Fairbridge is over for another year - it was a great festival with some stand out acts and great dance bands and hoot-nannying into the wee hours, as per my expectations.
I found myself enjoying the band The Brow Horn Orchestra just a bit too much - I am probably not the right demographic they are hoping to attract! They are an unreal mix of Cat Empire meets Hip Hop Rap and the lead singer is a virtuoso on the microphone - rapping his heart out with great diction and lyrics.
They combine a big band sound with a dance beat of Hip Hop- and when they released the inflated beach balls into the crowd we just all felt so loved! Great crowd participation!I liked them a lot and have already seen them at several of their Freo gigs last year - but so happy they were picked up by the Fairbridge Festival selection team!
Had the rare chance to sit in the lovely Fairbridge Chapel for an hour of vocal power with the Good Lovelies from Canada -what a talented trio of beautiful young women - with such gifted voices and mandolin, guitar, harmonica playing skills - all mixed with a bit of cheek and irreverence! Good show in an intimate setting which I think they really suited.
Also loved the one man band - 'wall of sound' - Kim Churchill.....very 'James Blunt' but in a good way....with more funked up bluesy beats to set him apart from being a clever lyric writing pop crooner. Loved his work - the venue for his final show at Fairbridge at Ruby's Wine Bar just didn't do him justice he needed a final fling with his admiring people in one of the big tents where everyone could dance and totally bliss out to his huge sound - he maxed out the speakers and broke a guitar string in his show of pure sound + power.
He is on at a few Fremantle gigs in WA and I hope to see him again - loads of talent. when he draws breath and backs of some of the sound wall I think he will be even better - with experience (he is only 21!) I think he will manage to vary his delivery to more suit the venue and not loose his ability to wow audiences - just needed to come down a notch or two from his thumping sound levels and know that he already had our full attention - fantastic. I loved seeing someone using looped recordings live on stage - I have not seen that since a concert in NZ some time ago when the very talented Hinemoana Baker recorded her self singing/speaking and playing an instrument, then played it back on a loop and sang live over her own vocals to create a hauntingly beautiful vocal track - all laid down in front of the audience - like seeing a magician's trick exposed but instead of destroying the magic it just makes you more aware of their awesomeness!
A final mention goes to Red Juliet - great to hear Liz Frencham - still going from strength to strength - love her vocals and bass playing. Really enjoyed the venue and atmosphere at Ruby's on the Sunday morning - good timing for such a gig - I kicked back and rested my dancing knees (yes, sore knees this year....must be the cooler nights and the camping - could not possibly be my advancing age combined with the mosh pit participation of Friday and Saturday night). In aide of my recovery - I enjoyed a decent Devonshire tea and the company of the twangy and talented Red Juliet band - it made for a great Sunday morning coming down to earth, and start to my end of the Fairbridge festival day........