The Northern Folk - Thursday 26 October

The Northern Folk- medium.jpg

Hailing from Albury, NSW and now based in Melbourne, The Northern Folk are a collective of eleven musical ambitionists spreading their unique brand of folk/pop/stomp/rock into the roots of small towns and big cities alike. Combining two powerful vocalists, roaring horns, bashful bass and addictive percussion, their big, diverse sound proves flexible both on stage and on record, and is continuing to earn them a following wherever they travel. This October sees The Northern Folk touring in support of their latest single ‘Get On’ recorded with Callum Barter (British India, Courtney Barnett, Saskwatch), a record that captures the band with their most focus and intent yet.

The Northern Folk will be bringing special guest 23 year old Australian singer/songwriter Tullara. Tullara has quickly developed a reputation as one of the country’s brightest up and coming performers. Having spent the last 4 years touring Australia and recording as half of popular folk/roots duo ‘Siskin River’, Tullara has set off on a solo path with her brand new band in release of her debut EP 'Better Hold On' Nov 2016. The intricacy and percussive finger tapping wizardry of Tullara's guitar playing (not to mention the power of her voice) will leave you wanting more. Her show is dynamic, upbeat and has musical chops to spare.

Doors open 7pm, show starts at 8pm

The Michael Sykes Halloween Spooktacular - Friday 27 October


Don't celebrate Halloween? What spookier reason to come to The Michael Sykes Halloween Spooktacular, the second full show by Michael Sykes (UCB, Raw Comedy) at the tried and true Black Malabar (formerly known as the Unorthodox Church of Groove). You'll be experiencing an hour of all-new, spooky themed comedy and performance by Michael Sykes, Newcastle's own master of the macabre (until someone locates Yahoo Serious). You'll laugh, you'll tremble, you'll tremble with laughter. But just those 3 things.

Tickets available on the door only - $15, $10 IF YOU ARRIVE IN COSTUME

Doors open 7:30pm, show starts at 8:30pm

Tanya Sparke - Saturday 28 October


"One day in 1992 I was wading through the then-seemingly-perpetual-magic-pudding of new releases. I put on the eponymous album by a Sydney-based, gospel-based choir, The Cafe of the Gate of Salvation. The first couple of tracks were good, not great, but good. Then came a track called "Child of Love"; once its vocal soloist (and, I later realised, author) launched into flight, the music was suddenly in utterly another league - her voice, her phrasing were utterly singular. Whoever this was, she was refreshingly herself, no pale shadow of Mahalia Jackson, Marion Williams, Rosetta Tharpe, whomever...  She sounded nothing remotely like Aretha Franklin, but hearing her for the first time was similarly electrifying. Her name, I discovered, was Tanya Sparke. Eventually, late in 1997, Tanya Sparke released her own album, Darkwood Road.

Nearly twenty years later, it remains one of my favourite Australian albums, ever. Its best songs are highly poetic, very beautiful, and not too much like each other. The singer's voice is truly singular. That said, she never coasts on having "a lovely voice", and she really interacts with the other musicians.  Her delivery is adult, blessedly free of the "girly-whirley-twee" mannerisms, the "if I shout I might sound more black", the poor diction, the phoney American accents, sheer inaccuracy, and various other shortcomings that so many "successful Australian recording artists" routinely inflict upon us. Equally pleasing is the album's lack of production cliches. Its best cuts are still fresh, timeless - something definitely not true of most 1997 singer-songwriter recordings. It simply beggars belief that Darkwood Road should remain this artist's only full release."

Doors open 7pm, show starts at 8pm

Mic Conway with Robbie Long - Saturday 4 November


In a circus of comedy, music and magic, Mic Conway and Robbie Long present an hilarious array of idiosyncratic songs that will make your jaw drop, toes tap and sides split. Audiences who know Mic from his days with "Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band" and Circus Oz will be delighted by this incarnation: Mic as storyteller of tall tales and true. There are new songs and some oldies close to Conway's heart. He croons "It’s Only a Paper Moon" and a heart-breaking version of "Mad World", dispenses good advice in "Never Bite a Married Woman on the Thigh" and revisits Captain Matchbox classic "My Canary Has Circles Under His Eyes" and Tom Lehrer's "Masochism Tango". There's magic, juggling, cavorting and that trademark tongue-in-cheek sense of humour. Stripped back, irreverent, and shameless... it's surreal vaudeville for crooning and swooning. Unforgettable! 

Doors open 7pm, show starts at 8pm

Breaking Trad (Ireland) - Sunday 7 January

Breaking Trad.jpg

“Breaking Trad are reviving Irish music. With a fresh and modern twist with powerhouse tunes and exquisite vocals, they will leave you wanting more!’

Breaking Trad is made up of Dónal Murphy (Accordion), from Abbeyfeale,West Limerick, a winner of numerous All-Ireland titles on both Button Accordion and Melodeon, Niall Murphy (Fiddle) from Camlough, South Armagh, a winner of multiple awards including All-Ireland Senior Fiddle competition, Fiddler Of Dooney and Fiddler of Oriel, and also Mike Galvin (Guitar/Vocals) who has vast experience working in a wide range of musical styles from Rock and Roll to Irish Traditional. Between them, they have toured extensively around the world, performing at major festivals and music venues and touring with some of the biggest names in several different music genres including Four Men and a Dog, Cara Dillon, De Dannan, Dance star Michael Flatley, Bluegrass guitarist/singer Dan Tyminski (Alison Krauss and Union Station), Country legend Randy Travis and many more.Their music has been described as 'Dazzling', 'unorthodox and unique', and 'high octane'. They will be joined by the renowned singer and bodhran player Gino Lupari being their special guest, making this band even more formidable.

Doors open 6pm, show starts at 7pm