Annie here. As I type this, my left hand’s fingertips are slightly burning. I’ve just practised guitar for the first time in a long while, you see, because on the weekend …

WE WON THE 2014 RODDY READ MEMORIAL SONG WRITING AWARD AND A BEAUTIFUL COLE CLARK GUITAR!!

We’re still in a bit of a spin about it. There we were, having played If You, having been graced by an afternoon of impressive song performances, expecting one of our talented co-finalists to win, when the judges announced that they’d chosen our song!

We feel very encouraged by the fact that they saw merit in our song writing, all being experienced and award-winning song writers themselves. Trevor Shard judges the competition every year, and has written a piece about it in his blog, which features photos of its many performers, including one of me grinning like a clown. Olivia Hally and Pepita Emmerichs have a band called Oh Pep! who I happened to see last month (not knowing they were judges) and of whom I immediately became a bit of a fan.

The Roddy Read Memorial Song Writing Competition is held as part of Maldon Folk Festival, which has a very encouraging energy about it too. Bern and I only performed one song, but in watching other acts perform and in mixing with other fesival go-oers, we noticed how embracing and friendly the musicians and audiences were. Sitting at a shared table, a complete stranger invited us to have some of her chips, which strikes me as a fine benchmark of social cohesion. The organisers were a pleasure to spend time with as well. Thank you, MC Wendy Ealey, Sound Wizard Patrick Robertson, and Machine Oiler Lee Merzel! This festival seems to have a lot of enthusiasm and heart.

For three-fold encouragement, I am now determined to learn to play guitar! The Cole Clark ‘Fat Lady’ sounds so clear and feels easier to play than my other guitar, so I’m going to give it half an hour at least five times a week, and respectfully follow the teachings of Bern. Future blog entries may be on the short side, until my calluses develop …

Roddy Read Prize

We’ve been selected as finalists for the Roddy Read Memorial Song Writing Award!

We’ll be playing our song in the Finals Concert, which starts at 2pm on Saturday November 1st in the Maldon Athenaeum Library Hall, as part of Maldon Folk Festival. The concert is a non-ticketed event, so you don’t need a festival pass. Just come along. For those of you who appreciate the art of song writing or like listening to singer / song writers, it could be quite the smorgasbord.

Apart from feeling excited and honoured to have been selected as finalists, we could win a Cole Clark guitar! That’d be nice. They’re made in Australia, with great expertise and dedication.

We’re not sure how you judge song writing. Our songs come to us in many different ways. The starting point might be a thought, a feeling, a lyric line, a chord progression, a riff, a melody, etc. We work from whichever starting point we’ve been given, add other elements that serve it, and try to sense where the song wants to go next. It might be headed to a key change or a bridge or guitar solo or a whistling interlude, etc. If you write songs, let us know how the experience flows for you. We’d be interested to know.

In choosing a song to enter, we weren’t sure if If You was a ‘song-writerly’ song, but it is a perky number, and we thought it would stand out from the more serious odes and ballads. If you’re interested in the ideas and the process that brought it into being, click here to read our post from last year. Here’s our song. Wish us luck!!

GlenlyonTreeWe’re back for the third time at Glenlyon General Store this Friday October 10th. It’s a lovely cafe in Glenlyon, which is one hour from Melbourne and ten minutes from Daylesford. There’s cosy lighting, boutique beers and ciders, carefully selected wines, inventive and hearty food, friendly service and pretty decor. The show is free, and we’re playing 2 sets, 6:30-8:30pm. If you get there before nightfall, you’ll see there’s a tree out the front with a little door in it. You don’t get that everywhere.

We’re getting into Spring by performing at Creswick Market on Saturday September 20th, 10am-1pm. There’ll be over 80 stalls with hand-made arts & crafts, gourmet takeaway and home-grown plants and produce. Dogs and sunshine will be welcome. Creswick is a picturesque, historic town about 20 minutes north of Ballarat or west of Daylesford, so how about a Springtime country day trip?

We’ve just got word that we’re playing THIS FRIDAY August 15th as part of a Rockabilly night! It’s at the Prince of Wales in St Kilda, in the public bar. We’re doing one set at 8:30pm to begin the night, and we’ll be followed by The Mighty Kings, and then The Infernos! They’re well turned out, those rockabilly enthusiasts – Big skirts, impeccably-set hair, bold lipstick, fancy shoes. They like a dance too! It’ll be a cracker of a night.

