Archive for video

Occupying Sydney this weekend

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2011 by Weary Hobo
With three killer events this weeked, consider your weekend planned.
First, Friday Night in Marrickville is Food and Toonz at Addison Rd Community Centre where we’ll be performing
Music will include Johnny G and the E Types and Quimbombo, the latin band. We’ll be on early so come and get dinner and party.
Second, Saturday 2:30pm the global tradition of occupying the commons as a protest has come to Martin Place under the banner of Occupy Sydney. They say
We seek an end to the corporate stronghold over all governments. We seek an authentic democracy that represents the 99% majority – us. We hold corporate entities responsible for their crimes against us and the Earth. We are inspired by and stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters striving for liberty in North Africa and the Middle East, Europe and more recently, the United States.

Here they are on Facebook. Also, if you are in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth or RAdelaide

Lastly, on Sunday TEDxMacquarie is on for the first time. We’ll be performing on all things radical using subversive bluegrass as our expressive medium in a 10minute lecture. The event is free from 10am-5pm with a live simulcast in Building Y3A. If you use the train to get there you’ll experience the wonder of three flights of esculators up to ground floor of the University.

Someone else who has played at TED. This is a video of Paul Kelly performing ‘How to Make Gravy’ at TED Sydney in June this year.



Rising Tide Action

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2011 by Weary Hobo

Action by Rising Tide in Newcastle on August 5th, 2011 to highlight coal’s contribution to Somalia’s famine

Rising Tide Australia is a grassroots Newcastle group taking action against the causes of anthropogenic climate change and for equitablejust,effective, and sustainable solutions to the crisis. We are committed to the principles of Non-violent Direct Action. We are part of the global Rising Tide climate justice movement. We live in the biggest coal port in the cosmos.

In this action, the activists were calling for coal companies to donate some of their profits to the hundreds of thousands facing starvation due to the terrible climate change driven drought in East Africa.

“Coal is recognised globally as the biggest contributor to climate change. Yet, while climate disaster ravages East Africa, coal companies operating here in Australia are planning to massively expand their coal production, ignoring all the negative impacts.” Spokesperson Naomi Hogan

Climate change is affecting the poorest first. It’s easy for politicians to say “we don’t have enough evidence” speaking the lines that come from minerals councils and lobby groups. The West Australian State Liberals want us to wait for yet another report. A Royal Commission in fact. It is infuriating to people still using these stalling tactics. It is important that we stand with Rising Tide in their actions.

It is not just Australia that battles with the mega-rich resource multi-nationals. Here is a little idea from Canada to address an issue creatively – No Tankers Oil Poster


Australia visited by bluegrass royalty

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2011 by Weary Hobo

In the last month Australia has been visited by very amazing bluegrass players Tim O’Brien and Peter Rowan and his Bluegrass Boys (next post). I was lucky enough to see these performances at the Cat and Fiddle in Balmain and Notes Live in Enmore.

Tim O’Brien is a highly recognised performer and songwriter having won a Grammy Award as well as a couple of IBMA awards. He plays many string instruments and at Notes Live he played mandolin, banjo and fiddle with the Ocean’s Trio. The crowd was a full house of older adults who appreciated the music placidly. My friends scoffed at the idea of paying $50 cover charge. This crowd did not applause mid song for the great solos or sing along to the well-known songs. In fact, it was well past the bedtime of much of the audience by the second half of the show.

The highlight for me was ‘Old Joe’ (above) because it was a new song for me and shows off his songwriting skill. Overall the band worked well together with good variation and strong presence.

The support at Notes was Crooked Still. What you might call a ‘Nu-grass Supergroup’ as the fiddle, banjo and cello players are recognised as powerful solo musicians. Dr. Greg Liszt on Banjo plays very unsual and complex lead breaks and seems to be in a world of his own in more ways than one. Tristan Clarridge on cello has won national awards as a violinist but proves that he has mastered the cello. Holding it all together is fiddler Brittany Haas who’s solos are phenomenal in difficulty and execution. Aoife O’Donovan sings warm and gentle vocals and occasionally played guitar.

