Mu­sic Spin Doc­tor and al­bum re­views

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Contents - Iain Shed­den spin­doc@theaus­tralian.com.au

IT has been quite a week in fes­ti­val world. As hinted at by pro­moter AJ Mad­dah last week, his tour­ing Har­vest Fes­ti­val in Novem­ber has been canned be­cause of poor ticket sales, par­tic­u­larly the Bris­bane leg of the event, which ap­par­ently had sold only about 18 per cent of its ca­pac­ity when he pulled the plug this week. The news has been given a pe­cu­liar twist by the an­nounce­ment that Mad­dah has bought into the fes­ti­val he cited as be­ing partly re­spon­si­ble for Har­vest’s demise, the Big Day Out. Af­ter much spec­u­la­tion that the Har­vest boss had bought out the BDO orig­i­nal co-pro­moter Ken West, it tran­spired that both men will form a part­ner­ship with the Amer­i­can com­pany that has been in­volved in run­ning the BDO in re­cent years, the Austin-based C3 group. Mad­dah sug­gested this week that he would be try­ing to get some of Har­vest’s head­line acts, in­clud­ing Franz Fer­di­nand, Mas­sive At­tack and oth­ers, to do shows in Aus­tralia to re­place their sched­uled fes­ti­val per­for­mances. WHILE we’re on the topic of strug­gling fes­ti­vals, Peter No­ble’s no­ble at­tempt to cre­ate a reg­u­lar fix­ture on the in­dige­nous cul­ture cal­en­dar, the Boomerang Fes­ti­val, to be held at his blues­fest site just out­side of By­ron Bay dur­ing the Oc­to­ber hol­i­day week­end, has had ex­tremely poor ticket sales but seems likely to go ahead (as we went to press any­way). To try to bol­ster the mu­sic line-up that in­cludes Gur­ru­mul, Archie Roach and Thelma Plum, to name only three, the or­gan­is­ers have drafted in John ‘‘True Blue’’ Wil­liamson and his reg­u­lar col­lab­o­ra­tor War­ren H. Wil­liams. Both men will per­form at the fes­ti­val on Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 6. CON­GRAT­U­LA­TIONS to the Big Sound mu­sic in­dus­try con­fer­ence and show­case that took place in Bris­bane last week. The three-day event has grown to be­come the go-to event of its kind in Aus­tralia and this year pro­vided a wealth of lo­cal and over­seas tal­ent who got to strut their stuff in front of mu­sic in­dus­try types from across the world. It was great to see Billy Bragg play­ing in a laneway to no more than 100 peo­ple, for one thing. Rock­hamp­ton duo Busby Marou were on the same bill at that venue, one of a dozen scat­tered across the city cen­tre that hosted per­for­mances. Tom Busby thanked the Bard of Bark­ing for be­ing their sup­port act, since they fol­lowed him on to the makeshift stage. We hear he re­sponded with ‘‘any time’’. An­other high­light was hear­ing Me­gan Wash­ing­ton, who has spent most of this year in Lon­don work­ing on her new al­bum, per­form­ing some of that ma­te­rial at Bris­bane’s Black Bear Lodge. Her feisty per­for­mance, which saw her emerge from her usual po­si­tion be­hind a key­board, bodes well for the up­com­ing al­bum re­lease. A men­tion also for riv­et­ing Big Sound sets from the John Steel Singers, Harry Hookey and the large punky coun­try en­sem­ble Lit­tle Bas­tard. ONE per­former who didn’t make it to Big Sound was coun­try singer and fid­dle player Ashleigh Dal­las, who was sched­uled to preview songs from her de­but al­bum Danc­ing with a Ghost. The Tam­worth singer had to can­cel be­cause of ill­ness. WE hear there could be a few more shows added to the up­com­ing Leonard Co­hen tour, which be­gins in Perth on Novem­ber 13. The vet­eran Cana­dian singer and song­writer turns 79 to­day. Liam Gal­lagher from Oasis and Beady Eye turns 41.

Franz Fer­di­nand was to play at Har­vest

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