Announcing: December duo tour

I’m hitting the upper east coast with my good friend and drummer, Caleb Colledge. If you live in Brisbane, Armidale, Kempsey, Jervis Bay, Blue Mountains, Newcastle or Old Bar, you’re in luck! We are coming to you.

14 December – Brisbane (tickets on sale now)
15 December – Armidale, Studio Folk
16 December – Kempsey, Macleay Valley Arts Sunday session
18 December – Jervis Bay, house concert
19 December – Blue Mountains, Leura Mechanics Institute
20 December – Newcastle, Theatre Royal
21 December – Old Bar, Flow Bar

Monique Caleb tour poster portrait

 

Tour diary: May- June (The Maes)

Hey from Taos!

The Maes tour is done and dusted. We played some of our dream festivals (Telluride Bluegrass, Orkney Folk Festival, Inish Island Conversations) and saw some incredible places along the way. Like all journeys there were wild ups and downs, but it feels great to be on the other end looking back on it all as a huge learning experience. The crazy thing about touring in a band is that you pretty much become room-mates, colleagues, travel companions and full time friends in an almost pre-arranged marriage situation. I have so much respect and love for the two sisters that are The Maes: the two and only Maggie and Elsie Rigby! We spent two and half months sharing cars, rooms, planes and stages, which has left me feeling very strange sitting here typing away, in an empty house, in complete solitude.

In the last tour diary post, we’d been all up and down the east coasts of Australia and Canada. Our next stop was Glasgow for a house concert that turned into a bit of a dinner party…

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And then to Edinburgh for another house concert, hosted by Rachel Sermanni and Adam Holmes and their beautiful baby Rosa (…mostly hosted by Rosa of course). Rachel and Adam make incredible music of their own. Do yourself a favour and look em up on youtube!

We had some time off, so we bought train tickets to take us up to Oban, where we’d take the ferry across to Mull… except that we accidentally staged what looked like a scene out of a movie, with a punctually-boarded Maggie watching myself and Elsie run after the moving train on the platform. I really need to get my watched fixed. The guards told us off for missing the train (thanks, we know) and Maggie zoomed off into the distance. By the time we’d caught up with Maggie in Mull, she’d recorded this amazing song with our friend Gordon that completely blew our minds. We had a brilliant time with Gordon. Mull is stunning, and the sunset turned EVERYTHING purple.

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Then there was Orkney Folk Festival. Oh my lord. We had a great time and we even had a DAY OFF to go exploring the island. The way the light plays on the landscape is something I haven’t seen anywhere else. Maggie and Elsie’s mum Jane joined us for this festival, so for a short moment we had a real proper tour mum!

We stopped in London for one hot second before flying to Ireland. There were two shows in a fantastic old venue (St Pancras Old Church) supporting Mick Flannery. Mick stole my heart in every performance.

I tried to find Platform 9 and 3/4 at King’s Cross. This is what it looks like:

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Hmm. Speaking of magic… our next stop was Inishbofin, for Inish Island Conversations. HOLY COW this island is special. Apparently it rains most of the time, but we had three days of brilliant sunlight, blue skies, clear water, white sandy beaches and rolling green hills. Shoutout to Paeder King who is the mastermind behind this festival, and made us feel so welcome.

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We played a string of shows in Ireland, driven around by the mighty Keith. Keith was like this magic goblin who just popped up in scattered locations across the country, ready to transport us to the next place. I guess he’s like Ern, the driver from the Nightbus (did I mention the book I’ve been carrying around on tour is Harry Potter? You’d think it would keep me entertained for one day max, but the fact that it’s in Estonian slows me down).

Maggie invested in a set of Bananagrams. The Maes’ rules involve writing poetry from your words at the end. For example…

Do
what is due
Or you
are fit for a fee
Tick tock
End up not
on a plate
Not ham, nor prawn
Rock your own crag
and do
what is due

-Elsie Rigby, 2018

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Ireland was over in a flash and next minute we were touching down in the Boston airport. To me it’s a place charged with memories and old feelings. Over the last three years I’ve rolled in to Boston about seven times. It’s where I spent time off between fiddle camps two years ago, when my brain was splitting with new information, friends and some of the worst and best experiences of my life. It’s the place that holds all those feelings, fresh-frozen in time until I breathe in the pollen-filled air and everything comes flooding back.

We played one show and rolled right on out again… bound for the final destination of the tour. Headed to the place where we’d tick off one the the biggest players on our bucket list… Telluride Bluegrass Festival!

