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The Past | The Previous

That Chick from Leonardo's Bride.

Middle of the day and I'm sitting on the library lawn with Sebastian. It's not his real name, so that's why he's not an initial, as most others are, in case you're curious. Anyhow, we're killing time: he's waiting until he'll be dressed in a full body latex outfit and me, I'm trying not to think about the social construction of space. Like I said, killing time. Anyhow, there's a singer on the steps outside the library, trying to grab the attention of everyone before her, which is about a hundred people and a pair of ibis, but who isn't really succeeding, despite being quite passable. After a couple of songs, Sebastian turns to me and says, "Isn't that that chick from that band a few years back?"

"I have no idea," I reply. "She sounds a bit familiar, though."

At the end of the lawn, the singer finishes playing, pauses to check her guitar, then says, "The next song I'm going to play is from a band I was in a few years back. It was called Leonardo's Bride."

Convenient of her, but kind of strange at the same time.

There's an odd range of musicians come through the UNSW library lawn and play for a mostly ungrateful lot who, half the time, resent that someone is playing over their conversation. Some of the musicians who arrive are just starting out, and are grateful for any gig, while others are just a year or so away from being big. I saw John Butler play there once, without the rest of his band, about a year and a bit before he released his latest album and became rich like a hippie nazi. And, of course, some of those who play on the library lawn are those who were once popular and are now, without their previous affiliation, trying to restart their career with a whole new generation of listeners. Guess it goes to show that if you close your eyes for a year or five, if you let your audience slip through your fingers, if you don't feed them regularly, then they'll forget you and leave, and you will be starting at the bottom again.

Just a thought, really.

Comments

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(Deleted comment)
benpeek
May. 4th, 2005 10:43 pm (UTC)
i find it's a real hit and miss affair. you make your choice on the band playing, but i really think if no bands showed up, people wouldn't much care.
studebakerhawk
May. 5th, 2005 12:51 am (UTC)
She looked cute. Cute but tired. I guess thats what comes with the "i used to be in a popular band" routine.
benpeek
May. 5th, 2005 01:36 am (UTC)
i never got close enough to see her. but she was kind of cute in leonardo's bride, so that's not strange. afterwards i kept thinking, how must it be to know you were once popular and now you're playing to a bunch of uni students who'd rather you be gone?
frogworth
May. 5th, 2005 11:26 am (UTC)
That'll be Abby Dobson. I was going to play (cello) for a new demo of hers a few weeks ago but it'll be happening later now.

The UNSW library lawn can be very unforgiving - a lot of the time the students just couldn't give a fuck, and I've seen some good bands there being ignored... But I haven't been there since 1996 and I think it's probably gotten more apathetic since then. Maybe we've had a FourPlay gig there more recently.

What are you teaching there?
benpeek
May. 5th, 2005 12:29 pm (UTC)
the library lawn is hellish for a band. but a gig is a gig, i guess, and if you're lucky you can turn out a good set and get a good audience. i've seen it happen once or twice--and i mean, like, literally once or twice.

at the moment i'm not teaching out there. just using an office to finish up my phd, so i'm close to the library and in some sort of research environment. disgusting, really. but in the last three years i've been tutoring in the creative writing courses, straight fiction and experimental stuff. it's not bad.
benpeek
May. 5th, 2005 12:42 pm (UTC)
hey, the fourplay albums sound neat. this, y'know, is why i love my blog: new things all the time.
frogworth
May. 8th, 2005 12:15 am (UTC)
Well I'll have to try and remember to mention next time we have a gig (since our big recent ones have just finished...)
Pretty cool to have an office to yourself then :)
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