Christchurch Folk Music Club
Trouble In The Kitchen
Club concert – 28 May, by Lorcan Bolster
Trouble In The Kitchen are a young, Melbourne based, traditional Irish Music band and a damn fine band they are. Over here in NZ on their first overseas tour they are Ado Barker on fiddle, Ben Stevenson on flute, Caroline Frawley the only Irish born member – on button accordion, Joe Ferguson on bouzouki and Kate Burke on guitar.
Ado and Ben are the soul of the group and have been playing together for over 10 years. Both terrific players, they had the effortless synchronicity of long nights of practise. Caroline a new addition had only taken to trad music seriously since coming to Australia but proved wonderfully dextrous on the box. Joe Ferguson’s mighty percussive bouzouki was an inspiration though-out the night as well he has a lovely left hand, as you’d say.
Kate Burke was the star performer in my eyes. Not just marvellous driving rhythmic accompaniment when the band was in full helter-skelter mode but also, when she played along to her songs, her finger picking style was light and delightful. She was all over the stage, playing pretty much every instrument that strayed close to her – guitar, bouzouki, concertina, button accordion and fiddle. The two self-penned songs showed a strong lyrical style and pinned her politics solidly on the red side of the fence.
Indeed, politics was a thread that ran through the evening. TITK nailed their colours firmly to the socialist mast and showed a healthy disdain for the Howard government songs like Ewan McColl’s Four Pence a Day and the Burke penned song describing 300,000 marchers in Sydney in support of Aboriginal rights were introduced with swipes at Howard and his party. Ah yes, the songs. Everyone and his trad-loving dog knows that the words most dreaded at a trad concert are “and now for a song”. And although my heart did sink a bit when these inevitable words were uttered, I do admit that the songs added rather then subtracted from the night. The aforementioned ‘Four Pence’ was a great version the band adding four-part harmony to their box of tricks; Ado’s voice excelling again on The Lock-Keeper. Kate provided a lovely version of the great standard Flash Company and her other composition Sarah Island had a lovely modern-traditional feel.
But TITK are predominantly tune merchants and when they got going, you had to hold on with two hands. Sets generally started with the bouzouki and guitar in tandem laying down a great rhythmic platform for the flute, fiddle and box to play off. And great sets they were. The arrangements were innovative and the tune changes were slick and seamless. Don’t you just love the lift a good tune change gives to a set? The evening was full of them. The between song patter was mostly the Ben and Ado show natural, easy and funny in front of the microphone, they bounced the evening along in fine fashion. But there was seriousness behind the banter and both had a deep love and regard for Australian Irish music and the people and tunes that had come before them.
It’s not often that the folk club gets such a talented, energetic, enthusiastic, funny, good-looking, upbeat Aussie band; if you weren’t there, then where the bloody hell were you!?
The night opened with the returned to her home city after seven years proving her guitar and singing skills in the Wellington folk scene, was Monique Aiken Monique presented confidently bringing us her own songs eloquently crafted delivered with vocal...read more
A special concert to celebrate the important contribution that the women of folk have achieved. Music permeates our hearts carrying a strong message that has both challenged for change and acknowledged achievements to coincide with the Suffrage 125...read more
A cèilidh is a traditional Scottish or Irish social gathering, where dance and music is the binding factor. The dancers were certainly bound in joy for the dance and the Monday Night Session Band brought music that was dance-able and enjoyable. The delight...read more
What a night we shared at the Folk Club on Sunday! From the moment the first few bars hit the air the audience was captivated by The Muddy Mama Blues Band. Lead singer Judi Smitheram showed great form, revelling in the mighty musicianship of her five-piece...read more
Christchurch Folk Club attracted performers from Scotland, USA, those recently moved from the North Island and some well voiced locals brought colour and artistry to the stage. As always a great night of diversity and original talent. by Judi Smitheram...read more
A soft, acoustic approach for a night filled with the creativity of Matty's original songs to the fore and shining. There was contrast throughout the night. The night opened with the tones of the David Gray sound-alike Matty crooning his songs with a depth...read more
Back of Beyond generously gave a funky, folk, good fusion feel when they played at the Folk Club on Sunday 4th March 2018. With Craig Denham on accordion, piano, vocals and percussion, along with Nathan Torvik on guitar, vocals, bass and mandolin, and...read more
Tracy Kolenchuk has made a pictorial record of the Folk Club's 4oth Birthday, and it is shared here: http://www.pbase.com/tracyk/2008_11_23_christchurch_folk_dance_musicread more
An audience member commented that it was impossible to sit still with this fabulous music playing, they just had to stand up and dance. This summarises the night, music that offered toe tapping danceable grooves. Just back for a tour in USA the tight and...read more
I was pleased I went to Christchurch Folk Music Club on a cold Sunday night. 'Too Many Chiefs' are very good musicians. I enjoyed all their unique songs as each band member performed their own work. If you are like me and enjoy memorable lyrics go and see...read more
29 July 2018, A soft, acoustic approach for a night filled with the creativity of Matty's original songs to the fore and shining. There was contrast throughout the night. The night opened with the tones of the David Gray sound-alike Matty...read more
Christchurch's newest Celtic-Bluegrass Band, Bottlelake Junction wowed the audience with some awe inspiring music by three musicians individually accomplished and together they were dynamic. This trio emerged from the Canterbury Folk Festival...read more
18th February 2018, Fresh from a nomination for BBC Folk Awards Musician of the Year and off the back of the busiest world tour of a successful career, Dan Walsh returned for a third trip to New Zealand, and his third to the Folk Club, to...read more
We heard him here first on 21st January 2018. On his way to the Auckland Folk Festival Alan Reid from Scotland of Battlefield Battle claim, shared his wealth of experience with us in the beautiful Addington Haven. Nearly fifty years of...read more
Alistair Brown has been singing the old songs, and new songs written by people who like the old songs, since he was fifteen years old. He began his career helping out in the folk clubs of his native Scotland during the folk revival of the 60s,...read more
13 March, 2018 Joel features on the cover of the current ‘Hear Ye’, maybe not as prestigious as the cover of the “Rolling Stone” however a real kudos statement for our club. Joel certainly met the challenge with his performance on Sunday night....read more
A night when two Otago raised lads brought their well-founded and honed skills to a Christchurch stage, amidst a room filled with anticipation and a full audience. If there was expectation in the air for a fantastic night of entertainment,...read more
25th March 2018 Like the phoenix rising from the ashes this night shone with the changed billing. Due to unforeseen circumstances The Squirrelly Bills stepped up from their support act role and covere3d the first half of the night with Gary...read more
27th May 2018 The Port Hillbillies concert marked the end of a joyous union of four talents that met majorly through Christchurch Folk Club connections. Kris Brown on guitar has taken the opportunity of a ‘dream job’ and will be returning to...read more
22nd April 2018 A night where the music soared with eagles wafted on the up draughts of some great music generated by a flock of Ferris family and or Ferris family friends. The evening promised and delivered a show with lots of variety, colour,...read more