Winter in Melbourne brings a variety of eclectic events, and the Newport Folk Festival is a hidden gem that is the epitome of hipster cool.
(photo source: http://www.thetimbersband.com/)
Held annually in venues around inner-city suburb Newport, the folk festival is a melting pot of folk, roots, punk, blues and more. It brings thumping rhythms, misty mountain melodies and voluptuous vocal harmony’s together to provide a bang-on festival with a difference.
While the music is the main attraction, there are golden nuggets in the side shows too. Being a nutritionist foodie, I will be heading straight for the sourdough workshop. Sourdough is the queen of all breads, and if you are like me, you probably love a warm crusty loaf straight out of the oven. Now, you no longer have to queue out the door of a tiny bakery on a cold winters day for that warm golden loaf, you can learn how to make your own.
In the bread world, sourdough is the Ronda Rousey of bread, punching nutritionally above most commercial loaves. Sourdough is made with natural yeasts (none of these commercial yeasts here thank you!) that produce acids which make nutrients, such as bone strengthening calcium and magnesium, essential iron and wound healing zinc, easily digestible. Sourdough is low GI due to the fact that it is slowly digested, and people who complain of digestion problems with bread often find their symptoms are reduced with sourdough.
The sourdough workshop will run you through the simple bread making process. It will introduce you to the term “starter” (trust me, you will want to know), show you the few easy steps it takes to make your own golden loaf of goodness and send you off nibbling on the final product.
So, once you have learnt the secret tradition of sourdough making (shhh, don’t tell anyone how easy it is), it is time to follow the tunes and let the music take over. Here are a few that I will be heading to, and check out the website for many more that will tickle your fancy. http://www.nffc.org.au/festival.shtml
Youth Film Festival
This unique film festival offers budding film makers aged between 12 and 25 a platform to express their talents on camera. The film festival has been established to enable free expression of youth in film, so there should will be some really interesting outcomes. Apart from the standard media content rules and a time restraint of five to ten minutes, there are no set rules. Saddle-up for some mind bending visuals from the up and coming film producers. https://www.facebook.com/newportyouthfilmfestival/
Joe Man Murphy
Unearthed by Triple J, Joe Man Murphy will get your blood pumping with folk, roots, Celtic, blues and country thrown into a mixer with Irish blood and an Australian life. Having jammed with some of Australia’s finest guitarists, Joe Man Murphy’s rumbling songs will build and captivate your attention before exploding into a crescendo of momentous melodies.
(photo source: www.joemanmurphy.bandcamp.com)
Gypsy Guitar Workshop
Ok, so I have not played the guitar since I was trying to strum Cliff Richards “Living Doll” as a child but I can feel my inner musician calling with the thought of a gypsy guitar workshop! Get hold of a guitar any way you can, and head down to learn how to pick that plectrum (sorry to the music buffs out there if my terminology of off key) to the gypsy style of rhythm. Oh, and this new skill can also impress your friends after you have baked them some sourdough.
Now it is time to turn up the volume and get your dance on. The Timbers promise to cast you away to a sweaty, smoky, melting-pot of folk, roots and Celtic brassy punk with their rollicking rhythms. Their unique sounds have made them a favourite at festivals throughout Australia. (photo source: http://www.thetimbersband.com/
Ultrafox describes themselves as Le Jazz Hot. Now, as I am not up with all the Folk music lingo, I can only imagine that means music that has come from the coolest, dingiest bar in Paris? After hunting down their cool tunes online, I have discovered that their music is a funky mix of swinging jazz and gypsy jives mixed with an infectious rhythm that will put a smile on your face.