The Irwell Street String Band’s albums are no longer available in hard copy – but can be digitally downloaded through BandCamp and iTunes. We were an active band in Melbourne, Australia between 2009 and 2013, but as Andy Baylor moved to Sydney, Australia and Leigh Barker moved to Paris it became a little too difficult to play together. However we had a wonderful time making music during those years, enjoyed making new friends at our shows and travelling around Australia; and of course we are still playing around the world with our new bands. Thanks for visiting! Aloha!
The sweetest string band in town.. Irwell Street featured two guitars, occasionally some ukulele, and of course swinging double bass, led by the delightfully vintage voiced jazz vocalist Hetty Kate.
We played sparkling, sentimental and sassy songs plucked from the scrapbooks of Tinseltown, the well trodden paths of wartime Britain and the colourful beaches of South America – songs you’ll remember, and songs you may not have discovered. Showcasing a beautiful repertoire from the 1930’s to the 1950’s, curated and arranged to be fresh and original, yet staying true to the memory of those that went before.
Always weaving a special magic when they play together, founding members Hetty Kate and Sam Lemann tipped their caps to the popular jazz duo’s of the past.. Peggy Lee and Dave Barbour, Julie London and Barney Kessell, Mary Ford and Les Paul. With two sell out albums under their belts and sell out performances all over Australia, this band is worth a listen – guaranteed to have you smiling and tapping your feet!
“Hetty Kate’s voice overflows with a natural musicality.” Richard Fields, 3CR Radio Melbourne AU
“Pure of tone, sweet sounding and dangerously infectious..” jazz vocalist Hetty Kate has graced stages across Australia and internationally, as both a band leader and featured guest artist with big bands, small groups and combos. With her swinging phrasing and pure voice she is often called for session work and freelance vocals, and is regularly found performing for clubs and festivals internationally.
Sam Lemann has appeared on over 60 recordings, and is one of Melbourne’s musical gems. A regular at Tamworth Country Music Festival, Sam switches easily from guitar to ukulele (and mandolin) and travels to Hawaii each year to learn about secret ukulele strums from the masters. His beautiful guitar and ukulele “Winky” are hand crafted by Melbourne luthier Phil Crickmore, and you can enjoy learning more about Phil’s craft here: Carson Crickmore Guitars.
Hetty Kate and Sam share a love of old songs, long brunches, ukuleles and champagne. Their friendship blossomed beachside in 2007 and from that friendship came this band, Irwell Street. They hope that you enjoy the music, and come along to a show. Aloha.