Denmark Festival of Voice 2018 The sun was shining and there was a buzz in the air in Denmark as the Festival of Voice got into full swing. Our beautiful little town came alive with song, poetry and music scattered in every venue across town. I played at Mrs Jones Cafe on Saturday and Sunday.
On Saturday early evening Tim and I did a documentary screening of “Music from Manus – 5 Days not 5 Years” which was very well attended. Once again we had a fantastic response and people really engaged with the information being shared on the screen and thanks to all those who signed my petition and put money in the tin afterwards. I have been able to send some money to help a refugee get some urgently needed dental treatment today as a result of the money raised at the screening.
Thanks to the Denmark Yoga community for raising funds and to all the individuals who have approached me in the street to donate too, their money also was able to support the dental costs. We have a few more local screenings, one in Denmark and one in Walpole then the next ones will be when I go over east in August.
So life has been changing dramatically for me in recent months with so many more engagements than ever before. My music career has overlapped with my activism work and my purpose has become more clear. I am passionate about music and writing and recording songs and performing which always comes first. However, alongside that is my desire to see an end to the offshore detention of innocent people. I am passionate about that too and I am honoured that I can use my music profile to raise awareness and support change.
In the next few months I will be doing my usual gigs and they include my first time at Freehand Wines right here in Denmark and then I have been asked to perform a the Truffle Kerfuffle in Manjimup being organised by Kelsi Miller Good nights Bunbury on Sunday 24th which is fantastic!. A week before I go to Townsville I will be playing at one of my favourite local spots….well almost local….in Albany called Six Degrees which will be a great warm up for the pending trip.
Next Album in the making I have a heap of new songs that I want to get onto my next album so I’ve booked a weekend in September to record the first few songs and it’s wonderful to have Tony King there to do lots of the instrumentation and Al Smith from Bergerk! studios is coming down to set up his recording gear in my music studio. I’m going to ask a bunch of locals to participate too so it’s really going to be another local affair. I’ll keep you posted on that one folks.
Townsville Cultural Festival
July is a month where I will be getting organised for the biggest event for “Dawn Barrington Music” this year and that is that I will be performing at the Townsville Cultural Fest! This will be my very first visit to Townsville and it’s going to be awesome and especially lovely to catch up with Kallidad who are one of the headliners. This is an incredible festival where gender equity is a priority and all cultures are recognised in one big celebration. The organiser of this festival Farvardin Daliri and his team have been making this happen for many years and he is a great advocate for cultural diversity in his community and I am very looking forward to meeting him and his team in August for this fantastic weekend.
After the Townsville Festival I will be going down to NSW to do a heap of screenings down the NSW coast in Newcastle, Gosford, Sydney x 2, Wollongong and Eurobodalla. I am very excited because there is such enthusiasm by the people hosting them to make it happen and I will get to meet all the fellow activists/advocates over there who I have been conversing and liaising with on facebook for the past 18 months or so.
I am now keen to spread the word far and wide so please feel free to share the documentary and if you want me to do a screening in your town please make contact with me because I am very happy to come and do that.
I am sat at my computer 3 weeks after returning home from a 9,000km round trip that has changed me forever. I had no idea where I was headed emotionally and physically and I actually went with no expectations, but one thing I knew for sure and that is my life would never be the same again.
There has been much controversy over the offshore processing of refugees on Manus and Nauru. I wanted to find a way to seek the truth and I was feeling helpless and overwhelmed as I watched the cruel regime of our government and it’s treatment of refugees. So I planned to go to Manus to play music and document the trip…Why? because I wanted to use music to connect with the friends that I had made there and then show the world that the men on Manus are just regular human beings like us. Like mine and your sons, our brothers or cousins. Thank you to local film maker Tim Maisey for trusting in me and taking the journey with me and for doing a fantastic job of documenting the experience.
How did I get involved in this journey?
Around 2 years ago I noticed that my very good friend and textile artist Ruth Halbert was becoming more involved in the very politicised issue of offshore processing on Manus Island and Nauru. I wasn’t really aware of what it was all about and after all I was way too busy with my music career and my family to fit anything else into my life. But then she started writing letters to the Prime Minster Malcom Turnball every day….I mean every day. She was writing for every woman, man and child in offshore detention. I was slowly starting to notice more and more facebook posts that were damning of the Australian Government and the name Peter Dutton kept coming up. I don’t have a TV so I had not idea who he was but I could see he was creating a few problems. Then in June 2017 Ruth was asked to contribute her work to the Denmark Festival of Voice, so she asked members of the community if they would read aloud the letters for 30 mins at a time. So i put my hand up to be one of the readers and I felt a bit uncomfortable with the idea but I did it and it was a very moving experience. People there were very moved by the readings and it was an incredibly powerful way to share the stories of the refugees and to bring more awareness to the issue.
