30 March 2011

Newport Bush Orchestra 28/03/11

Present: Alan, Alasdair, Bruce S, Bruce W, Chris K, Christine H, Christina P, Dave I, Greg O, Helen H, Ian, Julie, Kathryn, Kerry, Michael d V, Simon D, Wendy, Trevor. Tonight we learnt two new tunes; the 'Trentham Jig' and 'Rd to Lewisberg'. After the break we ran through a lot of the newer Victorian tunes from the new website. Speaking of which, the NBO web site now has the whole tune book in PDF form , as well as the newer Victorian tunes (both printed music and MP3's to download) - all for free! Click here to get to the new site.

26 March 2011

Club Night 25 March

A very special night, with a wonderful mix of performers, styles and instruments. No photos from this one, everyone was enthralled with the music and taking photos was the last thing on our minds. A cliche but this a time it's true - you had to be there!

In Michael's absence it was up to Alan to MC the night, and he had no shortage of willing performers.
A couple of impromptu bands have formed in the last few weeks, so we had Leonie, Rob and the two Bruces (who said "B1 and B2"?), who gave us a couple of Hank Williams numbers.

Then there was Gordon. Bill, Marilyn, Tiya and Adrian, fresh from their busking triumph last weekend. It's fantastic to see these groups of musicians come together, sometimes for a week, sometimes for years, to have a good time and give us some great music. In the past, Gordon has always insisted he needs his music in front of him (he's a classical flute player) but he performed a delightful improvised lead melody tonight - we're dragging him into the Folk Club way of doing things, or as some wag said, "bringing him down to our level".

Marilla is a Bush Orchestra regular on the fiddle but we don't often see her harp. She last brought it to Folk Club a couple of years ago and the results of many hours of practice were there for all to hear - time seemed to stand still, the hall rang to the beautiful resonant melodies and the whole audience was under her spell. People kept asking for more and more!

Then there was young Liam with his Axis-64 keyboard. First time we've seen an electronic instrument at the club for a long, long time. This is an unusual and fascinating instrument - it has 192 keys, arranged in a matrix pattern - see a photo and more information on the Synthtopia blog. Liam's into jazz and laid down some very cool bass lines for the rest of us to improvise to.

Moira and Sarah played a couple of brackets of lovely German folk-tunes on their violins, and also joined in with the other fiddlers for a few traditional Bush Orchestra dance tunes. Nothing if not versatile!
Gail and Rick gave us their usual spirited performance (always good to hear a bit of slide guitar, thanks Rick), and Gail did a fantastic job of singing the echo part of Califormia Dreaming, with Tiya taking the lead. Two great voices together!

There was poetry too with Dave giving us a new one from C.J. Dennis' Songs of a Sentimental Bloke. Tonight it was Hitched, which carries on the love story of the Bloke and Doreen - in this poem they get married. And Greg J donned beret, sunnies and fake goatee for a bit of beat poetry - something about swimming in his own brain, although naturally I was far too uncool to really understand it...got a huge round of applause though.

There was so much more...Greg O and Eamonn with a bracket of superb hornpipes on fiddle and recorder, Greg F belting out Stand By Me, Bernard and Sarah with a wonderful rhumba on piano and violin (we must get that piano tuned), Jane with a couple of Gospel numbers, Gerry showing the banjo flag with a couple of old-time tunes...we just kept going past 11 o'clock as there were so many tunes to play. See you next month!

25 March 2011

Club Night 25 March 2011

The Newport Hall was full once more with a vast range of instruments, players, singers and participants for the Fiddle Club's regular last-Friday-of-the month shindig. What a great way to end the week.

Items from last night (in no particular order) included:
Marilla's 3 harp numbers - thanks for bringing it along for all to see, and to hear that beautiful restful sound; Greg Jenkins transformed into a beat poet with a goatee, and a nod to Hamlet; Mark's a capella tribute to 'Lord won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz'; Greg O and Eamon with 3 polished fiddle and recorder duets including 'The Boys from Blue Hill'; Dave's recitations of the wedding from 'The Sentimental Bloke', and the tall tale of the visitor to Walgett; Sarah and Moira's German violin duets; Sarah and Bernard's Rumba; Bruce and Bruce (so much Hank Williams in one night!); Rob's 'De Boatmans Dance', which Greg says was first performed in Williamstown in 1845; Tiya's "California Dreamin' "; Greg Franklin with 'Stand by Me' and a tasteful backing guitar to a slow, soulful number by Tiya; a newcomers performance on a MIDI controller which looked like an overgrown mobile phone keypad; Bill Fields and Gordon's woodwind duet; Gayle and Rick singing about mud; Gerry McDonald musically lamenting the burning of the liquor store, and doing another number with Gayle on triangle; Leonie's Buddy Holly cover; the Bush Orchestras polkas; Chris Knoop leading the Tennessee Waltz on his fiddle.

Many thanks to Alan for running the night, to Sue who officiated at the door and got the biscuits and tea ready, and to Terry who as usual cleared up and washed up while the rest of us were back playing in the second half of the night.

Another successful club night, and a lovely gathering of our musical community.


23 March 2011

But Wait.........There's More!

Last Sunday's bush dance at Newport Lakes was a fabulous affair. As described in the previous article, a fun time was had by all.

Here are some more pics to add to the last lot.
Highlights for me were the wonderful acts performed by some of our talented locals.

