Categories
Weddings

The Lachy Doley Experience

Back in March this year, I had the privilege of experiencing Lachy Doley’s extraordinary talents. For those who don’t know Lachy Doley, he is renowned for his work on the Hammond organ and the D6 Whammy Clavinet.

The Inner West Council puts on a “Blues Festival” once a year. This is basically a program of three bands playing in a park in Leichhardt. The headline band were Dragon, which is puzzling, since Dragon are nowhere near being a “blues” band. Regardless, Dragon were the crowd pullers. The park was full of baby-boomers, all keen to be taken back to their Golden Years.

Three bands played on a big stage with a big PA. The first band on were totally forgettable. Dragon were on third. The Lachy Doley Group were the meat in the sandwich.

From Lachy Doley’s first song, I knew I was in for an alluring treat of musical delights. He started up on his D6 Whammy Clavinet. I’ve never seen or heard this before. It basically sounds like an electric guitar through an overdrive pedal. Add to this the whammy bar. It was like listening to Jimi Hendrix play, except that it was coming out of a keyboard.

I had to get up closer to experience the full effect of the rotating Leslie Speaker cabinet. I was virtually standing on the stage with the band when I shot this footage (above). I was totally in awe of the musicianship of this powerhouse trio.

The drummer is Jackie Barnes. I watched him play the following week with Rose Tattoo. He was busy behind the kit, but with a sensational sense of time. You really need a busy drummer with a three piece band, but you need someone who can complement the music, despite being busy. Playing in this format was right up Jackie’s alley.

Joel Burton was on the bass. With two musicians playing a lot of notes, you really need someone to hold the whole thing down. This was Joel’s role, and he did this perfectly. He’s got a great sound and plays with tremendous time. This set a rock solid foundation for Lachy and Jackie to launch themselves into “doin’ their thang”.

The band were called The Lachy Doley Group, but they should really be called The Lachy Doley Experience, because that’s what it is listening to his music. Naturally, I bought their CD on the day. Jackie Barnes and Joel Burton both play on the CD, so it’s very authentic to what I heard on the day.

For more on Lachy Doley, go to his website. Below is a link…

https://www.lachydoley.com/
Categories
Advice

Why Your Child Should Play A Musical Instrument

Most professional musicians supplement their incomes by teaching and sharing with others their expertise and knowledge of how to play their chosen instrument. I have taught trombone and trumpet for many years, mostly to school children. I find brass tutoring fascinating for many reasons. For one thing, it has taught me a lot about the most effective ways to learn skills. These techniques are then transferable across to other disciplines, such as languages or sports.

I consider learning and practising a musical instrument to be one of the best “brain training” activities available to us. I highly recommend learning to play a musical instrument to everybody. It’s great for adults and fantastic for children. Unfortunately, many of the best reasons for learning to play an instrument are overlooked.

The Biggest Fallacy Parents Have About Their Children Playing A Musical Instrument

Inquiries for music lessons regularly come in from parents. Usually their son or daughter is joining the school band. The biggest fallacy I commonly face when talking to parents is that they think that learning a musical instrument should primarily be fun. Typically, they say, “I justwant them to have fun”. I challenge this with saying, “it may not necessarily be fun, but if they put in the time and effort, it will be enjoyable and rewarding”.

The Flaw With “Fun”

Parents who emphasise the “fun” aspect of whatever their children undertake are heading for disaster. Consider that being challenged is rarely fun. Children (and most adults) prefer avoiding things that are difficult. Dealing with adversity is commonly averted whenever possible. This is typical of adults as well as children. Things that children typically find “fun” include eating sugar, playing video games, watching television and taking photographs of themselves. When they become adolescents, this progresses to binge drinking, drug taking and getting more “likes” on Instagram. Encouraging your children to have fun generally isn’t acting in their best interest. Getting your child to develop tenacity and be able to focus on long term goals is a far better goal.

