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Archive of ‘Gigs’ category

New Single Monkey Mind Coming Soon

I am quite excited to be launching a new single “Monkey Mind” very soon indeed, including some sweet, sweet video action and an ebook to go with the song too, how’s that for something different. I will also be packaging the song up with my various releases of the last five years into an album. You know, one of them CD things or if you prefer, intangible downloady goodness.

Gearing up for a lot more gigging too after some gig downtime, did a couple in July including a great gig at the Yarra Hotel in Abbotsford here in Melbourne. Really, really fine pub. Also played at Station 59 in Richmond which is a pretty sweet little venue too with delicious Coopers Dark Ale on top.

I am playing at the Ferntree Gully Hotel twice in August, on the 3rd and the 17th, so that will be cool, first time there.

other news is that the Zuiiza album is FINALLY in its last stages of the 7 year epic effort to fruition, and will be released in spring this year. More soon, oh my breathless expectant public…

October is Gigalicious

This post is ostensibly to let you know about the gigs I have coming up. However, those in far flung places, see below for a smattering of news & content to entertain you right now in your comfy socks.

  • SYDNEY – This Thursday 4th October in Newtown, Sydney at the Union Hotel with Andrew P Street – see Facebook event page
  • ADELAIDE – Sunday October 14th me and Andrew P Street (formerly Undecided, Career Girls for those with long memories) return to Adelaide to show the kids how it’s done. Grace Emily, 5pm – see the Facebook event page
  • BELGRAVE – in the Dandenong Ranges, outside of Melbourne. Rumour has it I live there. I also rock the joint from time to time. Including an EPIC 15 minute slot at the Reverberation Festival, Sat October 20th 4pm. See the website.
  • MELBOURNE – Finally Sunday November 18th at the Wesley Anne, Northcote as part of the legendary Melting Pot Songwriter’s In The Round, 2pm. Bring it on.

Andrew P Street Seamus Anthony

Other News

No new recordings just now but the debut album by Zuiiza, featuring me, Peter Owen (me old bandmate from Reckoning) & Tony “E-bow” Ennis is about 70% cooked.

It’s been 2 years in the making and is truly EPIC, WEIRD & DAMN CATCHY TO BOOT.

It’s space rock, more like Reckoning than my solo stuff, of which there are also recordings afoot .. stay tuned, the good times are just getting started…

Pictured – Andrew P Street and me singing Reckoning’s “I Am Stone” like it was 1995 all over again at the Wesley Anne, Northcote, Melbourne, July 2012

Seamus Anthony live at Songwriters in the Round, Melbourne

I have now played maybe as many as ten Songwriters in the Round gigs thanks to Liam and all the gang at Melting Pot who are really blossoming into a music promoter force to be reckoned with. I have been blessed by their ongoing support over the last three years and it seems to be a beautiful friendship that looks set to continue as SITR moves on to a different venue.

I am also writing a regular blog for them over at their shiny new music blog.

The above gig took place last September 2011 – there’s been a couple more since then and I am looking forward to the footage from those also as they were pretty special.

Rediscovering my Inner Cockroach: Dream Nights, Hecklers and Two-Bit Gigs

This year has so far been characterized by my return to the music scene. Not unsurprisingly this momentous occasion has been heralded with the kind of fanfare usually reserved for the delivery of new text books to old fashioned libraries, but nevertheless, I got back on the horse and have been off the couch and gigging consistently since December last year.

This has been a colourful time then as a result.

I’ve gigged enough to have enjoyed some amazingly wonderful dream nights. Nights where the stars have aligned to introduce me to new and (hopefully mutually) beneficial relationships, to seat me in front of lovely audiences who were apparently on the same bizarre wavelength that I transmit on, where every word I uttered or sang was understood and appreciated. Nights where my voice was golden and my fingers just did what they are supposed to do and otherwise left me to it.

On the flipside, I have had some Hell-gigs, although more often (thankfully) just hell-moments. I tried to throw the biggest night of the year so far to end up slightly embarrassed at the smallest ever turn-out of friends and, for that matter, strangers. The same night I got heckled every time I tried to kick back and explore the dubious realm of the humorous monologue. (“Play us a song Mr Piano Man!” … “Yeah, thanks for that, Mr Tattooed Bogan. Give me a sec – I’ll just get the old baby grand out of my bag.”) And I’ve followed the microphone south during the odd song until I was singing bent over almost double, unable to rectify the situation without stopping the song, pleading with my eyes for a friend to hop up and adjust the stand to no avail, wondering if people were smiling ‘with’ me at the funny lyrics or ‘at’ me and my predicament.

