2019 Festival Line-Up Announcement
Senegambian Jazz Band
Jazz/funk / Sunday
Featuring an internationally renowned lineup that traverses The
Gambia, Senegal, Ethiopia, Ghana and Australia, the Senegambian Jazz Band channels over eight thousand years of African musical traditions, transporting the power and beauty of these ancient sounds, rhythms and melodies to euphoric audiences across Australia.
Fronting the seven-piece band is the phenomenally talented Amadou Suso, direct descendent of the world’s first kora player, Koriang Musa Suso. As a music maker, or ‘jali’ by birthright, Amadou embodies the griot traditions of the Mandinka of West Africa. Known widely as the 'Jimi Hendrix of the kora', Amadou fulfils his ancestral duties to share the culture of his people through an intoxicating contemporary mastery of the African harp.
Complementing the band's sublime kora-led melodies are the
formidable percussive talents of Boubacar Gaye, from Senegal, on the djembe and congas, and Julius Sackey, from Ghana, on drum kit.
World-class musicians in their own right, Boubacar and Sackey harness the rhythms of West Africa, providing the irresistible foot-stomping drum beats that see fans losing themselves in the music and dancing the night away.
Zoë Fox & the Rocket Clocks
Space Pop / Saturday
Bringing together both forces of dark and light, space explorers, Zoë Fox and the Rocket Clocks launch into a mixed salad of psychedelic pop, enter time warps of soft lullabies and then blast into the future with classic disco tunes.
New on the scene but breaking through quickly, last year saw Zoë Fox and the Rocket Clocks bring in the New Year at New Years Eve on the Hill, this year saw them bring it in at the Lorne leg of The Falls Festival. Add to that supports for the skyrocketing Diddiri and The Teskey Brothers and you can start to gauge how dynamic this band really is.
With space costumes, psych jams, that voice and a whole lot of fun, it’s no wonder the group have been swiftly swooping up fans from across the globe.
Folk/country / Saturday
Cookie Baker is a pint-sized melodic force to be reckoned with. A walking, talking exercise in compact contradiction and adaptation.
As gutsy in person as she is empathetic on stage, as careful with her picked guitar as she is unapologetic with her incisive words, as warm in her interactions as she is unafraid of bringing airtime to the hard stuff.
The deceivingly gentle melodies, cool wordsmithery, and sparkling grit of her vocals that audiences have come to adore have taken Cookie performing around Australia and brought her to share stages with many esteemed Australian artists, including Augie March, Kate Miller-Heidke, Ben Lee, Angie Hart (Frente!), Mick Thomas (Weddings, Parties, Anything), Little Birdy, and The Audreys.
‘Rushing, driven, sublime folk and a great voice make this one impressive debut.’ – Nat Tencic, triple j
‘Clever, sophisticated, laid-back, personal and inspiring…’ – Rip It Up
Folk/blues / Saturday
Ben Whiting is what happens when a 90’s kid puts The Police and Bob Marley on high rotation, sits in a beanbag in an old aircraft hanger and watches his extended family jam the night away.
Those early influences have guided and continue to teach him, and the result is a gifted singer-songwriter comfortable with using a broad palette of inspiration to create a sound that is wholly his own.
Ben’s previous band played festivals including Splendour In The Grass and supported artists such as Katy Perry, Grinspoon and The Angels. He followed this period with a pivot to a folk aesthetic, and has now integrated his rock experience back into his songwriting and performances.
The continual thread running throughout Whiting’s various artistic expressions is his ‘virtually flawless’ voice (Faster Louder); it cannot help but remain the standout feature. Whiting’s self-titled debut EP was released in 2014, followed by his second EP, Private Island, in mid 2017.
Accompanied on bass by his cousin Billy Donaldson since they were teens, the pair teamed with Alex Burkoy (Tinpan Orange) on strings and Colombian drummer Victor Salamanca to produce Private Island. Ben Whiting and band will head back into the studio to produce their first studio album in 2019.
Folk/country / Saturday
Winner of MLT Songwriting award for ‘Mamma’, NZ Country Music Awards 2019 & Winner of the Newstead Live Music Festival Troubadour Award 2019
If Ellen DeGeneres and Tracy Chapman had asked Johnny Cash to be their sperm donor, the result would be Kerryn Fields.
Kerryn Fields grew up, surfing her parent’s vinyl collection, addicted to the radio, and trying to make light of the dark with her irrepressible humour. Hailing from farming land in the heart of New Zealand, Fields, grew up amongst story tellers in shearing sheds, a talent she now brings to the stage, along with her hugely evocative country & folk music.
Her music is poignant and powerful with baritone brilliance and unassuming string-plucking virtuosity that leaves audiences transfixed, crying, hysterically laughing and dipping their fingers into all the layers of the universe - after which they lick them in public.
Indie folk/roots / Sunday
Straight out of Melbourne's suburbs, Famous Will & their harmony filled, 60's melodic sounds are blasting across the country.
