8 February 2023

Danny Walsh Banned, Ironbark String Band to ignite free concert in Leeton

| Oliver Jacques
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Ironbark String Band

Local act Ironbark String Band are set to play at the Mountford Park event. Photo: Supplied.

Leeton Shire Council are reigniting the town’s live music scene with a free concert at Mountford Park on Saturday 11 February.

The family-friendly event, presented by Western Riverina Arts and funded via a NSW Government grant, brings together a number of prominent young music acts from the bush.

“I suggested the name ‘Ignite’ because we want to inspire people,” event producer Greg Pritchard said.

In a big coup for organisers, Mr Pritchard was able to secure popular Melbourne rock outfit Danny Walsh Banned as the headline act.

“Danny Walsh is one of the acts I organise. I saw him perform at the Nati Frinj Biennale [a music festival in Victoria]. The audience really got into him, so I thought I’d put him up for the Leeton event,” he said.

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Danny Walsh Banned have been performing in Melbourne’s bars and pubs for more than a decade. In 2020, they released their third album, In the Wimmera, which captures the Wimmera’s awe-inspiring landscapes, interwoven with Danny’s recollections of his upbringing. It was included in Rhythms Magazine’s top 10 albums of the year, following extensive airplay and four-star reviews.

“Walsh’s lyrics depict each landscape and emotional swirl with the caress of a bona fide bush poet … Country-folk, some retro rock’n’roll and Hill Country-style blues take the listener on a journey – looking back and yearning ahead,” Forte magazine said.

Riverina-based groups Gone Fishin’ and Social Afterparty will also be performing.

“Gone Fishin’ is like a young Blondie [a popular American rock band in the late 1970s]. They have a female singer who sounds a lot like Debbie Harry,” Mr Pritchard said.

The group released their debut EP entitled Flyin’ Blind in April 2019, to much critical acclaim.

Wagga band Gone Fishin' standing in a field

Wagga-based Gone Fishin’ are part of the lineup. Photo: Supplied.

Ironbark String Band – a lively local act who love to play folk music from Ireland, Australia and the Americas – are also part of the lineup.

Aanya Whitehead, of Western Riverina Arts, said the concert could spark the next generation of talent.

“There’s a direct relationship between an artist and their audience. Young people who see this may be inspired to become artists themselves.

“We’d like to make it a really lovely event. This was done coming out of COVID. Artists were the most affected by the pandemic, this a great chance to support them. It’s a chance to reconnect to what we have here.”

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Ms Whitehead said while this was a one-off event, a big crowd on Saturday would increase the chances of Leeton Shire Council staging similar concerts in the future.

“Being free, it’s a family-friendly event. It’s quite shady in the park. There’ll be food vans too. There’ll be something for everyone,” Mr Pritchard said.

The Ignite concern will kick off at 2 pm on Saturday. You can reserve your spot for no charge on the Eventbrite website.

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