01Amanda Palmer - Photo by John Snelson
02Santana - Photo by John Snelson AJS_5109
03ZZ Top - Photo by John Snelson copy
04Deborah Harry - Photo by John Snelson AJS_1009
05BBKing - Photo by John Snelson DSC_2246
06Nick Cave - Grinderman - Photo by John Snelson AJS_2058
07Rodriguez - Photo by John Snelson AJS_4821
08Angry Anderson - Photo by John Snelson
09JethroTull - Photo by John Snelson
10Jimmy Barnes - Photo by John Snelson AJS_8220_1451-2676750353-O
11Joe Bonamassa - Photo by John Snelson AJS_3730
12Rufus Wainwright - Photo by John Snelson DSCF1377
13Tony Cini @ The Eastern Lounge xAJS_6120
14Tracer - Photo by John Snelson
16Cruel Sea Tex Perkins AJS_9136
17Mechanical Black - Photo by John Snelson
18DaveFester xAJS_6043
19WolfmotherxAJS_2739
20LennyKravitzAJS_3280
21PoguesAJS_9972
22Baby Animals - Photo by John SnelsonAJS_4560
23Joanne Shaw Taylor - Photo by John Snelson AJS_7985d
24Jimmy Cliff - Photo by John Snelson AJS_4513
25PainDivision - Photo by John Snelson 0126
26Leonardo's Bride - Photo by John Snelson FILE00546
27BackBeat CD Cover Photos by John Snelson
28RockForDocAJS_8522_1753-2676752734-O
29Robert Cray FILE00184-X3
32Phil Emmanuel LaBoga Promo XDSC_7787
33Steve Balbi Mi-Sex AJS_5283
34Cranberries - Photo by John Snelson AJS_3205
36John Mayall Bluesfest 2015 Photo by John Snelson AJS_8862_2553
37Wolf Mail - Photo by John Snelson AJS_9177
38Osibisa - Photo by John Snelson 3378
39John Fogerty - Creedence Clearwater Revival - Photo by John Snelson AJS_7457
40Susan Tedeschi & Derek Trucks - Photo by John Snelson FILE00502
41Gurumul - Photo by John Snelson
42Shanghai - Photo by John SnelsonAJS_2973x
43SSKevinBorichDSCF8965
44Chris Turner xAJS_4568
45C6SSKateMillerHeidke
46George Clinton Bluesfest 2015 Photo by John Snelson AJS_1122_4247
47Buffy Sainte-Marie - Photo by John Snelson XDSC_2927
48Status Quo - Photo by John Snelson AJS_6175ss
49LanieLane - Photo by John Snelson AJS_7286
50Taylor Dayne - Photo by John Snelson AJS_4192
51Tony Joe White - Bluesfest 2015 Photo by John Snelson AJS_0899_4024
52Wendy Mathews - Photo by John Snelson 9328
53Andrew Strong - Photo by John SnelsonAJS_5618
54Steve Kilby - The Church - Photo by John Snelson xAJS_1623
55DocNeeson - Photo by John Snelson Dyptych
56Donovan - Photo by John Snelson AJS_7133
58Martha Wainwright - Photo by John Snelson DSCF3638
59Richard Hawley - Photo by John Snelson AJS_7286
60Festival Bluesfest 2015 Photo John Snelson AJS_0365_4636
61Angelique Kidjo Bluesfest 2015 Photo by John Snelson AJS_0316_4587
62Megan Washington - Photo by John Snelson DSCF1289
63Grace Potter - Photo by John Snelson
64B2SSRichardClaptonDSCF9439
65B5SSBBKingDSC_2246
66Beth Hart Bluesfest 2015 Photo by John Snelson AJS_0202_4473
67RyanVan Gennip - Chase The Sun C3 DSCF4120_4865
68Christina CroftsHarryBrusDSCF4640sm copy
69d3SSDocNeesonDypt
70Glenn CardierAJS_0632 copy
71Glenn Cunningham + Rick Price AJS_0666 copy
72Ian Peres Wolfmother 23xAJS_3098-L
73Jim Finn 31xAJS_4131
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Glenn Cardier – Cool Harmonie

Story & Photos by John Snelson

Glenn Cardier & The Sideshow set the German Harmonie Club alight last night with a brilliant performance by Glenn and his band, full of energy and fantastic songs and musicianship.  I have seen Glenn & the Sideshow many times, but this was indeed a fine and rockin’ performance.

