The Soundtrack to The Wardrobe Girl

I usually write in silence. Except for the occasional cafe scribble with it’s hum of voices, clatter of cutlery and the whoosh, gurgle of the coffee machine.

Silence is my preferred accompaniment when I’m writing. I have tried listening to music, especially if it’s a song that’s mentioned in the text, but it’s too intrusive. More than intrusive, it takes over the mood and the rhythm of my words. I find myself listening to the lyrics instead of the words I’m trying to find or the voices I’m trying to hear. Oh yes, us writers are that weird, we hear voices.

Music is important for my characters, they have their own tastes, which sometimes I find quite surprising. So, I thought I would give you a taste of what would be playing on Tess (The Wardrobe Girl) Appleby’s iPod.





Remembering the old in discovering the new

I discovered some new music the other day. Well, new to me anyway. They’re a duo from Rockhampton, Busby Marou, and are fantastic. So I Youtubed & iTuned, happy to have some new music in my life.

It sent me on a bit of a nostalgia trip because it made me realise how little new music I actually listen to now. There was a time when I was listening to JJ, then JJJ , constantly being excited by music, visiting poky record shops down inner city Sydney alleyways checking out EP’s, the imports, looking for bands I’d never heard of, going to pubs a few times a week, just to listen to a particular band.

I ditched Abba and Countdown for The Buzzcocks, The Clash, The Saints and The Laughing Clowns. I listened, on very high rotation to the Cocteau Twins, Simple Minds (only when no one, but me, had heard of them), The Suuny Boys, Prefab Sprout and XTC.

Some of the music I discovered back then has stayed with me. I’ve aged with the bands and mellowed as they have. Now I go and see them at The Vanguard or The Enmore or in caberet at the Opera House. Venues like the seedy hacienda wannabe, The San Miguel Tavern, have all been chewed up and spat out by the kerching of the pokies.

It was at The San Miguel that I first fell in love with Nick Cave. I’d gone there to hear The Sports, god how I loved The Sports, but they’d cancelled and some band no one had heard of, The Birthday Party, was playing instead. I wasn’t that interested. Until, on a tiny stage in a dark and dingy corner, the manic energy, the deep abrasive vocals of Nick Cave, grabbed me by the guts and haven’t let go since.

Stephen Cummings (at my wedding)

Life, like  music, has its own rhythm. We develop and change, but some motif’s are recurring.  And of all the music in my life, The Sports’, Stephen Cummings and Nick Cave’s have continued to be important at significant moments in my life. My youngest daughter is named Eliza because the song  I sang to myself throughout her labour, was Where The Wild Roses Grow  for no particular reason and definitely nothing to do with the lyrics.  And Stephen Cummings, my teen crush and, quite frankly, my late 40’s crush, played at my second wedding.

This weekend, the menu on my iPod will be selecting some of the old as well as a high rotation playing of my new discovery, Busby Marou.

And remembering.