Past performances

April 2024

This month we were lucky to have floor spots by two renowned international performers. British singer Linn Phipps sang several songs from her extensive repertoire of traditional songs and French-Czech guitarist Jan Vanek wowed the audience with his virtuoso guitar work.

Jan made an impact and left some of the audience wanting more. Since that Friday night he’s performed at the Canberra venue Smiths Alternative, QIRKZ on the Hunter, Sydney’s Marble Bar as well as us. If you wish to catch Jan Vanek then this Saturday night, 27th April, he will perform with the amazing Victor Valdés at Camelot Lounge (Marrickville). Worth a look for the experience as well as the music.

The feature artists were Cap in Hand who were again a big hit with the audience in good voice, with a bunch of our seafaring brethren joining in impromptu for 3 or 4 numbers. Seafarers enjoy a good sing-a-long.

More to come as news trickles in. Please have another look in a few days as this page will be again updated with photos and more reporting!

March 2024

Floor spots were taken by Craig Renneberg who performed a virtuoso, jazz tinged double base piece, Norma Odenthal with her beautiful voice and finally, self-penned poems by Ian Fretwell.

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Burger & Keane

Terrific original songs with thoughtful, provocative lyrics and beautiful guitar work by Alex and Chris.

Phil Bates

Phil sings in a warm mellifluous, vernacular voice that is beautifully tuned to deliver authentic Australian songs. 

February 2024

Before Peter Campbell played, we heard floor spots from Ralph Graham and Rory Faithfield (who introduced some of us to Nanci Griffith and sang Back home in Derry). Ralph played some self penned songs (and we shall hear more from him in May).

Peter Campbell

Peter Campbell previously performed at HKFC 20 years ago! After a career in graphic design he has now returned to his first love, music after his performance at the Bundanoon Folk festival of 2023. 

His self-penned songs, sweet, powerful voice, and towering stage presence made for an exceptional night. With his penchant for social commentary and keen eye for the cynicism of politics, he shone a light on our current state of social discourse. 

Yet he also sang about the beauty in the world with his song Brindabella Blue, tinged with sadness as it was when segueing into the topic of the bushfires in that part of NSW and the supportive community in the southern highlands. 

Peter spoke about recording his first album (Across the Border) with Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary in the mid 70’s. 

A highlight was a beautiful rendition of Leonard Cohen’s song Anthem with the powerful line “there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in”. 

Beautiful messages in his songs of optimism and the “tending of the garden”.

January 2024

Fred Smith

Mike Williamson played a floor spot with a couple of early Dylan cuts as well as a traditional Irish tune (She Moved Through the Fair). He was supported with occasional unrehearsed harmonica by feature artist Fred Smith.

Alex Burger and Chris Keane also performed a couple of songs, giving us a taste of what they’ll bring as one of the March feature artists.

Then we heard from Fred Smith who brought a guitar case full new songs of irony, humour and self deprecation from his new album, Look. With stories of relationships, travels, and Helen Garner’s, “heart work”, Fred revealed our day to day lives to ourselves.

But amongst all that he revisited some older stories of war and its heartbreaking effects on soldiers. 

As always, Fred brought video to his performance to punctuate his songs. We’re so pleased to host Fred as he tries to “build a future for himself”. 

December 2023

Traditional Graffiti

What a refreshing change to see that HKFC was fully booked this night. With a packed agenda, we started by presenting a lifetime membership award to Barry Parkes and Pam Farley for nearly four decades of service in maintaining the club as a regular venue for live acoustic music.

We heard terrific floor spots from Norma, Ralph Graham and Alex Burger (accompanied by Chris Keane) who are all exceptional talents in their own right. All songs (bar Albatross performed by Alex and Chris) were either original or with modified lyrics and were filled with meaning and reflection. I feel sure we will hear more from them in the coming years.

Traditional Graffiti.

Traditional Graffiti use modern skills to encourage audience participation

November 2023

Wayne Gillespie supported by Rob Grosser

Wayne Gillespie (guitar and vocals) and Rob Grosser (percussion) performed a formidable set of songs from a broad range of genres and many drawn from his recent album Frazz which is a terrific listen! Some of the stories were real eye openers, such as while busking in Paris and singing Leonard Cohen’s song That’s No Way to Say Goodbye, he noticed a listener in a fedora step forward and leave a very substantial payment. Yes, it was the song’s writer himself. Learn more about Wayne at his website, Famous Blue Raincoat.

We also heard floor spots from the Sydney Scottish Fiddlers and from Mike Williamson who sang the traditional song, She Moved Through the Fair.

Wayne Gillespie and Rob Grosser
Floor Spot by Sydney Scottish Fiddlers

October 2023

J Shaw

Our feature act this month was the talented CJ Shaw who brought us amusing, insightful lyrics and storytelling… all the elements that make folk music so compelling. CJ proved to be a talented performer and storyteller and captivated the audience with songs and poetry featuring personal and public events drawn from his experiences.

CJ Shaw at HKFC

We also heard floor spots from the also talented Ian Fretwell & Mick Scott, Alex Burger, Chris Keane and an unexpected performance from CJ’s surprised brother, Jonathan Shaw.

September 2023

Pat Craigie and Maurie Mulheron

Featured artists Pat Craigie and Maurie Mulheron followed a floor spot taken by Kara & Viktorija who performed instrumental pieces.

Kara & Viktorija performing music of music of Italian and Klezmer origin.
After the break we had another floor spot by Margaret Walters singing Turn Around by Brenda Liddyard, an anti-AUKUS protest song; performed a cappella.
Pat Craigie and Maurie Mulheron sang many original songs as well as an exploration of Dylan’s 3rd album The Times They Are a-Changin’. They ended with the the title song, adding a new verse: (the world still needs changing).

August 2023

Rachel Collis

Feature artist Rachel Collis followed an extended floor spot by Coolfin Mac

It was pleasing to have such a good turn-out and enthusiastic audience this month, with numbers back to pre-Covid levels again!

The evening began with an extended floor-spot from Coolfinn Mac. The trio features Pam Merrigan – guitar/whistles/vocals, James Palethorpe – fiddle and Chris Merrigan – guitar and acoustic bass guitar.

With the band front and centre and in full acoustic mode, we were treated to an engaging mix of traditional and contemporary songs and tunes. Highlights included Dougie MacLean’s modern folk ballad “Caledonia” and Anna McGariggle’s oft covered “Heart like a Wheel”.

There were traditional tunes aplenty too – and it was good to see that Pam still finds time to perform herself, given the extent of her involvement in nurturing folk music behind the scenes.

Rachel Collis singing

July 2023

Rare Treats at HKFC

More coming soon!