Blues at Broadbeach

My Sister-in-law, Marie, is over from NZ visiting her sister, who lives on Queensland’s Gold Coast. We hadn’t expected to be any where near close by before Marie returns to NZ on 26th May. When we realised how close we were, we decided to make an unplanned stop in at the Gold Coast to catch up.

Why unplanned? Because the Gold Coast has a reputation of being spoilt by overpopulation. After being here for 4 days staying at Tallebudgera Creek, near Burleigh Heads, we’ve formed our own opinion – Wow!!! A big, big reminder that spectacular is rarely kept a secret, and the more spectacular, the more the crowds will gather in appreciation. We’re so pleased we didn’t bi-pass the Gold Coast.

We’re very close to Broadbeach, where a four day Blues Festival is happening this week-end. Again, Wow! and it’s all free. There’s several stages in different areas with a variety of Blues artists playing. The main mall area has been closed to traffic, and a big stage erected at one end complete with a huge screen for those who aren’t close enough to get a full appreciation of the artists up close.

The biggest name there is perhaps Eric Burden and the Animals. For those of you not old enough to have instant recall of The animals biggest claims to fame, you may still have had the pleasure of have hearing their biggest song – The House of the Rising Sun. Eric Burden is playing there today, but we had other plans for today, so will miss out on seeing him.

We did however spend a very pleasurable day there yesterday. We purchased ourselves  a bus pass and headed down there early where we walked from stage area to stage area enjoying all the different artists. While meandering between stages we grazed all the way from the dozens, or more likely, hundreds of food outlets. Perhaps that doesn’t read quite right – there were lots of food stalls and restaurants, and we did graze all day, but we by no means sampled hundreds, nor dozens, but a good few all the same. There were many, so many, that despite the crowds none were crowded, and each had to compete for their share of the market. Specials abounded.

Our favourite act of yesterday was a couple of older guys singing what I’d call real Delta style Blues, Dom Turner and Phil Wiggens. They both sang, Phil played the guitar, and Dom played the mouth organ. When I say he played the mouth organ, I really mean he played the mouth organ. He almost made it talk. I could have listened to them all day.

Dom Turner and Phil Wiggens - really, really good.
Dom Turner and Phil Wiggens – really, really good.

We wandered down to the beach for some cooling breeze mid afternoon. There were craft stalls lining the grassed area to browse through, and then beach volley ball to while away fifteen minutes or so.

Volley Ball on the beach.
Volley Ball on the beach.

I saw my first ever, ‘one man band’ – Uptown Brown. I’ve heard of a one man band, but never actually seen one in the flesh. The photo we snapped doesn’t do him justice. He stamped his feet according to how he wanted the two drums on his back to beat. I couldn’t count the amount of instruments he played solo, and couldn’t work out whether his act was funny, or brilliant. It was clever, that’s for sure and really something to have seen. It looked exhausting.

Photo doesn't do justice to Uptown Brown's one man band.
Photo doesn’t do justice to Uptown Brown’s one man band.

The Gold Coasts beautiful beaches have attracted the crowds. The crowds have built their hi rise flats and the area has become densely populated. The big density population allows for such things as a four day FREE Blues festival. Ya gotta love that! I know we did.

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