Learning Fulfilment Through Playing A Musical Instrument

Delayed gratification is one of the most valuable lessons a child can learn. Things that are rewarding in our lives are rarely easy. They require persistence, diligence, tenacity and consistent attention. When the Olympics come around every four years, we become engrossed in the achievements of athletes who have dedicated thousands of hours to training and practice. Obviously, those with natural talent and aptitude are advantaged, but we still love the story of the runner who comes in seventeenth place, but has achieved her/his “PB” (personal best). Everybody respects the effort taken by others to achieve their best performance. Studying a musical instrument is a wonderful way to learn this life lesson.

Achieving Outcomes That Are Rewarding Takes A Lot Of Hard Work

There are many similarities between training in a sport and playing a musical instrument. Both require the brain and the body to co-ordinate to perform a desired function. This is generally done through repeating the same action over and over again, for example kicking a ball (sport) or playing a scale (music). The most effective approach is through breaking down a problem into smaller segments. With kicking a ball, this can be done by segmenting the steps and slowing down the action. Similarly, in music a scale can be slowed down and split into groups of four or five notes.

Smart Kids Play Music

I wouldn’t recommend becoming a musician to anyone. I do enjoy it, but it’s a terrible business to make a living from. Regardless, I highly recommend playing a musical instrument to every human on earth. It’s one of the best activities we can do for our brains. In addition, it is amazing for the soul. Every child deserves the opportunity to play music, but they need to be coerced into practising otherwise the benefits are never achieved.

And to conclude, I challenge anyone who meets a medical doctor to ask them what instrument they either play or used to play. I guarantee they will have either studied an instrument or still play an instrument.

Find A Music Teacher

Here are two online directories to find a music teacher for either your child or yourself

https://www.musicteacher.com.au/

https://www.sydneymusicteachers.com/

Categories
public gigs

Next Public Performance

My next public gig will be this Saturday, 21st July, 2018.

This will be a solo performance, i.e. me and my ukulele.

The venue is the new Black Bear BBQ at the Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park.

Black Bear BBQ is a new slow cooked meat, American-style food establishment. Here’s a link to their website – https://blackbearbbq.com.au

It is right in the middle of the old showground. 

I’ll be playing 4 sets, between 5pm and 9pm.

 

 

 

 

Categories
Health and Well Being

The Hidden Cause of the Obesity Epidemic

What is the hidden cause of the obesity epidemic?

  • For entertainment, people used to go out dancing. Now they go out eating. 
  • Eating used to be for sustenance and nourishment. Now it has become our main form of entertainment.
  • Dancing used to be society’s way of having fun and socially interacting. Now we’re too fat to dance.

Wedding band, live band - Slide McBride - Sydney, New South Wales
Photo courtesy of Milton Gan Photography – http://miltongan.com/

The hidden cause of the obesity epidemic is that dancing has been replaced by eating. 

Musicians no longer play music for dancing. Dancing to live music is a thing people did last century.  The 21st century is about eating, so musicians have had to adjust to play music as an accompaniment to food. The guitarist singing in the corner of the pub is now like the salt and pepper shakers on the table. The musician has become part of a venue’s marketing that strives to create an ambience conducive to dining. Generally as long as the music’s not too loud or distracting, nobody cares.

The Hidden Cause of the Obesity Epidemic

Musicians No Longer Provide Music For Dancing

And don’t be tempted to dance. Anyone who gets up and starts dancing will be quickly escorted from the premises by an over zealous security person. The view point is that dancing is only attempted by someone who is drunk. RSA laws stipulate that intoxicated people must be removed. Therefore, anyone who dances is clearly drunk and a troublemaker. Ejection is imminent. If you are spotted dancing it’s obviously that you can’t be sober. If you were sober and in a rational state of mind you’d surely want to do some more eating.

Chefs Are The New Rock Stars

The Hidden Cause of the Obesity Epidemic

Gone are the music shows from free to air television. They’ve all been replaced with cooking and food shows. SBS even has a whole station dedicated to food (channel 33) which is called The Food Network. The ABC still runs Rage twice a week (through the middle of the night) but The Food Network runs all day, everyday, seven days a week. You can enjoy shows such as “Underground BBQ Challenge”, “Cake Wars”, “Ginormous Food”, “Man Versus Food” or “My Family Feast”. 

