A little bit of good news this issue.
The first one concerns Way Out West. WoW started on a wing and a prayer in December of 2001 from a group of roots music fans whose regular watering hole was the Williamstown RSL.
Despite pre-dating the whole crowd-funding thing, they pooled together $50 each to put on a gig featuring the Hornets. With the blessing of the RSL management, the word went around town that blues music was coming to the west.
Up until that time, people in the west had to travel on the road and over the river to catch quality live music up in the metropolis, or head down to Geelong for Sleepy Hollow.
It was a gamble, but it worked and gave them the confidence to build on that day’s success and become a fully fledged incorporated club hosting the best roots musicians in the land, and also getting calls from international touring artists who want to come Way Out West. As the great Paul Kelly song goes ‘From Little Things Big Things Grow’.
Tragedy struck WoW last year when the Williamstown RSL decided that it was time to close down. After a degree of searching and negotiation, they were able to find a new home at the Newport Bowls Club (4 Market St, Newport VIC 3015). That’s just across the road from The Substation gallery, and within walking distance of the train station, shops and restaurants. The Bowls Club is licensed, has meals and as far as I can see, no pokies!
Now, our second bit of good news… Kay Gibbons is a Sleepy Hollow regular.
She is a feature in the jam, and has also had a couple of bands over the years, notably JJ and the Blue Dogs, and is now fronting Buxom Blues.
Some time ago she started to put together a fantastic afternoon at the Barwon Club called Homegrown: Summertime Blues and Roots Festival. The explicit aim of this event was to bring together local musicians in this genre, and have a damn good afternoon, and it exceeded expectations.
There were two stages, and a magic line-up with local notables – Brian Fraser, Chris Wilson and Sarah Carroll, Wayne Jury, Blue Sunday and I could keep going with name bands, but while these names do a lot to attract a crowd, it also gave the crowd a chance to listen to some very good lesser known acts.
In the end, the event attracted a crowd of some 200 people, who all had an excellent afternoon and evening at the BC. Kay deserves much credit for putting this together. Running an event like this is not easy, has more than a little risk, and the day was a credit to her.
There is, of course, only one question remaining … when’s the next one Kay?
The next event at WoW is The Lachy Doley Group on Sunday January 29th, and Kay’s group, Buxom Blues is at Saints & Sailors on Saturday 11th of Feb.
Written by John Lamp