Honk it, baby

OUTRAGEOUS and inclusive, Honk is a new street band movement reclaiming public spaces worldwide.

Featuring alternative community bands, there’s an Oz version which is half-parade, half party and it’s coming to Freo.

“Honk bands perform to celebrate, to proclaim,” organiser Ken Allen says.

“Some play for peace, some for activist causes, some for community spirit, but all of them play to have fun.”

Honk is heading to Fremantle for the International Street Arts Festival and audiences should expect the unexpected from a mix of “carnival” acts over the Easter weekend.

• Junkadelic and Wasamba will honk it up in Fremantle this Easter. Photos by Sarah McIntyre, Kwizikel Photography.

The line-up includes Canadian band Girls With Knives: “They don’t use knives, they are all guitar and vocal,” Allen says.

Honk performers aren’t necessarily professional musicians, and there’s usually a preponderance of percussion and horns, but not always: “You can have strings,” says Allen, who plays in Junkadelic.

A mini street arts festival within the festival, you can Honk it up at different pitches across the city, or get the full honk show at the Walyalup pitch on Collie Street, which will feature Mace Francis’ music mill.

The solar powered sound sculpture is made up of automated instruments, manipulated by pins and arms to create different melodies.

A variety of acts including Muchos Mariachi, Mr Curly and the Norwegian Smoking Pipe, and Vic Janko Orkestar will perform with the machine, from 6–9pm, on Saturday.

Over at the town hall Linsey Pollak is holding free street band workshops (Macedonian gypsy style), for experienced brass, saxophone, clarinet and percussion players.

Bring earplugs on Sunday when the Cappuccino Strip explodes with light and sound as Fremantle’s South American percussion band Wasamba goes head to head with WAHonk massive.

With 25 horns and a whole lot of drums, it promises to be a loud mardi gras-style contest as the two face-off.

The Fremantle International Street Arts Festival is on Good Friday, April 13 to Monday April 17. For more information see http://www.streetartsfestival.com.au

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