Johnette Napolitano at the Spiegeltent: night 3

johnette napolitano at melbourne's spiegeltent

Johnette Napolitano during her Night 3 performance at the Spiegeltent. Picture: Kirstyn McDermott

The final night of Johnette Napolitano’s stint at the Spiegeltent in Melbourne, and as with the previous two nights, it was an outstanding hour.

Napolitano, in her top hat and be-ribboned home-made dress worn over trousers, had anecdotes aplenty, starting with a ‘frog on a log’ song she wrote at age 12 — her first — to entertain a sick sister. Marc Moreland (of Wall of Voodoo, and Napolitano collaboration Pretty & Twisted with Danny Montgomery; he died in March 10 years ago) and ‘Joey’ featured. A superbly delivered poem from her Rough Mix book that had her harking back to the Rat Pack and the Hollywood of her youth. Those interjections within songs: priceless.

The Spiegeltent encourages that lounge room conversation atmosphere and this was a very comfortable house party indeed.

I’ve not heard versions of ‘Joey’ and ‘Tomorrow, Wendy’ (by Wall of Voodoo’s Andy Prieboy) more impressive than tonight’s renditions. Quite remarkable, given the guitarist has fractures in both hands.

Again, though the songs were much the same as previously, the order was changed around and each was given its own treatment. Finale ‘Bloodletting’ was more comical — Napolitano has a wonderfully expressive face; ‘I Don’t Need a Hero’ rang heavy with emotion — I suspect there were ghosts in the house, haunting those lyrics, as one might expect from a gig with an autobiographical intention.

Johnette Napolitano 2002 interview

The audience, as last night, provided the rhythm section for ‘Roses Grow’, and how Napolitano can hold a note… I can’t even hold my breath that long, and she’s got a good 10 years on me. The sell-out crowd again got to put their hands together to bolster the encore, a cappella ‘Mercedes Benz’.

Other songs included ‘Don’t Take Me Down’ with Napolitano on piano — man, it ripped — ‘Ghost Riders in the Sky’, ‘the Wedding Theme from Candy‘, ‘Rosalie‘, ‘New Orleans Ain’t the Same’ (so gorgeous, a favourite for this French Quarter tragic) and “Take Me Home/Rehab’.

On Thursday night we had the rain, and last night there was a woman in the audience, apparently on her way to a party, dressed as Marilyn Monroe, which was the perfect window dressing for ‘Roses Grow’ (which references the actor). No such ‘extras’ tonight*, just honest, at times affectingly raw, music, that drew a standing ovation.

I hope her hands heal soon, that she continues to make wonderful music and lets us experience it in person like this. I saw Concrete Blonde twice on 2010’s Bloodletting tour (Melbourne and Brisbane) and they totally tore it up, but this series was something else again. Bravo; fucking bravo!


johnette napolitano at the spiegeltent

Pic: K McD


* Addendum: There was an inopportune low-flying helicopter that leant itself to a joke about being on the run, like Ray Liotta in Goodfellas was it, that totally cracked Napolitano up.

Johnette Napolitano at the Spiegeltent: night 1

johnette napolitano at the melbourne spiegeltent

Night 3 performance. Pic: Kirstyn McDermott

Please, memory gods, don’t let this one fade: Johnette Napolitano, bathed in blue lights, bare arms showing muscle and tattoos, sleeveless red-and-black gothic dress over black trousers, black hair curling freely around her face, funky top hat with shiny pins; there’s rain on the canvas roof of the Spiegeltent and the leadlight windows are aglow from without; she’s singing to the accompaniment of only her guitar, strumming a low stalking beat, her voice infused with a blues note — ‘going all Louis Armstrong on your arse’, as she says in a breathy undertone with a hint of chuckle — and the song is ‘Bloodletting (The Vampire Song)’, and it encapsulates everything, absolutely everything I’ve come here for.

Oh yes, I’m a fan, and last night — the first of a three-gig run — was a demonstration of why. That face, lined and shadowed with a life at the lower end of the rock biz, an uncompromising life, that voice that carries so much emotion; and then that cheeky peek from under the hat’s brim, the eyes alight and round with amusement and wonder, and she could be 20, or 12.

