Peel Street Tamworth
Brian's Hot Picks for Tamworth 2018

  • The Gina Timms Ladies of Country Show happens at Wests on the very first Friday, 19th at 8pm, free in the Legends bar. Get started with this. Guests include Sandra Humphries and Marie Hodson. Then on Saturday 20th it's Gina's Birthday Bash at 8pm. Further shows, later in the week at Wests and Diggers.

  • That Redhead is a blues/rockabilly band from Sydney. Certainly in the top three. Infectious enthusiasm and ideally suited to the Front Bar at The Albert. Wonderful medium speed blues to remind the fans of Johnny Green's Blues Cowboys. Three gigs at The Albert, or be at The Pub, 7pm on Sunday 21st. Also at the Longyard on Sunday 28th. Recommended.

  • Travis List plays at Legends, every night from Friday 19th to Sat 27th at 11:15 pm. Also 4 gigs at the South Tamworth Bowlo; Tuesday at 7pm is a thought. Wonderful American honky-tonk stuff, I can take hour after hour of this.

  • The Spindrifters. Back again this year but Sydney-siders have been lapping up this band at The Basement for two years. The Spindrifters have only one show at the Capitol Theatre, Thursday 25th at 2:30pm. So spoil yourself with a ticket to a 9-piece western swing outfit. Recommended.

  • The Cruisin' Deuces. With a sound midway between rockabilly and honky-tonk this Sydney band knows what to do and has a big inner city following. Four appearances, including the Southgate Inn at 5:30 on Friday 26th. Recommended.

  • Bill Chambers Sessions. Good band with guests, special guests and special special guests. Bill is a master at the simple concept of "less is more". At The Pub, Monday to Friday at noon.

  • Honky Tonk Music at the Family Hotel. Honky Tonk Heroes concert on Sat 20th at 6pm. Bryen Willems is free at 7pm on Sunday 21st. Wanita at 2:30pm on Friday 26th.

  • Bryen and the Bayou Boogie Boys. A traditional Texas / Louisiana sound with a stack of classic songs. Tuesday 23rd at 8pm at the Cattlemans Steakhouse or the Family Hotel Sunday 21st at 7pm or The Pub at 8pm on Sat 27th.

  • Stuie's Pickers Night. This is the best guitar pickers night of the whole festival, but you need to get there early to get a seat. It's Tuesday 23th at 9pm at The Pub. Stuie is also at the South Tamworth Bowlo at 4pm on Sunday 21st and it's Stuie and Camille at the North Tamworth Bowlo on Monday 22nd at 2pm.

  • Bluegrass Music. There is quite a lot about but it's scattered. Firstly, Peter Denahy is known for his comedy songs, but he's also a competent picker and worth a look. Next Kristy Cox is in town with three appearances in shows at the Capitol Theatre. Andrew Clermont's Supper Club at the North Tamworth Bowlo has a fiddle night at 9pm Sat 20th, a ukulele and mandolin night at 9pm on Sun 21st, banjo on the Monday at 9pm, plus a bluegrass champions show at 6pm on Saturday 27th. There is a bluegrass concert at the Capitol Theatre, 10am Friday 26th and it includes the only Tamworth appearance by Karen Lynne. Tamworth Town Hall has the annual Bluegrass Competition, 12:30pm on Wed 24th. The Davidson Brothers bluegrass show is at The Pub 9pm Thursday 25th. And of course, Stuie's Pickers night (see above) sure has a lot of pickin' too.

  • Marie Hodson. Terrific, she does American style honky-tonk and Patsy Cline songs. Try the Oasis Hotel-Motel on Saturday 20th, 7-11pm with the Texas Troubadours. Marie appears in two shows at the Capitol Theatre and more listings in the programme.

  • Leslie Avril. This is her 28th Tamworth and "upstairs at the Tudor" is what it's all about. Gutsy and intimate. You can't go past song lyrics like "I want a cowboy in my bed" and "There's a guy works down the chipshop swears he's Elvis." Two shows at the South Tamworth Bowlo 1pm Wed 24th and 7pm Sat 27th plus two shows at the Tudor Thur and Fri at 6pm plus two appearances at the North Tamworth Bowlo. And don't forget the Cavalcade.

  • Christian Power and Lonesome Train. The boys are back this year, with six shows at The Albert. Monday to Saturday, either at 4pm or at 7:30pm. Rockabilly leaning towards country.

  • Allan Tomkins Honky Tonk Old-style country music with pedal steel guitar and a wonderful clean sound without that fuzzy rock-n-roll guitar playing. Seven gigs at Legends and three at Diggers. Grab the Wests programme for the exact times, but I would suggest 2-5pm Sunday 21st at Legends and Tuesday 4-7pm at Diggers Courtyard.

  • Tomkins Guitar Showcase. A top gig in every way and good fun. Presented by Allan Tomkins. It's in Legends at Wests, Thursday 25th at 8pm.

  • Doug Bruce and the Tailgaters. Up from Victoria, and a pleasure to listen to. Pedal Steel. All shows are at either Wests or Diggers. It's nine shows in ten days, but the times vary.

  • Wanita and Her Honky Tonk Bar Dwellers. This is full-on honky-tonk stuff, and Wanita is an undisputed name not to be trifled with. Wednesday 24th at 6pm at the Cattlemans, Fri 26th at The Family at 2:30 and Sat 27th 11pm in Blazes at Wests.

  • Western Swing. This is quite a narrow field of American country music, mainly from Texas, but it's where you will see top-notch musicianship. Many of the songs played are standards, such as 'Roly Poly' and 'My Window Faces the South'. The Feral Swing Cats have one concert only, 2pm on Tuesday 23rd at the North Tamworth Bowlo. One concert only from The Spindrifters at the Capitol Theatre on Thur 25th at 2:30.

  • Breakfasts. There are several to choose from, plus some bush poetry and comedy. See the daily programme for details and have your Aussie breakfast cheaply. Every day, Peter Denahy at Legends at 8am and Darren Carr at Diggers at 8:30 are both tops. There are Bush Poets at the Longyard at 8am. The Bush Balladeers Homestead has a concert Monday to Friday at 8am with the Salvo's canteen serving breakfast. The Services Club has the usual Writers in the Round at 9am from Sat 20th - a good spot for a coffee and cake.

  • Graham Rodger and his wife Deidre at the Community Centre. A nice bloke and a top songwriter with a great turn of phrase. Nashville enthusiasts should stay right away, as this is Aussie music, with patriotic Aussie themes. Three concerts, all at the Community Centre. Greenies and lefties won't enjoy this because it's too genuine. Monday at 10am, Tuesday at 10am and 7pm.

  • Paying Shows. Many big-name Aussie artists do appear in Tamworth but often there is just one paying show, so be quick. There are three large concerts at TREC (Lee Kernaghan, Troy Cassar-Daly and The McClymonts) and many more especially at Blazes (think Adam Harvey and Becky Cole) and at the Town Hall (think Sara Storer, Melinda Schneider, Graeme Connors).

  • Tribute Shows. In recent years "tribute" shows have blossomed where the songs of one artist (usually American) or perhaps a style of music (usually American) are presented. Think Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette, Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash. Many of the paid shows at Diggers Showroom, at Blazes and at the Services Club and the Capitol Theatre are tribute shows so check the programme for details.

  • More. I have run out of time, but a few others are Sandra Humphries at the South Tamworth Bowlo, Shelley Minson, Melissa Bajric, The Cartwheels at The Southgate Inn, and last but not least Mic Conway in the front bar at The Albert.

This page was last updated on Tuesday, 16th January 2018.

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