Folk On The Road – Endless Sky: A Personal, Musical Love Letter To Mparntwe

Alice Springs - First visit in March-April 2021
Anzac Hill at Alice Springs. From the author’s first visit in March-April 2021. Before I knew the word ‘Mparntwe’, definitely before I knew how to pronounce it. Thanks, Xavia for the video instruction during Endless Sky, recorded by 8CCC Community Radio et al on 21 August 2021 at Araluen Arts Centre, Mparntwe, transmitted on 13 September 2021 – see article for link.

This article also appeared in an edited format in the October 2021 edition no. 144 of Trad & Now magazine – available in good newsagents and some sketchy ones too. Or by subscription at www.tradandnow.com.

This article was principally written on the lands of the Central Arrernte people in Mparntwe (Alice Springs). I’m creating this online version on the lands of Western Arrernte people and doing the most recent of many edits in Walyalup (Fremantle) on the lands of the Whadjuk people. I pay respect to the traditional custodians of these lands: past, present, emerging, and those to come. The author of this rambling tome was born on Ngunnawal land.

Endless Sky – A Personal, Musical Love Letter to Mparntwe

by Bill Quinn

Darwin Festival 2021 went ahead from Thursday 4 to Sunday 22 August 2021, and as the song says, it was against all odds.

Well, not all odds, but many.

In these pages [of Trad & Now magazine] we’ve discussed the challenges (and strangely the opportunities) that Covid19 or corona virus or SARS2 has presented to the worlds of music, arts, entertainment, and hospitality.

For now, I have to tip all of my hats in the direction of Harbour View Plaza in McMinn Street, Darwin and say the sincerest and deepest of thanks to everyone at Darwin Festival who made DF21 happen. That it happened at all is remarkable. That it blossomed forth in such sparkling, memorable fashion is an incredible accomplishment.

If you were attending the festival from out of town, or were new to the festival, it may have appeared a seamlessly professional and comprehensive series of so many events covering all the aspects of the yarts imaginable. Apart from three days off for Darwin’s Lockdown Light III (17-19 August 2021), the show went on, and every spot on the program that I can recall was filled with sparkling talent.

Yeah, sadly many southern artists could not make it to the Top End to join in the joy and fun. That was a shame.

Festival CEO James Gough and Artistic Director Felix Preval, and the scores of production, box office, talent-wrangling, stallholder-herding, sales, corporate liaison, sponsor-schmoozers, and volunteer coordinator Mathilde Mercadier – all of them ducked, weaved, bobbed, re-organised, rescheduled, reordered, and (strike me down, I’m going to use the P word) yes, they pivoted. (There goes a dollar in the buzzword jar.)

Together they created an amazing event, a jewel in a groaning, heaving, bloated, glorious calendar of Darwin and Top End events.

Darwin Festival 2021. Image by Bill Quinn.
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[VIDEO] The Great Overheard Productions Train Tomfoolery Continues: Tuesday Updates, September 2016

 

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Overheard Productions and the Queensland Police Service: trying to get our ducks in a row

This ongoing police procedural drama/situation comedy is sponsored by the makers of the Matt Barker Radio interview on Overheard Productions: 

https://overheardproductions.com/2016/09/12/audio-interview-with-matt-barker-radio-podcasts-and-digital-radio/

I’ve said it before and will keep saying it: you just cannot make this shit up!

Three days after the Friday night police incident where a whole passenger train was detained for ten minutes while members of the QPS swarmed around me at the Lota train station, and after many phone calls, I’m still in the dark.

I’ll give you the Wednesday updates later, but for now, here is where Ankerss Ahrr-Whey tracks down a neighbour of mine to find out what the heck is going on.

Garry briefs us for a short while until his meal starts to go cold and his accent ships off from north England to…. we’re not quite sure where.

And for those of you who saw the teaser, you know want some more of this:

(A little tip for amateur video-ers, Youtubers: if you’re recording a live performance, be sure to include even just a little of the applause at the end. Otherwise, it’s a bit like a door slamming shut in your face when you stop talking with a friend. I was going to go with a butt cheeks analogy; aren’t you glad I didn’t?)

And now that we’ve gone there, let’s go here. Muggins is there, front and centre at about 0:10. A time of my life when song just took me somewhere I’d never been before.

ENDS hopefully this century…

Interview with Matt Barker Radio: Podcasts and Digital Radio, September 2016

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Image courtesy of Matt Barker Radio

Matt Barker hails from Southend in Essex UK, which is a shame since most of the taxis won’t go further than Basildon.