I love her shyness, her humility, her quirkiness, her freedom to make mistakes and to interrupt her songs to interject a comment or a laugh. I love the way she plays her way into a song and then — oh — she’s in it, and it’s real, rasping low notes that make you shiver, those highs that make you tremble. She looks, sounds and acts real — ‘I like … my stories true,’ she says at one stage, quoting a passage from her Rough Mix chap book, a smattering of autobiography and lyrics and behind-the-scenes that’s only crime is being too short.


Last night’s gig opened with the recent Concrete Blonde release ‘Rosalie’, thrilled with ‘Ghost Riders in the Sky’, then sent a frisson with a spectacular version of ‘Mexican Moon’ — some flamenco notes, some Spanish, all heartfelt.

She sang a song about a frog on a log that she wrote when she was 12 — pretty good little ditty, that — and the wedding song from the Aussie movie Candy, the first time she’d performed it, she said (‘I was shitting myself up here; I’m still shitting myself’).

It was a freestyle playlist, snippets of tunes here and there including a grab of Amy Winehouse’s ‘Rehab’ , anecdotes, requests, stretching back across her bands (primarily Concrete Blonde, her most successful venture) and solo work.

The Pretty & Twisted tune ‘Don’t Take Me Down’ was stunning on the piano. There was a strong showing from the Bloodletting album, in addition to the titular song: ‘Joey’, Concrete Blonde’s big hit, and ‘Tomorrow, Wendy’, the Marc Moreland song that Johnette virtually owns due to her stirring renditions over the years, and a strident ‘I Don’t Need A Hero’. Her wonderful solo album Scarred was represented by ‘Just Like Time’. The gig ended with an a cappella rendition of ‘Mercedes Benz’, completing an earlier impression of a Joplin-like presence.

Lord knows what I’ve missed. An hour was too short but deliciously long. She has two other gigs at the elegant, intimate Spiegeltent, an ideal venue for an acoustic performance from a genuine, and genuinely talented, performer.


  • Night 2 review
  • Night 3 review
  • Note: I’ve replaced an old PR shot of Johnette used in the original post with one taken on the third night after the audience was given permission to take photos for a period.

    Concrete Blonde storm Melbourne’s Palace

    bloodletting by concrete blonde

    The penultimate gig of their Australian tour, at Melbourne’s Palace theatre last night, found Concrete Blonde in fine form indeed as they celebrate the 20th anniversary of their breakout album, Bloodletting.

    Lead singer Johnette Napolitano is clearly relishing performing: she was relaxed and smiling, utterly gleeful as she called support band Melbourne-based Graveyard Train up to provide backing vocals on the whimsical Ghost of a Texas Ladies Man and the grin never left her face.

    For the Brisbane gig, four nights before, I’d hugged the barrier to catch every expression from this big-hearted singer, but this time I hung back on the rail of the balcony to take in the scene and let the music do its stuff.

    The lighting was simply effective, the stage bathed in lancing red spots for the opening Bloodletting (again segueing from a tape of the ominous bassline of Bauhaus’s Bela Lugosi’s Dead) flicking to greens and blues for the chorus, and thereafter continuing to reflect the mood and highlighting solos.

    With Jim Mankey on guitar — occasionally smiling, a big display from a man who tends to not give much of himself away on stage preferring to let the guitar do his talking — and Gabriel Ramirez on drums, Johnette laid down some thundering basslines as the band rocked out.

    But Johnette’s voice was the key instrument, showing nuance and power as she cajoled, mourned and raged. When I was Fool exploded, Your Haunted Head became a jam, Run Run Run was as hard and heavy as you please. The crowd sang along, the chorus especially noticeable on Happy Birthday and the closer, Tomorrow Wendy (about a woman with AIDS who commits suicide), during which Johnette issued a plea to support gay teenagers and reduce the instance of suicide. She changed the finale of the song, saying she’d think everything would be all right, yes she did.

    It was a shame there were a few in the packed house who didn’t respect the band’s request to forgo taking photographs — honestly, dickheads, do you really think flash from a distance is going to achieve anything but annoyance for the artists and those around you? (sigh: that’s a rant for another day)

    There was a lovely dig at BP on Everybody Knows (she plugged the upcoming Leonard Cohen tour after this cover) — the Gulf has not been forgotten — and she added what sounded like a Native American chant to the cover of Midnight Oil’s Beds are Burning.

    Humble and self-effacing, yet passionate and possessed of one the most striking voices, Johnette — in her 50s — appears to occupy a happy place indeed in her musical career.

    How fortunate we are that she continues to share the love.

