Live Review + Galleries: Bluesfest Byron Bay – Day 5, Monday 01.04.2024

So it came to pass that we finally made our way to the final day. There is a sense of relief, coupled with the same sense of excitement that you feel on each of the other days as you await the day, pensively looking forward to your chosen artists (or the sometime, inevitable changes of plan). By the end of the day, it will be all over for another year.

So I started out my day with one of Australia’s finest independent bands, Hussy Hicks. Leesa Gentz and Julz Parker have formed a formidable duo over the years, and along with their band, have become hometown festival favourites. This performance saw them with long-time collaborator, Raphael White playing bass and special guests, Chris E. Thomas on vocals and ‘Triple Nip’ Pearson on rap.

Hussy Hicks Gallery:

Next up was a repeat performance of Little Quirks, the young ‘family’ band I had first seen the previous morning. Yet again, a captivating and energetic performance ensued. Certainly a band for the future.

Little Quirks Gallery:

Back in 2023, I had the good fortune to catch local guitar talent, Jerome Williams in his debut performance at Bluesfest, a fact which was definitely not lost on him, as he was beyond happy to be up on stage at Australia’s premier festival.

This year, he began his set with a wonderful instrumental piece on his Cole Clark 12-string acoustic guitar, before being joined by his band and upping the tempo with some great roots-laden dance music.

Jerome Williams Gallery:

Having seen Erja Lyytinen the previous day, I thought it best I get along again to catch some more of her blues-laden rock and high energy show. Yet again she proved how powerful a performer she is, and why she is so highly regarded in Europe.

Erja Lyytinen Gallery:

Originally born on the Isle of Man, but now a long-time Canadian resident, Harry Manx, was my next act to catch. With his majestic hybrid blues (think blues music played in India, and you are in the ballpark) Harry always mesmerizes his audiences with his mix of original songs and covers. Playing alongside Harry were Canadian keyboard player/singer Genevieve Jodoin and Australian keyboard wizard, Clayton Doley.

Harry Manx Gallery:

A day to see artists who had impressed me on previous performances continued with the hard-driving blues-rock of Dirty Honey. One cannot complain when faced with music of this calibre, and the hope is that we get to see them again in ensuing years.

Dirty Honey Gallery:

….and so it came down to the final two performances of the night (and indeed, festival). Both artists were scheduled to come onto different stages at the same time, so luck played a part in me being able to get to both.

The first was The Turner Brown Band, one of Dom Turner’s many blues projects which sees him teamed up with the gospel-tinged vocals and imperious lap-slide playing of Nikki Brown. This was a simply outstanding performance, and one which helps to keep the faithful (blues fans) returning year after year.

The Turner Brown Band Gallery:

The final act was the metal-funk collective that is Infectious Grooves. The brainchild of Mike Muir of Suicidal Tendencies fame, the band is made up of Robert Trujillo (Metallica) on bass, Dean Pleasants (Velvet Revolver) on guitar, Dave Kushner (Suicidal Tendencies) on guitar and Jay Weinberg (Slipknot) on drums. The band pulled a large crowd (with many of the younger audience members in attendance) and also drew a lot of other festival artists to the side-of-stage areas to witness this one-off spectacular.
It was certainly an unusual, yet exciting way to finish off the 35th iteration of Australia’s favourite festival.

Infectious Grooves Gallery:

All Images: ©fullonrockphotography/Andrew Fuller

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