Archive for July, 2011


Fellow musical-comedy fan friends have often mentioned Eddie’s work to me, so he’s been on my radar for a while. But money is tight and my comedy dollar has to go a long way, Eddie has never made it onto my schedule until now.

Misanthropology is Eddie Perfect’s latest show and he performed it at the Brisbane Powerhouse from July 20 to July 23. I was there on Saturday the 23rd with some of those aforementioned friends. The room was dark, we were sat around a table to the left of the centre-stage cat-walk. A deep voice echoed in the darkness. “In the beginning… there was nothing, and then our universe was created with a bang, (small noise.) a BIG bang, (bigger noise,) and then lots of stuff happened…”

The ‘lots of stuff’ seems to have slowed down in recent years, and Eddie, resplendent in an 80s looking silvery suit lamented that man has done so much great stuff, but there are always those that let the side down. They betray our humble beginnings as sea animals that happened by some accident of evolution to have crawled to the shore, and then went on to evolve hands and use tools.

As a species we have made great inventions but still manage to do some very stupid things, and think some very stupid thoughts. We have ourselves on a pedestal above all other animals and presume to know what they think, when really we don’t have a clue. And although we should know better by now, we are still doing awful things to the environment, messing up our world, and almost worse than that, awful pretentious things in the name of art.

You wouldn’t think that such a depressing subject would be so funny, but the seven songs with stand-up in between, had the room laughing all the way through. He mocked humanity, with great wit, touching on several examples of how we seem to have hit a glass ceiling in evolution. Having the three-piece backing band on bass guitar, electronic drum kit, and keyboards, left Eddie free to walk about the stage and onto the catwalk. From my vantage point I could clearly see the perspiration on his forehead glistening as he energetically belted out the songs.

He did pop behind the keyboard for a brief stint during his song about a father who bought breast implants for his 22-year-old daughter. That song was my favourite one in the show, full of razzamatazz, brilliant lighting and just a fantastic performance. Be warned, it’s the sort of song you can hum after only one listen.

One of my friends has been watching the Tour de France and she enjoyed ‘Self-Righteous Cyclist’ a lot, the tightly clad in lycra Eddie was enjoyed for other reasons by other members of the audience. Possibly those that watch him on Offspring. He also impersonated a well-known female presenter who seems to think sportsmen who behave appallingly with young girls are OK, and the girls really wanted what they got, which was raped. Another song about how living with a primitive tribe may not be all it’s cracked up to be, saw Eddie wearing a headpiece that would not look amiss on Jay Kay of Jamiroquai.

If it all sounds a bit dark and twisted, well, it is. But it’s dark, twisted and funny.

Me and Eddie after the show on July 23, 2011. Thank you Kim for taking the photo. 😉

The encore was a semi-serious song, performed solo, with just Eddie on the keyboard. I was enjoying it so much that I didn’t get the poignancy of it at first as I was too busy enjoying the performance to actually listen to the words. In fact there were a few instances throughout the show, where I’d hear a laugh around the room and realise I’d missed a punchline during a song because I was too busy enjoying the voice and music without actually listening to the lyrics. But that’s my fault, I tend to drift sometimes when listening to good music.

Thankfully Eddie had CDs of the show, recorded at The Famous Speigeltent, at the Sydney Festival for sale in the foyer for $25.00. And although he had not been well, he still stayed behind after the show for autographs and photos. What a lovely guy.

For more information on Eddie Perfect go to his official website.

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My journey from one to five-star camping started in 1986. My husband is an ex-scout so he was used to roughing it while camping, whereas I had never camped in my life. We went camping with friends in an old-fashioned canvas tent. We had hardly any equipment apart from the tent and sleeping bags: I wasn’t impressed. The next time we went away with the same friends, we rented an on-site caravan. Which was fine except they had the bedroom and we had the makeshift bed at the other end of the caravan. We couldn’t sleep for the sound of bottles chinking in the cupboard and ornaments falling off the shelves and onto our heads. Lesson learned: never share a caravan with a frisky couple. I give my first camping experiences one star.

In 1988 we left our frisky friends in the UK and emigrated to Australia. This time we went camping with relatives, again we spent the night in a canvas tent. It leaked, and I didn’t sleep a wink. After that we decided to stay away from canvas and my husband rigged up a false floor in our Liteace van. Simple: mattress on top and storage underneath. This, although cramped, was dry and a step up from sleeping on the ground. Two stars.

In 1990 we started to grow our own small humans and the van was not practical for a growing family. So we stopped camping for a few years. Then came the second-hand camper-trailer, very generously given to us by the rellies. We used it with tarps to protect the canvas from rain and give us an undercover area. This was a huge step up, (literally, a ladder was needed as the bed was on top of the trailer). As our children grew up, they graduated to erecting their own small, dome tents outside of the main trailer tent. With three overlapping tarps to cover everything it was an ace set up. Over the years the list of essentials grew, including a bar fridge and a small portable TV. This configuration evolved from three to four star camping. One star deducted for lengthy set-up and pack down times.

Later on, during the ‘naughties’ our teenage children no longer thought it was cool to camp, and wanted to do their own thing. My husband had a brief dalliance with the idea of renovating a decrepit old caravan, the hideous thing sat in our garden with its insides gutted for a couple of years before we gave it away.

