30 November 2009

Club Night November 2009

From the number of instruments being lugged in the door at 7:30 we knew it was going to be a great night. Alan started things off with The Water is Wide, and most of the crowd quickly joined in. There were plenty of willing performers including Jackie with Leaving On a Jet Plane, Suanna and Simon with original songs, Bill and Miriam with County Down, Adrian with John Lennon's Love and Gerry with Winter Wonderland.

One of the highlights was Richard's performance on the musical saw. This is an old Australian bush tradition - it's an ordinary panel saw, played with a bow. The level of skill required to get a tune out of it is quite remarkable and the whole audience was spellbound as Richard played a couple of tunes. It's an eerie sound, reminiscent of the Theremin. Unfortunately we weren't able to take a video but there are some photos and you can see and hear other players of the musical saw on YouTube.

Poetry too was well represented with Dave giving us How McDougall Topped the Score and The Man From Ironbark. Dave's comic timing and delivery is just getting better and better and there was much laughter to be heard. Ted also amused us with a poem called Similar Cases by Charlotte Gilman, which takes a light-hearted look at Darwin's Theory of Evolution.

There were lots of new musical collaborations, with Moira and Rick combining for Allie's Waltz, Frank, Steve and Moira getting together for a wonderful calypso number, and Tiya and Adrian combining for Here Comes the Sun and Tiya and Gerry on Georgia. There was a bit of a Lennon/McCartney theme going, with a new performer (forgotten his name, sorry...) doing a lovely version of I'm So Tired.

Greg J gave us Glenn Cardier's Water Finds its Own Level in his usual energetic style, Jordan performed a lovely instrumental from Grizzly Bear and of course the Bush Orchestra folks came up with a couple of brackets of dance tunes.

It's amazing how new items find their way on to the repertoire; last week the combined Newport Community Choir and Willin Wimmin invited Michael, Steve and Richard to come along to a rehearsal to accompany them on Bourree for Bach. They took the music home and brought it along to Folk Club as an item, and very good it sounded too. Think of it as a sneak preview for the carols night on 12 December.

We wound up as usual with The Parting Glass at about 11:00 but nobody wanted to go home and it took another hour or so to pack up and clear the hall. A great finish to the regular club nights for 2009 but there is still plenty more music in Newport to fill in the days before we resume club nights in February 2010.

29 November 2009

Newport Bush Orchestra Mon 23 Nov

to be posted

Newport Bush Orchestra Mon 16 Nov

To be posted

Bo at the RSL Nov 25

After the Maritime Gigon the wilder members of the BO went to the Newport RSL where the regular Wed night bash was on.We did a set of tunes and songs, embarrassed Kathryn for the second time that night by singing her happy birthday and partied for ages and ages.
All was impromptu and very well received .... Again!
We are cooking!
I cant remember who was there but we lost a few and acquired Danny and Leonie i think.

Maritime Heritage Society Performance Nov 25

Renowned maritime author Kate Lance asked the Bo to play at the beginning of their Christmas function at the Port of Melbourne Authority Education Center near Pier 31. This followed on from our efforts on the Polly Woodside and was a real success.
We played our little hearts out with as nautical air as we could aided by Mike de Valle, dressup king and Dave isoms' lower deck look. One hour of intense playing and singing later we received a rousing, rolliking applause from the patrons. It was a hoot watching the tugs and freighters sail past our vantage point and fill up our view.
Present: (and this is just a stab) Dave,Anette,Mike deV Alistair,Wendy,Chris and Christina, Simon, Marilla, Bruce, Greg, Kathryn, Llyn, Nancy, Rhonwyn, Rob R.We have an offer of another gig in feb from this.
well done

21 November 2009

Cup day at Willy Life Saving Club

Rather belated post sorry!
On cup day The BO played a bush dance at the Willy L.S.C. , Kathryns' mum having invited us a month before. The weather was hot and much of the activity was outside, but after the race we revved up and did our stuff. There was a petite 3yo Irish dancer who thrilled us all with her dedication and enthusiasm and she inspired a bunch of folks to come in and try it out. We rattled on alternating dance and song till there was no-one standing and then we went home.
very pleasant way to spend cup day.
present were: Mike S and Mike deV, Llyn, Wendy, Alistair, Greg, Steve, Dave, Annette, The Pope and Nelson Mandela.

Bush Orchestra Invades Nelson Place

Well, invade is not really the word!
A somewhat reduced but incredibly vibrant BO provided music for The Anti Cancer Council Relay for Life event held at the Rotunda in Commonwealth Reserve, Williamstown. Very much like the speech given by Rowan, the keynote speaker and cancer survivor, we, in our small way turned a series of setbacks into a joyful and productive evening. Over 60 mm of rain tried to dampen the proceedings, which had already been shifted twice and made the reserve a rather soggy spot for our audience to picnic. Someone had the idea of inviting everybody up onto the rotunda to hang out with the band. We just turned around and reversed our direction and Bob's your uncle, we created an intimate gathering that defied the rain (much needed tho it is) and we partied hard.

