posted on June 15, 2008 at 9:29 pm

yesterday did 2 shows
the first was a vegan expo festival
it was hard going i guess
a noisy room
broad daylight plus fluoros
people buying , talking, laughing
i was mediocre ..the music and ranting
both mediocre and tired
who fucking cares about my almost-veganism
preaching to the converted of course
everyone was already some kinda veg
i got a weak response
someone had to come on to get me more claps
afterwards i was whisked away to talk to supreme master tv (not a joke)
a goodnews channel for any who wants it
finding myself outside i wandered away
i did not go back in and talk to my veg friends
i just walked off
into a taxi
someone had given me a letter n some info
on the seventh day adventists and a bible
i perused these items
and then left my bloody prescription glasses in the cab
damn….600 bucks worth i could ill afford to lose

i got home and it was storming
i didnt wanna go back out n do the tibet gig
demoralised by losing my glasses
feeling weird from some lurgie
hungry but no appetite
i feel like im on a big losing streak
anyhow eventually i pulled myself together (mr humphries!!)
and drove the long lonely drive back into town
up old south head road
the red lights dazzling me
i shouldnt have been driving at all
so distracted and non-plussed i was feeling
eventually i find the angel place carpark
(isnt that a song?)
i stumble into the venue
i’d been there for soundcheck
the people involved were real real nice
i was singing utmw with jimmy little
australias first indigenous popstar
i was watching him in 1963 in dapto
jimmy was the most lovely laconic laidback fella
he liked to walk along with his arm round my shoulders
and i remember that reassuring feeling like it was my dad
jimmys down the best version of that song bar none
he found a lazy smoky bar room jazz version
he found the sinatra-esque soul of my original song
his version is on a wonderful record called the messenger
in which
jimmy amazingly reinterprets some of the best aust. songs ever
randwick bells
into temptation
are you the one that ive been looking for
cattle n cane
jimmy sings em all so smoothly
you’ll love it
he gives em all a lovely relaxed spin
i was also taken in a room and offered my pick of a row of
little golden buddha statues all in a row
theres like 25 little little ones
and one big little one
i say to the woman
its a test isnt it?
she smiles n says
take any one you want
but i say
theres only one big one
she says
if you want the big one take it!
i say
why should i have the big one
she says someone will have it…why not you?
i boldly snatch up the big-little buddha (its about one inch high)
she smiles at me
and i laugh nervously
it was a test
i had failed
and an hour later the uni-verse shoplifted my glasses from me
instant karma….just add kilbey and stir
anyhow jimmy n i became friends quickly
he has a nice manager too
some of you may know him as buzz bidstrup
drummer for the angels a big oz rock hard rock bunch
(tim just produced acoustic record for their singer, doc(very good))
so me n jimmy and all the rest had to sit on stage all the way through
there were some fantastic acts
tibetan singers who could sing in 2 octaves at once
monks chanting n intoning
drummers drumming up a storm
a choir
katie noonan from george
who is a divine n exquisite singer
she played piano on utmw
buzz played drums
i played bass
me n jimmy sang
what a strange fragile but lovely version
jimmy sings some lines so laidback
he illustrates the song with half ironic gestures
his eyes gaze up and hes seeing the stars themselves
thanks to jimmy utmw has also become a favourite
for many kooris n murris who tell me how that songs been adopted
it means something else to them now
and look
im quite tired of the bloody song
but the fact that these guys like it
fills me with fierce pride
its beyond a pop hit now
its a standard
we do a nice version
i jump into the audience
watch the second hour of the show
amazing pieces of indefinable music
didgeridoo and classical instruments
the drummers take up bells n little blocks
the musicians disperse all over the audience
it was magical
i was truly surprised n inspired
afterwards a sadness amongst all the players
our short lived mission over
a happy ending….
i drive home listening to twilight singers
life is all ups n downs…aint it?

32 Responses to “yesterday”

  1. avatar
    the dean | 15 June 2008 at 11:01 pm #

    a distant sadness emanates from your story, I hope you find what you are looking for.

  2. avatar
    princey | 15 June 2008 at 11:15 pm #

    I’m glad it ended up being such a magical night for you sk and lifted your spirit.

    I have that JL cd too, what an amazing, beautiful voice he has, almost every song on that cd brings me to tears especially Nick Cave’s song “Are you the one….” a weeping song that one. He really takes all those songs to another level.

    I would have loved to have seen and heard you both singing live yesterday, what a lovely, talented couple!
    Love always,

  3. avatar
    eek | 15 June 2008 at 11:19 pm #

    life is all ups n downs…aint it?

