November 2007


This is amazing – Riverdance music on Chinese instruments – and beautifully staged too!

Cheers
Jerry

There was still quite a bit of daylight when we arrived at Majors Creek near Braidwood in New South Wales and we were fortunate in being offered a camping spot in a great location on the edge of the great sports oval on which the bulk of the Music at the Creek festival was to run.

The day was still warm and once we had set up camp, it was time to check out the layout. We were near one venue which had a number of excellent acts from bluesy duos to big sound bands.

As always the highlight for me were the informal music sessions where musicians come together to play and exchange tunes. I came away with a good list of tunes to learn, and pointed others to some great tunes I had picked up during the year.

There were excellent sessions on Friday night and on Saturday night which went until well into the morning. I had another great playoff with Tony Pyrzakowski from Mothers of Intention – a great fiddler and a great mate.

Majors Creek Festival

Rosie McDonald and Anne Ridgeway did a lovely set at one of the concert venues, as did Nick and Liesl – an up and coming young Sydney duo.

Will O’ the Wisp was there with stilt walkers and hoop shows and workshops adding to the festival atmosphere. The Morris dancers braved the heat on Saturday and the late afternoon thunderstorm provided a welcome cool change with the sun returning in the morning to dry everything off before packing up.

Majors Creek Festival

Majors is a great festival – big enough to attract great talent and small enough to remain a friendly festival – I’ll be back next year :-)

Cheers
Jerry

The tee-shirt read “I spend Tuesday nights in the Bog” But on closer inspection it turned out that The Bog is in fact an Irish bar located at the end of the City Mall in Christchurch New Zealand – and every Tuesday night there is a traditional Irish music session.

The bog Irish bar

Traditional? Well if you count a guy playing trumpet while standing on a table traditional… but yes the music is mainly old-school Irish celtic.

The bog Irish bar

So Eve, having made sure I brought the fiddle over, suggested we have a few tunes at the Bog. I was just going to sit in a corner somewhere unobtrusive and play odd tunes as I knew them – especially when they said they were recording that particular night for a live album.

The bog Irish bar

I was directed over to where other fiddle players were seated. Eve introduced me around to a few of the main players and there was a kind of band all mic-ed up and they would lead the session.

The bog Irish bar

Then this guy leans over and asks if I play anything other than Irish? So I said sure – how about some scottish? and started off a couple of tunes. Suddenly it became apparent that most of the place had gone quiet and everyone was watching me. The fiddle layer in the band then leaned over and said “wanna swap places?” I declined, but a couple of the main players came over and complimented my playing.

The bog Irish bar

Then the session got going and to my surprise I knew almost all the tunes.

The bog Irish bar

At one point Neville – with the trumpet – dragged me out to play with him on the front microphone. And when Athol Highlanders March came on it was only natural that I should dance to the tune as I played. That seemed to get a few people going and soon there was another fiddle player out and dancing too. So I kind of turned reluctantly into a guest celebrity.

The bog Irish bar

It was a grand session – very lively and a load of fun. And it’s on every Tuesday evening – so if you’re traveling through, why not pop in for a pint of the good stuff and have a few tunes yourself :-)

The bog Irish bar

Cheers
Jerry

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