“Trad and Now” GFF 2012 Cover story ..or my life as a Festival Promoter!!

This article just came in from Noel Plummer, who I had the pleasure of meeting up with at the Festival I organised in January…I’m only just getting over it…such a huge task…75 bands over 4 stages in 3 days. He gives a really good insight into how a festival is run and how the festival punter sees the action.

They gave him a whole six pages plus both covers…Im honoured to have such great coverage in such a revered festival magazine that is pretty big all round Australia.

There is still work being done cleaning up and still paying bills for the January event and work on next years festival has already begun…


Lana Del Ray and Gotye both #1 with Albums

Two of my fave artists in the world at the moment  are number 1 with their albums. Lana Del Ray is #1 in Australia on the ARIA charts and Gotye has just hit mumber 1 in the UK and it is already at number 21 in America.

Both artists are chockful of quality, passion, emotion and class and it is personally very satisfying for me as as I see them both as role models….as I say to myself….mothing succeeds like quality

I was bowled over by Lana Del Rey when I first heard “Video Games”…one of those moments when you have to pull over the car and intently listen to the back announcement to see who the fuck was that you just heard. Whats even more satisfying is that Gotye is wholly independent in Australia and was a drummer for Chrissakes. Both have their stamp firmly on the creative with Lana putting together her own clips..


Who the Fuck is Bon Iver??


This from News Feed .com and the American reaction to Bon Iver winning the grammy for best new artist…heres a cracking live version of Perth from their 2011 American Tour

Americans don’t know the music that is going on in their own country….Bon Iver was Top 10 there only 4 months ago …..some of these comments are unreal and so nasty….very insular race but then again …how many people in Australia have heard of him??


Mountain Magic @ Florence Head and Pigeon House Jan/Feb

I  became a bit of a mountain goat down the coast behind Milton a few times….

There was barely a soul the few times I went out hiking and climbing. Leaving usually as I do before dawn is the best time…I like to try and catch the sunrise from the top of the cliffs to pay homage as it were. I did Florence Head and Pigeon HousePigeon House being by far the harder walk. Views from both were stunning and the Kangaroos were sooo tame.

Some of the rock formations on Porters creek dam Rd on the way up have to be seen to be believed…like big “Toblerones” made of the same conglomerate rock as that of Gulaga which I climbed in 2008.

Florence Head is nice and relaxed if you want to climb it yourself and just north of Milton…about 3 kms…you get amazing views north to Jervis Bay from a few spots along the trail.



Great Album review for Figtree Renaissance II from 2010

This was my soundtrack album which finally saw the light of day in Oct 2010….reviewed here by “Goodbye Crackernight” Author Justin Sheedy

Album Review – Figtree Renaissance II by Richard Lawson
Review by Justin Sheedy

I set out to review this album.  Only to find myself too busy being taken places by it.  Here’s where it took me…

Track 1: Bells, Sirens and Memories

On a playful amble through my childhood, surrounded by the jangling mandolins and soon-to-be-extinct harpsichord, harmonica and bells of that time.  The Minor key all around me is punctuated with optimism irrepressible.  Discordant sirens of the future invade with ominous warning.

Track 2: Transport

Sombre, symmetrical cello strains channel me down corridors to where choice is mine no longer.  Still, the violin quartet on the back seat of the school bus induces contentment unexpected, their pizzicato plucks pointing out every passing thing in the window.

Track 3: Bells of Nowhere

This one dropped me in the midst of urgent Youth, activity unstoppable: pressing this way, that way, this way, that, and here and there and everywhere and never getting Any-where…

Track 4: To the Light

The meaning I expected here was ‘to the light’ as in that of near-death experience, yet what I felt was the light of embryonic Revelation, that moment where the harmonic strains of innocence are forever displaced by the birth of Knowing.  Though the strains of innocence left behind will always haunt.

Track 5: Epitaph

The title here would seem to support ‘death’ imagery as the correct take on the previous track…  Mine was ‘death of innocence’.  In any case, Epitaph took me to a place of simultaneous beauty and sadness, majesty and melancholy, my path stepping ever upwards.

…I couldn’t help feeling San Francisco.

Track 6: Egypt

Here I was drawn through an ancient scape of psychedelic interval and progression – Psyche = Mind / Delos = Clearing.  To a place where Man first dared to conquer Death.

Track 7: Krakow

The Bach-like church organ playing on this track took me stepping tentatively down the aisle of a great cathedral.  This track should be played inside one.  Live.  It would do such a place justice. 

Track 8: Glass Forest

Flying with the spirits past the windows of skyscrapers, curling, swirling all around them, can they see us?

Track 9: Segue for Mars Landing

It’s long been held that there is no sound in Outer Space as it’s a near vacuum.  This is a lie.  It is, in fact, filled with the subtle menace of the sort of classic sci-fi chords as featured on this very track. 

So now you know.

Track 10: Undersea

This one took me to where creatures with no human name move, live and die unhurried.

Track 11: Segue for Lost Civilisations

Into the presence of faces no longer there: Faces poised to tell you things you simply must, must hear.  Their expression?

“Why?!  Why won’t you listen?”

Track 12: Gulaga

Into the presence of my mother.  (Gulaga is an Aboriginal Dreamtime figure from the South Coast of New South Wales:  She took the very greatest care of her youngest son.)

Track 13: Lovers Knot

This track took me to somewhere I very dearly hope to be one day.

(It sounds just like I’ve always imagined…)

Track 14: After the Fall

To my favourite place in the world.  Where I am surrounded by gently falling snow.


Track 15: Eagle

Soaring.  Very high.  Alone, but seeing a very great deal.  And very far.


I found listening to and losing myself in this album a highly emotive and enriching experience.  In response to it, I can’t apologise for describing a sequence of highly personal and subjective images and atmospheres; Figtree Renaissance II engaged me that personally.  Period.  Its creator, Richard Lawson, has recently been making inroads in the Australian Film Industry in association with Tropfest filmmakers Mat De Koning and Byron Quandary.  I look forward to Lawson’s music featuring prominently on our screens big and small, not to mention on our airwaves.

Renaissance.  Rebirth.

Long-time drummer of the internationally iconic Lime Spiders, also key mover and shaker of a golden age for the Oz Rock scene, with Figtree Renaissance II Richard Lawson begins anew.  As far as beginnings go, it’s a stunner.

On the front cover of this album we have one of the most famous ‘beginnings’ of all time, the Birth of Venus.  In my opinion, the motif here of young Venus being born fully and perfectly formed fits Lawson’s work pretty darn well. 

Justin Sheedy
November 2010


Justin Sheedy is the author of Goodbye Crackernight, available now through bookstores and online.  For full details, go to