Australia’s been good to us so far, we’re up in the Blue Mountains inland from Sydney at Medlow Bath, just up the road from Katoomba. It’s a world heritage area, one of the more green parts of Australia. We’re up on a plateau, with orange cliffs around leading down to huge sunken valleys. To climb the Blue Mountains you start at the top and descend.
We arrived in Melbourne on Monday, Victoria looking browner from drought & bushfires than I remember from 2005. First stop was the A1 Bakery on Sydney Rd, with its fantastic spinach & feta triangles and herb pizza bread.
We hung out with NZ musicians Fran Mountfort and Dan Beban, and played at the Make It Up Club on Brunswick Street. I played the banjo through the computer, Cylvi played shakuhachi and Fran and Emily Williams, a Melburnian, played cellos. We accompanied it with video footage from Queensland and the South Island’s West Coast.
Wednesday we flew across to the ACT and Canberra. Abundant birdlife with magpies, currawongs, galahs, cockatoos, mynahs, crows but no kookaburras that I saw. The gig was at a gallery called Front, and we found that a regular experimental music & AV event called ‘Loud is Boring’ exists.
The next night in Sydney was at a seedier venue, a barber shop in Darlinghurst with porno on the walls and underweight gay junkies populating the neighbourhood. Sydney appeals to me a lot less than Melbourne. Jim Denley’s saxophone playing was worth a look though, he’s carved out a unique stylistic niche.
Melbourne doesn’t have anything like the Blue Mountains nearby however. Our fourth gig in a row was up here at Medlow Bath and since then has been free time to explore the surroundings and breathe in eucalyptus scent, while we wait for the paperwork to be ready for the move to South Korea…