May got off to a lovely start with a musical weekend.
A and I headed to Newcastle Folk Club on a cold Saturday night to see the stunning Kavisha Mazzello play. The club operates out of the Church Hall in Beaumont Street and it was as you expected. Lovely people, sandal count high (even on a cold night), and home made supper. The first half of the evening was members playing small sets, and it was mostly good. Occasionally it went down "A Mighty Wind" direction and took itself a little too seriously. Then Kavisha played a small set of her tunes, before coming back on after supper to sing from her new album of 18th Century Italian Folk Songs and they were divine, accompanied by her brother from time to time. Kavisha is a born storyteller, through her songs, and stories about the songs and her amazing life. We left warm and smiling, with our soul well and truly fed.
The next day I headed back to the same venue for the yearly Record Fair. Each year gets busier and busier, and the cool stuff gets less and less. I still managed a stack of interesting and weird, but couldn't stay long, so many of these dudes lack the personal hygiene needed for a crowded, small warm space, you need to leave for fresh air! I headed into Newcastle Farmers Markets for lunch and some fresh food for the week after.
As a new member of Newcastle Art Gallery, I was lucky enough to get a guided behind the scenes tour of the Gallery. You can read about that here.
I do love Eurovision, well not really the music, though sometimes it is good. I love the spectacle of it and well, taking the piss. And since joining Twitter, Eurovision weekend is always a blast, with Tweeps trying to outdo each other with witty commentary on the event. This year we managed to convince the fabulous Grain Store in Newcastle East to stay open a little later and show the Final on their big screen. And so a bunch of up dressed up Eurovision Style and headed in for drinks and laughs, we even had wind machines set up (fans). It was a great night, with truly wonderful friends, but I guess one of those times where you had to be there!
Work was busy during May, with my 500 Words Online Writing Group growing due to exposure the previous month at the writers festival. Our movie night was Raising Arizona, and we celebrated the Biggest Morning tea. Local artist Fern Martin came along to talk about her art and techniques and had us all transfixed. And my good friend, Susan Whelan spoke at Charlestown Library with her collaborator, Ursula about Children's imagination. So proud of her and what a great turn out for a cold Monday night. Oh and a computer upgrade AND year 7 visiting for their annual research visits!
Our Bookclub discussed Major Pettigrew, you can read about it in my May Reviews. My big concert of the month was the APIA Good Times Tour at the Civic Theatre with C & E.
I saw a few movies, Fading Gigolo with L, before seeing the new Jarmusch, Only Lovers Left Alive at Film Society. In between I had a lovely dinner at Cazador.
Fading Gigolo was a comedy/drama written and directed by John Turturro. He plays a florist who becomes an escort pimped out by Woody Allen, his friend, who is in need of money after he shuts down his second hand book shop. The film is like a Woody Allen film never made, a secondary/interwoven storyline involving Vanessa Paradis and Hissadic Jews is also fascinating. Turturro and ALlen are fabulous, and the supporting case of Paradis, Liev Schreiber, Sharon Stone and Sofia Vergara is superb. It's more melancholy and dry wit than laugh out loud funny, but it's worth seeing.
Only Lovers Left Alive is a Vampire film of sorts. I say of sorts, as you don't see much Vampire action at all. Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston are very old vampires, Eve and Adam, and are in their respective cities of Tangier and Detroit, languishing in darkness. Eve travels to Detroit - all night flights - and they meet again after centuries of being together. Plot is limited and set design is highly stylised and stunning. The dialogue is witty and clever, there are many rushes to get 'blood' which they drink rather than killing, and their laid back lifestyle is turned upside down when Eve's younger sister, Ava (Mia Wasikowska) turns up. Supporting cast is Anton Yelchin, John Hurt, and Jeffrey Wright. I really loved this.
A group of us saw Romeo and Juliet at The Playhouse later in the month. Whilst only an amateur production, it was really good. With an all teen cast, the leads were luminous and just right, with stand out acting from the ladies playing Mercutio and Nurse. Yes, lots of females played men's characters, and were addressed as women and why not!?! The script was traditional but dress and movement on stage modern, and it worked. It was very enjoyable and I had forgotten how very physical and brutal the play was.
I've already written about my wonderful day in Sydney for the Sydney Writer's Festival and Vivid, and I rounded the month off locally with morning tea at Bella Beans with T, and lunch with R at Hippos.
Life is good, you only get one chance, you gotta have fun
And as always, much walking and photography of sunsets.