Went busking at Neil’s Shed on Friday arvo. The Nimbin Roots Festival was starting up and though I wasn’t part of it, I did manage to draw a good little crowd that sold me out of my remaining CDs. Wasn’t expecting that!
Friday night, the Nimbin Hotel hosted the highly entertaining Richie Williams Band. Across the road the Nimbin Street Drummers were in fine form with Dave Basten on bass (and sometimes me). The multi-talented Michael Skinner led the drums ably assisted by Pauly Stephens and others. Great to see Ren Waterfall splashing some improv trombone in as well.
Once that was done, the infamous “O”, Nimbin’s Oasis Cafe took over as the main venue until the wee hours.
The many tourists got a taste of the magic of Friday nights in our little village. Of course the Town Hall was pumping with musical guests of the Roots Festival, as was the good ol’ Nimbin Bowlo and the beloved Nimbin Bush Theatre.
Saturday arvo saw me playing the Nimbin Hotel, with my two main mates in musical crime, Dave Basten and Mike Skinner again. We’ve developed some sort of “style” after jamming with each other over the past 3 or 4 years despite the lack of any rehearsals. I guess that’s the beauty of Nimbin – I can just rock up somewhere and because there’s always musos around, most of us know each others’ songs and can just hook into them with a reasonable amount of confidence. Whether that’s the Oasis Cafe, Phoenix Rising Cafe, NimFM, Allsop Park, Nimbin Bowlo, the pub or just the street.
The vibe was great at the pub and we got a lot of support from the crowd. Local rock stars, Mecha Mecha followed and though my weariness threatened to overtake me, I stayed for two of their songs. These young blokes are definitely worth checking out. I’d seen them rock the Mardi Grass Market Stage earlier this year and they were no slouches Saturday night either. Professional, fresh and entertaining, they love what they’re doing and you can see that in their performance. All feedback was very positive for the remainder of their gig that I sadly missed. Look forward to seeing these guys again.
Sunday was a slow rise but a trip into town for a coffee saw me hooking up with the Dave and Michael again……so we had another go.
This time at Dave Barbara and Sue Gumley‘s all new Feathergum Art Gallery and Studios. Sue’s a very talented artist and Dave’s an equally talented musician/singer/songwriter. They were holding workshops for painting and exhibiting some of Sue’s works. They’d setup their front yard with a great little PA (courtesy of Mike Skinner) in an excellent location under the jacarandas and off the main drag. A bunch of Nimbin’s musos rocked up to add to the very cruisy, cool and laidback atmosphere. Dave started playing some songs he’d recently recorded at Neil Pike‘s. Our local French creatives who just won’t stay in France, Goff and her partner Quentin arrived with Quentin sporting a threatening looking sax case. Indeed, before too long, he’d whipped out his horn and blew an accompanying improv for Dave to complete a crowd-drawing set.
Probably the biggest drawcard of the day, though was the phenomenal Manu.
Manu has been ripping up Saturday afternoons in Allsop Park with a bunch of very tight and talented locals the past few months. I’d hear their jams as I’d setup for a pub gig – Manu providing me with inspiration to up my game. Everyone who hears Manu walks away with a smile (so thanks mate for prepping the pub crowds for me). He was getting over man flu on Sunday so saved his vocals but actually seeing this guy play guitar is entertainment enough. Think Stevie Ray Vaughan meets Steve Vai. I admit I’m a bit of a major fan now. It just flows through Manu. A few times I caught myself out staring and a little gob-smacked.
Before too long, I jumped back on stage and Mike decided he wanted a blow as well with his uber-large, massive baritone recorder. We’ve been fiddling around with this piece for years now and whilst it’s almost found a format, the background vibe of this recording was priceless. Big thanks to Pete Miller for capturing it for us.
After my fingers gave up, we all decided to go to the Bowlo for dinner and see the closing acts of the Nimbin Roots Festival. No shortage of talent and to my surprise, Paul Greene who has graced my old Home Brew Radio studios to perform live on a few occasions, was the closing act.
All up a fantastic musical weekend all over Nimbin. Big thanks to all involved in lifting our vibration so substantially – music IS the answer!