Down the Garden Path

I've been doing a lot of living offline recently because of gigs and festivals. Every time I come home, I have a few days before I have to leave again. (This has actually been my life all of January) 

The craziness started Thursday evening with a gig at the Gaelic Club. Button Collective opened for the East Pointers (who are a crazy good Folk/Celtic Trio from Canada) From there, we proceeded to spend the rest of the weekend at Bulli for the Illawarra Folk Festival. 

Shirt: Thrifted, Belt: Home Made, Skorts: Home Made, Tights: Ebay, Boots: Dr Martens 

Shirt: Thrifted, Belt: Home Made, Skorts: Home Made, Tights: Ebay, Boots: Dr Martens 

I adore Folk Festivals. There's such a special vibe surrounding them, probably because most people who attend also play music. Unlike commercial festivals, there's virtually no separation between artists and patrons, which makes everything feel super intimate and community oriented.

Illawarra was such a great festival. I met so many cool people, saw so much brilliant music, had so many great Jams, played some great gigs with Button Collective, and played some unexpected gigs with Rebecca Bastoli (Who is not only a lovely person, but a great songwriter. I had so much fun playing with her and her band) and Scarlete's Revenge (They had unexpected lineup troubles, so I had a jam with them to cover some parts they were missing). 

Usually after a festival I spend the next few days recovering and feeling sad that I'm not still there playing all the gigs and jamming all the time. I had none of that as Monday and Tuesday I was occupied with Flutation, which is an Annual Flute Summer School run by Rosalie Bourne and Vanessa Ropa. 

I was lucky enough to be put in a smallish ensemble of great Flutists lead by Rosamund Plummer. She picked out some great repertoire (We played a Flute Quartet arrangement of a Bach Piano invention (I don't remember which one) and a Piece by Gary Schocker called Pop) I pretty much spent the whole time taking my Bass flute for a spin in this ensemble. I also participated in Shawn Barlow's Beatboxing workshop, and Luke Gallen's improv workshop, which were brilliantly run and quite educational. 

Shapes is also back in action as of this week! We had a jam to write some fresh music, and will probably start gigging again in March, which will be lovely.

This is my last night at home before I'm off yet again (this time for a wedding!) So it may be more than a few days between posts.

Bringing in the New Year!

Merry 2016 (for 9 days ago!). It's been a whirlwind fortnight since I last posted. My blog broke (TLDR I failed at running my server correctly, and would have had to spend more cash than I would have liked to keep it self hosted, so I jumped ship to squarespace. I still have a few things to do to clean my new blog home up, but it won't be crashing anymore!), then The Button Collective (a band what I play flute in) performed at Falls Festival, and had an EP launch in Lismore (You can stream the EP here. There will be a digital release next month, which I'll link to in the future)

Because Button Collective have been away for so long, I had to pack (what I like to call) a "tour pack" which is basically light weight comfy dresses ( usually 5 or 6 which can be worn multiple times), safety tights (i.e tights which some may wear as pants) a jacket, and a performance outfit. Mostly my outfits over the fortnight were utilitarian, the exception being when we had a gig. I only managed to get one photograph of my performance gear (thanks to Brodie <3) as we were busy when I was dressed well, and felt too daggy when we were free.

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There are 3 Falls Festival locations in Australia - Somewhere in Victoria, somewhere in Tasmania, and Byron Bay (which is the one we played) The festival was open for four days, from the 30th of December, to the 2nd of January (although, the main stages were only active for 3). We played 2 gigs a day for all 4 days, which was equal parts awesome and exhausting (we also managed to picked up an incredibly lovely and supportive group of young men who came to all of the main gigs)

Although I spent most of my time in the camp grounds, and the village area (which was the place we were gigging in) I did manage to catch a few of the main stage acts I was interested in seeing: Weird Al Yankovic (Who performed fabulously, but was drenched in nostalgia and gimmicks) Hiatus Kaiyote (These guys were interesting. I really appreciated there musicality, but they're not my cup of tea) and Birds of Tokyo ( I was really into them when I was 15/16, before they released March Fires. There performance at Falls was stiff and overly rehearsed, and all of their newer material was pretty boring.)

The musical highlights for me were all contained in the village area. There was Vardos, a trio of strong brilliant women performing eastern European virtuosic folk music,  Merryn Jeann
a wistful songwriter and beautiful guitar player (I was lucky enough to jam with her at one of her gigs.) and a female DJ (who I didn't get the name of). I came across her on the last evening, just before the last band of the festival finished up. She started her set with an empty dance floor, but completely owned the emptiness, dancing to the music she was playing and altering. Lastly there was Liam Power, who isn't actually a musician (but was a highlight none the less). He's magician, and performed small, but wickedly clever tricks.

This was the only decent photo I took at falls (I felt a bit self conscious with my camera, and my lenses weren't suitable for the situations I would have been shooting in anyway).

After falls we retreated to Brodie's parents house, where we pretty much remained until the Lismore EP launch.

The rooftop in the daylight before all the people came.

The rooftop in the daylight before all the people came.

We had the gig on a friends rooftop, which fitted a large number of people for such a tiny space. The gig commenced at 7, which at the moment is just before sunset, making for a spectacular backdrop to the opening musicians. 

This is Ben Wilson and Jake Pembar, who make up part of Ben Wilson and the Job Seekers (these fabulous people also play Bass and Banjo in the Button Collective). They opened the night with Ben's awesome music (which is kind of folky, kind of Americana. IDK, I suck at describing music, and my descriptions definitely don't do Ben's music justice).

