Friday, 26 July 2013

A gig, a lyric sheet and some sounds from the past ...

If you remember me from the '90s, come and see me at the Roxbury Hotel in Glebe on the 31st August. It's a nice comfy room for old people and I've been rehearsing with a great band for about three months (because I like to be prepared.)

Alannah Russack, from my favourite fuzz-pop band of all time, The Hummingbirds, will be doing a special guest spot.

When I was at uni, studying architecture (incongruous but true),  The Hummingbirds were local indie heroes 

I used to listen to their album, "Love Buzz," while I drafted up my (very bad) designs of public buildings with too many toilets. (My obsession with having enough toilet cubicles for every person in the Opus Musivum Town Hall is a whole other story.)

I would start in the afternoon, with my desk lamp on and as dusk fell I would end up in a pool of light, hunched over my drawing desk, with The Hummingbirds swirling around me. It was a sweet time when pop music really got inside my heart.

Something about the way Alannah weaves harmonies really hits the mark for me.  My favourite Hummingbirds song at the time, was "She Knows". The lyrics are vague and I have no idea what they're on about, but somehow the melody and the way Alannah weaves her voice around Simon's vocal,  made me feel like I wasn't alone in whatever I was feeling at the time.

Above all, The Hummingbirds made me want to write simple sweet pop songs that would dig into people's hearts

And on that note, below is a lyric sheet from about 1989, that I found in an old photo album.  It's the original working sheet for a song I wrote with my best friend and songwriting partner at the time, Julia Richardson. We were two 19 year old girls, trying to be Lennon and McCartney (just like a million other songwriters before and since.)

The song is called, "Da da da da." The number "22" in the corner of the page is, I think, the number of songs we had written, with this song being the 22nd.  We were quite determined to keep count, as you can see.

The writing in black, is Julia. The blue writing is me.  As you can also see, I was determined to stuff up her very well-crafted pop song by adding a chorus of ... "Da da da da." It was good of her to indulge my fancy.

I hadn't listened to "Da da da da" for years. Julia had a copy on CD and she uploaded it to the sound cloud. When I listened to it recently, it made me feel stupidly happy.  See if you can hear where I have tried to be Alannah to Julia's, Simon by weaving stuff in the background.


My contribution to the songwriting lexicon has improved since then 

And at the Roxbury on the 31st, I will be playing a lot of tunes from this album:

Light Sleeper

Plus my single

Lap it up ...

... which, I was surprised to realise last week, was actually no. 52 in the 1994 Triple J Hottest 100, (as opposed to no.68, which is what I have been telling people all these years; when it's relevant, not just apropo of nothing, you understand.)

I am also always surprised by the hideous makeup job and wardrobe in this video.  (Hello, Panda Eyes in your smart mannish suit ...)  But I digress.

I hope you have enjoyed my foray into multimedia posting. See you on the 31st August.

I'll be the one on stage with the guitar, hollering unashamedly about my inner-most feelings. 


  1. Woohoo! Yeah! It'll be great because you and your songs are great.

  2. Cool lyrics, although the line I always remember from Da da da da is the alternate "they're all gone, the underpants of sorrow".
    Looking forward to the gig.

  3. I've tried to resist but finally just giving up and just have to shout out "Happy Birthday Helen" from the back of the room. And make sure you give it plenty of petrol :-)

    But seriously, looking forward to the two gigs. Thanks