into applause at the end of Simon’s tune: ‘Yeah, you like it, but you didn’t have to listen to it for hours in a row!’ Continue reading