From touring Australia & New Zealand in a campervan & playing every venue possible along the way, Famous Will have put down the hard yards from the beginning which has led to some staggering opportunities such as supporting acts by the likes of Thirsty Merc, Phil Jamieson (Grinspoon), Glenn Shorrock, Wendy Matthews, Ross Wilson, James Reyne & many more.
Lucy & the Night Sky
Contemporary folk / Sunday
Lucy and the Night Sky creates lush, ethereal music that integrates poetry, classical piano and earthy grooves with the unique colours of backing vocals.
The band has recently released and toured its second album ‘Light Needs the Dark’ which, according to essenitallypop.com, presents "a gorgeous ambience".
They have been played extensively on community radio, including 3RRR, and have supported Tinpan Orange, and toured as far as Broome.
Indie funk / Saturday
Pairing captivating melodies with heartfelt and emotive word-craft, bolstered by in-your-face riffs and impeccable musicianship; these guys,originally from Geelong, put on a hell of a show and are currently taking the Melbourne music scene by storm.
The Run have been working tirelessly after taking a breather in 2018. Their debut self-titled EP made waves which lead to multiple sold out hometown shows, a brief stint in Europe and two nation-wide tours.
Having had the chance over the last few years to open up for some of their favourite bands including North East Party House, Kingswood and recently The Vaudeville Smash to name a few, The Run are now in the midst of preparing their debut full-length LP slated for release early 2020.
Ambient / Saturday
Multidisciplinary artist Momoko Rose sweeps you off your feet and draws you into a landscape of emotion.
Themes of both hope and despair are told through heartfelt storytelling, coloured with metaphor and vivid imagery. Momoko's words command audiences into captivated silence.
Armed with an electric guitar, Momoko Rose delivers a fiery performance. Inspired by other female soloists - Bjork, Florence and the Machine, Johanna Newsom - there is an ethereal quality to her music. This is accompanied by folk and jazz inspired arrangements, drawing from both traditional and modern musical ideas.
Dream pop/psych rock / Sunday
Hailing from Colac, in Victoria's West, The Attics craft their own brand of high-contrast indie. Jangly guitars, ear worming bass hooks and percussive layers melt into a heady blend of dream-pop and soaring psych-rock.
Performing relentlessly since their inception, multiple interstate tours and support slots with Ali Barter, Slum Sociable, Harts, Abbe May and The Pretty Littles placed the band in front of audiences nationwide in Australia’s formative band rooms and favourite small festivals.
As whirlwind beginnings come to a close, several wintery weeks tied up in a Detroit hotel have seeded the beginnings of a new record due later this year.
Folk/roots / Sunday
Acoustic guitar, electric guitar, trumpet and shared lead-harmony singing is the backbone of the Victoriana Gaye sound.
The songs themselves are drawn from a diverse and broad musical knowledge, which includes jazz, classic movie soundtracks, reggae, sunny psychedelia and their own blend of indie/folk/rock.
Vicki Gaye Philipp and Jeff Raglus come from Aireys Inlet on the South West coast of Victoria Australia and have packed a lot into the 8 years since they formed. Recording 5 albums, “Five Songs”, “Our Pleasure’’,”Holy Roll’’, “Red Moon Ray” and their latest ‘The Freest of the Free’. They have played their original tunes at festivals and venues in The UK, Europe, Japan, New Caledonia and continue to tour around Australia.
‘Voices that curl like smoke around each other in harmonies that intertwine but are still individual...songs that talk about feelings found washed up at high tide. Victoriana Gaye are that rare thing; a progressive, sophisticated adult pop duo’. Chris Wilson
Contemporary folk / Saturday
Joshua Batten is a modern-day troubadour, using music as his language to connect with his audience.
Drawing on personal experience, his music provides both an escape and perspective in a complex world. His live sets resonate with audiences as the songs strive to “know thyself” by exploring genuine reflections of life’s best or not always proudest moments, and then humbly offering them up as common and universal experiences.
Based in Melbourne, Batten's style of 60’s and 70’s folk-country-blues-rock features passionate vocals, accomplished guitar playing and layered arrangements. Joshua says: “We all live in our own bubble. It’s up to us to decide how much of the outside world we let in. Music is my emotional haven, and it has given me a voice to try and break through the noise that constantly surrounds me.”
Pop/rock / Saturday
Torii is a Melbourne born singer, songwriter and multi-
instrumentalist. After spending 4 years as the front woman and
bass player for Melbourne’s all-female rock trio ‘The Divine
Torii has gone back to her roots as a songwriter.
Penning emotive and heart felt songs that she has extracted from
her young, yet complex and drama filled experiences.
“Your voice is f*cking great and those low notes....Dead”
(Nkechi Anele, radio presenter on Triple J, Roots and All.)
After releasing her debut single “My Head” in 2017. Torii’s just
release her follow up single and the first single off her debut
Blues/roots / Saturday
From soaring swells to hard-hitting riffs, a thumping didgeridoo to a nimble harmonica, delicate ukulele to bubbly bass-lines, gravel-coated vocal chords to whirling melodies, reserved yet rambunctious Daniel’s essence is all moulded with dexterity, intricate looping and a fire in his belly.
