Bush Gothic among talented lineup raring to play at Fairbridge Festival

It is just a matter of weeks until Western Australia's favourite and pre-eminent community world music and folk festival kicks off for another year.

The entertainment lineup for the upcoming Fairbridge Festival is as exciting as ever, boasting more than 150 local, Australian and international bands and musicians.

Once again, perfectly filling a niche in the WA music scene, there will be something for everyone at the festival during the weekend of April 26-28, including some of the world's best acoustic artists as well as a focus on Americana and Italian folk music.

There is plenty of country, jazz, rock, blues as well as special musical workshops and artist in-conversations and the return of some of Fairbridge's most adored acts.

Among the talent headed back to the village for another year is dark Australian folk trio Bush Gothic.

I love Fairbridge, it's one of my favourite festivals in Australia - it's got such a good vibe and good programming and it's a good size.

Bush Gothic band leader Jenny M. Thomas

Led by fiddler, vocalist and pianist Jenny M. Thomas and joined by Chris Lewis on the drums and Dan Witton on the double bass, they tell the tales of Australia's dark history.

Striving to be one of the country's most daring bush bands, they perform songs of criminal women and desperate men from an era of transportation, adventure and gold.

In an interview with the Mandurah Mail, Thomas said she was excited to take to the stage again at Fairbridge Festival, after a number of previous shows with different bands over the years.

"I love Fairbridge, it's one of my favourite festivals in Australia - it's got such a good vibe and good programming and it's a good size," she said.

"We've got a new album out so that's always a thrill and we'll be playing lots of songs from the new album.

"We love playing together as a band so I'm looking forward to that - most of our performances have been overseas for quite some time so playing to Australian audiences is really special for us."

Thomas said audiences could expect something a bit different from their set

"We take as our source of material really old Australian songs but we modernise them and give them a bit more of a feminist perspective," she said.

"I also tell stories in between the songs so there's a bit of historical interest there but essentially it's about the music and bringing a lot of emotion into these songs.

"I really like telling the stories because Australian history has some incredible stories, some phenomenal stuff but it has such a reputation as being not so interesting but I disagree."

Thomas said it was always special to see the crowds' reaction to their unique performances.

"[That history] still resonates with us really strongly today - songs can be a really fantastic portal into that time I think," she said.

"Often people's reactions are quite extreme and they will cry.

"It's all about finding that sense of identity, it can be very powerful."

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Bush Gothic will play at the Djindalux stage on Saturday, April 27 at 3.30pm and again on Sunday, April 28 at 1pm.

The trio will be joined by the likes of fellow epic Aussie acts including:

Bass Lemon.

Bass Lemon.

Bass Lemon (Western Australia)

After a successful 2018 set at Fairbridge Festival, this dance band is back. A young group from Freo specialising in a mix of rocky originals, Bass Lemon are guaranteed to get audiences up on their feet.

Inspired by the likes of Bill Withers, Etta James and Nina Simone, this set will feature some powerful tunes that you won't want to miss.

Dan Howls.

Dan Howls.

Dan Howls (Western Australia)

Another incredible artist hailing from the shores of Fremantle, Dan Howls is well known for his dark blues and roots rock. His gritty voice recalls shades of Tom Waits and, when on fire, also resembles the sounds of Gary Clarke Junior or The Black Keys, making for a menacing and ecstatic live show.

Starting 2018 with a newly formed band, Howls has been busy touring and playing at festivals around the country and Europe. Since taking out WAM's song of the year, he went on to sell out his EP and single launches and premiered his debut album  A Dime A Dozen on triple j's Roots 'n All.



Jamilla (Western Australia)

Combining haunting soul vocals and self-produced R&B beats, Jamilla boasts a seamless brand of nu-soul music. On stage, she captivates the audience with her emotive and politically-charged lyrics and performance intensity.

Since launching her debut single Beautiful to a sold out show in 2018, Jamilla has released a sophomore single, taken to the road on a national Australian tour and supported some of Australia's finest acts including Stella Donnelly, Abbe May and Alex the Astronaut.

Hot Potato Band.

Hot Potato Band.

Hot Potato Band (New South Wales)

This dance band are known to cause a severe case of happy fever when they take to the stage. The energetic 10-piece brass band has been putting smiles on the faces of crowds for 10 years and boast an infectious energy for audiences of all ages.

The Sydney-based band's unique live shows have evolved since their early years as street performers to their now large-scale shows and festival appearances.

Inspired by the classic brass band sounds of New Orleans, their multi-genre music has a touch of blues, funk, pop, reggae, Afro-Cuban, folk and everything in between.

Combining acoustic instrumentation, live music, movement and interaction, their sound comes from a deconstructed drum set, an enormous lung-busting Sousaphone, a baritone and a huge array of horns layering catchy chorus lines and providing a gentle harmonic cloud.

Uptown Brown!

Uptown Brown!

Uptown Brown! (Victoria)

This blues, roots and Americana adventurer performs as a self-invented one-man band. A singing gentleman, his contraption is built from cedar, leather and brass.

His vocals and finger-picked ukulele are amplified through old megaphones, mimicking the effect of a 78 record. His repertoire is a primitive mixture of 1920s-1930s jazz, which he has taken to the streets in five different continents.

And that is just a snippet of the talented lineup set to take to the stage at one the longest-running and one of the biggest musical extravaganzas in the region.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit the Fairbridge Festival website.