Peter Woodward and Sea Swallow
Albany Entertainment Centre Thursday, July 15.
Peter Woodward is a veteran of the WA music scene in general, and WA folk music in particular.
In the late 1970s he was a regular at The Stables folk club, a weekly gathering in a former hay loft at Malcolm Street Perth with a ceiling so low it was difficult for a tall person to stand up straight.
Folkies would gather, sitting mostly on the floor, taking turns to perform for free in the smoke filled room.
In between country blues covers on what was then a new Dobro guitar, Woodward would regale his audience with yarns about the trade union movement and encounters with police.
While he later became well known as the musician’s union secretary, four decades on Woodward is still singing and playing old Mississippi blues numbers from the 1920s and 30s.
Raconteur and musician
He played a mostly-solo set at the Albany Entertainment Centre last week, still sharing anecdotes about unions and police between numbers, joined for the last few by Bill Lawrie on harmonica and then guitar.
Lawrie himself was a Musicians’ Union official when Woodward was Secretary in the 1980s and 90s.
After a short break Lawrie returned with his partner Claire Moodie, better known to many as an ABC TV and radio reporter in Broome and Perth.
While in Broome, Moodie was already an occasional performer at music festivals such as Fairbridge, and in Broome itself before moving to Fremantle in the mid 2000s.
Moodie and Lawrie became the duo Sea Swallow several years ago, performing together in Perth and Fremantle, for a year back in Broome and a further year at Moodie’s native Glasgow.
Accompanying themselves with several instruments they kept the audience enthralled with original songs, many based on events in their own lives and those of their families.
Moodie’s own story of her parents meeting at a dance in the 1950s was particularly poignant, as was the closely-harmonised song they sang about it: “the prettiest girl that he’d ever seen, strawberry blonde in emerald green”.
Woodward and Sea Swallow’s concert was part of the 2021 Harbourside Concert series, now in its 10th year, and continuing until August 19 in the AECs Kalyenup Studio and Harbourside Foyer.
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