The Hidden Cause of the Obesity Epidemic

Famous chefs are household names; Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay, Rick Stein, Nigella Lawson, (the late) Anthony Bourdain, Heston Blumental, Neil Perry, Kylie Kwong, Matt Moran, Curtis Stone, Guillaume Brahimi, Bill Granger, Donna Hay, Tetsuya Wakuda, Aristos Papandroulakis, Ben O’Donoghue, Cindy Sargon, Fenton Keogh, Gabriel Gaté, Geoff Jansz, Iain Hewitson, Stephanie, Alexander, Luke Nguyen, Stefano Manfredi, Adam Liaw, George Calombaris, Adriano Zumbo, Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris, Pete Evans, Manu Feidel, Cheong Liew, Maggie Beer, Christine Manfield, Peter Gilmore, Shannon Bennett, Poh Ling Yeow … and the list goes on.

The Hidden Cause of the Obesity Epidemic

Food Is Now The Feature Of Pubs That Used To Have Bands

I’ve heard so many theories about the death of live music in Sydney. I’ve heard about lock-out laws, RSA laws, licensing laws, poker machine, the list goes on, yet it seems that everyone has missed the actual reason… lack of interest. Nobody wants to stand around listening to a loud band play when you could be in the bistro eating and having an enjoyable conversation about the food you are eating. 

Your Next Tinder Date

Much of our social interaction is now done using our mobile phones. If you are single, you may use Tinder to find someone you are attracted to meet. Typically,  you will ask them out for either a coffee (and probably some cake), a drink (and probably some nibbles) or something to lunch or dinner. Next time, I challenge you to take them dancing. 

The Hidden Cause of the Obesity Epidemic

Categories
Legendary Australian Musicians

Who Remembers Keith Stirling, Australian Jazz Legend?

Who Remembers Keith Stirling, Australian Jazz Legend?

Keith Stirling was a jazz trumpeter who passed away in 2003, but lives on courtesy of You Tube. This clip (below) also includes former Head of Jazz Studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Craig Scott, on bass. Other musicians are Jay Stewart on piano, Ron Lemke on drums and Steve Brien on drums. Where are they all now…? Who knows…

I first encountered Keith Stirling back in the early 1980’s. When I was still at high school, every Saturday afternoon from 3pm – 6pm, I used to take myself along to the jazz workshops put on by the Jazz Action Society. I’d only been playing trombone a short while, but ambitiously wanted to be able to play jazz.

Pianist Dave Levy ran the workshops. I still marvel at this man’s enthusiasm for the idiom of jazz. He would arrange for an experienced local jazz musician to come along and teach whoever turned up how to analyse a song and how to construct a solo over the chord progression. My foundation of understanding musical harmony came from these weekly workshops. Jazz is a mystery to most people, yet it is surprisingly simple once you understand the basis of it. Attending these workshops was a revelation. 

Who Remembers Keith Stirling, Australian Jazz Legend?

The weekly workshops were held at the old Journalist’s Club on Chalmers St, Surry Hills. I’ll never forget the two weeks that Keith Stirling was the “guest lecturer”. The song he was analysing was “Stella By Starlight”, which is harmonically quite a complex tune. I must admit, I was struggling to keep up. I’d only been playing trombone for a couple of years, at that stage. I tried to process the information the best I could manage.

The bit I will never forget is the last fifteen minutes of Keith Stirling’s second week. Dave Levy suggested that Keith should now perform the song to put into context what he’d spoken about for the last two weeks. Keith initially resisted, but was coaxed into agreeing to give a performance. Before he played, he explained what he would do. First he would use the melody and work around embellishing this. Next, he would play around with guide tones and the chord notes. Then he would start using modes. Finally, he would extend upon all of these approaches.

Who Remembers Keith Stirling, Australian Jazz Legend?

