ARRIVING AT MELBOURNE AIRPORT TO TOUR VICTORIA WITH MY TRUSTY COLE CLARK GUITAR
People watching in the big city is an interesting experience within itself.
Everyone busy in their own little worlds.
You can tell the locals, head down, on a mission, confidence in their stride to get to some place for that next thing.
The tourists also easy to spot, wandering around, head swiveling from side to side in constant wonder, shock and awe, pointing at things like a small child does when pointing at a puppy or passing fire truck.
The full city experience is a sensory one.
The smells, the sounds, the sights, the colours, the faces, the dreams, the nightmare, co-existing as the lifeforce of a breathing, evolving organism.
The city never sleeps.
FEDERATION SQUARE, MELBOURNE WALK THROUGH
PALAIS THEATRE IN ST KILDA, MELBOURNE, ONE OF AUSTRALIA'S PREMIER ENTERTAINMENT VENUES.
MELBOURNE; AUSTRALIA’S CULTURAL CAPITAL
Yes, most Melburnians wear their cultural participation awards proudly on their sleeves.
With regard to event attendance, Melbourne is arguably Australia’s most cultured city.
At least that’s what my peers thought, as many made the mass exodus from our coastal surf city to the Bay city in the south, with the belief that it was the answer to our cultural wilderness.
The answer to obscurity.
Make it in Melbourne then you can…. Ummm… what exactly…?
THE MUSIC INDUSTRY WILL SWALLOW YOU WHOLE!!
THE ICONIC LUNA PARK ENTRANCE, MELBOURNE
LAND OF THE TALL POPPY
Does Australia value it’s own culture?
Does Australia even know it has a culture?
How do artists grow in the Australian cultural climate?
How does one gauge the success of one’s career progression and cultural contribution?
How do you evolve as an artist?
If it’s a sheer numbers game, then cities certainly pull larger crowds to events.
A melting pot of subcultures coexisting within a mesh on modern society. But there is also more competition professionally which ultimately makes the talent pool and culture stronger.
On the other end of the scale, those in the bush are starved of certain resources, such as entertainment, but are rich in wisdoms that can’t attained in the net of the city.
You don’t get ‘country hospitality’ in the city.
STEEL GIRDER ARCHES OF THE BOLTE BRIDGE, MELBOURNE
Congratulations, you slogged it out in the big city for a couple of years to gain some traction and a following, selling out shows across the city.
You've started to make a name for yourself.
But have they heard of you in bumfuck nowhere?
Where they don’t give a fuck about city folk and the outside world, because more often than not, that’s how those in the corridors of power treat them.
CAST IN THE SHADOWS OF NIGHT
AUSTRALIAN PARLIMENT HOUSES, CANBERRA
PERSPECTIVE CAN BE SKEWED
However if you go out and meet these people and experience their world in some small way, you become exposed to a different point of view, a different way of living, thinking and doing things.
You begin to understand that more often than not “things aren’t that simple.
CASTLES OF SAND, NORMANTON QUEENSLAND
THE OUTBACK IS STREWN WITH GIANT WHITE ANT NESTS
Whilst well-meaning and intentioned bureaucrats in far off lands make ill informed decisions that affect entire communities for generations to come.
You only have to drive through Australia’s interior a few hours in land from any coast to realise that the land changes do frequently it’s like each valley is it’s own country, each valley supporting a unique ecosystem.
It’s the same premise with each town and city.
They each have their own distinct personality.
THE BRUNSWICK WEST SESSIONS
On this occasion it was my old friend Luke Price that brought me to the Melbourne.
The swiss army knife of hard rock, Lukey, a fellow Novocastrian expat / exile, and I have known one another for near 20 years.
Over the course of 5 months luke and I wrote the foundation of my third album, 12 songs in 14 days.
LUKE PRICE, TRACKING THE SOLO FOR LOUDER THAN WORDS
A succession of monthly long-weekends as I toured, circling wider Victoria to pass the days between recording sessions, chasing waterfalls as I chased the dream.
But more on that another time.
AUSTRALIA'S ICONIC GREAT OCEAN ROAD, VICTORIA
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A polymathic touring musician, film maker, historian and producer, for the past 8 years Kieran Wicks has navigated the Great Southern Land of Australia performing hundreds of shows to ravenous audiences, whilst simultaneously developing a vast catalogue of interviews, images and videos in the production of multiple formative docuseries including 'One Town at a Time', which records his musical journey, immersed in poignant, forgotten Australian history and poetry, in archives such as 'Gold Rush Stories' and 'Poetry of the Pioneers'.