I was playing at the Festival of Voice and it was time for me to start taking a stand for these people who had been detained indefinitely for 4 and a half years in terrible conditions. So this was when I started to dedicate one of my songs to the refugees. The song is called “Cross to Bear” and I sang it for the first time with real purpose. Then something happened in August….I liked a post on Ruth’s facebook page and it was a video of a song played at a protest in Melbourne. The video was written by a refugee on Manus, “Moz” and a lady in Melbourne called Dr Emma Obrien who had a recording studio recorded the song with a bunch of amazing musicians. The song is called “All the Same”
I received a friend request from ‘Moz’ and we started chatting, I was scared because I had only heard about the refugees being terrorists and criminals on the news although I knew that couldn’t be true. I found myself chatting with this beautiful, charming courteous intelligent young man who was in a terrible situation. We talked about music and shared songs and I realised then what Ruth was doing, she was being a voice for these innocent people who were not able to defend themselves from the lies and deceit of our government. I found more friend requests coming in and I became more and more involved.
We arrived in Port Moresby on March 16th and then on Manus on March 17th. From the moment we arrived to the moment we left we were taken care of by the refugees, they organised a place to stay and they brought us food everyday (from their own rations) and they joined us for music and they sat and shared their stories – it was heart breaking and heart warming at the same time.
Here is a preview of our documentary, thank you to Tim Maisey for filming and editing and thank you to Dave Anger for recording and mixing the song while I was in Tasmania last month.
I had to do something – I’m an artist (singer/songwriter) and that’s my job to ask the tough questions.
So before I had time to even think about what I was doing I had started the crowd funder to go to Manus. Donations came in quickly then an incredibly unbelievable thing happened while I was on tour in NSW. While in Gosford I met a total stranger at a coffee shop. She told me later that she was so taken by my passion and drive to do something that she offered to pay the balance for the trip, it was a very emotional moment….I cried because someone actually believed in me and she cried with the gratitude that she could help. It was a moment in time that I couldn’t have organised if I had tried…..the stars were aligned and I was going to Manus. Below is a reflection that I wrote on the way home from Brisbane.
5 DAYS NOT 5 YEARS ON MANUS REFLECTION
We’re on our way home and I just don’t know where to start. There’s just so much to process and right now I am filled with rage and compassion all at the same time. I can’t imagine the torture these guys have endured and I can’t imagine the pain they are carrying. I am amazed they still have the warmth in their hearts to greet us after all that they have endured under our government our sovereign nation under the guise of our National Anthem which use the words “with those who come across the seas we’ve boundless plains to share”.
Today on our last day William (name changed) came and his story is tragic. He was flown to Darwin for a small infection on his wrist then back to Manus where he waited a year to have the operation in Port Moresby. He said the doctor said it would be back to normal in 6 weeks. The doctor cut the nerves in his wrist and his hand is now paralysed. He is in pain all the time and he takes Tremedol, panadeine forte and anti depressants and 2 other medications for his stomach, kidneys and liver. It’s been 12 months since the operation and he no longer has the use of his left hand and he feels he is half a man now. He is 31 years old and he has children back in his homeland in Iraq. He came to the Hotel to give us some discs with x-rays and medical records, for me to pass on to the person coordinating all the medical misconduct cases.
He is so traumatised by it all that he can hardly function. He’s a beautiful kind grateful young man and as I sit next to him to listen to his story I am filled again with shame of the government that we have accepted as our leaders.
There is no leadership in this government, no leadership traits; honesty and integrity, commitment and passion, good communication, accountability, delegation and empowerment, creativity and innovation. I saw more leadership in all of these young men, they are all incredibly smart but they are more than that they have courage and wisdom beyond their years. They have open hearts despite having it sliced into so many piecesby the systematic torture that they have endured on a daily basis for 5 years. Every part of their being has been shattered into many pieces and thrown into a hole so dark and deep that any regular person would never have survived. Yet these guys have managed to salvage the shards and found a way to hold them together and maintain integrity and generosity for others. They carry a huge amount of the guilt and blame themselves for what is happening to them.
