Harry the Patron - hanging out and loving the Mullum vibe
IN A fortnight, the Mullum Music Festival will transform Mullumbimby into the heart of the arts in the Northern Rivers during a weekend of fun.
We spoke to Melbourne musician Harry Angus about his plans to embody his role as festival patron, where he announced a Patsy Cline tribute show as one of this year's surprises.
You sang 'Natural Woman' in a 70's Women's Songs show at last year's festival. Was that the launch of your candidacy to become this year's Patron?
That was certainly a moment that I'll remember for a long time, but I don't know if it won me any Patron points. Playing in the Street Parade is what got me across the line I reckon.
List your duties as the festival's Patron.
The Street Parade, drinking with the Russian choir, creating a jazz club, bringing along all my favourite artists and hanging out.
Do you have any idea of what special events you would like to put together this year?
There are a couple of things premiering at the festival, including a special project involving Husky Gawenda's family, Lorreta Miller (Clairy Browne and the Bangin Rackettes) doing a Patsy Cline tribute show, and a lot of stuff involving the various artists who come together each night to play the Jazz Party.
What is your personal opinion of the Mullum Music Festival?
It's pretty good. I'm there every year, as a performer, parent, or punter, and every year the line-up gets better and better. It really is unique.
You are in this area so often, have you considered moving to the Northern Rivers?
Hasn't everyone? Me and my wife talk about it a lot, but so far we are still shivering in Melbourne most of the year.
Are you more comfortable playing the trumpet or singing? Or is it a case of sharing the love between the two?
I'm comfortable with both, but I think I'm better at the trumpet. My voice is pretty 'helium-y'.
You are a 'juggler' artist with a number of projects on the got (your band, Cat Empire, the score for some of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries series, The Conglomerate, Jackson Jackson, etc). Does that keep you from getting bored or is there a more mundane reason for this?
It's just my social life. Most of my friends are musicians, and what do we do when we hang out? We make music. So projects pop up here and there… Some of them are in the past now, some of them are ongoing - but nothing is really planned. The Cat Empire is the thing that has stuck through all the years, of course.
When in the area, what do you like to do? Do you have a favourite cafe, bar, beach, park, trail or buskin spot?
These days it's usually Brunswick Heads for a swim with the little kids, and I always enjoy breakfast at the market in Mullum if I get the chance.