The Escarpment

With possibly the best name for a band from the Illawarra ever conceived, and a sound that I have quite proudly decided is akin to Tom Petty - if he grew up in Australia as a surfer - The Escarpment are a new band on the local music scene, but its members certainly aren't fresh-faced kids. These guys have put in the hard yards and have a sound to prove it.

They called me one rainy summer's eve and we set out, looking for gaps in the rain, only to be surprised by one phenomenal, rainbow-filled sunset.

Coledale House Show v.3

Every so often the backyard of my beachside home is turned into a bit of a wonderland of light, music, fire and community. My flatmates and I have many skilled friends and we love opening our backyard to display teir talents; of course it doesn't hurt that our backyard is virtually a natural amphitheatre and looks straight out onto the ocean... 

Back in April one of these evenings was initiated by Cairns band The Starry Field embarking on a national tour. Paul Liao and my flatmate, Tim, and his brother Sam, filled out the evening, along with the one and only Dan McCoy providing us with readings from his latest novel Friday - A Rebecca Black Themed Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Book.

Dan's readings have become tradition for our backyard shows and are an essential part of the experience. This time, however, his reading featured a rendition of Friday by Rebecca Black - a unique rendering to say the least...

The Long Road South v.3

Saturday saw a slow start, 11 hours of driving took their toll and 1ft of sloppy surf was definitely not enough to entice us out into the cold Victorian morning. Kenno hung around to catch up with Steve and Kirsty, while Janie and I decided a day in Melbourne was on the cards.

It was International Record Store Day and Janie had a South African press agent friend she was keen to catch up with. So we set off for Geelong, hoping to catch the train straight in to town. Unfortunately trackwork isn't relegated to Sydney alone, so the bus it quite unfortunately was.

I've said it many times before, but Melbourne really is far superior to Sydney. It's in the little things: sculptures and light displays on the freeways; endless lanes filled with bustling cafes and beautiful boutiques; effective street art in the appropriate places and functional installations in others; it's a richness and vibrancy to the air that is normally only found in cities many times its size.

After a wonderful coffee from Journal, adjacent to the city library, poor Janie was dragged through a few long record store journeys before we met up with her friend Brett and his nephew, who were also on the record store buzz. They took us straight to Basement Discs which was much more vibrant and buzzing than the previous ones. With a full day's lineup of activities and people packing it out we spent a good while there, before heading out on a trek to find a burger place in a seeming endless mall built around an old bullet factory. I'm sure its a familiar one to many, but I'd never heard of, nor seen it and avidly detest malls, but this was really not half bad.

Burgers sitting tight, we headed on up to Brunswick St to meet up with Lisa Eustace, a friend from Manly on a solo adventure around the country who had ended up stuck in Melbourne after destroying her foot whilst running in a national park in one of the most remote parts of Victoria. We met Lisa at Rhombus, a sweet new surf shop at the top end of Brunswick that, while tiny, incorporates the best aspects of shops like The Sugarmill and Finbox. From there we hobbled down one of my favourite streets in the world popping our head in here and there till dark descended and we were forced to part ways and head back to Torquay.

It was a short, but sweet day in the city, but I'm coming back soon Melbourne, I'm coming back soon...

White Gloves

The Sydney Festival lineup will be announced very soon and whatever it contains there will definitely be some sweet sights and sounds happening around the city in the new year. One of my highlights from last festival was this man and his portable gramophone stand, spinning and blasting old 45's and whatnot anywhere in the city he felt like; dancing like crazy at the same time. I look forward to January...