Friday, February 20, 2009


Richard has threatened to excommunicate me from the blogging community if I don't post a bit more often. Autocratic I know, but he is a schoolteacher no matter how much he tries to be cool as a musician.I've been hellishly busy at work and at work recently and at home have had family stuff to attend to including my niece's wedding. Angela was married at Soljan's winery last Friday and it was a great event (Thanks Tony Soljan). The venue, setting, food and wine were all spot on.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I went to see the Jeff Beck concert last night. It was a great experience of the art of Beck, milking impressive sounds from his guitar in a refreshing jazzy setting.
Many of the pieces however were spoiled by the noise emanating from the (celebrated?) drummer. He was OK when he kept it to a minimum but when he (the drummer) let rip it bloody hurt. I heard on the radio that Japanese whalers are using sound guns called LRADs, which stands for Long Range Acoustic Device. It’s said to cause “nausea, panic and ear damage.” They should put Beck's drummer on their ships - he would drive away all self respecting environmentalists. At times the sound was palpable - I could feel it in my chest.
The Beck group weren't sexy in the way that the Cohen ensemble were (apart from the Bass player (female - there's something inherently sexy about female bass players). Actually she was bloody good and apart from the overbearing drumming and some messy amp feedback her sounds came through pretty good. I understand that she plays with Chick Corea.
Before the concert we met at Starks wine-bar in the Civic Theatre building. This continues to be good and is a little oasis in an otherwise crappy area offering little beyond Irish pubs, noodle bars, takeaway outlets and convenience stores.
I had Waipara Hills Riesling 2007 -bloody good example of the varietal from Waipara obviously. I believe that the most interesting Rieslings and Pinot Noirs come from Waipara (and have done so for over 20 years).
I only have one gripe - they, like most other bars, have good wines on the list (blackboard menu)that are by the bottle only. Why don't they pour them by the glass?. The profit they will make and the consumer interest they will generate would more than off-set any wastage they might incur.