Travelling around Australia in a motorhome. A story of our travels starting from NSW then through Queensland, across to Northern Territory and Western Australia, then to South Australia, Victoria and finally across the seas to Tasmania. We have enjoyed everywhere we have visited and look forward to setting off again in our motorhome.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Wangaratta 1 – 6 November

We arrived in Wang, camped near the blues tent and walked across the bridge to the opening of the new board walk along the river. The council has done a fantastic job of creating a recreation area and convinced the shops to turn around and face the river – seems an obvious step, but we have found many country towns often ignore their best assets such as river frontages. On Friday night we wandered over to the blues tent to hear Old Grey Mule, an American blues group, but found it too loud. Don’t know if it is a sign of getting older, but we prefer the slower (and quieter) blues style now. There seem to be a lot of blues bands around that compete with each other to see who can play the loudest, with the result that you have to sit about 500m away to stop your ears bleeding. In fact we listened to The Backsliders in our motorhome with the windows shut and it was quite pleasant.
Instead we walked into town and listened to a young American called Gerald Clayton, who is an exceptional pianist. We finished at the blues tent again listening to Russell Morris, who has now reinvented himself as an old blues man – a great night and he managed to play his old favourites as well – it was the real thing! On Saturday morning we met up with Judy, Bill and Sonja, who were heading down to Melbourne for a wedding – good to catch up with old friends. Then off to the blues tent to hear Charlie Parr (a genuine roots muso), Kerri Simpson, Jeff Lang (down the back of the tent again) and finally a tribute to Muddy Waters by some of Oz top blues musicians. The highlight of the jazz was the pianist Barney McAll and some fine singing by Chris McNulty. On Sunday we went down to the markets (nothing special) then onto hear Froy Aagre, a Norwegian saxophonist that left Peter cold, but Heather enjoyed her. The highlight on Sunday was Jef Neve, a Belgium pianist that pleased us both with his passionate playing, and then finished up with Mick Nock and a repeat of Chris McNulty and Gerald Clayton.
While not full of big name stars, like previous festivals, it was an amazing weekend, full of great music, but a little bit over whelming, dashing from concert to concert and trying not to miss our favourite musos, while at the same time realising we couldn’t possibly see all the people we wanted to. On Monday we took it easy, caught up with some shopping and cleaning and drove the RV out to the race track for the Melbourne Cup.
Wangaratta has their race day on Tuesday and makes a great place to see the cup. We enjoyed a spot of people watching, especially the young women in their colourful dresses and their fascinators, which Heather loved – such a contrast with the young blokes wearing their best shorts and thongs. While Peter normally does well with his betting, this time he bombed out and we went home poorer but still having enjoyed a great day out. Decided to stay another day in Wang just to catch up on the sights/sites we hadn’t seen – while cold nights we have had beautiful sunny and warm days.


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