Tag Archives: stuart blythe

Live Review + Photo Gallery : Bluesfest Byron Bay 2017 – Day Five

Review by Wanda Hill
Photos by Stuart Blythe
Bluesfest Byron Bay 2017 - Day Five Photographer: Stuart Blythe
Five consecutive days in the sunshine was a rare treat for Bluesfest regulars who have endured years of mud to listen to the incredible artists invited to perform at this world class festival. Day five felt very relaxed as the big crowds had thinned and lining up for a bite to eat or something to drink seemed almost instant in comparison to previous days. Weary stall holders still served customers with smiles and delicious concoctions but understandably they were looking forward to the event drawing to a close.
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Live Review + Photo Gallery : Bluesfest Byron Bay 2017 – Day Four

Review by Wanda Hill
Photos by Stuart Blythe + Ant Ritz
Bluesfest Byron Bay 2017 - Day Four Photographer: Stuart Blythe
Everybody loves Santana. I hope the other bands with a 7.30pm time slot had an audience because it felt like the entire festival population was trying to get as close as possible to Carlos Santana and the incredible line up of singers and musicians on tour with him at the moment. It is amazing what we can put up with if the music is sooo brilliant that being pushed, crushed and having a variety of drinks spilled on you is all taken with good nature and shared understanding of I just need to be as close as possible to this magnificence.
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Live Review + Photo Gallery : Bluesfest Byron Bay 2017 – Day Three

Review by Wanda Hill
Photos by Stuart Blythe + Ant Ritz

Bluesfest Byron Bay 2017 - Day Three Photographer: Stuart Blythe
One of the great things about Bluesfest is that the musicians who travel a long way from around the globe to get here have a brilliant time and enjoy the opportunity to see acts they have never seen, and to meet and collaborate with artists that inspire them. Backstage they are treated to unique Byron/Bluesfest hospitality and have a chance to learn about Australia’s Indigenous peoples through magnificent artworks placed throughout the greenroom. Being such a friendly festival it is not unusual to see guest artists out in the crowd enjoying the atmosphere.
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Live Review + Photo Gallery : Bluesfest Byron Bay 2017 – Day Two

Review by Wanda Hill
Photos by Stuart Blythe + Ant Ritz
Bluesfest Byron Bay 2017 - Day Two Photographer: Stuart Blythe
The festival site was cranking with a huge crowd enjoying everything the festival has to offer. Moving from A to B involved weaving in and out of human traffic going in every direction and careful navigation through seas of chairs arranged to take advantage of screens outside the main tents. Colourfully adding to this complexity were a series of roving street acts including stilt walkers who amazingly manage to move forward with grace amidst the whirl of chaos beneath them.
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Live Review + Photo Gallery : Bluesfest Byron Bay 2017 – Day One

Review by Wanda Hill
Photos by Stuart Blythe
Bluesfest Byron Bay 2017 - Day One Photographer: Stuart Blythe

Recent major flooding of the Northern Rivers area is barely perceptible at the Bluesfest site, with only a small puddle here and there as a giveaway. Instead, the site is flooded with musicians from around the globe bringing the world of music and culture to our doorstep. As always the lineup is a mix of old and new talent, attracting a broad cross-section of society, of all ages, to the festival.
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Interview with Joel “MC Bad Genius” Beeson of Philadelphia Grand Jury

Interview by Stuart Blythe
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Currently on their national “karaoke” tour, we caught up with Joel “MC Bad Genius” Beeson of Sydney outfit Philadelphia Grand Jury for a quick chat.

You’re currently on a national “karaoke” tour. What inspired the “karaoke” theme?

A bolt of inspiration from Dan W Sweat at 2am during a skype call with Berkfinger that somehow went from being a funny joke to an actual concept within about two sentences. As soon as one of us said “So You Think You Can Philly Jays?”, we realised that it was going to be perfect. And perfectly chaotic.
Like all of our best ideas.

