Once a month (give or take) on a Saturday night as the evening crowds in downtown Newtown start getting peckish, the staff at Cafe Newtown brace themselves for an influx of customers and a triple dose of Frieda's Boss: acoustic style.

 

Dman, Train and Tamlin T. Kirk (replacing the itinerant Cisco) sing for their supper, serving up three courses of street-side reggae, poor boy ska and dub. The Frieda's Bo! crew captured a few snaps and sound bytes from the trio between sets to give you a taste of life in the chilled lane during a typical gig at the Cafe (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cafe-Newtown-Mezze-Bar/367099347229).

 

How did this gig come about?

Train: Cisco, our lead guitarist who recently left for Spain and Boston, had established a pretty cool, live street music scene at the bottom end of Newtown while busking and somehow got in the good graces of Mario here at the Cafe. Cisco then asked if we'd be interested in playing music there. I wasn't... until he mentioned the food!

 

Dman: Train told me about it and I live locally and love Newtown at night. Just alive with people living life on their own terms, freaks and it's never boring.

 

How hard is it to go from a full 6 or 7 piece band to just the 3 of you?

Dman: most of our stuff works acoustically anyway, so it's fine. The challenge is playing without drums...

 

Train: To me, the key is having a great rhythm section: a solid skank on the guitar all the way through songs and Dman, the human metronome.

 

Dman: Space is key. Reggae needs alot of space, it mustn't be too busy so there are alot of gaps.

 

Tamlin: I grew up listening to reggae so that insistent skank on the downbeat is automatic for me.

 

Train: Yeah, I just look down at the list of 30 or so songs and you know that most of them are going to sound very different. But most of them started with a singer/song writer and his or her guitar or keyboard so at the very least we feel like we're adding something on one level.

 

Coolest part of the gig?

Dman: The atmosphere, sitting in the pocket and just letting the music happen. Also, people walk by and you notice them start to dance, sometimes subconsciously, just grooving at the traffic lights while waiting. That's cool.

 

Train: People in cars waiting at the lights wind down there windows to enjoy the reggae vibes. I usually sing a little line to them and I think they get a kick outta that.

 

Tamlin: We really should be scooping some cash from the hotel across the street. The smokers come out on the balcony and brave the elements for 20 minutes just listening.

 

Train: The crew at the cafe enjoy it because we've noticed a fair few people pause when they here the music and figure they'll stop, have a wine and listen to a song. Next thing you see them ordering half the menu. Nice!

 

Speaking of the menu. Recommendations anyone?

Dman: It's close but I'm going with the meatballs.

 

Train: I'm in lust with the Belgian waffles but I keep coming back to the Tigania. Meat combo in beautiful sauce and bread. Happy times!

 

Tamlin: Tonight was my first time, I had the tigania, very nice but I kept coming back to the coffee.

 

Dman, Train and Tamlin T. Kirk will be back at the Cafe on Saturday,February 25