House Concert No. 11
17 March 2013
first house concert of the year, we were surprised and delighted to have our
international artist at the Duckpond on 17 March. It was hard to believe that Jonni's email to
the legend of British folk music, Vin Garbutt, asking if he'd consider a house concert here,
would receive an almost immediate positive response. But it did, and Vin was able
to fit us in at the end of a very busy tour.
Vin and his wife Pat were on the same wave length as us in many ways. Vin was almost
as passionate about his cups of tea as I am, and I was pleased to introduce him to
Russian Caravan. While in Australia Vin had developed a taste for our red wines, and was
happy to sample a drop from Jonni's modest cellar (it's actually a cupboard in the laundry,
but he likes to call it his cellar).
As well as a great singer and songwriter, Vin is a renowned storyteller, and his rambling stories,
filled with his zany humour, kept a room full of receptive listeners totally absorbed.
A Vin Garbutt concert is always a roller coaster ride of emotion, and this one was no different.
One moment your emotions are stirred by the poignancy of a song such as 'Neither Widow Nor Wife',
then your conscience is pricked by a song such as 'Darwin To Dili' and the next you're
helpless with laughter as he tells another of his hilarious stories.
Vin's is a master of the whistle. You don't just hear the notes,
you hear the emotion of the music, whether it be joy or sadness.
Of course, it was once again a 'full house' for Vin's concert, even though it was a Sunday night.
We are so fortunate to have brilliant acoustics in the house. With no amplification,
those at the back of the room were still able to hear Vin's every word,
even with his wonderful Middlesborough brogue.
There were tears in most eyes, both from laughter and emotion. After an at first perplexing then
hilarious story about Rudyard Kipling (apparently his father kipled at rudyards all across the north
of England), Vin gave us a rendition of 'If', set to his own tune. We all loved it.
Being the last gig of his tour, Vin had very few CDs left, and they were quickly snapped up,
and none of his recent DVD 'Teeside Troubadour', which takes you to his home town of Loftus,
and you can even accompany him around the traps. I can heartily recommend this DVD and all
his available CDs, which can be ordered from his website. All orders have free delivery worldwide.
We do hope he returns to Australia, and to the Duckpond, but in the meantime you can
read more about this great artist at www.vingarbutt.com
The day after the house concert we had the pleasure of Vin and Pat's company and were able
to show them around the Yarra Valley, including 'Wirrawilla', a beautiful tiny myrtle beech
rain forest a short distance from our home. This exquisite almost secret world is so close to
old growth forest in danger of destruction by ongoing logging and miraculously escaped
the devastating bush fires of 2009, which ravaged so much of our area. While walking there,
Vin asked "Do you mind if I play my whistle?" Then followed an unforgettably magical moment,
as he played The Black Rose (Roisin Dubh) accompanied gently by the sound of a
babbling creek beneath his feet. Thank you Vin for such a precious memory.
We thank Vin's wife Pat for granting permission to include this photo taken by her.
If you would like to see some more photos of Wirrawilla, go here