Fanny Lumsden playing Ben Lomond before Tamworth Country Music Festival

OLD TIME COUNTRY HALLS: Fanny Lumsden and her band The Thrillseekers will play  at Ben Lomond Memorial Hall on Friday evening.
OLD TIME COUNTRY HALLS: Fanny Lumsden and her band The Thrillseekers will play at Ben Lomond Memorial Hall on Friday evening.

Ben Lomond will come to life on Friday evening when country singer Fanny Lumsden comes to town.

The Golden Guitar winner - whose real name is Edwina - has made a habit of touring around Australia and playing at local halls in small communities.

And it all came about almost by accident, after she played some gigs in her hometown.

“Six years ago there was flooding out in the Riverina, where I grew up, and a lot of the halls were damaged and fences were washed away,” Lumsden said.

She headed home to the southern NSW region to put on a free show in the hall at Tallimba, where she had performed in school concerts as a child. The free shows were for volunteers from a group called BlazeAid, who were rebuilding fences in the area, and donations were collected at the show to go towards BlazeAid as well as fencing supplies.

“We put on three shows that year, my band played for free, and they just went so well that people were coming up to us and saying ‘you should see our hall’.”

Since then Lumsden and her band have travelled in two or three cars and caravans each year, to perform an annual tour of small country halls.

And while the halls are all different, Lumsden said they all shared a strong community atmosphere.

Everyone is really happy to be there, and they’re so proud of their hall.

Fanny Lumsden

“Everyone is really happy to be there, and they’re so proud of their hall, and I love that about every hall we visit.”

Before Lumsden takes to the stage at Ben Lomond Memorial Hall on Friday night, there will be two support acts.

Melody Moko is a young country artist who has been supporting Lumsden throughout the halls tour, while a local act Jim and Barb O’Neill from Black Mountain will also perform.

Once the show is over at Ben Lomond, Lumsden heads on to Tamworth, where she is playing at the Tamworth Country Music Festival and is nominated for three Golden Guitar awards.

That follows the release of her current album, Real Class Act, which was one of only eight albums by Aussie artists to hit the top of the country chart in 2017.

Lumsden was in good company, alongside The McClymonts, Kasey Chambers, Adam Brand, Lee Kernaghan, Adam Harvey & Beccy Cole, Caitlyn Shadbolt and Judah Kelly.

Despite the award nominations and chart topping album, Lumsden has no plans to cease playing small halls anytime soon.

“It’s kept going, because every time we do it, people come up and say ‘you’ve got to play this hall next time’, and until all the halls run out I think we’ll keep going.”

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