(That gag was an entry in the Morris Men-tal Institute Joke Competition of August 1936 and told repeatedly until a cease and desist order from the Greater London Department of Public Transport and Sun Beds in February 1937.)

Where were we? Talking about Matt Barker and his two fabulous radio shows.

The Matt Barker Radio Show is two hours of finely-organised chaos, going out to the world on Fridays at 6pm UK time, available on podcast from Mixcloud.

While the Deuce Radio Show is a tight little package (careful!) of the best new independent music to tumble onto Matt’s desk.

In this interview, Matt talks with Bill Quinn of Overheard Productions about the mechanics and motivations behind these shows, plus his future plans for well-funded world domination.

 

 

Deuce Radio Show. Image courtesy of Matt Barker.
Deuce Radio Show. Image courtesy of Matt Barker.

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Police Halt Overheard Productions For 48 Hours: Saturday Updates, September 2016

On Friday 9 September 2016, at approximately 23:40, officers of the Queensland Flying Peleton Brigade boarded the train to Cleveland (which had been held at Lota station) and removed Bill Quinn.

Mr Quinn is current head of logistics for the Overheard Group, including big cheese of Overheard Productions and Tawp Dawg at Bill The Housesitter.

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Mr Quinn was spotted later that night in the comfy chair at #36.

Right now he’s talking Braille, so please check back at 11pm on Sunday 11 September (London time), 8am Monday 12 September (Brisbane time) or call +61-555-000-000 (for a good time).

 

Bill Quinn
Overheard Productions
Capalaba, Redlands Council District, Queensland, Australia

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Michael Johnathon talks about the Woodsongs Front Porch Association and Gathering, August 2016

Songfarmers-ad

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Image courtesy of the Woodsongs Front Porch Association

The Woodsongs Front Porch Association (WFPA) is an amazingly and elegantly simple creature.

Based in Lexington, Kentucky and the brain child of Michael Johnathon, singer-songwriter, performer, producer, tour organiser, and 36 other roles, it’s spreading its tendrils across the USA and the world.

I’ll not steal any WFPA thunder by block copying and pasting here, but please follow the links and your rewards shall be many and bountiful.

The Cliff Notes, as MJ would say: it’s a cheap-as-chips member association which opens everyone up to a world of musical information, resources and networking, opens its arms, and invites the world of art and artists in to share, share, share.

On Friday 23 and Saturday 24 September 2016, the WFPA is holding its second annual Gathering in Shaker Village, Pleasant Hill, Kentucky – see main picture for all the salient details of the ‘wheres’ and ‘whens’.

Full details at www.songfarmers.org

It’s the ‘how much’ that’s the real news story here. And it’s a good, good news story at a time when good news stories are pretty gosh-darned thin on the ground.

Choose your preference: click on a hyperlink or click on the audio file link below, and listen in as Michael explains WFPA and the Gathering in his signature succinct, clear, resonantly-voiced vocal stylings (even over the tech equivalent of two cans and a 9063 mile piece of string).

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

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

Some basic notes for the interview… which I never referred to.

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[NSFW Video] Cooking At #36 With Billgella Lawsoote – Episode 2: White Whine Fillet Reduction Surprise [NSFW], December 2015

 

White Whine Fillet Reduction Surprise
White Whine Fillet Reduction Surprise

Originally published in December 2015.

Welcome to Episode 2 of Cooking At #36 with Billgella Lawsoote.

Our legal people have been combing through our initial agreement with M/s Lawsoote and it does indeed appear that a clerical error DID spin the series out from the original 3.6 episodes to an eye-watering 36 episodes.

With the caveat of ‘ne’er the same kitchen twice’.

Feck.

So.

We present to you, the uninformed swill at the bottom of a glass of a really gritty Bordeaux, the sort you want to finish off with a knife and fork, the second in our (slap me now for using this hackneyed term) journey — pronounced with four Js: jjjjourney around the kitchens of Australia.

Today for your information, edification and inebriation, we have ‘White Whine Fillet Surprise’.

Short on the whine, long on the wine.

Warning: Billgella works a little blue in this edition beamed live (and by live, we mean recorded three weeks ago) from Paddington, NSW.

Here’s what some food pundits are saying about Episode 2.

‘I kept falling off my chair’. – Matt from Basildon, Essex.

Surely faulty office furniture is an office services issue, not the kitchen’s.

“Where’s the bacon?” – Johnny RT from Sydney via Liverpool UK.

