25 September 2010

Club Night Sep 2010

What an amazing night! As the Serbian dance group and the Swedish band entered the hall we knew it was going to be a big night, but even more surprises were in store. After a couple of fiddle tunes to get things going the Serbian dancers from the cultural group K.U.D. Kolo took the floor and wowed us with their beautiful and energetic traditional Serbian dances. They performed the Vranje (a dance from southern Serbia that shows the Turkish influence from the days of the Ottoman Empire occupation) and the Shopske (a tradional shepherds' dance, also from the southern region of Serbia).

It was a hard act to follow but Simon's always up for a challenge and got us all singing along with Uncle Joe's Mint Balls - obviously well-known to the Brits in the audience, Danny and Ted knew the words to every verse!

The Red Herrings gave us a couple of delightful Swedish tunes, enlivened as always by Björn's Nyckelharpa or keyed fiddle, an ancient and wonderful instrument, rather like a violin with a small keyboard grafted onto its neck.

Dave's repertoire of poems and stories is getting more and more impressive, and extending well beyond the Australian bush poetry he's best known for. This month it was The Shooting of Dan McGrew by Canadian poet Robert Service, with a bit of audience participation just for fun.

There were old favourites a-plenty with Alison and an impromptu ukulele ensemble performing the Carter Family classic Keep on the Sunny Side and a bracket of dance tunes from members of the Bush Orchestra. And Greg J. performed a terrific Bob Dylan song we hadn't heard for ages; Brand New Leopard-Skin Pillbox Hat.

Newcomers Sarah and Brendan made an impressive NFFC debut with a virtuoso performance of Brahms' famous Hungarian Dance No. 5. The bar just got raised a bit for classical music at the NFFC!

Young Isaac has been coming along to the Folk Club nights since the very beginning (and just about doubled his height over that time too!) and has had a go at playing several instruments, but tonight he showed us the result of his latest project - a shiny new hand-made mandolin! He and Bruce made it from a kit over several months and it looks and sounds fantastic. Well done Isaac, maybe Bruce will give you a few lessons in how to play it now...

There was so much more but I was too busy singing along and having a good time to make notes...

Finally Alisdair gave us a wonderful end to the evening, with his a cappella rendition of My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose. It only remained for Alan to wind us up as usual with The Parting Glass. An outstanding night of music and entertainment, and we're looking forward already to the Open Stage night on 8 October, see calendar for details.

12 September 2010

Newport Open Stage successful debut

The Newport Fiddle and Folk Club has launched a number of initiatives over the last few years and on Friday 10th September launched its latest musical venture, the Newport Open Stage.

The idea of the Open Stage came from the success of the regular monthly club gathering. As the numbers grew, it became increasingly difficult to ensure that all needs were met. From fiddle tunes, to collective singing and individual performances, there was not enough time to do it all. We started realising there was a need for a performance space where people could share their own songs and do individual performances. After discussing the idea with the folk club committee, Greg Jenkins and Simon Kerr developed the idea of using the club's regular meeting space on the second Friday of every month. Thus, Newport Open Stage was born.

On this first night about 30 people turned up at the usual venue of 15 Mason St Newport, with about 15 people performing, showcasing original songs, poems and storytelling. Everyone had a fabulous time and enjoyed the atmosphere and chance to listen to some wonderful performers.

It is an acoustic event (so technically not an open 'Mic'), performers use the stage, which is tastefully lit with some well placed spot lights. We made it a cabaret style with everyone sitting around tables (the candles will be there next time!) and because it was a BYO affair, everyone bought drink and food of their choosing. Tea and coffee was available at the break.

So, if you want a chance to have a decent performing space, then you are welcome to come on down on the second Friday of every month. Doors open at 7.30pm and the music starts at 8pm sharp. If you wish to perform it is first in first served, so come early to get your name on the list. We aim for 12 spots of 12mins (max 3 songs) each. Oh, and we abide by the courtesy principle: if you play, please stay; we are each other's audience!

If you don't want to perform, but love live music, poetry and storytelling, then grab some friends and come on down. And get involved with the Newport Open Stage.

Here are some random shots from the evening


If you want any more info email Simon (simon@simonkerrmusic.net) or Greg (gjenkins1@hotmail.com)

08 September 2010

Newport Bush Orchestra September 06

Present: Alasdair McC, Annette J, Bruce S, Bruce W, Bryan D, Catherine D, Christine H, Christina P, Dave I, Fiona C, Greg O'L, Helen H, Julie R, Kathryn T, Kerry D, Leonie K, Lyn S, Marilla H, Michael dV, Rhonwyn C, Mira M, Wendy L, and guest Patrick Walsh.

Tonight we madly scrambled through most tunes we know in preparation for our gig this coming Thursday (09/09/10) at Breizoz in Williamstown

At the end of the run through, Greg O thought it might be fun to teach the exhausted crew a new tune. Being an adventurous bunch, we thought what the heck and launched into one of the many versions of 'Stan Treacy's' in the key of D.

We also had Patrick Walsh join us for the evening. He played some lovely tunes on his fiddle and button accordion.

A great time was had by all.

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