They were absolutely right! Actually it’s bloody freezing today!! 🤣
Yep I have succumbed to making comments about the Melbourne weather. Whenever I say that I live in Melbourne the first response that I get is “it’s cold in Melbourne” 🤣 yeah I know it is but the people are so so friendly here that I am staying for now.
I am downing tools at the moment after an incredibly chaotic, busy 7 months since my arrival here. Melbourne is a hive of creativity with, I believe, more culture and diversity than Perth, and there is so much more to do and see here too. I got hit by a virus (no not the C one) just a bog standard one that stopped me in my tracks and reminded me to take a bit more care of myself and to remember that “nothing is something worth doing”.
I want to share the amazing experience I had of playing with Susie Bishop at the infamous Humph Hall in Sydney in February. It was an amazing evening. Susie and I met through the refugee advocacy and activist network a few years ago now and found that we had so much in common that a friendship grew over time but we had never met in real life. I totally admired Susie’s incredible violin playing but I didn’t want to ask her to join me at Humph Hall because I knew she had just had a baby, and that she was already in high demand most of the time. Then a mutual friend suggested that I ask her and he promised me that she would love to play with me so I took the plunge and asked. Susie was like “I would absolutely love to play”…..I was so excited at the prospect. Not only did she offer to play but also offered me a room during my time in Sydney.
It was so lovely to meet in real life and to meet Susies new born baby girl Julia and her family. The gig was 2 nights away and Susie had never played any of my songs before so we had a little rehearsal in her garden. I had no idea how Susie liked to learn songs, some people need charts, some need to hear the music beforehand. Some like to have the sheet music before you actually meet to rehearse, but not Susie she just listened to the first few chords and off she went with beautiful melodies and rhythmic sounds which totally enhanced each song. I was immediately totally at ease knowing that she would be able to do whatever came her way. Not that I ever doubted it of course 😁 but there is always a level of apprehension when playing with another muso for the first time. Although I have to say Susie is not any muso she is a classically trained violin player who can ad lib or improv at any folk or jig gathering.
Off we went to Humph Hall the next night and amazingly we were playing with the same band that I played with the last time I was there in 2017, well not quite the exactly same band there were a couple of extra members. We discussed which songs we would play together at the end. A great night was had by all. I would have to say that Humph Hall on February 18th of this year which was also my birthday was one of the most perfect gigs I have ever done. Wayne and Giall do such a fabulous job at Humph Hall. They book events every week and always put on a light supper and generally make everyone very welcome. Wayne also films the event which means we get a professional video at the end of each event. I am going to post them at the end of this blog entry.
In January I had a busy month with a couple of band gigs. I started playing with a band over the holiday period because they needed a vocalist for a couple of gigs so I was very happy to oblige but the condition was that I could also play guitar 😁
It was a great experience and we even scored another couple of gigs from the 2 that we did in January which was awesome but it also kept me very busy, way to busy actually so I had to stop at the last gig and come back to my own music endeavours.
The Thornbury Local was a solo gig on a Sunday late arvo early evening in March. It was a 2 hr original gig which I hadn’t done in a while and I had also played at a 60th birthday with the band the night before so it was really testing my agility. I absolutely loved the Thornbury Local gig, the owners and bar staff were amazing. The audience were really attentive and it was an overall really positive experience. It was also lovely to see so many friends there too.
Here are the videos that Wayne took starting with the group song of “Leaving on a Jet Plane” by John Denver.