Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Slouching towards Christmas

That pretty well sums up my attitude to the impending festive season. I am feeling less than full of Christmas cheer, I must admit for reasons that are beyond me at the moment. Partied out perhaps, shrinking from being sociable, bored with whole thing.

Still, soldier on I must and there is the bright prospect of a break from work for a week, where I plan to lounge around and read and play computer games.

Last Sunday I went to the Nu Country Christmas party as a matter of duty towards the
Nu Country organisation. I maintain a website for them and I was there to take photos for the website. There were about six country music acts scheduled and I managed to stay for four of them.

First up was young country girl Susan Lily who hails from the south western New South Wales town of Hay. She is an up and coming singer songwriter - yes, another one – who gave us a taste of her wares on Sunday. Susan’s set was entertaining enough and her songs were good as was her voice which had a country twang, though somehow lacked expression.

Suzie Dickinson and her band were next and her act was the highlight of the afternoon. She is more alt country than country if you know what I mean. It was more rootsy and rocky than country and more to my taste musically. Suzie has been around the scene for ages and is a very experienced performer. I enjoyed her set immensely.

The next act, by Leslie Avril, was a sizzler. Leslie has made a name for herself as a honky tonking raunchy singer and entertainer. Her songs and act were sensational and risqué. She puts on a high energy show that is crowd pleasing, especially if the audience is country music orientated. I found her set enjoyable, though I’m not all that keen on the type of music she specialises in.

Former Toe Sucking Cowgirls member, Tracey Bunn was the last act I witnessed. Tracey comes from Darwin in the Northern Territory and is described on her my space page as having “a voice like an angel and a mouth like a sailor”. She gives the impression, as does the other member of the toe sucking cowgirls' duo, of being a hard drinking, loose living country girl. Her own music, however, is introspective and locally flavoured. She was accompanied by an ace guitarist also from the Territory.

By the time Tracey’s set ended we had been at the party for about four hours so called it quits and went home.

These Nu Country parties occur once a year and are well organised and offer a range of music across the country genre. It’s a pity they don’t get much of a turn out for these parties as the whole show was free and the entertainment, if you like that sort of music, is of a high quality.

The website is very successful and is stuffed with information, mostly written by David Dawson, head honcho of the organisation. He’s a music journalist by profession, so it’s second nature to him to run off a feature story or review. I occasionally contribute a concert review, but no-one else contributes anything to the site, though volunteer video camera operators and editors create the TV show which is shown on a community channel once a week during a biannual season.

In other music news, Patty Griffin is returning to Australia in March for the Easter music festivals which proliferate at that time of year. Music lovers are spoiled for choice during this period. Patty will be performing at the Palais Theatre on 28 March 2008. I’ve got good tickets and am looking forward to seeing her again, especially as she will be bringing her band this time.

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