Glenn sprinkles his set with stories from Sunbury and his times on the road with Spike Milligan.  His recent work though is what has brought him back into the limelight with some great appearances at Bluesfest last year and the Eastern Lounge.

His albums Stranger Than Fiction and Cool Under Fire are great examples of this renaissance and the live versions of his wonderfully colourful, sometime droll, sometimes sad and always reflective songs are a refreshing change from traditional blues – not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Top show – and congrats to the Canberra Blues Society for putting on this class act.

Let’s have the Glenn Cardier & The Sideshow  back soooooooooooooooooon !

Richard Perso

Story and Photo by John Snelson.

Richard Perso appeared at the Harmonie German Club last night to a great reception.

Photo Copyright John Snelson 2010 Fuji S3 Pro, f/4, 1/45s, ISO 1600

His performance and material have come along way since I first saw him some seven years ago (see photo below).

His delivery of personal stories interspersed with excellent bluesy guitar work and didgeridoo is unique and very good indeed. Lots of energy and ability to hold an audience with the stories about the songs and the development of his music.

It was really great to see the Canberra Blues Society leading the charge to support young talent like this as evidenced by the applause and appreciation shown by the gathered throng.

Glenn Cardier at The Harmonie Club, Canberra.

Story by John Snelson

Glenn Cardier and The Sideshow, one of the best bands in Australia,  thinkers’ music, the man in the hat with gravitas, will be at The Harmonie Club in Canberra on Saturday 22nd April.

The Sideshow, Glenn’s band, is always the tops.

Yes, we’re going !

Here’s the poster announcement … we’ll be there for dinner, so look out for us.

Hugo Weaving is Arturo Ui

Story by John Snelson

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui is on now at the Roslyn Packer Theatre in Sydney. The Artistic Director of Sydney Theatre Company Kip Williams links up again as director, with Hugo Weaving as the lead role. That’s a cracker of a combination.

This is the Bertolt Brecht classic, but now set in modern Australia – complete with on-stage cameras, huge screen and a script that has been lightly touched with words that remind us of local politics and characters, current events and national issues.

There were many contempory touches to Brecht’s 1941 masterpiece.

For example, I loved the opening scene, taking place in what appeared to be a Sydney Chinese restaurant.  It reminded me of those in Sussex Street and Falcon Street – you know those joints frequented by party headkickers, advertising tycoons, far-right radio jockeys, trades unionists and disgraced  bathhouse bobbies.

The play is often presented with its dark, national socialist overtones. Of course, Hitler was just a little man in so many ways who rose to a supreme dictatorial position.  The Fuehrer made a spectacular rise fueled by his own growing psychopathic egotism and ambition.

In this adaption of the play, Arturo too uses a persuasive, sweeping, charismatic personality and hones his speeches into a theatrical oratorial performance. This style appeals to the less educated in both the upper and working classes. He commences his journey as a rather naïve, small time mobster surrounded by some heavyweight, stand-over brutes. He is ambitious and wants to get “bigger”. 

Arturo lives in a world where opponents stand back and allow the thugs and criminals in suits to win. This is achieved by bribery, blackmail, bullying and bulldust. Outlandish and unbelievable, sweeping claims about caring and valuing others – yet they resonate with the words today of our own politicians and would-be leaders.

He is expansive, obfuscating and unconvincing to anyone with a brain, an education, a heart and a pulse. Even then, money, reputation, guilt and ambition can over-rule integrity and truth.

Hugo Weaving is outstanding as he grows in stature by adopting a vocabulary, body language and wardrobe that present him as a man of values, a leader of stature.  His speeches become almost Shakespearean and loud, passionate and eloquently seductive. However, behind this facade, the content is false, dead and disconnected. Arturo’s offering is callous, audaciously incredible, verging on the sialoquent and camp.

Tom Wright’s adaptation leads me to draw parallels with recent unbelievable events – like the Brits swallowing the Brexit bunkum; the Americans believing the Donald drivel; and the Russians’ abandoning Gorbachev’s policies of glasnost, perestroika in favour of a poppycock potentate like Vlad Putin.

Hugo Weaving looks the part – he is Arturo Ui.   The play remains faithful to it’s creator’s intent.  It’s modern, it’s funny, it’s indeed dark and it’s brilliant. Don’t miss it.

