Paper Boats is The Blue Mosquitoes’ first all original CD, and its release has taken them one step closer to their international tour in July. Songs such as ‘Dreams of Yesterday’ and ‘Through the Motions’ are powerful ballads sung with beautiful harmonies and backed by haunting fiddle. They share the bitter sweet life experiences that are certain to strike a chord with the listener. The album also includes stunning compositions that draw inspiration from the landscape of Tasmania. ‘Knopwoods’ and ‘Hunter Street Pier’, are energetic, fast paced tunes that are sure to get people up dancing.
The Blue Mosquitoes have an energetic, vibrant sound – mixing traditional Celtic music with contemporary sounds. Their influences have been a mixture of folk legends and local/national bands including inspiration drawn from Sunas and the Borstal Boys. Think the Pogues with mellow undertones of Dougie Maclean and a harsh hint of the Cranberries. Basically the Blue Mosquitoes are aiming to take Celtic influenced music to a whole new generation and have introduce their own material that aims to promote an exciting fusion of sounds.
The band formed in 2006 and comprises Hannah (mad fiddle and vocals) and Stuart (crazy on guitar and mandolin), their cousin Chris (hardcore Bodhran, guitar, mandolin, whistle, vocals), and Moire (whistle, bodhran and raging vocals) .The Blue Mosquitoes play regularly around Hobart and have a growing reputation in the Tasmanian music scene as an exciting band with a big future. Their career highlights to-date include an on stage performance with Dougie Maclean and supporting the legendary Saw Doctors on the Tasmanian leg of their 2010 national tour. The band has performed at the Cygnet Folk Festival, Taste of Tasmania and the Hobart Harmony Day Celebrations as well as playing at numerous other venues including regular gigs at the New Sydney Hotel, Brookfield Vineyard, Alley Cat, Republic Bar, Irish Murphy’s and other leading live music venues.
Watch out for The Blue Mosquitoes on their travels to a gig or festival near you. Listen out for their music and support their onward journey towards their tour of England, Ireland and Scotland in July/August 2011 and their career beyond.
I am delighted to be able to offer this reference for the “Blue Mosquitoes”.
Still a young band the “Blue Mosquitoes” have already had several years experience working at a very professional level. Beginning as a group immersed in Celtic traditional music and folk influenced pop they have expanded their repertoire with a body of powerful original ballads and instrumentals inspired by the history and landscape of their island home of Tasmania. These are stunning compositions which convey also the vocal and instrumental skills of the band members.
Hannah’s fiery fiddle playing has a confident edge and passion that is evident from the first tune. The band’s rhythm section is tight and driving and Moira’s, Chris’s and Hannah’s vocals are melodically tempered and harmonically rich. Though already working and performing at a high level, all members of the group continue to develop their individual potential as instrumentalists, vocalists and composers.
Their music is engaging and works well at concerts in which the audience desires to really listen on the other hand they can kick out very danceable grooves. As the Director of the Cygnet Folk Festival I contracted “The Blue Mosquitoes” for concerts performances on several stages. Their shows in this context were stunning and inspiring. I strongly recommend “The Blue Mosquitoes” for anything from folk festivals to dance events and recording projects.
Steve Gadd Director of The Cygnet Folk Festival, Co-Director of The Tasmanian Heritage Fiddle Ensemble. Teacher, Valley Strings Music.
The Blue Mosquitoes – Paper Boats
CD Review by Chris Spencer
The Blue Mosquitoes are a young folk group from Tasmania, whose youngest member is about 14.
The sound they achieve on their debut album belies their age.
It’s a competent mix of instrumentals and original songs, with three members contributing to the writing.
The band describes itself as “contemporary folk with a hint of Celtic”, and had released a self-titled EP a couple of years ago.
The instrumentals highlighting the violin playing of Hannah Foley include ‘Hunter St Pier’, ‘Lament of Sarah Island’ and ‘Mother’s Escape’.
‘Lament’ is as mournful as its title might suggest, the other two are sedate rather than upbeat.
The two strongest songs are the very Celtic sounding ‘Irish Pier’ sung by Chris Boon, which provides a lot of contrast to the other female-led songs.
‘Through the Motions’ is a serious, emotional song.
Themes tackled by the group include the journey of life (‘Chasing’), homesickness (‘Homeward Dreaming’), acceptance (‘Dreams of Yesterday’) and Tasmanian penal history – ‘Mother’s Escape’, ‘Irish Pier’ and ‘Lament of Sarah Island’.
The last track, ‘Knopwoods’, about a pub in Hobart, starts off as an instrumental, but has a hidden track at the end, which consists of a plaintive female vocal underpinned by a simple guitar.
I look forward to any subsequent recording, as the band matures, for their songwriting here is good and has the potential to improve with age!
The band plans to tour Europe later this year and I wish them every success.