I went along to watch No Fixed Address play in Melbourne tonight at the Lomond, to catch up with and be accepted in such a manner was deeply touching, on a seminal level.
It was amazing to walk in and it was like time stood still, as I walked around the Lomond in a bit of a fixed stare trying to isolate band members, that Bart Willoughby offered me his hand and pointed to where the band was and I ended up in ANOTHER photo bomb, oh dear, awesome, many pics to come from the amazing photographer there tonight.
Bart and I have always known we can talk his path took to another place that transcended NFA but owes every core value too, a true National Treasure, a name also that will anchor the whole band and it’s members all in national consciousness. Bart’s music has always had that fun, inclusive, what if tones. Love songs like Sunrise or extreme fun like Greenhouse Holiday.
I caught up with Les and Jon Jon the other night but to see the whole band minus of the one original band I helped to kickstart on stage playing their music better than ever was simply stunning, it was a packed house, WHY this show hasn’t become a regular Winnebago, Memo, Caravan, Flying Saucer style gig is to me just inexplicable.
The band is on fire and Les Graham’s guitar carves slices through the room, air and consciousness with his deeply weeping, yet driving almost mystic delivery, I have always said Les set the tone, the sound for Aboriginal rock/reggae lead guitar ‘sound’. Les never sung anything but backup vocals, he never ever told me he could actually sing, he’s almost Black Elvis with those sultry tones, just needs a quiff eh?
Jon Jon Miller sounded excellent so much more going in to the music, a strong driving bass and a presence on stage engaging the audience and letting them into his music. We knew each other for years but never really talked back then much, quiet guy is Jon Jon, anyway turns out we were always pretty much on the same page when I actually got surprised by Les bringing him around to mine, it was an exquisite pleasure.
Ricky Harrison is simply amazing, singer songwriter for the band’s most powerful songs Rick’s guitar just flows like amber within the grasp of Les’ lead so often it is just eerie at best explanation and when taking the lead takes us to a different expression of the band with Les offering support. The power of these songs is what drove reality into a lot of young white minds back then and maintains a ferocious authenticity of what went down and still does today.
Nicky Moffat, past bass player for a number of years with the band in Jon Jon’s absence, a remarkable player got up and did a song with the band, a memory I will keep close. We have run into each other a number of times, one of the first was when I moved back to Melbourne and we entered the same lift in the George Hotel from memory lol.
I’m standing next to this big bloke a lot of the night and I finally engage, he tells me he was the bloke that created the artwork for their first album…well I just had another major wow moment, I said, who are you looking at Johnny Cummins? It was a funny surreal moment in time.
Our minds spanned many years spontaneously and we were there again…it is a night I will remember and cherish for such a long time. Also caught up with Karol Carpany from US Mob and he tel;ls me they are putting a band back together to play the music of this other great original Aboriginal trail blazers.