And then there were the nights where my hands shook, the nights I played 100% sober.

That sounds really bad so I need to explain that my hands don’t shake in the absence of alcohol normally, just during gigs when nervous energy seems to make my hands go all crazy and, well, with apologies to spastic people everywhere, spastic. One or two drinks really calms them down. But I must repeat that I don’t drink to make my hands stop shaking at any other time … I just drink to get drunk (ha, ha)

So here’s a quick round up of the gigs so far this year:

Tuesday 20th January – Ruby’s Lounge, Belgrave

This venue is local to me, or has been for the last two and a half years, so it was cool to finally play a gig here. I rocked up on time and was pleased to discover that the sound guy was Jeff Springfield, who sound-engineered my CD. My business partner Steve Mills, also a local, came along but apart from that I knew nobody.

I was pretty sober and out of practice. This meant my hands were shaking and also they simply couldn’t remember what they were supposed to do. Also I had done so few gigs in the last couple of years that I found that everything I was doing was too subtle for a noisy bar. I soon pulled out some good songs that I knew would cut through the noise, but I certainly remembered at this gig that an unknown musician needs to forget subtlety when playing in a rowdy pub and just bust on through the wall of indifference with something exciting, humourous, or at least LOUD.

After the gig I hung around and got quite drunk and met several locals. I also met a couple of musicians who were on that night. I gave away a bunch of CDs.

Yes, that’s right, I give CDs away at gigs. Maybe I will explain why in a separate post one day.

Wed 28th January, Empress Hotel, North Fitzroy

A lovely venue to play and only the third or fourth time I had even played here. I organized the gig and got two others, my mate the talented Shane Walters and a friend of his, the equally awesome Faye Blais, to play as well.

I went on first, because my friends are a bit old 😉 and so I figured they would be more likely to come along on a Wednesday if they knew I would be onstage by 8pm or thereabouts.

Turned out to be a fantastic gig, it was incredibly hot (bushfire season here in Victoria, Australia) but not too bad inside the very dark pub. A good little crowd were there and they seemed to dig what I had to offer. It was the first gig where I deliberately told some pre-written comedy material and it went down a treat. It just seemed to come out of my mouth (for the most part) as if it was spontaneous, which I am discovering really makes all the difference. And of course I threw in some off-the-cuff funnies as well; to various degrees of success (the funniest joke of the night always seems to be one of the better spontaneous remarks). You can view some of the songs from this gig here at YouTube.

Songwriters in the Round, Vibe On Smith, Friday 20th January

This was an unexpected gig (and a pleasure) that came my way via a recommendation from Frank and Robin who organize the Empress Hotel’s open mike night, which I played at in December last year.

I had no idea what the night was going to be like but it turned out to be fantastic. The ‘songwriters in the round‘ is a really interesting concept. What it is three solo acts ‘in the round‘ onstage (well, on chairs in the middle of the room) at the same time, taking turns
to play, with chairs and couches all around the songwriters. Sounds odd but it really works. Lots of funny repartee, and in fact this was the first time I gave some extended and several short comedy bits a go in between songs and realised that I was ‘home’, that this is the missing element from shows. I had known I’d wanted to do this for ages, but it took me a long time to actually do it, but so worth it. Mind you, it wasn’t and still isn’t easy, as the following tales will outline, but this night it went smoothly and I got lots of laughs plus the songs went over well also.

Sat March 7th – Brunswick Hotel, Sydney Road, Brunswick

This was kind of my Hell gig. In actual fact there were several good things about the gig, one being that I got paid for once but as a whole the night was a stinker.

For starters I really put a lot of effort into promoting it as a CD launch to my friends, but weirdly, less of them showed up on this night than the usual smattering of random friends. This sounds so sad but it is in fact a sign of the age that my friends are at now – when you are twenty and you throw a CD launch, everyone comes, when you are 35, nobody really cares. Sad but true.

And the fact is, I don’t care either. What I mean is, I don’t care about getting my friends to come to gigs. What I care about is developing an audience of people who are interested in what I do enough to come and see it.

