28 February 2011

Newport Bush Orchestra February 28'th 2011

Present: Alan, Bruce S, Bruce W, Christina P, Dave, Greg O, Helen H, Julie, Kathryn, Leonie, Marilla, Michael d V, Rob R, Simon D, Trevor,

Tonight we learnt 'McGlashen's 3'rd polka' and 'Harry McQueen's Set Tune'.

After the break we ran through 'Splinter McLeod', 'The Girl on the Hill', 'Helen's Heart Waltz' and 'Uncle Alfies Tap'

Another fun night!

For those who may not know it, the Newport Bush Orchestra now has its own web site with the tune book in PDF form, additional tunes and MP3's to download - all for free!

26 February 2011

Kamishibai meets Australian Tall Story: Storytelling NFFC style.

An evening spent with the NFFC in an evening well spent.

The club celebrates the traditional, the original, the classic, the folk, the beginner and the maestro. Storytelling as anecdote, bush ballad, Shakespeare … are all shared and aired in the mix of fiddles, guitars, banjos and tin whistles.

Creative collisions and collaborations are frequent. Here’s a fine example …

As one of the club’s storytellers, I just happened to mention to fellow clubber, Ted Smith (guitarist, reciter, humourist), that I was interested in the Japanese art of Kamishibai storytelling. Kamishibai means ‘paper theatre’. The theatre is an exquisite wooden box that opens out into a picture frame. The storyteller needs a story and a set of illustrations to slide in and out of the frame as they tell the story.

Ted generously set about making a Kamishibai. After studying many images from the internet and drawing his own plan, he built the theatre using recycled Australian Eucalyptus. While the building was taking place I, with the help of partner John Kean, worked on the first story and set of picture cards.

For a while now I’ve been interested in breathing life into the Aussie Tall Story and this seemed like the perfect way to enliven an old genre.

On Friday night, the tale of Split Dog was launched to great applause and smiles all round. I’m in no doubt, that we have created something new to share with you all. And now I look forward to developing more stories and more creative collisions.

As I type, NFFC’s Leonie Kervin (artist, bush orchestra, songwriter) is creating a set of cards for the Kamishibai. Watch this space!

You can see Ted/Jackie's/Leonie's Kamishibai in action during the Newport Folk Festival in July.

Jackie Kerin (Ukulele, Choir, storyteller)

Annual Report 2010

Our 2010 Annual Report provides an overview of our activities during 2010 and a summary of the club finances for the year.

Download the Annual Report (PDF, 391kB)

22 February 2011

Newport Bush Orchestra February 21'st 2011

Present: Alasdair, Anette, Bruce S, Bruce W, Christina P, Dave, Frances, Greg O, Helen H, Julie, Kathryn, Kerry, Leonie, Marilla, Michael d V, Rhonwyn, Rob R, Simon D, Trevor, Wendy L,

Tonight we reviewed 'Jinker's Hi Ho', 'Me & My True Love', 'Step It Out Mary' (and learnt the 3'rd part - see below), 'Harry McQueenn's Set Tune', 'McGlashen's Step Clog'. We then learnt MGlashen's 3'rd Figure of the 1'st Set.

Another great evening!

For those who may not know it, the Newport Bush Orchestra now has its own web site with the tune book in PDF form, additional tunes and MP3's to download - all for free!

15 February 2011

Newport Bush Orchestra February 14th 2011

Present: Alasdair, Anette, Bruce S, Bruce W, Chris K, Christine H, Christina P, Dave, Frances, Greg O, Helen C, Helen H, Julie, Kathryn, Kerry, Leonie, Lorraine, Marilla, Rob R, Simon D, Trevor, Wendy L,

We kept up the frenetic pace tonight and learnt 'Jinker's Hi Ho', 'Me & My True Love', 'Step It Out Mary' (1'st two parts), 'Harry McQueenn's Set Tune', 'McGlashen's Step Clog'. We also welcomed two newcomers: Frances, who wowed us with her versatility on squeezebox and a variety of recorders, and Lorraine, who travelled all the way from the other side of the bay to be with us! Welcome to you both. Overall, it was a very productive evening and in the post tea-break session we went wild with all sorts of weird and wonderful tunes, key changes and even had a bash at turning marches and reels into jigs for fun.

