What an awesome time I had in Sydney! It was so much fun and I soooooooo want to do it all again!!! I didn’t manage to get many pics but the few shots I have here are the evidence that I was there. We arrived, it was warm, perfect…….Oh did I mention that my husband and son came too? Yes they came and we made it into a family holiday which was fantastic. We spent our first three nights at some very good friends Scott and Nicole Morris and they had this great apartment overlooking the Sydney Harbour Bridge, it was lovely to see them. Thanks Digger and Nicole we had a great time with you guys.
My first gig was at the Sutherland Acoustic Club in Gymea where I met some lovely people and got the tour off to a great start. We hired a car and braved the Sydney gridlock of roads that go here and there and everywhere and rarely the way you want to go. It took us an hour to get to Gymea from Drummoyne in peak traffic and two and a half hours to get back in the middle of the night………Oh how we got lost……we both were so tired that we just couldn’t get our heads around the map book. Anyhow by 1.30pm we were home and I had a great story to tell at my next gig.
So that was Thursday night then on Sunday evening we went down to Campbeltown to visit Michael Hayes at http://www.2mcr.org.au where he does his Rare Trax and Eclectic show I had an interview and played the first song I wrote “Voices” and it was wonderful to meet Michael after having online contact for the past few years. He’s passionate about music and does a fantastic job of promoting new music. He found my track “Voices” on the AMRAP/AIRIT register, which is where artists can apply to be listed to get air play on Australian radio. A big thanks to Michael for his ongoing support. On Tuesday I had an interview with John Regan at North Side Sydney Radio 99.3 fm . We had a lot of fun chatting about all our favourite music and he played some of my favourite tracks and we talked about who had influenced my song writing.
Then on Tuesday night I played at Mr Falcon’s in Glebe which was a lovely little intimate venue and a couple of friends living in Sydney showed up. Young Jason who is from my favourite band, thanks for being there Jason and Scott (one of our friends) who recorded part of one of my songs “Cross to Bear” which I posted on my Facebook page.https://www.facebook.com/dawnindenmark . “Cross to Bear” is going on my next album which I will starting recording early next year in Denmark WA.
Now during my time in Sydney I did have a few problems with my neck and shoulder but it seemed to clear up in the nick of time which I was very grateful for. Strangely I had no pain at all when I was playing …. So thank you ‘god of mending broken singer/guitar players!’ Wednesday night was also in central Sydney at the Old Fitzroy Hotel in Woolloomooloo where I got to play at the Australia Songwriters Society which was a real pleasure and honour. You can have a good read about how that went in my previous post which Gavin Fitzgerald wrote so eloquently. Thanks again to John Cheshner and Gavin Fitzgerald.
The next day we took off on the road south to Woollongong where I had a gig booked at the “Diggers Club” . Russell Hannah booked me and he organised for us to be billeted by Mairi Petersen. What a surprise I had when I walked into her house, here library walls were filled with posters from the past 50years or so….Mairi was a true activist and has been her whole life. I have never been so excited to come across someone who is so passionate in what she believes in. She had CD’s of Margaret Roadnight, Janis Ian and Bob Dylan which were some of the great singer songwriters of the 60s and 70s who stood up for what they believed in, not only that but they are the artists that people often mention when they hear me sing my songs. Mairi also had some of the most interesting books on her bookshelves including Karl Marx, Chomsky, Joan Baez and soooooo many more. Mairi was such a lovely person and very calm and composed and did a huge amount of work for refugees. Her late husband was George Petersen who was a very dedicated parliamentarian just before the Whitlam years. Anyhow we had only just sat down and the phone rang and it was Russell checking with Mairi that we had arrived safely and he was keen to come round and meet us and have a cuppa. This very chippa, tall unimposing bearded man arrived and what a great story teller he was, he very much reminded me of my own father who also has the knack for making every story interesting. Russell took us out for dinner and the next evening was my gig. Did I mention that Mairi lived in Shell Harbour? It’s beautiful part of the South Eastern coast.
The format for my gig had changed and because Russell had inadvertently booked me on a night that coincided with a music festival in Yaas and a lot of the folk club members would be going to that. So he asked if I minded being the main act and the other act would be the Figgie group members. the figgio members are a bunch of guys and gals who meet each month at a pub and take turns to share their stories, poems and songs. Of course I was very happy to be a part of that and it was almost giving me memories of my days organising the “Play it by Ear” down my local pub the Denmark Hotel where we had a singalong and open mic. Anyhow we had the best night and Mairi was there and to my surprise Michael Hayes turned up from 2MCR. I did a few singalong songs for the record and to top things off I had the best sound ever, actually probably the best sound I have ever experienced so thanks to Phil for that.
The next morning we had a coffee with Russell and Mairi and Russell gave me a copy of a book he had co written about Australian Railways. He was such a humble man that I had no idea that he had received the Order of Australia. So thank you so much to the lovely Mairi Peterson and Sir Russell Hannah for such a fantastic weekend.