Hayley Jensen performed at the Leadbelly in Newtown last weekend to launch her album Past Tense and Present Peace and was supported by Matt Cornell and Emily Markham. There was also a guest appearance by Jay Seeney of the Jay Seeney Band. It was a great night of music that was well supported by her fans.
What a great night of entertainment listening too and photographing Christie Lamb for the launch of her 2nd Album “Loaded”.
Shot for Amnplify
If you are interested in Firefly Photos shooting your next gig, promo photos or CD covers then please fill in the contact form below.
Katie Jayne approached me recently to take a few photos of her that she could use to promote her music career. Katie was formerly a member of the Southern Junction band but has recently commenced a solo career. She has performed in the USA, the UK and Australia, most recently at the Off the Eaten Truck Festival organised by Rooty Hill RSL.
After exploring a few locations we decided up a little known location in Sydney that included an old aquaduct. Here a few of the photos from the shoot.
Keep up to date with Katie’s career and future gigs by liking her music page on Facebook – Katie Jayne Music
If you are interested or know of anyone else that could be interested in having some portraits taken then feel free to complete the form below to contact us.
Friday night at Rooty Hill was great night of country rock opening with the Kaylens Rain duo of Glen Harrison and Kaylee Stewart followed by Mickey Pye and then Travis Collins. All three acts are great performers in their own right and already headline shows. It was a great combination of artist that showed the audience that the future of country music in Australia, Each time I hear any of the artists perform I walk out thinking how good they are!
Keep up to date with the artists by clicking on the following links to their Facebook pages and liking the pages.
Travis Collins website
Shot for Amplify
If you would like Firefly Photos to come and shoot your gig or organise a shoot for promo photos please complete the form below or call on 0409 710 759
The McClymonts performed at Rooty Hills last month as part of their 10 years of hits tour. It was a great night of music which the the crowd loved. This particular concert was sold out so be quick if you want to catch one of the remaining gigs on the tour. You can find out details of the rest of the tour on The McClymonts Website.
I photographed the gig on behalf of Amnplify.
If you would like Firefly Photos to photograph your next live performance or take your new promo photos we can be contacted on our Facebook Page or by completing the contact form below.
Camden put on a great concert which displayed the many and varied talented artist in the area. I was granted access to photograph the concert on behalf of Amnplify.
The headline act was Pseudo Echo and they were supported by a lot of local performers throughout the day.
Here are a few photos from the day.
Ian Burns released his album “Want to Sing” on the 19th March, 2016 at K Ranch, Mount Hunter. Supporting him on the night were the very talented Paul (Paully)Grierson and Becci Nethery. Ian’s band for the night was Paul Grierson, Nik Downing, Jane Kellaway and Bernie Bruce.
It was a fun night with great music which all the crowd enjoyed.
The bar staff were kept very busy all night of the album launch.
I was lucky enough to catch one of the Girls of Country shows last Friday night at Souths Juniors. The Girls of Country are Golden Guitar winner Amber Lawrence, Aleyce Simmonds and Christie Lamb. It was a packed house and having been there I know why as it was non-stop evening of great music that got the crowd on their feet!
There are more Girls of Country shows to come so check out their websites:
I had the pleasure of attending the Sydney album launch for Jetty Road’s new album, Hearts on Fire last week. They were supported by another great country artist, Luke Dickens.
The lighting conditions made it difficult to photograph but here a few of my photos taken on the night.
Seeing the Zac Brown Band on stage for the first time was quite an experience for me. With 8 band members it was hard to know where to look and who to photograph. The Zac Brown Band are comprised of Zac Brown (lead vocals & guitar), Chris Fryar (drums), Clay Cook (numerous instruments), Coy Bowles (guitar & organ), Daniel De Los Reyes (percussion), Jimmy De Martini (violin & vocals), John Driscoll Hopkins (numerous instruments) & Matt Mangano (bass).
There is no doubting the musical talent of the band and their popularity with the fans. Last night’s performance was after a sold out concert in Melbourne and this one, if it wasn’t a sell out would have been very close to being sold out. I know of fans that headed in to line up early in the morning so they could be first in and close to the stage.
