From when the very first “Entertainers of the Island” series appeared in the April/May 2017 issue of The Mini Bribie Islander, I have written about many talented entertainers including “Wings of Fleetwood” (the very first of the series), “The Plumbdogs” and “The Ukulele Strummers”, each of them well known among the music lovers of our community.
As a complete coincidence, our “Entertainer of the Island” for this issue just happens to be a member of each of them Keith Haigh pointed out that it all began because a number of his relations were accomplished musicians and it was after hearing them playing their various instruments and getting together for family singalongs while he and his parents were visiting them during the holidays that he knew where he was going.
Featured Image(above): The Plumbdogs
’That was a big influence for me when I was only about four or five,’ Keith said. ‘Then I heard the Mary Ford and Les Paul song “How High the Moon” and I used to sing it a lot. That really made me want to be a musician,’ he recalled. From when Keith’s mum bought him a guitar in 1966, and he received lessons from Vic Dean, Keith’s musical career went from strength to strength.
Although he continued to study classical for a period of ten years, as a lad he got together with three other budding musos and their parents used to arrange gigs for them. ‘We used to get work playing at private functions such as BBQs and we were paid one dollar each,’ Keith explained. ‘Then we began playing at a garage outside Garden City of a Saturday morning and we would get bookings from that,’ he added. As time went on, Keith teamed up with a piano accordion player and used to play at some of the country dances around the area.
Wings of Fleetwood – Keith Haigh and Mary Anne Cannon
It was at this point that reality saw him become an apprentice baker and, after his employer closed down, he found employment with Arnotts and remained there for a period of four years. By this time, his passion for all things musical took over and, as well as working in a Brisbane music store, he began to pass his talent on to others as a teacher. Being an obviously talented musician, Keith plays and teaches a number of instruments including guitar.
Bass guitar, banjo and ukulele. He also teaches singing and stage presentation and over the years he has played in a number of bands and also performed as a solo act, moving to our beautiful Island about thirteen years ago. As a member of the bands that I mentioned at the beginning and a jazz trio that goes by the name of 3 Up, Keith has entertained at many venues in the local area and that includes the Blue Pacific Hotel, Bribie Waterways, Country Links and more. He appears by himself at other locations such as private functions, the Art Café and the Brennan Park markets.
He can also lay claim to having been instrumental in the development of a few up and coming local performers such as that “Pocket Rocket,” the dynamic Paige Montgomery and teaches a number of want to be guitar players including one that he probably regards as an impossible dream, ME. Seriously though, Keith Haigh is a super talented performer who receives acclaim wherever he performs and, if anyone would like to enquire about having him play at an event, he can be contacted on 0419 733 282.