Overheard On The Road
Observations, interviews, and stories from the backroads, main roads, and city streets of Terra Australis and the world – This article appeared in Trad & Now magazine in early 2021.
Barry Skipsey – Photographer, Singer-songwriter, Northern Territorian
by Bill Quinn with Madison Collier
You can read all about it in Trad & Now edition 143, September 2021. Mentioned in dispatches is Barry Skipsey, a man of many talents, with a story to tell that’s in many ways a common tale: come to Australia’s Northern Territory for a few weeks; stay for decades.
But in the most important way, it’s unique to Barry Skipsey.
A man who just yesterday (as I type in late 2021) appeared on stage in Alice Springs with no less than Scotty Balfour, Ross Muir, and David Evans in the ‘Living Histories’ show: stories and songs from the legendary band Bloodwood, plus their solo adventures outside the band.
On a Sunday afternoon in June, The Shavings had finished their singing workshop and the afternoon concert was kicking in, we had a chat with Barry, dressed in his territory rig and leaning against his territory rig. (First rig is a clothes reference, the second is a mighty automobile that ploughs the Stuart Highway and beyond).
Bill Quinn: Barry, you’ve been doing folk for about 145 years?
Barry Skipsey: (Laughs) Seems like it. I’m only 64 but yeah, we’ve all got aches and pains. I’ve got a couple of brand new knees in recent years.
BQ: But you’re not originally from the Northern Territory?
BS: No, I was actually born on King Island. I’m a Tasmanian, technically.
I left there when I was about six years old. My father was over there building soldier settler homes. My brother and I were born there, and I left there when I was six. And I often say that we came to Australia. We came to Melbourne.Continue reading