Me Music: Bluesfest, the Trip of a Lifetime

Okay, so I’m back! The weekend before last I had my amazing trip up to Byron Bay to experience Bluesfest music festival. And it was nothing short of spectacular. I’ll throw in some stories/highlights along the way, but I figured what I could do is list my top ten favourite performances of the festival in commemoration of the wicked good time I had.  And I’ve included a couple photos I took for the top two! Here goes!

10. Kate Miller-Heidke

Morcheeba almost took spot #10, but essentially, they were great but pretty stock. Kate Miller-Heidke was something really different, and is such an amazing live performer. She’s also really funny and endearing and interacts brilliantly with the crowd during and in-between songs. She’s a good egg, and an amazing singer.

9. Seun Kuti & Egypt 80

I’ve long been a huge fan of Seun’s father, Fela Kuti, who basically invented Afrobeat, that really funky music genre. Fela has passed away, but Seun continues his legacy with Egypt 80 and some of the members from his father’s original band. They’re really funky and fun and have a lot of bustling, positive energy. And it’s also a lot of fun to watch Seun dance. He just does his own thing, and the result is all good vibes. It’s such a treat to see some of the original masters of one of my favourite genres have at it on the stage.

8. India.Arie

I wasn’t sure what to expect from India Arie. She turned up telling us all how she was rushed and stuck in traffic and all these things and she wasn’t settled. Though she was on stage on time, so she did well, but she was clearly rushed. As someone whose pet hate is being rushed, I can understand how she felt and it was nice to see her being so real up there in front of us. So, instead of the set she had planned, she decided she was going to do her own thing. She was going to have a ‘songversation’ with us, instead of a concert, and she was going to play the songs she needed to play to feel right about the day. So she just changed her setlist as she went. She knocked it out of the park. It felt like quite an intimate songversation, despite there being so many people there. But I was up the front, so I guess that helped.

7. The Beards

I thought they’d be kinda funny, so I went. They were hilarious! And they actually really rocked. The gig was so good. They were on one of the smaller stages/tents and they really needed one of the bigger ones. We packed that sucker. And they rocked it.

6. KT Tunstall

I’ve liked KT Tunstall for a long time. I have fond memories of chilling by the lake near my grandparents’ holiday house as a kid being kept company only by my discman and two albums – one being ‘Everyday’ by Dave Matthews Band, and the other, ‘Eye to the Telescope’ the debut album of KT Tunstall. I was keen to see her live, and saw both of her appearances at Bluesfest. She was fantastic. Really funny and engaging and so good live. And one of the few who performed solo with no band or accompaniment whatsoever.

5. John Butler Trio

I knew going in that JBT would be one of the best live performances I had ever seen. I have most of their albums, even live ones, and have been a fan since forever. I was so pumped to finally see them live. They were awesome. I guess they didn’t crack the top four maybe because they didn’t surprise me. They were awesome, but they were what I expected. Expectations are dangerous like that. The next four artists really surprised me. Blew me away, really. JBT didn’t quite blow me away, but they were no less absolutely awesome.

4. Nahko and Medicine for the People

These guys were the surprise of the festival for me. I have an album of theirs. It’s mellow and beautiful. It’s really chill. I expected that vibe live. Then they started playing. Man, they blew the roof off the sucker. They absolutely rocked. I could not believe the energy they had. Perhaps the biggest energy of a performance I saw there. They were epic. It actually blew me away. I was up near the front, so I was involved in the stage dive from Nahko, the lead guitarist/vocalist, and then after the gig the bassist came down to greet some folks, so I met him and he was really cool. Just full of positive energy. I reached out for the handshake and he said “nah give me some love brother” and basically leaped at me with a hug. We had a bit of a chat after that and like I said, just so positive. His energy, and really the energy of the whole band, was one of my favourite things of my trip. I want to source that energy myself. It’s all good things.

3. Michael Franti and Spearhead

Michael Franti and Spearhead win the award for “most energy required to attend the gig of”. Seriously, I almost had a heart attack. At least two or three times a song, every song, you’ll hear Michael say “put your hands in the air. Now, I wanna see you all JUMPING!” SO much energy. But his energy is so infectious.  And somehow you actually find yourself jumping again and again. And having an absolute blast. He also has a tendency to move through the crowd and loves getting everyone involved. It’s party central. I also met Michael Franti after the gig, so that was pretty awesome. There’s another guy with such a positive vibe.

2. Joss Stone

Oh my. The only performance that remotely rivalled what we all know will be my #1 favourite. I was aware Joss was gorgeous, and I was aware Joss can sing, but in actuality, I had nooooo idea. She was phenomenal. And I was lucky enough to be right up the front. I was also lucky enough to have her point my way during one of her sing-to-the-audience-members bits. And then I died.