They told me how each night 80% of the men can’t sleep because as soon as they put their heads on the pillow the pain of torture runs out of control, regrets and what if’s keep running round and round and they just can’t sleep. Some of them sleep sat up. Farvard said ‘I can’t sleep lying down but I can’t get up because I am so tired then around 4 – 5 am I fall asleep till lunchtime’ …..approx 80% of them live like this and have done for the past 5 years.
Lukini lodge was a good choice because the men were willing to come to visit us. Lukini lodge was in town and the men don’t usually go into town on Saturday or Sunday or after 5pm each evening because it’s not safe. There is a big problem with alcoholism amongst the locals and robbery is the main problem. It’s a bit different to Australia because if you don’t hand over your money or phone there is a high chance that they will knife you.
Each day new men arrived and shared their pain, they all had the same disposition. They sat politely in the chair or on the edge of the bed, shoulders slightly hunched, head tilted slightly forwards. As the stories unfolded of the torture they had endured and the pain they had experienced I found myself sitting helpless. They all began with the same words. We have been here almost 5 years, not 1 day, not 5 days, not 3 months not 8 months but 5 years and some of them would say the actual number of days. Then they would say again 5 years almost 5 years holding out their hand with 4 fingers and a thumb showing.
Hazara believed that the Australian people hated them and he said “we thought Australia was different to where we fled from, but they hate us”. When I explained that many people didn’t know the truth about Manus and that the government had been lying to its people for the past 5 years he was shocked. It was the first time that he had heard that, he really believed that everyone knew and that they were all filled with anger and hatred towards all refugees.
Some of the guys actually believed that the guards, teachers and caseworkers were an example of all Australians. The guards were all horrible, abusive and total rednecks. The refugees believed that this must be what all Australian’s are like. There were some really good teachers and caseworkers but they usually left because it was too traumatic to witness such inhumane conditions or they spoke up and were sacked. Many were cruel and very unkind. When the refugees went to the caseworker they felt they were not supported and they were left to feel like no one cared and no one could help them.
Najaed said we don’t want to go to Australia we hate Australians. Then there were the ones who know there are many wonderful people in Australia and that is was the government.
Something else I heard over and over again was we are dead, we are all dead inside and we have nothing left for them to take. I would say to them “yes I can see that, I can see the life has left, but in all of you I see a tiny sparkle in your eyes” and they would show me a huge smile. A huge smile. The guys I met all still had a glimmer of hope but there were many who didn’t come to the hotel too and I know there are many men staying in their rooms or in the camps feeling helpless and very depressed most of the time.
Sometimes when I was talking to some of the guys I felt like I was talking into air, air that was filled with no hope and I would feel this wall rise and I felt like an idiot. Like what am I saying? Nothing I say could possibly be of any help to them and I almost felt like I was needing to dig myself into a hole to get out of the mess I had gotten into.
I was explaining that we wanted to take footage and take it back to Australia and show the people what we have seen so that we can help shift their views. But I felt like my words were empty like what the hell can I do it’s 5 years too late. How many people have been before and said the same thing only to do nothing or have no impact no matter how many people they tried to talk to or write to. Because every time people take action the government tell more stories of boarder safety and terrorists and the red necks all jump up and follow the governments lead. The advocates are all called ‘do gooders’ and are shut down. Dutton changes tact and makes up new rules.
Isaac was there in 2013 and he watched as the Australian guards and PNG police for no reason attack his friend Reza Barati. Reza was tall and he looked strong and they “piled on him and beat him till he was dead” the refugee said he watched his friend get murdered by Australian guards and PNG police officers. This refugee was only 20 yrs old when he witnessed that by our government under our watch.
Isaac sits in the chair in the hotel room in Port Moresby. He has been living there for 9 mths. He went there after some refugees were offered the option to go there to “integrate”. That door closed very quickly and recently refugees were sent back to Manus. Isaac felt it would be a better option to go to Port Moresby to keep his mind busy. He works 14 hours a day 6 days a week for 200 kina (approx. $85).
He sits in the chair slightly hunched over and shoulders slightly forwards. He is 6’4” and he has a beautiful strong face and that same sparkle in his eyes. He tells the story from a place in him that is devoid of emotion, that’s how they all share their stories from a place that keeps them safe from the pain. Just enough expression to get our attention.
We need to be strong and we don’t want to burden them, Abdul said “it’s too much for people, many case workers and psychologists have left because they can’t cope.”
* I have changed the names of the guys to protect them from retribution or hindering their chance to go to the USA.