On this night, the pensioners were not receptive to Crooked Still. It may have been they were looking for a more traditional sound than the band provided. It was also the first gig in Australia and Tristan’s cello had been damaged in the Qantas flight with three serious cracks needing repair. Lucy Wise told me later that she had been asked to give the name of a luthier for his cello and the work was finished on the day of this show!

Friends saw this band in Melbourne and at the Blue Mountains and loved them. They have a confident and relaxed stage presence and perform with phenomenal musical skill. Check out this video for an idea of how this young folk take on trad songs.

To be cont. with Peter Rowan and his Bluegrass Boys


Weary H.

NB: videos might not work on email. Check out the blog online

Happy New Years from Peats Ridge!

Posted in bluegrass, Festivals, Folk music, lililth half dressed, Music, Peats Ridge, photos, Sustainbility with tags , , , , , , on January 28, 2011 by Weary Hobo

Happy New Years! I know it’s late. But think of it as a fire-up for 2011! Here are my favourite bits of Peats Ridge Sustainable Arts and Music Festival 2010.

The Lurkers

Come to a far away place. Across Hawksbury River, over Peats Ridge and down the dusty road into Glenworth Valley

Meet the locals. They’re very friendly if a little eccentric.

Wandering entertainment

Enjoy the wildlife. Great for children of all ages.

Less wandering entertainment

And, in the Chai Temple was The Lurkers!

Desert Rat Shorty

Pretty Boy Floyd

With Desert Rat Shorty, Pretty Boy Floyd and Weary Hobo

Weary Hobo

Some in the crowd went wild, occasionally spilling frappéd Indian spiced tea onto woven cushions. However, most punters saved their frivolity for paddles in the refreshing creek preferring instead to appreciate the show by moving as little as possible unless to fan themselves.

Re-live the sweaty pleasures of this festival here and watch this video called 15Mb of Fame by Punk Monk Propaganda. 15Mb of FAME is a fast & furious crowd sourced initiative.  All footage was shot by roaming punks meets festival goers and edited on site during the festival & screened in the Rejenr8 geodesic dome [Land of Hopeless Utopians] and on the main stage [the Bellbird], NYE. This is the original version as it was shot & cut on site in those preceding 48 hours of the festival then screened that very same night.

Waking up on New Years Day, The Lurkers continued the adventure down past Bega to Tathra to record our musical subversion at the eclectic Pirate Studios with Dave from Lime Spiders. To be continued…


Weary H.

P.S.  Many thanks to the talented Mark Snelson for letting us use his photos here

Lurking while pregnant

Posted in Activism, Anarchism, Feminism, Festivals, Hazelwood, Music, Peats Ridge, photos, politics, Pregnancy, Pregnancy, Recording with tags , , , , , , , on January 16, 2011 by Desert Rat Shorty

Some of you in the big lurky family might already know (or have noticed) that I’m about five and a half months pregnant.  From what I’ve found so far, there are two types of difficulties with being pregnant and travelling round being in a band:

1 – the actual physical and emotion constraints, and

2 – coping with other people’s judgmental comments.

One of the first things someone said to me when they found out I was pregnant was ‘oh you’ll have to stop doing gigs then’.  This was astounding news to me.  All I could say was ‘um, I disagree’.  (This comes along with a litany of other unhelpful advice along the lines of: you’ll have to get a bigger house, sensible car and buy heaps of plastic crap).

5 months pregnant at Peats Ridge Festival: yes, that's lemonade

Why is it that when you announce you’re pregnant, people assume that you have to get a lobotomy and start living a suburban nightmare?

Admittedly, there are definitely some physical and emotional constraints that are very real and need to be factored in:

Oh wow, the exhaustion!
I had no idea I could feel so utterly utterly buggered. For the first couple of months, I would come home from work, sleep for a few hours, eat some tea then sleep for another ten hours.  It felt like being on some kind of sedative 24/7.  Feeling tired and crap for the first couple of month made rehearsals a bit unproductive.  Also, Pretty Boy Floyd and the Weary Hobo have been doing most of the driving when I’ve been feeling so sleepy I could fall asleep any time, anywhere.

