Sunday, 23 March 2014

Ayers House State Dining Room

One of my concerts on the Adelaide Fringe was at Ayers House in a sweltering 35 degrees. Well I sweltered anyway. It was a pretty normal temperature for the audience. Ayers House is run by the National Trust of Australia and is kept in perfect original condition so no intrusive electrics like air conditioning need apply. Mind you it might have had such things at one time. It was used as living quarters for nurses for quite a long time - being opposite the hospital. Here is a flavour of its gorgeousness.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Geese and Gigs at the Adelaide Fringe

Reunited with my errant guitar I took the train into Adelaide from Marion, where I'm staying. It's only a few hundred yards to Kintore Avenue from the station and The Migration Museum gig was a great way to open my Adelaide Fringe experience as it sold out. The room had an excellent acoustic and even though occasionally you could hear the racing cars of the Clipsal roaring  in the distance it was not an intrusion. There is a review of the gig here which I'm very pleased with. It was a pleasure to perform there. The people who run it are really helpful and made sure that I had everything I needed so it was a good start.
The next day we hired a car and drove north to Auburn.

Here's a film to show something of the magic of the place - just at the edge of the famous Clare Valley wine region. Cherie and Ivan, who run the HATS Courthouse Cultural Centre gave us a warm welcome and it was an inspiring venue to perform at. Once again, I was bowled over by the appreciation and enthusiasm of the audience.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Saved by John Reynolds MusicCity

Phasey - manager at a legendary  shop
We must have walked ten miles yesterday. We are getting to know Adelaide quite well now. I was desperate  to find a guitar as you can imagine. My first show is on Friday and who knows when our luggage will arrive?

So we visited Harrison's music shop which I found by googling 'classical guitar shop Adelaide'. A very kind man in there rang a friend first of all but had no luck. He then gave me two other possibilities and wrote down the details. The first of these was a couple of blocks north, go diagonally across the big square and head towards the blue building opposite. It was John Reynolds MusicCity.

We hurried along there and when I explained my predicament to Mr John Reynolds he turned to Phasey and said 'I think we can sort him out can't we?' and Phasey said that indeed they could. And they've lent me a guitar!! It's a Katoh and has a spruce top and it is such a welcome sight. Whilst I am still desperately anxious about my missing instrument this act of kindness to a fellow musician makes me feel much much better about everything. And best of all it means I can get on with rehearsing for my shows.

This shop is amazing and if you are a musician - doubly so. If you've never been they're at 175-185 Waymouth Street, Adelaide (or browse online).

Properly equipped and mightily relieved

First, we miss our flight to Adelaide...

On Saturday it was foggy in Dubai. On Sunday afternoon QF8016, operated by Emirates, took off from Gatwick and I was en route to Adelaide via a two hour stopover in Dubai. 'The weather is lovely and clear in Dubai,' the captain remarked, as off we flew. I was well and truly on my way to perform on the Adelaide Festival Fringe.
words fail me
However - when we arrived in Dubai we found that the connecting flight to Adleaide had already left WITHOUT US. A group of about 20 travellers besieged the transit desk to find out what they were going to do about it. We soon realised that the answer was 'not much.'

that is not my bag. That is a hello kitty bag
We whiled away the next three hours chatting and forming a good natured pressure group to make sure that the insouciant people manning the desk did not stop trying to find seats on other planes for us. As these insouciant people suggested nothing and shrugged and deplored the fact that there was only one flight per day to Adelaide (no we DON'T want to wait here 24 hours,' we said), one of our group suggested to them that they could re-route us via Perth or Brisbane. They very slowly began to do just that. By 4 in the morning we were all sorted out and given  food vouchers so that we could spend what remained of the night in the airport. Our flight to Perth left at 10.00 am the next day and the plane was half empty. It was nice to be able to stretch out across a whole row of seats and catch up on some sleep. Twelve hours later we landed in Perth, where it was 3.00 in the morning. We took off for Adelaide at 6.30 am and finally arrived at about Midday. And then we found that our luggage had not come with us!
I was in Adleaide to play the guitar at 5 venues for the Adelaide Fringe and I had not got my guitar. It's like one of those nightmares when you are about to go onstage to play the lead role in Hamlet and you suddenly realise you don't know any of the lines.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Adelaide, here I come...

Just checking the essentials now - packing is an art. I've got the adaptors and some shorts and my music... I've emailed copies of the music to myself so as to be able to print out an emergency sheet in case I lose a bit. I've assembled a billion socks. All odd - I only seem to have three actual pairs. Never mind. What else? I'm taking my squash kit. I've been in touch with South Adelaide Squash Centre, hoping to fix up a few games. It's in Edwardstown - Midera Avenue in case anyone is a member and fancies a game in the next couple of weeks. So look out for me.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Adelaide Fringe - 16 days and counting...

16 days until we fly to Adelaide. The weather here gets ever wetter and more dramatic and the sunshine there gets ever more attractive.

It's very busy on the publicity front with posters and flyers being distributed and one of my five venues has already sold over half its tickets for my show...

I've done some research about how strong my guitar case is. Should I get a titanium one or something? It is very difficult to think of my guitar in the hold all that way without worrying about lifting the lid at the end of the journey to behold a pile of splinters and strings.

I have decided my case will be fine. I have stood  on it and it didn't give or even wobble.

So if anyone from the Adelaide area is reading this, maybe I'll see you at one of my concerts? Do come! For all the details Read on...

Friday, 6 December 2013

It's official - I'm going to Adelaide!

The Adelaide Fringe to be precise.

You can't argue with black and white. There I am listed in the Adelaide Fringe Programme 2014. I've always said it would be nice to miss out some of the dank dark chilly days of the British early Spring and have sunshine instead. Suddenly the arrangements need making.

 We need to see about accommodation and car hire and flights and visas and check the passport is not going to be out of date come the day...
I'm practising with great focus and determination so as to do Adelaide proud. I'm practising another from Vincent Lindsey-Clark's Fiesta Americana, called Vuelo de la Mariposa - a gorgeous piece with delicate cascades of harmonics and some quite fiendish arpeggios. Hence the Australian butterflies. (The one on the right has a cool name - the Ulysses butterfly).
I shall be appearing for one performance in each of five different venues across the two weekends of the Fringe. My first venue, on February 28th, is a quite extraordinary place in its own right - the Migration Museum at 82 Kintore Avenue. After that I drive to Auburn in the Clare Valley (a famous wine region - hurrah) to perform at HATS Courthouse Cultural Centre on March 1st - a great chance to see more of the area and quite possibly sample some wine! Mind you there might not be time. The next day I'm on at Trinity Sessions in Clarence Park so it's a drive back to Adelaide. Then we have a week to do some sightseeing before it's time to drive to McLaren Vale - another famous wine growing region! The venue there, on March 7th, is The Singing Gallery. Then back to Adelaide and the final show, on March 9th,  which is in the State Dining Room at Ayers House which is like a big National Trust place and the oldest such building in South Australia. It is all very exciting and I can't wait.