Present: Kathryn, Annette, Rhonwyn , Mike Stewart, Mike de Valle, Dave Isom, Steve Martin, Greg O'L, Nancy. We hammered away as usual, the vibe generated lighting up the whole reserve, fingers flashing and bows shivering, Mike de Valle dressed as Sherlock Holmes, Annette straight from the Melbourne Theatre Company dressing room, lipstick blazing and eyes shining. We pulverised em with polkas and even some songs.... Garry Adams Foootscray and the rather ironic You Are My Sunshine. We wowed em with walzes and jollied em with jigs, had em rolliking with reels and then......... paused for the piper.
Speeches came next and Rowan told us something about his travails and described the effect they had on him. I don't particularly like speeches but this one was so real, relevant and profound that I found myself overwhelmed with his uplifting message. There is nothing like getting it from the horses' mouth and I think we all wonder how we will shape up when our test comes. Rowan in a few simple words gave me at the least, hope that I will not let myself down and even hope that such adversity will make me a better person. He even said he enjoyed parts of it!
I think I can speak for the whole Bush Orchestra, when I say it was a privilege to be asked to play for this event and I have a feeling we all got much more out of it than we expected. The poignancy was further enhanced as one of our members has been on a similar journey to Rowan. We all have been touched one way or another by cancer and it was an honour to be asked to help do something positive about it.
Music makes me smile and more so in the company of friends and I positively beam when we can make it to entertain others.
Thanks to all who made the effort to come ....it was not wasted.
Greg O'L

p.s. a couple of frames from the short video:

Click to see the short video on Youtube

Music in Newport 21 November

Once again the music was on at Paine Reserve for the second of our "Music in Newport" events. We were determined to give the young ones a go this time, and they lived up to the challenge. First up were the Sisters of Zion, a young group who have been turning up with their fiddles to Bush Orchestra for a few weeks now. They played dance tunes and Christmas carols with great style - we look forward to having them back again.

Following them were Georgina and Morgan, two teenagers who brought us lovely vocal harmonies and a great sense of humour. They've been working on a bracket of songs for a while now and it was great to see them in front of an audience in the park on this beautiful cool morning.

Finally we heard Parapluie - experienced performers now, who can even take a malfunctioning keyboard in their stride! As always their vocal harmonies were beautiful and their stage presentation is just getting better every time we see them.

Fantastic to see that the next generation of musicians are coming up and taking their place on the stage - well, the patch of grass - and gearing up for the future!

15 November 2009

Music in Paine Res

Saturday morning, 14 Nov 09 and the NFFC provided a variety of free music for shoppers, library visitors, bus patrons and passers-by. Thankfully a nice breeze kept things cool for performers and those enjoying the performances.

Neil and Maryanne started things off - they were the only act to receive some coin from a passer-by for their efforts.

see a clip of Neil and Maryanne performing
Next, performing some Celtic and Gaelic tunes, were Rick and Nicola who invited Steve to join in with some bass.

Finishing up was a group dubbed the 'Newport Sound' consisting of Tiya on vocals, Gerry Nelson and Michael on guitar, Greg O' on fiddle and Steve adding in some bass once more. Thanks to Greg for providing sound, and to Tiya for making the trip over the bridge in difficult traffic.

Watch out for next week, when the youngsters put on their show. Parapluie, Georgina Stewart and others will be serenading the shoppers and crooning to the commuters - same time, same place.

11 November 2009

Photo albums from Maldon

Many thanks to Peter, Marilla's other half, for providing all the photos he took over the Maldon Folk Festival weekend.

I have set these up as three slide shows for
the rotunda,
saturday night in the main street,
and sunday at the pavilion.


p.s. 18/11 just added some photos from Ann's camera.

10 November 2009

Newport Bush Orchestra Monday 9/11/09

After the big last couple of weeks - Maldon Folk Festival and the Melbourne Cup - it was back to work for the Bush Orchestra.

Prior to the break, Greg took the Abatayo family for a session on Jingle Bells, Paddy's Return and Black Cat Piddled in the White Cat's Eye. Bruce and the rest of the group worked out an arrangement of 'Midnight on the Water'.

We also welcomed Sean, a lovely gent visiting from Canada. He adapted well to the 'Bush Orchestra experience' and we all had a great time,both in the lesson segment of the night and the informal jam that followed.

Present: Greg O, Bruce, Sean, Michael, Simon D, Greg J, Rob R, Nancy, Christine H, Christine McD, Chris K, Rob D, Marilla, Alasdair, Pam, Annette, Kathryn, Leonie, Mary Anne, Zion, Evelyn, Czarline, Czarina, Gyrah, Zymone, AJ.

A Few Photos from Maldon Folk Festival

Top: The crowd gathers for the street jam session.
Middle: The great gig with the wonderful Gay Charmers.
Bottom: The Bush Orchestra getting set in the Maldon Band Rotunda.

