Swing band covers all the classics

FOR a night of fine wine, dining and dancing, join The Rainbow Coast Big Band as they perform classic swing era band music at the Stirling Club on October 30.

The 18-piece band, along with three vocalists and the Bluebirds vocal group, also cover timeless masterpieces from artists such as Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Sammy Davis and Dean Martin along with contemporary musicians such as Michael Buble and Diana Krall.

Pianist Adrian Kenyon said he had been considering what to do as lockdown restrictions eased and met with new Stirling Club President Peter Macdonald.

“We hope people support this and if it is successful, we hope it will become a regular monthly event,” he said.

The band has performed a number of acts in Albany and Denmark and its most recent performance was the closing concert for the Harbourside Festival at the entertainment centre.

Kenyon himself has a chequered career, previously musical director for Zimbabwe’s leading theatre company.

He also composed jingles for radio, TV and film productions along with producing pop records.

Moving to Perth, he wrote newspaper jazz columns and was WA’s first jazz coordinator, later forming the WA Youth Jazz Orchestra.

Kenyon also launched the magazine Music Maker, which was later rebadged as Arts West.

The former journalist became a repetiteur for ballet classes at the WA Academy of Performing Arts.

The event kicks off at 7pm with tickets $20, $15 concession, $50 for families or pay at the door, with Stirling Club members admitted free. For bookings call Sally Bishop on 0415 181 330.

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Play promises progressive hilarity

PLANTAGENET Players have emerged from lockdown with a brand-new play full of laughs, cheek and a bit of sass.

Freaks, Geeks and Comedy Treats is the creation of mother-daughter duo Kristy and Grace Russell and veteran Jeff Drage, who collectively spent three months crafting an original play full of skits enjoyable for the whole family.

Kristy Russell said the trio wanted to both attract new audiences and please loyal supporters.

“It’s a bit different to what we usually do,” she said.

“It’s a bit more progressive with its humour but it’s still slapstick.

“We’re very excited to come back after Covid and we hope people are excited for a night out.”

Grace Russell is one of the youngest Players and was thrilled at the opportunity to act, write and direct.

The WA Academy of Performing Arts hopeful is keen to expand her theatre experience and build a portfolio.

“It’s been amazing, a really great experience,” Grace said.

“It’s like a family here and they’ve all helped me along the way with writing and directing.

“I’m really excited to see it for the first time on the night – it’s extremely rewarding to see what you’ve done come to life.”

Freaks, Geeks and Comedy Treats will play on October 23, 24, 30 and 31 at Plantagenet District Hall.

Tickets are available from Mount Barker Newsagency and part proceeds from opening night will go towards the 2021 Mountains and Murals Festival.

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Wild Walpole focus of display

PERTH illustrator Malcolm Lindsay has exhibited his latest collection of colourful abstract landscapes in Walpole over the past few weeks.

Wood Water Walpole will be on display at Petrichor Gallery until October 18 and present Lindsay’s interpretation of Walpole and surrounds.

Lindsay exhibited at Petrichor when it first opened and was keen to exhibit solo this month.

“The theme of the exhibition was obvious when I asked myself, why was I exhibiting in Walpole?” he said.

“The answer was that the whole reason to be in Walpole at all was to immerse myself into the isolation and pristine, natural environment, so it had to be Walpole landscapes.”

Lindsay said the ‘lure’ of the wild Walpole environment had brought him back to the area many times over the years.

“Thinking about what makes Walpole so enticing, I’d have to say it’s the isolation and topography,” he said.

“The trees, water and hills.”

Lindsay has worked as a commercial artist and illustrator for his entire adult career and exhibited at multiple galleries.

He has worked previously with pastels and printmaking but now focuses on acrylics.

His work ranges from representational to abstract.

“The proudest moment of the exhibition for me was seeing all the work hung thoughtfully, in its own space, for the first time,” Lindsay said of Wood Water Walpole.

“This is when you can truly appreciate the cohesive message of the exhibition … this is Walpole!”

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Exhibition goes alfresco

SIX Albany artists will display their interpretations of the Great Southern’s vast and varied landscapes in a two-week exhibition.

Zoe Butler, Jennifer Dul, Margaret Dowdell, Ros Jenke, Jennifer Hills and Julie Fletcher from Albany Outdoor Painters will exhibit at Albany’s Historic Whaling Station until October 11.

The group were drawn together through their love of outdoor painting and sketching, meeting weekly at different locations for inspiration.

Fletcher said the artists delight in discovering the natural beauty of the area and are always on the lookout for interesting and exciting places, historic buildings and undiscovered locations.

“All artists have exhibited a range of their extensive and varied works in Albany and throughout WA, are experienced and accomplished artists, and some have taught in their individual specialties,” she said.

The exhibited works will vary between watercolours, oil paintings, acrylic work and pastel creations.

The Albany Outdoor Painters Exhibition and Art Sale is open daily from 9am to 5pm during its exhibition time.

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Return of the classics

ALBANY Sinfonia return from restrictions to provide a Breakout Baroque concert to music lovers in the Great Southern.

Two concerts will be held in the Kalyenup Studio at the Albany Entertainment Centre on Saturday, October 10, at 2pm and 7pm.

Tapas will be available for purchase from 12.30pm and 5.30pm at this intimate event.

Under the musical direction of conductor Kathryn MacNeil, the performance will include a delightful selection of well-loved classics from Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, featuring local soloist Alan Burnfield to Vivaldi’s Cello Concerto in C with cellist Preston Clifton.

Featuring a delightful program of baroque and classical chamber and orchestral music, the concert reaches its pinnacle with Haydn’s London Symphony, a joyous orchestral work filled with memorable melodies, enchanting episodes and tempestuous tunes.

Albany Sinfonia is the local symphony orchestra so don’t miss the chance to support the music industry with this opportunity to enjoy classical music with the whole family.

Tickets are available from albanyentertainment.com.au, 9844 5005 or at the AEC box office.

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Cartoonist draws on creating joy

WALPOLE is the latest inspiration for a new cartoon series created by recent addition to town Nathan Vass Viney.

Inspired by the Walpole Weekly’s call for content assisting its identity, and a dream to make it into the papers, Mr Viney began creating his weekly Walpole Kids comic.

He said his main aim with the comic is to keep it silly, friendly, relatable and hopefully sometimes funny.

“Creating something from nothing is a joy for any artist, I feel, as well as channelling real life situations, emotions and locations into my cartoons,” Mr Viney said.

“I feel super lucky to be able to share my silly work to the people of Walpole and those who want to read it.”

Beginning his craft back in primary school, Mr Viney’s love of drawing turned into a full-time passion, studying moving image and animation in the UK , working on three seasons of BBC children’s show Little Howard’s Big Question, releasing a short children’s comic Tomothy and the Time Travel Shoes and creating Doctor Who related online animations.

His first ever character, Tomothy, was borne on a school lunch break and has remained a part of Mr Viney’s character list ever since.

Mr Viney is enjoying his new life in Walpole after moving to the area with his partner five months ago.

It has enabled him to further expand his creative horizons.

“If Walpole Kids were to continue for the long run, I’d love to add more personalities to the three lead characters, some interconnected story strips and perhaps some educational moments along the way,” Mr Viney said.

“Once there are enough comics, I’d love to print a Walpole Kids book for any fans to have.

“I love to find ways to inspire upcoming cartoonists.”

You can check out Mr Viney’s Walpole-inspired cartoons online at walpole.org.au

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Laneway gets facelift

PUBLIC art is once again flourishing in Albany this week with the creation of five new laneway installations in the CBD.

The project is timed with the city’s Green Skills Sustainable Community Festival and Spring Markets this long weekend on September 25 and 26.

Artists Nat Rad, John Carberry, Jo Taylor and Serena McLauchlan will craft three laneway installations in York Street.

An additional laneway will be decorated with bunting created by the community during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Artist Cody Hulkes’ canvas is the side wall of The White Star on Stirling Terrace.

His inspiration was the story of Jumbo the elephant, who in 1929 ran away from the circus and went on an escapade through town.

Mr Hulkes has designed the mural to be interactive, encouraging people to take a photo with it instead of just a photo of it.

“I’m keeping it bright and fun, especially for the kids,” he said.

“It’s exciting to see the kids get excited about it, because it’s a nice big colourful piece.”

Mayor Dennis Wellington said the City was pleased to reactivate the various laneways.

“Having a number of local artists involved with the long weekend activation is fantastic, and the inclusion of a permanent artwork in the Jumbo mural will allow the community to continue to engage with the Stirling Terrace laneway,” he said.

“It is exciting to be able to put on a pop-up art exhibition in Albany that allows our residents and visitors to enjoy local art at no expense.”

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Swampy blues quartet founded in friendship

THE origin of Blue Tongue Lizzard, Albany’s swampy blues and boogie maestros, is both touching and a reminder of the benefits of checking in with friends after the recent R U OK? Day.

