Watling & Bates are songwriters and performers from Unumgar, on the western edge of the Northern Rivers of NSW. Watling plays fiddle, banjo, and flatpicks guitar to Bates' solid rhythm guitar, each presenting their own compositions.
Their performance as the houseband in Opera Queensland's 2016 production'Tumbulgum and the Countdown to Midnight', part of the 'If These Halls Could Talk' series by Arts Northern Rivers was a career highlight, with their original work 'Florence Met Frank' included in the production.
In 2018 they toured small halls in the Bundaberg with the Whistle-stop Shindig, a community arts initiative of the Bundaberg Regional Council, supported by the Regional Arts Development Fund. The tour provided a stage for emerging performers, culminating in a group performance at Bundaberg's Moncrieff Entertainment Centre during the Crush Festival.
Watling & Bates perform as a duo and played on special occasions with guitarist and Dobro player Thor Phillips, producer of their Small Town Tales album.
I Got Gold - Single/Video Release 24th July 2018 Checked Label Services / AirIt
Small Town Tales - Album Release 4th March 2018 AirIt
Old Times - Live video January 2018
Highway Prayer - Single/Video release CRS 191 July 2016
Misery Loves Company - Single/Video release CRS 179 February 2015
Before I Met You - EP September 2014
“their eclectic mix of toe tapping tunes will leave you joyfully contented”