For those who may not know it, the Newport Bush Orchestra now has its own web site with the tune book in PDF form, additional tunes and MP3's to download - all for free!

Also, this coming Sunday at 11.30 am, our own Greg O'Leary will be running an Australian Fiddle Tunes Workshop with one of Australia's iconic fiddlers Tom Walsh. This will be part of the 'Blackwood Fiddlers Convention'. They will probably look at tunes such as: 'Me and My Truelove', 'Hilarity', 'The Old Schoolmaster', 'Mr Gallagher and 'Mr Sheen' and more. I'm going to be there for sure.

Well that's it for now. See you in the soup!

12 February 2011

Open Stage, Feb 2011

Our second regular gig for the year went swimmingly. Loads of local talent graced the stage of the Community Hall, along with a new voice.
In the brave first position we had the pictured young man. He opened the night with gusto and two original songs.

Next was our very own Bill. Warm and engaging, with a fabulous voice.

Alan wheeled out his usual style and panache, with some excellent tunes. (Including a Dylan number, always an perfect choice).
Ted held us all captive with his mighty fine finger-pickin' and humour. My feet start dancing of their own accord when Ted takes the stage.
Raymond knocked us all sideways with his acapella performance. He followed with an original and then a traditional Scottish song.
Phil also treated us to three of his original songs. Great voice!

It just wouldn't be a folk club night if we didn't hear at least one of Dave's bush ballads. When Dave takes the stage you can just step back in time and smell the gum trees.

We stopped for a short break, dining on home made bread, hommus, cheese and home grown tomatoes.
We exchanged chook raising stories and gardening tips. I think some people were talking about music too.
With full bellies we waddled back into the hall.
Newcomer Shane jumped in boots and all. He had us all at hello. The whole room was singing along, breaking out into harmonies and stamping our feet.

Simon sang us three of his original songs. Nice guitar work.

After that Bruce was hijacked and dragged up onto the stage to support Leonie, who sang some songs.
Bruce's amazing guitar/mandolin/banjo work didn't go un-noticed. While he was up there strutting his stuff Rob jumped on board.
Rob's oh-so-low bass voice had us all a-quiver.
And as if that wasn't enough, Greg J finished off the evenings with tales of his recent trip to South America, through to the Galapagus Islands. (is that how you spell it?)
He did some show and tell, and played for us the pictured instrument. Sorry Greg, can you help me here? Can't remember its name. But it was most impressive.
My favourite of his exhibits was a goat's tonails shaker. And I checked, it really is made of goats tonails! It makes the most beautiful chime. Unfortunately my camera battery died, so I didn't get a photo, but it was gorgeous!
We all left the hall on a high note. A great start to 2011.

11 February 2011

Bush Orchestra on 7:30 Report

The Bush Orchestra appears (briefly) in a 7:30 Report story about the Confedederate warship Shenandoah's visit to Melbourne in 1865. We played at the launch of an exhibition about the visit at Seaworks, and the ABC camera crew were there.

The Shenandoah story starts 21 minutes 45 seconds into the program.

View the 11 Feb 7:30 Report on iview.

10 February 2011


And so the musical year begins. The first of our regular Folk Club events began last night with Ragusa. (A new Croatian eatery in Williamstown, hosting ambience and delicious food). Held on the second Thursday of every month, this is a good one to mark in your calendar, it is always a fabulous evening.
Last night we were treated to the fancy fingerpickin' antics of the internationally acclaimed, Nick Charles. And what a show it was! One MSG, (male solo guitarist), held the room spellbound.
Nick was supported by the fabulous stage antics of the Tin Pan Cowboys. (and cowgirl). Western Swing and then some. The gobsmacking voices of Danny O'Connell and Melissa Goetz, supported by the mellow tones of Steve Martin on double bass, mando man himself, Bruce Williams, the guru of sound, Greg O'Leary on fiddle, and the man who makes it all happen, Michael Stuart on guitar.
Apologies for the less than dynamic photos. Due to the lovely ambient lighting of Ragusa I couldn't get many decent shots. I had to use an old one of the Cowboys.

