Last summer we had the pleasure of having dear friend photographer John Fryz
stay with us at Nundle during the Tamworth Country Music Festiva
l. We have a special bond with John because John, Duncan and I visited Nundle together for a Country Style
magazine shoot in 1997. It was this visit that planted the seed for Duncan and I to move to Nundle from Sydney in 1998.
There we were in January 2018, Duncan and I well and truly entrenched in the Nundle community, having revitalised the general merchants Odgers and McClelland Exchange Stores, and settled in a modest house on eight acres shared with our three children.
John was keen to experience the Tamworth Country Music Festival through Nundle eyes, taking in gigs at Nundle Rocks at The Peel Inn
(The Slowdowns), and Country at The DAG
(Luke O'Shea) and our verandah (Rachel Webster). John's images show that the country music festival is about so much more than music. It is a relaxed, Australian summer vibe; the shared enjoyment of music and food with friends in a beer garden, seeking out Sheba Dams' freshwater for respite from the summer heat, fishing in a tinny at twilight on Chaffey Dam, and taking in the crazy colour, characters, and busyness of Tamworth's Peel Street. It is a healthy mix of noise, movement, crowds, quiet, stillness and solitude. Here, John explains his motivation for travelling to Nundle and Tamworth, and what he captured:
"The country music festival has been on my radar for some while, and more importantly the Nundle Rocks festival. I don’t get the opportunity to just grab my gear and head off, without too much of a set schedule, or commitment, and just see what unfolds. Hence being able to spend the afternoon on the dam with Duncan and Gryff was quite unexpected, but was somewhat of a highlight!
"I got to see some friends that where up from Sydney, as it seems we’re all too busy when we are home. Great seeing the town busy, the pub with a full beer garden to see The Slowdowns, on what was a hot day. The Dag, very impressive venue, full house when I visited.
"So far as Nundle goes I’ve loved it from when we all went there in 1997. With all the goings on it still felt just like it did during that trip over 20 years ago."