    Sometimes when I’m feeling philosophical I think without the downs the ups wouldn’t be nearly as sweet and exhilarating. Of course when I’m not feeling philosophical I just get discouraged by the rollercoaster ride.

    UTMW has always seemed to me to be a song that can tap in to a wide variety of people in ways most songs can’t. It captures a universal individualism — if that makes any sense.

    Re: your glasses — can you contact the cab company to see if they are still in the cab or if someone turned them in? Prescription glasses aren’t usually much good to anyone else, so perhaps they weren’t taken and are still in the cab.

  4. avatar
    MEM | 15 June 2008 at 11:45 pm #

    i don’t think the test was designed for failure… or for success and for that matter perhaps it wasn’t even a test just your own perspective looking back on itself, but that’s only my perspective and that means little i suppose.

    u gotta escape the blues man, don’t you know…

  5. avatar
    MEM | 15 June 2008 at 11:46 pm #

    ps. i agree with eek. make a few calls.

  6. avatar
    Anonymous | 16 June 2008 at 1:15 am #

    oh dear, I knew I should have offered you a lift home steve, then ya’d been talking and not reading…
    thanks for the hugs anyway, made my day!

  7. avatar
    Anonymous | 16 June 2008 at 2:32 am #

    good read, lost glasses or not…

  8. avatar
    cita | 16 June 2008 at 2:38 am #

    Every day is a gem blog. I have loved the diary blogs. I hope you keep at it.

  9. avatar
    Ross B | 16 June 2008 at 3:58 am #

    oh christ I hope you didn’t lose your glasses on account of any bibles handed over to you, oh fuck! Geez I hope they show up, real soon!!!

    I went along and enjoyed the festival, I listened to you and the speaker before, I find it good to be in the ‘zone’ and keep my awareness levels where it’s *at*, so it was all worthwhile and quite enjoyable….but the weather was shit and I think that permeated everything and people’s moods, just one of those days where you just wanna stay put, at home. Some good stalls though, I liked the Kakadu juice.

    You’re right the Jimmy Little is a lovely album, haven’t really listened to it since I about the time I bought it though now at your mention I’m keen to listen to it again.

    I’m glad the night gig was magical.

    And I hope you find your glasses, real soon!!!

    Kind regards to you, Ross

  10. avatar
    Anonymous | 16 June 2008 at 4:55 am #

    barking dog joe and blind chicken shack says yer glasses will reappear

  11. avatar
    Anonymous | 16 June 2008 at 5:02 am #

    Tracks 6 & 7 I hope.

    Dutch Pierre

  12. avatar
    kat | 16 June 2008 at 5:52 am #

    twilight singers.. cool. try afghan whigs too.

    get some rest!

  13. avatar
    Klink | 16 June 2008 at 7:48 am #


    Ur too hard on urself.
    There is nothing tired and mediocre about ur rantings and ravings.

    To people, like myself, who aren’t pure Vegans but are slowly getting there, ur words and thoughts reiterate the importance of our decision.

    U have a gift, in that u can combine music and words and keep us entertained ( even if u think otherwise ).

    So thanks again for the great music and insight.


  14. avatar
    Anonymous | 16 June 2008 at 8:02 am #

    It is all ups and downs, yes. And, for everyone, will end on a down.
    “All human effort is destined ultimately to defeat.” (Robert E. Howard, 1932). True, Bob.

  15. avatar
    fantasticandy | 16 June 2008 at 12:09 pm #

    maybe it’s the aussie winter?
    dull and miserable.
    perhaps you need a ‘real’ one again?
    with snow
    and snowmen
    and snowball fights
    and tobogganing
    woolly mittens
    a nice warm scarf
    big rubber wellies
    and fun.

    can’t beat a bit ‘o fun!

    good luck with yer glasses……

    the ‘angel place’ we sing about is the antithesis of that spiffing gig you were part of!

    please…..,could ya drag that ‘beat’ combo of yours around this spinning ball of dirt just one more time?
    i’ll come..
    oh…er mrs. slocombe!
    andy L.

  16. avatar
    davem | 16 June 2008 at 12:44 pm #

    I’m glad the day ended ok.
    You mean the world to so many of us. You’ve been an inspiration to me for 26 years. Loads of us have listened to your rant(s), thought about what you were saying and then gave up the meat. That’s huge.
    You’re vital.

    Oh and you make the greatest rocknroll this planets ever heard.

