Adam Maidens: miner, cockie and artist from Cobar, 2013

Adam Maidens at Sprout Café in Dubbo
Adam Maidens at Sprout Café in Dubbo

Interview: Adam Maidens, Artist

This is Adam Maidens.

Adam is based in Cobar and is getting his fledgling art business off the ground. He creates the most amazing art and as you’ll hear, he uses a fairly unconventional ‘palette’ and ‘brushes’.

His scenes range from rural to Paris street-scapes to portraiture to musicians.

On a Friday about three weeks ago, I was having breakfast with a friend at Sprout Café in Dubbo. (Do yourself a massive favour; your taste-buds and wallet/purse/money-belt will thank you. If the accoutrements continue to talk with you, I suggest seeking professional assistance and possibly lay off the cinnamon.)

My position right at the back of the venue was not smart: all the sound of a happily busy breakfast crowd was washing my way like an uppity surf swell. I just about had my earphones plugged in to let The Clash take over noise delivery services when I heard the young barista talk with a man whose back was to me, and I heard these individual words: ‘my’ ‘art’ ‘shear’ ‘comb’.

My interest was more than piqued.

I put the earphones down, asked Joe, Mick, Topper and the other one…….Paul — to take five, and cautiously approached the speaker.

One hour and one pot of very good chai later, and all I wanted to do was to kill about another five pots of chai and talk through the day with Adam Maidens. But we had by that stage recorded this interview.

What a classic, classic guy.

1. Art. Check him out here: https://www.facebook.com/adammaidensart – Facebook page has since been removed. Adam’s new project is the Dudley Dog book(s) about a sausage dog who loves to travel.

2. Mining. Also covered in the interview: the guy works in an office. 600m+ underground.

3. Farming background. Born on the land and you should hear the world and political perspective that has given him. Maybe not what you’re thinking. Or maybe so.

4. Critical communication. If ever there was a role model for how to critically assess mass media, Adam Maidens is your man. We covered all this after I switched off the recorder, but you could purchase one of his creations or have something commissioned by Adam, if only to discuss media ownership and media content production with him.

What a breath of fresh air.

Meeting Adam came at precisely the right time. Coming towards the end of a fairly wild 12 days on the road, and starting to think about my future directions (geographical, career-wise, metaphorical). This meeting was made in heaven.

Thank you, Adam.

Check out Adam’s art and eloquent speechificationing:

*** Audio file will be removed by the end of February 2020 ***

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Interview: Taj Ralph, The Corso at Manly, 2013

Image courtesy of Taj Ralph
Image courtesy of Taj Ralph

Taj Ralph

In Manly today, as I took a few minutes in a favourite perch high above the Corso at the New Brighton Hotel, I heard a young singer-songwriter setting up in the prime position at the eastern end of the famous strip, with his back to a fairly choppy swell.

Taj Ralph just did the one bracket, a mixture of covers and his originals. The voice announcing the songs was powerful but undeniably young. And as I made my way down there, I heard him answer sheepishly to what must be a common question: “I’m 12”.

There’s something highly engaging about the way a 12 year old says casually: “I wrote this one a couple of years ago”. And he had a couple of those.

In my bar-side perch, I thought I heard Taj say that he had been selling CDs the last time he was busking, but the rains had come and he couldn’t sell them anymore. But down on the street level I got the real story: the “ranger” had come along to tell him he wasn’t allowed to sell his CDs.

What the H E double hockey sticks? What gives, Manly Council?

More of that for another time.

Here’s our chat; it’s brief, though as his Dad [Simon] pointed out as he was packing up Taj’s gear, Taj was overdue at the skate park.

Check out Taj’s music and chalk the name down as one to watch in years to come.

TJ01
Image courtesy of Taj Ralph

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Interview: The Go Set (Geelong) and The Real McKenzies (Canada)

North Geelong station
North Geelong station

Interview recorded in Geelong on Wednesday 28 August 2013.

Appearing at ANU Bar on Wednesday 4 September 2013 then onto Sydney, Gold Coast and Brisbane.

Details at http://www.thegoset.net and The Go Set on Stalkbook.

My favourite The Go Set song:

An old chorus fave done Real McKenzies stylee: