Music festivals and footie finals

Some of our musician friends in Melbourne and Sydney have ‘festival envy’, akin to the mixed emotions felt by southern footie fans who will miss out on this year’s grand finals. As you might know, the National Rugby League (NRL) moved all teams across the border into Queensland. As a result of ongoing Covid lockdowns in Victoria and New South Wales, this year’s Grand Final will be held in Brisbane for the first time ever….

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Arts Take Virtual Performance To Another Level

One evening in April, a Kiwi songwriter friend living in London posted a YouTube video by the London Humanist Choir, performing a love song in Māori. The video of New Zealand’s unofficial anthem, Pokarekare Ana, was, as we are now accustomed, a multi-screen video with choir members recording their parts remotely. I shared this with a few Kiwi friends who live elsewhere, knowing it would tug at the tendrils of homesickness, which are almost always…

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Don’t fence me in – a COVID-19 adventure

In downtown Dubbo, NSW, the checkout operator at one of the major supermarkets described the day as ‘crazy’. Shopping late (6pm) we managed to buy enough food to tide us over, mindful of Scotty from Marketing’s exhortation to stop hoarding, because ‘it’s UnAustralian’. But the PM was at least three weeks late with that edict, which fell on deaf shoulders (in Dubbo at least). There were plenty of empty shelves and shortages. No rice, mince,…

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Songwriting Competitions And Radio Play

My first record producer once said of songwriting competitions – “The only competition I’m interested in is – can it get played on the radio.” His wise words came back to me in a week when I was reminded twice of my peripatetic career as a songwriter. One reminder was a quarterly royalty payment from APRA, derived from having five songs played on the radio in the quarter under review. The money rarely gets above…

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