  17. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 16 June 2008 at 2:33 pm #

    I admire Sk for performing at these somewhat frustrating Australian vegan gigs. The crowds would be very large in India. Sk could also entertain them with his interests in Hinduism. Worldwide veganism would end global warming and reduce cruelty to animals. A major cause and planetary imperative. I’m a veritable-vegan. Cheese is a minor weakness. No dead carcasses though.

    Glad that his day got much better. His June 15 blog hit home with me. I was envious of the high school studs who got all the chicks. I decided to rely on a rich inner life with limited social contacts. A decadent monk who used to like Grand Funk (Heartbraker, Loneliness, I’m Getting Closer To My Home?).

  18. avatar
    restaurant mark | 16 June 2008 at 3:43 pm #

    “life is all ups n downs…aint it?” there’s more truth in that line than i’d like to think about most of the time. glad the day ended up with a good show. sorry you lost your glasses…don’t feel you’re on a losing streak though. now of course, what do i know? i’m not there…but…just from an outside view, you’ve got a great family, all this great new music coming out. so there’s a little water left in that glass. take care man.


  19. avatar
    Cee | 16 June 2008 at 5:04 pm #

    “i was truly surprised n inspired
    afterwards a sadness amongst all the players”

    Estuve verdaderamente sorprendido e inspirado, despues una tristeza sobre los musicos.

    It’s blue out here too, Esteban.

  20. avatar
    eek | 16 June 2008 at 8:48 pm #

    Here’s a link to a photo tour with audio clips of SK’s exhibition of paintings in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Many thanks and to fipster (of the Church Discography website fame) for this.

    Steve Kilbey art exhibit photo tour

    The exhibit is even better in person, so if you are within driving distance, you should go see it. 🙂

  21. avatar
    steve kilbey | 16 June 2008 at 9:35 pm #

    try some
    buy some

  22. avatar
    knot | 16 June 2008 at 9:47 pm #

    Ohio is high in the middle I hear.

    San Franciscans can not leave the city limits for fear we will fall into a fog and never be seen or heard from again. Our maps show “Here Abide Monsters” once you cross any bridge.

    Have fun, you lucky middle americans.

  23. avatar
    princey | 16 June 2008 at 10:38 pm #

    WOW, thanks eek for the slideshow, fantastic!! I hope there’s a few more red dot stickers on them paintings! Beautiful work sk, so many paintings, so many eyes….those eyes. I also love the bunch of abstract looking pieces, I’m gonna buy one!
    Love Amanda

  24. avatar
    tim | 16 June 2008 at 10:42 pm #

    better days ahead old chum…were I there, I would have offered you a ride myself as long as you did the rolling…

  25. avatar
    Anonymous | 17 June 2008 at 4:36 am #

    yep.thanks for the was so worth it in the end,friend.ha!yeah right.

  26. avatar
    Anonymous | 17 June 2008 at 10:17 am #

    You said you’d never interact with us again, boy! Lets have some consistency here…or, er, lets not. Um…

  27. avatar
    Anonymous | 17 June 2008 at 1:26 pm #

    bless my soul.drop a stitch…what’s good for the gander?must also be good for the goose.its not personal,is it?

  28. avatar
    Rico | 17 June 2008 at 3:46 pm #

    Who cares about your almost-veganism?

    The vegans… even the converted need food for their souls. And some jokes.

    N maybe the noise and SupremeMaster tv and feeling mediocre n tired are for the almost vegans…

    The vegans liked – maybe u didn’t hear em well enough in your disappointed state. Or could be rock star ear syndrome… 😉

  29. avatar
    Anonymous | 18 June 2008 at 2:33 am #

    when you have big bands like the pumpkins n matchbox 16 covering your songs killer,ya gotta be proud…n ya gotta know the impact of your being n your band…you are our ned kelly hero o the realm…people love you n your music,with such a soft n deep admiration…your music does actually appeal to the many out there…m glad that big bands are reminding people of your greatness,or even perhaps introducing your music to a whole new audience in some cases.:) x

  30. avatar
    Anonymous | 18 June 2008 at 3:01 am #

    id love to hear the cure covering almost with you.

  31. avatar
    Anonymous | 18 June 2008 at 6:22 am #

    dear anon at 12:33-please dont diss matchbox 20…i AM a huge fan of the church,and yes,i have not once found matchbox 20’s music in the slightest bit offensive…matter of fact,im sure that their cover of utmw was a divine highlight n beautiful nightcap for their audience.wish id been there to hear it actually!:) peace.x

  32. avatar
    Anonymous | 19 June 2008 at 5:15 pm #

    I like the “Twilight Singers”…Afghan Wigs …stuff too…that guys really living his songs…pushing his limits !!!

    Chris Woods

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