Top brass brings touch of class

WESLEY Church on Duke Street will resonate with the echoes of brass instruments and an organ for a unique concert event this Friday and Saturday night.

The City of Albany Band will present Organ-ised Brass on November 24 and 25, a performance showcasing the magical combination of brass and organ with a range of songs, hymns and solo presentations.

Soloists will include Peter Younghusband, Sandra Woonings, Cynthia Van Dongen, Patrick Elms and Mark Davenport.

Organ player Patrick Elms is a pianist by trade and learned the organ in his late teens.

He began his City of Albany Band career in 1978 for a brief two-year period, then returned in 2007.

Elms will star in a solo performance and says the concert will be worthwhile listening to.

“It will be loud,” he laughed.

“The brass band and organ will go well together, as they started together traditionally with Salvation Army hymns, which will feature in the concert.

“It will be an eclectic performance and a good quality concert; I encourage people to come along and support our local artists.”

Conductor Colin France is keen for the band to revisit the Wesley Church after six years.

“We last performed here in 2011 and it was well received, so I’ve been wanting to do another concert here since then,” he said.

“The best organ in town is here and it marries well with the brass instruments, so we’re in for a night of good music.”

Tickets to Organ-ised Brass can be purchased at Uptown Music at the top of York Street or on the door.

The concert kicks off at 7.30pm on Friday night and at 2pm on Saturday afternoon.

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Get to grips with kids’ fears

FACING your fears is a learning curve children of all ages must face.

Josey Hurley’s latest children’s picture book tackles dealing with challenges and anxiety in a beautiful and subtle way, making it an ideal resource for parents and children trying to comprehend and deal with fear.

A psychologist by trade, Ms Hurley has utilised her many years of clinical experience to weave a tale of a French bulldog who is afraid of the ocean with lessons in how to overcome fears.

Max the Mighty is Ms Hurley’s first published book and she is excited to launch it at the Albany Public Library on December 1.

“Seeing the joy of the kids and seeing them connect with the story when it was in its first draft reassured me that it could be beneficial,” Ms Hurley said of her book.

“You need perseverance and belief in what you’re writing, and getting that feedback from the kids definitely encouraged me to continue.”

Ms Hurley believes Max the Mighty can aid as a starting point to schools when discussing fears and overcoming challenges and anxiety with students.

“It sits with the curriculum and can be a platform story for schools,” she said.

“When I was first putting the story together, I knew what I wanted the topic to be about, but I had to work out something children could relate to, and what the steps looked like when you overcome a fear.

“This book gives kids the opportunity to connect, especially with the illustrations. That’s why I wanted to work with an illustrator, because the illustrations are what really bring the words alive.”

Ms Hurley’s December 1 book launch will commence at 4.30pm and will include a reading of the story, refreshments, and an activities table to make your own dog mask.

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Familiar faces return home

THEY might be Albany’s biggest musical export, but they are really just a bunch of big kids that love playing music.

Despite 25 years together as a band and all the miles on the road, it’s that simple for The Waifs’ guitarist Josh Cunningham.

He spoke to The Weekender ahead of their return to the Great Southern next month where it all began, when Donna and Vikki Simpson (now Vikki Thorn) packed up their campervan and headed north as a pair of gangly guitar-slinging sisters.

They picked up Cunningham along the way and The Waifs were born – it’s well-known musical lore to loyal followers who have watched the band grow over two-and-a-half decades.

Rusted-on fans might also have been expecting an open-air concert to round out the band’s 13-date national tour – an opportunity to enjoy the band’s music with grass between their toes.

But Cunningham said The Waifs were looking forward to playing the sit-down entertainment centre show following their previous performance there.

“It was one of the best shows we’ve ever played in Albany,” he said.

“It’s a different way to experience the band. The music is all about the stories and the lyrics, so in a venue like that we can get down in the song in a different way than if there’s a party vibe going on.

“It’s a spectacular venue and Albany is very lucky to have it.”

Besides playing to a hometown crowd, Cunningham said the band was looking forward to taking the rare opportunity to spend a few days in town post-gig.

“When we play Albany it’s usually in the middle of a tour or at the start of one, and it’s straight to soundcheck, play the gig, stay the night and get back on the road again,” he said.

“We’re finishing the tour there, and we’re looking forward to hanging around for a few days to catch up with family and friends.”

Despite 25 years together as a band, The Waifs are far from packed in the front seat of a campervan when they are off-stage nowadays.

Thorn is based in the US, Cunningham has just built a house on his property in south coast New South Wales and Donna Simpson is based in Fremantle.

Cunningham said they just made the distance work.

“When you’ve been playing together for 25 years, that feeling of familiarity isn’t just personal, it’s musical as well,” he said.

“When we get in a room to rehearse together, it’s really like you’re picking up where you left off,” he said.

