Make Hay While the Sun Shines

By Chris Mineral

Courtney Barnett was in Babe Ruth mode, hitting an extraordinary home run during lockdown when she recorded and filmed with her band at Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building. 

The incredible building was built 140 years ago by the well esteemed builder David Mitchell. 

Mitchell’s daughter is one of Melbourne’s most famous singers Dame Nellie Melba. Melba would have approved of the chutzpah shown by Barnett, who once played for the Rockdogs at Elsternwick Oval. The highlight was the closer Sunday Roast, a beautiful track that has chord sequences reminiscent of Bailter Space and their phenomenal Robot World album.

The show was streamed into cinemas and online for a brief moment in time.

As part of Melbourne Music Week Extended Daryl Braithwaite and his brilliant band did some pop-up gigs at cafes, bars and restaurants around the CBD. He appeared out of the blue on the sidewalk at Degraves St, Melbourne’s iconic Pellegrini’s on Bourke St and the European around the corner. This really lifted the spirits of many people in the CBD and created a definite buzz in the city. Love Songs is Braithwaite’s latest song recorded during lockdown –  a very catchy tune.

The Melbourne Music Week (MMW) Extended posse is to be commended for having re-engineered and reimagined MMW into an extended musical festival all across the CBD during the summer months. It’s managed to overcome so much to put on some great music from DJs and bands in grassroots venues to Mo’Ju performing with Orchestra Victoria at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl.

MMW Extended delivered the musical goods to help kick-start live music happening in the CBD. Music is a healing force for both performers and the audience. Melbourne is the live music capital of Australia and MMW is a sensational part of the music fabric of the city. Bravo MMW for helping bring back live music.

Jack Howard’s book Small Moments Of Glory has led to greater recognition of this very talented trumpet player and multi-instrumentalist.

Dalicados, a band that is under the radar managed to launch its debut album Nevermore, featuring the brilliant guitar playing of James Lomas and a clutch of great musos like Fiona Lee Maynard and Jack Howard.

There are eight songs by James Lomas with You Make Hay While The Sun Shines being the highlight. There’s also a cover of Marcos Huet Alves’s Simple As It May Sound. There’s a bit of Stan Ridgeway in Dalicados flavours. The band has got a marvellous loose yet tight feel of a classic St Kilda rock band.

On the album James Lomas is shredding in a fabulous Thunderbirds manner with his Fender Telecaster, with Jack Howard stepping up and matching the lines of James Lomas. A mighty feat. Check out Dalicados on its Bandcamp page.

Having dined out on a pepperoni pizza at Sals Pizza on Exhibition St, one of Melbourne’s premier soul bands Fulton Street then launched into a blistering set of music that raised the roof at Cherry Bar on Litlle Collins St, just around the corner from Sals.

Earlier Chris Gill (3RRR funk/soul guru) had the good fortune to talk to the lead singer of Fulton Street Shan at Northside Records about the exemplary Fulton Street sound. Expect new music from Fulton Street in 2021.

Mick Harvey played one of the first shows in Melbourne after venues started having gigs again. Mick Harvey has a superb collection of musicians playing with him, such as JP Shilo, Hugh Cran and Glenn Lewis.

At one stage of the night this quartet performed JP Shilo’s Where The Water Tastes Like Wine. It was an absolutely compelling performance worth checking out on YouTube.

Just recently The Po-jama People Radio Show on 3PBS celebrated its 500th edition, a tremendous achievement in radio broadcasting by the show’s host Chris Pearson. The 506th episode of Po-jama People is worth listening to as Chris Pearson gives you a selection of music from 20 of the best local vinyl long play records that were released in 2020. 

You can find the show on the Po-jama People Radio Show page on 3PBS.

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