Morgyn Quinn

Morgyn Quinn – Rudecat

The furry, freaky, dubby, skanking juggernaut that is Kuranda Roots Festival is nearly upon us, so NQ Music Press’s Gawain Barker caught up with festival founder, musician, organiser and all round grand poobah of Rudecat Records, Morgyn Quinn.

NQ MUSIC: Hey Morgyn – how are you feeling?

MORGYN: I’m excited geezer. Got a bit of a quiver on. Coming to K Town again to git rootsy with y’all.

NQ MUSIC: How long has Roots been going for?

MORGYN; Its the 11th year! Yeow -we getting institutionalised. In fact we is Australia’s longest running reggae and roots festival. And this is the third year at the Billabong site.

NQ MUSIC: Can ya explain the venue for those not in the know?

MORGYN: Billabong is in the bush a couple of kilometres out of Kuranda and it’s a self contained world out there. A little reggae’n’roots Eden. It’s very rural with nice grassy lawns, shady gumtrees and pleasant lickle gardens, a big lily pond that looks great at night with lights on it. And lots of nice lush camping. Its the perfect festival site. You can come and feel at home. There will be all kinds of food and a bar for those who want a bevvy and some cool workshops too.

NQ MUSIC: It’s three days. How does each day differ?

MORGYN: The first day, Friday starts at 4pm and goes to midnight. A lot of hi-energy bands on. Be ready to dance. Saturday is a big day. Yoga from 8.30am -get up and stretch them achy legs! DJs from 10.30 and a massive massive programme going into the early hours of Sunday. Last day Sunday kicks in at 11am and chills throughout the day and then at 7pm we go to a sound system vibe til midnight.

NQ MUSIC: Roots has got three stages with a wide range of music -from full bands, hip hop and spoken word to acoustic acts and DJs. It must be fun to program.

MORGYN: It is fun! Roots is a broad church, a big family. We don’t really mind what you play as long as you’ve got a heart between your ears. Yeah its diverse alright. Like for instance this year we got some classic dance hall with true legend Tipper Irie and then we swerve left into some modern glitch dance hall with Cheshire. There’s lots of quality dub and electronica at the Dread stage from overseas, interstate and FNQ. There’s cool southern bands like Schoolfight and Kooii, and killer local bands like The Diallers and Zennith shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Bullhorn, who are a drummer, singer and seven piece horn section who will funk your arse. They’re great. But y’know what -all the acts are great!

NQ MUSIC: You always get a few international acts each year. Is that hard?

MORGYN: We have build some good connections over the years. We got a line to English sound systems and dancehall artists -like Mungo’s Hi Fi last year, Mad Professor a few years back and Tipper Irie this year. We’ve come to the top of the pile over the years with these guys and now they call me. Its summer over there right now and they’re not touring a lot so they’re happy to come here to tour. When they get to Australia everyone wants to get out of the capital cities and have a less formal set-up -y’ know have an experience.

NQ MUSIC: I bet they get that in Kuranda.

MORGYN: (Laughter)

NQ MUSIC: We might end up on a personal question here Morgyn. At a Roots recently I saw you cruising around in an American Indian headdress. What sartorial delights might we expect from you this year?

MORGYN: Mmm -no comment I think I will reserve the right to delight and surprise. Keep your peepers peeled peeps!

Kuranda Roots Festival 20-22nd June. The Billabong, Kuranda.

All info and program here –