Tuesday, 15 August 2017

BMC Anniversaries - An illustrated history of Concert Party 1957 to 2017

In 1957 the Bushwhackers broke up and Concert Party was formed to be the performing arm of the Bush Music Club. 

At the time BMC had 2 publications - the Newsletter (Vol.1, no.1, Oct 1955 - 1977) & Singabout Vol.1, no.1, Summer 1956 to Vol. 6, no.22, 1967).
holdings are incomplete with only 1 issue for 1957, and none for 1958, Singabout holdings are complete.

This is first (known) reference to Concert Party.

Newsletter, 3(1), June 1957, p.1

The Club Concert Party has now reached the stage where it can confidently undertake any engagement from solo singing to Bush Kick-ups, where we run the whole evening of dancing and singing. Keep us in mind when planning your next party, smoko or concert.

and here's the second.



Gulgong (BMC Archives)



 Lake Canobolas Regatta, Banjo Paterson Festival - Jamie Carlin, Jan Jones, Frank Maher, Gay Scott, Alan Scott, Jack Barrie (BMC Archives)


Alan Scott (whistle), Jamie Carlin (concertina), Marietta Stratton (bush bass), Janice Jones (bones), Frank Maher (bones), Ann Banks (lagerphone), Herb Gimbert & Tony McLachlan (accordions)  Singabout Vol 5, no.2, p.13 (BMC Archives)

Abercrombie Caves (Noel Ricketts collection, BMC Archives)

(Noel Ricketts collection, BMC Archives)



Eric Bolton (banjo), Jamie Carlin (whistle), Chris Woodland (mouthorgan), John Dengate  (guitar)   (Chris Woodland Collection - BMC Archives)


Tuena Festival  - Dale Dengate (bones), Jamie Carlin (concertina)  ...  Wilma Bolton (lagerphone)


Lawson celebration, Sydney Domain - Wilma Bolton (lagerphone), Jamie Carlin (English concertina), John Dengate (guitar), Eric Bolton (banjo) (Graeme Bolton photo, BMC Archives)



? (lagerphone), Jack Barrie (bush bass),  Jamie Carlin (whistle),  John Meredith (accordion), Gay Scott (bones)  (BMC Archives)


Late 1960s       Noel Ricketts collection

Concert Party at Cremorne.

Ken Greenhalagh, John Dengate, Elaine Thornhill, Jamie Carlin, Noel Ricketts

Noel in the mid 60s.



31st January, 1970.    (Bob Bolton photo, caption Concert Party 701031    BMC Archives)

Eric Bolton Item list c.1970 (BMC Archives)


1970s             Bob Bolton photos

John Dengate, Jamie Carlin, Frank Maher, Noel Ricketts, (unidentified woman), Eric Bolton

John Dengate, Jamie Carlin, Noel Ricketts, Eric Bolton

John Dengate, Frank Maher



(photo by Bob Bolton - BMC Archives)


1980 or early 80s

Attached is a photo of the concert party in the early 1980s. Maybe even 1980. Mark Dabbs was concert party leader then (Eric was playing in Selectors). I think this was taken just before or at the same time Roy, Julie, John Coombs and I started Benalong Bush Band which was just months before Tony, Steve and Kaye joined Dave and Anne in Southern Cross.
Left to right - Roy Harbour, Donna, Helen Romeo (was Brain), Michael Brain, Julie Williams (was Furneaux), Bob Cole, not sure (maybe Mrs Cole?), John Merrick, John Coombs, Kay Daunton, Steve Lockwood, Tony Romeo, Mark Dabbs. (Source Helen Romeo)


 Concert Party at National Folk Festival  - Ralph Pride, Eric Eisler, Brian Dunnett, Bob Bolton, John Poleson, Allen Davis, Bob Foggin.  (Sandra Nixon photo)



(Sandra Nixon photos)


 (Sandra Nixon photo)


(Sandra Nixon photo)

(Allen Davis collection,  BMC Archives)



(Sharyn Mattern collection - BMC Archives)

Addison Road Centre, June 2013  (Sandra Nixon photo, BMC Archives)

 Galston, 15th Sept 2013 (unknown photographer (BMC archives) 


24th March    (Bob Bolton photo, BMC Archives)

Turning Wave Festival, 2015 (Sandra Nixon photo, BMC Archives)



Feb 2015   (Sandra Nixon photo - BMC Archives)

Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival (Sandra Nixon photo - BMC Archives)

Turning Wave Festival, 2015 (Sandra Nixon photo, BMC Archives)



February - group photo for NFF application  (Sandra Nixon photo, BMC Archives)

Gig at Dalmar Homes, March   (Mike Young photo ,BMC Archives)

 National Folk Festival (photo Sandra Nixon)



Practice for Concert Party's appearance at Australian Traditional Concert at Illawarra Folk Festival   (Brian Jonathan photo - BMC Archives)

Illawarra Folk Festival   (Sandra Nixon photo - BMC archives)


************************************************************************************************* *************************************************************************************************


  1. The Concert Party was where I got my start on the concertina back in the mid 80s when Kingsley Forbes-Smith was the coordinator. And, I think it is fair to say that it played no small part in the creation of the Australian Concertina Band around the same time.

    What a fabulous resource you have created Sandra! Well done!

  2. thanks, Wayne - check out Bob Bolton collection - ball photos from the 80s http://bushmusicclub.blogspot.com.au/2017/08/bob-bolton-collection-ball-photos-from.html for a pic of the Concertina Band