  • The set list was, as far as I could tell, the same as in Brisbane, though they played Someday last night and I didn’t note it on Tuesday; possibly I missed it in my recollection, though last night’s gig did last the best part of two hours, a little longer than Brissie.
  • Concrete Blonde rock Brisbane

    bloodletting by concrete blonde

    Any doubts that Concrete Blonde might have mellowed as a rock band were put to rest in Brisbane’s Hi-Fi Bar on Tuesday night. So too any doubts not already dispelled by the Scarred solo album that frontwoman Johnette Napolitano has not grown into a consummate performer who is content, if not happy, in her skin.

    Melbourne’s Graveyard Train — horror movie lyrics to a country-blues beat rounded out by banjo, double bass and a well-hammered length of chain — ably softened up the sizeable crowd who comfortably filled the tiered, industrial-themed room (bare bricks, exposed ducts, concrete and — just so you know you’re in a rock venue — a sticky timber floor).

    Our posse lined the barrier directly in front of Johnette’s mic, prepared to sacrifice sound quality for a close-up of one of the few singers I would call an idol: talented, emotive, uncompromising.

    We were not disappointed.

    Johnette’s bass — unadorned gloss black with simple, sweeping lines — combined with the drums of Gabriel Ramirez (who stepped up to the sticks for the Group Therapy tour when drummer Harry Rushakoff fell off the radar, and has stuck around) to lay down a thumping beat, at times reaching into the chest to alter the heart beat, at others tickling the throat or making a mild tremor under the feet. The velvet curtain hanging at the front of the stage billowed in time like a lung.

    And Jim Mankey, Johnette’s foil and anchor, stood unflappable and so very casual, whether filling in the background with his trademark guitar wail and chug or cutting loose on a solo for Hendrix’s Little Wing.

    The stage was simply lit, emphasised with an occasional billow of fog, and was adorned only with black muslin around the drum kit and a scatter of huge red roses — this tour marks the 20th anniversary of Bloodletting, a breakout album with vampire themed tunes leading the way.

    The stage belonged to Johnette Napolitano.

    Wearing a Spanish-influenced black dress, her movements were laced with Flamenco in bare feet and deliberate movements of the hands and arms; at other times, she would twirl the bass as she rocked out, at others pluck the strings as if each was a thorn to be pulled. A tattoo of a cross, filled with Celtic knotwork and surrounded by simple stars, adorned her chest, and her long, black hair at times fell as a curtain across her so very expressive kohl-darkened eyes, lending a hint of Japanese horror movie, a sense of mystique.

    Watching her descend into the emotional space for When I Was A Fool, led by Jim’s guitar, was an exquisite pleasure, and then to be carried aloft as the song built to its explosive crescendo …

    There were many such moments — Heal It Up, Your Haunted Head and more — in a set that ran almost to two hours and offered at least 21 songs drawn from the band’s studio catalogue (with Bloodletting most highly represented, naturally), skipping only the Mojave album (and the band’s debut, the eponymous Dream 6 before they took on their current moniker).

    A rock aesthetic ran through much of the set, kicking off with opener Bloodletting and putting fire into typically slow-burning tunes such as I Don’t Need a Hero. The pace eased when Jim took up the acoustic and Johnette rested the bass for a ballad set — Mexican Moon with Flamenco dance included — and was brought to a close with the poignant Tomorrow, Wendy, which saw Johnette slowly fold to hands and knees as the lament for lost life and innocence wound down, to arise on knees with a single red rose held aloft into a perfectly aimed spotlight.

    Unexpected delights such as Run, Run, Run, Your Haunted Head and Days and Days raised the roof — Johnette crossed herself before laying down a massive, manic bassline to intro one — and her voice soared, with Janis Joplin-like verve at times, on tunes such as Heal It Up. The encore consisted of the Midnight Oil hit Beds Are Burning and the raucous Still in Hollywood.

    It was one hell of a way to open their Australian tour, and signalled there’s plenty of life left in the trio yet.

    Songs, not in order: Bloodletting, Joey, Scene of a Perfect Crime, Someday, When I Was A Fool, Run Run Run, Happy Birthday, God Is A Bullet, Ghost of a Texas Ladies Man, Haunted Head, True, Little Wing, Everybody Knows, Mexican Moon, Heal It Up, Caroline, Days and Days, Tomorrow Wendy, I Don’t Need a Hero, Lullabye, Beds are Burning, Still in Hollywood.

