Roesy • Australia

Roesy may now live in Melbourne but his journey began in Ireland, singing along to his father’s records as a boy. Just as innocence inevitably turns to experience, Roesy moved on to writing lyrics that soon turned into songs once he taught himself to play guitar. Many contain references to the eternal subjects of truth, beauty and the search for the luminous and transcendent in the midst of everyday living.

Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club

In its 20th year and stronger than ever, the Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club explores the lively sounds of Scottish music with repertoire that both acknowledges and reinvents traditional roots, drawing enthusiastic and loyal crowds. Watch for the on-stage fireworks when they perform with long-time collaborators Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas who join the club in their 20th Anniversary celebrations around Australia and in Scotland.  Reviving the best of 20 years of fiddling and 5 award-winning CDs, the MSFC will also be bringing exciting new arrangements. With some genre-bending moments featuring the Club’s alumni, some of the best fiddle players in Australia, their exhilarating shows are not to be missed.

The Gloaming • Ireland

The Gloaming carves new paths connecting the rich Irish folk tradition and New York contemporary music scene. Fiddle master Martin Hayes, guitarist Dennis Cahill, sean-nós singer Iarla Ó Lionáird, hardanger innovator Caoimhin Ó Raghallaigh and New York pianist Thomas Bartlett – The Gloaming are five master musicians, each with highly successful individual careers, who have come together to create new music which pairs memorable, yearning melodies with a progressive style.

THE GLOAMING is Iarla Ó Lionaird (singing), Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman – piano), Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh (hardanger), Martin Hayes (violin/fiddle) & Dennis Cahill (guitar). They are a group of extraordinary and virtuosic musicians each with successful individual careers.
Martin, Caoimhín, and Dennis have been recognized for extending the Irish and Celtic music traditions – both literally and metaphorically, balancing traditional rigor with an energy that seems entirely new. Thomas has been identified with the independent rock scene for his work with artists as diverse as The National, Glen Hansard, Antony and the Johnsons and old friends Nico Muhly and Sam Amidon. Iarla has sung with projects as far afield as “new music” composer Donnacha Dennehy’s Nonesuch debut and the electronic/world-music hybrid Afro-Celt Soundsystem, the second bestselling artist in the history of Real World.
The five met in early 2011 to explore a new musical direction at Grouse Lodge Studios is West Meath, Ireland. The musicians discovered a shared musical aesthetic that transcended the genres for which they’ve become known. Says Iarla “We came to the conclusion that our identities were more tied up in the individual sounds we made rather than any notion of being a culture bearer.”

Adds Thomas: “Maybe The Gloaming works so well because I don’t recognise the lines that the rest of this band sees. They’re very happy to go outside of those boundaries, but the fact that I don’t even know the tradition helps make them disappear.”
In the brief period of time since their formation, The Gloaming have become a much-heralded live draw in UK and Europe – playing to capacity crowds  in the world’s most prestigous venues.
The music they make is ephemeral yet furious, pairing memorable, yearning melodies with a progressive style. The group hearkens back to some of the most most unexpected success stories of the late 90s – when the amazing backstories and largely instrumental sound of artists like Buena Vista Social Club and Sigur Ros helped the niche genres of Afro-Cuban music and post-rock to briefly break into popular consciousness. Imagine if alchemical music of a band like Tortoise could appeal to your old Irish uncle – and you have an idea of what The Gloaming are after.
Dennis Cahill says, “It’s the mark of a great piece of music, when it’s bendable, and it doesn’t lose its integrity, and I think the tunes we borrow from are spectacular like that, and that they can be played in a lot of ways.”

***** ‘Brilliant’ – Mojo

**** ‘Exquisite’ – the Guardian

’Their live performances so far have been revelatory… Future dates are likely to cement them as one of the great forces in Irish music’ – The Irish Times

***** – The Independent

’An astonishingly beautiful album’ – NPR

’The music of the Emerald Isle may have spread far and wide, but there is little that will be performed that sounds like The Gloaming’ – The New Yorker

’Moves the music of Ireland in captivating new directions’ – The New Yorker

’A rare performance by this Irish supergroup is a decided must-see’ – Pop Matters

Aniar • Australia

Aniar mix original songs and Celtic tunes with the sounds from around the globe. Aniar features the beautiful vocals of Gemma Belfrage, Airlie Tait’s flamboyant flute playing and Merran Moir’s whistles and pipes. This is accentuated by a driving rhythm section (Don Stewart – guitar and bouzouki, Andrew Hallett – acoustic bass, Gemma Belfrage – djembe), Aniar create music that is poignant, uplifting and a lot of fun.

