Tag Archives: George Washingmachine

George Washingmachine – Feel The Manouche

Wrapping up the 2016 Jazz Up North series for the year, acclaimed violinist, actor and singer George Washingmachine and his outfit Feel The Manouche bring together a buffet of jazz flavours from across the planet to create a ‘world music’ feel not to be missed on Friday 21st October at The Tanks Arts Centre.

Speaking to George Washingmachine recently, he was very excited to be returing to Cairns as part of the Jazz Up North series.

“Been up to Cairns many times over the years but I’m a Tanks virgin! So this will be our first time. I’ve heard many great things about the venue and we are really looking forward to it. I also saw it’s warm up there at the moment so we’ll have to play some hot jazz, literally and figuratively! (laughter) ”.

Feel The Manouche are made up of multi-instrumentalist George on violin and vocals; Clare OMeara on violin, accordion and vocals; Stan Valacos on double bass, and George’s son Arthur on acoustic guitar. George’s other son Jerry is usually part of the band but is currently working on a film project. Asked what it was like having his children in the band and whether he ever encounters any trouble with them on the road, George let me on this interesting tour story.

“We were on tour once down in Tassie and the boys had admittedly had a few beers, there was a bit of commotion at around 3 in the morning at the hotel we were staying at. It woke me up and the hotel manager had to sort them out. I’m not sure what happened but when I saw them in the morning all I said was ‘as long as your hands are ok’ (laughter). But they are pretty good and I just treat them like mates. They’ve been doing it for a while now and they are pretty seasoned players, its good fun.”

Aside from the fiddle, George is a true multi-instrumentalist who is also highly skilled on the guitar, double bass and voice. His diverse career has seen him pen scores for the Bell Shakespere Company, commercials for Qantas and even nursery rhythms for Mr Squiggle. His voice is recognisably heard on the ‘Banana Boat’ advertisement and his is a highly sought after MC and actor.

In December 20154 after a successful crowd funding campaign, George Washingmachine and Feel The Manouche we’re lucky enough to head to Cuba to perform at the Havana International Jazz Festival, an experience George described as truly remarkable.

“It was like a time warp. You had all these old vintage 1950 American cars on the roads over there, Ford Mercury’s and things like that. The buildings too are 500 year old Spanish buildings that are all decaying. The place was great on the eye and also fantastic on the ear, because the music was incredible. The funny thing is they are not dominated by top 40 radios so they tend to love a lot of old cheesy music in a sense, because they are only really just discovering it. Walking around there are no franchises like McDonalds or Subway or anything like that. There’s just nothing like that. It’s a really fascinating place, I totally recommend it”.

With a strong influence from his parents, music started early for George with the young man pathing a future in the entertainment industry from the get go.

“There was a guitar in the house growing up, as Mum was a classical guitarist. I picked up the guitar at around age 4 and I remember mucking around with it. A few years later I then studied Violin but I soon went back to guitar as a teenager because I learnt you met more girls playing the guitar (laughter)”.

George Washingmachine presents Feel The Manouche at The Tanks Arts Centre as part of the Jazz Up North Series on Friday 21st October. Doors open 6.30pm. Show starts 7.30pm. Tickets from Ticketlink.

Mitch Sullivan

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