|Rough Red touring in Queensland in October by Steve Tyson
Formed in the mid-1990s, Rough Red’s brand of contemporary folk music has been heard throughout the world for the past several decades, courtesy of seven European tours and constant radio airplay on the continent and in Australia as well.
Unashamedly Australian in its music-making, the best description the band has ever read to describe its particular brand of folk-rock is this one from a Sydney music magazine early in their career which read: ‘If The Pogues met Weddings, Parties, Anything in the strange netherworld of musical description, there would either be a massive piss-up or an all- in brawl, or, the Brisbane band Rough Red would emerge, solid, celtic and dagnabbit funky, with an Emerald heart and a brawny Aussie exterior.’
The Reds have released eight albums in their 28 year history, with songs that reflect their Australian heritage and extensive travels.
Their records reveal a quintessential brand of contemporary folk music, plaintive tales of love and war, homages to national treasures, manic mandolin and accordion infused stories of pirates and the sea, with the occasional divergence into country music, the latter resulting in a no.5 hit on the ARIA Country Music charts.
Rough Red was also very proud to pioneer the way for many Australian acts getting onto the bill for several European festivals, particularly in Scandinavia.
They were the first Australian band to play the Skagen Festival in Denmark in 1996, paving the way for many down-under acts.
They were also the first to play the Vikedal Roots Music Festival and the American Festival, both in Norway, the Skuleberget Festival in Sweden.
They were amongst the earliest Australian acts in 2002 to play the huge Bardentreffen Festival in Germany, where they scored the main stage in the Haupmarkt, the central square in Nuremberg, where Hitler held his infamous rallies.
The tyranny of distance, with members all living in different parts of the country, together with their various solo and other musical projects, means that
they rarely get together to play these days.
So the band is very excited to announce a series of tour dates in October in their home state of Queensland.
Foremost is as one of the headline acts at this year’s Tablelands Folk Festival in North Queensland.
Full schedule is: October 6, Foco Nuovo, Yeronga; October 8, Qld Cruising Yacht Club, Shorncliffe; October 10, The Bug, New Farm; and, October 27-29, Tablelands Folk Festival.
To celebrate the tour, Rough Red is re-releasing its debut album Better Red Than Dead, available through all the usual streaming platforms, or as a CD through the band’s web site or Trad & Now.
A wide range of Rough Red’s as well as individual members’ CDs is available from the Trad&Now website.