Jimmy Willing holds the crowd in the palms of his hands at the North Coast National’s Cock and Bull Tent on Saturday.
Jimmy Willing holds the crowd in the palms of his hands at the North Coast National’s Cock and Bull Tent on Saturday.

Showman's a jack of all trades

THE Cock and Bull Tent's ringmaster, artistic director and performer, Jimmy Willing, is pretty happy with the growth of his baby.

Now in its third year, its eclectic line-up of talent continues to drive this dynamic addition to the North Coast National in Lismore.

For most of the past week Jimmy has been multi-tasking like a madman.

“I'm also tent pegger and pole-put-uperer,” he said.

“I share my dressing room with the burlesque queens, so it's all the glamorous and not-so-glamorous jobs for me. I do it all - with the help of a very dedicated team.

“This is the third year now, so we're over the hump. We've crossed the great divide and convinced the sceptics.

“The Cock and Bull is a very inclusive celebration of local culture. If you're going to put on a country show you have to start with indigenous performers, they are the original country.”

Over the three days of the show, crowds were treated to some very special performances. From the sublime Kev Carmody on opening night to the legendry Chad Morgan on Friday, winding up to a fitting finale on Saturday night with Jimmy in full flight with the Real Gone Hick-Ups, followed by burlesque wonders Heidi von Hottentot and Liberte Belle strutting their stuff.

Canberra outfit The Fuelers closed another memorable Cock and Bull, which is fast writing itself into Lismore folklore.

“Country music is not just about redneck blokes, it's about everyone - men, women, black and white,” Jimmy said. “This ain't Tamworth, we're going to get it right here.”

DID YOU VISIT THE COCK AND BULL TENT? Phone 6624 3266 or SMS 0428 264 948


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