This post is so long overdue it is not funny and Ange I hope I do you justice. The other week, ok a few other weeks ago I received a package in the mail. The package contained a CD. A CD that made me smile when I opened it. A CD that I had been looking forward to for quite some time and I am pleased to say it most certainly exceeded my expectations.
That CD was Aniseed Tea by Ange Takats, a collection of 9 charming songs.
First I smiled at the CD cover of a woman with parrots climbing over her, then I smiled at the linear notes. Then I put the CD in the stereo and I smiled at hearing the first strains of My Song. It is rare for me to stumble across a CD that takes all the best things from a live performance (obviously what I enjoy most) and makes it a 1000 times better. This CD is like that, the production, the “noise” is just jaw dropping. I have played the CD countless times over and every time I love it more. The instrumentation is understated and serves with the whole purpose to accentuate the fragility and gentleness in Ange’s voice. The voice that won the Lis Johnston Award for Vocal Excellence at the National Folk Festival this year.
One thing I have adored about Ange’s songs is that they are simple songs telling the tale of life. Songs about temptation, longing, individuality and living. Just plain simple songs with meaning, love and a tune.
Of course one reason I love this CD is also the fact that on one of my photos grace the CD booklet.
Go to Ange’s Myspace and have a listen or pick it up on iTunes or catch her live at Woodford (I can’t wait till Woodford)
Thursday arvo, Tom and Tiana/Tiana and Tom arrived in town after making the drive from Canberra. The Hotel Chelsea show of Tom, Ange and Cam was going to be playing Joes Waterhole in Eumundi on Saturday night. Thursday night though we hung out at Thor’s, I bang up my ankle, we laugh etc.
Saturday, Thor was working. I spent the day resting my foot to conserve as much energy as possible before the marathon of Saturday night started. Tom and Tiana went up early in the afternoon, they are from Canberra…they had places to explore. Thor and I made the trip up after Thor finished work. No trip happens without a saga, the day before Thor’s car broke down, this meant that she was bussing to work. A bus trip that takes the better part of 90 mins. I had a new car and a tank full of petrol so I drove south and we rendezvoused at a bus stop. We made it back to Thor’s and then after getting organised we were back on the road a while later than we had originally planned but most importantly we were all going to be up there for the show. We had a really good run up the highway and it was only a little more than an hour to get up to Eumundi. Talking, eating fruit and chocolate, making the most of the mini-road trip.
I had a great night in hanging out with the three Ts and Ange, talking, laughing, whatever else we do. Musically and Photographically I didn’t get into the night till Tom played. Mostly a case of wanting to be able to enjoy Tom’s set 100% which meant that I couldn’t give anywhere close to that for Ange and Cam. I had to take photos because how could I not. I see photos everywhere I look, bung ankle or no bung ankle I was going to take photos. However, there was pain. Pain that made it difficult to get into the positions that I normally find myself in when taking photos. I only took a few photos of Cam and Ange. I did however take up a film camera and a roll of Fujipress 1600, it will come with me for the next few gigs, really looking to see how it fares. Cam and Ange played first. Both played good sets. I really can’t tell you much more than that though 🙁 due to my brain not been fully aware of the happenings.
Then it was Tom. and Tiana giving some backing vocals for a few songs. Lots of new songs. Good Stuff. There was one song, it was really new and I was listening to and thought to myself, that is the song. The song that will most likely stick to everyone who was in that room. I mentioned it to Thor afterwards and she said the same thing. I can’t tell you what it was called or even what it was really about due to my brain and the fact that it does not like to remember songs.
Post gig chatter, enjoying a few moments out on the footpath, before we headed to the cars and started the trip south.
Before we knew it, we pulling over just south of the Pine River for Thor to jump into Tianaâ€™s car and to go back to her house and there were hugs and laughs and plans made.
Speaking of Thor’s house/flat/home, I must share this photo of her ceiling. The plaster on her ceiling is raked. I swear every time I have visited, I tilt my head back and say your ceiling is sooo cool.
This is sort of what my ankle looks like at the moment – the bruise is a whole lot darker in real life than it looks in the photo. I also have a bruise on the inside of my ankle as well. oh joy. No it is going good, less swelling, less pain and haven’t popped any pills today.
Sunday night saw me jump on the Concord v2 for a special night at the Hotel Chelsea. Well not quite but close. Instead it went something like the following. My not so gallant steed for the night (The Pulsar) and I picked up Thor from her house before we headed into The Valley for some pre-show drinks/chatter/random events with Tom. After a name change issued to me on my behalf, it was into The Troubadoure for a night with a theme of the Hotel Chelsea. (side note, The Troubie stamp is pretty cool, if I got tattooed on my wrist, do you think they would give me free entry for life?) Tom Woodward was in town *for one night only!* and along with Ange Takats and Cameron Elliot they were putting on a show at The Troubie. Titled “a night at the Chelsea”, promising me a night of music by three artists inspired by the music scene at the Hotel Chelsea in the late 60’s. The promise was certainly delivered.
I have been meaning to see Ange live for a couple of months now, the classic myspace syndrome, all these cool local acts and only so many days in a week. She was well worth the wait, as I was in for a treat. She opened the night by singing a song, just singing, no guitar, no backup, just her. Rather impressive. Throughout the night she by far spent the most time up on stage as at some point during the boys sets she provided some backup vocals. She has a tale/song about the curse of knitting for boyfriends who then leave with the knitted goods (the word on the street is that to stop this happening that you need to marry said boyfriend and then give knitted goods). That got a gold star in my book.
Well there was that rather very interesting guitar tuning interlude. There were a handful of new songs. There was “my song” (publicly known as Reminding me of Your) played in the December 07 style rather than the August 07 style, which is a bpm increase of oh about 60% and a much edgier sound, very different and I don’t know which version I prefer. It was top shelf stuff, could it have been any less? (that answer is most definitely no). I can’t yet offer any soundbites/textbites for the new songs though. Other than that that there is a video clip for one of the new songs at the end of this post. Press that play button!
I didn’t get to *really* hear much of Cam’s set as I was chatting up the back. Which means that I can’t really offer any profound or non profound as the case often is about Cam’s music other to say that I did quite enjoy what I heard though and will be keeping track of him. Cam was the Tom Waits or perhaps the Leonard Cohen of the night, he was one of those two as Tom was the Bob Dylan and Ange was the Joan Baez/Joni Mitchell.
After the “solo” sets were over they got together for some good old fashioned supergroup fun. One of which was of course I shall be released and there was another really great tune they did which I can’t recall at the moment.
Then some time later the music ended. some time after that the night ended with this. Tom and Thor on the footpath. In the light of a streetlight.