On Sunday the 19th, Auchendarroch House was host to a series of buskers for five hours, providing some light entertainment for Adelaide Hills residents. The event was held to raise money for CFS volunteers, several of which lost their homes in the infamous Pinery Fires while saving other people’s properties. The acts involved in Barker Busk ’17 were from all walks of life and proved to have an eclectic mix of sounds, ranging from singer-songwriter ballads to heavy metal guitar improvisations. Both myself and LJ Coleman attended the event to check out the local talent and have a relaxing afternoon in the autumn sun.
The first act was Bill, a young man in his mid-teens who sang and played guitar. Although it was a tough ask to perform first, he seemed confident and didn’t miss a beat. His repertoire included Oasis, Crowded House, Lifehouse and Shawn Mendes. My only advice to him would be to work on his upper register, but I was impressed by his feel for the songs he played and his vocal tone which was perfect for the genres he chose. Next up was Bobby Digger Band comprised of Clinton on the guitar and Sasha on vocals. Both LJ Coleman and I were impressed by the variety of the songs they performed, ranging from Adele to Frank Sinatra. Upon enquiry, LJ Coleman discovered that the two had only been performing together for four months but individually for a long time. If you’re a local of the Adelaide Hills, I would highly recommend the duo for any gathering that is in need of ambient acoustic music.
Ferg provided a stark contrast to the duo who performed before him. With his low voice and classic Australian character, he covered Under the Milky Way, Burning Ring of Fire, and Losing My Religion by The Church, Johnny Cash and R.E.M. respectively. The next act were by far the crowd favourites. Ella and Sienna were a singing and guitar playing duo who couldn’t have been more than eight and twelve. They not only sung in tune but successfully dabbled in harmonies on tracks like Scar by Missy Higgins and Pretty Enough by Kasey Chambers, Riptide by Vance Joy, and Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran. For their ages, it was clear they’d spent much of their time practicing which is a big and impressive commitment for such young musicians.
The next act was a slightly larger band by the name of Willow’s Bedroom. Though sound check was a little shaky, the indie rock group quickly drew the audiences attention back in with their familiar-but-unique sound. Whilst their second song seemed to drag on slightly, the first song, Molly’s Monsters was a delight to listen to. The lead singer informed the audience that this song was an original written by him and was inspired by his daughter. This sweet idea was well juxtaposed against the driving beat of the song and melismatic vocals.
A gentleman with nought but his electric guitar was next to entertain the crowd with his original songs. Whilst all of the other acts had vocals in some way or other, Damien merely played his guitar sans-vocals. This proved to be a refreshing change of pace from the previous acts. His songs generally fell into the category of Metal, which initially didn’t seem to be a well-received genre, but Damien’s enthusiasm and talent kept this reviewer (along with the rest of the crowd) well entertained for his set.
The style of music quickly changed pace again with the next performer. Unfortunately, yours truly missed the performers introduction and therefore his name as she was buying a beer. This set had a more country and classic rock vibe to it with ballads such as Ruby Tuesday by Nick Cave, and The Ballad of Lucy Jordan by Marianna Faithful. This singer had a wonderful clean tone to his voice which was somewhat reminiscent of Mick Jagger. After lulling the audience into a nice relaxation, he hyped the crowd back up again and finished with Should I Stay or Should I Go by The Clash which was a clear crowd favourite.
All in all, Barker Busk ’17 had something for everyone to enjoy and made for a lovely afternoon, made even better by the knowledge that the profits were going toward a well-worthy cause.