14 December 2017
Hello all, and Merry Christmas!
I played a very eventful gig at at the Ringwood FC on Tues 12th Dec.
Maree and the other organisers warmly greeted me on arrival, there was a full house, and all seemed keen. Who knew what was about to happen......
First song, the jaunty ditty 'Indecisive'. It went down a treat; 150 people singing along - awesome!
I then mentioned to the audience I would be mixing up the repertoire between serious and light songs.
Second song, 'Modern World', a reflection on our invasion of Australia and the effects on the First Nation's people. Some murmurings from the crowd.
Third song, 'Let's Fall in Love', a loooove song to my gorgeous Binni. Again, some lovely sing-along from the crowd.
Fourth song, 'Manus', about asylum seekers. During the introductory spiel, there was more murmuring and some people started leaving. I half-jokingly asked "was it something I said?". "Yes", they replied, "too political". What????!!!!! I was shocked; shaken that some people were walking out, and also that some people think singing songs about the plight of First Nation's people and refugees is "too political" - in a folk club no less!!!
In total, about 15 people left. A number of people did yell out in support of me, but I could feel the whole mood of the night had shifted. One person yelled out in support of Peter Dutton.
I finished the set quite shaken, and thus a little loose at times.
Speaking to people later, some of the organisers and regulars were very, very supportive of my set, others were clearly annoyed.
One person took the time and effort to email me the next day to tell me how my material was 'not appropriate' for that concert. Who would have thought an audience at a folk club would think it 'inappropriate' for an artist to sing about social justice?
Reflecting later, obviously those who walked out did so not because it was 'too political' but because they didn't like hearing what I was saying, despite it being the truth.
Many great comments later, like, "they were probably the 'No' voters", "Brown man sings about aboriginal people and refugees, old white folk walk out", "You challenged people and made them think, they didn't like that! Good on you", and "I would vote for you"!!!
Some people bought CDs specifically because they had the song 'Manus' on it.
Anyway, still a bit shaken and still processing things. However, now thinking that I will do what I do because I believe in it, and I will not let ignorant, arrogant and rude people shut me down.
Thanks for reading if you got this far!!!
(Great pics by Belinda Haydon).
29 Sept 2017
Uranquinty Folk Festival, N.S.W.
Lovely little festival.
15 September 2017
Another enjoyable gig at Farouk's Olive (Thornbury).
11 September 2017
Lovely gig at CERES yesterday. Thanks to Alex Keusch for joining me with some gorgeous fiddle weaving! Thanks to Binni for the pics. x
3 September 2017
Sensational gig at the equally sensational Caravan Club (Annexe Arts). Thanks so much to Steve Carr and the gang and the wonderful audience for such an enjoyable and enriching gig. Big thanks as always to Binni Haydon for the fab pics! x
27 August 2017
Lovely gig at the ever-friendly and warm Open Studio in Northcote, supported by the wonderful Suzette Herft.
21 August 2017
The OXJAM gig went wonderfully. A lovely group of people to play to. Thanks to all for a great night!
16 August 2017
The OXJAM gig this Saturday has sold out; over $300 raised for OXFAM. Thank you!
1 August 2017
Just got word I have been accepted into the Uranquinty Folk Festival - come and join me in late Sept!
9 July 2017
Another fab gig at the best little bar-venue in town, Farouk's Olive in Thornbury.
9 June 2017
Played at Smith's Alternative in Canberra. I LOVE THIS PLACE. Just a great vibe. Fantastic decor - folk hip. Wonderful people, wonderful stage and sound system. Big thanks to Marisol for organising the gig!
7 May 2017
Darwin mini-tour: Last stop. Darwin Railway Club (more great pics from Binni Haydon).
6 May 2017
Darwin mini-tour: Third stop. The Nightcliff Seabreeze Festival. Wonderful community festival. Played on the foreshore to another beautiful sunset! (Great pics as usual by Binni Haydon!).
5 May 2017
Darwin mini-tour: Second stop. After playing for 3 hours at the Ski Club (and setting up and pulling down their PA, as you do!), I went straight to Happy Yess to do a set there. What a wonderful venue! In addition to it looking and feeling great (bit arty and alternative, but friendly) it is run by lovely people, and the sound guy Finn made it a beautiful experience to play there - I didn't want to stop!
5 May 2017
My mini-tour of Darwin.
First stop, the Darwin Ski Club. Was surprised upon arrival to be informed that it was my job to set up their PA from scratch, including lugging all speakers and desk and cables etc from storage area to stage! They did not have a 'sound person'! Of course it took nearly an hour for me to set up an unknown system in an unknown space. Management then later made a comment that I started my set late (you are kidding, no?!). Well, people did warn me things operated differently in the NT! Anyway, I eventually I enjoyed playing a nice long 3-hour (sun)set. (Pics by the wonderful Binni Haydon).
22 April 2017
Accepted into Darwin Nightcliff Seabreeze Festival on Saturday 6th May. Very happy!
Will add dates around it at the Darwin Ski Club (Fri 5th), Happy Yess (Fri 5th) and Railway Club Hotel (Sun 7th) - a wonderfully busy 3 days coming up!
21 April 2017
Did a lovely gig at Platform 3 in Carnegie.
20 April 2017
Went to the National Folk Festival in Canberra over Easter. Did my Percussion Experience thing with Binni.
Also drummed in the 'All-Star' folk band that performed their version of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon.
Also did a number of singer/songwriter slots at the Off-Broadway venues.
