Festival of Small Halls lights up Mooloolah

By Sonia Isaacs

SOARING vocals and heartfelt lyrics set the scene for an evening of world class talent as Mooloolah welcomed the Festival of Small Halls tour with open arms. Featuring three incredibly talented young troubadours; emerging Blackall Range singer Anjali Leonard, Brisbane’s Monique Clare and international headliner Shane Pendergast, the evening proved contemporary folk music has a dazzlingly bright future. Mooloolah Hall was packed with over 100 people and beautifully lit up to the rafters. Young Mapleton based singer Anjali Leonard showcased her talent by enthralling the audience with her hauntingly beautiful and soaring vocals providing an earnest and evocative start to the evening, Monique Clare, an accomplished cellist and contemporary folk vocalist proved both mesmerising and engaging as she shared her heartfelt and deeply personal lyrics that connected well with the appreciative audience. It should be noted that while the musicianship was obviously apparent, the acoustics at the heritage-listed community hall provided an excellent backdrop that took the evenings performances to the next level. Canadian headliner Shane Pendergast hails from a long line of maritime story tellers and musicians. It seemed not only does he sing from the heart but his talent taps into generational memory that is firmly in his blood as he gently enticed the audience to enter his melodic world. A softly spoken troubadour from Prince Edward Island, he engaged the audience with seemingly simple songs that resonated with layers of depth. His versatility as a musician was evident spanning blues through to folk, finishing up with a rousing Irish ballad that had the audience clapping and singing along. Festival of Small Halls Summer tour has just been announced with Beerwah Community Hall set to host the December 8 event. More details and tickets