ZeoN • Australia

ZeoN are well known for their quirky adaptations of popular songs as well as their Irish-inspired originals. They’ll make you want to stomp your feet, get drunk, dance, laugh, sing or even shed a tear. ZeoN have spent the last year writing, recording and performing their latest EP “Time Flies.” A full-length album is on the horizon for late 2014…Keep your ears peeled!

Siskin River • Australia

A compact duo with big sound, Siskin River deliver an original style of folky blues, with a stomping groove factor, delectable riffs, fast fingers, and evocative lyrics. After three years of touring with their unique sound and striking live performances, sisters Shalane and Tullara  have finally released their much anticipated debut album ‘The Hours They Keep’. 

Ross Ainslie & Jarlath Henderson • Scotland

Ross and Jarlath have fast become one of the most enigmatic duos to emerge from Scotland. These young musicians are not only vastly talented but have created a sound that is bursting with energy. This sound earned them a nomination in the prestigious Radio 2 Folk Awards best duo category. 
A fusion of pipes and flutes the duo push the boundaries of performance, which is a vibrant mix of new and original compositions along with traditional tunes.

Karavana Flamenca • Australia

Karavana Flamenca plays heart–wrenching Spanish Gypsy street music (rumba flamenca)  The music fuses the roots of rumba from its Afro- Cuban origins to its final destination, Spain, with a contemporary sound  inspired by the Turkish and Spanish/ Romany backgrounds of the members.

“The words don’t matter when Ovejero sings” one reviewed exclaimed “it’s pure heart-wrenching emotion”; AnatolianTaskaya’s oud weaves Moorish tones into the “mystical” Spanish & Romani vocals. Bass, guitars and percussion drive the rhythm; vocals and oud sing the haunting tunes. The breath-taking energy, upbeat rhythms and soulful melodies of Karavana Flamenca spell Gypsy fiesta every performance! This flamenco style of the people is danced to with bare feet and played with a bare soul!

Victorian-based Karavana Flamenca has performed  Australia- wide. Their album “Gypsy Tour” visits the origins and evolution of Rumba Flamenca music with passion and authenticity rarely see outside Spain.

Oh Pep! • Australia

Oh Pep! are musical explorers who travel in the form of a band; a collaboration between songwriters Olivia Hally (guitar, vocals) & Pepita Emmerichs (fiddle, mandolin). Drawing upon their escapades, they take you on a carefully arranged folk/pop adventure for your ears.

Originally based in Melbourne, Oh Pep! have toured 1000s of kilometers performing their songs and when they’ve been stationary their songs have travelled further via the airwaves of national radio. It was just last year that Oh Pep! were featured on Amrap’s AirIt Great Southern Charts ‘Top Ten Tracks Most Ordered For Airplay’ alongside Sarah Blasko, Boy & Bear and Kutcha Edwards and were awarded the 2014 Folk Alliance Australia Youth Performer of the Year award at the National Folk Festival.

After launching into the Australian music scene with their first EP, they spent a week by the beach recording with ARIA-Award Winner and CMAA Producer of the Year, Shane Nicholson and have since launched their second EP, II, with a national and international tour. They are currently preparing to release their self produced debut album in 2015!

Now joined by accomplished musicians, Justin Olsson (kit) and Isaac Barter (double bass) or international guest, Andrew Small (USA) (double bass). Oh Pep! will have you travelling far & wide to their gigs for a sometimes foot-stomping, somewhat heartbreaking show.

Jenny Biddle • Australia

Jenny’s music is honest and raw; intense and complex. Described as ‘Missy Higgins meets The Waifs’, her songs are deeply personal, affectionate and always engaging. She bewitches audiences with a unique mix of folk and blues, showcasing her masterful vocals and jaw-dropping skills on the guitar. Jenny has a knack for making live performances feel more like invitations into her own lounge room.