One of the side effects of any festival is that I come home with a pocketbook (moleskine of course) filled with names of tunes that people have played in sessions – and these become my to-do list for the next several weeks, as I struggle to learn a few of the more memorable ones.
One such tune is Frankies Reel, or Frank’s Reel, which I heard played really well by Tony Pyrzakowski of Mothers of Intention. It started when my ears cringed at what what seemed to be the start of some hillbilly type tune – then the second part arrived, with all those syncopations and I was hooked. It’s a great tune, written by John McCusker. Another one – that Frankie Gavin plays really nicely – is ‘Man o’ the House‘ – a simple but really lyrical reel.
We got Tony up on stage with us during the festival, and we had a great old go – like a couple of dueling fiddlers!
What a wonderful festival! The valley backdrop to the festival was spectacular, and despite the weather (there was lots of it) the Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival in New South Wales, Australia, debuted with a great line-up of artists, including Full Circle, Kate Fagan, Wheeze and Suck Band, Mothers of Intention, Craig and Simone, the Shiny Bum Singers and many more.
The place had a great atmosphere and did itself proud to the extent that the whole community came together to support this festival – their first in this town.
This bridge is the oldest suspension bridge in Australia! It’s amazing :-)
You can see some photos from the festival on the Full Circle Band website here. Tony, the fiddle player from Mothers of Intention, and Rick Saur – one of the festival organisers came onstage and jammed with us – and that’s what a festival is all about!
We started off with a session in the aptly named Friendly Inn pub on Friday evening, then it was off to the Festival ground to catch a couple of concert spots, then back to the accommodation – which although a little out of town, was very comfortable.
Saturday saw us again sessioning in the session tent, the pub, then the session tent again, and then we played our first concert spot in the early evening to a great audience – who were quickly up and dancing, despite the muddy conditions. Then a quick drive to the Bowling Club for our good friends Mothers of Intention’s Karifolkie (karioke with live music). And so to bed…
Sunday saw me pull out the fiddle in front of the pizzeria, where we got a warm reception, and I was soon joined by other members of the band, plus various ring-ins from Mothers of Intention, and legendary fiddler Bob McInnes. This was a great way to warm up cold fingers before another concert spot in the main venue where we played to another wonderful audience, and it was clear that by this time word had spread about Full Circle and we had another enthusiastic audience which really rounded off the festival. This was the first for this town, and I certainly hope there will be many more to come!
And as you can see, festivals are good for fitness too!