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Funk and Australian music styles are not the kind of musical genres one thinks would be compatible, but let me tell you, you would be wrong.

On the 25 July, a day designated to be a Friday, fans of original music in Newcastle converged on the Croatian Club in the suburb of Wickham for a unique experience in audible excellence.

A local band, Funky Farmer, had their debut album launch party at that very club on that very day and what a party it was. The launch party was entitled Funky Farmer: Songs You Can Plough To (which I hope is also the title of the album, one would think I would do a little research on the subject but the music was so good I lost my train of thought), and to quote my little brother, it went off.

I was at the launch for a few reasons; my friend Beth’s birthday, the chance to see some old friends and to see a friend’s band which I’m ashamed to say I hadn’t seen before. I pat myself on the back for finally getting off my spotty behind and rocking up to the gig. I was blown away. I think I left part of myself on the back wall of the club after the awesome sound smacked me around.

FF is a three man outfit Brent Milligan and his hat on vocals, guitar and stomp box, Kitty Winning drums, percussion and flute and Keene Williams, who is referred to on their website as a music aficionado, jamming on his Didgeridoo, vocals and a really cool beat box effects.

They have a pretty impressive resume when it comes to the gigs they have played. As well as a variety of local show both great and small, FF have played Peats Ridge Festivals, Coast Fest, Byron Bay Blues and Roots, Cultural Stomp Newcastle, Tamworth Country Music Festival and have graced the same bill with acts such as Afro Moses, Jon English, Darryl Braithwaite, and Ash Grunwald. So they know what the hell they’re doing.

But what do they sound like you ask? Well, I could describe it but I’ll let them do that. On their website , they describe their sound like so, “Armed with their own blend of tribal blues, roots and rock, Funky Farmer are an infectious addiction with a hunger to travel and perform. Known for their energetic driving rhythms, soothing guitar riffs, fast hand drumming and natural feel. It’s all about sweeping cobwebs out of a land down under.”

And trust me; they delivered that and a whole lot more. FF’s music was soulful; it rocked out, had funky beats, and had a country sensibility over various songs. An old band member, an old friend of mine, even got up a jammed for a couple of numbers.

On the night the place was packed from 6pm and the crowd enjoyed the support acts Jeff Orr, The Clap Acoustic, Larry Hughs & Steve Lombardi and Improper Fractions before Funky Farmer took the stage and rocked the audience sideways.

Acts like Funky Farmer prove that the local music scene can be unique with original tunes and do it their own way. Newcastle has delivered some great musical acts on the National and world wide music scene and FF look set for the big time too. And unlike some lucky high school kids back in the 1990s, these cats play from their funking souls.

If your interest is peaked, check out  for music downloads and everything else you need to know.

Published: Jul 28, 2008 5:38pm by redhead.

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  • Funky Orright!

    Nicely reviewed! Checked out the website – can’t believe I missed them at the Byron Blues Fest! Please use your connections to urge them to travel North – towns like Lismore, Byron Bay, Bangalow and Nimbin. I reckon the band’s name alone will grab locals’ attention. Thanks for introducing me to an awesome band.

    Published Jul 29, 2008 5:45pm by philippa

  • They're funky, but are they farmers?

    Thanks for the tip – these guys sound good. I’ll keep an eye out for when they’re touring.

    Published Jul 31, 2008 12:17pm by Dave

  • If you’re having a Funky Novocastrian Music Scene, then count me in as well. I can sing in a similar way to the Mariachis Bogota and you should know it yourself how brilliant that is.

    Published Apr 6, 2017 5:50pm by melaniefarmer

  • I kind of am thinking about the scene you’re describing here. And getting to enjoy free music would definitely feel something beneficial for me.

    Published Sep 5, 2017 11:38pm by melaniefarmer

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