1. Dave Matthews Band

Okay, so this surprises no-one. Interestingly, the only band on this list I have seen live before. Despite being a huge fan of a few of those. But DMB had basically won before I even got to the festival. Both their shows were epic, and the Saturday (1st) show was probably my favourite show of theirs ever. Although in the second show, I was up the front with four other fanatics and there’s a part where he sings “Love you, you, you, you, you, you, YOU!!!!” and at that part we were accentuating each word by pointing violently at Dave and the band, and in one verse he did the same back to us! So we flipped. That was like the greatest thing ever. We were totally fangirling. And we’re all blokes.



And so it begins…

I have to shout it from the mountain tops!

Though I don’t have a mountain.

I do however have a blog.

So I shall shout it here.


Actually, I can expand. Today begins the epic journey I have been planning. I see DMB and Gary Clark Jr tonight, and tomorrow I head off on a plane and a coach to reach Byron Bay for this year’s (and my first ever) Bluesfest, which will be my home Friday til Monday. I fly back Tuesday night. So much amazing music and festivities await, and it will truly be the trip of a (my) lifetime. I’m pumped.

Okay, pumped is an understatement. I’m ecstatic. I’m on edge! I’m in party mode already. Watch out, World! You better be ready to paaaaarrrtayyyyyy!!!

Promise I’ll update you all when I return. Or perhaps even tonight after the gig. Unless there’s just too much awesome and I vanish. That’s possible.

Okay, I hope you have all been well. Talk to you soon, fans!

Dave Matthews Band – The Riff

Gary Clark Jr – When My Train Pulls In

And I get to see Joss Stone at the festival! The last night, Monday night. Here’s a message from Joss. Oh she’s so adorable. I’ve told all my friends I am eloping with her and shall never return to Melbourne again. I think they kinda buy it.

Grandma’s Christmas Present Trumps All The Presents Ever

Okay, that second announcement!


I didn’t leave the Caps lock on there. I was shouting. I’m excited. I’m pumped. I cannot wait. I have a very small bucket list. This is on it. And this is the year to go, because Dave Matthews Band are playing on the Saturday AND Monday! And I have tickets to see their show before the Festival, so I get to see DMB 3 times in 5 days!!! I see Dave and co. Thursday April 17, fly up the coast on Friday, and spend my time at the festival on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Then fly back Tuesday.

If you remember, I posted about needing to sell a kidney to do this.

I can’t believe I’m going!! Woooo!! And I still have all my organs. No selling was necessary. It’s interesting how timing works on these things. I think maybe someone has been watching out for me. So, a massive shout-out to my dearest Grandma Joan, who passed not so long ago, (at the ripe old age of 92) and whose generous inclusion of myself in her inheritance is what has enabled me to do this.

I’ll be dancing up a storm and doing so in your honour, Grandma. And I know you’ll love it. Love you always!

Musical News!

You guys! I don’t even know if I told you!

I got tickets to see Dave Matthews Band live here in Melbourne next April!

If you know me, you know there is little that could make me happier.

My brother is coming with me, and it is going to be… blissful…. extraordinary… magical.

Okay, so that’s my news. I’m just very excited.

Oh, and Gary Clark Jr is the opening act! As if it needed to get any better!?!?

And if you know me, you also know I don’t really get outwardly, animatedly excited about things. Ever.

This calls for a tribute:

‘The Idea Of You’ by Dave Matthews Band

Bluesfest 2014

Well, it looks as though I need to sell a kidney. Anyone know a guy?

They have announced the lineup for Byron Bay Bluesfest 2014. I have always wanted to attend the 5-day-long music festival over Easter. I always told myself I would go one year. It is on the bucket list. And now, more than ever, I want to get myself over there.

I have posted some videos below. These are just a few of my favourites who happen to have appeared in the announced artists thus far. And they have only just had the first announcement. Next Bluesfest is going to be epic! Notice the first artist in particular… Wowzers!

Dave Matthews Band – ‘Rooftop’

John Mayer – ‘Waiting On The World To Change’

John Butler Trio – ‘Funky Tonight’

Michael Franti & Spearhead – ‘I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like)’

Gary Clark Jr – ‘Bright Lights’

KT Tunstall – ‘Suddenly I See’

Allen Stone – ‘Unaware’

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – Child

Iron & Wine – ‘Boy With A Coin’

Morcheeba – ‘Otherwise’

Valerie June – ‘You Can’t Be Told’

Music That Makes Me, Me

I have decided, with a friendly push from blogging superstar Kaela, to begin a segment where I share a favourite song of mine. I’ll post them here and there when it takes my fancy. Which may be often, because I live for music.