Next Friday August 22nd, we’re playing 6:30-9:30pm at Daylesford Hotel, in the front bar. It’s quite the sensory experience, that brisk walk from the car to the pub door, immediately followed by the comforting embrace of pub warmth and convivialty. Let’s give Winter a proper bon voyage, with roaring open fires, wine …possibly snow?!

 

This weekend ends our album release tour, in cosy Kyneton and cool Collingwood.

On Friday May 23rd, 6:30-8:30pm, we’ll be enjoying the open fires at The Chairmakers Wife. It’s a reverse BYO bar, where you can bring your own food, and buy a glass or bottle of their local wines, ciders or beers. Entry is free.

On Saturday May 24th, in the basement of The Grace Darling Hotel, we’ll have a top-notch set from our friend Suzie Dickinson, and then we’ll play 2 sets: Firstly, our favourite covers and then, our mostly-originals album Here Comes The Love, ‘cover-to-cover’ as it were.

Suzie Dickinson is an award-winning singer and songwriter. Likened to Rikki Lee Jones, Michelle Shocked and The Waifs, Suzie’s trio takes you through stories of street life, secret lovers, madness and survival.

The night’s running times are:
9:30pm – Suzie Dickinson trio
10:30pm – Our 60s and 90s covers
11:30pm – Our album set

Doors open at 9pm. Entry is $10. Here Comes The Love will be available to buy from us for $20 OR, if you’d like to learn the words in advance, you can listen or buy it online here!

This weekend, we continue the Central Victorian leg of our tour, in the pretty locales of Glenlyon and Trentham.

On Friday May 16th, 6:30-8:30pm, we’re performing at The Old Glenlyon General Store, where you’ll find delicious and interesting food and local drinks. Last time we were there, we tasted the lentil salad with heirloom carrots and pomegranite. Pomegranite! You don’t get that everywhere.

On Sunday May 18th, 1-4pm, we’re performing at The Cosmopolitan Hotel in Trentham. It’s a very cosy hotel, built around 1866 but beautifully restored, and there too you’ll find seasonal, local, flavoursome food. You might also like to have a look in the vintage shop next door.

Both gigs are free and only about an hour from Melbourne.

This Sunday May 11th, we begin touring Central Victoria in Castlemaine at my FAVOURITE PUB IN THE WORLD, The Bridge Hotel. It’s a proper, cosy pub, with friendly staff and a fine selection of food, ciders, beers and whiskeys.
We’re doing 2 sets, 8:30-1
0:30pm and entry is $10. Central Victorians and Melbournians will be able to get home to beddy byes at a respectable hour and feel good on Monday having had a lovely night at the pub! Ahhhh. – Annie

THERE BE DRAGONS!!
We’ve just been asked to perform at Bendigo Easter Festival this Saturday April 19th. We’re performing one set at midday and another at 2pm on Little Weirdos Island – “A fantastical island of retro interactive family entertainment featuring the weird and the wonderful.” You’ll find us in the Gum Gardens area of Rosalind Park. Entry is free.

Having been to the festival a few years ago, we’ve witnessed first hand the spectacle of the Awakening Of The Dragon. Bendigo’s processional dragon, Sun Loong, is believed to be the longest imperial dragon in the world. Acrobatic teams in lion costumes playfully tease him into a state of awakening, accompanied by traditional music and 100,000 firecrackers!

More information on the whole festival is at www.bendigoeasterfestival.org.au

We’ve been doin’ more bookin’ than a chicken with an egg!

Sat Apr 26th, 9-11:45pm – HOBART: The Night Owl Music Bar – $10
Fri May 2nd, 7-10pm – BYRON BAY: Frankie Brown – Free entry
Sat May 3rd, 7:30-10pm – GOLD COAST: Mandala Organic Arts Cafe – $3
Sun May 11th, 8:30-10:30pm – CASTLEMAINE: The Bridge Hotel – $10
Fri May 16th, 6:30-8:30pm – GLENLYON: Glenlyon General Store – Free entry
Sun May 18th, 1-4pm – TRENTHAM: The Cosmopolitan Hotel – Free entry
Fri May 23rd, 6:30-8:30pm – KYNETON: The Chairmakers Wife – Free entry
Sat May 24th, 9-11:45pm – MELBOURNE: The Grace Darling Hotel – $10

It’d be fab to see you at a gig near or far. We’ll be posting more details about each one as they get closer, but feel free to comment below if you have any questions.