Have you ever crossed a Basa with a pig, JRT? We tried once, and the pig thrashed around in the shallows for half an hour. It took us twice that long just to get the smile off his face.

DISCLAIMER: Again, please note this edition is not safe for work (NSFW). We did road-test it on a pre-school group at the Sorbonne School For The Gifted Culinary Toddler and the feedback was unanimous: “We’re including you in our mandatory reporting to the relevant authorities.”

Billgella Lawsoote returns in the new year with a multicultural melting pot Episode 3 from the heart of Kebabland, Sydney.

Good morning!

 

 

Talk With Everyone – Even With Limited Head Space, November 2015

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Sitting like The So Not Littlest Hobo on Oxford Street, writing a story about an indie band.

This is Limited Head Space.

It’s fairly descriptive of how I feel right now!

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Image courtesy of Limited Head Space

Dashing up Oxford Street tonight to get to the BWS bottle shop by 9.55pm, because NSW liquor licensing doth sayeth thou shalt not serve takeaway alcohol one second after 10pm.

Google Maps said I had 3.2kms to cover in 45mins. Yeah, try roughly a kilometre. I stopped and asked a Security dude outside The Paddington Inn at about 9.27pm how far it was, and he said, about 100 metres!

And it was at Paddo BWS that I met Denis serving behind the counter, and he told me about his band, Limited Head Space.

And he wrote the band name down on the back of a docket.

Right now, Denis and his mate, also in the band, have just shut up shop. It’s 10pm and the grille went down at 9.55pm. NSW Liquor Licensing laws: thou shalt not vend takeaway alcohol after 9.55pm. I may have mentioned that before.

BWS are all over this like a cheap suit. I have been that guy who stormed away at 9.56pm, stormed back at 9.57pm, then fumed off into the night before the sweep hand had time for another full revolution.

BWS St Leonard’s, April 2014. Ah yes, I remember it well.

The original text above cut out because in the 36 minutes that I was sat there outside Astton Shoes and some indie Bed, Bath and Table shop, my browser had fallen over nine times.

Ten times. I’m going to embed their video then make this thing pretty later.

Eleven times. Farouk!

My wine 🍷 is getting warm!

Bill Quinn with “Neville” the Labrador
Oxford Street, Paddington
22:22 Saturday 21 November 2015

12 times!

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[MUFW* Video] Cooking At #36 with Billgella Lawsoote – Episode 01: Shredded Wheat/Blowing Mayo [MUFW], November 2015

Salience. Image courtesy of guerrillaguide.wordpress.com.
Salience. Image courtesy of http://www.guerrillaguide.wordpress.com. Always be the red chili if you can. Green is fine and dandy, but a pale imitation of rojas. Root. Rouge. Red!

* Mildly unsafe for work

Cooking At #36 is a new series launched today from kitchens around Australia, eventually the world.

This innovative, jerky-handed phone camera series takes you, the poor, ignorant, unclassy, unclassified, joke of a wretched wastrel, awash in a sea of processed mediocre food, TV dinners, and fast food that’s slowly filling you up with salt and plastic — we take your sorry arse pics…

I’m sorry, I’ll read that again.

We take your sorry aspic, and sauce a better way to cook.

And live!

Episode One (Shredded Wheat/Blowing Mayo aka Resilience Is Useful).

The pilot was produced in a secret Holsworthy kitchen. Another pilot was picked up in a Moorebank Sports Club – she was either Randy or Chastity; such a fine line betwixt and between, I find.

Road-tested on six selected Overheard Productions friends and strangers who all were unanimous in their reviews:

Greek Fetta Chorus: “We’re calling the Critical Assessment Team. Put down the phone and step away from the maple syrup.”

Actually, they said lovely things, but I’ll add the reviews later.

There’s time for one. “Alison from Athenry” says, ‘Show us your chips, Billgella!”

And another: “Axminster Al from Barking in Essex” says, ‘What’s with the fruity 80s English accent?’

Well, Matt, I mean, “Al”, I left Herefordshire in 1979, so blow it out your East End!

Genog! Enough! Basta! Roll tape!

Thank you for watching, and I sincerely hope you all out there get a bit of Mayo Action tonight.

Goodnight!

Billgella Lawsoote
For Cooking At #36 with Billgella Lawsoote
A Division of Overheard Productions
A 36 Steps to ? Enterprise

11:00 AEDT Saturday 14 November 2015
Wattle Grove Shopping Village — see Michel’s Patisserie’s new drive-through (but only on Thursdays)

Billgella Lawsoote eating out -- one of my FAVOURITE things to do. I LOVE eating out!
Billgella Lawsoote eating out — one of my FAVOURITE things to do. I LOVE eating out!