With 4 studio albums released over the past seven years The Foundation (2008), You Get What You Give (2010), Uncaged (2010) and Jeykll + Hyde (to be released this month) and the Grohl Sessions EP (2013) there were plenty of choices of great songs to include in the set list. Surprisingly last night’s set list included a number of covers which a country band would not usually perform including an awesome performance of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Metallica’s “Enter the Sandman”.
The Zac Brown Band were fantastic on the night and whilst they didn’t perform some of my favourite songs they performed most of their hits including “Sweet Annie”, “Toes”, “Colder Weather”, “Chicken Fried”, “Goodbye in her Eyes”, “Free” and “As She’s Walking Away” (minus Alan Jackson who was guest vocalist on the You Get What You Give album version). Other songs performed at the Hordern Pavilion that night included Charlie Daniel’s Band’s “Devil Went Down to Georgia”, “Whiskey Gone”, “Day for the Dead”, “Heavy is the Head”, “Keep Me In Mind” and “Knee Deep”.
There was a brief moment when during a long instrumental as part of the introduction of the band members that I felt they lost the audience as I could see and here a lot of them talking. It didn’t take long for them to reconnect to the audience though.
I can’t put my finger on what exactly makes the Zac Brown Band so appealing. They have great harmony, their lyrics are meaningful, the music is amazing and the number of different instruments that they play throughout the night adds to their appeal. All the band members seem passionate abut their music and it shows on stage by how much they seem to be enjoying performing.
It was my first time shooting at the Hordern Pavilion and as a venue I thought that it was great. It didn’t seem to matter where anyone was sitting or standing they weren’t far from the stage. It was a great atmosphere and the lighting and sound were awesome. In fact it was the first time that I recall being there since The Police performed there in 1980!
Anyone heading to the Byron Bay Blues Festival will be in for a treat as the Zac Brown Band are performing there on the 3rd April, 2015.
Originally published in the Get Shot Magazine 2.4.15
CMC Rocks the Hunter relocated to Ipswich Queensland this year and I decided to drive up to shoot it. There was a stellar line up of artists both local and international which helped to draw a great crowd to the new venue.
The venue was Willowbank Racetrack located near Ipswich and there was plenty of shade available for the fans.
Personally I would have preferred for the festival to have stayed in the Hunter Valley however for commercial reasons it probably made sense to relocate to a different venue. Each venue has their advantages and disadvantages but the main thing is the quality of the artists performing because that is what a music festival is all about. With 36 different artists everyone there would have found it easy to enjoy the music.
Each of the three nights had international acts headlining with Lady Antebellum on the Friday night who unfortunately would not allow any media access at all on the night, Chris Young on the Saturday night and Big & Rich to close the festival on the Sunday.
It was great see two of my favourite bands, The Viper Creek Band and The Wolfe Brothers performing over the weekend before such huge crowds, particularly the boys from the Viper Creek Band as they performed just Big & Rich.
Kacey Musgrave’s stage resembled the video clip of her latest song “Follow Your Arrow”
If anyone wanted a work-out over the weekend then all they needed to do was watch Laura Bell Bundy perform. That was enough for everyone to work up a sweat! I’m not sure where she gets all her energy from but Laura Bell Bundy had plenty of any really entertained the crowd with he dancing and singing. In fact at once stage she had over 20 people from the audience on stage dancing with her!
One of the highlights of the weekend for me was Jeffrey Steele who not only being a talented artist he is also a prolific write of hit songs that have been performed by a long list of artists. I was amazed at how many hit songs he had penned!
Wylie and the Wild West performed on the Friday afternoon and I was pleased that I was able to make it to their set. They performed a great style of music that would be hard not to like. On top of that Wylie was obviously enjoying himself on stage which rubs off on those watching the show.
If the crowd is anything to go by then the festival was a success.
More to come
One of the highlights for me of the Sydney Country Music Festival on the 8th November, 2014 was the chance to see this Newcastle based band again. Since first seeing the band perform in 2012 I have watched them mature as a band and create a fan base that seems to follow them all around NSW.
The Viper Creek Band are comprised of lead singer Damien Baguley, Jochen Walter on Guitar, Joel Stewart on bass and the ever smiling Adam McCann on the drums. They formed in 2011 and have released 2 EP’s Crazy Tonight and Dance Like No One’s Watching whilst their debut album Kickin’ Up Dust was released in March this year.