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I listened to a string of my biggest musical heroes play live for the first time. My favourite band the Punch Brothers premiered their entire new unreleased album, which totally floored me. I was pretty much floating on a cloud for four days. I really could die happy now!

And that’s a tour all done and dusted. Now for some time off, some refuelling at Shasta Music Summit and then HOME! Until next time…

-Monique-

 

 

Tour diary, April/May 2018

Hello from Halifax!

I’m in Canada with The Maes, showcasing at the ECMAs and doing some recording at beautiful Lake Echo. It’s chilly as all hell but Elsie and I made sure we jumped in the lake on day one while the sun was still shining!

I’ve been loving the daffodils that are just starting to poke their heads out for spring and the lovely coloured houses of Halifax.

We’ve been touring for about a month now. We did a run up and down the east coast of Australia, with stops in Brisbane, Wauchope, Bellingen, Sydney, Tumbarumba, Newlyn, Melbourne and Cullulleraine Music Festival. Making music on stage with Elsie and Maggie Rigby is sure a treat and we had fantastically warm audiences.
Free time activities included getting lost in a labyrinth book store, bush/beach walking around manly and frolicking in apple orchards 🙂

Next up we’re headed to Orkney Folk Festival in Scotland! Wild times ahead.

Two tours, 37 shows, many waterfalls, countless generous humans and one very full heart.

Just wanted to shout thanks from a roof top to every individual involved in these last two tours: the warm, open-hearted audience members, the inspiring collaborating artists (Patrick Pheasant, Liz Frencham, Bruce Molsky, Chris Stone, Holly Downes, Dan Witton, Jenny Thomas, Joe D’Esposito, Charm of Finches, Ingrid Bartkowiak, Rhiannon Fenn, Josefina Paulson, Jonas Åkerlund, John John Festival, Mal Webb), the artists who entrusted me with a part to play in their music (Kate Miller-Heidke, Darol Anger, The Maes), the people who’ve opened up their homes to me (especially the Pheasant family), fed me, let me use their shower (!!!!!), lent us snorkelling gear (…..), done many hours of driving (ahem, Patrick Pheasant), taken photos/vids for me (especially Bill Pheasant and Jess Foot), helped me book festivals (Una McAlinden from Folk Alliance Australia), directed or programmed incredible festivals (Chloe from Woodford, Erin from Cygnet, James from Newstead, Phaedra from Nannup, Caroline from Port Fairy, Bob from Blue Mountains and Pam from the National Folk Festival), and organisers of shows (Eleni, Tony, Paul Greene, Graham).

I’m also really grateful to NATURE for existing and being beautiful, because part of touring for me is taking myself to national parks to unwind, and if they weren’t there I’d probably go a little crazy!

Here are a few photos to let you in on what this year has been so far.

x Monique

Folk Alliance International Official Showcase

 

In February 2018 I’ll be flying to the USA to showcase at Folk Alliance International Conference as the Folk Alliance Australia Young Artist of the Year. I’m literally flying in and out in the space of a week, but I am so excited to come back to the States again, chase some opportunities, see some old friends and share my music with more people!

Have a listen to the official showcaser playlist… lots of incredible artists like Wallis Bird, Mile Twelve, Molly Tuttle, Laura Cortese, Jayme Stone and more!

http://www.folkconference.org/

ROS HALES AWARD FOR YOUNG WOMEN IN MUSIC

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I’m thrilled to be selected for the Ros Hales Award by the team at Majors Creek Festival, a NSW music festival which runs on the 10-12th November in 2017.  This is a fantastic new initiative sponsored by the Braidwood Folk Music Club to counter the under-representation of female acts in festival programs, promoting gender equality in the music industry. I’m so proud to be the first artist chosen for this inaugural program, and am excited to see the ripple effect it will create in our scene through future years.

SUNSHINE FIDDLE CAMP

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Calling all string players! Get along to this brilliant camp in Queensland, Australia. I’ll be teaching the kids and beginner adult classes at the 2018 Sunshine Fiddle Camp, 2-7 January (just after Woodford Folk Festival, and just down the road). If you’re a professional, advanced or intermediate string player, you’ll be learning from legendary American fiddler Darol Anger (co-founder of the Turtle Island String Quartet and pioneer of the percussive technique, chopping), Crooked Still cellist Tristan Clarridge and killer Scottish-Australian fiddler Cathy Fraser. The camp journeys deep into fiddling traditions, with tunes taught by ear throughout the week, while charging forwards into progressive string techniques, rhythms, accompaniments, improv and more.

Check out the Sunshine Fiddle Camp website for more information and to register: sunshinefiddlecamp.com