Sure, there’s the Sydney Road Festival. But Brunswick’s about more than just the famous street fest. The Brunswick Music Festival takes over venues all over the suburb for the fortnight following. Want to see Mongolian musos? How about some traditional Scottish tunes? The Brunswick Music Fest’s lineup runs the gamut.
Over the festival, Ruki and I were fortunate to hit up three different shows, taking us to venues we know and love (The Spotted Mallard), and places we’d never before been inside (the Brunswick Town Hall). It’s just the sort of thing we love to cover at The Plus Ones!
It was hard enough going through the lineup and picking shows I wanted to see. Just about everything looks fascinating — the perfect blend of local acts and international artists. The first show I got to attend was the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Trio. The Spotted Mallard (a former ballroom) hosted the sell-out crowd, who were mainly a mixture of middle-aged couples. That’s why it was so great to see Peter Rowan’s two fellow trio members. Both were young men in their 20s or 30s. This is who will keep the bluegrass tradition going long into the future. My +1, Jez, and I had a toe-tapping time, wowed by their musical prowess.
Next up: an afternoon Southern Cookin’. Now, here was the perfect day: a lazy, sunny, warm Saturday afternoon, filled with old-timey music. My +1 and I arrived to see chairs set up in the portico of the Brunswick Town Hall. (Yes, I had to just look up ‘portico’ — I was going to write ‘vestibule’ and didn’t want any architecture-mad people getting on my case.) At any rate, it was a genius idea to allow the casual crowd to listen to the Brunswick Old Time String Orchestra whilst outside. After an hour or so, the crowd headed past the vestibule (see what I did there?) and into the confines of the Town Hall itself. There, the musical stylings of The Le Blanc Bros’ Cajun Band kept us entertained. The bonus: when band member Craig Woodward said he had left some flyers out about Cajun dancing lessons. This show was incredibly good value for money: we’d already been there for a few hours by the time the third band, a country outfit, went on. It looked like it was going to go all night, but we had to take off. But not before grabbing a flyer about those Cajun dancing lessons. (You can guess where that led.)
Ruki got to see The Royal Jellies, who’ve toured and recorded with Clare Bowditch. They certainly put on a show and had the crowd bopping to their tunes in no time!