So I tried my best to be Zen about the no show factor and enjoy hanging out with the few people that did some along. I had to stay sober to drive home too, which in fact exaggerated my down mood, because not drinking when I am in a pub is frankly, depressing for me. I don’t know how people who abstain can even stand going into pubs at all, but that’s just me.

So yeah my hands were shaking because of non-calmed-down-by-beer nerves and then to really make it fun, some bogan up the back heckled me severely when I was trying on a comedy routine and I discovered that I need a little practice at dealing with that. I wasn’t upset, I just forgot where I was and the bit was ruined. Thankfully, unlike most regular comedians, I have cool songs that I can launch into and hide behind.

Friday March 13th – Vibe On Smith, Songwriters in the Round

In direct contrast to the last gig, my second go at Songwriters in the Round was a fantastic and nearly perfect gig. It just all went so smoothly, the songs, the comedy, and the guys I was onstage with were awesome too. I just want to replay that gig every night for the rest of my life.

Wednesday March 18th Ruby’s Lounge and Scarab Bar

Back to my local area, I started this gig to a massive crowd of Jeff the sound guy, the bartender and my best mate from when we were teenagers, Peter (who just suddenly appeared in my life again).

Thankfully by halfway through the set a few people did arrive who were keen enough and so I ended up extending my set to play the songs they had missed earlier. The music went well, but the comedy on this night went down like a lead balloon, except for the spontaneous comments.

Two girls gave me a piece of paper with some lyrics for me to sing. They were certainly very talented at songwriting I must say, and this was probably the best song of the night *cough*. Was a good laugh though.

After the set I hung out with the people who had been listening to my set and gave them all CDs. Then we went across the road to the Scarab Bar, a tiny bar that stays open late. I was relieved to discover that despite the way I had carried on there the other week (like a mad, hairy Irish boozehound) my arrival didn’t raise any eyebrows amongst the staff. I guess it’s just that kind of joint.

I got speaking to the band, and they asked me to get up and do a set, so being quite sober still (but not hand-shakingly so) I got up and did a nice little set and in fact the sound was lovely. It seemed to go down quite well, although again my comedy bits were off.

I then proceeded to hang around and get utterly smashed seeing as I was just up the hill from my house and all.

In the morning this excuse didn’t seem as convincing as it had the night before, causing me to write this song lyric:

An Interesting Life

It’s one thirty AM,

I’m at the Scarab Bar again,

Drinking and carousing with my new friends.

Legends,

One and all,

None of whom I will recall,

Tomorrow,

When I’m writhing ‘round in pain.

It’s the cost,

It’s the price,

Of an interesting life.

You take off into the air,

Just like a plane.

You climb higher,

And higher,

Until your wings catch on fire,

Then you plummet,

Back to the planet,

Once again…


2009: off to a giggin’ good start

This year (as I wrote about here) I am all about music and in particular, live gigs.

I have razzled up a few gigs already and have performed twice so far this year, which isn’t bad for January seeing as I only started organising the gigs in January itself.

The first gig (Tuesday 20th January 2009)

was at Ruby’s Lounge in Belgrave, (Victoria, Australia, The World, blah blah) which is just around the corner from where I live. I had a half hour spot from 8 – 8:30 and when I got there there was basically nobody in the band room at all. By the time I started there was about 10 people watching, including the mixers (there were two for some reason – one of whom turned out to be the co-producer of the my latest CD), the other 2 other solo acts for the evening, (weirdly) the man who cut my hair that afternoon, and my one solitary friend who made it along for the night, Steve.

Now this may sound a bit sad but it’s not – it’s totally cool. Firstly, I am a seasoned campaigner and I have no juvenile misconceptions about what to expect, and secondly, despite my many years of experience in live music, I am basically starting all over again, with no real profile to speak of, certainly not in Melbourne.

The fact that I am starting out all over means this:

  1. I can’t expect all of my friends to rock up for all of my gigs – they have their own lives and to expect more than an occasional turn out would be unfair on them.
  2. It is going to take time for me to build up an audience for my music. In fact I am allowing two years of solid gigging before I expect to be able to sell out a modest 150 head room. This would be a great achievement and I know that those first 150 heads are well harder to draw than the next 1000 and the reason why is because a crowd draws a crowd – been there, done that, know that it’s true.