Working as a team to put on a great show. Having a laugh on stage. Putting our musical skills to use. Watching people enjoy themselves, dancing and having fun.

Storytellers Jackie Kerin and Dave Davies.

Some extremely talented younsters. And quite possibly the tallest and the smallest fiddlers in the world,
on stage together!
We all know that the big feller can play. His little mate also did a stirling job. Michael accompanied them on keyboard, and the whole show held us all spellbound

After the show, our lovely Swedish girl, Annette plied us all with shots of schnapps. As is her custom.

We all went home exhausted, but happy. Another splendid event brought to you by the Newport Folk Club.

22 March 2011

Newport Lakes Bush Dance

Beautiful weather, great music and lots of willing dancers - it doesn't get any better! For three hours we were almost back in the 'old days', with live music and dancing in a beautiful bush setting. The Newport Bush Orchestra and a range of local performers provided the entertainment, and everyone else made their own fun, dancing, picnicking and exploring the surrounding bushland. The Newport Lakes Primary School choir started us off with a bracket of traditional Australian songs including Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport. The kids got the dancing started even before the Bush Orchestra and master dance caller Neil hit the stage; Newport Convention's old-time songs were enough to get the kids dancing. Once the 'official' dance brackets began, the adults got into the act too, and pretty soon the dance floor (well, patch of grass) was overflowing. The photos say it all really, see below...

Many thanks to all the performers, Eamonn Spillane for wrangling the PA system and Christine McDonald for pulling the whole thing together.

Newport Bush Orchestra 21/03/11

Present: Alan, Alasdair, Annette, Bruce S, Bruce W, Chris K, Christine H, Christina P, Dave I, Greg O, Helen H, Ian, Julie, Kathryn, Lorraine, Kerry, Leonie, Michael d V, Jack d V, Rhonwyn, Trevor.

Tonight we reviewed Jessica's Mountain, Hilarity and a bunch of McGlashin tunes with exciting and memorable names like 'McGlashin's 1, 2 and 3'!

For those who'd like to find out more about these exotically named tunes, head off to the NBO web site with the tune book in PDF form, additional tunes and MP3's to download - all for free!

Click here to get to the new site.

19 March 2011

St Patrick's Day Family Bush Dance at the Rotunda

What a delightful scene in Commonwealth Reserve on Thursday - St Patrick's Day. With the Bush Orchestra playing from 4-6pm, a happy crowd danced along, picnicked and generally socialized. As I was leaving I spotted people at cafes and bars along Nelson Place tapping their feet and singing along to the Bush Orchestra's 'Hokey Pokey'.

Buskers in Williamstown

Folk Club musicians - with help from a few friends - provided an afternoon of music in four locations around Williamstown today. It was a lovely afternoon and the streets came alive with music. Fiddles, flutes, drums and guitars were everywhere and passers-by showed their appreciation with donations 'in the hat'. In all, 16 hours of music were performed; a great achievement for the club and our musicians. Thanks to the Williamstown Chamber of Commerce for inviting us!

18 March 2011

Open Stage, March 2011

Newport Folk Club's monthly Open Stage night went swimmingly. We met some new performers, and enjoyed their music. It was a great mix of regulars, newcomers and a few people trying out new stuff.

Simon kicked off the evening with a selection of his own songs.
Next came Sile (that's pronounced Shiela, there is a squiggly thing in her name, but I don't know how to make the computer do it). This lovely girl, originally from Ireland, now from Fairfield, sang us some of her own songs and one by her Mum.
Alan got the place rocking with Summertime Blues, Love Potion Number 9 and then ditched his guitar for a uke for his next number.
Gordon and Bill played us some beautiful instrumentals.
Zerafina gobsmacked us all with her amazing voice and original songs.
Dave treated us to some Hamlet.
Next was Kayde, followed by Nam, with their fabulous original songs.

Leonie, Rob and Alan did a few numbers and then Chris and Christine arrived on their home made Indian.
Chris tinkled the ivories for us and then they rode off into the sunset.

Michael ended the evening with a few of his favourites.
All in all, a mighty fine evening.

17 March 2011

Bush Dance at Newport Lakes.

This Sunday, 20 March, from 4-7 pm is our annual Bush Dance at Newport Lakes!
A fun day for the whole family in a glorious setting. If you haven't already been to Newport Lakes, you must. An old quarry that has been re-vegetated. You would swear that you are out in the bush, when in fact you are in downtown Newport. And close to the shops.
As you can see, we have been practising our fingers to the bone. We're all pretty excited. So come along and join us. Bring a picnic, a blanket and your dancing shoes. Soak up the ambience.
Listen to the music of the Newport Bush Orchestra and some other fabulous local entertainers.
There is even face painting for the kids.

08 March 2011

Newport Bush Orchestra March 7'th 2011

Present: Alan, Annette, Bruce W, Chris K, Christine H, Christina P, Greg O, Helen H, Ian, Julie, Kathryn, Kerry, Leonie, Marilla, Michael d V, Pam, Rob R, Rhonwyn, Simon D, Trevor,

Tonight we ran through the sets for the upcoming Newport Lakes Bush Dance (20th March)
We also welcomed new member Ian - who played a mean fiddle, and returning old member Pam - who is playing as well as ever!

Greg also taught the fiddlers how to make opening door, train (both approaching and departing) and police car sounds! This was much appreciated by Annete's relatives visiting from from Sweden - especially her great nephew!

Again, 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!

Blog Archive