Tycho Brahe and Psyche electrify the Espy


It was arranged a week ago and barely publicised, but the Tycho Brahe and Psyche gig at St Kilda’s legendary music haunt the Esplanade Hotel (the Espy) was one of those cosy gatherings that fans salivate over for years after.

Tycho Brahe, from Brisbane, operating in duo mode with Ken Evans on bass and vox and Georgina Emery on keys and backing vocals, opened for German-based duo Psyche in the Espy’s basement room: tiled floor, cats and dogs wallpaper, and oh the cute rudeness in the band room tucked away behind yet another flight of stairs!

I was thrilled to hear Tycho cover Joy Division’s ‘Atmosphere’, Real Life and Depeche Mode; they pulled Psyche’s Darrin Huss, originally from Canada, up to take lead vocals on ‘Tainted Love’ with its neat segue into the Dr Who theme. They closed with a new track, ‘Love Rocket’ , and it was a blast.

Ken reports that the home studio is operational once more, though work still remains to be done since the family home was submerged during January’s disastrous Brisbane floods.

Psyche were largely unknown terrain for me — they have an excellent track on the Brisbane flood fundraiser Surge and Subside — and they put on an entertaining show, drawing on 30 years worth of material. Darrin was perhaps best described as exuberant as he pranced and yowled for the best part of two hours, giving it his all. Ken returned to do backing vocals on a Yazoo track (‘Situation’?), and there was another Joy Division cover (‘Disorder’, if memory serves) amongst others. ‘Gods and Monsters’ was one track that stood out in the EBM assault overseen by Stefan Rabura.

It was a fun night with an appreciative crowd drawn from across the spectrum: fish nets, tight jeans, checked shirts, sloppy t-shirts. With such a great vibe, it was a definitely a good gig for the psyche.


Writer Beware’s small press advice page is, um, good advice

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Writer Beware, which does a lovely job of highlighting scam and unprofessional publishing enterprises, has launched a page of handy advice about sifting the small press market. Limited exposure, incompetence and lack of advances are some of the issues the page highlights. Well worth reading if you’ve got a short you’re wondering where to send.

More good stuff, inc. Aussie dark fantasy at Apex

Still catching up after some touring — more on that once I’ve sorted through the metric s-load of photos and try to remember where I was for the past month — but it’s worth a peep over at Apex, where Tansy Rayner Roberts surveys a bunch of Aussie writers about their weird stuff. Interesting stuff, about our love-fear relationship with the bush and the sun, and a great quote from Margo Lanagan:

“I’m regularly surprised by how timid and squeamish some readers are”

  • I couldn’t get to the Digital Writers Conference in Brisbane, but Alan Baxter was a panelist and his report makes me jealous! Alan also reports on the launch of Hope, a suicide awareness anthology that has an enviable TOC of spec fic writers — the Paul Haines story in particular pops out and demands attention; get it anywhere you can!
  • Two very informative writer-bloggers have been prolific while I’ve been away and I’m still trying to catch up, but for starters, I loved the suspense and tension post from Terribleminds, and Ian Irvine has given prolific a bad name, actually, not only unveiling his own painful path to publication but getting guests in to share their writerly wisdom e.g. this excellent post from Stephen M Irwin on the first step.
  • It’s Nanowrimo — I’m not indulging, have already done a couple of sprints this year and needing a little chance to catch a breath before the new year. There’s some wisdom from Patrick Duffy for those who are, though.
  • Our fellow World Fantasy colleague Ellen Gregory has provided a glimpse into both the con and San Diego’s Old Town. World Fantasy is a superb conference for writers due to its focus on the business, even if this year’s program was a little less interesting for my interests. A panel on the social impact of true immortality was an eye-opener, however; I hope I can find my notes! Plus there was the ‘for the hell of it’ Aussie party catered by the always generous Garth Nix, Jonathan Strahan and Sean Williams, and the Brits did a great job of raising interest in Brighton 2013, though the Marmite almost cost them the goodwill!
  • Another snippet of nom nom nom: for those unpublished writers with a YA MS hot to trot, check out the Hardie Grant call as posted at Perilous Adventures.

  • I am a judge for the Aurealis Awards. This post is the personal opinion of the writer, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of any judging panel, the judging coordinator or the Aurealis Awards management team.

    Good stuff while my back was turned

    We’re back, and a wee bit tired as the clock has turned over the 36-hour mark since we got up some morning recently in my beloved New Orleans, and here’s some of the stuff that’s been happening in my absence that’s too good not to share:

    Anywhere But Earth, launching today in Sydney, is all systems go at the online store

    Brisbane’s awesome Sarah Calderwood is interviewed on ABC Radio about her debut solo album! The song she sings in the studio is stunning.

    Beat magazine makes it official: The Tea Party have tested the reunion waters and found it warm enough to take another splash — cool!

    Kyla Ward has launched her solo poetry collection, The Land of Bad Dreams, with aplomb — see the vids! (Okay, this actually happened before we left, but we couldn’t be in Sydney for it, and it looks like it was a hoot of a night.)

    Oh, too: Macabre, an excellent overview of Aussie horror fiction, and Surviving the End, in which I have a story, are both available — the first as e-book showing there’s still some life left in the sadly collapsed Brimstone Press, the latter as a pre-order. Check out more happenings in Aussie horror publishing at From the Pit.

    Looking ahead: for those in Melbourne, wicked Brissie band Tycho Brahe support Psyche at the Espy on November 12 — that’s this Saturday. Sad, I was, to miss their Halloween gig back in Bris.

    And this time, my back wasn’t turned, because I was at World Fantasy Convention to see Alisa Krasnostein receive her press’s achievement trophy. A superb effort!

    I am a judge for the Aurealis Awards. This item is the personal opinion of the writer, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of any judging panel, the judging coordinator or the Aurealis Awards management team.