Hello! Annie here. This weekend, December 18th-20th, we conclude our single tour, darting from Melbourne, to Canberra, to Euroa.

On Friday, 7-9pm, we’re performing inside a vintage clothing shop! It’s Once More, With Feeling in Seddon, Melbourne. There’ll be champagne, tasty Christmas treats, discounts and giveaways. I was introduced to Jo, the store’s owner, whilst at Soul Scissors, our mutual hairdresser. We instantly sensed a collaborative opportunity, and this is the result. Jo wants to have a party to thank her customers for their support throughout the year, and we’d like to do the same. Everyone is welcome.

On Saturday, we’ll be up with the birds to make our way to Smith’s Alternative in Canberra. (Can anyone lend us their teleporter?) Our set is at 8:15pm, following two interesting support acts:
At 7pm, The Cheeky Violets will bring their combination of indie, folk, pop and a touch of jazz. Each singing and playing acoustic guitar, the duo performs originals and covers by their favourite artists.
At 7:30pm, we have Mixtape Chorus – A choir for lovers of indie pop music. Canberra’s finest shower singers meet weekly to sing choral arrangements of their favourite songs. In this rare performance, they’ll be sharing their indie-pop joy with all. Entry is $5 at the door.

On Sunday, 2-5pm, we’ll teleport back to the grand, old Seven Creeks Hotel in Euroa. We’ll expend the last of our musical touring juice over 3 sets of originals and vintage pop covers. Entry is free. It’s less than 2 hours from Melbourne, and should be a relaxing country afternoon, and we’d love to have your company.

 

This weekend Dec 11th and 12th, we travel north to Brisbane and The Gold Coast!

On Friday, 7-10pm, we’re at Cardigan Bar in Sandgate, Brisbane. We’ll perform the 1st and 3rd set of this show, complementing our originals with 1960s pop hits. Our friend and special guest, Lisa Crawley, will perform the middle set. Lisa is currently touring her new 5-track EP Up In The Air, which builds on the retro vibe of her previous releases and showcases a singer-songwriter who has found her place in a dreamy, melodic pop world, with an edgy darkness. Entry is free.

On Saturday afternoon, you’ll find us in Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall, outside Wintergarden. Hosted by City Sounds, we’ll perform three 30 minute sets of our originals at midday, 1pm and 2pm. Attendance is free. Stroll by and say hi!

On Saturday night, we reunite with Lisa Crawley on the glorious Gold Coast. We’re performing amid the retro-chalet style decor of restaurant and bar, The Loft on Chevron Island. S.S. Sebastian opens the show at 8pm, followed by us, and then Lisa.

In the lead up to Christmas, we continue our touring to Canberra, Euroa and back to Melbourne. You’ll find details on our Shows page.

This weekend Dec 5th and 6th, we’re in Adelaide and McLaren Vale!

On Saturday night, we perform at The Crown & Sceptre in Adelaide, joined by 2 local acts. Anthony Priwer writes 1960s style pop songs, which he sings with warm and heartfelt vocals, accompanying himself on ukulele. He opens the show at 9pm, followed by us at 10pm and The Sons Of MOD at 11pm. Entry is free.

On Sunday, 12:30-3:30pm, we continue 40km south to McLaren Vale. In the relaxing surrounds of Red Poles gallery and restaurant, we perform 3 sets, complementing our originals with 50s and 60s pop songs. Again, entry is free.

In the lead up to Christmas, we continue our touring to Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Canberra, Euroa and back to Melbourne. You’ll find details on our Shows page.

 

This Sunday Nov 29th, we’re setting out on our tour, performing at The Record Crate in Glebe, Sydney! We’re on first at 7:15pm, and will be followed by two fab acts:

Kay Proudlove’s live performance is much like being invited to her lounge room. Combining acoustic guitar with her jazz-nuanced folk singing style, she writes and performs with an engaging storytelling quality.

Lennie Tranter & The Bagism Revelation perform melodic pop rock, inspired by the great British bands of the 60s, 70s and 90s. Their catchy sing-alongs with harmonies, guitars, bass, drums – the whole shebang – deliver a “rolling, great time,” as one (possibly over) enthusiastic audience member has put it.

