Bluesfest talent pouring in
THE excitement is mounting among music fans in and around Byron Bay as the 21st Bluesfest beckons.
Performing artists are drifting into town. Jack Johnson, one of the top drawcards, practically a local, and the man organisers say embodies the spirit of Bluesfest, has already arrived.
Mystery man Rodriguez and ’60s jazz rock legend Brian Auger came in yesterday, and Cuban veterans the Buena Vista Social Club are due today. A score of other acts are touring the nation and will land in the next few days.
Byron Bay is filling up with fans and street corners are noisy with the sound of buskers, many rehearsing for the ‘Busking over Byron’ competition.
Performers are coming from Africa, Brazil, Canada, Malta, the UK, and many other points around the globe.
One who doesn’t have to travel far is Rick Fenn, long-time member of 10CC, the art pop band with a clutch of hit singles to their name.
Mr Fenn has lived in Byron Bay for more than eight years – ‘it’s the best place in the world’, he says – and is well-known in the area for his rock classics party band, the Feramones.
The rest of 10CC arrives on Saturday.
“It will be quite nice for them to have the jet-lag for a change,” Mr Fenn said.
The 10CC line-up on stage on Sunday night includes Graham Gouldman, who wrote hit songs for the Yardbirds, the Hollies and even Herman’s Hermits.
Mr Fenn said he was also ‘principally responsible’ for the 10CC classics I’m Not in Love, Art for Art’s Sake, The Things We Do for Love and Dreadlock Holiday.
The two will share the stage with Paul Burgess, who also joined in 1976, 10-year veteran Mick Wilson – ‘a wonderful singer and all-round musician’ – and Mike Stevens. The current band was ‘the best it’s ever sounded’, Mr Fenn said.
He said the show was ‘a celebration of everything 10CC stands for’.
“I still love playing the old songs. We’re a thinking man’s pop band and we can hold our heads up as musicians.”
However, while the music is guaranteed to be sublime, the weather, as usual at Easter, may be more ordinary.
There is a 90 per cent chance of showers forecast for Thursday and Friday.