Whilst they have created their own distinct style of music they do at times remind me of Keith Urban, McAlister Kemp and Eric Church. Their songs range from country rock to softer ballads. The Viper Creek Band set started with a crowd favourite “Tonight Tonight” from their Kickin’ Up Dust album followed by the title track from the same album. If you want a band to kick start the audience then The Viper Creek Band are the ones that can do it. What I believe sets an artist apart from their peers is the ability to entertain the audience. There are many bands that sound good but not all of them know how to perform live and invigorate the audience like The Viper Creek Band do. This, along with their fresh sound, is what raises them above the pack.
The set list was mainly original songs from their album and also included “Let’s Get Outta Here” from their EP Dance Like No One’s Watching. Back up vocals on the day were provided by Sydney based Victoria Avenue and they also look like they have a future in the industry. Keep an eye out for them as they have a few gigs of their own coming up.
The guys performed a great version of Slim Dusty’s “Lights on the Hill” which most of the audience sung along too and is another one of my favourites. The band also performed a good cover of “Forever and Ever Amen” which was written by Paul Overstreet and Don Schlitz and made famous by Randy Travis. I was glad that “Missin Me”, the second single from Kickin’ Up Dust was included in the set as this is a great song that was written by another Novacastrian, Morgan Evans along with Mark & Jay O’Shea. The crowd really enjoyed and connected with the words of last songs of the set “Thank God For Beer” and “My Hometown”.
There is still a chance to catch one of their gigs before the end of the year as they are performing at the following locations:
Neath Hotel, Neath
19th December, 2014
Federal Hotel, Branxton
20th December, 2014
Club Lemon Tree, Lemon Tree Passage
31st December, 2014
2014 was the 3rd year of the Sydney Country Music Festival which was held at the Bella Vista Farm in Bella Vista just off the M2. The popularity of the festival has grown substantially from when it started in 2012 with 600 attendees to over 6,000 attendees in 2014. The growth is the result of the hard work put in by the organisers and the quality of the acts that they procured for the festival.
Any gig with artists of the calibre of The McClymonts, The Viper Creek Band, McAlister Kemp, Beccy Cole and Luke O’Shea is sure to be a festival that draws the crowds. As well as the big name established artists there were great performances by Chelsea Basham, Ashleigh Dallas and Wagon. At $45 a ticket this represents great value in anyone’s books.
Being a relative new festival and only the second time at the Bella Vista Farm it is expected that there would be a few teething problems. The higher than expected crowd (Over 1,500 tickets were bought at the gate) did cause some problems with toilets which the organisers corrected by having more delivered through the day. The other concern of patrons was the line-up for the bar facilities was too long which was also not helped by the higher than usual temperature on the day and the extra crowds. The organisers have confirmed that these two issues will be fixed for 2015.
There were a lot of good things about the festival including, the artists line up, the variety of food, the location, easy parking, friendly staff, extra activities such as line dancing, ute display, rock climbing and whip cracking for the time in between artists.
I’m looking forward to 2015 as the festival will be held over 2 days, 31st October, 2015 and 1st November, 2015 with camping available for anyone that wants to make a weekend out of it. It has already been announced that Adam Brand and The Wolfe Brothers will performing next year.
A smaller stage near the entrance to the festival was used for the Silver Saddles competition finals. This competition was designed to unearth raw country talent from NSW and over the past few months competitions were held to determine the finalists. This year’s finalists were Ellen Amy, Rachael Fahim, Blake Dantier Band, Goldheist, Gayle O’Neil and Justin Robinson. The judges had a hard decision to make and couldn’t split Gayle O’Neil and Justin Robinson who were named joint winners for 2014.
There is a great early bird special on tickets for the 2015 Sydney Country Music Festival and if you would like to take advantage of it then head over to their website. If this year was anything to go by then I am sure that next year will be a huge not to be missed event on the music calendar.
Saturday night at Rooty Hill RSL, the home of country, and thanks to Total Country, was the first performance of the Grew Up ‘Round Trucks tour which is the outcome of Jayne Denham and Travis Sinclair teaming up together. They have performed together in the past but this is their first joint tour. These two artists have been dubbed the two biggest country rock acts that cheer on the truckies.