Set times are 7:15pm Annie & Bern / 8:15pm Kay Proudlove / 9:15pm Lennie Tranter & The Bagism Revelation. Entry is $5 at the door. We then go to Adelaide, McLaren Vale, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Canberra, Euroa and back to Melbourne. You’ll find details on our Shows page.

In the meantime, here’s the video for our single, Christmas With You. We really hammed it up but it also feels genuinely like us. It was created by our friends, Tim and Debbie, from concept to location scouting, storyboarding, set design, properties, set-up, direction, cinematography, lighting, continuity, catering and editing. Not only did they do all that – They also made the day’s shoot really fun and easy for us. Contact them at zombiebrainspace@gmail.com to discuss making videos with them. It was filmed at Guildford in Victoria, with the gracious hospitality of Sharon and Glen, using their vintage ‘Sharavan’ caravan. It’s a colourful depiction of a carefree, Australian, camping Christmas, complete with real flies!

 

This Sunday Nov 22nd, we’re launching our new single, Christmas With You, at Open Studio in Northcote, Melbourne. From 7:30-10:30pm, we’ll be joined by two beautiful support acts:

Alanna & Alicia Egan are twins who blend folk, jazz and roots in their original, acoustic songs. With sweet harmonies and fine songwriting, they have charmed audiences around Australia with their onstage warmth, wit and sense of fun. They’ll be joined by Damien Neil (guitar) and Silas Palmer (piano, violin and mandolin).

Shadow Feet is NZ artist and musician, Ellen Sørensen. Interweaving visual narratives through piano melodies, likened to Agnes Obel and Regina Spektor, Shadow Feet speaks of familiar truths in foreign settings, from lonely beasts looking for hiding places in barren lands to princes found sleeping on forest floors.

Set times are 7:30pm Shadow Feet / 8:30pm Alanna & Alicia / 9:30pm Annie & Bern. Entry is $5 at the door. This show is the first on our tour, which goes to Sydney, Adelaide, McLaren Vale, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Canberra and Euroa in the lead up to Christmas. The full tour details are on our Shows page. It’d be lovely to see you!

Hello! We’ve just released a Christmas single / Christmas card and we’re going on tour!

The song is called Christmas With You. It’s a sing-a-long knees-up duet, complete with sleigh bells, whistling, key changes and lush 1960s-sounding “bup-bup” interludes. Its message is that you don’t “need lotsa money for the latest festive trends – Even cracker jokes are funny when it’s Christmas with friends!”


The CD’s colourful sleeve makes it a fab Christmas card and gift, with plenty of space to write greetings. A white envelope is included, for posting or for presentation as a gift. We’ll have it for sale at our gigs or to order from our online shop. You can also listen or download it here.

Christmas Card

Our tour starts on November 22nd, and goes to Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, McLaren Vale, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Canberra and Euroa. We’ll post date and venue details in a future post, but you can also check them here now. We hope you like the song. It’d be fab if we can say hello in person at one of our gigs between now and Christmas!

Hello. It’s Annie here, with an invitation: We’re performing at Maldon Folk Festival, Friday October 30th to Sunday November 1st, and we’d love to see you there!

Around this time last year, we won the festival’s Roddy Read Memorial Songwriting Award. Along with the prize of a Cole Clark guitar, it secured us a spot at this year’s festival. We’re playing a set of our originals each day. We’re also debuting our new single and Bern is making his singing debut.

Weekend and single day tickets can be purchased online or at the festival office during the weekend. Single entry to the set at Maldon Hotel can also be puchased for $20 at the door. Set times and venues include:
Fri 7:00pm-7:45pm – Troubadour Wine Bar
Sat 12noon-12:45pm – Maldon Hotel
Sun 4:00pm-4:45pm – Neighbourhood Centre

This festival of folk offers music, workshops, dance, storytelling, poetry and comedy. You’ll taste Celtic, North American, Latin, Italian and Australian-bush flavours. You’ll see established artists and up-and-comers. A personal highlight last year was seeing MORRIS DANCERS! Watch this video to get a good sense of the friendliness and warmth of the festival…and spot the Morris dancers at 4’18”. They’ll be there with bells on!

Hello! Annie here with a bit of news and a bit of fun.

