Paul Weller live at the Sydney Opera House

Paul Weller revisits Australia for his fourth tour down under and sells out the Sydney Opera House over three consecutive nights during the height of Sydney’s summer.Fan-site photos show Weller basking in the hot sun and gazing out onto Sydney Harbour.I went to Paul Weller’s second “middle” show on Sunday 29th Jan, and one of his first utterances as his band took the stage was “last night was a great fucking night, I hope we can match that”.Summing up from the electricity and excitement generated by the band and audience he certainly did, and on the next night too if all accounts are to be believed. Weller and his band of mod-looking musicians played a blinding set that lasted for well over two hours, drawing from songs from his fine latest release ‘A Kind Revolution’ along with a number of old Jam and Style Council songs and his well-known solo songs from his mid-nineties solo period, and beyond.That’s forty years worth of consistently great songwriting.Weller is without question a mo…

Morte Calabria

I just finished reading Christos Tsiolkas’ Dead Europe which I loved.  As a second generation Australian I found the novel confronting and difficult to read at times with its haunting depictions of past-generational traumas.  This book acts as a conduit toward my coming to some better understanding of what my parents went through as individuals in 1930s-40s Calabria, Italy.  Anna Maria Dell’oso’s Songs of a Suitcase did similarly, however that book is more impressionistic in tone, something of an Italian-Australian Anais Nin minus the erotica.  Tsiolkas by contrast is harsher, he is direct and unflinching in his expressions of violence, bigotry and bloodlust.  The author conveyed Europe as a continent of insurmountable burden, of which every player, every person, had to bear some or much of that leaden psychic load.  This is the Europe that my parents, and their parents, knew, or more precisely, the god-fearing, superstitious ultra-catholic and xenophobic southern tip of the mainland…

Tex, Don & Charlie live at Factory Theatre, Marrickville, 23 August 2017



Awakening to the ‘good’ in our lives and to the fulfilling sense of gratitude which follows often comes to us via the most simple and sometimes indirect means.  I’ve found myself catalysing these freeing thoughts and sensations by attending Al-Anon meetings, which is a worldwide support group for friends and relatives of alcoholics.  Al-Anon delivers a platform for attendees to listen and to speak with candour and honesty in a confidential setting with like-minded persons.
I’ve been to three Al-Anon meetings thus far over three consecutive weeknights.  There’s a church up at Randwick that hosts both AA (alcoholics anonymous) and Al-Anon meetings on Thursday nights.  My partner is in both AA and A-Anon.  We figured that I might give Al-Anon a go – given I’m a blue ribbon qualifier - while she can choose between attending either AA or Al-Anon depending on her own needs at the time.  She came with me to my first two Al-Anon meetings and went off to AA on her own at my third sitting.

Solitude standing

I graduated from high-school 30 years ago.  The boys are on for a major reunion, so out come the Facebook groups, comments, photo uploads.  Suddenly I'm drawn into this yesteryear world of peering over schoolboy headshots appearing on Facebook and attempting to recall all those long-forgotten faces.  My immersion into this group has been an odd experience, a surreal journey where I find myself flipping between 1987 and the present and sometimes capturing the essence again of being that exact person I was when I was 17 years old and left wondering if anything in my life has actually moved on since then.  Songs or feelings I had in 1987 suddenly flash in my memory and consciousness, vivid and alive.  Suzanne Vega's Solitude Standing album.  The innocence of living quietly and studying.  But that sense of life coming full-circle is somewhat unsettling.  I may have left school, though I haven't really left university.  I work there, and by January 1988 I will have been there …