5 April 2017
I am playing at CERES on Wednesday 5 April, 10.15am-12.15pm. Come down and check out some groovy loopy stuff, and buy excellent organic produce!
Had a ball at my gig at Farouk's Olive - thanks to all who came, Farouks and Belinda Haydon for awesome photos.
25 March 2017
Played a lovely set at the Basin Music Festival on Saturday night.
24 Feb 2017
Lots of nice gigs coming up - playing Greek songs with Anthea's Rubies this Saturday (25th), then a Janis Joplin rock gig the following Friday (3rd), then my Community Drummers are playing with the Oakleigh Brass Band on Sunday (5th), then Pt. Fairy Folk Festival, then Warrawee Festival, then my Farouk's Olive gig, then a gig at Ceres, then the National Folk Festival....whew! Check out my Gig page for details. Hope to see you at one or more!
16 JAN 2017
Thanks to those who made it to the Farouk's gig yesterday. Big thanks to Binni Haydon for the great pics.
9 JAN 17
I will be playing another gig this Saturday 14th January at Farouk's Olive (5-7pm). Check the Upcoming Gigs page for details.
12 DEC 16
Just finished a wonderfully enjoyable recording weekend at Dog and Bear Studio (Trentham) with Nicky Bomba, Steve Vella, Carl Pannuzzo, Liz Frencham and Pete Fidler.
Working it at Farouk's Olive this evening. Thanks Belinda Haydon for the great pics.
Announcing today that I am doing 2 sets at Farouk's Olive in High St., Thornbury on Friday 2nd December, 5-7pm.
Fun times with Anthea Sidiropoulos, Nicholas Baltas and Dean Georgalas at The Greek Centre last Friday night - yassou!!
(Pics by Belinda Haydon).
6 NOV 2016
Playing some funky, bluesy, folksy songs and experimental instrumental at CERES, with Matt Radford (bass) and Irine Vela (guitar, mando etc). Much looking forward to it. Check my gig guide for details.
22 OCT 2016
A shot from last night's 'Marriage of Figaro vs. Oz Rock and Aussie Rules'.
Last show tomorrow evening (Sunday 23rd, 6pm).
Some pics from yesterday's Marriage of Figaro show - only 2 shows left! (This Friday, this Sunday).
A shortened version of Mozart's Marriage of Figaro has been adapted to have a classic Aussie rock and footy finals theme. Weirdly, it works.
Herald Sun 10/10/2016
VIENNA 1786 — the year Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro premiered — is a far-flung irrelevant past in Emotionworks — Cut Opera’s latest foray into presenting opera with an edge.
Devised and directed by Artistic Director Julie Edwardson, Aussie rules meets Mozart in a you-beaut, zany and delightful adaptation in which the likes of John Paul Young’s Love Is In The Air (with more than 30 other Oz Rock hits) sits comfortably among Mozart’s golden hued score.
Kiss Count Almaviva’s palatial Seville estate goodbye. Edwardson has replaced it with the hierarchy of the football club and its yards of scandalous shenanigans, as the public now expect, to go with it. It could be any club but in this not so far-fetched version, let’s say it’s The Saints.
In Edwardson’s version, the four-act opera becomes a four-quarter match and a tussle between love and fidelity as much as a battle of the sexes.
There’s an uncanny believable appeal to the well-cast outfit. Richard Woods is the rugged, loutish and rough-edged team captain Figaro. The Count is a self-absorbed womanising coach played by Peter Hanway. Katy Turbitt is a sweet and lively Susanna, the coach’s personal assistant and Figaro’s fiance, and Katrina Waters swans as Rosina, the coach’s rather Brighton-bred wife.
Alison Lemoh is the frisky, testosterone-charged new recruit, Cherubino and Maryanne Bird wafts as a sassy Marcelllina, the club social secretary. Wayne Cuebas means business as the mullet hair styled club lawyer, Bartolo, Peter Vadiveloo plays the jockster (and streaks across the oval) as the veteran player Basilio and Natasha Jacoel-Kaminsky is maturing way too quickly as Antonio’s schoolgirl daughter Barberina.
All the way down to Bob Hall’s doddery Antonio, the ground curator, the ockerish transposition of roles is a winner with the plot maintained marvellously.
The depth of Figaro and Susanna’s love, the poignancy of Rosina’s lamest of love lost and the stirring act of forgiveness she bestows on a repentant husband remain luminous highlights. Accompanying them, Cold Chisel’s Working Class Man (Figaro), Skyhooks’s All My Friends Are Getting Married (Basilio), and Helen Reddy’s I Am Woman (Rosina and Susanna) come into the mix as artists cut between opera and rock, though some with more success than others.
As Susanna, Katy Turbitt shines through the two genres but a cogent team spirit and individual strengths leave an indelible impression. Even a little rusty recitative endears alongside the antics.
The first half is performed in the clubroom of the North Port Oval with fleet of foot momentum. Then, after half time, the audience moves to the oval’s grandstand for the second half without any wind lost in Edwardson’s deft, tongue in cheek direction as she whips it into priceless entertainment that sports impeccable sound balance.
Edwardson herself sits at the keyboard, keeping the tempo rolling with Nigel Sharp on bass guitar and harmonics with Bartolo and Basilio at home alternating on percussion. The coach’s whistle keeps the game on track.
Prepare for the thrill of the game. It’s a good one.
MARRIAGE OF FIGARO VS OZ ROCK AND AUSSIE RULES
Until 23rd October
North Port Oval clubroom and grandstand, Port Melbourne until October 23
Rating: three and a half stars9*