Choir at Yarraville Festival.

If you haven't been to theYarraville Festival before, try and make it along. There will be loads of fun for everyone. It is a fabulous showcase of all the amazing talent that we have here in the West.

And speaking of which, the Newport Community Choir will be strutting our stuff. At 12.00 on the Orange stage. That will be in Ballarat St. just outside the Sun Theatre.

We have been practicing madly, singing ourselves hoarse and learning our parts. We think we sound pretty damn good, but come along and judge for yourself.
After our spot, I have to make a mad dash back to Newport for Life Drawing. But hang around, there are lots of fabulous acts.

Not sure where these acts are, but watch out for the Gypsy Djangos, they'll knock your socks off! They're playing from 11-12.
Then the girl with the golden voice, Georgina Stuart is on from 12.15 to 12.45.
That's what I call spoiled for choice.

08 February 2011

Newport Bush Orchestra February 7th 2011

Present: Greg OL, Michael DV, Alasdair, Dave I, Trevor (new member), Kerrie, Simon D, Christine H, Kathryn, Christina, Wendy, Chris K, Rhonwyn, Annette, Helen H, Bruce S, Bruce W, Rob R, Alan D.

As mentioned below, we had a great turnout and got straight into it, with the new tunes coming thick and fast. We learnt 'McGlashen's Step Clog' in G, 'I Threw More Whitewash Over My Mother Than Over the Fence', also in G and finally 'Me and My True Love' in D. Trevor, a new member rose to the occasion and leapt right in amongst it with his guitar. Well done and welcome Trevor! As mentioned by Greg, we'll be in the Community Hall for the next few weeks. Looking forward to a great Term 1 followed by a fun time for all up at the National Folk Festival.

07 February 2011

Newport Bush Orchestra - Term 1: 2011 (Year 6)

The Newport Bush Orchestra settled into their first practice session for 2011 last night (Monday Feb 7). The have moved residence and now practice in the Newport Community Hall (17 Mason St, Newport). This is a bigger room than at Outlets and so suits the growth of the NBO - who had a roll call of 20 players last night. As always the music and the vibe was lively and upbeat - not surprising after having kicked off the year with 2 triumphs (Logan Reserve and the Shenandoah launch). There is a trip up to Maryborough coming up soon, followed by performances at the National Folk Festival in Canberra and no doubt other gigs that will come along. Its worth noting that the Bush Orchestra was established in early 2006 - and so this is the beginning of the NBO's 6th year - time flies when your having fun! Its now fair to say that the NBO is a local institution that contributes to the cultural life of our community. Let's see what the year brings.

06 February 2011

BO first night tunes

03 February 2011

NBO at Seaworks - Launch of Shenandoah Exhibition

Bush Orchestra at Seaworks

BO members.
Another outstanding effort with a heap of pressure playing the Lancers. The dancers were impressed.
If you ask Bruce you will find that this one almost did him in. Once the acceptance happened, the involvement he had agreed to just escalated till we were straining at the seams. Radio performances for some and new and unheard tunes for others. Photoshoots in 40C heat, changes to programming, having to supply our own sound at the last minute, working with very precision oriented dancers, bleeding fingers, Alan Davies learning chords like crazy and me sending complicated missives which I changed on the day. All of you rose to the occasion and the whole night was excellent, particularly the bits where members had to busk along. Very gratifying for me anyway. Mike de Valle kept an impeccable tempo, and helped me through Cock of the North.
Our singers were able to cope with the difficult conditions. I like Neils' intro to I'll tell Me Ma, very creative!
The very nicest thing was that I felt I had your support all the way through...thanks!
Present: Mike de Valle , Bruce W, Bruce S Cathryn ,Chris H, Chris K, Kerry, Steve M, Dave I, Helen C, Greg O, Alistair M, Marilla, Llyn, Wendy, Alan D, Neil J, Maryanne, Danny O, Rob, Annette, Simon, Leonie.
Did I get you all?
I missed Rhonwyn and Mira and Christina and Julie.Who else? There may be others who will turn up on Monday.
Anyway very very well done !
Greg O'L

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