Keith then played about ten choruses of “Stella By Starlight”. It was a total revelation. Everything made sense. Everyone who was there to listen was taken on a journey. It was as if that performance of that song at that moment time had it’s own unique life. The song was born, it lived and then it’s life was over, but it had experience all that there was to experience in that ten minutes it took for Keith to play very that song. There were no cameras or recording devices. This was twenty years before You Tube existed, but that performance lives on in my mind.

Here’s a performance by Keith Stirling at a Jazz Action Society concert about ten years later, in 1993. The song is “I Hear A Rhapsody”. Along with Keith are Dave Levy on piano, John Pochee on drums and a very young Nicky Parrott on double bass.

In later years, I was lucky enough to play alongside Keith Stirling in Billy Field’s “Bad Habits Band” and Jimmy Shaw’s “Shawnuf Bigband”. He was such a sweet guy, always encouraging and with a great sense of humour. When he played with Billy Field, his go-to song (in the first warm-up set, before Billy came on to sing) was a funky version of “Ode To Billy Joe”, originally recorded by Bobbie Gentry. I love that song whenever I hear it now, because it always reminds me of Keith.

Here is a link to John Clare’s obituary on Keith Stirling.

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/58bf64e6c534a5e3ac61401d/t/5975b63f5016e132ff071693/1500886599210/ClareJohnKeithStirlingOBITUARY.pdf

 

Categories
Classic Albums

What Was The First Record You Ever Bought?

What Was The First Record You Ever Bought?

I don’t know about you, but the first album I bought was “Quatro”, by Suzy Quatro. I was in Year 5 at primary school, and I had a job after school delivering chemist packages. I did this 3 afternoons a week.  I can still remember that the album cost me $6.00. That was my full weekly earnings from my delivery job.

I grew up in the Sydney suburb of  Hunters Hill. The local pharmacist used to hire primary school kids to deliver prescriptions around the neighbourhood. He offered free delivery to his customers and had a cheap workforce of children to make the deliveries. The rate of pay was 75 cents per hour. I’d work from 3:30pm – 6pm. Needless to say, he was a wealthy man and  lived in a palatial home with water frontage. He also owned a second chemist shop in the next suburb.

Working for seven and a half hours to buy “Quatro” was totally worth it. Even though I was in Year 5, I had a total crush on Suzy Quatro. Those full leather outfits she wore had me staring at the front and back of the album cover for the full duration of playing the album. Even though I was too young to do anything about it, she definitely gave me a “feeling”.

I loved (and I still love) her screeching high vocals. In addition, the album was so well produced. Little did I know (when I was 11 years old) that the album was produced by an Aussie, Mike Chapman.  

Mike Chapman is what you’d call a genius record-producer. The album “Quatro” also has Nicky Chinn listed as co-producer, but (according to an interview I heard with Mike Chapman), he only made a small contribution. I noticed (even as a kid) that all the best songs on the album were credited to  “Chapman/Chinn”. These include “Devil Gate Drive”, “Too Big” and “Wild One”. Mike Chapman would go on to make some all time classic albums including “Parallel Lines” for Blondie and “Get The Knack” for The Knack. 

What's the first record you ever bought
Mike Chapman (left) & Nicky Chinn (right)

A song on the album I always loved was “Keep a Knockin'”. Songwriting was credited to Richard Penniman. Years later, I would discover “Little Richard” (Richard Penniman’s rock’n’roll name). At age 11, everything is new.  To me it was all “new” music.

When I was in Year 5, I remember we had a student teacher. He was fascinated by my obsession with Suzy Quatro. His words of wisdom were that Suzy Quarto would be forgotten within two years.  Seems like I knew more than him!

Suzy Quatro is still gigging. Here’s a link to her “Shows” page on her website. 

http://www.suziquatro.com/shows.html

 

And finally…

Suzy Quatro performing “Devil Gate Drive”

Categories
Weddings

How Good Was This Band?

How Good Was This Band?

Back in 1987, I joined a band called “Melodious Thunk”. It was the brainchild of Scott Saunders, who later went on to great success with “DIG” in the 1990’s. I played trombone in the horn section. 

How Good Was This Band - jump back jack
Scott Saunders

In the second half of 1987, we shared a Thursday night residency at The Harbourside Brasserie with the legendary Sydney band “Jump Back Jack”, led by the late bass guitar virtuoso, Jackie Orszaczky. 