Where from here? Artist and Musician finding her path
On the home front I have been busy with gigs and a week after I got back from Manus Island I was asked to play at Arcadia Wines for Easter Sunday which was a real treat and I’ve come back with a new perspective on my work as a musician and artist. It was lovely to catch up with Gaye and John again and to get back into the swing of my regular work if you know what I mean but I also have a new vigour and passion for my work. I now know that I have to play my original songs when I perform and I am happy to do a mix of originals and covers for a 3 hour gig but I have to do my original music in the mix. I know this means I won’t get some gigs because some venues think that the audience wants all covers and there are the venues who want musicians to play covers to entertain the audience as they slowly get drunk . This is not my opinion I have been told this by venues. The brief usually is to play covers and lift the beat towards the end of the night to get the punters buying more alcohol. It’s just how it is in the music industry in Australia. I’m not sure how it is overseas but I would love to find out one day.
The week after that I was booked to play at the Three Anchors where I haven’t played for ages so that was a lot of fun too. I am now gearing up for a couple of gigs in May and then it’s the Denmark Festival of Voice.
Then my very very big news is that I am off to Townsville in August for the Townsville Cultural Festival. I will keep you posted on that news next.
The day before I left for NSW I did a performance at the Denmark Arts Markets, it was a fabulous morning and if you have never been to the Arts Markets you must schedule a trip to Denmark WA to coincide with an Arts Markets day. They have live music playing all day and lots of market stalls with hand made products, food and more.
I played a full set and at the end of my set I decided to dedicate the last two songs to the refugees on Manus Island and Nauru. I offered the audience an opportunity to get up on stage with me to stand with the Women, men and children in offshore detention, it was quite moving as people joined me and a very special moment indeed when I sang my new song “Fly Free Little Bird”
I was away for just over 3 weeks and I’ve been home a week or so and it’s been go go go. I had a fantastic tour and there were many highlights and a few lowlights of course but it wouldn’t be rock ‘n’ roll if it was all plain sailing. After spending a few days with my 2nd cousin in Gladesville (thanks Paul and Anne) I went to Gosford via Chatswood. John Regan has been a great supporter of my music and it’s always great to go to the studio at Northside Sydney Radio 99.3 fm to see him for an interview and a quick catch up. Then I met Father Rod Bower from the Anglican Parish Church for lunch in Gosford. I have been following him for a little while now and I am very interested in the work he is doing to support the refugees in offshore detention and I just love all of his work and the way he goes about it. It was fantastic to meet him and have a chat about all matters needing our attention and compassion. Then I remembered that I had a radio interview booked for 2 BOB 104.7fm to promote the gig in Upper Lansdowne. I managed to be ready at my phone in time for that then off I went to my next stop.
I headed over to the Rhythm Hut where I was booked to play that night and what a fantastic venue it is. Louise Sawilejskij is the lady at the helm of the Rhythm Hut and she and her team of volunteers bring it all together. They have a fantastic venue where you can stay and a shared meal is offered and you get to sit and chat with all the volunteers and other musicians. I was fortunate enough to be there when Nathan Cavaleri was playing so I got to have chat with him and see his gig on the Friday night, he’s a lovely young man and of course I had no idea of who he was until after the event. Louise did give me a bit of his story just when he arrived but it really didn’t sink in until I googled him a week or so later and wow! what a surprise I had to see his incredible story.
The next day I made my way up to Upper Lansdowne where I was booked to play as a support act for Dan Walsh a great up and coming Banjo player from the UK. I played a set and then he played and then we played a few songs together which was a lot of fun…I just love to collaborate and I can’t believe that he
let me improvise some lead on his song…he’s a very brave man lol…. Upper Landsdowne Memorial Hall is a fantastic venue run by the local community it was a fantastic night, we had a full house and a lot of fun. The very next day I had to get back to Newcastle for a gig at the Lass O’Gowrie which was one of the low lights so I won’t talk about that one grrrrr. Then on the same day I made my way to Glenorie where I stayed at the lovely Dimitra’s (a friend of a friend) for 3 days and for a bit of rest before I headed off to Tasmania. I was well looked after and really sorry that I missed my friends who usually stay there but hopefully I will get to see them soon. They are also musicians and they are aways on the road. I’m afraid the photos aren’t very good but they are just evidence that I was there and having a great time!
I stayed for a night at a friend’s house in Sydney then I went over to Tasmania for 10 days which was organised by John Lay from Voice of the Midlands 97.1fm.
John organised the tour and initially he was planning on booking 5 to 6 gigs but it ended up only being 3 which was not the best but that’s rock and roll too folks sometimes things don’t go the way you planned. I played at the Colebrook Tavern, Midland Hotel in Oatlands and Ye Olde Buckland Inn in Buckland which was the high light and I also did a radio interview which is always a lot of fun too.