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Live Review + Photo Gallery : Bluesfest Byron Bay 2016 – Day Five

Review By Wanda Hill
Photos by Stuart Blythe
Bluesfest Byron Bay 2016 – Day Five - March 28, 2016 Photographer:  Stuart Blythe
It was an emotional end to Bluesfest last night witnessing Brian Wilson perform Pet Sounds with original Beach Boys member Al Jardine and long term member Blondie Chaplin accompanied by a mini orchestra including string, woodwind and brass sections as well as drums, percussion, guitars, bass and support singer. This was part of a world tour celebrating the 50th anniversary of Rolling Stone’s declared second greatest album of all time and will most likely be Brian Wilson’s last trip to Australia. Hearing the historically important songs of the Beach Boys, live from the creators mouth was a surprisingly special experience considering that I have never particularly been a Beach Boys fan. Realising the place in history of these songs and the way they continue to influence several generations was deeply moving. The world the Beach Boys were singing about in the 60’s seems so innocent compared to the world we live in today. Brian Wilson was not looking his best but still managed to sing songs including Fun Fun Fun, Good Vibrations, Help Me Rhonda and Wouldn’t it be Nice with a bit of support from Matt Jardine for the sections that were no longer in his vocal range. They created a joyous atmosphere that was so infectious… maybe I’m a Beach Boys fan now just in time before this era sadly comes to and end.
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Live Review + Photo Gallery : Bluesfest Byron Bay 2016 – Day Four

Review By Wanda Hill
Photos by Stuart Blythe
Bluesfest Byron Bay 2016 – Day Four
Shooglenifty were a great fresh way to start Bluesfest 2016 Day 4. Their celtic flavours are not often heard at Bluesfest. A great contrast and way to refresh the ears, kind of like sniffing a coffee bean in between wine tasting. With a fiddle, banjo, mandolin, drums, guitar and bass these guys from Scotland had the audience experimenting with their best River Dance impersonations and moving in energetic ways that are not your usual Bluesfest hip swinging standard. With beautiful tunes, jigs and reels that branched out to sound almost middle eastern and esoteric at times, this band can really get you dancing. Violinist Angus Grant kept the focus sharply on the music declaring ‘we only have an hour, so we are going to dispense with the hysterical banter that goes on between songs’. See Shooglenifty perform today at the Juke Joint 4:15pm.
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Live Review + Photo Gallery : Bluesfest Byron Bay 2016 – Day Three

Review By Wanda Hill
Photos by Stuart Blythe
Bluesfest Byron Bay 2016 – Day Three - March 26, 2016 Photographer:  Stuart Blythe
Day three was all about soaking up epic saxophonist Kamasi Washington with his band from Los Angeles during their last Australian show for 2016. To see a jazz/funk band of this quality and diversity in Australia is a real treat and must be embraced if you like this genre. Each incredible musician on tour with Kamasi was given plenty of stage time to showcase their unique contribution and own original material with respectful introductions from Kamasi explaining how they met. It was a real neighbourhood affair with childhood friends and Kamasi’s father all on stage. Some have been friends before they had even picked up an instrument. The arrangements were intricate, full of detail, embracing difficult time signatures, highlighting the fine pedigree of these musicians who mix with jazz royalty back in their homeland.
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Live Review + Photo Gallery : Bluesfest Byron Bay 2016 – Day Two

Review By Wanda Hill
Photos by Stuart Blythe
Bluesfest Byron Bay 2016 – Day Two - March 25, 2016 Photographer:  Stuart Blythe
Wondering around the Bluesfest site during the early afternoon on day 2, I could hear a beautiful familiar voice rising over the cacophony of sounds emanating from multiple tents. Following the voice lead me to the Crossroads stage to find Djakapurra from Bangarra singing with East Journey, an amazing band from North East Arnhem Land carrying on the tradition of Yothu Yindi. They performed new original songs that are bound to end up in the charts as well as performing Yothu Yindi favourites such as Treaty. Lead singer Rrawun Maymuru’s versatility was showcased with vocal styles ranging form traditional ceremonial song poetry, to ballads and full on rock. His song writing is appreciated world wide through songs he has written for Gurrumul. The band and dancers were truly exceptional and will be appearing at the Boomerang Dance Grounds over the next 3 evenings.
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