31 January 2014

Vale Pete Seeger

Folk music icon Pete Seeger passed away a few days ago at the age of 94.

Over his long life Pete made a massive contribution to folk music, as a song-writer, performer, and activist.

Like any other folk music club, we would have heard countless Pete Seeger songs performed at our events over the years.

Pete leaves a huge legacy of music - the many songs he wrote, other songs such as We Shall Overcome that he brought to prominence, thousands of recordings - and a long and proud record of campaigning for social justice.

We'll be thinking of you when next we sing, Pete.

26 January 2014

Australia Day picnic

We celebrated Australia Day in true Folk Club style: a get-together with food and music.

The magnificent elm tree at the Williamstown Botanical Gardens kept us cool and shady as we enjoyed a picnic lunch and entertained ourselves (and quite a few others in the gardens!) with tunes old and new. One of them was "Happy Birthday" for Ted Smith (a bit belated but that didn't stop us) and Rob Richmond, whose birthday was that day.

Even those dedicated Bush Orchestra musos who had a gig in Altona (see previous post) came back afterwards for more music and food.

Thanks to Ted for organising the picnic. Looks like becoming another Folk Club tradition!

See some photos (they will open in a new tab)

NBO Triumphs at Altona Australia Day

This is the third year in a row we have done this gig and finally  God looked upon our endeavors in a benevolent mood and gave us the perfect day! 24 C and a sea breeze, birds tweeting and a nice shady marquee..... almost heaven. It  was our second performance for 2014 and our rustiness didn't show.. much. The old energy was there and it was obvious that members are finally developing love affairs with microphones as most stood only a couple of meters from them  this time! Kerry Duke's new  mandolin drowned out all of us. Finally we can hear how amazingly improved he is. He tells me that his mandolin cost more to get posted  than it did toy buy.... surely a first!
        Present were: Kerry, Helen, Annette, David B, Bruce W, Bruce S, Mark, Rob, Maryanne, Neil, Trevor, Alasdair, Bill G.
Highlight for me was the young feller dancing relentlessly in front of the stage. He was totally uninhibited as many Downs' Syndrome folks are and had all the latest moves down pat. The full-figured attractive lady that came up and danced with him had his complete attention at chest height...I wondered why. I wish all Australians would dance as well as he did. The 2 month break did not help my very rusty tune selection. I am looking forward to the first BO session on Feb 3 so I can get some match practice. Next up at present is our Bush Dance on March 16.... Just enough time to get organized,

23 January 2014

Newport Bush Orchestra at Drysdale - Pics of a Top Night (and great collaborative Band)

19 January 2014

Drysdale Bush Dance

The Bushies kicked off the year by supporting the DBB at their inaugural dance last night.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

In true BO style we arrived, milled around, sort of joined the Drysdale Band on stage and added our not inconsiderable volume to the proceedings. It was a long way to go but worthwhile as the night turned out to be a hoot  and a great way to get back in the saddle.

Present: Dave I, Mike S, Annette J, Marilla H, Greg O, Kat T, Trevor H , Bruce S, Alasdair Mc, Rob R, Mark A, Maryanne C, Dennis C, Neil J.

Neil masterfully demonstrated the dance calling, Dennis showed the pretty girls how to play the bhodran or is it the bodhran who knows?, Mike supported the pianist on the same piano!, Annette was her zany self (minus the Schapps) her violin soared above the throng, Kat danced the night away AND played on stageas well. What a girl! I saw a man dance with his wife...it was Trevor. Al lustily played the whistle or was it lustfully?? Bruce, masterful as ever chorded every tune on the run, Dave got the rust off his fiddle before he heads off to more seafaring adventures, Marilla's violin soared above the throng, (a lot like Annette's)  and she played well it as well, Rob floated down the Ohio again, he must be getting waterlogged by now, Marks coconuts  gave a Montypythonesque feel to his tasteful percussion, Maryanne nailed every chord perfectly  as usual, and me, well I just sat there crippled, in pain, brave  but undaunted, glowing with satisfaction, hoping I remembered everyone.

This set us up for our next triumph at the Altona Australia Day festival... bring it on!

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