The only things you can expect at a Daniel Aaron set are a good time and an exquisite man-bun.
“The deep hum of the didgeridoo and en energizing beat box, fused with an array of instruments, somehow forges to produce the hybrid-genre of Daniel Aaron’s hypnotic music.”- Echuca Moama Magazine “
"One of Australia's finest emerging acts." - Forte Magazine
Old Married Couple
Old time / Dixieland jazz / Sunday
THE OLD MARRIED COUPLE are the faces of new vintage, playing Dixieland style Folk music with a vaudevillian twist that would be at home as much in the Music Halls of the 19th century as they are in the 21st century.
Vintage in style and sound, The Old Married Couple combine a witty songwriting style with a distinctive kazoo filled music.
Taking cues from Musical comedy and cabaret legends like George Formby, Bette Midler, Marie Lloyd and Cole Porter, The Old Married Couple are spreading Toots and Hoots around the World.
Hip Hop / Saturday
Damon Paraha (A.K.A. Nomad) is an APRA award-winning, rapper/poet of Maori & Samoan descent. At 21 years of age, this Melbourne based artist is a co-founder of an independent Record Label called “The Movement Recording Company” (A.K.A. TMRC), a father of two, and the second oldest of six talented siblings.
Nomad, can be found at various Melbourne venues heating up the stage, including the ever popular, Laundry Bar in Fitzroy, Stay Gold bar in Brunswick & Little Lonsdale Street’s very own Horse Bazaar, where he’s collaborated with world famous, DJ Spell, as part of the
weekly “Spell & Friends” night. But more often than not, you can find Nomad in the community facilitating youth programs as part of CoHealth/ArtsGen’s, “Benchmark” crew & “Stir It Up” crew, whilst also fronting performance lineups for shows such as Glenroy Festival 2019 and Stonnington’s Hip-Hop showcase, “Lyrics With A Stain”.
In 2019 alone, Nomad, has performed at St Kilda Festival as a Grand Finalist for “The Push Start - Battle of the Bands”, earned mentorships through The Push with Joelistics and Francoistunes, and gained a spot in the “GRID Series - Deep West” artist development program which will culminate in the release of his next single, “Destined” (Produced by iconicbeats) Within the next year, he hopes to unveil a new youth music program for the City of Wyndham, drop his debut EP “Intermission”, as well as reveal his work as part of the “DayHunnid” collective.
Contemporary folk / Sunday
Taylah Carroll is a folk artist with guts. Not afraid to lay it all on the table, Carroll’s lyrics are introspective, evocative and rich with observational wit.
But don’t mistake this as an invitation to indulge in sadness, for Carroll’s take-home message is one of hope, as she highlights the beauty in fragility through a nuanced and detailed lens.
Hallmarked by her commanding vocals and the playful transitions between vulnerability and strength, Taylah Carroll’s music is equal parts confessional indie-folk, and dreamy alt-rock.
With stylistic echoes of Mazzy Star, and Angel Olsen, the singer-songwriter cites Tom Waits, Tori Amos, and Radiohead as key inspirations, the amalgamation of which have her leaning into nostalgia, with one foot always placed firmly ahead.
"Blossoming Melbourne Artist".
Daniel Hanssen for The AU Review
Contemporary folk/blues & roots / Sunday
Ukulele and guitar are Clive Brooker's musical tools of choice - playing a range of classic and contemporary covers from Dean Martin to Death Cab for Cutie and Pokey Lafarge.
His vocals are smooth, with a depth that conveys the strength and universal resonance. Clive's music ability comes across subtly in his work, showcasing a creative flare influenced by his experiences living in Kiribati Fiji and his natural talent.
OMM Rock Choir
Community / Sunday
First established in March 2012, OMM Rock Choir was formed to give local talent a voice through its Mass Community Choir & Percussion Groups.
The song choices tend to re-interpret classic rock anthems which make the performances energetic, unforgettable and relevant to people of all ages. Now in it’s eighth year @ Birregurra Festival, this year ‘OMM Rock Choir - Kids’ will feature the voices of 100 children from Birregurra and Deans Marsh Primary Schools as well as showcase the wonderful talents of adults across the region.
This generation-crossing musical extravaganza is a large-scale production put on by the Community… for the Community. OMM’s goal is to engage whole towns in musical performance that both inspires and rewards.
The Mik Maks
Kids / Sunday
Kid’s entertainment dynamos, The Mik Maks are one of Australia’s fastest growing children’s bands. This group of brothers and their loveable friend Drums the Panda are bringing the ‘ROCK’ to kid’s music.
Born and bred on farming land in the Victoria’s west, The Mik Maks have been wowing their young audiences all over the country with their catchy country rock tunes. Come and see why The Mik Maks are taking Australian kids music by storm.