We got that attitude! – 1st January 2020

Thankfully, I didn’t drink much last night so woke up early and started doing a few things and the day has ended up quite well. A few ideas for more things I’d like to do this year. Slowly, my man cave is getting in order.

Gratitude Journal

I am so happy and grateful to my old friends, who are busy now, as we all are, but haven’t forgotten about me. I won’t forget about them either.


Weight: 80.5kg
Resting heart rate: 47

My friend Rosie, in Sydney, posted on facebook an offer to draw/paint pictures to send to friends and so I picked Jochen (Hinterlandt), Kyaw Kyaw (Rebel Riot) and Lachlan (Art As Catharsis). I can’t recall if I arranged for her to send out the actual pictures too but they all received them digitally around this time. A great philanthropic idea for sure and I was very happy to take Rosie up on her offer.

No Mandate – No Mandate/Scheme of Things – 1st December 2018

Cat #: 196TZM

Mellow dub grooves, heavy desert riffs, and short bursts of angular punk. This is the sound of new Sydney trio No Mandate. Their debut double EP, “No Mandate / Scheme of Things”, will be released as summer breaks – December 1st, 2018, via Tenzenmen Records.

Moving freely across genres and boundaries comes naturally to the three musicians, thanks to their experience in forward-thinking bands such as Hinterlandt, SEIMS, Meniscus, and many more.

The eponymous No Mandate EP constitutes the band’s foundation: instrumental, reggae-tinged rhythms circle themselves and merge with psychedelic fuzz, ultimately culminating in brief explosions of irregular math-rock.

Scheme of Things takes the dub-punk formula a step further. Understated vocals lead the way into increasingly progressive song structures, ending with Manifesto, a 45-second slap in the face of mediocrity that wouldn’t be out of place on an early hardcore seven-inch.

Creating the two EPs was a practice of grassroots egalitarianism: Jochen wrote the music; Alex recorded it in Jochen’s living room; Simeon created the artwork, and recorded additional overdubs at his home under the supervision of Harry the cat.


Weight: 84.5kg
Resting heart rate: 58

History is what’s happening – 12th-15th February 2018

A fond farewell to Hayden in Brisbane as we lugged luggage again, two coffees down before boarding the plane.  It was nice to fly in over Sydney (yet again) and if Brisbane was 10 times busier than Adelaide then Sydney repeated the feat over Brisbane especially as I struggled with my bags at two stations that didn’t have lifts.  My dodgy elbows are extremely upset with me but what can a poor boy do.

Tonight I would stay with my friend Billie, her husband Jade and their daughter, Nexis, in the upmarket suburb of Killara on the North Shore of Sydney.  They live in a house far too big for them, boxes still not unpacked from moving in 9 months ago.  It did mean they could offer a spare room for this temporarily homeless wanderer for which I was grateful.

I met Billie about 10 or 11 years ago when I was part of a dragon boat racing team, representing Australia (somehow!), in a dirty bay on Hong Kong Island.  Billie’s family head the institute of dragon boat racing in HK and Billie and her sister, Mandy, were the compere’s for the races.  Both girls were and are extremely attractive and, Billie especially, bright and outgoing positive personalities.

Needless to say, they attracted the attention of the white boys at the races and at the drunken awards dinner on our last night there.  Myself and another racer went out later for supper with Billie and we decided to stay in touch through email just in case our paths crossed again, under the pretence of sharing our photos of the week’s events with one another.

A few years later our paths did cross again as Billie became an air hostess with Cathay Pacific airlines.  This, of course, took her all over the world, and eventually to Sydney.  She got in touch and we met up one night for dinner.  At the end of that night, she quietly invited me up to her room for coffee.  I didn’t want to presume anything and I have no idea of her intention at the time but something in me decided not to take her up on the offer.

I’ve not really been one for one-night stands and I definitely didn’t want to do that with someone I felt that if I had then that might just be all our relationship might have been.  I liked Billie, a lot, not because she was pretty but because we got on so well and had a lot of fun together.  A friendship was more fulfilling than the possibility of brief exciting encounter and that’s the way I wanted to keep it.

