The Rumjacks are five musical misfits from the cobbled streets of old Sydney town, and these celtic punk-rockers are coming to Bluesfest for the first time!
Frankie McLaughlin, lead vocalist and songwriter, believes that the Rumjacks are that accidental perfect combination of players.
‘We have all been in other bands before over the years and the last thing on my mind was forming or joining a band at the time, but it was a chance meeting with Johnny, my bass player, while we were out one night; we locked onto each other with the same music taste and quickly decided to form a band, with a few guys I know and a few guys he knew.
‘You don’t expect much out of a band when you start; just having a good time is enough, but very quickly we thought we are on to something, we love it – people love it – and we started to pump out tonnes of music!
With the entire lineup it’s a chemistry of personalities and I can’t think of five more different personalities to come together!
It’s always entertaining too, it works, there is no formula; it happened to us rather than our trying to make it happen.’
The Rumjacks have a clear objective. ‘Our focus,’ says Frankie, ‘is making really good music with really good words; it’s simply about customer and player satisfaction.’
‘You feel the pressure to be different, but you can’t be that different any more; everything has been done! What we are providing is a soundtrack to a type of escapism.
‘People want to hear it, imagine they are somewhere else, anywhere but here! You get your weekend warriors that live their alter ego; they can’t get it the week in the office, they get on the bike and we are the soundtrack to that.
‘We are also into keeping it very current and today and very now.’
Frankie reflects on his love of folk and how that has informed his rich lyrical vein.
‘One of the things that I inherited from folk is the rich poetic tendency – to be able to use words to conjure emotions and senses. I like being able to craft lyrics like that, music that will alter your heart!’
When it comes to writing, McLaughlin believes, ‘It’s a different dialogue, the more that you lay bare yourself, the more you have people that come up and say they know what you are talking about. Our music is a conversation; it’s not a monologue.’
Rumjacks play Bluesfest this Easter.
The playing schedule and all festival and camping tickets are on sale through the website at www.bluesfest.com.au or phone the office on 6685 8310.