Totally Biased Fan Review – Hats Off to Hats Off – A review of the Tamworth mid year festival

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Hats Off to Tamworth is the mid-year much cooler Country Music Festival in Tamworth. Above are a few pictures of some of the gigs that I went to. I kicked off on my arrival on Thursday night when I went to see Sandra Humphries (on her farewell tour before retirement), Anthony Taylor, who has been around for a while but is now well and truly hitting his straps with an amazing album this year, and veteran, Alby Pool at South Tamworth Bowlo. A packed crowd listened and watched as the three artists sang mainly traditional country songs with a few originals thrown in. There were a lot of musos in the crowd who appreciate these three very much. I hope that Sandra reconsiders one day, and after a well earned rest comes back and sings us some more songs. We will miss her.  It was a good way to start the festival off.

On Friday, I did one of the first of my live crosses to Gippsland FM and met up with my best friend. Then on to see Don Costa at Shopping World, which is like not only traditional but mandatory when you go to Tamworth at either festival. Don sings country standards and he sings them well. For a sample, I will be reviewing his latest album soon. Don sweetly gave me a mention. In the end, I am just a fan.

Then on to see a few of the Tamworth Songwriters Association mob at Tamworth City Bowlo. I met up with may mate, Melissa Robertson (more later) and Kylie Adams-Collier and caught her set there. I also saw Brendan Smoother for most of his set. I had to leave then, as I amusingly related, I had to go and see Brendan Smoother!  I did beat him to his gig! The Brendans was a definite highlight for me. It was set at Carmen’s, a lovely Italian restaurant. Brendan Smoother and Brendan Nawrocki played some well known songs as well as those known best to us fans. I was honoured by Brendan N when he played the song that he sent for my birthday via video and facebook a few years ago. Brendan S sang me via request, what I call The Chimney Song, off his album. The boys have something special planned with some others soon and I can’t wait.

On Saturday, I headed off to Centrepoint Arcade to hear my mate Melissa Robertson sing a few songs. As always, she was top notch. Melissa will have a new album soon and currently has a top 10 song with Red Head at Heart. I also caught a couple of songs from Bec Nethery (the real red head) before I had to head off to the P.O. Hotel to catch mine host, Wendy Wood. Ah, a sweet voice and a great gal.

Off then to the Kora Naughton album launch at The Family Hotel (Moonshiners). Hosted by David Carter (Carter and Carter), a high energy spectacular by Kora was supported by pocket dynamo, Rory Phillips and a host of Country Music Academy graduates as well as a hot band  – Simon Johnson, Rod Motbey, Vaughan Jones and Ali Foster.  Kora’s album (reviewed here) is amazing, especially for a debut release by a 16 year old This girl will do big things.

Then on to Aleyce Simmonds and Brad Butcher. Sadly, I only saw Brad perform as time restraints made me have to leave to go and see Luke O’Shea at North Tamworth Bowlo. Luckily, I will be seeing Aleyce and Brad soon in Victoria. Sorry guys, did my best. I at least got to hear a couple of faves from Brad!

Then off to Luke O’Shea and he was awesome as always…over 3 hours of entertainment from Luke with dinner and a chat and photos. Luke is one of the most talented and nicest guys in Australian Country Music. It was an awesome night. Just Luke and his guitar and that was more than enough. Sister Mel and I re-created our photo with Luke that we had taken 5 and a half years ago.

Sunday, I started the day at The Hopscotch Cafe with Sally-Anne Whitten and hubby and extraordinary guitarist, Alwyn Aurisch. They were gems as always, singing and trying to keep warm at the Alfresco cafe.

I then did my second cross after arriving at Tamworth Town Hall for an extravaganza which included: Eloise Newell, Finnian Johnson, Jess Holland (oh my gosh, she just gets better), Johanna Hemara, Allison Forbes and Steve McAuley (the birthday bashees), Sal and Al, Sarah Byrnes, Rae Beth and Trev and others. It was a wonderful afternoon of ad lib and fun performances.

There were lots of other things going on on the Saturday and Sunday, but you can’t go to everything. There were a lot of singer/songwriters out at The Dag and a tribute to The Dallas Family, as well as a celebration of Tamworth artists (most of which I got to see at other things.) Adam Harvey, Matt Scullion, Michael Bryers, and others had gigs on too, but they all clashed. I think that they should have more things on during the day on Thursday and Friday and perhaps include the Monday as well.