  • A remastered anniversary edition of Bloodletting is available, with six extra songs.
  • Graveyard Train to support Concrete Blonde

    Huzzah! The support for Concrete Blonde’s 20th anniversary tour of Bloodletting has been announced: Melbourne’s Graveyard Train. Get your rockin’ darkly tinted blues n country gumbo here (apparently). Net snippets suggest they’ll be a superb match. Only a week before the curtain goes up!

    That would be Tuesday, rather than, um, Someday:

    SPEAKING of Melbourne bands, it was sad to read that The Vagrants played their last gig in September. I’d only just stumbled across their bluesy Aussie rock — innocuous but mighty fetching, and I had a hankering to catch them live to see if they’d go all firecracker like they sound as if they might on their album Be True. A shame. Here’s a taste of what we new chums missed out on:

    Concrete Blonde touring Australia in October

    It’s official: Concrete Blonde are to tour Australia in October playing Brisbane (19th), Sydney (21st), Melbourne (22nd) and Perth (23rd). I am ecstatic.

    The band, who broke through with the single Joey and just couldn’t sustain the chart impact, are touring to mark the 20th anniversary of their brilliant album, Bloodletting, which has recently been released in a remastered edition with extra tracks.

    Zola Jesus — what happens when you listen to too much Siouxsie Sioux!

    Oh nom, nom, nom… and how good is the clip from Future Primitive Films? Find out more about Zola at her MySpace. There’s more discordance in store! (Good gracious, check out her version of Jefferson Airplane’s Somebody to Love for starters … yipes!)

    And in other recent net musical explorations to raise an eyebrow if not an ear:

  • Iron Maiden blast off to the Final Frontier ahead of a new album!
  • Girls put out, ahem, two versions of their spunky Lust For Life (no Iggy was harmed in the making of this tune) — one for work and one for home. Meh.

  • A comfortable little noodle is offered by English outfit XX (or is that xx?) with a touch of unassuming synth. Mostly harmless?

  • And finally,Brisbane plays host to this really cool film clip for a catchy Megan Washington pop song (with an uber-cool support cast!)

    Meanwhile, still waiting for those Concrete Blonde Australian tour tix to go on sale… not that I’m impatient or anything, no not me!

    Footnote: I only found out today that Tim Burton (now on show in Melbourne, will get there I swear!) is teaming up with Johnny Depp to shoot a new Dark Shadows. Could be/should be wicked cool! (If you’re asking wassit, check out the original soapie and the remake with Ben Cross. Neither of which should be confused with Australia’s Dark Shadows, a rockin’ Sydney band!)

  • Wolf Parade and other unknown pleasures

    A tip-toe through MySpace revealed these nuggets:

    Wolf Parade, based in Quebec, synths meet guitars, akin to She Wants Revenge blinded by a disco ball. Infectious beat but there’s more to them than that, methinks.

    Still not sure about Semi Precious Weapons: once you get past the bang factor of their potty-mouthed eponymous track, I think they might be just another garage band (albeit quite a good one).

    I thought I should’ve liked Pendulum (heading our way), what, with all that black and a single called Witchcraft, but alas, despite some promising moments, it was all just too slick and ran off the ears.

    And I still haven’t caught up with the latest long-player from The Dead Weather, whose previous, debut, album gave the ears a grand old workout (thanks, Jack).

    Which leaves me contemplating the forthcoming tour of Peter Hook “and friends”, the Joy Division and New Order bassist playing JD’s Unknown Pleasures album in full, with other choice morsels from the catalogue. I’m struggling: it might be sensational, or it might just be a tribute band that happens to include an original band member. The presence of a resurrected Wreckery as support spices the deal, but still …

    Speaking of JD, I’ve been listening to a lot of them lately, through headphones, and been surprised to hear yet more nuances I hadn’t detected previously. Martin Hannett, you were a genius working with very clever young men.

    And finally, two new releases to cause impolite degrees of salivation: a new album from Android Lust, and a re-release of Concrete Blonde’s Bloodletting with tasty, remastered extras.

    Three new things and a touch of regret

    First, the good new stuff:

    1. Prahran Markets secrets have been revealed thanks to a cool guided tour, and I now know about avocado that doesn’t go brown on exposure to air — not before the salad’s eaten, anyway — and the enticing woodfire smell of smoked garlic and the dizzying array of spuds, including purple ones. I don’t know when, if ever, I was so excited about fresh produce. Product of choice, however, was a blue cheese from Victoria’s Apostle Whey.