However, I managed to catch up with the lovely Dave Anger who is also a radio presenter at Voice of the Midlands and we got to spend some time together and he had his home studio set up where I recorded a demo of my song “Fly free little bird” which I have dedicated to the refugees on Manus Island and Nauru. It was a very special moment and I am very grateful to Dave for the opportunity to get a demo down.
Next Friday 9th March I will be playing at the Bunbury Regional Art Gallery as part of the Bunbury Goodnights live music series. I will be playing from 12 noon till 2pm and then I will be heading over the Mandurah to do a House Concert at Westy’s BnB which is run by the lovely Be Westbrook. We met through House Concerts Australia. House Concerts is another great way to listen to live music and get up close and personal with the musician, they are great fun and I always meet lovely people who really appreciate music.
The very big news is that I have been selected to play at the Townsville Cultural Fest in Townsville August of this year. This is very exciting for me because it’s not easy getting into big festivals and I have been selected because the organiser likes my work which is fantastic. This is an all ages all genres festival and a celebration of all cultures. My songs reflect a lot of who I am and the things that matter to me the most, so to be selected based on what I write about makes it all worth while.
I do have some more very exciting news which I will share with you very soon. So watch this space folks!!
I thought it was time for an update on what’s been happening the past few months. As soon as I got back from Kalgoorlie I started getting ready for a House Concert which is the first one that I have booked through House Concerts Australia.
It was at Arcadia Wines in Kendenup which is only an hour or so away from Denmark. Gaye and John are a lovely couple and they have only had the cellar door open for the past 18 months and they are doing really well. They have award winning wines and I would personally recommend the aged Riesling. Gaye and John are lovers of live music and they are really passionate about having regular live music events which is awesome. All the tickets were sold and we all had a great night. The photo isn’t brilliant but it’s just evidence that I was there lol!
Then a couple of weeks later I took a trip up to the big smoke for a couple of gigs. One in York which is about an hour east of Perth where I played at the Settlers House York, which is a beautiful old heritage building. York is the the first inland town Settled in WA. We had a few drinks at the end of the night and I heard a few good ghost stories which was a bit unnerving.
On Sunday I played at Jackadders Music Club. I had a really warm welcome from Carmel and Ron and we had a lovely afternoon. It was great to hear the audience sing along to my original songs and the whole gig was recorded which was fantastic.
Next was one of my regular gigs at the Earl of Spencer in Albany. Peter Caron joined me on guitar and I love playing with Peter because we have a lot of fun and he adds lots of fancy guitar work to my songs, and the covers, that we do. I usually do an even mix of originals and covers when I do pub gigs which is pretty cruisey and generally good fun. Peter set up the video so we got some great footage of us playing too.
Then last but not least I did another house concert but this time in Manjimup at a beautiful historic building called Dingup House Bed and Breakfast which is managed by Chris and John. Dingup House is one of the first houses built on the original town site of Manjimup until they moved the town a few kms down the road. Chris and John do a fantastic job there and we had a wonderful intimate evening with soup and song. The photo isn’t the best but it just gives you an idea of the set up there. Half the guests stayed the night and the rooms are all beautifully presented with heritage style beds and lovely patchwork bed covers. I would highly recommend a stay there if you’re travelling through that neck of the woods.
My son has gone to New York for a school trip so my husband and I have decided to go for a little holiday across to Augusta and Margaret River and I’m going to play at the Goodfellas i cafe in Margaret River while we’re there. I know what you’re thinking….can’t she just have one weekend without playing music…and the answer is most definitely not….lol! It just so happens our friends own Goodfellas and I just love playing there.
Then the following week I’ll be doing a double gig with Peter Caron which means we will be at the Albany Boatshed Markets in the Morning and at The Earl of Spencer in the evening. I’m really looking forward to doing a house concert in Northam in October. I’m also busy planning another Eastern States tour for Jan/Feb or next year which is very time consuming and fun at the same time. I’ve also been busy writing songs for recording next year. That’s it for now folks! Stay warm and dry in this crazy weather if you live on this side of the planet and down this far below the equator.
It was my first ever visit and it was soooo worth the drive. I took the coastal route to Esperance then the Coolgardie Esperance road to Kalgoorlie. If you do it in one hit it takes almost 10 hours but I stopped in Esperance for a night each way so I had a decent break.