Bern and I are in the midst of recording our upcoming single. It’s a knees-up, with whistling, sixties-style “bup-ba-da-dah” sections, two key changes, Bern singing and me impersonating a trumpet (or perhaps a chicken). It also lends itself to comical onstage ad-libbing and a good old audience sing-along. The King of Skiffle, Lonnie Donnegan, has perhaps been more influential on us than we hitherto realised:

The single will be out in late October, and we’ll be out and about from late November, touring Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, The Gold Coast and further locations to be announced. We’ll keep you updated here, but you might also like to like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. You’ll find extra stuff on both of those, when we have too many bits and bobs to include in these blog posts, or something very short notice.

This photo HAD to be included in today’s post though. We were very honoured recently when one of our very supportive and creative fans put her heart on her sleeve. Awww!

Fan denium jacket art

Hello all. ‘Tis Annie with a joke, an invitation, an announcement and a picture.

Joke: I’ve posted a vintage-style joke of entirely my own making to entice you to our new Twitter page at https://twitter.com/annieandbern

Invitation: There’s a fab gig happening in Melbourne this Sunday afternoon, August 30th. Lisa Crawley is performing a house concert style show. Her songs are 1960s pop influenced and delightfully original. Find out more about the show, watch one of her videos and get your tickets here and come and say hello if you see us in the audience!

Announcement: Not many people know this, but we perform at WEDDINGS! We have a set of originals and two sets of romantic, warm, vintage covers. Get the good oil in this Vintage Bride Q&A session or go to https://annieandbern.com/weddings

Picture: I’ve been recording with a bunch of mods! The Sons Of Mod asked me to fly to Adelaide to sing on two tracks on their upcoming album. One is a cute, early sixties pop duet and the other is a psychedelic expanse including backward guitars backed by mutli-layered me! We’ll post details when they’re released, but in the meantime, here’s my suitcase of mod travel gear carefully selected to create a good impression!

ModCase

Hello. Annie here. Over the past week, I’ve been reflecting on Cilla Black: On what I admire about her, on how I came to be a fan, and on the memories that I connect with her. I’d like to share these thoughts with you, and if you’d like to share yours as comments, that would be a lovely thing.

Cilla Black’s passing has resonated with me much more than is usual for me with people I haven’t personally known. There is an echo of the grief I feel for my mother’s passing. Looking back, I’ve realised that my initial introduction to Cilla Black was by way of my mum’s record collection. Mum was born around the same time as Cilla, and 1960s pop had been a big deal for her. (I’m having a cry again now actually, as I type this!) When I was a teenager, Mum gave me her compilation album of 1960s female singers, and I took to it straight away.

I Know A PlaceAlfie was a standout track. I was awestruck that a voice could be almost speaking one moment and belting the next, masterfully navigating such great dynamics, and all the while with palpable, shifting emotion.

It was only last year though, that I really became of fan of Cilla Black, after I saw the ITV drama, Cilla. I tuned in to soak up the 1960s, but was then swept up by Cilla and Bobby’s love story, and thrilled by Cilla’s passion. The songs on the soundtrack were sung by the show’s star, Sheridan Smith (who revealed herself to be a very impressive singer in her own right) rather than by Cilla, but they gave me a thirst for Cilla’s original recordings.

The more I listen to Cilla Black, the more I appreciate her talent. Her power is perhaps the most readily apparent quality, and it is indeed amazing. It’s her delicateness though, that is compelling for me. That lighter touch draws my ear closer. To sustain a quieter tone takes a lot of craft as well. You need to give the vibration just the right amount of fuel, like you’re maintaining a small flame. Then there’s her warmth and presence. That’s what turned on the waterworks again when I listened to Alfie just now. Her tender, gentle questioning gets right through to my heart. The song provides a house for that emotional charge, of course, but I hear great openness in many of her other song performances as well: Step Inside Love, You’re My World, Anyone Who Had A Heart …I will keep exploring.

The last appearance I saw of Cilla Black was her hosting of Never Mind the Buzzcocks. It was televised on the BBC in December 2011, but I saw it repeated much more recently. Having grown up in Australia, I wasn’t familiar with Cilla’s substantial TV career, but it was clear from this show why people loved her on the googly box. Cilla was so affable and uniquely herself. It was easy to feel at home with her.

I was quite taken aback when I heard of Cilla Black’s passing. She was so vibrant that it seemed she would be around for years and years yet. I am grateful to have heard her voice, and to have shared her with my mum, and to have enjoyed her light.
Thank you, Cilla. xxx