posted on September 4, 2010 at 10:49 pm

sim salla bim

bar rome 1924

well folks i just did the melbourne writers festival

3 gigs over 3 nights

weird i suppose

seeing i’m not a writer really

i mean lyrics are lyrics

a great lyricist is not necessarily a writer

its not  a given

anyway i gotta slightly literary air to me

so i do my first gig on thursday

its at a really nice venue northcote social club

i’m on between lisa miller and a poetry act johnny hammer n little miss x

when i get to the gig its not a bad sized crowd

it seems they were mostly there to see me

which i dont take for granted

maybe a couple of hundred people maybe a little more or less

anyway i get off to a good start when i play ancient world

this makes me smile and the audience make me smile

it wasnt how i’d planned it to be it was better

i had planned this smooth singer a real pro

but it soon just unravelled into me

but i didnt mind myself so much

and the songs came flowing out ok

i fluffed n blew a few small things

i was a little rusty on guitar but it was ok

ok is ok , ok?

i wasnt fucking mozart

but i wasnt a total hamfisted turkey

i was something else

i began to open up a bit

told some stories behind the songs

grant would enjoy hearing me tell of our jack frost days

i do 2 frosties songs and i stop to annotate them for the crowd

it all comes off smoothly

i explain where grant n i are coming from

how we came up with our stuff

it was a mysterious mystical process

grant had broken up with miss a b

and all his songs were informed and energised with his melancholy hurt

he turned his sadness into beautiful songs

shot through with his tender through to jealous outbursts

so i told em about some of that

i played ok as i said

but it was a warm night

the audience and i had no pretensions with each other

they were supportive and protective

they tried to enjoy what i did  and they did

they understood it and it was a relief like rain coming

so no barriers

a lovely audience

thank you i needed that gig

i came off and i was happy

i nipped round to the little lords and had veg lasagne at 11 oclock

with lovely avo salad

next day

me n martin k drive for miles out to a photographic studio somewhere

on melbournes sprawling outskirts

we drove for ages to get there

we do a photo shoot in our tuxes

our new album is called white magic

so we’re like 2 magicians or scientists or billiards players

or some pair of crazy inventors

a bit of dry ice smoke n voila

instant esoteric geezer

i pick up a slender chrome tube

martin has a little crystal ball

hey this is me as erskine

you finally get to see him folks

that dusty old fraud doing tricks

anyway what a great session

what a great new record

the guy doing photos is a brilliant bloke too

knows what to do thats for sure

one of these will be our album artwork

hey presto !

anyway that night do a gig with a bunch of writers including bryce courtney

i get to meet one my all time faves china meiville

who wrote the scar which is an incredible fantasy

we chat a bit n hes every bit as entertaining as his excellent books

i was starstruck and i pounded him with questions

he cut an imposing figure

quite a bit taller than me

in his mid thirties i guess with shaved head

one ear has many many weird piercings

and hes totally buff

like hes in amazing shape

just short of body builder

he looks like a stunt man for a character in his own books

folks this guy is a real genius

it was kinda weird to talk to him

his books are a total detailed n sometimes fucked up universe

on his world its more laissez faire

life is cheaper and things are more random

apart from humans there are other cactus-men

and lobster men

and mosquito men

and these all coexist uneasily

and things get outta hand easily

so meeting the author of all this fantastic madness was extraordinary

my actual gig was 2 quick songs n bobs yer uncle

afterwards i went for ten minutes to a boring party

i dunno i felt uneasy

after a few conversations i split

i came home got an early night

been eating too much sweet stuff n have put on weight


just goes to show ya

this morning did a little photo shoot with glenn bennie

then we rehearsed new gb3 album with band

wow very very good band too

tight and controlled

i am amazed at how they reproduce the songs so faithfully

we rehearse for a few hours

i split to do a gig in town

i end up sitting around with dave graney having a chat

dave graney is a mercurial type

hes got quite a look going half dapper half camp

hes got a good schtick too

hes funny n urbane n knowledgeable  on a wide range of things

we just have a general rave

i play a couple of numbers not that well

ive added a new verse to ancient world

the girls down in nineveh

give their love forever

the temple whores’ll have ya on the floor

the ladies down in ur

with the whips and the fur

they say summer is super in sumer i’m sure…

anyway that gig was ok you know

i just talked to dave for a while n that was that

thanks con n family for goodies

nice to see big smiles kate who was smiling of course

sam sejavka was there

we had dinner together

but sam felt a bit under the weather n left early

that leaves me here hombre

in my 5 * hotel big deal nice view

melbourne is a huge vibrant city

i love it i love its residents

the coolest city in australia

im just too hedonistic to live here

i just like that bondi weather sorry and the pool


great to hang with martin kennedy

we had a good time doing the magician shoot

nice to rehearse with gb3 with gigs coming up in syd n melb

all my true n original fans who came along

man, i appreciate you guys

you are the core of my sanity

finally a weird moment

i started painting a commission portrait

to snap me out of my painting dry spell

although i stall halfway through a painting of hotel womb

yeah i was painting the song on commission

its a hotel foyer

theres the guy who commissioned it, theres me, theres an armadillo

theres a native girl theres a guy screaming at the desk n blah blah

but i just havent been able to finish it off

i bit off more than i could paint it seems

anyway so im doing this commish of this couple

and i been working on the guy for about 2 weeks

from this photo hes sent me

and i know this face with its glasses n little beard

a kind of vaguely uni student face i guess maybe a bit older tho

a reasonable intelligent looking kinda geezer

so i’m standing there today talking to someone

when my mind goes

whoa theres your painting walking past

and i start to think i’m finally cracking up

coz my mind has recognized this archetypal face now

cos i been working hard trying to get him right

and this painting side of my mind

that knows this guys face so well

is confused to see that face over there

and it looks just like my painting of him

seeing the actual guy was a bit overwhelming

when i wasnt expecting it

i was totally confused for at least a moment

i never realized the guy was from


i thought he was an austrian or something

it was disorienting anyway for a short time

he turned out to be another diamond geezer

i hope i can nail the painting for him n his mrs

so thats it my friends

my report

see ya next week at van park

you gotta come

its a whole new bag

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