04 November 2009

Maldon 2009

It was great fun being at Maldon with the Bush Orchestra...
but who were these blokes in the black hats?

- they seemed to appear everywhere we went.


Newport Bush Orchestra at Maldon Folk Festival - A Quick Reflection


Just winding down from the Maldon festival so I want to thank all for a very successful performance on both days as well a terrific session in the street on Sat night. The barbershoppers also went down a treat. I will point out again, that although it appears that we are making it up on the spot (and indeed we are to some extent), the ability of the group to operate under very different circumstances was amply demonstrated on the weekend for the very reason that we can adapt on the run.

This adaptability enabled me to include all sorts of people, many of you have never met before and of all different levels of ability, giving you and them a chance to meet and get familiar with each other. It will in the future open up many opportunities for musical growth. These beginning friendships might go on for a lifetime.

My enthusiasm sometimes ran away with itself and  got us into musical difficulties a couple of times but it paid off! The audience appreciated the ad hoc spontaneity...........I think! So what we do may look and even sound a bit shambolic but that is the very quality that makes us accessible and believable and encourages positive reaction and new members.

I walked up and down the main street on Sat night  and as I did I said hello to a score or more of people who I have built friendships with over the years doing just this sort of thing. I used to be one of those people who thought (sub-consciously) that the only way to elevate my own social status was to bring other people down (a terrible family trait). Not a nice thing to admit to but happily I changed as I belatedly observed it was those who congratulated others on their skills, abilities and achievements who were having the better time of it. Some of those people who influenced me were there at Maldon. Harry Gardner, Tom Walsh, Maggie Duncan, all the Gay Charmers and their partners, Peter Ellis to name a few and that is why I was so keen to get you to play with them. For me the real payoff of these festival is the wonderful people I meet and interact with. I have long since stopped worrying about seeing the hottest new band or meeting the latest hot fiddler, but I do enjoy playing with talented, likable, emotionally centered people and I love searching for them.

In a similar vein, you might not have seen her, but at the pavilion concert Sarah Busuttil came and played with us for an hour . Sarah is highly trained classical fiddler who was at the festival in the Wishing Well band. Have a look at the site and the video, Sara lets loose at the end.  http://thewishingwellband.com/  What motivated her to come down to play with us? Well she is one of the most positive, open and friendly  young people I know and she seems to think we and the whole folk club as well are OK.. If only I had had her attitude at her age. I find it humbling  to be inspired by  people younger than me.

I also found it inspiring to hear the sound we were making. It was excellent, warm and invigorating. I must have received 30 comments from the listeners over the course of the festival.

One last thing, we had a low key jam in the main street at 6pm Sunday. As we were winding down a woman sat down at a nearby table. I jokingly asked her if she was waiting for a bus or some such thing. She replied that she and her partner had been searching for a place to have dinner when they heard us playing and decided to have it listening to us.

One last thing which is not a criticism, but I want to keep things in perspective, so I will point out......  had we paid for tickets, brunch (which I hope you got to)  and camping, the cost would have been around $2600. So although real money is not in the equation we need to remember that the organizers expect a certain outcome. I am proud and pleased to say they I think they got it in spades.

So well done everybody!

Greg O

Hope to get some photos up soon.

01 November 2009

Club Night October 2009 - Halloween!

It was a night of people trying new things - always fun, sometimes surprising, sometimes challenging.
Alan and Christine had a go at All I Have To Do Is Dream in 2-part harmony, which worked...some of the time...and then everyone joined in for Jambalaya. John led us all in a swing version of Swing Low Sweet Chariot with some nice harmonies emerging from the crowd. Frank, famous for his self-penned witty songs, gave us instead some instrumentals with Moira doing the honours on fiddle - there was one nice little tune called Nice Little Tune, and another one whose name wasn't quite so obvious, so I've forgotten it.

With the Spring Racing Carnival coming up, of course Jackie's poem Phar Lap The Wonder Horse was an obvious choice, and beautifully performed too.
Adrian gave us Neil Young's Heart of Gold, which got many of us singing along.
An impromptu gathering of the string players (double bass, 2 cellos, viola and 2 violins) gave us a delightful rendition of Handel's Arrival of the Queen of Sheba and a couple of Irish tunes.
It was a good night for poetry with Dave recounting the famous rivalry between Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson in the pages of the Bulletin in the late 19th century. He recited Paterson's Clancy of the Overflow and excerpts from Lawson's The City Bushman. After the break he gave us the "7 ages of man" speech from Shakespeare's As You Like It, using audience members as living examples of the various ages from the "whining schoolboy" to the "justice in fair round belly" and beyond.
There were lots of join-in songs, from Chris K's Country Roads, Alan's Wimoweh, Christine's Mighty Quinn to Greg's I Remember You. Great to see (and hear) quite a few of the Bush Orchestra people there, especially since they were all off to Maldon the following morning for a couple of gigs. Another night of great music and socialising, with lots more musical events coming up in the next few weeks, too - see the calendar.

Blog Archive