[Audio Interview] Harry Manx – 2016 Australian Tour

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Image courtesy of Harry Manx

This is the audio file wrapped up in a bit of Overheard FM nonsense. The full written version will be here on Monday 17 October 2016 at midday AEST, 10pm Sunday Kentucky, US and 3am Monday UK time.

To tell the story of Harry Manx would take several lifetimes, and hopefully a progression of life-forms over those lives to tell the story, because the story is so mesmerising and complex that we would not be very present and in the moment of most of those lives and that could put the telling of the tale at risk as we would not be making gradual and continuous improvement as…

I believe the expression you’re looking for is, “Ain’t nobody got time for dat!”

Harry Manx performs at the 2012 National Folk Festival
Harry Manx performs at the 2012 National Folk Festival

Harry Manx has already begun his 2016 Australian tour which will take him from Sydney down to Victoria (where he is on stage tonight, Friday 23 September in Frankston) then around to Queensland, South Australia, Perth and up to Broome and Darwin, ending in the beautiful, lovely, gorgeous, I-may-be-a-little-hereditarily-biased New South Wales locales of Katoomba.

Ah, Katoomba. If there’s a more intimate, special venue than Clarendon Guest House, I want it stuffed, mounted, and hung above my fireplace – or I at least want an invite to your venue that can safely kick the Clarendon into a cocked hat. Or any poultry millinery for that matter.

And finally wrapping it all up at Club Saffire in Merimbula.

So it’s a very eclectic path Harry treads, and look, I’d draw you a picture if I had a free hand, but imagine a much-twisted paper clip that’s been sitting on your desk all day on a slow Friday when you’ve been watching the clock since 9:36am – now you’re in the ballpark.

OR picture a moose that somehow wandered into your yard, found your sippin’ liquor in the shed, and is now making a bedraggled, loquacious and somewhat winding stagger back to the forest by a circuitous route, two-thirds of it sideways. You got it! Continue reading

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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Interview: Yeshe Reiners — 505, Surry Hills (Sydney), Wed 17 December 2014

Image courtesy of Yeshe Reiners
Image courtesy of Yeshe Reiners

Yeshe Reiners makes Byron Bay his home, but tours extensively from NSW to Europe, the North Americas, and back again.

Yeshe is inculcated in the instruments and rhythms of Africa, and in a raw interview using a couple of cans and a piece of hemp string stretched from Liverpool to the far north coast of NSW, Yeshe explained a bit about what’s going in his musical world, and what Sydney audiences can expect on Wednesday 17 December at 505 in Surry Hills.

Presented by ihearmusic.com

For Facebookers, the event is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1517429601848385/

When I play this clip, I just close my eyes and I’m back at the Budawang at the National Folk Festival in 2012. Bliss.

Ann Vriend: A Series of (Un)Fortunate Events — On Tour In Europe

Ann Vriend: A Series of (Un)Fortunate Events -- On Tour In Europe
Ann Vriend: A Series of (Un)Fortunate Events — On Tour In Europe

Ann Vriend at The Basement in Sydney, March 2013 with Ted E. Quinn of Overheard Productions (chauffeur, cook, minder and police liaison)

Ann Vriend’s Tour Mishaps #3663 or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love BBC News In The Airport Hotel

Ann Vriend is at it again: touring relentlessly and sharing her sweet music, sumptuous lyrics and those wonderful ivories and keys in far flung locales. And she’s also up to her other signature move: having wonderfully Tati-like, British 70s comedy slapstick challenges, and farcical misadventures.

The ones that you can laugh about and blog about afterwards or during, but at the time they can be massively distressing and painful and expensive and inducing of tears of pain, tears of rage.

But with the crunchy comes the smooth. And Ann found that a rather stormy set of clouds did indeed have a silver lining.

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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!

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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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