It is an awesome little festival, though, in my old hometown, and considering that it is still virtually in its infancy compared to the January festival, it goes alright.

So it is Hats Off to Hats Off.

Thank you big time to James Stewart Keene, Melissa Robertson, Luke O’Shea and The Brendans in particular. A very big thank you to Wendy Wood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hats Off to Country – Tamworth July


Program current as at 19 June 2018.

Show Title  Venue Time  Ticketed or Free?
Wednesday 11 July 2018
 CCMA Jam Night  South Tamworth Bowling Club, 11 Margaret Street, South Tamworth  6:00pm  Free
 Thursday 12 July 2018
 Australian Country Music Hall of Fame opens  561 Peel Street, Tamworth  9:00am  Adults $7/Children (Under 12) Free
 Gallery of Stars Wax Museum opens  Big Golden Guitar, 2 Ringers Road, Tamworth  9:00am
 Don Costa  Tamworth Shoppingworld, Bridge & Denne Streets, West Tamworth  10:00am  Free
 Oasis Band with host, Wayne Elliott  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  6:00pm  Free
 Opening Night Acoustic Session with Anthony Taylor, Sandra Humphries, Alby Pool  South Tamworth Bowling Club, 11 Margaret Street, South Tamworth  6:30pm  Free
 Albert’s Muso Jam  The Albert Hotel, 211 Peel Street, Tamworth  8:30pm  Free
 Ryan Morris  Tudor Hotel, 327 Peel Street, Tamworth  8:00pm  Free
 Friday 13 July 2018
 Australian Country Music Hall of Fame  561 Peel Street, Tamworth  9:00am  Adults $7/Children (Under 12) Free
 Gallery of Stars Wax Museum Opens  Big Golden Guitar, 2 Ringers Road, Tamworth  9:00am
 Don Costa  Tamworth Shoppingworld, Bridge & Denne Streets, West Tamworth  10:00am  Free
 Centrepoint Walk-up Stage presented by Capital Country Radio and Country Music Bulletin  Centrepoint Arcade, 374 Peel Street, Tamworth  11:00am  Free
 Bobby Valentine  The Welder’s Dog, 37 Dowe Street, Tamworth  5:00pm  Free
 Trevor Coombes  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  6:00pm  Free
 TSA Songwriters featuring Kylie Adams Collier, Brendan Smoother, Melissa Robertson and Wendy Wood  Tamworth City Bowling Club, Napier & Brisbane Streets, Tamworth  6:00pm  Free
 Anthony Taylor  South Tamworth Bowling Club, 11 Margaret Street, South Tamworth  6:30pm  Free
 Oasis Band with hosts Lawrie & Shelley Minson  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  7:00pm  Free
 2018 CMAA Junior Academy of Country Music Graduation Concert  The Family Hotel, 190 Bridge Street, Tamworth  7:30pm  Free
 The Brendans’ Dinner & Show  Carmen’s Restaurant, 2-24 Spains Lane, Kingswood  7:30pm  $50 per person including three-course dinner. Bookings essential on 02 6762 6700.
 Rachael Fahim  The Albert Hotel, 211 Peel Street, Tamworth  7:30pm  Free
 Howdy’s Hoedown  The Pub, 99 Gunnedah Road, Tamworth  8:00pm  Free
 Hurricane Fall  Longyard Hotel, 10/12 Ringers Road, Tamworth  8:00pm  Free
 Goldheist  Post Office Hotel, 8 Fitzroy Street, Tamworth  8:00pm  Free
 Finnian Johnson  Tudor Hotel, 327 Peel Street, Tamworth  8:30pm  Free
 Missy Lancaster  West Tamworth League Club, 58 Philip Street, Tamworth  8:30pm  Free
 Michael Bryers  North Tamworth Bowling Club, 20-26 Bligh Street, North Tamworth  8:30pm  Free
 Simply Bushed  Tamworth Services Club, 199 Marius Street, Tamworth  8:30pm  Free
 2018 Toyota Star Maker Brad Cox  The Albert Hotel, 211 Peel Street, Tamworth  8:45pm  Free
 Rachael Fahim  The Albert Hotel, 211 Peel Street, Tamworth 10:00pm Free
 2018 Toyota Star Maker Brad Cox  The Albert Hotel, 211 Peel Street, Tamworth 11:15pm Free
