Saturday, October 24, 2015


I have loved Fleetwood Mac my entire life. This is mostly due to a cool Dad who had impeccable taste in music. We were showered with music constantly growing up and Fleetwood Mac was a huge favourite for all of us. As a kid I instantly fell in love with Stevie; her persona, style, and music.  I also thought Lindsay Buckingham was just divine, oh my he was sexy. I loved the backbeat, passion, and humour of John and Mick. And I put Christine up on a pedestal of perfection; a stunning voice, mixed with shyness and class.
I devoured their music alongside my Dad, and played the albums over and over, until my 20s when anything classic was replaced by the indie music of the 90s. But as always, you come back to great music...because it is great music. No matter how long it may be between listens the words come back to me and I simply feel joyous; the music is that good!
There is something special about their music, heart on your sleeve lyrics that can be sheer poetry and incredibly romantic, yet never in a bad way. The mix of personalities and writing within the group, bring this cool, pop AND rock sound that is simply dynamic and unique. Also a supreme mastery of instruments, and a combination of three stunning voices, this is why they sold millions and are beloved by young and old. Also listening to the albums today, they do not sound dated in any way.
So why have I never seen Fleetwood Mac? Too young to see them when they were at their height and that period in my 20s when I didn't listen to them as much. After that they would tour with a member missing and as a music lover and a purist this was a no no. I had seen Stevie a few years back, with E and C, and it was magical. So when they announced their tour, with all 5 members  - of what most call the classic line up - in tact, I knew it was my last chance. My best friend's husband, E, is also a fan so we decided to go dragging C with us.
Getting the tickets was easier said than done, and after a huge anxiety attack - the night we wanted sold out way too quickly - I got us decent tickets for Thursday 22 October.
This was much earlier in the year and it seemed like October would never arrive and suddenly we were driving down in the pouring rain to Allphones Arena in Sydney, excited and eager.
I get very emotional at concerts, most music I love goes straight to my heart. For me, an introverted shy kid, music and books were mostly my friends growing up. I immersed myself in them, some songs and words just bring me to my knees and I weep with joy and's who I am. I had been really emotional in the week leading up to the concert, getting teary with certain songs as I listened to their albums over and over.
I would think about what songs I wanted to hear them sing, I didn't mind. The obvious hits would no doubt be played, and to be honest, I could live without them, though I knew I would enjoy hearing them. I guess my favourite track is Tusk (and I've written about Tusk here before), but I wasn't sure I wanted them to play that, without the marching band it wouldn't be quite right. I did think Landslide, Gypsy, Songbird, Wish You Were Here, Love in Store, Think About You, Second Hand News, and Never Going Back Again would be good to hear.
Driving to C and E's place I had a little cry as I sang along to Landslide, it was all too much. I couldn't believe I would finally see these people and hear this music that has meant so very much to me my entire life.

Our seats were pretty good, at the bottom of the top tier, looking to the side of the stage right. No support act, they came on to great fanfare around 8.15pm. My heart skipped a beat.
Instead of bursting into tears like I thought I would, I beamed and squealed unleashing my inner child and teen simultaneously and Lindsay started to play The Chain.

One by one they added to the harmony and cacophony of the song that best describes Fleetwood Mac, and they sounded amazing. I never expected them to sound bad, but never in my wildest desire did I think they would sound THAT good.

By the time we hit song 4 - Second Hand News - a favourite and following The Chain, You Make Loving Fun, Dreams, I knew we were experiencing a concert unlike any other I had seen. In fact it was 2.5 hours of non-stop brilliance!
It was pure and utter joy, it was heart warming, it sounded great, you could feel the love in the room from the audience, from the band, between band members, and it was fucking rock 'n' roll!!!!!

