It seems only a few weeks ago that the last guitar riffs of another explosive Travis Bowlin set pretty much rounded-out proceedings at the sixth Bendigo Blues & Roots Music Festival. That November weekend saw the most successful Festival to date with around 17,000 punters soaking up the sounds whilst enjoying an idyllic Bendigo spring.
It all gets going again in earnest on Sunday, February, 19 at the Rifle Brigade with this year’s first Showcase event. Like previous years there will be two stages – on the balcony, and in the car park. The long-range forecast suggests we’re looking at 26 degrees – perfect car park gig weather.
The Showcase runs from 11.30am well into the evening, and sees familiar and popular returnees like Alister Turrill, Geoffrey Williams, The Northern Folk and the Erica Hawkey Band enchanting the punters. Williams, a solo performer, “just me singing, playing guitar, percussion and loop pedal,” has released six albums so far. Hawkey fuses a tapestry of soul, blues, folk, jazz and funk in her shows.
Local legend Albert ‘Skip’ Skipper also fronts up on Sunday. His latest ensemble, Skip & The Lost & Found Dept are sure to be a draw. Sweet Felicia and The Honeytones, Featherhead, The Deans of Soul, Pip Cowan and The Old Married Couple are some of the other featured artists on a big day. Also tucked in there are, the perhaps understated, Gravy Boat. These young guys have been building a reputation recently with their interpretations of late ‘60s and early ‘70s blues and rock classics.
They’re a welcome addition to a talented stable of young local artists.
Just up the road a bit from the Rifle on Sunday, Deer Prudence will be playing a mid-afternoon set to celebrate the launch of their self-titled debut EP. They’re “a pair of guitar playing, violin-toting folk lasses elegantly weaving harmonies of yesteryear”.
Tomorrow night, Saturday, 18, at Musicman some of my favourite local bands will take over the ground floor level.
Over Christmas afternoon drinks – Four Lions’ beer incidentally – Kerr’s Cur’s indomitable front man, Davis, picked-up on a not altogether throwaway comment about “my favourite Musicman regulars”. Davis went away with a scribbled list of bands, and a vague concept to “pull something together”.
Applying his investigative and organisational skills, the Kerr’s Cur man made some calls, sent some texts and pulled together WooldridgeFest. It will be an evening of two quite distinct musical halves – the first part bluesy, the second with an indie-garage-psychobilly-punk edge to it.
It kicks off with the Joplinesque (Janis, not Scott) TJ & Son, followed by the Bill Barber Band and then the heavier bluesy-rock of Messrs Sheahan, Northfield, Ingles, Robins and Osborne in Midweek Blues.
Kerr’s Cur – who will be mixing their first album in two weeks – hit the stage at 10pm, followed by the genre-unclassifiable (though they’ve probably created their own genre) Dead Lurkers. The evening rounds off with Geelong’s finest power-punk-pop trio, $2 Peeps. If Charles Bukowski had ever penned lyrics for a punk band, it would have been $2 Peeps.
A fun and varied night of music in store. Doors are at 6pm with a band on every hour from 7pm. Free entry.