Small Halls festival returning to Woodstock

Bobby Alu (left) and two-piece band This Way North (right) will headline the Festival of Small Halls. Photo supplied.
Bobby Alu (left) and two-piece band This Way North (right) will headline the Festival of Small Halls. Photo supplied.

Festival of Small Halls have announced that feel-good ukulele strummer and drummer Bobby Alu and two-piece indie pop-rock band This Way North will feature on their upcoming Autumn Tour 2021: New South Wales.

Presented by veteran festival producers Woodfordia Inc, the twenty-first edition of the much-loved not-for-profit music tour is taking on a packed tour schedule with the finest of home-grown talent visiting 20 community halls across NSW.

The not-for-profit music tour will begin on April 7 at Yetman Memorial Hall and will head to Woodstock Memorial Hall on April. The tour concludes at the Coramba Community Hall on May 2.

Refusing to be thwarted by a rapidly changing and challenging events environment, Festival of Small Halls has continued to keep small towns clapping with extra effort and support provided to communities to keep these regional tours safely running.

"We were so inspired and impressed by the way community halls have been able to adopt these new conditions and not shy away from the extra hoops they have had to jump through to keep their communities safe," Producer Eleanor Rigden said.

"Towards the end of 2020 when we got back on the road, hall committees and local groups really stepped up, realising it was more important than ever to support their communities to safely come together after a year of difficulty and isolation," Ms Rigden said.

The tour will take in the sprawling mass of regional NSW in a four-week marathon of excellent music, community spirit and the finest of country hospitality.

Famous for their larger-than-life folk festivals over the last two decades, Woodfordia presents a programme to be loved by their core base and new fans alike with the smooth Polynesian island vibes of Bobby Alu and the indie pop-rock party of van-lifers This Way North.

It's been three years since Leisha Jungalwalla and Cat Leahy of This Way North traded their bricks-and-mortar homes for life on the road, and that spirit of adventure and unbridled joy has taken up permanent residence in their music. Taking out Best Outer Suburban Act 2018 at The Age Music Victoria Awards, This Way North are on a steady incline.

It's easy to forget they are just a two-piece band. Drummer/vocalist Leahy and guitarist/vocalist Jungalwalla create explosive energy and expansive sound, that translates effortlessly from the studio to the stage. The duo are no strangers to the road and are thrilled to be heading out.

Amidst smooth harmonies, rhythms inspired by a strong family lineage of Polynesian performance Bobby Alu tunes have a way of sneaking into the subconscious and taking up residence.

Though it's not all palm trees and daydreams - there's a robust energy in Alu's mastery of traditional Samoan log drums, and a vitality to his song writing that nods to world, roots and pop intelligence.

Tickets for the tour have been on sale from February 24 at www.festivalofsmallhalls.com.

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