Peel Street Tamworth
Brian's Hot Picks for Tamworth 2019

  • The Gina Timms Ladies of Country Show happens at Wests on the very first Friday, 18th at 8pm, free in the Legends bar. Get started with this. Guests include Kiara Rodrigues, Sandra Humphries and many more. Then on Saturday 19th it's Gina's Birthday Bash at 8pm. Further shows, later in the week at Wests and Diggers.

  • British Country Music thrives in the UK and this year a group of performers are visiting Tamworth. There is a Best of British concert at the Town Hall, 7:30pm on Sat 17th and guest performances around town, especially at the North Tamworth Bowlo Supper Club.

  • The Spin Drifters. Back again this year but Sydney-siders have been lapping up this band for three years. The Spin Drifters have only one show at the Capitol Theatre, Thursday 24th at 2:30pm. So spoil yourself with a ticket to an 11-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. Several appearances, including the Southgate Inn at 5:30 on Friday 26th. Recommended.

  • The Cartwheels. Catch this classy outfit at the South Tamworth Bowling Club. Three gigs but I suggest Sat 19th at 6:30pm. Recommended.

  • The Western Distributors. A wonderful band presenting their own songs plus beaut country classics. Several gigs including Legends at Wests at 8pm on Sunday 20th and Diggers 7:30pm on Tuesday 22nd. Big in Sydney, recommended.

  • 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 22nd at 9pm at The Pub. Stuie is also in a Johnny Cash tribute show on Fri 25th at 7pm at Diggers and it's Stuie and Camille at the North Tamworth Bowlo on Monday 21st 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 19th, a ukulele and mandolin night at 9pm on Sun 20th, banjo on the Monday at 9pm, plus a bluegrass champions show at 6pm on Saturday 26th. There is a fiddle show at the Capitol Theatre, 10am Wednesday 23rd and a bluegrass concert at 10am on Friday 25th. Tamworth Town Hall has the annual Bluegrass Competition, 12:30pm on Wed 23rd. And of course, Stuie's Pickers night (see above) sure has a lot of pickin' too.

  • Honky Tonk Music. The South Tamworth Bowling Club, with entertainment organised by the legendary Alby Pool, is a good starting point. Legends has heaps of great music with a dance floor, with three gigs by the Allan Tomkins band (see below) and Travis List every night at 11:15 pm. At The Family Hotel it's a Honky Tonk Heroes concert on Sat 19th at 3 pm plus Liam Brew and the Moonshine Boys, five nights of music at 10:30 pm.

  • Mic Conway in the front bar at The Albert with Robbie Long. Truly wonderful old-style vaudeville with heaps of silly jokes and possibly a spot of fire-eating. Daily at 12:30 from Fri 18th till Wed 23rd, recommended.

  • Murphy's Pigs is a 10 piece Celtic-rock band. Seven shows at Joe Maguires Pub or try the Town Hall concert, 9:30 am on Friday 25th.

  • Andrew Clermont's Supper Club. The focus at the North Tamworth Bowlo is on musicianship not razz-a-ma-tazz. The audience recognise this and they don't chatter on about where they parked their car or how spicy their spag bol was. Concerts at 6pm and 9pm daily.

  • Nundle - a day trip. For a pleasant day in Nundle, the bus leaves from Brisbane Street at 9:15am and returns by 4:30pm. For example, go out to see The Western Distributors on Tuesday 22nd or the Cartwheels on Friday 25th. Lunch at the Peel Inn.

  • Travis List plays at Legends, every night from Friday 18th to Sun 27th at 11:15 pm. Also three appearances at the Capitol Theatre. Wonderful American honky-tonk stuff, I can take hour after hour of this.

  • Marie Hodson. Terrific, she does American style honky-tonk and Patsy Cline songs. Marie appears in four shows at the Capitol Theatre and more listings in the programme.

  • Leslie Avril. This is her 29th Tamworth Gutsy, and so much fun. Once again it's time for our annual dose of "There's a guy works down the chipshop swears he's Elvis". Three shows at the South Tamworth Bowlo starting with 12:30pm Sunday plus four appearances at the North Tamworth Bowlo. And don't forget the Cavalcade.

  • The Allan Tomkins Band Old-style country music with Bryen Willems on vocals, plus pedal steel guitar and a wonderful clean sound without that fuzzy rock-n-roll guitar playing. Four gigs at Legends. Wednesday 23rd at 5pm, Friday 25th at 5pm, Sat 26th at 8pm and Sunday 27th at 2pm.

  • Tomkins Guitar Showcase. A top gig in every way and good fun. Presented by Allan Tomkins. It's in Legends at Wests, Thursday 24th at 8pm.

  • Tex Dubbo is a weirdly captivating showcase of ancient American country music, starting with Merle Haggard in the 1960s then travelling back through the mists of time to Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys. Longyard Hotel, Sunday 27th 1pm.

  • 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 22nd at the North Tamworth Bowlo. One concert only from The Spindrifters at the Capitol Theatre on Thur 24th at 2:30pm.

  • 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 presents bluegrass and comedy while Darren Carr and The Cowpats are at Diggers from 8:30. Both are tops. There are Bush Poets at the Longyard at 8am. The Bush Balladeers Homestead has a concert Monday to Friday at 8am with the 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.

  • Bill Chambers Sessions. Good musicians with good 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 2pm.

  • 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. Four concerts, all at the Community Centre. Greenies and lefties won't enjoy this because it's too genuine. Both Monday and Tuesday at 10am and 7pm. Also at the DAG sheep station on Thursday.

  • Christian Power and Lonesome Train. Five shows at The Albert and four at the Courthouse. Rockabilly leaning towards country. earsplittingly loud, so take your ear plugs.

  • 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, John Williamson, 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 are tribute shows, so check the programme for details about Diggers Showroom, Blazes, the Songhouse at the Services Club and the Capitol Theatre.

  • Cash Only. This Sydney band plays nothing but Johnny Cash songs, or songs about Johnny Cash. Mark and Wendy deliver on the vocals and the band has practised that Johnny Cash sound to perfection. Five shows around town, try for 2pm Tuesday at the Services Club, or two appearances at Shopping World.

  • More. I have run out of time, but a few others are Shelley Minson, Melissa Bajric, and the Colt Seavers Band (interesting but earsplitting).

This page was last updated on Sunday, 13th January 2019.

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