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National Folk Festival

jamius maximus 18 April 2006 7

I went to the festival on Friday and Saturday nights scamming on a couple of comps my friend got.

As an outsider to the folk scene I was very impressed by the talent and variety on show. There were about a dozen different performance venues, ranging from pavilion-sized to small tents (Notably, there seemed to be no correlation between how good the music was and the size of the venue, as some of the best stuff I saw was in a smaller venue). I saw a whole bunch of artists I had never seen before. Most were pretty good, but some were really exceptional and I hope to follow them up. Between the venues were a number of food outlets, selling a good variety of world cuisines, and stores selling drums, kaftans, hand-made jewelry, incense and the like.

The event seemed pretty well organised and was well attended, with a high ratio of families on both of the nights I went. A good night out.

Anyone else go along? Please add to my half-assed review.

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National Folk Festival
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Thumper 9:07 am 21 Apr 06

Narbalek were technically good but seemed to lack any real spark and thus were a little disappointing, especially as I once saw the great Warumpi Band many years ago.

Still, it was freezing and late and they’d probably played half a dozen gigs.

And yes, the Cooper’s tent had me in a spin as well. I walked in and headed straight for the Guinness tent, only to find it was no longer named as such.

Given that, I really didn’t care.

And the mulled wine was, as usual, mulled superbly. I love that stuff. (Or is it just alcohol that I love….)

Mal 8:59 am 21 Apr 06

Union Concert was great, though I didn’t catch as much of it as I would have liked. Fortunately, I got to see some of the acts at other times.

Narbalek (modern Aboriginal) and the Jew Brothers Band were great (the latter is hilarious). Gerry O’Connor & Giles Le Bigot were absolutely extraordinary.

The presence of the Coopers’ tent in lieu of the Guiness tent disoriented me somewhat.

rose 5:26 pm 19 Apr 06

Camped for the weekend and it was bloody freezing. Along with my tent becoming flooded on Friday night and the lure of the campfires, I didn’t sleep much.
Age demographic, very polarised: lots of teenagers and kids and baby boomers.
Artists I liked: Colum Sands, Vardos at the Queen competition, Jigzag, the last guy at the comedy night on Sunday.

I would recommend volunteering to anyone in future years. You work 16 hours (shifts are usually 4 hours long), and you get a free season pass, camping and cheap meals in the volunteer kitchen (which are quite good, only $3 a meal and I was asked a lot where I got them from).

jamius maximus 2:15 pm 19 Apr 06

I was quite disappointed to find out that mulled wine contains no mull per se. Still, it smells lovely.

Androyd 10:48 pm 18 Apr 06

Went Sunday night and caught the following:
Blindman’s Holiday – acapella women, hypnotic.
Kate and Ruth – local product made good, acoustic with sisterish harmonies, talented pair.
Two British women who probably weren’t called the Smug Dikes (but great name for a band) – musically talented, but not as interesting as they thought they were.
Godawful duo from Byron Bay whose name fortunately escaped us – earnest songs about Palestine with contrived rhymes, then downhill from there. We and many others left when the woman started closing her eyes and making tribal vocal noises acapella.
Dahahoo – that’s broadening the definition of folk, but they rocked, they ska’d and lots besides. The Narrabundah underage drinking club was in heaven, and the oldies liked it too.

As always, eclectic, creative and fun.

Maelinar 2:42 pm 18 Apr 06

The mulled wine was quite nice, and they did a special deal if you had a folk festival stein in your hands as well.

Thumper 1:11 pm 18 Apr 06

Trouble in the Kitchen were superb.

Greg Champion was good.

The Guinness was as cold as the temperature.

All in all it was a fun night and worth every cent.

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