    2. Ego Likeness have a new album due out any minute now, called Breedless. (Here’s a nice live clip of an older tune, Severine)

    3. Spotted in the wild: Brissie writer Will Elliott’s Pilgrims. You might remember Will for his Aurealis-winning debut The Pilot Family Circus and its dastardly clown action.

    And now for the regret, though it’s still good news, oh yes! Concrete Blonde, or at least original members Johnette Napolitano and Jim Mankey, are hitting the road to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their album Bloodletting. This was the album that made me fall in love with this group, and it spawned their first gold in the form of Joey — in Australia, mind! Of course, the regret attached to this news is that the band don’t have dates for an Aussie leg on their tour. To celebrate, here’s the title track to Bloodletting: delicious!

    the top 150 songs of all time … or not

    Music’s an amazing force, isn’t it? I can’t think of another artform that has such power to unite, polarise and divide. Dissemination is comparatively easy, sharing to a mass audience ridiculously so (if you can get them to listen, and there’s the rub).

    So when a media outlet, as is their wont, publishes a list of, well, anything really, but music in particular, you can bet they’re really just spoiling for an argument. My mate, Noel Mengel, the chief music writer at The Courier-Mail, has set himself up as a clay target by listing his best 150 songs of all time, even as he acknowledges it’s such a subjective topic as to be almost meaningless. He says he’s a product of his time, as are, I will hazard, we all. Alas, there isn’t a lot of synthesiser in Noel’s list, nor down-tuned guitars. And he hasn’t tried to reach out to cover all genres, all movements, not even those amazing songs that have defined eras and forged new musical directions. It’s upapologetically heart on sleeve stuff, which got me thinking: what does it for me? And why? And just how bloody hard would it be to try to make such a list?!

    So I’m giving it a go. Herewith, 30 old friends, the tunes that’ve stuck with me through thick and thin, or serve as milestones on the journey:

    Love Will Tear Us Apart, Joy Division: The song came out after Ian Curtis killed himself, highlighting the sheer bloody waste. I often wonder what words he could’ve delivered to us had he hung on in there. The song is an obvious choice, a regular favourite on Triple J radio’s ‘best of’ lists. I once maintained it was my favourite love song, but of late, I’m less sure. I still wear the t-shirt, though!

    Hurt, Nine Inch Nails: As with Joy Division, or any of one’s favourite bands, trying to pick the definitive song is a mission impossible – especially given the strength of NIN’s debut album, Pretty Hate Machine. Favourites change, from mood to mood, moment to moment. But this is an unforgettable song (from The Downward Spiral), Trent Reznor in his maudlin, angst-ridden glory. See also the reflective version by Johnny Cash.

    Scarred, Johnette Napolitano: The lead singer of Concrete Blonde, Napolitano possesses one of the most distinctive, emotive voices in rock, and a gift for deft lyricism. Scarred, from the album of the same name, is a coming of middle-age song, acceptance of the path that’s been trodden, the journey ahead and the ultimate end of the road.

    Bloodletting (The Vampire Song), Concrete Blonde: Horror writer, remember? So given the uniform strength of the CB songlist, why not go with the one with bite — New Orleans by night, creatures of the night, and a swaggering bass beat. Yummy.

    Personal Jesus, Depeche Mode: Time for a dance? This one never fails to get the foot tapping. Johnny Cash also covered this, sublimely.

    More, Sisters of Mercy: Predictable for an ’80s Goth tragic such as moi, but it’s a crowd-pleaser from the pretentious tosser who largely introduced me to the genre of Goth rock — even if Andrew Eldritch is too up himself to acknowledge his fan base.

    Edie (Ciao Baby), The Cult: Ian Astbury has a set of lungs with few rivals, a Jim Morrison aura, and as this tune reveals, a strong interest in Andrew Warhol and his coterie of muses. Another band with such a massive catalogue of hits and dancefloor favourites, I went for something less obvious than She Sells Sanctuary.


    Sister Awake, The Tea Party: Speaking of Jim, The Tea Party frontman Jeff Martin is another with a leonine presence and a gift for poetic lyrics, sometimes obtuse. Haven’t been to a Tea Party/Martin gig yet without being skewered through my emotional centre by one song or another.