Opening the night was Travis Sinclair and he is no stranger to the trucking industry as he did grow up around trucks and still drives them in between gigs. I’m pretty sure he said that he is carting yoghurt around these days!
Travis Sinclair has released three albums to date; Diesel Boy (2011) and Rhythm of the Highway (2008) Rush (2005) and the crowd were treated to a few songs from each one including one of my personal favourites “Kick the Kenny” along with “Midnight Run“, “Diesel Boy”, “Heavenly Body, “Boundary Rider”, “Eating up Bitumen”, “Flag” and “Rockin the Rig”. The set also included some classic covers including everyone’s favourite Slim Dusty’s “Light on the Hill” Steve Earle’s “Hillbilly Highway” and Brooks and Dunn’s “Independent Trucker”.
Although I was first introduced to the music of Travis Sinclair by my truck driving neighbours about 6 years ago you don’t have to be a trucker to like his style of music. Whilst his music has a distinct style and is largely based around life on the road it still appeals to a much larger audience with it’s catchy lyrics and a beat that is hard not to like.
To the delight of the crowd, Travis was also joined on stage by his son Wyatt-Silas for a song.
Fans of Jayne Denham were treated to an energetic performance by Australia’s answer to Gretchen Wilson.
Jayne Denham does not hold back. Six weeks ago she broke her foot during a performance and despite only just having had the plaster removed this week she was still bounding around the stage in her usual energetic style.
To date Jayne Denham has released 3 albums; Sudden Change in Weather (2008), Shake this Town (2010) and her latest Renegade (2013). Whilst the major of the set were songs from Renegade including the title track “Renegade”, “Beyond these City Lights”, “Cowgirls MIA”, “This is Rodeo” and “Addicted to Diesel” there were also a few classics from her previous albums. A Jayne Denham audience would have left disappointed if she hadn’t of performed “Trucker Chicks”, “Shake this Town”, “Chick Ute”, “Country Girl with a Rock N Roll Heart” and “Mad Professor” from her first two albums.
The stage was certainly full of action for “This is Rodeo” with six dancers from the Barker Dance Studio in Glenbrook joining her on stage to perform a choreographed dance routine.
Jayne Denham also did a rousing medley as a tribute to some great aussie performers including the Divinyls‘ “Boys in Town”, Jimmy Barnes‘ “Working Class Man“, and ACDC’s “Black is Black”
For the encore Jayne Denham was joined on stage by Travis Sinclair and some younger members of their families to perform the lovely song “Grew Up Around Trucks” which is also on her latest album.
The crowd at Rooty Hill was a little smaller than I had expected but then considering that it was a long weekend, school holidays and the NRL grand final weekend I think that they did quite well and no one that was there left disappointed!
Both Travis and Jayne were supported by the same talented band for their sets and the line up was Jake Sinclair – guitar, Andy Payne – bass, Glen Farina -guitar, Paris Jefferees– drums, and Penelope Somerville – fiddle.
The tour will continue with a gig at the Blazes in Tamworth on Thursday, January 22 with more to come in the next twelve months.
As published in the Get Shot Magazine
Earlier this year I was approached by a young country singer, Corinne Rushby, to take some promotional photos for her that she could use for her facebook, website, posters and cards. I had previously met Corinne when she made a guest appearance at a gig of Golden Guitar winner Luke O’Shea. It says a lot for the talent of Corinne that she was asked to sing with someone as prestigious as Luke.
Over a few weeks we discussed the type of image that Corinne was looking for and then started thinking about locations that suited her vision. We considered a number of locations that we could use and after scouting around finally decided on the area of Theresa Park/Brownlow Hill as it had a lovely country outlook and was reasonably close for both of us. Luckily for us Corinne’s mother had arranged access for us to a private property which had some great settings that we could use during the shoot.
As we had planned to shoot a few different looks, Corinne had chosen a few different outfits and started with a formal red dress which worked really well with the green arches of the trees over the road.
The chosen location worked very well for what we had in mind and we both really liked this photo of Corinne in one of the country fields.
It was hard not to shoot under the archway created by the trees as they worked well in framing Corinne.
By using a large aperture and blurring the background I was able to isolate Corinne in this shot so that she stood out as the main focus of the viewer.