We met a couple more times when she flew to Sydney.  The final time with another of her crew, Kit, also a beautifully attractive girl.  By then I had already met Amy and it was with some pride that we all headed to Amy’s favourite nightclub after dinner, I got to walk up to the dance floor with three amazingly attractive women.

Of course, I didn’t want to embarrass myself by actually dancing so I left them to it.  Immediately they were swamped with guys wanting to dance with them, to which Billie and Amy crossed their arms in big X’s indicating for the guys to go away.  After 15 minutes of this though they became exasperated and we decided to leave.  On our way out a guy near the stairs grabbed Kit’s arm and yanked her towards him at which point I had to intervene and got to tell him that these three girls were all with me.  It made me chuckle to bruise the poor guy’s ego (and radically inflate my own, briefly) as we left the club.

A few more years of staying in touch and Billie told she had met someone from Australia, Adelaide, in fact.  I knew she met a million guys around the world and that she could pick anyone she wanted but this one she met in a bar in Hong Kong.  She said he was not handsome, a bit fat even but had a generous and family-oriented personality.  This was what she was looking for in her ideal partner more than a troublesome good looker.

Then a couple of years later they decided to relocate from Hong Kong to Sydney and ended up living a couple of blocks away from Amy and myself in Chatswood.  We got to hang out a bit more but also were leading busy lives.  A case of when living near the beach you never go for a swim.

Billie and Jade now had a baby on their hands and Billie could become the dragon mum she always dreamed of.  I caught up with her sister Mandy during this time too and she soon was married with a couple of kids of her own.

Anyways, Billie rushed to pick up from the station in her new 4WD, on the phone to her friend, as we rushed to pick up Nexis from school, now in Year One.  Nexis and I always get on like a house on fire, like I do with most kids, and we were soon making fun of her mum and I was getting her into trouble so we were both getting told off.

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Nexis and I played some more, with their water hose – more trouble – and with their French Bulldog Dunstan, short name Dunny.  Billie cooked up a nice veggie dinner for us all, Nexis went to bed and Jade overruled Billie to watch a movie instead of Billie’s favourite Aussie trash TV, Married at First Sight, thank heavens!

Next morning, Billie dropped me in Chatswood, with all my bags and we wished each other well, hoping they can come and visit Amy and me in Thailand sometime in the future.  I spent the morning running around getting coffees and trying to arrange to meet people but everyone was busy.  Never mind – I know you’ll always be there, somewhere.

A train to the city and more coffee as I met up with one of Amy’s best friends Jess as I was staying at her place right in the centre of the city.  We went out for a big seafood dinner to celebrate another friend’s, Grace, birthday, joined by Muoy and Hakan.  Amy had already prepped me to pay for the meal tonight as her gift to everyone and for Grace’s celebration.  Grace kindly reciprocated by offering to take me to the airport a couple of days later.

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Next day was a big run around and I’d been hitting my ten thousand steps easily for a few days now.  In the morning I met Jess at the cafe where she works and got my first free coffee.  We were heading to Chippendale to meet one of my friends who had opened her own cafe recently.  Jess is thinking to do the same in Adelaide sometime in the future so Amy thought it would be a good idea to introduce them and for Jess to get some tips.

On the way there I ducked into another small cafe another Chatswood friend was working at and was offered another free coffee, gladly accepted as always.

In Chippendale, we found my friend’s cafe, the Bean Brewers.  Jenny runs it with her husband and has managed to build up a good little business.  They spent a long time looking for this place and are working hard, seven days a week, to make it a success.  I met Jenny when she was just 16, ten years before, when she was working at my favourite cafe in Chatswood.  She had moved to Australia from Vietnam to study and wanted to stay.  Similar to my own story with Amy, a customer had taken a fancy to her and eventually they got married.

Once again, we all wished each other well and went on our way.  Jess went back home whilst I went to my next appointment, this time at UTS, to see Bronwyn, Hayden’s mum, my ex-wife, the partner of all the 1994 diary entries you can find here.  Twenty four years is a long time and things change and things stay the same.  Bronwyn told me of some photos she had found of our time back in the UK and when I saw them later it was odd to look at the person in the photo that was me.  I didn’t recognise them as me, though I knew it was obviously me.

