Martin Pearson, The Living Tradition

Posted Mar 04, 1994

Roy unwittingly became something of a legend in Australia in ‘93 when he played at the Troubadour Wine Bar at the Maleny Festival. The planned half hour bracket stretched to two through the firm commitment on the audience’s part not to let this man off the stage. If you believe everyone who now tells that they were there, then the audience in the small tent that night must have been in the order of five thousand. I had the pleasure of seeing him perform at Port Fairy on the south coast of Victoria through Brunswick and Jamberoo, all the way to a humid Brisbane and finally the Canberra National Folk Festival. Roy Bailey has the gift of making you live through the song. If the song has a story to tell the singer must believe it implicitly. The choice of songs that Roy sings is a craft in itself. Every bracket has light and shade of both subject and style that keeps an audience enthralled… The crowd response was well summed up by a woman in Canberra. Roy has just sung “Here is my Home”, the crowd had joined every chorus. She turned to me and said, “You'll not hear better than that”. It’s as simple as that.

Roy Bailey is not an act, he is genuine, he doesn’t make product, he records songs. He brought us in Australia a glimpse of the finest songs that have been written in the world. Come back soon.


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