Eleanor McEvoy On Tour In Australia – Interview at Wollongong City Diggers, 2014

Eleanor McEvoy with Danny Priestley and Lindsay Martin of Riogh. Image courtesy of Danny Priestley.
Eleanor McEvoy with Danny Priestley and Lindsay Martin of Riogh. Image courtesy of Danny Priestley.

Eleanor McEvoy landed in Australia this week on tour from now until…. well, until Ireland warms up again in roughly six weeks’ time.

On St Patrick’s night, Monday 17 March 2014, Eleanor was a very special guest of Riogh and the Illawarra Folk Club at what’s starting to look a lot like a St Paddy’s tradition in this south coast of New South Wales town centre. Accessible from anywhere and a short walk from the train station.

(Our correspondent Bill Quinn later that night ventured down the road to another raucous Irish venue, and couldn’t help but notice that, despite the number of prone young bodies decked out in over-sized corporate green Irish hats, the music on the tannoy was Canadian Scots.)

But before that, and after one or three very large jars of piping cold very special St Patrick’s Day tea, Bill spoke a little with Eleanor about the tour.

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

Bill Quinn: It’s getting on for 10.30pm on St Patrick’s Day in Australia, which means that over in Ireland, it’s roughly midday. People are at lunch, they’re settling into the snugs, they’re in the bars, they’re making St Patrick’s Day what it is.

Meanwhile, in the sweaty, sweaty, sweaty, hot climes of the Illawarra, at the back stage of the Diggers Club, I’m talking with Eleanor McEvoy. Hello, Eleanor.

Eleanor McEvoy: Hello, how’re you doing?

I can tell you that at home what they’re doing, they’re getting ready for the parade. The parade’ll be at midday.

BQ: Your home town/county is?

EM: Well, my home town where I was born is Dublin, a place called Cabra on the north edge of Dublin, but now I live in County Wexford in a more rural environment.

BQ: And so in all of these cities, all of these towns, in all of these places, they have their own separate parades?

EM: They all have their separate parades. The biggest one is in Dublin City, but I like to think the Wexford one is pretty cool too.

EM1
Image courtesy of Eleanor McEvoy

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Humph Hall: An Open Letter to Warringah Council (NSW, Australia)

Image courtesy of Humph Hall via NSW Folk Federation (www.jam.org.au)
Image courtesy of Humph Hall via NSW Folk Federation (www.jam.org.au)

### STOP PRESS. On Sunday 9 March 2014, I had a long chat with Wayne Richmond at Humph Hall about this epic saga.

There are two sides to every story, but this one’s more like a dodecahedron. Wayne was quick to acknowledge the positive input from Warringah councillors, mayor and even the personal attention of NSW planning portfolio.

Articles to come here and at Timber and Steel soon.

Humph Hall: An Open Letter to Warringah Council by Bill Quinn

Written on the E89 bus from Bilgola Plateau to Railway Square, Sydney NSW, Australia

Friday 7 March 2014

If a picture says a thousand words, here’s several million for you.

Go to Google Images — http://www.google.com/imghp — and search on ‘humph hall’ then scroll, view, scroll view, next page, etc. That will tell you the value of this venue more eloquently than I can. But do read on!

______________________________________________________

When it comes to angrily shaking my fists in a Peter Finch/Shaun Micallef ‘I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore’ style of protest, I prefer direct contact.

I just don’t online petition. I’m glad for you to do so, but don’t ask me to sign one.

So having read in The Manly Daily about the latest in the legal wrangle over fire and safety at Humph Hall, and the fact that Warringah Council is now dragging Wayne Richmond and Gial Leslie into court over the matter, I took time out from my morning ritual of staring inquisitively out the bus window along Barrenjoey Road to Haymarket, and tapped out the below, patiently navigating council’s rather confusing and limiting web-site to submit my two cents’ worth.

To contact Warringah Council, go to: http://www.warringah.nsw.gov.au/

“Liking Facebook pages and reposting memes is not enough in days like these.”
— Bill Quinn via Billy Bragg. Continue reading

Interview: Billy Bragg previews his March 2014 Australian/New Zealand Tooth And Nail tour (text version)

Billy Bragg's Australian Tooth and Nail tour
Billy Bragg’s Australian Tooth and Nail tour, March 2014. Image courtesy of Billy Bragg.

Interview audio version first posted in Timber and Steel in September 2013.
Interview text version first published in January 2014 edition of Trad and Now magazine.

Recorded in the studios of community radio station 2XX-FM, Canberra.

Thanks as always to these three venerable institutions for the very fine work they do in supporting folk and independent music in Australia.

In March 2014, Billy Bragg will be touring Australia with band on his ‘Tooth and Nail’ tour, part of a worldwide expo of his latest studio album. Last year, I interviewed Billy as he made a whirlwind promotional tour to Australia. We revisited some old themes and looked forward to this year’s tour.

[For the time poor, the full audio file of this interview (including outtakes featuring gratuitous underwear references) is at: Timber and Steel.]

Having interviewed Billy a year and four days previously, I started by asking him what the last 369 days had comprised.

Melbourne Recital Hall, Melbourne. 19 October 2012.
Melbourne Recital Hall, Melbourne. 19 October 2012.

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2014 Sydney Mardis Gras: Hitching A Ride With RSPCA NSW

2014 Sydney Mardis Gras: Hitching A Ride With RSPCA NSW
2014 Sydney Mardis Gras: Hitching A Ride With RSPCA NSW

And now for something completely different.

RSPCA NSW entered the 2014 Sydney Mardi Gras, and I gladly accepted an invite to come along for the ride (sometimes literally) and capture a little vision.

I'm not gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that!
I’m not gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with that!

In terms of my personal interest and orientation, I’ll turn to the words of another in a picture I pinched off someone’s Facebook wall this morning.

I’ve never understood why humans would choose to exclude others because of the colour of their skin, their sexual orientation, body shape, or a host of other criteria.

Among many other things that confuse the stuffing out of me, the concept of ‘exclusion’ grinds my gears probably the worst.

Top ten, anyway.

Having only ever attended one Mardi Gras before (in 2000, standing in very similar conditions to last night, craning my neck to get a glimpse of the Dykes on Bikes over a sea of heads on Liverpool Street), I jumped at the chance to go behind the scenes this year.

I was the archetypical Johnny Come Lately, having had no hand in the weeks and months of preparation that a cast of many from RSPCA NSW had put in.

Put in. Putin. Ha! No, that was Amnesty International. More on them and Vlad the Impaler later.

And while the press today talks about the rain, and the rain, and a little more about the rain, I can tell you there was none of the wet stuff falling from a good two hours before the first float headed out. If it came, it came late, as the bishop said to the actress.

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