21 March — 28 Apr 2018 at The Roslyn Packer Theatre

Finding Your Feet and the Lydian Scale

Story by John Snelson

This is a fun movie.

At the start, Sandra Abbott (played by Imelda Staunton) discovers her husband in an intimate moment with one of her erstwhile best friends.

She decides to move out and, full of shame and embarrassment, finds her sister Bif (Celia Imrie) who lives a somewhat hippy and bohemian lifestyle in a small flat in the poorer suburbs.  Her sister lives for today, a carefree life focused more on the doing things that are fun than a life that reflects who you are, how much money you may have, what car you drive or what your name is.

Timothy Spall – Image may be subject to Copyright – Source Landmark Cinemas

Our heroine struggles at first in mixing with her new “friends”, one of whom Charlie (Timothy Spall) lives in some poverty on his narrowboat on the Thames, having recently sold his house in order to take care of his wife, who is fast succombing to the final stages of Alzheimers.  Charlie drives a beautifully old Bedford van that has seen better days. Yes, it’s a crock.

I really like Timothy Spall and rate him as a exceptionally good character actor;  he has a face that has been trodden on a million times and a warmth that is infectious.

The new life is difficult with its spontaneity and youthful abandon, including the dance classes her sister tempts her to join – with music that enriches the soul, gets our heroine “in the mood” and dancing, reliving her childhood ambitions and talent as a bit of a shaker and mover and yes, a dancer who knows how to party.  The music in the film nearly had me doing The Cavern Stomp in the aisles. They were the days.

The music includes Rock Around the Clock, Chantilly Lace, Rockin’ Robin,  Stone Cold Funk,  Where Do You Go To My Lovely, In the Mood, Fuzzy Duck and Running To the Future.  Good stuff.

On the dance floor, Sandra gets to know Timothy Spall who on the face of it, is “a bit rough” but has a heart of gold – and Oh Boy, can he jive.

Joanna Lumley just plays a background role, but is as whimsically posh and  ambrosial as ever.

Finding Your Feet is a heartwarming comedy that can bring tears to the eyes, and just proves that it is never too late and it’s not over until it’s over.

Reminds me of that song by the Baby Animals “Warm Bodies” …. and that line “don’t be afraid that life will end, be afraid it won’t begin“.  Give this short bit of film a listen. 

Dave Leslie introduces the song “Warm Bodies” with his Lydian Scale.  It’s an interesting story and the song is just sort of wonderful.

I digress.  Get out and see this really good British comedy and loving story, you’ll come home happy I know : Finding Your Feet at your cinemas now.

Bluesfest – Aussie Talent Added

BLUESFEST ANNOUNCES EVEN MORE ROOTS & BLUES!
DOG TRUMPET
ALL OUR EXES LIVE IN TEXAS
CHAIN | CON BRIO
MIA DYSON| SHAUN KIRK | CAITI BAKER
STEVE SMYTH
DAN SULTAN| HANLON BROTHERS
 
A stack of Aussie favourites have been announced for Bluesfest 2018, adding to the unbelievably jam-packed line up. There is no doubt that the 2018 festival is shaping up to be one of the most diverse and exciting on record.
These artists join the 2018 Bluesfest line up:

LIONEL RICHIE – ROBERT PLANT

AND THE SENSATIONAL SPACE SHIFTERS

KESHA

LAURYN HILL

JOHN BUTLER TRIO | TASH SULTANA

SEAL | JACKSON BROWNE

SHERYL CROW | MELISSA ETHERIDGE | GOMEZ

MICHAEL FRANTI & SPEARHEAD | JIMMY CLIFF

ÁSGEIR | JASON ISBELL | YOUSSOU NDOUR

JUANES | SEU JORGE | CHIC FEATURING NILE RODGERS

JOSÉ GONZÁLEZ | FIRST AID KIT | RAG’N’BONE MAN

MORCHEEBA | GOV’T MULE | THE NEW POWER GENERATION

THE ORIGINAL BLUES BROTHERS BAND | THE WAILERS

ZIGGY ALBERTS| NEWTON FAULKNER| HOLY HOLY | CANNED HEAT

WALTER TROUT | LUKAS NELSON & PROMISE OF THE REAL

JOE LOUIS WALKER | BOBBY RUSH | ERIC GALES | HARTS

HURRAY FOR THE RIFF RAFF | BENJAMIN BOOKER

WILLIAM CRIGHTON | AFRO CELT SOUND SYSTEM

ELEPHANT SESSIONS |HARRY MANX | DUMPSTAPHUNK

ANDRÉ CYMONE| THE CALIFORNIA HONEYDROPS

RICK ESTRIN & THE NIGHTCATS

THE TESKEY BROTHERS

THE 2018 ARTIST DAILY PLAYING SCHEDULE IS AVAILABLE ON BLUESFEST.COM.AU

Festival and Camping tickets are now on sale through bluesfest.com.au or by phoning the Bluesfest office on 02 6639 9800

 

Paul Weller at the Opera House

Paul Weller hit the top with the new wave and mod revival band The Jam. He later moved to a more soulful success with The Style Council  before establishing himself as a solo artist in 1991. So I was thinking “Hmmm, Ben Sherman clothes, Bryan Ferry presentation with a bit of edge and rocky lefty commentary surrounded by great music and musicians.

Not disappointingly, we had the old faves including White Sky, Eton Rifles, Englsih Rose, That’s Entertainment, Shout to the Top,  Monday, Town Like Malice, Long Long Road, a long show from 9-15pm to about 11-15pm with the usual breaks at the end for the inevitable “encores” – which included the excellent acoustic set.

So what went wrong last night ?

The sound last night in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House was like sitting in a plate of blancmange; the music was great, the performance and effort and quality was there, all spoilt by the poor sound.

Remember Phil Spektor ?  The “Wall of Sound” !  That’s what we had.

It was as if all the faders had been maxxed to get full saturation with consequential distortion.  Too much reverb, layering and echo so that the sounds of individual instruments including at many times during the show Paul Weller’s own guitar, became indistinguishable.

The softer songs were much better including the acoustic guitar numbers when you could almost hear the lyrics – and the times when he played the keyboards – sadly, it was the first time I have ever heard a 6-member band of 3 guitars, keyboard/synth, drums and percussion and not been able to separate the sound of the skins and tins.

When Weller was at the mike speaking, the sound was so appalling and feedback just unbearable, we couldn’t understand what he was saying.

Loved the performance though, full-on, polished, well executed (apart from the loudness, instrument and amplification imbalance, echo control, mike feedback, poor clarity, screeching sounds) lots of energy, Style Council classics, Jam legends and more recent favourites.

Pretty good and a great night out even with the sound disappoinments.

Jeff Beck and Beth Hart

Story and Photos by Jane Hearn and John Snelson.

Great show last year at the Opera House and of course at Bluesfest TWICE over the last few years … Beth Hart is the best female blues artist on the planet.

Have a listen to her live version of “Strange Fruit” – brilliant.

She works well with Joe Bonamassa, the world’s most prolific CD artist, that’s him on that great Telecaster guitar !

This year at Bluesfest 2018, we will see Melissa Etheridge – are we looking forward to that !  SEE BELOW

Jimmy Cliff – Many Rivers to Cross at Bluesfest 2018

Story and All Photos by John Snelson

Great see to Jimmy Cliff will be back at Bluesfest in 2018.

Here’s a few shots I took of him back a few years ago. He’s a great performer, colourful, animated, in love with his music and responsive to an enthiastic audience. You don’t want to miss this.

Looking forward to a great bluesy session of Jamaican ska and roxy reggae with the wonderful Jimmy Cliff !

Get it on – BOOK TICKETS HERE

Lauryn Hill

Bluesfest has announced that Ms. Lauryn Hill will play an exclusive set at the 2018 festival, on Easter Friday in Byron Bay.

Ms. Hill established her reputation in the music world as the lone female member of The Fugees.

After leaving the band she released her solo album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” which featured an innovative mix of traditional soul, hip-hop beats and politically charged rap willing 5 Grammys the year it was released and has gone on to be included in dozens of “Greatest Albums Ever” lists such as Mojo’s 100 Greatest Albums of Our Lifetime, Q’s Top 100 Albums Ever, Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and it came in at number 2 on NPR’s 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women.

Ms. Lauryn Hill joins the following artists on the Bluesfest 2018 line up

LIONEL RICHIE

ROBERT PLANT

MELISSA ETHERIDGE

JACKSON BROWNE

SHERYL CROW

GOVERNMENT MULE

JIMMY CLIFF

WALTER TROUT

Festival and Camping tickets are now on sale through bluesfest.com.au or by phoning the Bluesfest office on 02 6639 9800


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