In only a few days the football season starts (real football; the Australian Football League). Hooray! Angus and I, along with some good friends, went to see the Giants put North Melbourne to the sword in one of the pre-season fixtures on a perfect Friday evening here in Canberra. Although the pre-season competition is not always a great indicator of fortunes for the upcoming season it's always a lot of fun to get a win. This next track and associated footage never gets old. It takes me back to my childhood in football mad country Victoria.
Little River Band - Playing To Win - https://youtu.be/GbtiUrHUhRw
Last weekend, in a pain relief medication induced haze, I went to watch the band I usually play in at a gig. It may have been a combination of the drugs and the pain but I can assure you that it was a surreal experience. There was also almost as many current and former band members in the audience as there was on stage. I'm glad that I'll be back on guitar next time the band plays; watch this space and the band Facebook page here for details of some very special upcoming shows.
Spy vs Spy - Don't Tear It Down - https://youtu.be/gOeJshHFpPI
After the disappointment of a cancelled trip last year, my "sister" Nancy from Vanuatu will now be in Australia in a couple of weeks. Sadly her training course has been shifted to Sydney but Alison and I will be heading up to see her anyway. On Saturday I spoke with my "brother", Michael, who lives at Level on Pentecost. Sadly, phone calls to Vanuatu have doubled in price so I don't get to talk to him all that often. However, he was in fine form and reported that all were well and happy in their part of the world. If anyone knows a generous philanthropist who would like to fund me to go there for an extended period of time then feel free to get in touch!
Eurogliders - Heaven (Must Be There) - https://youtu.be/WHLxW-n-WT4
Last night (Saturday) I went along to see John Schumann, of Redgum fame, play a show here in Canberra. I wasn't really sure what to expect. I remember moving to Australia in 1983 and taking an instant like to their classic single, "I Was Only 19", when it was on heavy radio rotation. After that Redgum was one of the few bands that everyone in my family agreed upon. I also have strong memories of listening to their live album, "Caught In The Act", non-stop on cassette in 2000 as I travelled across the Simpson Desert as part of a mountain bike race. The short version is that John Schumann is an excellent performer. His voice is as good as it was all those years ago if not better. He played a wide range of old and new tunes and he's an excellent storyteller both in song and in between! I dodn't expect a version of Cold Chisel's hit, "Khe Sanh", but when John explained his reasoning it fitted nicely. Thanks to Scot, Sascha, Isabella and Ike for having me along. It was a musical high point for me and having the chance to shake hands with one of my heroes was pretty special...even if he was slightly distracted looking for a beer. Have a listen to what John has to say about "Khe Sanh"...and the reworded first line.
John Schumann & Hugh McDonald - Khe Sanh (live) - https://youtu.be/H-1bdGIM7BU
Try this one as well. The story John told of him singing this song at the funeral of an Australia soldier was extremely moving.
John Schumann & The Vagabond Crew - The Glass On The Bar - https://youtu.be/oGNJYDgJHKY
Italian punk rock outfit Giuda have a new single from their "Speaks Evil" album. I've been really enjoying their music for a while now and their songs, along with their fashion sense, never fail to make me smile.
Giuda - Bad Days Are Back - https://youtu.be/RSl6XjeSWo0
My recovery from crashing my bicycle seems to be coming along nicely. After a couple of weeks of pain, walking with a cane and no cycling I'm steadily improving. Walking is still frustratingly uncomfortable but yesterday's cycling adventure was pretty good. The new helmet is comfy as well as being brighter than a bright thing. Not long now until I head off, with work, for 1000km of riding in eight days. Woo hoo!
The Soup Dragons - I'm Free - https://youtu.be/_SpA6jECLuU
Bye for now,