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After lunch and during another coffee stop my 3pm appointment cancelled which I was actually a little grateful for as the temperature was soaring and I was starting to get sweaty.  I headed back to Jess’ for a quick shower and recovery before heading out again to meet Jochen, at a pub just down the street.

Jochen arrived with his friend, from a meeting that they had just attended.  Jochen works for the Goethe Institute and moved to Sydney with his wife, Sabina and kids, both of whom are a similar age to Hayden.  They actually moved back and forth a couple of times before finally settling on Australia as the place to stay.

I first met Jochen, about 15 years ago I’m guessing, through a band he was playing in with a mutual friend.  Although being from different countries within Europe, which becomes a little competitive, here we were suddenly comrades on foreign turf.  I’m over dramatising but in some ways bonds are made through mutual conditions such as these.

The other thing that drew us together though was our musical interests and our roles within our own DIY music scenes.  The connection was instant, an unspoken understanding of the way things had been, the way we were doing things now and the way we wanted to continue doing those things.  I value Jochen’s friendship above most others – one of those friendships where you may not see each other for a couple of years and you can sit down and continue the conversation as if only a day had passed.

And of course, this was pretty much the situation we were in, having not been in much contact for the previous six months since leaving Sydney.  I expected to be out for a couple of hours, perhaps drop by another friend working in a shop that night too.

Kicked off with interesting conversations with Jochen’s friend, a filmmaker, again about mutual musical interests, particularly the Dutch band The Ex (crazy thoughts arising about how to tour them through South East Asia and Australia), moving on to discussions about working with Japanese musicians for live film scores.

After he left we decided on another beer, and another, conversation free flowing, about our lives, our kids, our futures, about continuing to work together in one way or another and just about generally staying connected.  Something that is so much easier to do now than it was in 1994.

All these thoughts could lead to longer stories that I will have to leave for now.  But that night, my last in Sydney, the beers continued along with the stories and topics and we eventually stumbled out around 1.30am, I think, and on our respective ways.

In a blink, I was asleep and awake again, still drunk and almost voiceless as Grace whisked me to the airport and I jumped on the plane, last time for a while in Australia, hoping for more sleep, which didn’t come.  But I was too drunk to care, too drunk to think.  The perfect exit.

 

Seaworthy and Hinterlandt (Vivid) – 7th June 2012

21st May 2021 – If memory serves me correctly, and it may not, and Jochen may be able to verify, but I’m pretty sure I picked him up and drove him and his one man band to this show. Put on as part of the annual Vivid Festival (festival of light, right?) at a small art gallery at the Rocks it was pretty much the perfect place for these two musicians. It was a nice relaxing evening and I remember chatting with Dimity (who took the attached photos and posted to her blog.) Jochen played first and afterwards we chatted about hardcore as he was drinking some red wine, myself Coopers Red and then watch Cam (Seaworthy) play. I like the Rocks at night time – you can feel the history there. This night made a minor addition to that history.

Seaworthy
Jochen blowing his own trumpet

Hinterlandt – Migration Motion Movement – 1st September 2011

Cat #: 076TZM

“Migration Motion Movement” is the eleventh full-length album by Hinterlandt. Following “All Things Considered”, a collection of rock-oriented songs recorded as a full band in 2009 in Germany, this new release sees chief architect Jochen Gutsch going solo again. 

After his return to Sydney/Australia, Jochen decided to get back into more experimental territory, writing a new live set for multi-instrumentalist solo performances. This new album mirrors the live set, in which Jochen uses electronics, trumpet, electric guitar, xylophone, effects, field recordings, and live loops. 

“Migration Motion Movement” is an uncompromising and demanding album offering extensive, detailed and focused compositions. However, it also follows an enjoyable and accessible narrative, inviting listeners to partake in the journey. 

Hinterlandt is a Sydney-based solo act playing long compositions encompassing beautiful harmonies, complex rhythms, fragile ambiences, as well as occasional patches of noise and silence. The approach celebrates musical diversity as much as unusual sounds. 

Hinterlandt has taken on a variety of live formats, performing in places such as Sydney, London, Bangkok, Helsinki, Melbourne, Rome, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Berlin, and many others. Eleven studio albums were released on nine underground labels in five countries.