I have been utilising Air BnB a lot lately because it’s a great way to go on the road and get low cost accommodation and to be honest it makes it possible for me to take my music further afield. However, there is a down side, you never know what you’re going to get. So you just have to go with the flow and be thankful that you have a bed and shower and it’s alway clean and tidy. I had booked in at the Forest House Air BnB and little did I know that I would be sharing the venue with 11 other young men and that it would be a hostel type setup. So you can imagine my surprise when I found out that the bathrooms were all shared which wouldn’t have been so bad if there had been other women staying. But I was on the only woman, so everyday I felt like I was walking into the men’s bathroom. They were all young guys (except for one) and they would stand at the sink half clad, having a shave or wash, and we would give each the obligatory nod “how you goin'” type thing and continue on our way. All jokes aside they were very respectful and lovely guys, but another concern came to mind when I realised they were all young. Oh bugger! I thought, they’re going to be wanting to party every night and I really needed my sleep so that I could be awake and focused for my gigs, I mean I’m not getting any younger! Well it turned out that they were all fly in fly out (fifo) workers and they were working 12 hour shifts from 6am to 6pm and didn’t get home till after 6pm and they were all in bed by 9pm! I was already out preparing for my gigs by that time and I was probably the noisey one not getting back till after midnight. So that was an interesting role reversal if ever I saw one.
E13 Session at Burt St Shop, Kalgoorlie, Photo courtesy Billy Ray Stokes
I found out at 5.30am the following morning that the train line was 50 metres from my bedroom window and the train station was a few doors down. The big diesel passenger and freight train idled in the station for around 20 mins and then every 30 mins after that another train whistled past for the next few hours. You can all see where this is heading can’t you? It’s all the things that rock and roll stories are made off….LIVING THE DREAM!! only it’s ‘FOLK N ROLL’ all the way for me folks! :O)
I didn’t get much sleep the first night to my surprise! — not — but it didn’t matter because I could sleep in for as long as I liked the next day the gig wasn’t till 7pm at night. However, the phone rang at 9am the next morning, it was Betina from ABC Kalgoorlie radio and she had heard I was in town touring my album and that I had come all the way from Denmark WA. She wondered if I wanted to go in for an interview and to play a song. I was like “yeah sure that would be awesome! What time did you want me in?”, “Would 10am be ok with you?” she replied. “Yeah sure! I lied”, that would great! So I jumped out of bed got my act together tuned my guitar gargled some warm water so I could sing without croaking and headed off to the studio. I found the studio in the nick of time after driving round town trying to find it only to find out that I had parked right outside on my first time round.
It was lovely to meet Betina the presenter and it turned out her parents were living in Denmark. That evening I had a great gig at 3b Boutique Bar where I met some lovely people and sold some CD’s which was awesome. It’s not easy going to a brand new venue to set up your PA and play and the 3b Boutique staff were fantastic and so accommodating. The following night I played at the secret location on Burt Street. Ruben Wills from E13 Sessions has been doing some fantastic work up there in Kalgoorlie WA. He is passionate about supporting original live music and giving artists an opportunity to play their original music to an attentive audience. It’s a fantastic event and we had the most wonderful audience, it was very much like a house concert, intimate and very engaging. It was a sellout and myself and two other great local artists played two 25 minute sets each. Ruben had organised a professional sound guy and photographer, so all we had to do, was show up with our guitar and plug in to play. I did a lot of story telling between songs and it was great to have the whole room singing along to my songs. I went away with a very warm glow that night.
All in all Kalgoorlie is very interesting place to visit, it’s quite a culture shock from the regular country towns and I don’t know if if was just me, or fact, but there seemed to be a lot of men there. I mean a lot of men….like way more men than women :O) Not only that but I couldn’t help notice the high volume of white dual cab ute’s with an orange light on top. They all seemed to be driving around as if on a mission as part of a secret covert operation, ok my imagination is getting a bit carried away now……not to forget that they were all clad in the Aussie safety gear which is fluorescent orange or yellow and blue blue in colour. The supermarkets were full of these solo men doing their shopping and I have say that on the whole they were very friendly too. But I couldn’t help feeling that I was on different paradigm to the one that I have become accustomed to in Denmark. I mean we hear all about the mining boom and the hoards of money being made but I didn’t get the sense that people were drowning in wealth. I got the sense that they were all working very hard and doing their best to enhance the community. All in all I found Kalgoorlie people very friendly and I felt a real sense of community there too.
I had a fantastic time, I met some lovely people and I sold a heap of albums and all too quickly it was time to get back on the road.