But despite the tiny audience, there were a few more peeps hanging out over by the bar and I made sure to try to project over to them. Singing (and music in general) is a form of energy and I believe something a bit woo-woo which is that if you “send it” out directly to individuals in an audience like an imaginary laser beam, it somehow stands a better chance of moving each individual that you “aim at”.

I actually was quite disappointed with my set, but I made sure to try and keep this disappointment to myself as the last thing you ever want to do is insult your audience by telling them that you are no good, because this negates their own enjoyment of the music you are playing. Just because you know you’re off doesn’t mean an audience member does.

I was off because I was out of practice, because it was insanely hot, and because of silly things like not securing the mic-stand properly (so it was travelling south during my first song, most irritating) but on the other hand, there were some fine moments where things went just fine.

On thing that went well was my between-song banter, which I am determined to make an integral part of the my show this year, including an element of comedy. Humour runs right through all of my tunes (some more than others)  so this is not out of place with my style.

The reason I want to improve my between-song banter is to be more entertaining. As a solo acoustic artist I can’t really dazzle with saxophone solos and wild drum rhythms so I need to work with what I have, and one thing I have is an element of easy humour born (as a coping mechanism) of years of soul-crushing day-jobs and other such drudgery 😉

I was happy to sell a couple of CDs after the gig, and also to swap with some of the other musos. I got some phone numbers of the other musos to organise more gigs together, if it works out, and then I proceeded to hang around and drink too much while chatting to the regulars. I gave away a few CDs which I am happy to do this year as it seems to be an awesome way to get the message out there, although I will from the next gig ask for an email in exchange when I offer to give away a disc.

The second gig (Wednesday 28th January)

Was at the Empress Hotel, Fitzroy North, which is miles from my house but closer to most of my friends. I invited everybody I knew along to this one, but when it became apparent that the temperature was going to be 43 Degrees Celcius (110 Fahrenheit) I didn’t expect as many to turn up as said they would.

I was given the whole night to put together, albeit at late notice after a cancellation the week before.  I organised for my mate Shane Walters and a friend of his, Faye Blais to play a set each as well and made it so that I was on first because I am well older than them, therefore so are my friends, which means they were more likely to come out if I was on earlier. So I went on at 8:15 to 9pm.

A nice little crowd filled the intimate space, which is just a gorgeous room to play solo acoustic in, and after a slightly shaky start I soon warmed up and played one of my best sets in recent memory, spurned along by an encouraging crowd who kept laughing at all my jokes (well most of them) and generally being the kind of audience you would seriously consider paying to be there for you.

Thankfully they weren’t all just my friends either, but about two thirds strangers, which is just what I wanted. My prediction about the heat coming true, there were only about ten mates/family there (which is ok – see above).

It was plainly obvious to me that the amount of practice I put in between the first gig and the second really paid off. I made myself get out into my little one room bungalow (The Office of Imagination and Procedure) out the back and rehearse my set right through without too much ado. I was just so much more in control at the Empress gig as a result. (Duh. Yes, Seamus, practice helps.)

I also really pulled my finger out and didn’t just rely on off the cuff banter but also dropped in two pre-prepared jokes, one of which bombed dismally and one of which floored ’em, so that was an experience.

I have over the last two gigs noticed that some songs might be great in my studio and on record, but they are a little too subtle for an audience that doesn’t know my material, and most of these are the songs on my current CD, so I think I am going to have fairly quickly put out a sister disc to “Dogs May Bark” which features more of the “party” songs, which are the tunes that tend to get a better response from audiences who don’t know my tunes already.

After my set as Shane and then Faye did their respective thangs, I was again stoked to sell a couple of CDs and be plied with free beer – the latter which was just so refreshingly cold on such a disgusting hot night that I was silly and got way too pissed. I can hold my alcohol (usually), so I am sure I didn’t make an arse of myself, but the next day I felt as shit as a shit thing. I am really going to have to self-moderate the after gig beers if I am going to be gigging regularly (which I am). Easier said than done though, as my adrenalin is usually pumping hard after a gig, so I will report back on what I believe will be a major challenge for me this year.

Why?

Well, the truth is, I drink a little too much (like a lot of Aussies). I’d like to tone it down a bit, as I am not getting any younger and I am getting a belly and the hangovers are a bitch, but then again, I am an artiste, and maybe I will always have my foibles? See how we go…

If you read this far, you deserve a dollar for perseverance. I could never read this much about some obscure musician’s rather un-incredible musings myself…