Wednesday, 16 August 2017

BMC Anniversaries - An illustrated history of Concert Party 1957 to 2017

Click on pictures for full-screen image

In 1957 the Bushwhackers broke up and Concert Party became the performing arm of the Bush Music Club.

At the time BMC had 2 publications - the Newsletter (Vol.1, no.1, Oct 1955 - 1977) & Singabout Vol.1, no.1, Summer 1956 to Vol. 6, no.22, 1967).
holdings are incomplete with only 1 issue for 1957, and none for 1958, Singabout holdings are complete.

This is first (known) reference to Concert Party.

Newsletter, 3(1), June 1957, p.1

and here's the second. Singabout 3(1), Summer 1958, cover & p.1



Gulgong (BMC Archives)
caption - Bush Music Club Concert Party (briefly revived name "Bushwhackers") c.1960, Sydney Botanical Gdns?
Jan Jones, Jack Barrie (bush bass), Jamie Carlin (whistle), John Meredith (accordion), Gay Scott (bones), 

 Lake Canobolas Regatta, Banjo Paterson Festival - Jamie Carlin, Jan Jones, Frank Maher, Gay Scott, Alan Scott, Jack Barrie (BMC Archives)

(BMC Archives)


Alan Scott (whistle), Jamie Carlin (concertina), Marietta Stratton (bush bass), Janice Jones (bones), Frank Maher (bones), Ann Banks (lagerphone), Herb Gimbert & Tony McLachlan (accordions)  Singabout Vol 5, no.2, p.13 (BMC Archives)

Concert Party at Abercrombie Caves - John Dengate, Frank Maher, Noel, Elaine Thornhill, Jamie Carlin, Dale Dengate, Ken Greenhalgh, Eric Bolton. (Noel Ricketts collection, BMC Archives)
Concert Party - Frank Maher (bush bass), Eric Bolton (banjo), John Dengate (guitar), Wilma Bolton (lagerphone), Eileen Wood (singer), Dave with guitar, Noel (mouth organ).
front - Jamie Carlin (concertina), Ken Greenhalgh (flute).  (Noel Ricketts collection, BMC Archives)


Eric Bolton (banjo), Jamie Carlin (whistle), Chris Woodland (mouthorgan), John Dengate  (guitar)   (Chris Woodland Collection - BMC Archives)


Tuena Festival  - Dale Dengate (bones), Jamie Carlin (concertina)  ...  Wilma Bolton (lagerphone)

Lawson celebration, Sydney Domain - Wilma Bolton (lagerphone), Jamie Carlin (English concertina), John Dengate (guitar), Eric Bolton (banjo) (Graeme Bolton photo, BMC Archives)

1969 Concert Party engagements to end of June  (Minutes 1957-1978)

Late 1960s       Noel Ricketts collectionConcert Party at Cremorne - Wilma Bolton, Elaine Wood? behind Noel, back view of Eric Bolton, Jamie Carlin, Ken Greenhalgh, Dave with guitar, John Dengate - late 60s
Ken Greenhalgh, John Dengate, Elaine Thornhill, Jamie Carlin, Noel Ricketts
  Eric Bolton, Ken Greenhalgh, Elaine Wood (nee) Thornhill. Noel Ricketts, John Dengate

Wilma & lagerphone in front of side curtain, Ken Greenhalgh, Jamie Carlin, John Dengate, Noel Ricketts, Eric Bolton

Noel in the mid 60s.



31st January, 1970.    (Bob Bolton photo, caption Concert Party 701031  BMC Archives)

This photo was published in Mulga Wire, no.48, April 1985, p.S3 -
University of NSW, 31st October, 1970. Left to right - Roz Uren, John Dengate, Noel Ricketts, Ken Greenhalgh, Jamie Carlin & Eric Bolton. Obscured behind are Frank Maher & Declan Affley

Eric Bolton Item list c.1970 (BMC Archives)

1970s             Bob Bolton photos

John Dengate, Jamie Carlin, Frank Maher, Noel Ricketts, (unidentified woman), Eric Bolton

John Dengate, Jamie Carlin, Noel Ricketts, Eric Bolton

John Dengate, Frank Maher

(photo by Bob Bolton - BMC Archives)
1980 or early 80s

Attached is a photo of the concert party in the early 1980s. Maybe even 1980. Mark Dabbs was concert party leader then (Eric was playing in Selectors). I think this was taken just before or at the same time Roy, Julie, John Coombs and I started Benalong Bush Band which was just months before Tony, Steve and Kaye joined Dave and Anne in Southern Cross.
Left to right - Roy Harbour, Donna, Helen Romeo (was Brain), Michael Brain, Julie Williams (was Furneaux), Bob Cole, not sure (maybe Mrs Cole?), John Merrick, John Coombs, Kay Daunton, Steve Lockwood, Tony Romeo, Mark Dabbs. (Source Helen Romeo)

 Concert Party at National Folk Festival - Ralph Pride, Eric Eisler, Brian Dunnett, Bob Bolton, John Poleson, Allen Davis, Bob Foggin.  (Sandra Nixon photo)

(Sandra Nixon photos)


 (Sandra Nixon photo)
(Sandra Nixon photo)

(Allen Davis collection,  BMC Archives)

(Sharyn Mattern collection - BMC Archives)

Addison Road Centre, June 2013  (Sandra Nixon photo, BMC Archives)

 Galston, 15th Sept 2013 (unknown photographer (BMC archives) 

24th March    (Bob Bolton photo, BMC Archives)

Turning Wave Festival, 2014 (Dale Dengate photo, BMC Archives)


Feb 2015   (Sandra Nixon photo - BMC Archives)

Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival (Sandra Nixon photo - BMC Archives)

Turning Wave Festival, 2015 (Sandra Nixon photo, BMC Archives)


February - group photo for NFF application  (Sandra Nixon photo, BMC Archives)

Gig at Dalmar Homes, March   (Mike Young photo ,BMC Archives)

 National Folk Festival (photo Sandra Nixon)

Practice for Concert Party's appearance at Australian Tradition Concert at Illawarra Folk Festival   (Brian Jonathan photo - BMC Archives)
Illawarra Folk Festival   (Sandra Nixon photo - BMC archives)
 ************************************************************************************************* *************************************************************************************************


  1. The Concert Party was where I got my start on the concertina back in the mid 80s when Kingsley Forbes-Smith was the coordinator. And, I think it is fair to say that it played no small part in the creation of the Australian Concertina Band around the same time.

    What a fabulous resource you have created Sandra! Well done!

  2. thanks, Wayne - check out Bob Bolton collection - ball photos from the 80s for a pic of the Concertina Band