Band journeys north again

The first official gig This Way North ever played was at the Bendigo Blues and Roots Music Festival. This year will be their fourth time at the four-day event.

Leisha Jungalwalla and Cat Leahy started jamming together after meeting while touring Canada and playing in different bands.

Since then, they have become regulars on the festival circuit.

“When we first got together, we had the post-tour blues (from Canada) and got together to jam. We enjoyed that and started writing,” Leisha said.

“There are a few different reasons we keep coming back to Bendigo. One is the legend of Colin Thompson who is an outright, awesome guy and is very passionate about the Bendigo music scene.

“We also like how the festival is set up with a lot of free stuff around as well as the general vibe and support for original music in Bendigo.”

This Way North have extra reason to celebrate after playing their 100th show on their current tour last weekend.

“We are based out of our tour van at the moment but are originally from Melbourne,” Leisha said.

“I quit my job as a teacher last year to focus on music and give it my all for a while. Teaching will always be there but I didn’t want to have any regrets about my music and the opportunity to be able to play full time came up.

“So our gigs this weekend will be our 101st, 102nd and 103rd since being out on the road.”

The band played their first BBRMF set for the weekend at Flight Bar’s laneway set-up last night.

Saturday sees the duo will also play at Handle Bar on Saturday at 8pm following Simon and Tammy London, Tasha Zappala and Geoffrey Williams.

Williams and Zappala are regulars at the BBRMF while Simon and Tammy London are debut this year.

Zappala is known for her gypsy-folk melodies and impressive voice. As well as Handle Bar on Saturday, she is playing at Bridgeward Grove in Goornong on Sunday at 3pm.

Williams is a UK singer and loop artists whose rhythm and blues songs have a Caribbean twist.

On Sunday, This Way North plays their first Heathcote gig when they perform at Shiraz Republic at 3.45pm following Pat Ward and Matt Katsis.

“Our inaugural Heathcote gig should be fun,” Leisha said.

“Coming back to this festival we get to see a bunch of friends like the Rosie Burgess Trio and Tullara. We are looking forward to seeing a lot of people.”

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Visit for more details on the Bendigo Blues and Roots Music Festival.