I guess I better think up a way to spend my time – 20th November 2010

I forget who made this poster now….? Own up! Maybe Marnie Vaughan or a Fag Panic?

25th Sept 2021 – When I look at the line up for this show I wonder how it happened! The initial inspiration was to put on a show for Mekare-Kare from Japan. I’m not certain how they got in touch with me now but possibly through friends in Perth. Struggling to find a venue, Dirty Shirlows were willing and able to help me out but it was a big space for an unknown band from Japan to try and fill so I came up with this crazy idea for an all day show.

I still don’t know how all these bands managed to pull together to make this show, except Spider Goat Canyon and Teratova, who got added to the bill at the last minute. Both these bands were touring together and were on their way through from a show the night before, to another show that evening and asked if they could play. They were happy to start the event off and didn’t need to be paid. They just wanted to be part of what was going on.

As the show date approached the Shirlows crew were getting jittery about law enforcement interest in the space and they mentioned that they had had other things go on in their space, such as film shoots, without any issue. So I hit on the idea that this wouldn’t be a show but a film shoot instead. Of course, 20 bands would be playing and the ‘paying’ audience would be the film crew. This was more a subterfuge cover than a directive and at the end of the day little film footage was taken.

I was generally busy running around making sure things happened when they were supposed to happen. People came and went and whilst it wasn’t the most successful event attendance wise, everyone got paid something if they had asked for it. Others were just happy to play and take part. There were so many great bands that night but for me Mekare-Kare stole the show. I’d never heard them before but they blew my mind with their complex and super tight musicianship. As they were tuning up and getting ready, the sound guy was growing impatient, telling them and me that they could start. But these guys knew exactly what they wanted and what they were doing. When they started their first song, jaws hit the floor (including the sound guy), soon replaced with joyful smiles. At least, that was my impression. Mid set, this crazy bass and drums two piece started circling around a duelling banjos theme before super-tightly repeating the whole piece together at an even faster pace.

The whole shebang was worth it to me just for this 25 minutes of bliss.

And to round things off East Brunswick All Girls Choir played a stirring set of their soulful rock which was lovely and poignant.

I’m still grateful for everyone who helped out with this show and all the wonderful members of the bands who played. There were no dickheads and luckily no cops. It was also Kevin Duo Jin’s 16th (?) birthday. A newly arrived scene protagonist who became a regular at these shows as he wasn’t able to attend bar venues.

25th Sept 2021 – Well, searching around the internet to remind me more about this day and I found this, which I had completely forgotten about and don’t even have a copy myself. I think I sent this out to radio stations and drop into records stores as giveaways.

From Two Point Eight blog by Dimity Katz:

An all day/night festy put on by tenzenmen featuring a really versatile line-up of mostly Australian bands from all over the country, but also a couple from Japan (full line up here). The idea was that people shoot videos and submit them to the YouTube channel, and in turn receive $5 off (the $20) submission, with the result being a bunch of footage at the disposal of all the bands I guess. I’m not sure how much of a success that part was, but it was a fairly enjoyable day spread across two stages so there was always something going on. I was mostly there to see The Native Cats in what was their first Sydney appearance. They played all new stuff and all good stuff and I wish more people hung around to watch them so they’d come back soon and play their own show, but what do you do (come back anyway). I also caught Fag Panic of whom I was at first very sceptical (could have done without the ‘wacky’ outfits) but pretty soon warmed right up to their tropical pop jams. Though they look like a novelty band their songs were actually really good, substantial pop music. I don’t know that it’s something I’d listen to at home, but they got people in a banana suit and what I think was a snow-pea suit to dance and that is awesome. These photos go: Fag Panic, Axxonn who seemed to be having a wonderful time with his synth (I didn’t mind it either), The Holy Soul (who have supported and played with the likes of Can’s Damo Suzuki but I wasn’t all that impressed), and then the Native Cats. I kind of left wondering when Dirty Shirlows turned into a hippie-haven, though. So much incense was goin’ on.

Fag Panic

Real-life evidence that this event did occur can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nUU5M1WQgM