As our children became adults, we decided to go camping as a couple. The trailer tent seemed too big, and putting up tarps too tiresome for quick weekend getaways. Our budget put buying a motor home out of the picture, so we decided to go smaller, my very clever husband built a Teardrop Camper. We now tow it behind our trike or my small car and pop an Event 14 canopy over the top for an undercover area if it’s needed. It only takes about 15 minutes to put up the canopy. Advances in Technology have given us a plug-in that can turn our laptop into a TV, and a stick that gives us mobile Internet. ‘Roughing it’ now means taking an Esky instead of a fridge. Delicate flower that I am, this set up makes me a happy camper. I give it five stars.

Easter at Tawonga 2011. We had a 'lean-to garage' added on to the dome to protect DACAT from the rain.

Whether you want a few weekends away outback with your 4WD, or you plan to cycle around Australia with a swag, there’s something out there to suit your needs. The more you do it, the better you’ll get at it. It took me 25 years to get to five-star camping but if you want to rough it by bathing in rivers, and digging your own toilet, then that’s fine. If you can’t survive without your hair straightener, that’s fine too. Personally I think it makes no difference whether your hair is straight or frizzy when marveling at the milky way on your way back from the toilet block. In camping there is room for everyone: except Winnebagos and converted coaches. And I mean that literally. Often they have to book ahead as most sites are too small. The only thing funnier than watching someone trying to back a huge vehicle into an awkwardly small site, is watching someone put up a tent for the first time. I highly recommend having a practice run in your garden first. Make it the front garden if you like to entertain your neighbours.

Shisha in the Islamic section.

The Abbey Tournament is the biggest  medieval festival in the Southern hemisphere. Last year we went for one day, there was so much to see that this year we went for the weekend.

Queensland lived up to its old pre-flood and pre-cyclone Yasi tag of ‘beautiful one day, perfect the next.’ The winter mornings were cold, but they soon warmed up and we had two days of perfect, sunny weather.

March practice at the Janissary Barracks.

Fortune Teller caravan at the Shuvani Romani Kumpania campsite.

As I’ve been learning to belly dance for the past 18 months, and Chris had no special interest in any particular era, I ended up dragging him to lots of Turkish/Middle Eastern things at the Janissary Barracks, and we visited the beautiful and colourful campsite of the Shuvani Romani Kumpania several times. I love all the colours, drumming, music and dance of the Romanis, and the Kazuri Tribe, and danced in both of their workshops. It was basic beginners folk-step, and shimmies and things like that: a lot of fun. Unfortunately they didn’t trust us to dance with their veils or swords.

 

 

 

Poor Chris had to endure watching a lot of belly dancing over the weekend, but he didn’t complain. To balance things out, I made sure we watched some oiled-up men demonstrating Turkish oil wrestling: OK, so that was really for my benefit. The oil wrestling was one of the things I wanted to see last year but we didn’t have time. It was very physical and fun to watch, but I do hope they put sunscreen on before the oil, I’d hate to think they were dehydrating and frying in the heat. The lovely Kazuri Tribe ladies belly danced for us in between bouts, so there was no escape for Chris… again.

Kazuri Tribe ladies dancing.

I did sometimes manage to drag myself away from the belly dancers, (although distant drumming usually called me back). I mixed it up a bit with other eras and cultures so Chris wouldn’t get bored. One of the things we had to see was the jousting, which although very entertaining, was almost out-shone by the witty commentary. It’s worth the extra $2.00 on top of the entry fee to watch one bout of jousting, and they joust three times a day so it’s easy to work it around other reenactments of other eras in other areas.

Jousters

We also managed to fit in knights and other gentlemen (and women,) fighting and fencing.

Fighting knights

Practicing swordplay

Other weapon demonstrations included; cannons, trebuchets, and archery. There were people performing Celtic songs, a harpist, and music on interesting instruments like the hurdy gurdy. We watched funny juggling jesters and graceful stilt-walkers, morris-dancers, and medieval dancers. There were henna artists, palm readers, coffee readers, furriers, weavers, blacksmiths, and people making chain-maille and jewellery.  We ate venison pie at the Stag Inn, (sorry Bambi) and I found out what chevron pie is, (it’s goat.) I also had my first taste of Strongbow Pear Cider. Yes I know that’s not strictly in keeping with medieval times, but still, it was nice.

One of the two tree-lady stilt-walkers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We didn’t see much of the birds of prey, they are on our list for next year, and so is having a camel ride and trying honey mead and mulled wine. There is a lot going on, and with 37 groups all doing their thing, plus food, and stalls, even two days wasn’t enough time to see everything.

We did have a go at shooting targets with a bow and five arrows, I did quite well, but I also took longer than everyone else in my line: sorry to the people waiting behind us.

I did the henna workshop at the Kazuri Tribe tents. The history and the way they make henna was really interesting, but I soon found out my decorating skills are not that great. Again, I was the last to leave, and now I have really dodgy doodles on my left hand and arm for the next couple of weeks. But I’m not complaining, it’s a nice reminder of a wonderful weekend.

Shuvani Romani dancers

That’s me, dressed up.

Shuvani Romani Kumpania ladies, and me back in my jeans and Tshirt.

For more information on the Shuvani Romani Kumpania visit  http://www.souldance.com.au/

For more information on the Kazuri  Tribe,  http://www.kazuritribe.com.au/