Props are important on a photo shoot but not everyone can bring a lounge to location. Thanks to Corinne’s brother Brad for delivering the lounge to us.
We were lucky to find a shed full of hay that we could use for the shoot.
The shoot wasn’t all hard work and there were plenty of funny moments. I captured this shot as Corinne was laughing.
My personal favourite photo from the day was this one of Corinne.
Keep an eye out for Corinne and make sure that you catch one her gigs so that you can have a listen to a talented young artist. If you like her facebook page you can be sure that you will be kept update with what is happening with her career and where her gigs will be on.
If you or anyone that you know of could use some new promotional shots, CD covers, posters and even a live gig shoot then contact via the contact page or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If I had to use one word to describe Lee Kernaghan it would be Entertainer. He is an artist that knows how to best use his time on stage and thoroughly entertains the audience with a performance that has a bit of everything from Lee Kernaghan originals to Slim Dusty classics to Jerry Lee Lewis songs on the keyboard.
The audiences love him and with The Wolfe Brothers backing him on stage you are guaranteed a great night. Lee creates a party atmosphere including the streamers fired out over the audience.
Although the tour was to promote his latest album Beautiful Noise Lee performed hits from most of his albums. Unlike a lot of other artists, Lee encourages participation by the audience and invited the River Oak Cowgirls on stage during “Boys from the Bush”. The girls were more than prepared and had their own lyrics printed on a sign. Lee also encouraged the fans to take videos and photos so he obviously recognises the power of social media as a form of advertising.
The Wolfe Brothers and Lee Kernaghan seem to have really created a great team that work well with each other on the stage.
Dan Conway is another artist who has come to light through Australia’s Got Talent (2011 Series Finalist) and he also played guitar for Lee Kernaghan for the entire set.
Lee Kernaghan and the Wolfe Brothers performed their own version of the country classic, “Lights on the Hill” which was written by Joy McKean and made famous by her husband Slim Dusty. The song, when originally performed by Slim Dusty actually won the first Golden Guitar Award way back in 1973.
The crowd loved “Ute Me” from the Beautiful Noise album and Lee encouraged even more audience participation offering a free “Ute Me” singlet to any females that took their top off near the stage – there were quite a few volunteers so a few singlets were given away.
The fans just lapped up the performance and seemed to know all the words to the songs performed. Other songs of note that Lee performed were the title track from the latest album “Beautiful Noise”, “She’s my Ute”, “Great Balls of Fire”, “Outback Club”, “Dirt” and “The Way It Is”.
Lee Kernaghan seems to have worked out what his fans like and just continues to produce hits. His albums are backed up by great live performances such as I photographed tonight and he is the “Entertainer” of Australian Country Music.
After being blown away by the performance of The Wolfe Brothers at CMC Rocks the Hunter earlier this year I purchased both their debut EP and debut album to listen to on the drive back from Hope Estate. As good as the recorded music was I was still itching to catch another live show. With the band hailing from Tasmania I didn’t think that I had much of a chance but not long after CMC they caught the attention of Lee Kernaghan and were invited to tour with him on his Beautiful Noise tour. Not only are they the support band for Lee Kernaghan but they have now also become the backing band for his own performances.
It is been a whirlwind year for the band that were runners up in Australia’s Got Talent in 2012 and have now been nominated for 4 Golden Guitars – APRA Song of the Year (“The Girl, The Bottle, The Memory”); Group or Duo of the Year; New Talent of the Year; and Australian Top Selling Album of the Year (It’s On) at the 2014 CMAA Country Music Awards.
I managed to catch their performance in the Diamond Auditorium at Blacktown Workers Club on the 16th November, 2013.
Despite having a very busy year touring, the band members, brothers Nick & Tom Wolfe, Brodie Rainbird and Casey Kostiuk have not lost any enthusiasm and create a real and exciting presence on stage with their own style of country rock.
In their set they performed most of the songs on their debut album It’s On including “One Way State Of Mind”, “Wake Up”, “The Girl The Bottle The Memory”, “It’s On”, “Lovin’ In The Summertime” , “All We Wanna Do” and “Bad Man Outta Me”.
