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Fig Night 29 July 2016

Vincent Cross
Lisa Schouw trio
Feral Swing Katz
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With roots in Ireland, Australia, and now based out of New York, traditional singer-songwriter Vincent Cross exemplifies the folk song tradition by drawing inspiration from old and modern sources. He has performed for and shared the stage with a diverse range of artists including Oscar-winning songwriter Glen Hansard, Damien Rice, Michael Daves, Chris Thile, master blues-picker Roy Book Binder, alt-country songwriter Richard Buckner, and the folk legend Odetta.

Cross has toured in Europe and Australia, performing at TelemarkFestivalen (Norway), The Hebridean Celtic Festival (Scotland), and The Maverick Americana Festival (UK). Stateside, Cross has performed at The Long Island Bluegrass Festival, The Dripping Springs Songwriter Festival, and The South Florida Folk Festival, with upcoming shows in New York City at the American Folk Art Museum and the Irish Arts Center SongLives series.

Career highlights: South Florida Folk Festival, Dripping Springs Songwriter Festival, TelemarkFestivalen in Norway, Hebredian Celtic Festival in Scotland, International Folk Alliance in Kansas City, North Eastern Regional Folk Alliance in New York. #8 Radio Free Americana Charts.

Cross's songs first began to receive interest through their inclusion in Jon Richards’s lauded Irish releases: Inundations and Undercurrents. Cross was included along with an impressive line up of established songwriters such as Hothouse Flowers, The Devlins, The Frames, Gemma Hayes, Eleanor McEvoy, Cara Dillon, Mary Black & Damian Rice.

On his arrival in the USA in 2006 Cross released a full length traditional bluegrass album entitled Home Away from Home which brought his singing and songwriting to the attention of the IBMA. Bluegrass Unlimited saw it as "a highly successful endeavor". Americana UK declared it a "solid bluegrass debut,” while the folks in Nashville's NPR station were impressed with the "originality and authority".

A chance encounter with the folk legend Odetta in the East Village led to an invitation to perform at her historic tribute hosted by Wavy Gravy in Banjo Jim's. On hearing Cross sing in the East Village, Odetta spoke glowingly "I heard a crystal clear voice that took me back to when I was being introduced to mountain music groups and families of Appalachia.

It was a pleasure to hear such beauty coming out of Vincent Cross." Cross has been seen as new type of songwriter that "...sets his material in trad arrangements and to trad-like melodies even as his lyrics express an observant modern sensibility.” – fRoots Magazine (UK).


“…in a voice like dark chocolate Schouw wrapped vulnerability around a core of steel.” SMH
"…the highly expressive range and style is not easy to carry off, but Schouw slips into the role effortlessly, adding dramatic interpretations of her own." The Adelaide Advertiser

" Thankyou so much for such a magical performance last night. I was transported to a wonderful place! Lisa, sometimes I looked at you and wondered where the hell that voice was coming from. There was a quality to it that was sublime and Peter, you are just a wonderful performer….touching the chords of the heart at the same time as the black and white keys." Ella James 2UE LIFE, LIVE IT UP! TV Presenter

After TWO SOLD OUT shows at Django Bar late last year, long-time collaborators Lisa Schouw, Peter Bailey and Robin Gist return to Sydney to share their eclectic mix of original songs by Gist/Bailey/Schouw and some of the 20th Century’s finest songwriters – Joni Mitchell to The Tea Party, Melody Gardot to Bob Dylan.

Twice ARIA nominated Lisa Schouw was a rock singer: the voice of Australian band Girl Overboard. In recent years she has turned her attention to creating shows for stage and television, working as a singer, dancer, writer, researcher and teacher (Actors Centre Australia, NIDA). Her one-woman shows include a tribute to the legendary Nina Simone, The Other Woman that premiered at Kabaret Voltaire and played two sold out seasons at the Sydney Opera House Studio. This show was invited to be part of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, and returned to Sydney for a season at the Statement Lounge Bar. Schouw also co-devised and wrote Singing Over the Bones her show on the perils and pleasures of motherhood; at Belvoir Downstairs Theatre BSharp Season and again at the Stables Theatre.

Between them Schouw, Bailey and Gist have more than 150 years of life experience which makes for a night of exquisite melody, mischief, musing, and occasional memory loss! Multi-instrumentalist Peter and guitarist/record producer Robin have worked with some of Australia’s finest musicians like Paul Capsis, Renee Geyer, John Williamson, and Café of the Gates of Salvation.


Musicians and friends Stuart French and Michel Rose built more than just the core of a unique band when they combined their talents in 1996. Stuart’s hot guitar blended perfectly with Michel’s harmony licks on pedal steel in a partnership meant to be – forming the signature sound of The Feral Swing Katz. Their music is a blend of 40’s Swing, Classic Country with a touch of Jazz otherwise known as “Western Swing”.

The Feral Swing Katz have made an impact on the Australian music market, earning a coveted MO award in 2001 for Best Country Band; in 2002 they added a Golden Guitar to their trophy shelf; then in 2006 the Ferals won the ACE award for Country Group of the Year.

They have three albums released over the last 10 years. All five musicians in the band are the best in their field and when not performing live, they make their living as Studio Musicians.

Acclaimed Nashville songwriter to the stars, Jim Lauderdale, caught one of their performances in Nashville in 2002 and said: “it’s refreshing to hear country played in the manner it was intended.”

While America would easily have welcomed this band with open arms, they returned triumphantly to Australia, earning rich praise from all and sundry. 2RRR Sydney DJ Ken Date, a firm Ferals devotee, said: “from the Murrumbidgee to the Mississippi, no cat swings like the Ferals!”

Add the velvet vocals of New Zealand-born Camille Te Nahu to the Feral Swing Katz lineup, and you are in for one seriously enjoyable concert. Sit back and just wait for your feet to start tapping. They will take on a life of their own. Happens all the time. It’s a Feral thing.