Hoot! Adelaide Hills Jazz Festival – Saturday June 8th

I arrived in Mount barker at 10am on Saturday the 8th of June to cover the Hoot! Jazz Festival and I was altogether intrigued to experience this unique music event.

I also had no earthly idea of what to expect.  The festivals I usually attend are much different by nature.

Hoot! features a broad expanse of jazz bands full of talented musicians across a variety of venues in Mount Barker. I thought this was a really cool way to present a multitude of bands across a longer period of time, and encourages tenants to explore the centre of Mount Barker and discover it’s cool little cafes nestled between op shops et cetera.

Jazz is also not even close to the primary genre of music I listen to; but I came to the Adelaide Hills with my bias left in bed – Although it’s warmer in there I was ready to step out of my comfort zone and experience something new. Writing about a niche taste that I know so little about is difficult.

Wolfies Records had a strong presence within the Hoot! Hub. The large stall underneath the marquee had people moving through it all day long. It was great to see so many people people buying vinyl and CD’s, but next year Wolfies Records will be the official merchandiser of all Hoot! Artists.

The first band I saw was called Uberdosh at the free venue within Hoot! – They were in the middle of their set when i strolled in and were very entertaining and upbeat, which is something that I like in my music, and it was awesome to see such talented musicians meshing together so well.

I caught myself staring in amazement at the drummer, and counting the beats within my head. Then I would become mesmerised by the hearty, soul-filled vocals, whilst the bass drove the direction of the sound, and saxophone flares highlighted the whole affair.

Afterwards I walked over to the local bakery, who had bands playing inside for free all day, and satisfied my glut with a massive chocolate milkshake. The feeling that had been created inside was so homey and warm. It’s strange when an experience truly fulfils the meaning of the words you use to describe it.There was the murmuring of conversation and the clinking of knives on plates as the band swung into action. One thing about Hoot! festival that I found was lacking to pre plan my day resulted in becoming overwhelmed by the variety of bands across the many venues, but the experience in itself was nonetheless enjoyable. I just wish I had better divided my time.

It became evident as I took a seat inside the primary Hoot! venue that this was the place to be – It was washed over with dim baritone lights and featured clear tables and chairs where Jazz enthusiasts and others alike could sit down and enjoy a glass of wine or a beer from the nearby bar – classy.

The Bill Parton trio played a variety of jazzed up covers and a few original songs nestled in between. The acoustics inside were glorious and every drum stroke and vocal note was audible, even the bass pronging along in the back ground. This was probably attributable to the enormous sound desk at the back of the venue where I stood

I grabbed a beer and caught one last act called Black Fedora Jazz before I headed out at 7pm. There’s just something inside me that has an innate negative predisposition towards cover sets, not that i don’t enjoy them.

I guess I just prefer to hear more of a bands original material.

There was not a single band lacking talent at the Hoot! Jazz Festival, and I really enjoyed myself there. I don’t know enough about Jazz itself to have a better opinion, but it was great to come along for the ride and now I have a foundation laid down for the next day of the festival.

I also had an inkling that I was the only one there far under the age of 25.

I hear Jazz is an acquired taste though, and I hope to acquire it soon!

Jonty Czuchwicki