Festival full of variety


IT’LL be a weekend of fantastic feats, daredevil stunts and lots of laughs as the ninth annual Southland Buskers Festival gets under way.

The festival kicks-off tonight with the ILT Busker Cabaret in Queens Park (near the band rotunda) at 6.15pm with performances by Vinyl Burns, The Mighty Mike Show, Tianna the Traveller, Mr Qwirk and The Red Trouser Show.

The fun will continue tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday on the busker stage and at the Queens Park Music Pitch (at the pathway by the Rose Gardens), Esk St’s Pocket Park Music Pitch and at the Southern Farmers’ Market.

The Old Time Rags (Phoebe Douthwaite and Laurence Marshall) will be bringing their own raucous rhythm to the festival, with their first performance at the Pocket Park Music Pitch at 1pm, following Kim Potter at noon.

From the United Kingdom, Marshall said the duo were in New Zealand for the first time and had been travelling and performing at folk and vintage festivals throughout the country.

The show would include “music, dance, high energy and lots of rhythm” as they swapped around instruments and entertained the crowd.

Influenced by sideshow, music hall and vaudeville, Marshall said they performed old ragtime, blues and skiffle music, along with songs from shows.

“It’s a bit of a variety show.

“The base of the act is I’m a one-man-band, with drums on my back, and honky horns and whistles and Phoebe is a tap dancer.”

He said they also performed a broom dance with sweeping brushes which was an English folk tradition.

“That’s good, it works well in the street and is fun. Apart from that it’s all live music.

“I’ve got about 15 instruments tied to me and then different contraptions.”

Marshall said he met Douthwaite at an English Folk Festival in 2016, where they were both performing.

“We started busking together with the tap dancing and one-man-band and it sort of worked and we’ve gone from there.”

He said it was a great way to travel, and they enjoyed performing for and meeting different people along the way.

The festival programme was inserted with this month’s Invercargill City Council rates invoice, is available to pick up from outlets throughout the city, or can be downloaded from southlandnz.com/events.

For updates go to the Southland Buskers Festival Facebook page.