All too soon the set was over but luckily there was more to come when they returned to perform with Lee Kernaghan. The band’s performance was very polished and thoroughly enjoyable with many fans waiting around after the show for autographs and photos with the band members.
I can see the Wolfe Brothers having a long and successful career in the music industry. With a debut album brimming with quality songs all written by band members fans can look forward to more quality music being produced. The songs were all written about personal experiences and the audience seemed to connect well with the band’s lyrics and style. I was particularly impressed with how the band engaged the audience with insights into the situation or experiences that led to the songs being written.
If I were asked to describe the band I would say that they are an exciting close knit band with their own unique style of country rock. The Wolfe Brothers are a band to watch and I can see them attracting international attention before too much more time has passed.
The Beautiful Noise tour is nearing the end but there are still two more chances to catch the band performing before it finishes for the year. You can catch them at either The Mingara Recreation Club on the Central Coast on Friday 22nd November 2013 or at The Cube, Campbelltown Catholic Club on the 23rd November 2013.
Collectively, Makaylie Foodey, Kaylah Anne, Georgia White and Hannah Smith are known as The Apprentices. These young ladies were handpicked by the well respected and the very much in demand record producer Rod McCormick to create The Apprentices as a means of helping young artists reach a wider audience.
All four of them have superb voices and show a maturity beyond their years. This was their first show that I had the pleasure of attending and The Waratah Room at the Rooty Hill RSL was the perfect venue to showcase the ability of The Apprentices and the quality of their music.
Each of the group are accomplished singers in their own rights and they each performed a solo set of 10 songs during the show with group performances between sets.
Georgia White was the first to perform a solo set which including 4 Non Blondes’ “What’s Up”, Carrie Underwood’s “I Told You So”, The Wreckers’ “Crazy People” and some amazing original songs that she wrote or co-wrote “Cry Cry Cry”, “Mesmerise” and “All the Wrong Reasons”. Georgia’s voice, especially on “Cry Cry Cry” and “All the Wrong Reasons” can transport you back to the era of Patsy Cline. It was a very polished performance by very talented young woman.
All four artists were back on stage to perform the Beatles’ classic “Come to Together” which was well received by the audience and demonstrated how they can perform together as a group.
Kaylah Anne was next to perform her solo set and opened it with an original song “Wild Side” from the Apprentices’ debut album which was released at the Tamworth Country Music Festival in January, 2011. Kaylah then performed my favourite song from The Wreckers “Leave the Pieces” followed by Rod Stewart’s “First Cut is the Deepest” and then another original from the debut album “Four Leaf Clover”. Kaylah’s talent continued to shine as she performed her own song about the regrets of a young girl “Losing What I Never Had”. I really enjoyed Kaylah’s version of Kasey Chamber’s “Guilty as Sin” and Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy”. “Deadweight” from the latest album was my favourite song of Kaylah’s and I can see her with a big future in the music industry.
Next to perform a solo act was Makaylie Foodey who has not only written her own songs but has recently co-written a song which appears on Gina Jeffries latest album. Makaylie opened the set with her first single “Butterflies” and then continued to impress as she performed another 9 songs from Katy Perry’s “Waking Up in Vegas” to Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way” to Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car”. Makaylie also performed her own songs including “Light a Match”, “Take it Back” and “Walk on By Again” which are a country/pop blend of music and highlighted not only her vocal talents but her song writing ability.
The Apprentices then performed their own version of the Doobie Brothers’ classic hit “Listen to Music” before Hannah Smith commenced her set. Hannah is a big fan of the Dixie Chicks and included great versions of “Good Bye Earl” and “Travelling Soldier” in her set. It was a varied set and included a number of original songs, “Blood is Thicker than Water”, “The Ghost of You” and “Losing Faith”. “Losing Faith” is about dealing with her grandmother’s dementia and it’s a prime example of her song writing skills whilst also showing a maturity not normally displayed by someone so young. Hannah finished her set with Dolly Parton’s “Coat of Many Colours” and another of my favourite songs, Gretchen Wilson’s “Redneck Woman”.
The final song performed by The Apprentices was Cindy Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” which was a fitting song to finish the performance with as they genuinely seemed to be enjoying themselves throughout the show.