Three years ago, musician Terry MacKintosh’s daughter Lizzee had just passed away from melanoma and he was due to play a solo gig in Denmark.

“I was not in a good space, understandably,” MacKintosh admitted.

“I had already cancelled once, and didn’t feel I could do so again.

“So, I rang a couple of muso mates, James Blackwell and Tuaari Kuiiti, and said, ‘I’m in trouble, any chance you could come and support me?’

“They both said, ‘yes, we’ll be there’.

“I had played individually with each previously, but James and Tuaari had not met each other until the night of the gig.

“The gig went off, the chemistry was evident and Blue Tongue Lizzard was born.”

The band comprises Kuiiti on percussion, Blackwell on lap steel guitar and MacKintosh on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, recently adding Mic O’Doherty on blues harp.

Kuiiti began his career in New Zealand, playing in a professional jazz band at the age of 12, going on to tour Europe, before finally settling in Albany many years ago.

Blackwell, an exceptional slide guitarist, is originally from Melbourne, where he played in various bands before moving west.

MacKintosh received his first guitar, made by his father, when he was nine-years-old, inspired by Reg Lindsay’s Country Hour.

He learned his chops playing folk mass at the local church, moving on to various bands through the 1980s.

MacKintosh also performed overseas including the Philippines and Thailand.

O’Doherty cut his teeth busking solo with a harmonica and foot tambourine before going to Europe, playing in taverns and on tourist boats.

The pandemic obviously shut down gigging for a few months but MacKintosh bunkered down with his family and kept creatively busy.

“I used the time and opportunity to write some new material and set up a desktop studio to record demos, in preparation for getting back on the tools, whenever the time came,” MacKintosh said.

“This time also inspired me to begin looking at other ways of getting my music out to the world.”

But MacKintosh is ecstatic to be back playing live and believes punters are also more appreciative and receptive that live music is back.

“When you take something away, which has been taken for granted, the return is sweet,” he said.

“You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone as the saying goes.

“There was a vibrant music scene on the south coast pre-covid, with up to a dozen venues supporting live local music every weekend.

“The continuing restrictions on numbers has meant that many venues have not returned to live music.”

Blue Tongue Lizzard will perform in the Gold Room at Six Degrees on Saturday, September 26. Tickets available at eventbrite.com.au

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Art exhibition doubles up

A BUMPER weekend of art and crafts is planned throughout the King River and Kalgan locales this Saturday and Sunday.

The Lower Kalgan Art Exhibition and King River Hall Textile Exhibition will both take place on September 19 and 20 from 10am to 4pm and feature a range of local artists.

Lower Kalgan Hall Association Secretary Laura Bird said the two event committees had worked together to create a weekend encouraging visitors to make the scenic drive to the area and support artists.

“We want people to make a weekend of it,” she said.

“We have everyone from beginners to more experienced artists, we’ll have Devonshire teas and we have card facilities too.”

Ms Bird said the Lower Kalgan Art Exhibition had been a great opportunity for artistic neighbours to get together and meet for the first time, as well as exhibit together after several months of Covid-cancelled exhibitions.

On display and for sale at the exhibitions will be paintings, photography, textiles, sculptures, glass mosaics, Broome pearl jewellery and various other original works.

The Lower Kalgan Art Exhibition will be held at Lower Kalgan Hall on Nanarup Road and King River Hall is located on Millbrook Road.

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Freemantle thinks outside the box in latest exhibition

ALBANY historian and artist Harry Freemantle’s new art display is a dedication to the psychology of the miniature combined with a Renaissance flavour.

Shadow Box is on display now at Vancouver Arts Centre until September 18 and features several different ‘shadow boxes’, similar to dioramas.

Freemantle said in creating the shadow boxes, he was exploring the idea of being happy in a small, intimate space, “with both possibility and constraint built in”.

“They are designed to hold the imagination within their confines, whilst not taking up a lot of physical room,” he said.

“The process of sourcing the materials, making the boxes and frames, and then thinking about the details that would carry the story, was meditative.

“The finished works have reduced me to silence.”

Some of the shadow boxes draw inspiration from Johann Georg Goethe’s Faust and 15th century Italian painter Giovani Di Paolo.

Others feature marionettes, pieces of a 50-year-old bonsai tree, tokens from Free- mantle’s childhood and original art creations.

Shadow Box is Freemantle’s second solo exhibition.

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