Cunningham said the band appreciated every opportunity to play together and were always true to their roots.

“When you do what you love and get to play music for a living it keeps your feet on the ground,” he said.

“We’re really just a bunch of big kids that love playing music.”

The Waifs play the Albany Entertainment Centre on December 9 to showcase songs from their latest album Ironbark, which celebrates their 25th anniversary, and to offer their loyal followers plenty of favourites.

Tickets are available from the AEC box office or online at Ticketek.

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WAM win for folk songstress

ALBANY musician Carla Geneve has made her hometown proud by winning Best Regional Act at last week’s West Australian Music Awards night in Perth.

The storytelling folk lyricist and songstress has been singing and strumming away on her guitar since she was 12, and says it was her family and high school music program that helped guide her towards her successful folk/rock music career.

“Dad was always playing his guitar and singing when I was a kid,” Geneve said.

“I took piano lessons for a while too, but then focused on guitar and singing, and that’s when I realised how much I loved music.

“I went to ASHS (Albany Senior High School) and they have a fantastic music program, which gave us heaps of opportunities to perform and play together in bands, and that definitely encouraged me to pursue music as a career.”

Geneve’s work ethic has taken her across the state, performing at Mojos in Fremantle, the Nannup Music Festival, the Fairbridge Festival and the forthcoming WAMFest.

She was also one of 10 artists to be selected to record an original track for the Sounds of the Great Southern project earlier in the year, which helped her gain valuable exposure.

“It was fantastic,” Geneve said of the West Australian Music project.

“Everything WAM does is the best, and Sounds of the Great Southern was great in bringing together Great Southern artists.

“Being able to record in a studio is not something regional artists usually get, so it was a great opportunity.

“There’s a lot going on in the WA music industry at the moment, and that’s super inspiring.”

You can check out Geneve’s tunes at

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Keeping the beat on the street

THEY will be swinging and swaying, the records playing, for Albany Academy of Dance’s Dancing in the Streets concert extravaganza.

The talented dance students will tap, twirl and leap through a vast arrangement of songs, crossing a variety of dance styles.

Ballet, hip-hop, jazz, tap and contemporary routines will keep audiences entertained and on their feet for a night of excitement.

“There’s a genre for everybody,” Albany Academy of Dance owner and teacher Simone Newton said.

“Our youngest dancers are four-years-old and we have classes all the way up to adult ladies.

“We’ve even got three generations of a family dancing this year; a grandmother, daughter, and three granddaughters.”

Family involvement has been a big aspect of this year’s concert, with dance mum Margaretha Lachmann designing original graffiti artwork for projection on the Albany Entertainment Centre’s cyclorama.

Dancing in the Streets will play at the AEC on November 25 and 26 at 2pm.

Tickets for these concerts are hot property, so be sure to get yours soon from the AEC Box Office or online via Ticketek.

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Let me be your shining star

LIVING with a disability has not prevented local hidden talents from donning their sparkly hats and rocking colourful costumes for the next Albany Light Opera and Theatre Company production.

Let’s Shine Together proves disabilities are no barrier to people wanting their turn in the spotlight, with singing, dancing and acting open to performers of all ages and abilities.

The ALOTCo show will play at their home theatre on November 18, 19, 25 and 26, for two evening and two matinee concerts.

Songs from ABBA, Elvis, Elton John, Dolly Parton, and from movies such as Shrek, Mary Poppins, Madagascar and High School Musical will feature in this showtime spectacular.

The concert will draw to a close with Shine Together, the original song from the Schools 2017 Count Us In competition.

Let’s Shine Together is the fourth performance in the Let’s Shine series, and is directed by Janet McArtney and Margaret Evans, with Maxine Jones as choreographer.

Tickets for this show will be hot property, so be sure to secure yours by visiting au or purchasing them in-store at Paperbark Merchants on York Street.

Companion cards are welcome.

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Embrace a new world

THE Brave New Works Festival lineup this year is jam-packed with interpretive dance, music from all genres, art displays, street parades and theatre workshops, and will hit Denmark streets and venues on November 2 to 5.

The celebration of local talent is in its 24th year and is Denmark’s unique community arts expo, showcasing multiple art forms from artists across the region.

Southern Edge Arts student Sam Kemp will bring his play A Place Not To Stray to the Denmark Civic Centre on November 2, at 7pm.

The Beauty Index will be performed on each of the three festival nights, at a secret outdoor location, commencing at 7.30pm.

A flash mob will appear at Denmark Super IGA on November 4, with an alternate version of Tim Minchin’s Canvas Bags, to encourage and inspire residents to ‘break the bag habit’ early, after the state government’s announcement of a state-wide single-use plastic bag ban for July 2018.

The Unfolding exhibition, produced by Butter Factory artists and Denmark TAFE students, will be held at Butter Factory Studios on all three days of the festival.

This event is free and open daily 10am to 4pm.

