In Manly today, as I took a few minutes in a favourite perch high above the Corso at the New Brighton Hotel, I heard a young singer-songwriter setting up in the prime position at the eastern end of the famous strip, with his back to a fairly choppy swell.
Taj Ralph just did the one bracket, a mixture of covers and his originals. The voice announcing the songs was powerful but undeniably young. And as I made my way down there, I heard him answer sheepishly to what must be a common question: “I’m 12”.
There’s something highly engaging about the way a 12 year old says casually: “I wrote this one a couple of years ago”. And he had a couple of those.
In my bar-side perch, I thought I heard Taj say that he had been selling CDs the last time he was busking, but the rains had come and he couldn’t sell them anymore. But down on the street level I got the real story: the “ranger” had come along to tell him he wasn’t allowed to sell his CDs.
What the H E double hockey sticks? What gives, Manly Council?
More of that for another time.
Here’s our chat; it’s brief, though as his Dad [Simon] pointed out as he was packing up Taj’s gear, Taj was overdue at the skate park.
Check out Taj’s music and chalk the name down as one to watch in years to come.