24 September 2016
It was dancing to a very different tune when I ambled over to Hippo. The Willy Wagtails represent a very different era from Kill Climate Deniers and its dance party. This band plays with minimal gear for little volume, so the subtleties were lost in the noisy Hippo environment. But there was obvious joy here. An odd, or old-styled, lineup of violin, banjo, mandolin, bass and trumpet. No drums. Several singers and often harmonies. All through one mic with a period presentation and one or two little amps on the floor. The music was joyous, occasionally Irish or Scottish sounding folk, otherwise bouncy Aussie folk, 2 feels or four-to-the-floor, choppy strumming and slap bass and a fiddle-take on the violin, so it too spelt out the rhythm. Any lack of drums went unmissed. There's joy and history here and I would like to have heard them in an environment more generous to them, meaning quieter. Noisy place is Hippo. But looks like it would have been a fun outfit in a more generous acoustic. Their FB page has a video of their tune, Not gonna mow my lawn. I understand. How could you not like this?
The Willie Wagtails are Jhana Allan (violin), Oscar Neyland (bass), Jeremiah Rose (trumpet), Jack Quigley (banjo) and Daniel Tedford (mandolin).