How Good Was This Band - jump back jack
Jackie Orszaczky

I was already a huge fan of this band. Back in 1986, I followed them around town and must have watched them play weekly. As a young trombone player, any band in Sydney with a horn section was a “must see” and Jump Back Jack’s horn section were exemplary. James Greening was on trombone, with Mike Bukowsky and Linda Bacon on trumpets, along with Mark Simmons on tenor saxophone.  All were seasons jazz musicians, but here they were assembled to play funk. I would typically stand right in front of James Greening’s trombone slide, his fat notes and short stabs filling me with insecurities about my own trombone playing.

Two drummers on stage together was an extraordinary feature of the band.  It’s very rare to see a band with two drummers as it obviously leads to many complications, but the two drummers in Jump Back Jack, Phillip Campbell and Hamish Stewart, were perfectly synchronised.  

Guitarist Rick Morrison was so understated. I never saw him take a guitar solo. He just grooved without soloing, which was something rare for a guitarist in the 1980’s.

Jackie Orszaczky

Fronting Jump Back Jack was Jackie Orszaczky. He’d be playing complicated and syncopated bass lines while singing over the top. His bass playing was effortless, as if it required no concentration. His singing was like a Hungarian James Brown. I was mesmerised.

Sydney Music Scene in the 1980’s

Yes, we all know that the live music scene in Sydney was pumping in the 1980’s.  You could go out any night of the week and watch a band play.  In addition to the live scene, their were also many opportunities for singers and musicians to work on television. There was The Midday Show based in Sydney, Steve Vizard’s nightly show coming out of Melbourne, plus shows like “The Don Lane Show”.

“Jump Back Jack” On The Don Lane Show

Watch this live performance by Jump Back Jack on the Don Lane Show. This is the original line-up, so it must have gone to air in 1986. The line-up later had a few changes, but (as they say), here’s the original and the best… check it out!

Categories
Advice Weddings

What Is The Best Day To Have My Wedding And Reception?

What Is The Best Day To Have My Wedding?

You’ve been proposed to and you’ve said “yes”.

Or…

You’ve made your proposal, and the answer was “yes”.

What next?

Planning the “BIG DAY”.

What is the best day to have my wedding and reception?

Think outside of the box.

Most couples start with looking at Saturday nights in spring or autumn, and then find out that most venues have already been booked for the next three years.

It’s time to think outside of the box.

Begin With The End In Mind

If you’ve ever read Stephan Covey’s “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, you will be familiar with his second habit, “Begin With The End In Mind”.

Now, think ahead to celebrating your 10 year wedding anniversary. 

How would you like to celebrate this?

For most people, it’s get up and go to work, just like any other day. Maybe you will go out for dinner in the evening, after a tiring and stressful day at work. That’s hardly a romantic way to spend you anniversary.

Wouldn’t You Prefer An Annual Holiday To Mark Your Anniversary?

Do you ever feel that your birthday comes and goes each year without any ado? This is the day that you were born, yet it slips by as just another insignificant date on the calendar. 

Your wedding anniversary doesn’t have to have the same insignificance. You have a choice. With a tiny amount of foresight and planning, your wedding anniversary can be made so much more special by being marked with an annual holiday. You will feel like the King and Queen, having the day set aside in your honour.

Why Be Like Everybody Else

Rather than the typical scenario most couples face of waking up on their wedding anniversary and having to face the usual grind of waking up, getting ready for work, getting the kids ready for school and facing peak hour traffic, consider this alternative. You could wake up next to the one you love, knowing it’s your anniversary and also knowing that you can snuggle up, getting up when you please.

How Do You Do This?

There are two public holidays every year that don’t move.

  1. Australia Day – 26th January
  2. Anzac Day – 25th April

Simply plan your wedding for either of these two dates and it’s a guarantee that you’ll always get the day off for your anniversary.

