Tamworth 2006 January 19th-January 27th. All music, all the time.
It's longish and there are photos. There are many more and much better photos at the Tamworth Rage Page. You can click on any of the pics for bigger versions.
Camping at North Tamworth Bears rugby league ground (Group 4 Premiers 2005). Go the Bears.
This is Camp FEM. My little tent is not as big and impressive as some others but I won't hear a word against her. When the inevitable storm hit town, I sat in Joe Maguires Pub, watched the horizontal rain and whipping wind blow the umbrellas clear across the beer garden and all I could do was ... hope. Turned out, where others had fallen the little tent remains and inside was not a drop. Bone dry. Go little tent!
The first night I arrived was the night before the official kick off but the lead up to Tamworth started weeks ago. At the revamped Diggers club I had dinner at Pablo's Mexican Restairant, where the food is fresh out of the Old El Paso box. A few steps away in the beer garden, Johnny Green's Blues Cowboys were clearing the cobwebs . I took photos, they suck. Go here.
Recollection of chronology breaking down at this point.
The one and only Wanita down on Peel St. Wanita and her Honky Tonk Bar Dwellers were all over Tamworth which is only a good thing.
TRP has some good pics too of Wanita with Danny Mack at the Albert (fmr. City Tavern). I heard Danny's name spoken from various people and I was not disappointed when I first got to see him at The Pub during one of Bill Chambers' showcases. A Canadian singer-songwriter, awesome voice, a good bloke, tremendous covers and a swag of great originals. I've got the CDs right here. He was rather the talk of the festival in my circle. He and his lovely wife Bonnie have moved out here permanently now (Canberra, but nobody's perfect) and I'm sure you'll be hearing more about him on these pages. I got some decent snaps when he sat in with my Sydney favourites Rob Luckey and the Lucky Bastards with Gleny on fiddle:
With Smithy on bull fiddle.
In fact, the joint was rather awash with Canadians this year, including the lovely Mad Violet who played every Midday at the Albert. Happily the Albert is halfway from the campsite to the Peel St mall, so it was a nice way to break up the arduous 15 minute walk.
Speaking of Bill Chambers, his Pub Sessions are always packed but must-see at least once. Kasey Chambers got up and did a few numbers with new hubby Shane Nicholson, with adorable son Talon in tow. See the Rage Page again for brilliant pictures. Kasey and Shane married recently and according to the Daily Telegraph, the bride was wearing "jeans and a Bob Dylan t-shirt." Which immediately begs the question, which Bob Dylan t-shirt? I know my readers expect nothing less so I made someone else go and try to find out. Nothing was delivered.
The buskers are always fun and in my definition of fun I include the concept "sometimes excrutiating." But I admire them all greatly. In the local papers the local council honchos were making noises about this being "a music festival, not just a country music festival." Good luck, crazy people.
I call this next picture: Rack off back to Byron, hippies!
These band of wandering Peruvian troubadours always pulled a crowd. I didn't mind them so much. They can stay.
One of the best going around is Mark Lucas and the Dead Setters. Not you average country music -- although you know I love that -- and knockout original songs. The refurbished Joe Macguire's was an atrocious venue, acoustics were shocking but I hope at some point people actually got to listen properly to the words and music because they deserve it. TRP pictures.
Gleny Rae is a Tamworth favourite as part of the Toe Sucking Cowgirls and this year fronted her own band the Tamworth Playboys. As the name suggests, western swing. Yay! Here they are at the Southgate Inn with Rob Luckey guesting and below the band does some showboating. (more pictures)
Brisbane rockabilly boys the Chrome Daddies rocked out at usual.
Mrs Wainwright are a terrific newish Melbourne folky outfit who I was disappointed to miss in Sydney recently, so made sure I caught up with them. Check out the website linked, listen to some tracks and get along if they're in your neighbourhood.
I went to the Golden Guitar. It was bad. Would Slim approve of $3.50 cappucino in a styrofoam cup? I think we all know the answer to that.
The Tex Morton travelling museum rocks however! Go Tex.
The Red Hot Poker Dots pleasing crowds at Joe Maguires. L'il Odette.
Joe's had a few probs from the inside, but outside was pretty cool. The view from the hill.