The Local Rag

Oct/Nov/Dec/Jan 1995/6

Exploring The Past

G'day Folks,

The Queensland tour was nothing short of wonderful.

I had the great privilege of going by four-wheel drive to the ruins of my grandfather's homestead, Basin Plains and the site of his pioneering cotton crops, sub- ject of the song, The Gamblers on the Land (Best Of Australia, ABC Records). It was wonderful to make such a trip in the company of my father. The Emerald Country Music Festival, which was the thinly veiled excuse for this family pilgrimage, was also a high- light of the trip. A special thanks to all at 4HI for broadcasting my set on the main stage throughout Central Queensland; and to all the good folk of the little town of Springsure who welcomed me like a long lost son, plying me with enough barbecues and baked dinners to keep animal rights activists outraged for years. (I don't think anyone in Queensland's cattle country has even heard of low chloresterol diets.) I also visited the Drummond Ranges, named for my great-great-great grandfather. We have photos of all the relatives (which was nearly everyone in Spring-sure) bushdancing outside the little one teacher school which my father attended. His old schoolteacher, Mrs. Wheeler (now 84), even turned up to check on him. You should have seen his face!

My second son, Peter and I linked up at the Gympie Muster where the Bushwackers put on a blistering performance, confirming themselves as one of country music's foremost arena acts playing to an audience which topped 60,000 this year. In a very unusual start for a country music band Peter took the stage solo, to launch the set with a rhythmic extravaganza that had the crowd bopping. Gympie also gave me a rare opportunity to work with a full band, something that I hope, with your support, to do more often this year. In an exciting arrival home, my first major gig at Blacktown Workers Club on Saturday, October 21st will feature the full band from the 'Laughter Like a Shield' album. This gig replaces the originally advertised date with the Bushwackers on the 28th. Due to a mix-up with dates the Bushies are now not on this bill and I 've been elevated to line status with Eureka as special guests .

Community Concerts Department. Thank you to those wonderful folks at St Mary's, Tamworth who, in their first attempt at a Community Concert, sold well over 300 tickets! A similarly large roll up in Inverell made the fund raisers in Northern NSW a very special memory from this tour. Thanks also to those good folk from Maitland Hospital who made a good start with what will hopefully be a yearly event. It was also a great pleasure to return to Scotts Head again, while initial appearances at Kempsey and Brisbane gave me a base on which to build in future.

Give Me A Home Among the Gumtrees Department Away from the stage there were some moments of solitude that were equally wonderful. Among these, nights camping alone in Girraween National Park and The Jimna State Forest were particularly beautiful. I found some wonderful examples of riverine rainforest near Kenilworth while the most bizarre moment of the tour was coming upon a party of daytripping senior citizens playing lawn bowls in a grassed clearing in the Kenilworth State Forest blissfully unaware that they were surrounded by an illicit plantation of mature marijuana plants. I will be returning to Queensland in late December with Marcus Holden. At long last, we have been invited to perform at The Maleny Folk Festival over the New Year .

Go South, Young Man Department. Jan 4th heralds the beginning of the long awaited trip to Tasmania men- tioned last newsletter. This will definitely be one of the highlights of 1996 for us. With only ten seats remaining it is probably a good time to think about contacting Steve Dobbie on (02)872 3663 if you have plans to join us. Along with Terra Australis; Carol, Mal, Meghan and 'Cyclone Josie' and I will be looking forward to welcoming you aboard. (See enclosed brochure - some of you already received one last Newsletter)

New Songs Department. As you have probably worked out by now, there is no way to squeeze all the news from the last seven week marathon journey into one Newsletter so suffice it to say that there are eight new songs from this trip including Robbie's Got a Gun, David's Watch, The Cowboys Soul {written with Denise McCumstie}, Conversation as a Bloodsport, Let it Blow, and The Quality of Light.




Major Letdown Department The "Australia Calling" radio show, mentioned last issue went down in a screaming heap barely three days before it was scheduled to go to air. Despite major support from Sky and Telstra, an inadequate number of local stations were prepared to commit to the project and it is, as the say in the media trade, 'under review' {read 'Dead in Bed'} It was a major disappointment for Carol and I, in that among other things, it offered the possibility of finance for the long awaited new album. Life goes on, however, and we'll have to figure out something else, I suppose.

Special Events and Collaborations Department. Between now and Feb. there are number of special events in and around Sydney . Two very special shows will be collaborations with 'Country Band of the Year', The Dead Ringer Band at The Shellharbour Workers Club on Sun Oct 29th and at the Dural Country Club on Fri 23rd Feb 1996. A belated welcome to 1996 & Tasmanian Reunion Harbour Cruise on Sun 18th Feb, all welcome . Two more important dates are in Canberra on Dec. 2nd and 3rd. These will be a couple of fundraisers for Mike Stock and VISE; an wonderful organisation that supplies volunteer trained teachers who go to live on outback homesteads to work with disadvantaged rural kids.

This fundraiser provides a very worthwhile chance to return to the Southern Cross Club, after the full house to whom I performed on the Ralph McTell tour last year. Ted Egan and Norma Murphy will also be on the bill this time.

Miscellaneous Department. In a break with tradition I will be celebrating Australia Day in Sydney this year with an afternoon appearance at Liverpool Mall and a night show at North Ryde RSL.

This will be followed by an overnight dash to the Tamworth CM Festival for some appearances at the Longyard the next day. Our annual excursion to The Chapel Theatre, Glen Innes and to Telegraph Point will follow in the first days of February. The remainder of February finds us home in Sydney and brings a welcome return to the West Ryde Hotel from February 10th. A Victorian tour is on the drawing board for March and will hopefully include the Charlton Bush Music Festival, Port Fairy's 25th Celebrations. More on this next time.

Mistakes, Mishaps and General Chaos Depart- ment. Apologies to those who fronted at the Coogee Bay Hotel on the 15th and the Forbes House with No Steps on the 13th. Both these gigs were cancelled on short notice; The Coogee Bay due to ongoing noise pollution problems and the Forbes House with No Steps due to organisational hassles.

On the home front, AMT flew me home mid-tour for a welcome weekend with my family, during the plann- ing stages of the now defunct radio show and with perfect timing 'Cyclone Josie' took her first steps while I watched. Carol and I thought it was wonderful but in the weeks since; as we've chased from one life threatening situation to another, wehave come to think fondly of the days when she used to lay gurgling cutely at the ceiling for hours at a time. In the big bad world of computer art, No 1 son, Matthew is in Perth this week 3D rendering and animating the new Streets television commercial which goes to air in November. 13 year Meghan is currently negotiating the treacherous waters of 'ethical teenage relationship formation'. i.e. working out how to poach your best friend's boyfriend without becoming persona non gratis in your social set. More next time.

All The Best - Pat

PS . A fan of ours rang to say she has accomodation within walking distance of the Leugues Club at Tamworth during the festival. This is pretty hard to get, so anyone who is looking for accommodation might like to contact Dawn Parker 0267 621102. She has 2 Double Rooms with air condioning and a Pool at her house. Bed and Breakfast $75.00 per double.

Oct 1995 Page 1

Return to Pat Drummond Homepage / Local Rag Archives