A receptive TUF audience was treated to fine performances from gifted musicians as well as free cakes and prizes as part of our second birthday celebrations.
A Consort Of Friends began their recorder recital with fugues: an older piece and a jazzy American one by Lance Eccles. Then followed an Australian mazurka, Dido and Anaeis by Purcell and finally an English jig. The interplay of complex parts from recorders small and large prompted the MC to declare the players "must have been having the timing of their lives." A superb opening to the evening.
Rod and Robert, known as The A Minors, interwove two guitars and voices skilfully to deliver renditions of Neil Young's "Old Man" and "Hey Hey, My, My;" as well as a Calvin Russell tune and a very different version of Oh Susannah.
Bernadette McWhinnie on harp accompanied Joan Pickup on several songs. The harp gave a delicate and almost mediaeval feel to the tunes, in contrast to Joan's strong vocal style. We were treated to The Long Tay Boat song about unrequited love, Song For Ireland, Blessing For You all, and a final singalong. The applause was heartfelt.
Liora Claff's soulful voice was perfect for a slow version of "I Am Woman", turning it almost a folk anthem. The conviction of her singing and restrained guitar rendered Holly Near's "I Ain't Afraid" into a powerful statement "I'm afraid of what you do in the name of your god," being the chorus. Liora concluded with a mellow "You've Got a Friend" by James Taylor which had the audience singing along gently in the chorus. Another moving performance from a fine artist. Thanks Liora.
Pauls Francis played his fave Gibson electric guitar on two new self-penned songs, and was joined by Peter L. on rhythm guitar for Bruce Springsteen's "Wreck On The Highway." Paul songs always have an unusual edge, and with slightly distorted guitar and wistful voice, they took a turn for the darker side of town, typified by "Blue Motel." Keep goin' for it Paul, your dedication to your craft is appreciated.
Bradley Stone shone once more. He can take a song from whisper to growl through subtle changes of guitar strokes and picking or by the use of his (often) falsetto voice. There is artistry that has you likening him to Jeff Buckley, Bon Iver or the young Australian singer Jack Carty. Do not miss him when he next performs.
Moving from the sublime to the ridiculous we heard from Bronny and the Bishops. They commenced proceedings with the lost lyrics for the National Anthem. "Australians all are ostriches, our heads stuck in the sand..." sung a cappella. Then followed a tale of woe of "Eddie The Fixer, master of slush funds and dirty tricks yeah." Joe Hockey's call to the poor who don't really own cars inspired the third song "Shakey Breaky Cars." Are you listening Joe? They finished with a rousing call to arms: Abbott The Saviour: "Tony Abbott took Us to War now, We don't know what it is for...." Political satire and a sense of fun engaged the audience thoroughly.
Gregory Pimm coaxed us softly with his delicate twelve string washing through the lyrics of "Long Black Coat," " Mr Bojangles," and "Blind Willy McTell." Greg always animates these old favourites with subtlety and conviction. Thanks Gregory.
Snakebite McCoy (you can't fault him for stage name) and a newbie to TUF, played some fast paced bottleneck slide guitar and sang tunes from the Delta Bluesmen: Sonny Boy Williamson, Robert Johnson(Rolling an Tumbling) and finished with "Whiskey Avenue". Thanks for bringing the evening to a rousing close Snakebite. We enjoyed it.
$300 was donated from the evening's proceeds to Medecins Sans Frontieres.
Pics are in the gallery.