Live Music in Canberra in Times of COVID (Part 1)

February to November 2020, Canberra, ACT

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I covered Thredbo Blues Festival in January 2020 and took some photographs at Goulburn Blues Festival in February. Then COVID hit and we went into lockdown.

Usually I cover Blues Festivals but not so much local bands because my processing methods are very time-intensive and three hours photographing may lead to three to five days on the computer, processing.  During the last year I had more time on my hands and no festivals for me for 2021, so I covered more local bands.  There will be two posts, this one and the next.

Altogether, since lockdown started last March, I have photographed eighteen events, 36 groups (including solo performers) and 153 people, though seven groups and 48 people are duplicated in different performances.  All performances are in Canberra but some of the musicians are from Sydney or Melbourne.

My selection may be somewhat arbitrary and I’m not trying to cover everyone but I have avoided putting anyone in twice.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife
This is the Sisters and Brothers Community Choir playing upstairs at Beyond Q on the 29th February, just before we went into lockdown. Beyond Q was a wonderful second hand bookshop and a great music venue. They had had to change addresses due to a lease issue and just got organised at the new location. Sadly, they closed down due to COVID 19. From left to right there is Juanita Cucinotta, Juliet Reeve, Chris Cavanagh, Michelle Mannion, Julie Manley (my partner), Simon Daly, Don Dennes and Mary Bryden.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

It is now 7 June. We have been in lockdown for three months. This is the first gig I saw a notification for and must have been close to the first after lockdown. We are outside a small group of shops at Belconnen markets and in the open air because lockdown is just being slowly relaxed. Some of the shops appear to have been abandoned including the one in the background. This is DJ Gosper and Jeff Prime.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife
It’s now a month later, 5th July, and indoor gigs are now allowed, albeit with limitations on seating and distancing. We are at the Artists’ Shed in Fyshwick. It may look as though we are way out in the country but that is just a backdrop. Dan Fernandes is playing solo as support.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife
A couple of hours later, this is Bernie Keenan playing drums for Johnnie Reynolds Band.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel

10th July and further liberalisation has allowed Shane Pacey to come down from Sydney and play solo at the Keller Bar in the Harmonie German Club. Shane usually plays with the Bondi Cigars or the Shane Pacey Trio.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel .

31st July and this is Frank Sultana (based in Kiama) playing in the Keller Bar at the Harmonie German Club. He has Grant DW Barnes (not shown) supporting him on harmonica on some tracks.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife
8 August and this is Ana Key and the Underdogs playing at the Artists’ Shed in Fyshwick.  You can see the background in context here.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife
Ole Nielsen.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife
Ana Key.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

5th September and this is Milena Cifali launching her book Mallacoota Time at East Hotel, Kingston.  The event included book recitals, poetry recitals and musical performances.  While Milena and Jim were away in Queensland they were burnt out of their Mallacoota house in the huge fires of January 2020 and lost all their possessions and most of their birds.  Here, I am also in the photo, using a cable release to trigger the camera and fisheye lens.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

This is at a second book launch the next day at the Artists’ Shed in Fyshwick.  This is Peter Swain.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Jim Horvath, Milena’s husband.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

2nd October and this is 19 Twenty at the Abbey.  John Gwilliam is on double bass.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Syd Green.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Kane Dennelly.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

19 Twenty.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife
9th October and this is Paul Callan with Johnny Reynolds Band at the Austrian Club.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife
Johnny Reynolds Band.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife
15th October at the Basement, Belconnen.  Chris Harland Blues Band (setting up).  Restrictions were in place including that you need to stick to your seat, not visit other tables and no dancing on the dance floor.  Most of those restrictions are still in place but now you can mingle.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife
Paul Leeder.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife
Rick Milliband.

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Moondog was up next, playing solo.

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Owen Campbell was the final act for the night.

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It was a three-piece band, including Matt Nightingale on bass.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife
27th November, this is Llara Weaver, part of Stella’s Way, at the Basement Belconnen.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Stella’s Way.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Next up was Ana Key and the Underdogs,  This is Stephen Deakin.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Keith Joliffe.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel

Last band for the night was Carnival Road.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Not set up, this was just at the side of the stage.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

3rd December. Julian James, Keller Bar, Harmonie German Club.

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6 comments on “Live Music in Canberra in Times of COVID (Part 1)

  1. leggypeggy says:

    Great to have a record of these events.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] this wonderful collection of photos of live music in Canberra in 2020 – compiled by Murray […]

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  3. […] of the wonderful collection of photos of live music in Canberra in times of COVID – compiled by Murray […]

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  4. […] Live Music in Canberra in Times of COVID (Part 1) […]

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