The Parade for More Parades will assemble at Palm Court and make its way down towards Fig Tree Square on November 4.

The procession will include The Sneeches, Myles Mitchell, Zakoaira and his parkour crew, Surprise Samba Funksters and Junk Funkton.

Members of the public are encouraged to participate in the free event by bringing a costume, wearing a crazy hat or bringing their own musical shaker.

Partakers are to meet at 10.30am at Palm Court, for an 11am parade start.

Tickets for paid events in the Brave New Works Festival can be purchased online at or at the door for certain venues.

For details of the full program, visit

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Spectrum’s spectacular finale

A PYROMANIAC, a mute lawyer and a food-obsessed romantic will take centre stage on October 27 for three weekends of political extremism, Italian opera and conflicting insanity.

Spectrum Theatre’s final production for the year, Australian playwright Louis Nowra’s Cosi, explores a young man’s journey of self-discovery as he struggles with his directorial debut of the opera Cosi fan tutte.

Leading man Sam Smith stars as Lewis, a university graduate seeking money who agrees to direct a play with patients from a mental institution.

Chloe Pinker takes on the role of Nick, a political extremist against the backdrop of the Vietnam War.

The talented Mike Staude takes the role of Roy, a manic-depressive who tends to dominate Lewis’s directing when Lewis does not stand up to his actors.

Smith, Pinker and Staude join a cast of gifted local actors in bringing the semi-autobiographical comedy to life.

Cosi will open on October 27 and run on November 3, 4, 9, 10 and 11 at 7pm, and on October 29 and November 5 at 2pm.

Spectrum Theatre is located on Proudlove Parade, on the ground floor of UWA Albany Centre.

Tickets are available at Paperbark Merchants on York Street or online at

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Landscape history remembered

CAPTURING a bountiful and majestic landscape was one of the goals for Albany artist Annette Davis with her latest exhibition.

Continuity will officially open this Friday, 6pm at the Vancouver Arts Centre and embraces the various landscapes on the Murchison River, in the mid-west of WA.

Ms Davis has worked on this project since 2009 and has spent two to four weeks each year visiting a particular spot on the Murchison to create her unique artwork.

“It’s become an annual ritual,” Ms Davis said.

“I love the twisting and turning of the tree branches. It’s fascinating.

“They tell a story, of seasonal change, floods and droughts, and of growth.

Ms Davis’s exhibit will include drawings, ink paintings, photography and textiles.

An eye-opening feature of the Continuity exhibition will be all 14 of Ms Davis’s 10m tree rubbings suspended from the gallery ceiling.

“I take a river gum rubbing each year on calico,” Ms Davis said.

“I enjoy exploring the trees because I think they are witnesses to the history of the landscape.

“I walk around and wonder about the people who have walked this path before me, or if I am the first person to walk on this part of the landscape.

“The exhibition is about my connection and continued experience with the landscape.”

Continuity will be open from October 20 until November 8 at the Vancouver Arts Centre.

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Look who’s back in town

HOWLING comedy act Doug Anthony Allstars will make a triumphant return to Albany in a fortnight, after unforeseen circumstances saw the cancellation of their May performance.

Doug Anthony Allstars shot to fame in the 1980s with their provocative brand of comedy and infamous live shows.

After disbanding in 1994 due to member Tim Ferguson’s battle with multiple sclerosis, the group reignited in 2014 to unleash their havoc and hilarity on the world once again.

Doug Anthony Allstars will be coming to the Albany Entertainment Centre on October 24.

“Albany is our favourite party town,” member Tim Ferguson said.

“A crazy nightclub, the non-stop mardi gras, that old hippy busker who only sings in whale song; when we want to rage like rutting bandicoots, we go to Albany.”

Dubbed ‘the rock stars of comedy’, Doug Anthony Allstars are renowned for singing offensive songs, getting arrested, provoking riots and their own sitcom, DAAS Kapital.

The group has starred in award-winning shows on the UK’s BBC, ITV and CH4, and made regular appearances in America on HBO, ABC and NBC.

Live television broadcasts of the AllStars’ performances in New York and London won the Best International Award two years running at the Tokyo Comedy Festival.

The new Doug Anthony Allstars WA return concert promises hilariously dark and joyously cathartic humour and song, and possibly a few mentions about Albany’s neighbour, Denmark.

“We are ripping out the front rows to create a mosh pit,” Ferguson said.

“And we are building a wall – Denmark will pay for it.”

When asked what the group has against Denmark hipsters, Ferguson said all would be revealed at the upcoming show.

“Evidence, plenty of evidence, and we’re not afraid to use it,” he said.

“We’re writing a song about Denmark hipsters; what rhymes with ‘gormless quinoa-nibbling pillocks’?”

Tickets to the October 24 performance can be purchased at the AEC Box Office or online via Ticketek.

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