Live and Local Mudgee / 4 bands in 4 hours !!!

I think I must have set a new record for performances in 1 day. At the Gulgong Folk Festival in 2015 I played in 7 bands over the course of 1 day but this was intense…4 bands in 4 hours. First a background brief on what Council was trying to do on the day

An exciting FREE live music event will transform Mudgee’s retail outlets and eateries into temporary live music venues on Saturday 17 March.
From 4pm to 8pm musicians will perform in unconventional music venues as part of Live and Local on Church Street.
Grant funded through the Live Music Office, the program promotes live music in local communities and creates opportunities for employment and cultural development.
Eight businesses and 17 musicians will participate in this free event to coincide with the Mudgee Food and Drink Trail.

I approached council about the curators job at a few peoples insistence stemming from My festival directorship background but I didn’t get the gig. I did though secure performances for 4 of the acts I perform with including a solo spot

First was my solo spot at Simply Fresh at 4 pm. I had a little cheer squad and all went well…Then onto the Juice bar for Lizzie’s African drumming outfit ‘Bella Djemballa’. They are highly rehearsed and very intricate only playing hand drums , Djembes, Dun duns. It was 32 degrees already and the heat was on….then straight onto ‘Kings of Congo Congo 2 doors down the street at Subway.

It was really hot now and I was feeling it. We were playing in direct sun with the heat from the bitumen shining straight up at us. By now it was about 7.00pm and we had to hightail it down to the Mudgee Brewery for our last performance of the night to a packed house as Honey

What a great initiative and day. The crowds were plentiful and the atmosphere fantastic. I hope they do it next year


A life well lived

Tony Cahill
20-12-41 – 13-8-14

Tony Cahill, who has died in Sydney aged 72, is best known as the drummer in two of Australia’s legendary bands of the 1960s, the Purple Hearts and the Easybeats.

Tony Cahill, musician and former Easybeat.
Tony Cahill, musician and former Easybeat.

When the Purple Hearts broke up in 1967, Tony travelled to England with all his possessions stuffed inside his bass drum. After playing with Georgie Fame for a couple of months, he auditioned to replace Snowy Fleet in the Easybeats. Harry Vanda told me that they chose Cahill because he was the only one with the “chops” to cope with the complex musical territory that the songwriting team of Vanda & Young were venturing into. “We gave him drum beats that no sane man with two arms and two legs could play,” he said.

Because the members of the Purple Heats and the Easybeats were mostly British immigrants, it was widely assumed that Tony Cahill also fitted this description. In fact Tony was born in the Melbourne suburb of South Camberwell. In the late 1800s and early 1900s the Cahill family had played a pioneering role in Queensland and the Northern Territory.


Tony’s early life included a stint entertaining on cruise ships. During the day he played dance music and ran the bingo, then at night he played ’50s rock.

When the Easybeats finished up in 1969, Tony was broke and hooked on heroin. He was so weak and emaciated he couldn’t lift a drumstick. Even so, he was offered the drum seat in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers on the condition that he get straight. So he shut himself away in a room in Ealing and while going through cold turkey withdrawal taught himself to play the bass guitar by listening over and over to a Marvin Gaye record. He never played the drums again.

Instead, he started playing bass with an Australian band based in London called Python Lee Jackson. They had a hit called In a Broken Dream using an unknown and uncredited session singer by the name of Rod Stewart. It peaked at number 3 on the UK charts in 1972, higher than any of the Easybeats singles ever reached.

After this Tony was doing session work in London, Spain and Paris when he got a job working with four upstate New York musicians. They were sailing around the Mediterranean playing weddings when they received the surprising news that a demo they had cut in France had become an international hit. The song was called Dancing in the Moonlight. In their absence the studio had released it as a single and made up the name King Harvest for the band.

On the back of this success Tony found himself in Los Angeles where he lived for virtually the rest of his life.

He studied at UCLA and worked as a session musician. Some of the people he played with included Ray Charles, Ike Turner, the O’Jays, Martha Reeves and Donna Summer. In the late ’80s, with the coming of the digital age, his lucrative session work began to wane. Studios weren’t using bass players or drummers any more.

So Tony started his own record label recording blues and world music from Cuba, the Caribbean and Africa. These bands were not commercially viable nor was there anywhere for them to play. Needing a place to showcase these acts, he opened an eclectic club downtown called the Flaming Colossus which became a huge success… until it burnt down.


