Sam Sabine and Ebony Stibbard.
11 out of 10 was the verdict of the audience at Tintenbar Up Front on Friday June 13.
Not only were the performances of the highest quality, but the audience's entrance money and extra donations added $980 towards the total of $2826 for our charity of the month, the Sawer family. Paul Francis organised fundraising for this deserving family by collecting money at our Love Lennox Carnival stage, ($201) by going to the All Girls' surf contest ($277), by asking friends and businesses for donations and by making a sizeable donation with his wife and himself. Well done Paul and all the generous people who chipped in.
James Webb started the evening's entertainment with Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, emphasising the poetic quality of the lyrics. He then performed his own tender love song and finished off with a Jackson Browne number. Once again James's delicate finger picking and fine vocals brought out the best in each.
Sometimes 7 followed with 4 part harmony a cappella arrangements of Van Morrison's Moondance, With Every Beat of Your Heart, I Got Rhythm, and a hilarious I Wanna Come Back As a Man. We were completely entertained by their fine vocals and clever antics.
Andrew and Nick then changed the feel altogether with guitar, banjo and vocals doing fine renditions of Rock Me Like a Wagonwheel, a fast picked bluegrass style instrumental and finishing by getting the audience singing along to Arlo Guthrie's I Don't Want A Pickle. Fun and very relaxed.
Mizbehavin are another offshoot of Headliners Chorus and showed their superb control with delicate vocal stylings of some old favourites: It Don't Mean a Thing, Unforgettable and Momma Done Told Me. They then changed pace with a humorous version of Abba's Take A Chance On Me. Joined by the other women from Sometimes 7, they performed a beautiful version of Eric Bogle's Shelter, an anthem to acceptance and compassion for refugees and immigrants to our country. What could have been more fitting in Refugee Week?
After a break for coffee and a chat, Bronny And The Bishops performed three satirical pieces. The first overlaid 4 different songs to send up aspects of the Federal budget for great effect. The second used the tune of Lion Sleeps Tonight to satirise the shenanigans in Federal politics. The audience joined in the chorus of "doesn't matter who you vote for a politician always wins." They finished with another parody, using the tune from Age of Aquarius, to sing about the ending of the age of entitlement. Thoroughly entertaining.
Paul Francis sang two beautiful originals: What's Going Wrong, and My Home Town, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar. Then he turned on the distortion and was joined on lead guitar by Nick Repin to do a terrific version of Neil Young's Like a Hurricane. It is always wonderful to hear new songs finely crafted and performed.
Mim O'Grady and Paul Mulan interwove their guitars and voices to beautiful effect on four songs. Paul Kelly's Don't Stand So Close, a lovely piece by Bellingen artist Jack Carty, Sweet Baby James by James Taylor and If You Only Will. They both took turns with the lead vocal, the other adding harmonies. Superb stuff.
Sam Sabine and Ebony Stibbard received a standing ovation for their performance, each song using different instrumentation. Vance Joy's Riptide featured guitar and ukulele whilst Greensleeves had Sam playing chords on piano with Ebony bowing the tune and improvisations of it on violin. Pete Murray's Saving Grace was accompanied by Ebony's superbly fingerpicked guitar. The audience fell in love with the pair even more with the evocative harmonies on Elvis's I Can't help Falling In Love With You.
Simon Chate finished the evening, first with Bernard Bolan's Reality Changes. He continued with a tune written about his father: Send A City Sunshine, and one written with his 12 year old daughter: Listen To Your Heart. Simon showed fine control of voice, guitar and Irish Bouzouki. He brought the house to its voice with a powerful Bye Bye Miss American Pie.
The audience were left joyous with such fine music from all the performers.
It doesn't come much better than this, and the hall was warm with the new heaters just purchased by the hall committee.
You can find pictures of the evening in the gallery.
Next month's programme is already full, and full of more great performers.