Thursday, February 24, 2011

News from the West

By Road, Rail and Air

This latest update finds us in Western Australia where we've had a week of family catch-up and some unexpected lying about....

1. Not as mobile as you might think

On the 30th of January, John arrived home. Sandy and Suzanna being about to flee overseas to Morocco, we'd moved in, in anticipation of taking over the house in their absence. An important rule: THE CAT MUST REMAIN INDOORS. John was surprised on opening the studio, to see the cat race past him and into the building. He valiantly gave chase. Upstairs he flew in hot pursuit. And downstairs again. Distracted by the fact that he was on the phone to Nicole at the time, his judgement was not at its most acute. Hoping to beat the cat to the door (which he had thoughtfully left open), he jumped the last three steps. "Ow", he thought. As the cat disappeared into the night, John found that he had developed an uncharacteristic hobble. "Drat" he exclaimed. Nicole helpfully suggested that he call her back when he'd sorted himself out. Cunningly, John put his foot in the pool and phoned an ambulance. The nice man gave him morphine. "Huzzah! A fractured calcaneus", declared the humourless one at the hospital. Suitably crutched, John returned home where he's been laid up ever since.

2. But still we journey forth

Not to be deterred, we left Brisbane last week, flew to Sydney, and had some lovely gigs (Fairlight Folk and a house concert in the Blue Mountains). Nicole earned herself a gold ribbon for extraordinary lugging (John discovering that while crutches enable you to move about, they do no allow you to carry anything while you do).

And next we boarded the Indian Pacific and travelled to Perth. 3 nights on board the train, playing for an hour or two each day as Australia zoomed past. An amazing experience which we will repeat in reverse from Sunday.

3. Upcoming Gigs

We arrive back in Sydney on Wednesday, March 2 and perform that night at the wonderful Humph Hall:

Wednesday, 2 March, 7pm
Humph Hall
85 Allambie Road,
Allambie Heights
Bookings: 9939 8802

And then we're back to Brisbane on Thursday. While our cloudstreet and friends 2011 concert has been postponed until July, we'll be taking part in a special concert at the Irish Club on Saturday, March 5. As well as a short set from cloudstreet, John will be master of ceremonies for the evening. While the concert is a birthday celebration for Emma Nixon (leader of the Brisbane Celtic Fiddle Club), all are welcome. It promises to be a fabulous night. Here are the details:

Singing Strings
A Special Concert to Celebrate Emma Nixon's Birthday
With Emma Nixon and Tony Vandermeer
The String Contingent
Innes Campbell and Present Company
The Brisbane Celtic Filddle Club
Queensland Irish Club
$20/15 (family tickets $50)

4. The Blog Goes Ever On

An Australian Folk Song a Day ( is John's new blog. Like it says on the tin, each day for a year, John will be posting a recording of an Australian folk song. The collection so far includes multi-tracked vocals, unaccompanied pieces as well as some with guitar or concertina accompaniment. The first 30 songs are online now. Thanks to everyone who's been following the blog and offering their comments and support.

For the Mac fans among you, John has added a second media-player link to the entries on the blog so that iPhone and iPad users can access the audio files.

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