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2012 Half year Concert Programme 'The Mactowns Beat'

By Dez Williams
Posted Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Saturday April 14 - Doherty & Birkett

Reminiscent of the Dublin Mountains, Martin Doherty now calls the rolling plains of Wallerawang his home. He may be remembered for his band ‘Raglan Rd’ and his tours with Christy Moore, The Fureys, The Dubliners, The Chieftains, The Pogues and more. Leigh Birkett is a very fine and moving accompanist of the ballads for which Martin is renowned. He can also rock with the energy necessary to really entertain. Leigh’s passion for diverse musical forms helps the duo explore the Celtic traditional forms with a new and innovative ear. The use of the altered tunings of the modern folk style and choice of instruments aid in the richness of sound created, but also add unique textures to a wider set of styles drawn from Western Swing, bluegrass and Rock and Roll to more experimental areas. Martin has always composed memorable music, as has Leigh, and the prodigious output of this writing team is being critically received wherever Martin and Leigh play. These new songs are full of character sketches and stories that are funny and poignant, powerful and haunting that bring a new edge to Martin’s phenomenal repertoire of songs.

Lime and Steel’s well-crafted original tales range from goldfields murder ballads to bouncy songs about drinking on public transport. Imagine an escaped Irish convict and a hillbilly banjo picker sitting down at the local, to sing loving harmonies about the darker side of the Australian soul. A Lime and Steel set can move from Bogan bluegrass to foot-stomping penny-whistle polkas or jigs on the uillean pipes, all laid over rich lounge grooves on the double bass and a pared back percussion kit. and steel

Saturday June 16 - Fred Smith

Over the last 15 years Fred Smith has emerged as one of Australia’s most respected songwriters. He is a lyrical and inventive lyricist, with an ear for a melodic hook. He has a perceptive eye for modern life, its foibles and joys, and an ability to express this in song. Fred presents his material with an engaging humour and a wry smile that has won hearts at festivals in Australia and North America. He is the subject of the film Bougainville Sky about his work on peace keeping operations in the war-torn islands of the South Pacific where his work as a musician and radio broadcaster contributed to the success of the world’s first ever unarmed peace keeping force. He was the first Australian diplomat to be posted to Uruzgan in July of 2009. Whilst in Afghanistan, Fred wrote a collection of powerful songs about his experiences and the realities of life for soldiers in this difficult war, released in 2011 on an album called ‘Dust of Uruzgan’. Fred Smith is one of Australia's most remarkable artists. He has spent the last 15 years all over the globe: doing peace work in the war torn islands of the South Pacific and the Forward Operating Bases of Afghanistan, touring in America and travelling the Australian festival circuit where he has earned a reputation as a prolific and dynamic songwriter.

Fred is Australia’s answer to Billy Bragg - a brilliant wit and pure entertainment.
Tracy Heffernan, BMA Magazine

His songs range from the deeply affecting, to the astringently observant, to the rousing singalong. He has a perceptive eye for modern life, its foibles and joys, and an ability to express this in song.
Philip OBrien, producer, ArtSound FM 103.1

For more information download and read a copy of our club newsletter 'The Beat'.

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Fred Smith
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2012 Half year Concert Programme 'The Mactowns Beat'
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