A few things people would not know about Tony’s career include him playing with Screaming Lord Sutch on a cruise ship, surfing with legendary Australian surfer Michael Peterson and jamming with Jimi Hendrix at the Speakeasy club in London. He was married to singer/songwriter Sharon Robinson. When the Easybeats were inducted into the ARIA hall of fame his name wasn’t even mentioned.

When I tracked Tony down a few years ago, I found him living on a boat at the famous Venice Beach in LA. He was living out his passion for the ocean by surfing, delivering new boats to millionaires, coast-guarding and organising events. On the day of our interview he had taken a group of young offenders out of juvenile detention, to give them the experience of a day out on the ocean away from their troubled lives.

In 2013 Tony had a brain tumour removed, but the cancer returned this year. After living in LA for 40 years, he was keen to come home to the country of his birth and he passed away at the Sydney home of his cousin. He is survived by his sister Robyn.

John Tait is the Easybeats’ biographer.


Crowd surfing and stage diving


Long before the word was invented, public stagediving took place during the first Dutch concert by The Rolling Stones at the Kurhaus of Scheveningen on August 8, 1964. There had been riots with such acts as Elvis Presley, PJ Proby and of course Beatlemania and Easyfever. What sets this apart is the band members are now joining in. There is footage of the Pretty Things actively causing a riot in you guessed it the Netherlands not long after the Rolling Stones incident

Many musicians have made stage diving a part of their stage act. Jim Morrison was an early performer known for having jumped into the crowd at several concerts. Iggy Pop is often credited with popularizing stage diving in popular rock music. Initially seen as confrontational and extreme, stage diving has become common at hardcore punk and thrash metal performances.


Iggy Pop may have invented crowd surfing at 1970’s Cincinnati Summer Pop Festival (Midsummer Rock Festival). Bruce Springsteen appears in the first documented video of crowd surfing in his 1980 Rock concert at Arizona State University, in Tempe, Arizona during his live performance of “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out”. In early 1980 Peter Gabriel was reported to have crowd surfed during performances of ‘ Games Without Frontiers’ by falling into his audience “crucifix style” and then being passed around.[2] [3] During a later tour in 1982 Gabriel also crowd surfed during performances of ‘Lay Your Hands on Me‘. The rear sleeve of his 1983 album Plays Live,recorded in during Gabriel’s 1982 tour, features a photograph of him crowd surfing, although the image has been rotated 90 degrees so Gabriel appears to be standing.

“Iggy Pop had jumped into an audience prior to me,” Gabriel explained to Mark Blake, “but he hadn’t done that thing of lying on the hands and being carried around by the audience. I had the idea from a game you did with a therapy group where you had to fall backwards. and trust the person behind to catch you. I was always interested in closing the gap between the performer and the audience. At an open-air show in Chicago I was passed around and returned to the stage minus every piece of clothing except my underpants. There was an edge to doing it and part of you was praying you’d get back to the stage in one piece.”

The first official video release to depict Gabriel crowd surfing was POV, a concert video released in 1990 and produced by Martin ScorseseWhen Billy Joel crowdsurfed in a concert during his 1987 concert tour of the Soviet Union, bandmate Kevin Dukes described it as the “Peter Gabriel flop”.[7]

Jim Morrison famously would jump into the crowd and writhe onstage when he went into one of his shamanistic trances. There is very funny video footage of an escorting police officer onstage wondering what the hell was going on whilst watching Jim writhing in seeming agony at his feet. There is also the infamous Miami University gig when he joined the audience for a dance around the auditorium before allegedly flashing his penis onstage. Here is the original Rolling Stone account of the incident


“While Collier was rapping, Morrison was in action, pushing people around the stage, bellowing, and acting as if he were masturbating, Collier recounts; but Collier did not see Morrison liberate his penis, he stresses. Other observers told Collier that Morrison had exposed himself, but Collier himself missed it. Between shoving matches, Morrison would grab the mike and shout out more about revolution. But the rest of the band, organist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Rob Krieger and drummer John Densmore, were playing at such ear-bending volume and intensity that little could be heard of the rap.There was some more tug-of-war with the microphone, then Morrison went one way, shoving more people around, and Collier went the other, ripping out amplifier cords (“the lead guitar was mesmerizing the audience”) and kicking in drumheads to silence the music. Morrison managed to push Collier’s brother off the stage into the audience, according to Collier. Then the vinyltrousered singer made the mistake of hitting on a colleague of Collier’s named Larry Pizzi who holds a black belt in karate. As soon as Pizzi felt the rock-singer grab at him from behind, he grabbed Morrison by the arms and flipped him head over heels in a perfect are off the front edge of the stage into the audience, who scrambled out of the path of the falling star.”