 Saturday 14 July 2018
 Australian Country Music Hall of Fame opens  561 Peel Street, Tamworth  9:00am  Adults $7/Children (Under 12) Free
 Gallery of Stars Wax Museum opens  Big Golden Guitar, 2 Ringers Road, Tamworth  9:00am
 Don Costa  Tamworth Shoppingworld, Bridge & Denne Streets, West Tamworth  10:00am  Free
 Songwriters Live on the Deck  DAG Sheep Station, Crawney Road, Nundle  10:00am  Free
 ABBA Bronze Bust Fundraiser for Frank Ifield  Southgate Inn, 16A Kent Street, Tamworth  10:00am  $10 Donation at door
 Gary Daniel  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  10:00am  Free
 Tamworth Songwriters Association (TSA) Songwriters featuring Georgie Taylor, Ian Wilkinson, Trinity Woodhouse, Wendy Wood, Red Heart Blue, Ian Burns, Becci Nethery, Tony Kennelly, Melissa Robertson, Dunc & Sue, the Shelly Jones Band, Kathryn Luxford, the Floyd Black Band, Kylie Adams Collier, Peter Salata and Brendan Smoother  Post Office Hotel, 8 Fitzroy Street, Tamworth  10:30am  Free
 Songwriters’ Showcase featuring Shane Nicholson, Luke O’Shea, Felicity Urquhart, Kevin Bennett, Aleyce Simmonds & Jeremy Edwards  DAG Sheep Station, Crawney Road, Nundle  11:00am  Click here to buy tickets
 Showpony Express “Make A Wish Come True” Single Launch  Big Golden Guitar, 2 Ringers Road, Tamworth  11:00am  Free
 Wayne Elliott  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  11:00am  Free
 Centrepoint Walk-up Stage presented by Capital Country Radio and Country Music Bulletin  Centrepoint Arcade, 374 Peel Street, Tamworth  11:00am  Free
 John Lecner  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  12:00pm  Free
 Kora Naughton “Ride or Die” Album Launch  Moonshiners Honky Tonk Bar at The Family Hotel, Bridge & Belmore Streets, Tamworth  1:00pm  Free
 Triple T  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  1:00pm  Free
 Michael Bryers  Tamworth Services Club, 199 Marius Street, Tamworth  2:00pm  Free
 Tamworth Live & Local Acoustic presented by 88.9FM Jodie Crosby  West Tamworth League Club, 58 Philip Street, Tamworth  2:00pm
 Bob Easter  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  2:00pm  Free
 The Weeping Willows & Allison Forbes  City Sider Motel, 237 Marius Street, Tamworth  2:00pm  Free
 Hattie Oates  The Welder’s Dog, 37 Dowe Street, Tamworth  2:00pm  Free
 Greg Bain  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  3:00pm  Free
 Gayle O’Neil  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  4:00pm  Free
 Aleyce Simmonds and Brad Butcher  The Welder’s Dog, 37 Dowe Street, Tamworth  5:00pm  Click here to buy tickets
 Matt Scullion & Friends  Hogs Breath Cafe, 265-267 Peel Street, Tamworth  5:00pm  Free
 Graeme Doubleday  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  5:00pm  Free
 Tamworth Songwriters Association (TSA) Songwriters featuring Kathryn Luxford, Shelly Jones Band, Ian Burns and Red Heart Blue  Tamworth City Bowling Club, Napier & Brisbane Streets, Tamworth  6:00pm  Free
 Don Costa  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  6:00pm  Free
 Sandra Humphries and Jared Scott  South Tamworth Bowling Club, 11 Margaret Street, South Tamworth  6:30pm  Free
 Luke O’Shea Dinner Show  North Tamworth Bowling Club, 20-26 Bligh Street, North Tamworth  7:00pm  $35 Tickets includes 2 course dinner – Buy tickets from the club
 Oasis Band with host Trevor Coombes  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  7:00pm  Free
 Rachael Fahim The Albert Hotel, 211 Peel Street, Tamworth  7:30pm  Free