    Bela Lugosi’s Dead, Bauhaus: It’s long, it’s atmospheric, it name-checks one of my favourite actors from one of the best vampire movies ever made (that’s another list!), and I can’t hear it without thinking of those nights on the dance floor, wreathed in smoke from the fog machine, barely moving to this hypnotic beat. And of course, it was used in unforgettable fashion in the movie The Hunger.

    Vienna, Ultravox: If you’re not going to send the kids home from the club with Bela Lugosi’s Dead, then this synth pop classic is another apt choice for bringing down the curtain.

    Reckless (Don’t Be So), Australian Crawl: Classic Aussie rock from a classic Aussie band, poking their tongues at middle class pretension and generally having a hell of a good time. The Crawl were huge during my high school years, still love ’em. Along with Icehouse, INXS, The Church, Divinyls … ah, those were the days…

    Do You Love Me, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: It’s raw, it’s dark … duh, I hear you say.

    Back in Black, AC/DC: Headbangers of the world unite. Shared some good red-eye drives down the coast with my uni mates with Acca Dacca keeping our eyes open.

    The Night, Heart: The Canadian sisters were at their height in the 80s with some rather saccharine power rock, but their depth goes further, melding folk, rock and a touch of world music a la their heroes Led Zeppelin. The Night, from the Brigade album, is about a vampire. At least, that’s my interpretation.

    Kashmir, Led Zeppelin: Love the funereal beat, though Stairway to Heaven would be a more logical choice.

    Paranoid, Black Sabbath: Where would we be without Ozzy and co? Somewhere nicer, but definitely nowhere as interesting!


    Black Night, Deep Purple: Completing the triumvirate of classic ‘heavy metal’ founders, this track should be mandatory on all driving compilations.

    Nothing Else Matters, Metallica: My sister introduced me to Metallica’s Black album, for which I’ll always be thankful. She had far less success with her Mariah Carey fetish.

    Epic, Faith No More: Not my favourite FNM song, but memorable for being the one I *didn’t* like until my Carey-lovin’ sister and I went to their gig and were knocked out by their performance. Mike Patton is a genius. I think.

    The Thrill is Gone, BB King: Tellin’ it like it is. The beauty of the blues is, it can make you tap your foot and nod your head at the same time as it tears out your heart.


    New Orleans, Louisiana Gator Boys and the Blues Brothers: From the Blues Brothers 2000 soundtrack, an album played repeatedly by a good friend in Canada while we were driving to the Rockies and back, ahead of a trip to New Orleans. Good times… file with Baby, Please Don’t Go (Lightnin’ Hopkins, for starters), House of the Rising Sun (Animals) and Summer Breeze (Type O Negative version) for other N’Awlins-evoking tunes.

    Creep, Radiohead: Oh the angst! Still the only Radiohead song I’ve bought. That whiney Thom Yorke voice kind of works on this one. Check out the Amanda Palmer ukelele version!

    Angel, Massive Attack: Came late to these too-cool dudes, but this track offers lovely sentiment and reminds me of the gang I used to hang with when I first moved to Brisbane.

    Wild is the Wind, David Bowie: I bought a best of with this song on it after hearing an interview with Bowie in which he said this song probably offered his most authentic voice. It’s a beautiful cover from one of the modern era’s true musical geniuses.

    Proud Mary, Tina Turner: Blew me away live, this rollicking ode to paddle steamers on the Mississippi. Creedence do an awesome version, too.


    Born on the Bayou, Creedence Clearwater Revival: Another southern homage that gets the foot tapping, conjuring memories of my favourite city. If you get a chance to see John Fogerty in concert, take it!

    Walk This World, Heather Nova: A song that strikes straight at my wanderlust, best shared with someone special. The lovelorn might like to check out her London Rain, too.

    Rio, Duran Duran: Another ’80s holdover, from one of the few albums I distinctly remember buying. On cassette, in Darwin!

    Cities Lie in Dust, Siouxsie and the Banshees: Appropriate or otherwise, I’ll always remember this tune playing through my mind pretty much all day on September 12, 2001. From one of Goth rock’s truest characters and longest survivors.

    Principles of Lust, Enigma: The MCMXC AD album was already a favourite, but it’s indelibly imprinted on my mind as the soundtrack to driving past fields at dawn in a Romanian taxi, heading to the Hungarian border after a paperwork issue resulted in my being removed from a train.

    Thirty songs. Thirty moments in time, some fixed, some still unwinding. With new milestones ahead, either yet to be written or simply yet to be discovered. Viva la music!