Some stage diving and crowd surfing went awry. Kurt Cobain would often not end up in the crowd but on Dave Grohls drums. I personally ended up in hospital in 1991 in Brisbane when the crowd didn’t catch me and I ended up almost breaking my collarbone. Jimmy Barnes broke his front teeth at Newcastle Workers when the crowd parted just before he landed. The front cover of the Lime Spiders Live at the Esplanade 2007 release features a stage diver at the the Espy

There have been serious injuries and death as well and it is a touchy subject with a lot of authorities. Personally in the Lime Spiders we saw some horrendously stupid stage diving. Laughable but terrifying at the same time

On 20 August 2010, Charles Haddon, the lead singer of English synthpop band Ou Est Le Swimming Pool, died after a performance at Pukkelpop, Belgium. He committed suicide by jumping from a telecommunications mast in the backstage artists’ parking area. Haddon was reported to have been distressed after he feared he had seriously injured a young girl earlier after a stagedive.

In 2012, singer Randy Blythe of American heavy metal band Lamb of God was indicted on (and later acquitted of) charges of manslaughter relating to the death of a fan in the Czech Republic after the fan was injured after being pushed off the stage.

In February 2014, federal judge Jan E. DuBois ruled that Fishbone had to pay $1.4 million to a woman who broke her skull and collarbone during a 2010 concert in Philadelphia when Angelo Moore stage-dove and landed on top of her.

Another fatal stage diving incident occurred in May 2014 in New York City during a performance of the metalcore band Miss May I. Although the fan was able to walk away after falling from the stage, the concert was cut short after he fainted. He later died in the hospital


Vivaldi, the Emperor and Coffee

The link between Vivaldi, coffee and Emperor Charles VI is maybe a tenuous one but the 3 are intertwined through Venetian culture and history. Venice in the 16th Century was truly a hub of commerce and culture placed impeccably on the trade route to the east and Africa. It was here that all the fabulous gifts of the Orient from Hash to coffee to syphilis came into Europe and tragically also the Black Plague. Imagine a world filled by one of the worlds first coffee houses or ‘Cafes’ and the music of Vivaldi in his prime with the arrival into Venice of the most powerful ruler In Europe…read on



At the height of his career, Vivaldi received commissions from European nobility and royalty. The serenata (cantata) Gloria e Imeneo (RV 687) was commissioned in 1725 by the French ambassador to Venice in celebration of the marriage of Louis XV. The following year, another serenataLa Sena festeggiante (RV 694), was written for and premiered at the French embassy as well, celebrating the birth of the French royal princesses, Henriette and Louise Élisabeth. Vivaldi’s Opus 9, La cetra, was dedicated to Emperor Charles VI. In 1728, Vivaldi met the emperor while the emperor was visiting Trieste to oversee the construction of a new port. Charles admired the music of the Red Priest so much that he is said to have spoken more with the composer during their meetings which lasted for 2 weeks than he spoke to his ministers in over two years. He gave Vivaldi the title of knight, a gold medal and an invitation to Vienna. Vivaldi gave Charles a manuscript copy of La cetra, a set of concerti almost completely different from the set of the same title published as Opus 9. The printing was probably delayed, forcing Vivaldi to gather an improvised collection for the emperor.

This is what the emperor first heard….. No. 1 in C major

Coffee has a long history in Italy. Venice was one of the first European ports to import coffee beans in the 16th century, and in the 19th century, men in bowler hats met in Turin’s coffee shops to plan for the country’s unification.

When it comes to historical Italian coffee, you can not help but talk of Venice. It is in this lagoon city that the tradition of coffee was born, that due to its position and its trade relations with the Arab world, which then spread to the rest of Italy.

The first “botega da caffè in Piazza San Marco existed already at the end of the seventeenth century; and even the master of the Venetian theater, Carlo Goldoni, dedicated one of his works the coffee shop. But the real explosion of the phenomenon took place in 1700, with the emergence of numerous cafes and bars. Among these, one of the best known and oldest is undoubtedly the Florian, even now the symbol of the city.

The Caffè Florian was founded in 1720 and opened under the name “Alla Venezia Trionfante – InVenice Triumphant.” From then on, this elegant building has been characterized by its exclusive products and guests: here, noblemen, politicians, intellectuals and womanizers would meet, protagonists of their own time, such as Carlo Goldoni and Casanova, Vivaldi, Albinoni or, more recently, Gabriele d’Annunzio.

