Hamilton Acoustic Music Club

 

Easter Folk Festival "Hamsterfest"



The Hamilton folk festival, affectionately known as "Hamsterfest", is the annual highlight of and organised by the Hamilton Acoustic Music Club.

It is a family friendly festival that is a celebration of folk and acoustic music. It runs over the three days of Easter weekend. This year, Easter weekend is from 30 March through to 1 April. Bring your tent and come for the whole weekend!

Highlights include concerts from guest artists, blackboard concerts, workshops, a tradition bearers session, a ceilidh, and the festival concludes on the Sunday night with the main event, The Final Concert.

Hamsterfest differs significantly from many typical music festivals in that it's very "hands on", with many of the attendees also performing, and informal jam sessions liberally scattered throughout the weekend.


2018 Guests


Plus workshops, Blackboard Concerts, Tradition Bearers, Ceilidh and more! 



Mark Laurent



Mark has been a professional guitarist and singer/songwriter for nearly 40 years. He's played rock, blues, reggae, country, folk, & even dabbled with jazz.  He plays solo, in bands and duos, particularly over the last 2 decades with songwriter wife Brenda Liddiard.

Mark has recorded many albums, written over 200 songs, and worked as producer/session musician on numerous projects, as well as session & sound engineering work for jingles, demos, etc.
He has published 4 collections of poetry & an illustrated children's book.
Mark (often with Brenda Liddiard on mandolin & vocals) gigs extensively throughout New Zealand, with occasional forays to Australia and Europe, and has performed several times on TV and radio.  He also runs occasional seminars on guitar, song-writing. stagecraft, and how to make a living outside the music 'industry'.
"Mark Laurent at the Bunker - magic - seeing is believing - hearing is mind-boggling.  Confirming the guitar hero status that he earned several decades ago, Mark's guitar is just about as expressive as his vocals, and what a great songwriter! Listening to Mark is like being washed in Irish Cream. He sings from the heart, and it's as much a pleasure watching the audience enjoying the thrill that he obviously gets from sharing his songs and musical gifts.  'It's only love in the end, that's all,' and it shows in everything he does.

 

Roger Giles, The Bunker, Auckland 

 

"The highlight of the entire evening took place when Mark launched into some blues (to a discerning audience in a Blues festival town), during which he played blistering, brilliant acoustic guitar licks, while voice-mimicking lead guitar sounds note for note, nuance for nuance in a masterful display of technique and taste that stands as one of our Club's most memorable performances to this day. Not only that, but he had 'em alternately cracking up with laughter or grooving their butts off and clapping.  He almost brought the house down!"

 

"Mookx" Hanley, Byron Vista Social Club, Byron Bay, NSW.

 

"Mark is an artist who comes from the heart. His music speaks a universal language that seems to touch every audience he plays to. The atmosphere he creates is intimate, warm, playful and rich with meaning and a wise knowing of shared experience that bathes the audience with a sense of belonging."

 

Rex McCann, Author

 

 

Helen Stewart



Helen Stewart is from the Waikato and lives on a piece of paradise on the side of Mt Pirongia, where she gathers a lot of inspiration for her songwriting, and was lucky enough to have grown up in a household full of jazz, blues and folk music.

She performs mainly acoustic folk originals; genuine stories about social issues, tragedies, relationships and the human condition, all the while delivering with a heartfelt integrity along with an unusual punchy voice that tie her songs together.

 














The Faustians

 


The Faustians bring you old gospels, songs of the pioneers, tub-thumping dance tunes and dark old-time forged originals.Helena carried a wealth of tradition with her when she moved back to NZ in 2003 after 15 years in West Virginia. She formed the group Cotton Daisy Backstep and began playing cafes, folk clubs, fairs and cotton square dances around Wellington. They were at the vanguard of a revival of old-time music and banjos in New Zealand. Amongst all the traditional songs, they penned a growing number of originals and these became the foundation of The Faustians.The Faustians was formed when Helena met Philip and they started playing together at home. Ruby from down the road joined them on bass and harmonies and a good thing was started. Their first show was at a fundraiser for the Kaikoura earthquake and the warm response encouraged them to continue. With their raw mountain vocals, accomplished clawhammer banjo, ghostly harmonies and down beat backup, expect a unique and mesmerising experience of the mountain roots of Americana and Old-time originals.

 

Alan & Bev 

Young

 





If New Zealand has a "first couple of folk", it is Beverley and Alan Young.  Their collective repertoire covers British traditional, country, blues, gospel, Hawaiian, Irish and modern American female song-writers. But at the core is Beverley’s British and Irish traditional music, Al's blues... and the old-time country music that so often draws from both those traditions.
Some of their music is new, some of it goes back years, but Beverley and Al put their own unique stamp on all of it, drawing from a wide repertoire of "roots" music and accompanying themselves on guitar, autoharp, steel guitar and dulcimer.
Beverley and Al are leading figures in New Zealand folk and acoustic music.  Both have won NZ Folk Album of the Year (Tui) awards and they have performed separately and together at top festivals in New Zealand and Australia.

 






Bob Large

 



Growing up in KwaZulu-Natal Bob was surrounded by music: his grandfather’s harmonica, his older brother’s and sisters’ collections of 78s, African penny-whistle, the church choir, family sing-songs, scout campfires songs and more.  In Cape Town friends produced LPs of Joan Baez, Pete Seeger Leonard Cohen and Jeremy Taylor.
Immigrating to NZ, looking for a country that was fair and free, he found the Titirangi Folk Music Club and the folkie whanau of Aotearoa – bliss!  So, he’s sung for 23+ years with the Maritime Crew; written songs of his own to sing and sung lots of other people’s, including many from the NZ folk tradition, in solo and with others.  He’s now singing with Lew Black and Andrew Gough as ‘High Wide & Handsome’.
He’s happy singing and playing guitar and harmonica – but not necessarily all at the same time!

 

West of the Divvy





The Raglan deviation was the inspiration for the name West of the Divvy, a band that started with a group of musicians getting together regularly to play session tunes at venues in Raglan. Made up of members from both sides of the divvy, we love getting together with caller Noel Armstrong for an evening of ceilidh fun and frolics, frocks and kilts.

 

The Swamp Dogz





Hamilton's very own Swamp Dogz will be performing at our Sunday Morning Fancy-dress Brunch. They will be sure to get you up and moving with their eclectic mix of Blues, Americana and Originals!



Workshops and more...




 

Mark Laurent:

Contemporary Acoustic Guitar

 

 

 

Mark will cover a range of guitar techniques, featuring:

 

  • Lead guitar principles
  • Expanding chord repertoire
  • Acoustic/electric crossover
  • Foundations of plectrum and finger-picking techniques.

 

 

 

Helena Faust: 
Clawhammer Banjo

 

Helena Faust will show the basic clawhammer and some more advanced melodic techniques that make this old style banjo so lovely. A simple song will be taught in which beginners can do the basic clawhammer strum and others can add in the melodic techniques.




Al Young:

The Folk Process

Drawing on his 30 years of experience in the NZ folk scene, Al will discuss the traditions of folk music across a number of genres, including how folk music develops and how it crosses over between genres.




Warren Payne: 

Making a Buck

Thirteen years back Warren made the transition from having no reliable income to having an established business as a performer. He'll be discussing how he obtained a government grant to get started and built his business through rest homes, and with input from Fi will also cover how delivering entertainment to homes providing aged and dementia care benefits both audience and entertainer alike.



Helen Stewart:

Songwriting

A songwriter with an extensive repertoire, Helen will talk about how she has turned experience into song and will discuss how other musicians can direct their creative experiences into creating original songs.



The Penmans:

Homemade Jam

 

The Homemade Jam is a concert made up of inter-generational family groups featuring any combination of family members. Whether it's singing, playing or dancing, everyone is welcome.

 

The Penmans have been singing together for over 40 years and encourage all families to participate. It's not so much about performing.... just that you do it!


Find Chris or Jack and get your family act on the board.



2018 Tickets


Early Bird Sales have now closed!


Tickets can be bought at the online at  


Alternatively, there will be tickets available at the gate. Prices are as below:


Weekend including camping


Early Bird / Members

Gate

Adult (18+)

$55

$70

Gold Card / Student

$55

$60

High School Student

(with valid ID)

$20

$20

Child

(12 years and under)

Free

Free

Family Pass

(2 Adult, 2 High School Students)

$130

$150


Saturday


Early Bird / Members

Gate

Adult (18+)

$30

$35

Gold Card / Student

$30

$35

High School Student

(with valid ID)

$10

$10

Child

(12 years and under)

Free

Free


Sunday


Early Bird / Members

Gate

Adult (18+)

$30

$35

Gold Card / Student

$30

$35

High School Student

(with valid ID)

$10

$10

Child

(12 years and under)

Free

Free

Final Concert only - Adult

$15

$15




 


 

PO Box 359

Waikato Mail Centre

Hamilton 3240