I’m devastated. John Prine’s death has hit me hard. It’s funny how we relate to musical artists, follow their lives vicariously through their songs, concerts and in this time, our connection to them through social media. So, when a favourite passes it feels like a family member has died. Prince hit me hard. Maybe it was his age. David Bowie too. Joe Strummer, Johnny Cash (huge sigh as I type) and Slim Dusty. Continue reading
You could call it an illusion, a trick of the stage lighting. Or maybe it was just tiredness that created the moment.
Hamer Hall. October 2001. Paul Kelly is onstage. His grey hair, what little there seems to be of it, is close-cropped. His face appears gaunt, his eyes in shadow. He has looked like this for some years now but it is only at this moment, late in the concert, that for some reason, perhaps merely a blink of my eyes, I think the songwriter bears a passing resemblance to one of Australia’s most popular writers. Continue reading
Since way back in 2004 a couple of good mates and me have had a Top 10 Songs of the Year night. Our friendships stretch back to the dawn of the 80s (and even earlier) and we know each other pretty, pretty, pretty well. Comfortable just hanging out, sharing laughs and curious to hear what songs have caught each other’s ear. For some reason our Top 10 is a Top 12. I can’t even remember why. We also include another five songs.
The five “extra” songs thingy is not meant to imply that they could not make the Top 12. We added this dimension to the night back in 2014. You see, Dylan had recently released The Bootleg Series Vol. 11: The Basement Tapes Complete. So we decided we needed to hear each other’s five faves from that magnificent stew. Since then we have treated the five extras as a chance to play some songs that had a more personal connection or that might distract the flow of your Top 12. Or whatever.
So, without further ado, here’s my 2019 “extra” five… Continue reading
It’s taken a while but here are my live musical highlights of 2019.
The wait is over. Rick has put in the work. We get a cool play-list for our next gathering or drive. It’s the trickle down effect in operation. Continue reading
Death Of A Typographer by Nick Gadd
You like fonts? You like murder mysteries? You like 1970s Dutch prog rock? You’ll love Melbourne writer Nick Gadd’s second novel. ‘Clever, witty and very stylish,’ said The Age. Lots of fun. Continue reading
When Scott Walker (above) died just over a year after Mark E Smith it seemed as though the stitches that held the universe together in some short of shape had started to fray. I have written about both of them on this website as it happens.
Again it’s the end of the year and you wake from the weight of 12 months of heavy slumber and brush the sleep from your eyes. You look in the mirror and what else can you say but I’m “Edrych yn Llygaid Ceffyl Benthyg”. So sung Cate Le Bon on her first EP. Translated from Welsh it means “Looking in the Eyes of a Borrowed Horse”. Continue reading
If you could choose the perfect ending to a Kimberley trip it would be a Pigram concert in Broome. And it happened. Continue reading