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Nymagee Outback Music Festival 2009

31st October 2009
with Coral, Andrew Hull, the FUGS, Tonchi McIntosh, The Lonely Horse Band, Liz Stringer, Leah Flanagan, Gibbo, The Junes, Neil Murray, Jackie Marshall, Den Hanrahan, The Re-mains, The Australian Beefweek Show
Special guest appearances by Jimmy Dangles & Continental Robert

"I would say that I left a piece of myself in Nymagee and not just the skin off one of my shins..."

Nymagee is one of those festivals I had heard about, but was never in a position to get to, or so I thought when I was offered a lift up the week before it.

I sort of had an idea of which way to go, but searching for directions on Friday morning said to go via the Newell through Narrandera, West Wyalong and Condobolin. I was a bit iffy with the directions and as it turned out the last 100kms were unsealed road that had been closed due to flooding just 12 hours before. At least we got to see the kangaroos, wild goats and burnt-out cars up trees. Arriving 11 hours later I was cocooned in the car as we seemed to buy more stuff at each town. I did bring a six-man tent and turned out to be the only person sleeping in it.

Our welcoming committee was a dog who knew we had to have dinner some time and eventually was rewarded with a sausage after about half an hour. After some drinks we capped off the day sitting around with campfire with Liz Stringer and some other early arrivals.

Bacon and egg roll for breakfast cooked by the directors with Kate and Matt Earl working the coffee machine. I had Splashe Cola on ice instead.

As it turned out some of the performers didn't turn up due to illness or other reasons, the program was a changed around as a result.

Coral was a nice, gentle start to the day and worth arriving early for. I didn't take as many photos during the heat of the day as I had to go sit down due to it being so hot.

House band for the day were the FUGS with Leigh Ivin and did very well to learn the songs of six different bands for the day.

Hully went well and it was good to finally see him as I had heard his spoken word on the Lonely Horse album I have at home many times.

In between bands I went and had a look at the flower show, which was great. I never thought you could grow all those flowers out here.

I have seen Tonchi perform in Melbourne before, but it was great to finally see him on his home turf. The song his boys played at the start was cute too.

Having seen Liz Stringer recently I was good to see her again and Leah Flanagan sung backing vocals on some songs.

I never thought I would get to see the Lonely Horse Band due to them only playing in one-horse towns, so it was great to see them. I even bought their CD about Nymagee.

Thanks to the NSW Outback Division of General Practice people who gave out fruit and watermelon as it was too hot during the day to eat much.

People and bands kept arriving during the day, but my favourite was when the Junes arrived as they had not expected me to be able to make it and I had told them as much. I do admit I wanted to surprise them as I thought it would be nice. Cheers to Acey and Lachy also.

I hadn't seen Leah Flanagan since February so it was great to see her again. Liz Stringer joined her for backing vocals to repay the favour.

Gibbo went well and led to a trend of renaming everyone with an "o" at the end of the day, also "-sey".

Yes it is favouritism, the Junes were my favourite band all day. It was also great to see Gleny play with the other bands and swing around the pole to get off the stage.

Jimmy Dangles was also a highlight and left mud all over the stage, crowd and whatever else he touched. He really went into it and was bleeding by the end of it - ouch!

I had heard of Neil Murray before, but had never had the chance to see him. I thought he went well and he even had Liz Stringer and Leah Flanagan sing with him on some songs.

Jackie Marshall was a real surprise on the day, not only was she crowned by the inaugural "Peppercorn Queen" by the director, she also sounded great and reminded me of Kerri Simpson and Suzannah Espie for some reason.

Den Hanrahan had his own backing band and did some really good songs, unfortunately my friend went to bed halfway through his set as they were tired. I will try and chase up his CD later on and go see him next time he comes to Melbourne.

The Re-mains usually finish the night I have heard, but gave up their spot for their friends in the Australian Beefweek Show. They had lots of people dancing and played some songs I hadn't heard before. Special guests for this performance only included Leigh Ivin and Gleny Rae.

Finishing off the night were the Australian Beefweek Show, a band that I had wanted to see for a few years now. Due to it being so late things were getting messy by the end and at 1.30am the lights and vocals went off on stage during their encore as they wouldn't have stopped otherwise.

Unfortunately I had to leave early the next morning and couldn't whoop-up like those people letting of fireworks and singing around the campfire for all hours.

It would have been nice to stay for longer on Sunday, but one of my friends had to work on Monday so we had to leave. Good run home via the Kidman Way, only took nine hours to Melbourne.

It was a great festival and brings the number of different festivals I have attended to two instead of just the one. What I liked about it is that the audience is mostly the bands themselves, close friends and relatives, locals and other people from the area. Hopefully I can make it back next year.


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