Accompanied by his father, Vivaldi traveled to Vienna and Prague in 1730, where his opera Farnace (RV 711) was presented;it garnered six revivals.Some of his later operas were created in collaboration with two of Italy’s major writers of the time. L’Olimpiade and Catone in Utica were written by Pietro Metastasio, the major representative of the Arcadianmovement and court poet in Vienna. La Griselda was rewritten by the young Carlo Goldoni from an earlier libretto by Apostolo Zeno.

Like many composers of the time, Vivaldi faced financial difficulties in his later years. His compositions were no longer held in such high esteem as they once had been in Venice; changing musical tastes quickly made them outmoded. In response, Vivaldi chose to sell off sizeable numbers of his manuscripts at paltry prices to finance his migration to Vienna. The reasons for Vivaldi’s departure from Venice are unclear, but it seems likely that, after the success of his meeting with Emperor Charles VI, he wished to take up the position of a composer in the imperial court. On his way to Vienna, Vivaldi may have stopped in Graz to see Anna Girò.

Caricature by P. L. Ghezzi, Rome (1723)

It is also likely that Vivaldi went to Vienna to stage operas, especially as he took up residence near the Kärntnertortheater. Shortly after his arrival in Vienna, Charles VI died, which left the composer without any royal protection or a steady source of income. Soon afterwards, Vivaldi became impoverished and died during the night of 27/28 July 1741, aged 63, of “internal infection“, in a house owned by the widow of a Viennese saddlemaker. On 28 July, Vivaldi was buried in a simple grave in a burial ground that was owned by the public hospital fund. His funeral took place at St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Contrary to popular legend, the young Joseph Haydn had nothing to do with his burial, since no music was performed on that occasion. The cost of his funeral with a ‘Kleingeläut’ was 19 Gulden 45 Kreuzer which was rather expensive for the lowest class of peal of bells.

Vivaldis music went into obscurity which was only lifted in the 20th century with the discovery of manuscripts in 1903 and 1937


Ladytron; a Roxy Music tale and Babylon Berlin

I have been on the Roxy Music trail for a few days now since making this playlist. No hits on this list just extremely enticing and perplexing tracks from one of my favourite bands. Almost everything from the majestic Roxy Music 1, For your pleasure I found the title track to be the most perplexing and least obvious. I love Serenade from Stranded and most of if not all of Siren…remember; no hits

Now I find out that Bryan Ferry has contributed 13 songs to the new blockbuster German period drama ‘Babylon Berlin’ on Netflix. Just tonight on episode 8 I heard ‘Bitters End’ from the first Roxy album but treated in an authentic 1920s jazz way.

We are up to episode 9 out of 12 and it is fantastic viewing. lizzi is loving the little historical insights I’m giving her to the time in 1929 Germany and the Weimar Republic




Magic eyes

I’ve made a mix tape on my spotify. Everyone makes mix tapes of Spotify now, just like the old days with cassettes at parties or in the car or going on camping holidays tripping [like I used to do]

Its called pop/rock and features some of my favorite sleeker pop music. Music from the Church, ELO, the Move, Roxy Music, Eno, Paul Macartney and a host of others . I had the temerity to slip one of my songs off  In your face on there. I know its incredibly forward of me but I wanted to see the correlation of the songs influences and how it sat in there and also how the mixing and mastering stood up against the classics

Magic Eyes is a composite of 3 songs inspired by the German band Digitalism, Paul Macartney and a bit Churchy in its jingly jangle guitars. The song is loosely based round Wicca and I still don’t really know what it is about.  tend to write stream of consciousness

i love it and find it a bit unreal sometimes that I created it

For the full Spotify playlist go here



Honey New clip ‘Let me hear your song’

Honey have released their latest film clip off their album ‘Blessed Bee’

Its a composite of lots of band and students I have performed with over the last 10 years which segues really well with the songs sentiments…’let me hear your song’. Everyone has a song in them, be it on drums or guitar or singing. Oh and the shots of me in church are from my teaching days in Mudgee at the Uniting Church studio in 2014/2015. The mountains footage is from the Blue Mountains after escaping from a particularly hard 10 day heatwave we endured living at the shearers quarters in Gulgong


Richards Radio show “The explosion”