The set list is outstanding - have a look below. And pretty much every song sounded as it was meant to sound. This band is now in their very late 60s and Christine McVie 72!!! The energy and musicality they possessed is something worth bottling.
They genuinely looked and sounded like they were having the time of life. They chatted occasionally and told the odd story and even Lindsay - the problem child of the band, but hey every genius is a problem child  - talked about how much he loved being back with his friends and how he loved them. This wasn't always the case, but the love between all five of them was solid, genuine, and something to behold. I think this is what made them sound so tight and joyous musically.

Stevie and Lindsay spoke the most. They are the outgoing personalities, the genius and the heart and poet as Mick describes them. They both told stories and anecdotes behind songs, and really passed on wisdom and spirituality in a way that was uplifting and magical. They moved around the stage the most, Stevie dancing and twirling, Lindsay killing on guitar. The best guitarist I have ever seen live is Prince (twice) and he is mind blowing, Lindsay came close if not exceed those performances in parts. Which is pretty amazing, I was blown away at his skills and technique. He was the band member who stayed on stage the most. The others occasionally popped off stage briefly, but he was there all night, excess energy and supreme talent.

Mick and John were tight, the back beat strong as ever, keeping the band focused and on the straight and. John, stayed in the shadows, to Mick's right, as he's always done, happy to groove away in his gentlemanly way. Mick was out there, hilarious and strong, at 68, proving, drummers just keep banging away at life!

And Christine, beautiful, gentle Christine, back after 16 years. The love in the room for her and within the band was enormous, she mostly stuck to her keyboards, and smiled gently and sang like an angel. At 72, the oldest of the group, she sounded simply stunning, and everyone knew it.

And so the music, the songs sounded like they were meant to, as you imagined, as you remembered, and like the albums. And after all this time, and in a day and age where messing about with stuff seems to happen a little bit too much, this is quite astonishing. A few had some slight changes, but nothing that made you cross. Hearing songs sung and played live as they were written and originally recorded is a true joy in life and this is what lifted this concert from great to one of the best I have ever seen.

Highlights for me were The Chain, Second Hand News, Sara (oh my goodness, Stevie killed this, really killed this!!!!!!), Landslide, Never Going Back Again, I'm So Afraid (Lindsay's guitar playing was out of this world), Tusk (which didn't sound too bad all things considered), and Silver Springs.

My top three were Think About it - a rarity from Tusk which I just love, Gypsy - only one of the two times I cried, I just love the lyrics and sentiment behind it. Stevie told a great story behind the song too, which I loved.

But the show stopper was the final song, after the encore, a grand piano was rolled on and Christine triumphantly sat down and played Songbird. The audience were just in the palm of her hand, she sounded fragile and perfect (pun intended) and the tears welled in my eyes and I sang along with those stunning words.

And then it was over, the time flew by in a second, I could have sat there all night, seat dancing, singing, and beaming with complete and utter joy.


The chain (Rumours)
You Make Loving Fun (Rumours)
Dreams (Rumours)
Second hand news (Rumours)
Rhiannon (Fleetwood Mac)
Everywhere (Tango in the Night)
Bleed To Love Her (The Dance)
Tusk (Tusk)
Sara (Tusk)
Say You Love Me (Fleetwood Mac)
Big Love (Tango in the Night)
Landslide (Fleetwood Mac)
Never Going Back Again (Rumours)
Think About Me (Tusk)
Gypsy (Mirage)
Little Lies (Tango in the Night)
Gold Dust Woman (Rumours)
I'm So Afraid (Fleetwood Mac)
Go Your Own Way (Rumours)

World Turning (Fleetwood Mac)
Don't Stop (Rumours)
Silver Springs (Go Your Own Way b-side, The Dance)

Songbird (Rumours)

PS, the Merch was pretty fab too! Got myself a wodnerful Tambourine necklace, some guitar picks, and fridge magnets



Sunday, October 18, 2015


It's taken me a while to get this blog on my trip to Melbourne up, I've been busy.
Melbourne...I adore it, it's my favourite place to holiday in Australia. It is my touchstone, if I don't get there at least once a year I feel lost. I love it's cosmopolitan and European ways, it's stunning architecture, it's extreme cultural happenings, the trams, the cafes and restaurants, and it's laid back lifestyle. If I didn't love to travel there so much, I'd probably live there.

