Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Jolly Solstice & Beyond

Happy New Year This update finds us back in Australia after a busy tour in the UK, a hectic house-finding mission, a squishy Woodford, and a busy time preparing for that which lies ahead...

1. The Past 3 Months

After making it back to a soggy Australia, John was straight back into Spooky Men's business while we both started looking for a new home. We decided that our beautiful home in the mountains was just too small for all that we had in store and so before heading off on our last UK trip, we packed up and put our lives in Australia into storage. On our return, we regrouped and began the hunt, scouring the Sunshine Coast and surrounds for our new home. The going was tough, and eventually we concluded that it might be time to move back to Brisbane. After our first day of searching, we stayed with friends in Brisbane and soon realized that theirs was the house we had been looking for. What luck that they are planning to move to Morocco for a couple of years, in March. And so we have moved to The Gap -a delightful development.

We're settling into life in the big smoke once again, marvelling at such urban accoutrements as public transport, traffic lights and loads of good friends.

2. We Rocked Woodford!

This year's Woodford Folk Festival was an amazing experience for cloudstreet, with Erin Sulman from The Barleyshakes joining us on drums and the wonderful Rebecca Wright returning on cello and voice. We had a complete blast, especially on the final night when we joined Sunas and a couple of other special friends on stage for a concertina/fiddle/flute/cello/bouzouki/mandolin/percussion extravaganza.

And as always, we lashed out in other directions too, with John again joining the crew on his comedy panel show, Game On (click here to see the opening credits of this year's show), and Nicole joining The Brisbane Celtic Fiddle Club as well as the newly-formed Maleny Ceili Band!

3. CD prices cut

The Aussie dollar is booming and so, due to the crazy financial climate, we've decided to drop our CD prices. All of our CDs are now available from our website ( for only A$25. We'll include postage to anywhere in the world in this price. Or if downloads are your thing, you can find us on iTunes by following this link.

4. Cloudstreet & Friends 2011

Come and see us in Brisbane in February when we have some wonderful friends joining us for a great night's entertainment. Our third cloudstreet and friends concert will feature Sunas and the wonderful Cider House and will be held at the Tribal Theatre in George Street, Brisbane on Saturday, 5 February from 7 pm. Tickets are on sale at a family-friendly $25 ($20 concession) and will be available at the door or by pre-booking through Oztix (booking fee applies).

5. More Upcoming Gigs

At the end of the week, we're off to Central Victoria for the Music Under the Southern Cross Summer School where we'll be working with the Traditional Singing class. We're looking forward to what is always an amazing week of music and fun.

Full details of our other gigs are on our gigs page, but here's a teaser of what we have planned:

Saturday 8 January, The Upfront Club - Maleny,Qld.

Sunday 16 January, Melbourne House Concert - West Preston, Vic. ph.9478 0130 for details and bookings

Saturday 12 February, Fairlight Folk - 3 William Street, Fairlight, NSW.

Sunday 13 February, Blue Mountains House Concert - Lawson, NSW. Ph. (02) 4759 1916 for details and bookings

Saturday 26 February, Wanneroo House Concert - Western Australia, email Rob at for details

Wednesday, 2 March, Humph Hall - 85 Allambie Road, Allambie Heights NSW 2100,

6. There's Another Train - cloudstreet and the Indian Pacific

Inspired by a similar Canadian scheme, Great Southern Rail have introduced their Travelling Performers' Program. We'll be travelling from Perth to Sydney on the Indian Pacific in February, paying our way by playing along the way.

We're thrilled at the opportunity (especially because it means that we'll be able to play Down in the Goldmine at Kalgoorlie). If you fancy coming along, check out the Indian Pacific website. Or if you're a performer reading this and think such a gig might suit you, email Michael McGuire at

7. Across the Pond

Some more good news has come our way from the USA. Rich Warren of the nationally syndicated Midnight Special show out of Chicago ( has named The Circus of Desires as one of his top CDs of 2010. He picked 8 favourites this year out of 900 submissions. Here's what he had to say -

Cloudstreet: The Circus of Desires (self 06) (

This Australian duet of Nicole Murray and John Thompson combines the

best of traditional and contemporary with a highly varied repertoire

from old English ballads to Australian folk songs and compositions to

new English ballads. The originals on this CD sparkle with true

originality. Their voices work splendidly together for a lively and

engrossing performance.

We also made the FolkDJ lists of Top Artists of 2010 (just behind Luka Bloom) and Top Albums of 2010 (based on 161 868 airplays from 195 different DJs compiled by Richard Gillman). Yay!

8. An audio snippet

At a recent Sauna Club gathering, Rastas recorded our post-dinner musickings and posted the results on his audio blog. To have a listen, follow this link (

Love from home,

John and Nic

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