Friday, December 29, 2006

The Woodford Chronicles 06/07 (2)

Yesterday I drank a ULD of Gin & Tonic whilst watching the wonderful Kristina Olsen, then I went to the Stallholder's toiletblock and had a hot shower. I washed my hair with a nice smelly aromatherapy shampoo and washed my feet (and crocs) of all the mud that had been caking up. When I went outside again, squeaky clean, warm and still nicely tipsy, the sky was blue with fluffy clouds. My first thought was 'Is that all it took?' I've discovered an anti-rain ritual! And such a nice one. Today it's hot! sunny! with a cool breeze! Heaven. Wish you were here.

Woodford is not just a festival for me and mine; it's a time for getting together with beloved relatives. My brother- and sister-in-law have a stall every year, called the Never Give Up stall. They are devout Buddhists, and pass out bumper stickers to passers-by saying things like 'Never Give Up: Loving Compassion for all Beings' and 'Make Chocolate, Not War' (if you think they ripped off Supre a few years ago, it's the other way around. Big chain store rips off little stallholders. Boo, hiss.)

I spend a lot of time at the stall, because everyone walks past it at some point. It's on the main drag, and so we see all the festival-goers, plus all the street-theatre, and many of the performers pop in to stock up on funky silk clothing and cheerful pants block-printed with elephants. Who needs to go anywhere else? It's wedged between the Chai tent and the Murri arena, so the music never stops, and I must say here that I've heard some AMAZING stuff coming from the Murri/Koori stage. Gorgeous voices and fantastic beats. It's a mini-festival of our own.

I enjoy helping out on the stall. I find I'm very good at selling things, and retail work for jolly buddhist relatives at a feel-good festival is ever so much better than working for some poxy multinational franchise that won't change the frigging background music more than once a week (I gave up retail for barmaiding as a student; at least there was a variety of sounds!).

Today my other sister-outlaw, Naomi, has come for a day-visit with her small son. We staked out a spot in the Grande venue and managed to get some quality time with the wonderful Ash Grunwald. Man, can that bloke move a crowd!

Other highlights:

Kerry O'Brien (ABC, 7.30 Report) being a guest on the extremely funny Woodford Breakfast Show with Martin Pearson and John Thompson. (Which made up for yesterday, when I showed up to see their promised line-up of Sandy McCutcheon and George Negus and found myself trapped in the room with John Williamson. Kak. Phah. Erk. Bastards.)

La Famille. I know nothing about these people, but they are just fantastic, and I haven't tried to google them because I'd rather be typing to you. Swing jazz, saucy burlesque cabaret, and a torch singer who set the room on fire with her warm sexy voice. SO glad I found them whilst waiting for Joel Salom (who is the bomb).

The Street Theatre acts.
I've seen matronly Scout mistresses who walk around advising people in toffy English accents; aerobic 80s boys jumping about; huge kangaroos; enormous seagulls, to name only a few. Now that fain has stopped properly, tonight should be a blast.

Tonight or tomorrow I'm hoping to catch Me & Mr Brown, a club act involving Bob Brown (yes, the real one), a couple of transvestite comedians called Dolly Putin and Mea Culpa, and a band who play instruments made solely from gourds, Totally Gourdgeous. Sounds so kooky it might just work. I'll keep you posted.

BTW, If you want to see a few piccies, I've managed to upload a few (the internet cafe seems to have got its shit together today) at flickr.


worldpeace and a speedboat said...

ooh, ooh! did you manage to see Jim? it gets to be a bit of a treeat these days when I accidently discover he's playing somewhere... it gets rarer...

Ash grunewald! he's very good isn't he? a friend of mine dragged me to The Bridge about two years ago to see him, never heard of the bloke before then. great audience skills, great voice, I was impressed.

Jennifer said...

Hope you enjoy Me & Mr Brown - Dolly Putin is a friend of mine, and I've heard that Bob Brown makes a great straight man.

chosha said...

I seem to remember reading about this festival on your blog last year and promising myself that I would go next time. I guess that little plan backfired. I'll have to set a reminder in my Outlook at work to pop up in 10 months time and say, 'make a plan to go to that festival!!'

genevieve said...

I really don't like John Williamson at all. True blue my arse.

Anonymous said...

Since you are no longer the mysterious "ampersand duck" I thought I'd look you up. It never occurred to me that we could trap people in the breakfast ... wonderful!! What a great way to challenge people's horizons.


Ampersand Duck said...

Cheers, Martin. It was another good year, but I won't forgive the JW moment for a while. I texted (?sp) my dad during the show, saying Trapped in a venue with john Williamson. Wish you were here (instead of me).