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Review: Bert Lloyd Centenary


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mark gregory 08 Mar 08 - 09:25 PM
Art Thieme 09 Mar 08 - 07:09 PM
Emma B 09 Mar 08 - 07:20 PM
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Subject: Review: Bert Lloyd Centenary
From: mark gregory
Date: 08 Mar 08 - 09:25 PM

we had a great night on Friday (7/03/08) at the Illawarra Folk Club in Wollongong (NSW Australia). I was invited as guest and sprooker about Bert ... We started the Concert with a recording of Bert Lloyd singing Bitter Withy.

here is a brief review of the concert

Perhaps the first Bert Lloyd Centenary concert in the world took place at the Illawarra Folk Club In Wollongong. MC Russell Hannah introduced the concert with his new poem about the political scandals of the local area 'The Table of Knowledge'. The audience reached a healthy fifty or more and the concert got under way with an astonishing variety of approaches to the Australian songs that Bert Lloyd had recorded at the start of the 1950s folk revival. Songs that became standards like Drovers Dream, Lachlan Tigers, Cockies of Bungaree and Bluey Brink.

John Broomhill, Alan Musgrove and Wongawilli ably provided the versions we have all become accustomed to while four bands not usually associated with bush songs provide some unusual interpretations. It seems that Dave Desanti proposed a novel approach by inviting four local bands not usually associated with bush songs to provide their interpretations. The idea was lets introduce some of these songs and see if the bands will add them to their usual repertory, that way the songs will find their way to a new audience. It proved an inspired idea as we got to hear some of these grand old songs in unfamiliar settings, bluegrass from Mandala with Bungaree, country from Avalanche with Eubalong Ball, Hawaiian blues from the Pete Bennett band and South Bound Train's old timey treatment.

A standout song from this experiment was South Bound Train's Banks of the Condamine, perhaps the first Australian song that Lloyd recorded back in 1954. In this version the male voice took up Dearest Nancy's part while a Sandy Denny like female voice delivered Dearest Willy's lines. It you were not there you'll just have to imagine the liberating effect this has on the song, putting paid forever in my mind that hoary old constraint that some songs are for women and others for men. I was also taken with the Pete Bennett bluesy treatment of One of the Has-beens. Over all the concert was a great tribute to Bert Lloyd's Australian repertory, and certainly paid tribute to his own efforts as a singer to 'release songs from their hobbles'. What an enjoyable evening it was.

ps there are some photos of the concert on my blog

Find out more more about the Bert Lloyd Centenary

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Subject: RE: Review: Bert Lloyd Centenary
From: Art Thieme
Date: 09 Mar 08 - 07:09 PM

Thanks for that. He and Ewan were monsters of our folk scenes---world wide! I even got to hear him give a talk at the University Of Chicago many years ago. Fond memories.

Art Thieme

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Subject: RE: Review: Bert Lloyd Centenary
From: Emma B
Date: 09 Mar 08 - 07:20 PM

Heard him speak at Keele Univerity too at The National folk Festival on Campus back in the mid 60's

Incidendly the motto of the university was 'THANK GOD FOR ALL' :)

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