Anzac Day

My personal preference is for Anzac Day. The obvious concern people have is that it may be considered disrespectful to the fallen. I would counter this concern with the fact that their are no veterans left from the First World War, and that there are virtually none still alive from the Second World War.

What is the best day to have my wedding and reception?

Australia Day

Also a good choice, especially as it typically marks the end of the summer holiday season.

What is the best day to have my wedding and reception?

FOR WEDDING INQUIRIES, CLICK HERE

Categories
Sydney Venues Sydney Wedding Band Weddings

Marriage Equality- Yes, We Are Open For Business

Marriage Equality- Yes We Are Open For Business

The Slide McBride band would like to congratulate Australia for voting for marriage equality. The members of my band and my family anxiously anticipated the results from the marriage equality plebiscite and then as the bill passed the Upper and finally through the Lower House. It was a wonderful moment to know that the majority of Australians support the LGBTQI community and recognise that everyone has the right to marry the person that they love.

Same Sex Mariage

I have had the pleasure, throughout my career, prior to the passing of the marriage equality act, to have the honour of performing at many same-sex commitment ceremonies. It was privilege to witness the courage and commitment of same sex couples to openly commit to each despite the fact that they were being discriminated against by Australian law. It was evident to everyone present how much these people loved each other. It was also obvious how unfair and discriminatory the then marriage act was to the LGBTQI community.

The Slide McBride Band would like to say we support same-sex marriages and are excited to entertain and perform at many in the future. Congratulating to the LBTQI community and congratulations to Australia for supporting same sex marriage and equality.

Same Sex Marriage

The Slide McBride Band- Proud supporters of Marriage Equality.

Non discriminatory suppliers of great wedding entertainment

Categories
Weddings

Using An Ipod Playlist For Your Wedding

Using An Ipod Playlist For Your Wedding

Using and Ipod playlist at your wedding reception seems like such a sensible option. You check out the option of hiring a band, and they all seem so expensive. You look into hiring a  DJ. They are so much cheaper, but then how do you know that they will actually play the songs you like? Why not consider doing it yourself? You know the songs you like. You have them all on your computer. Why pay money for someone else to play the songs you already have on you phone or Ipod? You pay $11.99 per month to Spotify, so why not simply make up your playlists on Spotify?

I have played (with my band) at a countless number of wedding receptions. The standard response I get from brides and grooms at the end of each and every wedding is, “Every one of our guests is talking about the band”, or “Wow, you guys really made the wedding so much fun”!

(To take  a look at the typical emails I have receive from brides and grooms, follow this link – https://slidemcbride.com/sydney-wedding-band-testimonials/ )

I have heard people who have gone to a wedding make complementary remarks about the DJ, but

I have NEVER EVER heard anyone say, “The Ipod playlist was amazing”. 

I’m still waiting to hear, “The Ipod playlist had everyone up and dancing”.

I don’t ever expect to hear, “Their Ipod playlist made the night”.

This is what I have seen…

I have played at weddings where we (the band) finish playing and then the Ipod gets plugged into a speaker to keep the party going. What I usually see is this. A bossy drunk person decides that they know which songs will keep the party powering along. A few people will dance, but numbers on the dance floor will start dropping off. Then a different bossy drunk person with a different opinion will decide to take over. They will put on something “really cool” (which is generally something totally weird and off-beat).  Half a song is played before the next person decides to get involved in the choice of songs. It becomes the battle of the drunk amateur DJ’s. By this stage, I’ve packed up my gear and hastily exit the party. 

Contempt For Your Guests

Using an Ipod playlist is cheap and is ultimately the most contemptuous act of indifference to your guests that you can make. If you consider the effort some of your guests have made to get to your wedding, using an Ipod playlist is a disgrace. Typically, some people will have travelled from overseas. Other will have come from interstate. You have asked them to share with you one of the most significant days of your life.  The least you can do in return is to give your guests some half-decent entertainment. Think of it as a gift back to the people you love and have asked to share the day with you.

Your Thoughts

Ask around. If you have (or if you know of someone who has) ever been to a wedding reception or party where the Ipod playlist has been amazing and MADE the party, I want to hear about it. Please post a comment and share your story with me.