Bluesfest 2024 – Monday April 1, 2024

Review by Nick Corr. Photos by Steve Ford.

The final day of Bluesfest 2024 was the most relaxed with smaller crowds than previous days and more of a family and friends vibe.

West Australian folk rockers The Waifs opened their early afternoon Crossroads set with “Bridal Train”. “Fisherman’s Daughter” gave Vikki Thorne a chance to cut loose on the harmonica while sister Donna Simpson took lead vocals. For “How Many Miles”, Donna and Vikki traded verses. The biggest response came for their best-known song “London Still” late in the set.


Across on the Jambalaya stage, Canadian-American singer-songwriter and guitarist Steve Poltz opened his show with a lengthy intro covering everything from language differences between Australia and America to the time he played a private show for Bob Hawke. Poltz played instrumental “Bethlehem” for a fan who drove from WA for the show. The bluegrass “Wrong Town”, written for the Telluride Bluegrass festival, sets up what we should expect from the show. “A Brief History of My Life” is followed by another fan request “The Medical Career” before closing with the tender “Long Haul”.


Tim Finn played a retrospective Monday night set, dubbed The Lives and Times of Tim Finn, performing highlights from across his extensive career almost chronologically. Opening with a selection of Split Enz songs including “Six Months In A Leaky Boat”, “My Mistake”; “Nobody Takes Me Seriously”, “Charley”, “Body and Soul”, “Dirty Creature”, “Poor Boy” and “Hard Act To Follow”. Moving onto solo material “Fraction Too Much Friction”, “Made My Day”, and “Staring at the Embers”. From his period with Crowded House “All I Ask” features backing vocalist (and Tim’s daughter) Elliot Finn taking lead vocals, “It’s Only Natural”, “Chocolate Cake”, before closing with “Weather With You”.

Fittingly the last performance I saw at Bluesfest 2024 was American Gospel group Blind Boys of Alabama on the Delta stage. Blending traditional and contemporary, their set included their well known Tom Waits cover “Way Down In A Hole” nestled alongside traditional like “Amazing Grace” and  “Spirit In the Sky”. See you next year at Bluesfest.