 Hurricane Fall  Longyard Hotel, 10/12 Ringers Road, Tamworth  8:00pm  Free
 Adam Harvey  West Tamworth League Club, 58 Philip Street, Tamworth  8:00pm  Click here to buy tickets
 Jonny Taylor  West Diggers, 4 Kable Avenue, Tamworth  8:30pm  Free
 Simply Bushed  Tamworth Services Club, 199 Marius Street, Tamworth  8:30pm  Free
 The Cartwheels  West Tamworth League Club, 58 Philip Street, Tamworth  8:30pm  Free
 Sally-Anne Whitten & the Rumour Mill  Tudor Hotel, 327 Peel Street, Tamworth  8:30pm  Free
 2018 Toyota Star Maker Brad Cox  The Albert Hotel, 211 Peel Street, Tamworth  9:00pm  Free
 The Beau Hatch Country Band  Post Office Hotel, 8 Fitzroy Street, Tamworth  9:00pm  Free
 Rachael Fahim  The Albert Hotel, 211 Peel Street, Tamworth  10:15pm  Free
 2018 Toyota Star Maker Brad Cox  The Albert Hotel, 211 Peel Street, Tamworth  11:30pm  Free
 Sunday 15 July 2018
 Australian Country Music Hall of Fame opens  561 Peel Street, Tamworth  10:00am  Adults $7/Children (Under 12) Free
 Don Costa  Tamworth Shoppingworld, Bridge & Denne Streets, West Tamworth  10:00am  Free
 Songwriters’ Live on the Deck  DAG Sheep Station, Crawney Road, Nundle  10:00am  Free
 Chris Strohfeld  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  10:00am  Free
 Songwriters’ Showcase featuring Shane Nicholson, Luke O’Shea, Felicity Urquhart, Kevin Bennett, Aleyce Simmonds & Jeremy Edwards  DAG Sheep Station, Crawney Road, Nundle  11:00am  Click here to buy tickets
 Tamworth Songwriters Association (TSA) Songwriters Over Lunch featuring Duncan Hill, the Floyd Black Band, Chelsea Rollings, Brendan Smoother, Peter Salata, Kylie Adams Collier, Tony Kennelly, Becci Nethery and Shelly Jones Band  Longyard Hotel, 10/12 Ringers Road, Tamworth  11:00am  Free
 John Lecner  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  11:00am  Free
 Centrepoint Walk-up Stage presented by Capital Country Radio and Country Music Bulletin  Centrepoint Arcade, 374 Peel Street, Tamworth  11:00am  Free
 Lyn & Phil Manning  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  12:00pm  Free
 Songwriters Show featuring Michael Bryers and special guests  North Tamworth Bowling Club, 20-26 Bligh Street, North Tamworth  12:30pm  Free
 CCMA Hats Off Tribute to the Dallas Family  South Tamworth Bowling Club, 11 Margaret Street, South Tamworth  1:00pm  Free
 Bob Easter  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  1:00pm  Free
 Lawrie & Shelley Minson  West Tamworth League Club, 58 Philip Street, Tamworth  2:00pm  Free
 Jonny Taylor  West Diggers, 4 Kable Avenue, Tamworth  2:00pm  Free
 Ryan Morris  Longyard Hotel, 10/12 Ringers Road, Tamworth  2:00pm  Free
 Allison Forbes presents: The Big Birthday Bash Bonanza  The Tamworth Hotel, 147 Marius Street, Tamworth  2:00pm  Free
 Greg Bain  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  2:00pm  Free
 Triple T  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  3:00pm  Free
 Songwriters’ Retreat Showcase featuring Shane Nicholson, Luke O’Shea, Felicity Urquhart, Kevin Bennett, Aleyce Simmonds, Jeremy Edwards PLUS special guests Brad Butcher, Jeff Gibson, John Krsulja, Brendan Nawrocki and artists from the 2018 Songwriters’ Retreat*  DAG Sheep Station, Crawney Road, Nundle  4:00pm  Click here to buy tickets
 Graeme Doubleday  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  4:00pm  Free
 Alby Pool and Pals  South Tamworth Bowling Club, 11 Margaret Street, South Tamworth  4:30pm  Free
 Oasis Band with host Rob Breese  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  5:30pm  Free