Usually I stay in a little private apartment on Collins Street, but this time I couldn't as the owners had sold it, so I turned to air bnb for something new and I found a little gem on Manchester Lane, right in the heart of my favourite part of the city, off Collins Street, and right near Degreaves Street and Flinders Station.

My friend C came with me for the first few days and we were excited to find the apartment exactly as it had been online. Phew!
This trip was to see The David Bowie Is exhibit at the ACMI, something I had waited a whole year to see and it was superb. Additionally there were other Bowie things to do whilst there.
Also at the ACMI was the fabulous Orry-Kelly exhibit and I saw the documentary film based on his life. Orry-Kelly was a famous costume designer in Hollywood, who came from Kiama but is little known here in Australia. He had a remarkable career with many ups and downs. Three Academy Awards - for An American in Paris, Les Girls, and Some Like it Hot. Some Like it Hot is one of my all time favourite films, so to see the costumes he designed for Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis was a thrill, let alone the Oscars. There was so much to find out about this interesting man, in the exhibit and in the film, but the most confounding was his first relationship in Hollywood was with Cary Grant (when he was still Archie Leach). This part of Cary is not new to me, I am a fan, but I prefer to stick to the fantasy man-about-town suave Cary, lol! Of course hearing how Cary abandoned Orry and only contacted him when he heard Orry was writing his memoirs was a little shattering to my fantasy.

I caught up with my wonderful friend M, and we had a day out in the Yarra Valley, lunching at Healesville, and heading to the Tarrwarra Vineyards via a stunning rainforest. The vineyard had a very sleek and modern Museum of Art and specialises in Modern Art. We checked out the Pierre Huyghe exhibition which featured installations, videos etc and was amazing.

I also 'discovered' the Hellenic Museum on William Street, a museum dedicated to Greek artefacts, on loans form the Benaki Museum in Athens. It's a ten year exhibit, commencing in 2014 and is changed over regularly. It was full of the most beautiful pieces, all of them incredibly old and with amazing stories attached.

I also caught up with other friends, B, L, and S while I was there.
This trip I visited a few Melbourne institutions I had never been to. On our first night C and I had dinner at the Young and Jackson pub, a great meal and we visited the stunning Chloe in the upstairs bar. S and I had morning tea at the amazing Hopetoun Tea Room. And I finally visited The Athenaeum Theatre, not the library, but I will get there some day.

As always the food was to die for. Perk Up Bugers on Degreaves was easily the best burger I have ever eaten, their sweet potato fries perfection too. Ferdyduke, a rooftop bar, served funky sliders, I had a pork one called the Little Lebowski. Directly across from my hotel was Maccaroni Trattoria Italiana, and they made the best, authentic pizzas. Il Pom on Fed Square had great Italian and cocktails, Taxi at the Transport Lounge, also on Fed Square - great snack food and drinks and a place at the window to watch the passing parade. I rediscovered the Thai on Flinders in a little arcade, the best I think I've ever had. And we found an authentic French Creperie, Roule Galette, in Scott Alley. An average looking cafe with an ambivalent French waiter, french radio station playing, and amazing food.

Of course I visited some of my favourite places, 333 Collins Street, The Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens, Hill of Content Bookshop, Minotaur Books, Dr Seuss Gallery, Cathedral Arcade, State Library of Vic, Federation Square, both the Ian Potter Centre and the National Gallery of Victoria, and St Kilda.

The weather was all over the shop while I was there - which is so Melbourne, but mostly overcast and cool, but the day C and I headed to St Kilda was a stunner. We walked and walked, checked out the markets, shopped, and an amazing tapas lunch at Big Mouth...and of course, indulged in cakes!

And some random photography: