Craig Coombes – Larger Than Life, October 2015

Interview with Craig Coombes of Naked Tuesday dot me

Image courtesy of Naked Tuesday
Image courtesy of Naked Tuesday

This is an interview I did with Craig Coombes in 2013 at his home in Melbourne for a book I’ve been very slowly putting together on grief.

I’ll include the background of the interview and the book at the end, but since that conclusion will no doubt waffle on for quite a bit (much like the author), let’s dispense with that for now and first get to the subject matter and the man himself.

Craig Coombes received a terminal diagnosis of throat cancer in 2012. Instead of feeling sorry for himself and hiding away from the world, Craig chose a fairly unconventional way of expressing himself and what he was going through.

It’s an approach that’s resonated with thousands of others around the world via social media, and literally millions through his television appearances.

And happily, Craig is witnessing this as he continues to defy the medicos, batting on way past the initial prognosis of his existence.

I started by asking Craig where he was up to at that point, in August 2013.

It started with a diagnosis of laryngitis (as you can tell with this wonderful voice of mine!) Through not improving, and tests, tests, tests, it became, “Sorry, cancer”.

You hear that word, it does change your life completely.

The old thing is that ‘Cancer is a word, not a sentence’. Did they give you hope?

That day they pretty much said it’s a tumour on my vocal chord. And thyroid cancer.

So we’ll do the operation, you’ll have some treatment, and everything will be fine.

Image courtesy of Craig Coombes and Naked Tuesday
Image courtesy of Craig Coombes and Naked Tuesday

It didn’t get fine, did it? Continue reading

Check the water and oil! Lime and Steel on the road, October 2015

Image courtesy of Lime And Steel
Image courtesy of Lime And Steel

A shorter version of this article appeared on Timber and Steel on 14 September 2015.
This article appeared in full in the September edition of Trad and Now magazine.

To tell the full tale of this article would be to sing you a mournful ballad of disappearing Facebook event shares and a 12 minute interview, ambitiously recorded on a Nokia dumb-phone so old it needs hand-cranking.

Suffice to say that the audio of that chat between the artist (in Katoomba, NSW) and the interviewer (in Nelson Bay, NSW) is available now on eBay on a listing called ‘Marcel Marceau’s Greatest Hits’.

Technology is a fickle mistress, sharing pain and pleasure in equal measure, and my thanks to Paddy Connor from Lime and Steel for his assistance and good humour.

Blue Mountains-based folk band Lime and Steel have hit the road, making sacrificial offerings to the gods of automobile reliability and ‘keepgoingability’ from Melbourne’s CBD up the east coast to Brisbane (with a stop-off in the nation’s capital).

Lime and Steel began as a rootsy folk duo of Paddy Connor and Ben Scott, but over the years their composition has changed, and indeed, their compositions have changed. Continue reading