Two of Four Scrimshaw boys music-ing it up

Two of Four Scrimshaw boys music-ing it up

Scrimshaw Four were the Jazzy/ Jugband-y middle to the folk sandwich. They're a 5ish piece Melbourne based band. I thoroughly enjoyed their set. All of there originals were well composed and flawless, and all of their covers were brilliantly arranged (particularly their jazz standards).

Buttons finished the evening. The boys were a tad tipsy, and the set was quite loose, but we had a bunch of fun, and an absolutely brilliant crowd. For anyone who's in sydney over the coming months, and enjoys our music, I suggest you take a peek at our facebook as we've got quite a few gigs in the area.

I also have a ton of other photo's from the EP launch, which you can find on my own facebook page (if you're interested!)

Blue Coats and Button Collections

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I've just had 3 full days of music. I listened to some of it, and some of it  I created with other people. Between it all I started painting a series of tiny planets (Which you can see on my instagram) I feel well and truly creatively filled. (and it also seems I've lost the ability to type properly. I keep typing all the wrong words (not just misspellings) none of which you'll get to see, because I'll do all of the editing)

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My music filled weekend started as it always does, with a Vanishing Shapes rehearsal. We're still in writing mode, which is fabulous. So far we've written a new song, re written a song, and jammed out a couple of new ones which is hella fun! This rehearsal also continued Saturday morning (basically I had about 6 hours making shapely music across 2 days) for those of you who are interested, our next gig is on the 30th of May  at Church of Groove with Bud Petal! It's going to be a super fun evening (and we'll be playing our new songs :D)

Friday evening we went on a band outing to the Lass for the Main Guy and The Other Guys ep launch. Man, it was so packed. I don't think I've ever seen it so packed, it was great. The new EP is fabulous. It's well written, well performed, and completely hilarious in only a way The Main Guy and the Other Guys are. If you're curious about what they sound like, you can listen to them here

I also kind of completely fell in love with the band that opened for them. They're a quartet called the Squeezbox trio, and are gypsy jazz at it's best. All 4 members are brilliant musicians, and great performers as well. You can listen to them here.

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So as I mentioned earlier, Saturday started out with a V Shapes rehearsal. Once we'd finished, I made the trek out to Morpeth for their annual Chapel Jazz concert. It was so much fun. We played 3 sets of 1920's Jazz to a great crowd in a beautiful church (which had exquisite acoustics) This was our first concert of the year, and man, I've missed doing Jazz performances. We've got a few more coming up soon though, which is fun.

Zappo (which is one of my favourite Newcastle Bands) released their first ever song on Saturday too! I don't have enough words to describe exactly how much I love their music, so I'll just link you, and you can partake it their awesomeness.

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And now to today. I travelled to Sydney today to rehearse with The Button Collective, because I've kind of sort of joined the ranks of their sometimes musicians. These guys are just brilliant, and playing their music is so much fun. I feel like I've had way more than one proper rehearsal with them (which is great considering my first gig with them is tomorrow night at Corridor)

I kind of also stole their backyard to take my photos in today...

So yeah, I've had a little bit of a creative weekend.

Frankenstein's Flower Kid (Plus Vanishing Shapes Album Release)

wpid-c360_2015-02-06-19-06-36-374.jpg Aww man, this outfit is being posted late. This is what I wore for my Thursday gig this week, but I haven't had the energy to post it till now (I actually don't have the energy now, but I'll be more exhausted tomorrow)

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This outfit was a combination of "I can't be bothered" and "I don't have many clean clothes left". Because I suck at having large chunks of free time, I have to do all my washing on the weekends, and because I was in Byron Bay with Vanishing Shapes last weekend I didn't have time to do my washing, leading to what I like to call a "basics" shortage (ie, running out of underwear, socks, singlets etc)

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I have since done my washing (didn't managed to get through the ironing though.), despite Vanishing Shapes having another busy weekend. We had a "short (It was like 3 hours)" rehearsal Saturday evening. Today we busked in Manly then played a pretty sweet 3 hour mammoth gig at the stowaway bar in Freshwater (which is a suburb in Sydney) We basically took up 1/4 of the bar (It's teeny tiny, but has a really nice vibe), and were slightly too loud sometimes (This is what happens when the band does their own sound) but we had tonnes of fun bringing out a mix of trad. folk tunes, improvisations and original material.

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We also released the download page for our album Urcheon (Which you should totally listen to/ share on all the things !) Click here to listen.

We don't have any gigs this week so hopefully I'll be able to stay on top of my outfits!

Spontanious Combustion (aka, that time life got busy and I forgot what it meant to have a life)

wpid-20140815_160721.jpg Sorry for my absence! I got hit by an extremely busy few days, which kind of destroyed my blogging 'schedule'

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This is the outfit I wore Friday last week. At least i think it was friday. (I really don't remember which is very troubling to me) Anyway, I played for my friends exam in this outfit, then later that day I played a gig in this outfit. (I'm pretty sure it was the lass gig I had with my band Vanishing Shapes, which was hella fun :D You can check us out here https://www.facebook.com/vanishapes , here https://soundcloud.com/vanishapes and herehttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOw8gt5eVVRLakbT3DcfNXA)

It was the second of 4 gigs I had last week. I never fully recovered from the first gig (which was a late night on a Wednesday evening with Vanishing Shapes) and everything sort of spiraled. Oh well. It happens. (please forgive me :P)

I must apologise for the word vomit. I'm still recovering from my crazy week. :s

 

 

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Now onto what I wore. I was overjoyed when I discovered this blouse looked good with this skirt (It doesn't show particularly well in the pictures, but the mints in the skirt are derived from the green in the blouse). I love finding new combinations of clothing, especially when my clothing feels stale. (Sometimes I feel my wardrobe getting stale, usually when I either haven't had time for sewing, or when I'm exhausted.) I felt very fresh in this combination.

SUCH FUN.