The Woodford Files 2014-15: Care Yourself*

An ounce of prevention beats a buttload of cure
An ounce of prevention beats a buttload of cure

Many festival survival guides are out there on the world wide weird, and sparticularly in the blogosphere. (Note: blogger roughly translates as, “I coulda been a journalist, but couldn’t be arsed to do a 3+ year degree in it.” WFJ Quinn, BAComms – not a journalist.)

So I don’t intend to replicate, duplicate, spiflicate or update those tomes of great wisdom, but I do want to share a few insights into preventative healthification gathered over many, many years spent curled up in tents and the backs of cars in far flung places.

Have you ever gone to a festival or been on the road and woken up one morning feeling like a rather large, furry toad has crawled into your larynx and is now doing early morning Zumba on your tonsils?

Or have you started heading into that long night when you really want to sit around the campfire singing 36-verse ye olde Englishe folke songse til the dawn breaks, but find you’ve started a coughing fit that might wake the dead? And you envisage joining the souls of the dearly departed in the not too distant future? 💀☠👻

The dirty little secret is something that one of my many, many former employers (at a medical Not For Profit/Public Beneficial Institution) will tell you about in great depth and detail under the banner of ‘antibiotic resistance’:

Some lurgies exist that you just can’t duck because they’re viral, and the best you can do is to pump up your general levels of healthiness and wellbeing, and look after your immune system.

The bad news on that score for folkies is that to best keep your system in good health, you should:

* avoid coffee
* avoid or limit alcohol intake
* avoid fatty, salty, sugary foods
* get lots of sleep
* don’t stay out at night in the cool air ingesting campfire ash
* don’t strain your vocal folds
* don’t sleep on uncomfortable, unsupportive mattresses or straight onto the ground
* and other stuff your mum told you, and
* always wear clean underwear.

It’s pretty much the anti-folk menu.

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Surely Goodness and Kindness: Talking With Brian on Manly Wharf

Manly Wharf, New South Wales, Australia
Manly Wharf, New South Wales, Australia

I overheard a man on Manly Wharf beach one afternoon and his story became one of the most compelling interviews.

Let’s get there, unlike the Manly Ferry which darts out of Circular Quay and pretty much makes a beeline for Cabbage Tree Bay.

Let’s take a slightly circuitous root.

I grew up in the mid sixties and seventies with something of a hefty disdain for Manly.

It was a disdain maintained from a distance of about 366kms away in Canberra, and it was all based on the eternal battle between the mauve of the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles (‘Silvertails’) and the Black and White of my beloved Western Suburbs Magpies (‘Fibros’). Rugby League, for the uninitiated.

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Traditional geographic and tribal rivals

My family hailed from the west: Parramatta, Harris Park, Guildford and Baulkham Hills. My anti-Manly bias was born of those silly tribal rivalries that sound so pointless in smaller towns like Canberra where I have never been able to take the north vs south thing seriously.

“We’re not that [farnarkeling] big!”

Cliff Notes: I’d never spent much time there, and while visiting friends in Fairlight and on other trips, I was looking for reasons to like the area.

Yes, we’ve fast-forwarded to 2013, and for some reason one day, I’d gone across the briney foam from Circular Quay to Manly Wharf and drifted up and down the Corso and around the back lanes and alleys.

And fell completely and totally and hopelessly in love with the place.

When you get just a little bit out of the centre of Manly, things get a little beige, bland and neo-conservative. But right in the middle of town, it’s like a little melting pot, albeit a flashier more glamorous pot than some other localities that host meetings of many cultures within the scope of what is loosely termed ‘Greater Sydney’.

Me, I love them all.

Walk from Punchbowl train station to the Boys High School (which I did when I first moved to Sydney in March 2013, to interview the assistant principal) and you see pretty much no white faces, hear no Australian spoken, and smell smells that don’t feature in, say, the main street of Miranda.

Take a walk along Forest Road in Hurstville CBD and to have a conversation or transact some business, a working knowledge of Mandarin, Cantonese or Korean would serve you well.

Hang out around various parts of Liverpool and a little Italian will get you a long way.

I know a little Italian. His name’s Marco and he’s a retired jockey.

(Dips the hat towards the film ‘Top Secret’ for that gag. I’m here all week, tip your wait staff, try the risotto.)

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