The Woodford Files: Fire Event Climaxes in Fire (hence the name), January 2015

Fire Event image courtesy of Woodford Folk Festival
Fire Event image courtesy of Woodford Folk Festival

Before I’d heard much of anything about Woodford Folk Festival, back in the unenlightened days of roughly 2006, I’d sure heard about the Fire Event. Attending between 2007-2010, I joined the Fire Choir each year, initially with the tenors then the bass-baritones, and loved it to bits.

BUT being able to sit in the audience with a smashing view, able to take in the full spectacle and stunning sound and light production, I was like an excited 10yo boy.

Heightening the experience just behind me was an almost two year old who was in paroxysms and frissons of delight and was joining in, improv-style, during the choral bits.

Wonderful. An absolutely stunning achievement.

My favourite part, and a moment for me that seemed to encapsulate Woodford, was when the cast on the ground just got stuck in hoe-down style while the tragic-comedy drama face burned.

The Woodford Files 2014-15: New Year’s Eve at The Duck with Black Market Tune, December 2014

Image courtesy of Black Market Tune
Image courtesy of Black Market Tune

You’re spoilt for choice as to where to spend those last moments of the year at Woodford Folk Festival.

I had probably my most memorable NYE a few years ago in the then Duck and Shovel, at a Beatles Singalong of all things. This year, it was a case of same venue, completely different music on offer.

Enjoy these guys’ new year vicariously again!

The Woodford Files 2014-2015: Trouble In The Kitchen (Sarah Island), December 2014

Trouble In The Kitchen at the Concert Stage
Trouble In The Kitchen at the Concert Stage

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 adoptedĀ 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…

I read the liner notes.

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The Woodford Files 2014-2015: The Lettering House, December 2014

The Lettering House at Woodford Folk Festival
The Lettering House at Woodford Folk Festival

Bill Quinn was sitting having his ritual cup of peppermint tea in Fine Earth Foods at Woodford Folk Festival when a postie came into the venue and started attempting to deliver letters.

To people.

He sought out the recipients by announcing certain characteristics like a writer from Sydney (“Hello!”) with blue eyes (“Strike one!”)

And then someone with odd socks.

What could possibly be happening? What was this specifically non-specific form of delivering items of mail?

After an intrepid search through the back-blocks behind the Holy Cow chai tent, we managed to find Roger the Postie who explained all.

TLH1
Image courtesy of Woodford Folk Festival

*** Audio file will be deleted by end March 2020 ***

*** Audio file will be deleted by end March 2020 ***

And as mentioned in the rambling intro, and to Roger off air, the whole shebang gave a strong resonance of Jacques Tati inĀ Jour de Fete.

 

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The Woodford Files 2014-2015: Underwater Basket Weaving with Aly de Groot, December 2014

Underwater Basket Weaving at Artisania
Underwater Basket Weaving at Artisania, Woodford Folk Festival

Woodford Folk Festival has an amazing array of hands-on arts workshops clustered into an alley called Artisania.

Bill Quinn stopped on his amble along the individually decorated paving bricks to chat with Aly de Groot about her workshops.

Book for Aly’s workshops at the Artisania office opposite the Coopers Bar.

*** Audio file to be deleted by end of March 2020 ***

*** Audio file to be deleted by end of March 2020 ***

AdG
Image courtesy of Aly de Groot

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The Woodford Files: Fred Smith On The Couch With Melanie Tait (ABC RN), December 2014

Image courtesy of Fred Smith
Image courtesy of Fred Smith

Fred Smith is at Woodford Folk Festival showcasing his Dust of Uruzgan and Home albums, with a killer backing band.

Melanie Tait: image courtesy of ABC Radio National
Melanie Tait: image courtesy of ABC Radio National

After packing them in at The Bazaar today, Fred is going to take it easy, put his feet up and have a chat on the couch with Melanie Tait from ABC Radio National.

It takes place tonight in the Greenhouse at 8pm, so that gives you plenty of time to shovel down a plate of Govinda’s indian goodness or some gozleme or a plato spaghetti up the Junction, and wash it down with a quenching beverage at the Tokyo Bar before joining Fred and Melanie.

If they’re still hanging around at that hour of the day, be sure to have a chat to the lovely Michael just outside the Greenhouse about Future Super (getting all ethical on yo’ asses about where you put your retirement pesos) and the other green stall whose number plate I just can’t recall right now.

Fred’s other remaining gigs at Woodford folk Festival:

Wednesday 31 December, 3.30pm – Small Hall
Thursday 1 January, 11am – Concert Stage

The Woodford Files 2014-2015: Andrew Clermont (Woodford Supper Club and Totally Gourdgeous), December 2014

Image courtesy of Totally Gourdgeous
Image courtesy of Totally Gourdgeous

Andrew Clermont is a hard man to miss or lose in a crowd. So when Bill Quinn was tip-toeing around the outskirts of the musos’ precincts at Woodford Folk Festival, it wasn’t hard to spot the towering fiddle-player from Tamworth.

Andrew, like many folkies, wears many hats (some of them at the same time) and at Woodford he’s virtually juggling them. His supper club has two showings at Bill’s Bar every day, and Totally Gourdgeous are launching their new live DVD. Also, in the background, Andrew’s Blu Guru fusion band has found a surprising niche.

Bill caught up with Andrew under slightly trying circumstances in the media centre, with a couple of locals providing some sound spill to give that really authentic festival feel.

(Luckily you can’t hear the sound of me throwing books of post-it notes at one individual as Andrew was talking about what he’s been up to.)

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

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

AC1
Image courtesy of Andrew Clermont

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