This year Mullum Music Festival announced their new festival patron.
After two years with the vivacious Mama Kin, who wowed festival lovers with her collaboration with Cape Byron Steiner students and her candid charm, it became imperative that the next patron had to pick up the baton and carry it on to even greater heights.
Who better for that task than Harry Angus, the man who managed to steal the show with his rendition of Natural Woman at the closing Songbirds of the Seventies show.
For Harry this is a great honour, and something he is taking very seriously.
‘I am very involved with the festival,’ says Angus. ‘I am not just rocking up and doing one show. Of course I will do a solo set; I don’t do that kind of thing very often because it’s so quiet, but the solo shows I do at Mullum Music Festival have always been memorable. The main thing I am doing is curating the Ex-Services Club.’
‘For some time in Melbourne there has been a group of us who do trad jazz and New Orleans jazz; it’s a really underground sweaty fun dancey scene! It’s great to see people coming out and dancing to this sort of music.
‘There’s so much within jazz – there is this whole century of history and what has been a revelation is that it works when we go back to older stuff; we are not trying to re-invent it, but go back to it and find the retro sound. We are not updating the sound.
‘We are playing tribute to it. It’s such great party music!’
And this is what Harry has planned for Mullum Music Festival this year.
‘I have been in France – wasn’t really a holiday to be honest; we have a three-month-old and a three-year-old, it wasn’t very relaxing – the real holiday was here at home.
‘I am bringing up a number of artists, and bringing up people I’ve worked with or I am a fan of, and a few people no-one will really know because no-one would have heard of them; they are people probably known in the jazz world, but the room won’t be just jazz. There’s going to be a lot of exciting singer/songwriters as well.
‘To me there is this great scene happening with music and that’s what I want to create – almost this nostalgic feeling – when you see lots of artists embracing this or whether it’s just in the look or harking back to an old sound.
‘It’s like finding a lost world. You could be in a smoky bar in Berlin in 1925, or in Paris in the 40s. It’s this vague and poetic feeling that it’s good to feel and really can be expressed in a musical sense.’
As part of his plan to create a vibing underground sweaty portal into the past, or even future, Angus is excited about the artists he has on board.
‘We have an Edith Piaf tribute with Baby et Lulu, and Mojo Juju – I don’t know if you’ve seen her lately, but she’s getting better and better as an artist; she is such a brilliant performer.
‘Martin Martini and the Bonepalace Orchestra – I’d put him in the Tom Waits box – and Hugh Blanes, who is hard to categorise but what he does is so exciting, it’s like a jazz Jeff Buckley on keys!
‘He’s so exciting, he’s really writing material that is like these little precious songs that don’t sound like anything else. It’s a real genius on the piano, it’s exciting to watch, and he’s someone who generally flies under the radar.
‘When you go to a festival that’s what you want to see, acts you wouldn’t have normally found! Of course you circle who you want to see, people you know or biographies you like, but there will be two or three bands that you catch by accident, and they are the game changers!’
Harry is confident that festival patrons are going to love the artists he’s pulled together.
‘I can’t imagine anyone not falling in love with it!’
And a little word of warning for those expecting a quiet night: I expect it’s going to get pretty raucous by the end of the night.’
And the one promise Harry Angus has in store with the group he laughingly describes as ‘lazy hopeless genius’: nothing mediocre!
For more information about what is in store for Mullum Music Festival – go to www.mullummusicfestival.com.