Overall, the performance was one that would encourage fans to see them again and buy their music, I know that I did and have since listened to the Light a Match album quite a few times. They may have to consider changing their name in the near future as I think that they have already served their apprenticeship and are streets ahead of a lot of performers their age.
For further information visit their website
I can be contacted through this website or by email email@example.com if you need any promotional photos, live music photos or reviews.
One of the newest venues for country music in the west of Sydney is the recently renovated Wallacia Hotel. I headed out there not long ago to see a live performance by McAlister Kemp who are huge in stature and sound. If I had to nominate a country band that will make it big then this would be the one. Drew McAlister and Troy Kemp share the vocals with their powerful voices. Their songs really appealed to the crowd who didn’t take long to get up and dance in front of the stage.
There is a perception amongst those that do not really know country music that it is quiet and boring. If this is what you think then I suggest that you head out and catch one McAlister Kemp’s gigs and that view will still be dispelled as the band belts out some huge country rock numbers. On the night they played all their hits “Country Proud”, “All Kinds of Tough”, “Hell Yeah”, “It Don’t Buy You Love”, ”Blue Collar Nights”, “It Don’t Buy You Love” and “Hard Work”. The crowd were also treated to the unveiling of their new single “Harder to Tame”.
It’s not only the audiences that they have won over with their music and lyrics but also international stars. McAlister Kemp not only supported Alan Jackson when he toured Australia but were also invited to the USA to perform by Big & Rich.
Both Drew and Troy are accomplished songwriters and their lyrics resonate with the country music fans as they write about life and the issues that we all face.
The band’s appeal is not limited to a specific generation as the young and not so young members of the crowd were singing along to the hits all night.
They have released two albums so far All Kinds of Tough (2010) and Country Proud (2012). A new album Harder to Tame will be released in January 2014 to coincide with the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
Their music sound and style appears to be heavily influenced by American country music which I personally really enjoy.
If you are looking for a great night of entertainment then this country rock band may be just what you are looking for and they may just change your perception of country music. They are loud and energetic and have quickly learnt how to engage the audience.
Future gigs and announcements can be found on their website http://www.mcalisterkemp.com/
As for the Wallacia Hotel, the food is great and the outdoor entertainment area is huge with plenty of it undercover. As an entertainment venue it has a huge potential with my only suggestion being that they need to remove a post that is in the middle of the stage. It really divided the stage in two and made it difficult for the audience to see everything.
In April this year we attended our first Independent Country Artist Network (ICAN) Cruise on the beautiful Sydney Harbour. The cruises are an annual event organised by Nat Wyborn who greeted us all at Darling Harbour in her bikini.
Weatherwise we couldn’t have asked for a better day to spend on the harbour which probably explained Nat’s decision to wear a bikini. The cruise was about about 4 hours and it is a great opportunity to mingle with the performers for the day, other country music fans and photographers (there were quite a few on the cruise!)
The performers on the cruise were Jeremy Edwards, Chris E Thomas and Golden Guitar Winner, Luke O’Shea.
With artists of this calibre it was no wonder that the cruise sold out – $50 for four hours of entertainment with finger food included.
The first artist to perform was Jeremy Edwards and I must admit that prior to the cruise I had not heard of any of his music, needless to say that after hearing him perform I took advantage of the merchandise on sale by the artists and purchased his latest CD Russian Doll.
Jeremy’s vocals were complimented by the vocal talents of Julieanne Henry
Did I mention that there were a lot of photographers on the cruise??
Mark & Al were only two of the many and as you can see everyone had a great time.
The next artist on the stage was the very talented Chris E Thomas. If you like great music then make sure that you listen to some of her CD’s, her latest Monkey Off My Back is a great listen!
It’s not easy to perform on stage as the boat rocks but everyone managed to cope quite well.
Luke O’Shea is someone that I could listen to all day as his songs tell a story. He didn’t disappoint during his performance on the cruise and he always seems to have so much fun entertaining the crowds.
The singers can’t do everything and they were ably assisted by the very talented Clare O’Meara and Doug Weaver.
With everyone having so much fun the cruise seemed to end too quickly but there is always next year!!
Here is a photo to show you how much fun everyone did have on the cruise
If you would like to attend future cruises the easiest way is to like the ICAN page on Facebook or contact Nat on facebook.
See you next year!