12.3 C
Byron Shire
April 13, 2021

Trippy Folk

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a-Folk-Avo-RyeStory and photos Matthew Michaelis

The 1960s saw beards, music, poetry and sex all freely available. At the time I was just a toddler; however, my full-sized bro was into it big time.

Acid, dope and the familiar psychedelic posters lit with UV black lights, King Crimson, Uriah Heap, Sergeant Peppers, Stones, all albums spinning on my brother’s homemade turntable blaring out across the valley.

It was an indelible period for those who were there. At the time it seemed like the beautiful people all lived in my brother’s flat under my parent’s house.

I was a tot but I drank in the dulcet tones of Woodstock folk and rock with all of its depth and truth. These eccentric people with their alien colours and textures are now either working corporate jobs or living somewhere in the northern rivers.

a-Folk-intThe 70s and 80s followed with a much colder and more conspicuous trend; these times were definitely not as loving as the 60s and some of today’s retro fit-outs are melding all three decades.

To me it doesn’t matter what era is being emulated, it’s just heartening to see people squeezing the colour back into our lives again even if it’s just in a fashion sense. Remakes, flares and hipsters and, of course, the real hippy survivors living peacefully in our part of the world direct from the stage I’ve just described.

I wandered into Folk cafe on an afternoon excursion only to find myself having strange feelings – flashbacks? No, not that kind – the good kind.

Here, on the outskirts of Byron Bay, is a cool little dig. The folk at Folk seem chilled. I swear I saw Joan Baez in the corner of my eye – certainly the costume was down pat. The experience here is kind of caring, childlike and soft (now I really sound drugged).

This is a feelgood place. It’s open, but small; it’s friendly but not imposing; the staff are chatty yet not too familiar; and the menu’s uncluttered and simple with nothing over $14.

Brekkie-BurritoThey serve down-to-earth food where you can taste every element – it embodies my metaphor – the 60s; it’s either that, or they’ve slipped something in my chai.

Anything negative, I hear you say? Only trivial stuff really. Everywhere in this region appears to be built on or near a paddock and flies in summer love to suss the folk sitting plump in their domains, so perhaps put sugar in lidded bowls (in fact Sugar Man was playing at the time – weird right?).

Wait – an update, just in: I returned for a morning coffee (BTW: this was very well made, soft milk and a rich blend – not bitter) and found the sugar in pourers, hooray, they listen to advice too; what next, eh!

Two young women had the floor and were very nice and accommodating, relaxed and not in the least uptight or self-conscious, like some hipster joints I’ve visited.

Folk-Int-1A turntable was playing tunes in the corner, Rodriguez’s Cold Fact was going on in the background with his timeless romantic protests.

And finally, the rumours that this cafe is somehow the love child of Top Shop and Roadhouse is poppycock. The owners here are very much a couple of individuals, entrepreneurs recently returned from a three-and-a-half-year stint in Melbourne – cool and really quite happy looking too.

They apparently packed up their kombi and drove from Melbourne until the horizon was azure and gorgeous.

Folk appears to be the result of a trip and for me I’ll be taking a trip here more than once.


Eat in or take away. 7 days.
7am until 3pm for food and 3.30pm for drinks, cakes etc
Lot 1, 399 Ewingsdale Road, Byron Bay (turn at Sunrise Boulevard)

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