Richard runs a weekly internet radio show beaming out of the South Coast of NSW on…..tune in on your computer and listen on demand and peruse the archives.
Richard Lawson; Ex Lime Spiders drummer, Musician, Producer, Teacher, Festival Promoter and Radio DJ returns to the airwaves after a 3 year hiatus away from the Electronica Show, which he ran on Shoalhaven FM for 2 years in 2010-2011
His extensive knowledge comes from his years of collecting his once vast record collection numbering 3000 vinyl LPs Singles and EPs
He was also runner up in JJJ Rockwizz 1988
Still running out of the South Coast of NSW

This weeks show #15 is on the Divinyls;

Raunchy, sexy and a lot in between…. Richard toured with them and lets say that what happens on tour… you know the rest. have a listen and you may just pick up some stuff…


Honey debut album ‘Blessed Bee’ released

After a bit of tweaking the debut album of Honey ‘Blessed Bee’ is finally out. Released in Nov 2017 it is in the words of radio

‘I am listening to your new work right now Richard…(up to the last track) It is very good I must say!! eclectic sounds and fine songs… would love to play it on air for you (and my listener) ..’

Jon Carter Orange FM 107.5

Available thru Spotify / itunes/ youtube / Applemusic







What a fabulous event and success! For a first time event it was great to see so many people.

The crowd just kept on coming all through the day and they were ready to enter well before kickoff time of 2.00pm. The workshops created a lot of interest with Warwick Hargreaves and Daniel Champagne giving very generously of their time and talent plus playing a few select songs to display their talent and know how. Then the action moved to the front bar with Franke Stoove from Brisbane and Garry Furlong from Kiama delighting the audience with their home spun songs and covers before local musical luminaries Nick Wall and Euripi revved up the energy meter…it was just like the Roth’s Wine Bar of old [oldest continual license in NSW circa 1923] with the standing room only space rollicking along to hearty singing.

A short rest before the big bands kicked off on the main stage with Mudgee based band Honey sending everyone into passion and delight with their delicate sounds and thunder. Look out for the imminent release of their debut album at Easter.

A very special moment was when Out of Abingdon joined Honey on stage for a set  including the beautiful rendition of Blue by Vince Jones sung by Elizabeth Walton and a haunting stirring version of Amazing grace with Tina from Out of Abingdons arced bass. An audience member Craig from Mudgee remarked it was the most moving part of the whole event.

Next Out of Abingdon cut swathes of cool jazz through the hot summer evening and their sassy approach had the place humming. This date is kicking off their ‘Long Hot Summer’ tour and they are ready to swing. Their takes on Kylie and Bjork, where they jazzified the song,s added to their cool and already apparent hip instincts.  In anticipation for the main attraction the crowd was swelling and an audience member from Leura was quite taken by their interpretations of unlikely songs.

Daniel Champagne certainly knows how to fill a room and by now the place was full. The surprise of an artist [Sam Paine] onstage painting him live while he played only added to the drama of the evening.  It definitely was a sight to see and will have people talking about it for a long time to come in this little town. His dexterity and energy were light as a feather and cutting like a knife and the crowd was stunned by his show stopping virtuosity.

Showcasing new material from his American tour this is his second stop, after Woodford, on his short Australian Tour before he heads back stateside. Mudgee was very lucky to snaffle him during his quick stopover. He was like a purring engine  and fully on fire after racking up 250 shows last year alone.

The raffle was huge and festival director Richard Lawson said a quick speech while he got Warwick Hargraves from Out of Abingdon to draw the lucky winning ticket who took off the 2500 dollar prize.

Benji and the Saltwater Sound system are formerly Southerly Change and they closed out the evening. Ben Fowler, the leader, is just back from a year in the Solomon Islands and this was their first show since their sellout show in January at Tomerong Hall on the South Coast of NSW. He rounded up his South Coast cohorts in the Saltwater bus and they headed to Mudgee to be joined on drums and percussion by former Lime Spiders drummer Richard Lawson and his best student Jacob Barnes. They filled the venue with the  rousing sweet sounds of dance reggae. Sometimes it became a frenetic percussive filled African vibe with a swirling wall of rhythm. By now the crowd was well and truly sweaty and dancing up a storm.

The night finished with the crowd joining in with vocal harmonies and the lines between the audience and performer were blurred and everyone became equal…but isn’t that what the best festivals are all about!!!


Out of Abingdon continue their Long Hot Summer tour at the Illawarra Folk Festival next week for the rest of January before heading back to Europe in Autumn.

Daniel Champagne is also stopping in at Illawarra before finishing his short Australian Tour and heading back to the states.

Ben from Benji and the Saltwater Sound System is boarding a plane to back to the Solomons Islands.

Mudgees own ‘Honey’ are preparing for the imminent release of their debut album at Easter