Thursday 6 February 2014

what happens in Tamworth

Not really being a Country Music fan as such, I never really had the Tamworth Country Music Festival up there on my list things to do in my life. Yet I quickly stowed away these thoughts when my lovely's band got encouraged to go, yep what was I to do but support wholeheartedly with some curious excitement and anticipation. You see I had heard the stories of the boot scooting down the street, real life cow-folk everywhere and the immense amount of festival goers that descend upon Tamworth. The Mid North headed to Tamworth ready for ten full days of playing and performing, I decided to give them some ah, settling in time (read as full-on party time) before I arrived with Poe and Ilo. The lead up was interesting as I would receive a text message at just past midnight on most nights with various images of Scott and the band having a blast, quite often with one other band, Lonesome Train;  some serious good times. 
The drive to Tamworth from Bellingen is stunning, driving through a cloud and green rounded hills through to the faded, dry and rocky environment of Tamworth, it had us delighted and awed by the difference, the horizon looked like a classic Albert Namatjira painting. 
From the moment we arrived in Tamworth we followed the band from gig to gig, watched a few of the 500+ buskers on show with wide eyes and yes at times what felt like bleeding ears. The whole town is soaked in the festival, everywhere, yes everywhere is a stage; shopping centres, pubs, every five metres along the street, fast food 'restaurants', there is some form of music pretty much everywhere. The variety surprised us, there was world music, rockabilly, blues, pop and folk available.
Poe, Ilo and I had such a wonderful time watching The Mid North perform, they were having a ball and it showed, old and new songs were welcomed to whoops and excited applause, people danced, sung along and grinned. They played three hour gigs, followed by one hour gigs and time on the corner busking, I think one day they racked up seven hours of performing. Needless to say Scott's voice started to fail just as things started to get even more exciting. A rave review by Kasey Chambers on her Facebook page got their blood running, they were on a roll, this was then followed by the phone call informing them that they were picked out of 500 buskers to be in the Busking Competition and then not long after that another phone call telling them that they were selected to be in the Battle of the Bands. Woohooo. 

We stocked up on propolis lozenges, manuka honey, pineapple and an amazing propolis spray. Operation get 'Scott through this with his voice intact', was underway. 
The Battle of the Bands was absolutely nerve wracking, we all felt sick with nerves as we hung out listening to the very impressive bands before us (in particular The Morrisons, who also happen to be friends and The White Walkers). But The Mid North played beautifully with such joy that even the stony faced judges couldn't pass them by. And........they won! Wowsers, yippee and far out.

Next stop the Busking Comp at the 'main festival outdoor stage'. Ten busking acts, two songs each and the most amazing/posh porta-loos ever (faux marble, relaxing music, air conditioning and lovely hand creams). 
It was quite surreal seeing them on the big stage with the big screens. Again there was some really great music like Murdena from Geelong and Grizlee Train from Wamberal, strangely it was a lot more relaxing than the Battle of the Bands, so we sat on the grass, enjoyed the music, watched the sun set and enjoyed the excitement of being part of all this. And yes, The Mid North raked it in again and won. What a crazy ride. 
Needless to say I felt incredibly proud of them all, what a mind-blowing achievement and how much fun did they have going about it. I was also so proud of Poe and Ilo who were amazing festival goers, so super patient and easy and fun to hang out with. 

Tamworth was a blast, it was so much fun hanging out together, seeing stuff, being part of stuff, eating out of this world Veggie Kofta balls at the Govindas stall, trying on cowboy boots, smiling, laughing, taking ridiculous amounts of photos and sweating in the dry heat. Oh yes, we will be back. 

Oh yeah, Christian Power and Lonesome Train.

The Morrisons.

Dear Orphans.

The White Walkers.


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  2. Such great news that they did so well. So many Greta photos, love the one of Cath leaning on he double bass. Beautiful.

  3. Replies
    1. Ha, thanks Cath and yes, I too have no idea who Greta is but I think i may like her. xxx

  4. Lady you have done it again with those photos!!! Just love how you capture things Jay you are so talented. Now, on to that man of yours and his band of course they won!! twice!! What an exciting time for all of you. Funny thing is I was just thinking yesterday about Tamworth, thinking when we go on our road trip I could tell River and Sol all about the country music festival they hold there each year but now they can talk to you all about it. I actually love country music and would love to go to this festival. Can't wait to hear more. Huge Congrats!! xxx

    1. Aw, such beautiful words, thank you my dear. It was really very fun. Can't wait to sit with you all and chat about our Tamworth adventures. You would love it there, such a great adventure. Mwah. xx

  5. It was amazing watching it all happen "real time" via their Facebook page. You could just feel the joy :)

    1. Oh Jeni, I forgot that you 'liked' them on fb, so glad you could be part of the ride. xx

  6. You took some really neat photographs! I grew up in Gunnedah (an hour from Tamworth) so I know just how big of a deal the CMF is! Even if you're not necessarily into country music, it still is fun to walk around and get amongst it.



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