"Penelope Swales is a unique Australian singer/songwriter and performer. She performs usually as a soloist but also performs with many of her colleagues in various line-ups. She is a quality performer who always wins her audience irrespective of their age or demographic background. She writes and sings about contemporary and historic Australian life developing great pictures of the issues and the experience of ordinary people. She has much to offer her audience and I believe she is a great representative of Australian culture."
- Bill Hauritz, Director Queensland Folk Federation, Woodford Folk Festival
Penelope Swales is one of the greatest artist amongst in fine group of
folk performers in this country. A brilliant songwriter and performer
with something like 9 albums to her credit, she is truly under rated
and overlooked. I've only heard her played on 4zzz and the only
people who have heard of her are those who attend the various
folk festivals around the country.
Penelope sings songs about herself, particularly about men she has
developed relationships with, social justice with no hold back and
people. Shes is both funny and deadly serious and seems to approach
things in a way unlike anyone else.
This album was recorded over the 96 - 97 Woodford Folk Festival
in various locations around the festival site I'm sure I was at all
of the performances, myself and some friends made it our mission
to watch Penelope when ever she played.
She once turned up to a gig and because of rain the
performance was canned cause the power was out.
She recognized us as those crazy people who stalk her,
sat at our table and asked us what we would like to hear
and proceeded to take our requests and play them, while
having a coffee with us, what a nice person.
Penelope is at her best live and this is the perfect introduction.
She starts the Cd with
"Do you know me really well ,
do you know me well enough to like play the Panther
without preparing you first for my personality"
The Panther - Penelope Swales
I couldn't say to save my face that he dragged me into his lair.
More that I sat at the door and hugged my knees
and said "Can I come in there?"
He smiled, turned away, arched his back and then he said "Mmm....."
He smiled as though embarassed, thought awhile
and then said " Yeah, hop in. "
It was then that I realised I'd climbed straight into the den of a panther.
Like Leda and the Swan but more carnivorous.
I put my arms around his deep chest,
I put my face in his fur.
I breathed deep his animal scent,
arched my back beneath his paws.
And there rose inside me, deep in my human flesh, deep in my female flesh,
an answering panther call Rraah
I watched him play like big cats play, with water.
I watched him cautious like big cats are with fire.
I watched him watching me, that sideways,
feline glance burning with a cool fire.
The flicker of interest concealing the furnace of desire.
In the middle of the night,
I rang my mother.
You'll just have to listen to hear what her Mother says.
Theres lots of great songs on this but the stand out
track is the last one, the 16 min spoken word journey
leading into the song about Penelope's time living
on the streets in Sydney as a young girl and another
woman she spent time with. I heard this story and song
one year at Woodford and I was a fan for life,
its really unbelievable.
She decided to record it as it was always being
requested and it became to painful to keep regurgitating it.
Give this a listen you won't be disappointed and checkout
Penelope's other stuff on her site - Here.
I'm sure she like some legit support.