Morning sickness
Performing with morning sickness was a bit of a challenge. At a gig at The Shack in Narrabeen, I was dry wretching through the show which was a bit tough while trying to sing.  Here’s a video of that show:

Crazy mood swings
I feel very lucky that there’s a lot of love and trust in The Lurkers and the Weary Hobo and Pretty Boy Floyd are extremely accommodating with my mood swings and unexplained tears.  Playing music makes me feel so much better and usually the tears dry up after a song or two.  A cuddle, some singing and not being treated like a freak are a pretty good cure for pregnancy mood swings.

Actually travelling so far has been great.  We toured to Melbourne and Adelaide when I was 11-13 weeks pregnant.  I was feeling tired and sick for the first bit, but turned a corner about a week in.  Being on the road was really great at that time – playing music and travelling with The Lurkers makes me feel good despite the weird hormones pumping through my body.

At the Switch off Hazelwood rally in Victoria (3 months pregnant)

Despite the travelling, it was much easier than being at work, where it’s not really appropriate to cry during meetings.

We’re planning to go back to Melbourne and also do another stint in the rehearsal studio in March, at which point I’ll be 7 months pregnant.  We might need to take the driving slowly and plan in a few extra rest breaks than usual.

In our last recording session, the baby actually started kicking in time after listening to “I’m in love with a skinny man” for 90 minutes.  I’m hoping that means it’s starting to recognise the music and will therefore feel safe and happy at gigs.

At Pirate Studios near Tathra (5 months pregnant)

Playing at Peats Ridge Festival was awesome, though the heat was full on.  Your body is already hotter when you’re pregnant, and it definitely makes the heat harder to cope with.  So the chai tent at 40 degrees on a summers afternoon did take it out of me.  You can see in this video my hair is drenched cause I had to duck backstage and douse myself in a bottle of cold water halfway through the set.

Performing while very pregnant
This logistical challenge is still to come!  My tummy is sticking out a bit, but I can still hold the banjo with no dramas, and I haven’t had any breathing troubles yet.  We’ve got a song on an upcoming compilation of Eric Bogle songs, which is being launched at The National Folk Festival at easter – by when I’ll be eight and a half months pregnant.  I’m hoping we’ll be there to perform at the launch, but we might just need to see how we’re faring then.  There are so many changes in such a short time it’s really hard to know what it will be like.

Hibernation period (baby arrival time)
After the baby is born (due 8th May), we’ve put a line through all of May – no gigs and no pressure as we spend some time hibernating and showing a new little person around this amazing word of ours.  But we’ll ease our way back in gently, with a show at Hornsby Folk Club in June, and then our album launch in August.

Lurking with a baby
We’re also contemplating a trip up the NSW north coast in October.  We’ve put a window in the back seat of the Lurker van so we can bring this new little character on the road.

Also, before you ask, no – The Lurkers are not planning to become a kids band.

All offers of baby holding during gigs will be taken seriously and are very much appreciated.


Desert Rat Shorty

We’re playing at Peats Ridge Festival

Posted in Culture, Festivals, Music, Party, Peats Ridge, Sustainbility, Yew Years Eve with tags , , , , , on December 1, 2010 by Desert Rat Shorty

Peats Ridge Festival

Doorknocking around Newtown

Posted in Activism, Climate change, Culture, elections, Music, Newtown, politics with tags , , , , , , on August 16, 2010 by Desert Rat Shorty

The eternally inspiring Climate Action Newtown have been doorknocking around Newtown in the seat of Grayndler in the lead up to the federal election.  Us Lurkers volunteered for a few afternoons knocking on doors and chatting with local people about what they think about climate change. The community consensus among people we spoke to was pretty clear:

  • 76% of residents said that the Federal Government is not doing enough to tackle climate change
  • 92% of people believe that Australia should develop a plan to move to 100% renewable energy
  • 77% of residents believe that the government should stick to its 2007 election commitment to put a price on carbon and make polluters pay
  • 83% residents believed that new energy in NSW should come from renewable sources rather than coal
  • 73% of residents were more likely or much more likely to vote for a candidate committing to a price on carbon and significant investment in renewable energy

Ingrid from Climate Action Newtown made this awesome little video of the doorknocking. We’re proud that Ingrid chose our song ‘Got My Boots On‘ as the soundtrack.