Hill­billys head south

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

ON THE back of their suc­cess­ful tour of the Far North with Bill Cham­bers, Ju­lat­ten’s Hill­billy Goats are tak­ing their kneeslap­ping shows of roots and ole time blues to Tam­worth.

Cur­rently on the road tour­ing from Cairns to Townsville, with a few small and “one-horse towns” in-be­tween, the Hill­billys are warm­ing up for their de­but at the Tam­worth Coun­try Mu­sic Fes­ti­val.

And with 10,000 mu­si­cians and 200,000 peo­ple ex­pected to at­tend the fes­ti­val, from Jan­uary 14 to 23, Hill­billy Goats’ Mah­ney Wearne said they are ex­cited at the ex­po­sure and op­por­tu­nity.

“We have got 14 gigs in Tam­worth play­ing in an air-con­di­tioned venue, when peo­ple first go to Tam­worth they end up busk­ing on the street and hope to be recog­nised and booked some­where for next year,” Hill­billy’s Mah­ney Wearne said.

“We are lucky enough with our shows, we’re do­ing a cou­ple of shows with Bill Cham­bers at a venue called The Pub and the rest of our shows are as part of a North Queens­land show­case.”

The other half of the Goats, Bryce Wearne, has played in Tam­worth for around 20 years with his old band, Bet­ter Than A Chook Raf­fle, but this will be the first time for the rest of the Goats, who have re­ceived a help­ing hand.

“TEMPO ( Top End Mu­sic Pro­duc­tion Or­gan­i­sa­tion) has been rais­ing funds for the Goats, Leanne Ten­nant and Derek Rosendale to head to Tam­worth to per­form in the North Queens­land Show­case and they’ve raised a to­tal of $870 each,” Mah­ney said.

’We have also been ap­proached by other man­agers with big ne­go­ti­a­tions tak­ing place for other big artists to come up and tour with The Hill­billy Goats.

“I think there’s a move­ment to­wards hill­billy and the coun­try scene in Tam­worth is re­ally quite coun­try rock so we’re go­ing to stand out like a sore thumb.”

Tour­ing with Bill Cham­bers has re­ally helped the Hill­billy Goats and there have been talks of tour­ing Texas.

“We found lead­ing up to the Bill Cham­bers gigs a lot of doors opened for us and are con­tin­u­ing to do so, the road is un­fold­ing in front of us and it’s re­ally ex­cit­ing,” Mah­ney said.

“When we played at the Clink The­atre we had peo­ple come up to us in the in­ter­val ask­ing where we are from, how long have we been tour­ing with Bill and do we like FNQ.

“We told them we were lo­cals, they saw us a big pro­fes­sional act and were sur­prised, ask­ing where we had been hid­ing, it was re­ally awe­some.”

The Hill­billy Goats will be re­turn­ing in Fe­bru­ary and are or­gan­is­ing a cou­ple of wel­come home gigs, in­clud­ing the Court House Ho­tel on March 2 as a five-piece band.

Hill­billy Goats spread their wings: Bill Cham­bers with Mah­ney and Bryce Wearne

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