Sun sets on a rich and rootsy Agnes festival: act reviews

LIGHTING UP THE STAGE: Lil’ Fi and the Dirty Rascals at the Agnes Blues and Roots Festival.
LIGHTING UP THE STAGE: Lil’ Fi and the Dirty Rascals at the Agnes Blues and Roots Festival. Mike Richards GLALIFI

THE 2014 Agnes Blues and Roots Festival had something for everyone.

From the instrumental bonanza of the Hipshooters, to the energetic Jelly Kids and smooth vocals of Benny Walker, the four-day event was a huge success.

Quality music made for a quality weekend, bands came from all over the country to entertain the carefree crowd with original blues tunes.

Some were first-timers while others were veterans, but they all got the crowd's feet tapping and heads shaking for hours on end.

Richard Clapton

HEADLINE act Richard Clapton proved he still had it on Friday night, delivering his classic hits to an adoring crowd that appreciated his live stage presence.

Clapton sang for an hour and was clapped back on to the stage to close with a spectacular version of Girls On The Avenue.

Get Back To The Shelter was also a hit for those who wanted a slow dance, while I'm An Island was more upbeat.

Lil' Fi and the Dirty Rascals

LIL' FI and the Dirty Rascals put on a stellar performance on Saturday afternoon, the strong beat tearing people from their chairs to the grass dance floor as the sun went down.

She stole the spotlight with her huge, gospel voice that could be heard miles away, accompanied by her ukulele.

Lil' Fi sported a 1920s-inspired headpiece and dress that made the performance all the more interesting.

The five-piece band pumped out some authentic blues songs, John Revelator, People Get Ready and Wait In The Water were just some of the numbers the crowd loved.

Brother Fox

BROTHER Fox almost stole the show Saturday afternoon when they surprised the crowd with some sensational folk, root infusion at the 2014 Agnes Blues and Roots Festival.

The Triple J Unearthed band gave a strong impression of Mumford and Sons, so what's not to love?

The three-piece band, Tim Orchard, Jon Orchard and Eddie Walker, left nothing unturned as their catchy percussion, lyrics, danceable tunes and high energy floated across the SES grounds.

And the dancing even began to improve as a few people jumped to their feet to enjoy the sweet music.

There was only one disappointment with this set from the Brisbane boys who possess skill and passion in the world of folk, roots and reggae - not enough people danced.

Urban Chiefs

NOT your traditional blues music, but certainly attached to the 'roots' category, Urban Chiefs gave it all they had Friday night at the Agnes Blues and Roots Festival.

The two-piece Tamworth roots-rock band, Blake Saban and Glendon Finlay, stepped on stage, encouraging the crowd to get on their feet, but initially to no avail as people sat in their seats simply curious.

This didn't stop the guys from ripping it up with slide guitar, insane percussive grooves, immense energy and belted vocals.

The talent was clear and as the lead singer commenced with his guitar positioned on his lap there were unique elements to the set.

The crowd seemed to enjoy and after some time a few enthusiasts gathered on the dance floor.

While audience numbers were not at full capacity, a good number were attracted and the guys did their best to interact with the crowd. The guys are heading to the Adelaide Fringe Festival for their next adventure.

The Urban Chiefs recorded their third studio album at Damien Gerard Studios Balmain at the end of 2013.

Shaun Kirk

THE best was saved until last on Sunday afternoon. Shaun Kirk blew the crowd away with his unbelievable ability to do so many things at once with two arms and two legs.

Kirk belted out some big notes in the falsetto range, abruptly changing to some soft, quiet tones to create a wonderful contrast.

He played the harmonica, worked two stomp boxes, played the acoustic guitar and sang at the same time, making it hard to keep your eyes off him.

He put 100% into every song, a fantastic act to end what was a fantastic festival.

Kirk made the performance personal by telling parts of his rise to success from working in a music store every day to jumping in his car and starting a career.

Kirk's Two Hands On The Wheel and Find Me A Lady were well received by the audience, getting the women and men to repeat after him in unison.

Kirk was a stand-out.

Topics:  agnes water agnes water blues and roots festival band blues and roots music

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