I thought it would make sense to start with a song from my favourite band, Dave Matthews Band. If you want a bit of an origin story to where it all started, check out an old post of mine, here.

This is ‘Crush‘ by Dave Matthews Band…

The Versatile Blogger Award

Now, how the blazes did this go and happen?


Apparently, I have been generously gifted an award on here. ‘The Versatile Blogger Award’. This is my first award here, and completely unexpected I must add. I was aware of the existence of these blogging awards, but the last thing I expected was for someone to throw one at me. I don’t pretend that anything I write here is worthy of praise or any of that, and to be honest, I am supremely grateful any and every time someone takes the time to read, like, comment on or otherwise interact with my blog.  So I would like to thank all of you fantastic people who read this thing and make me feel far more special than I am. You are all terrific folk. I am very grateful to all of you. Sometimes people are just magnificent.

Which brings me to The mmmmm family blog. The kind, generous blogger that nominated my humble blog for this award. Thank you mmmmm family! Do yourselves a favor and head on over to that blog, because it is absolutely smashing. One of the sweetest blogs out there. I’m not just saying that out of gratitude, I have been reading every single post intently with a broad smile on my face since I found the blog. But now, out of gratitude… Thank you so very much, you kind, generous, sweet mmmmm family!

Okay, now I believe I am supposed to lay out the award rules. Here we go…

1. Display the Award Certificate on your website/blog. (When I work out how to, you can bet your ass I will!)

2. Announce your win with a post. Make sure to post a link back to me as a ‘thank you’ for the nomination.

3. Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers.

4. Drop them a comment to tip them off after you have linked them in the post.

5. Post 7 interesting things about yourself.

And now, for 7 ‘interesting’ things about me. (Not necessarily interesting, but most readers won’t know these things yet, so I suppose that qualifies them.)

1. I am currently studying towards my third University Degree. I firstly obtained a Bachelor of Science, double majors in Zoology and Conservation Ecology. A few years later I returned to a different University to get my Diploma of Secondary Education. I taught for a while and now, this year, at a third different institution, I have begun study towards an Associate Degree in Professional Writing and Editing. This better be the last one!

2. I have worked in almost every profession under the Sun. From working in cinemas, to retail, to basketball statistician, to swimming and life-safety instruction, to factory work, to Environment, to Education, to Personal Assistant, to Immigration Law, to Soccer Referee. I feel like I have been around forever and sampled just about the lot, but I’m still in my 20’s.

3. My favourite band? Dave Matthews Band. I could listen to them forever and ever. It just hits me in the right spot. I cannot explain it. Easily my favourite ever, and always will be.

4. I was voted ‘Nicest Guy’ at my High School Graduation. I wasn’t sure how to take that. I liked it, but it felt a little boring. Sums me up though. I think I’m a bit boring, but I tend to get along with almost everybody, and like being everybody’s mate.

5. I used to play the trumpet. I still have it, but I haven’t played in years. I miss it. I keep saying I should get back into it. I haven’t yet. I played when I was younger, during and just out of High School. I was in a couple little jazz outfits and played with a couple rock/ska and cover bands too. It was fun. Fantastic memories. I have a CD somewhere…

6. I’m single… ladies…

7. ‘6’ was a joke. I mean, I am single, but I’m not advertising. I just had a mental block on ‘me’ facts.

8. (You deserve a bonus. I went haywire on those last two.) My favourite movies are ‘Ronin’ and ‘Leon: The Professional’. I am a serious Jean Reno fan. And it’s his birthday today (30th)! What great timing. He is 65 today I believe. Happy Birthday Jean Reno!

And now on to the best part! I get to nominate 15 fantastic people for The Versatile Blogger Award. Here we go!

1. Barefoot Beginnings

2. Suzie81’s Blog

3. Love Mekanism

4. fibijeeves

5. Escaping Elegance

6. Purplerays

7. Je Suis Un Lapin

8. Busy Mind Thinking

9. Life And Photos By Andy

10. theempathyqueen

11. Lords of the Drinks

12. LauGraEva

13. Life Accordinglee

14. Alienorajt

15. Along Life’s Road

Thank you all again for reading and making me feel all warm and fuzzy.

Musical History 101

Okay, party-blogger people! I return with the pizza. And this party shall continue, headache be damned. How’s the punch? Take the edge off? Yeah, I’ll bet it did. How ’bout I turn on some tunes? You can’t have a party without tunes!

Unfortunately for you, I get sole decision in the choice of tunes. At least for now. And this is where you learn a little something about me. My favourite band is the Dave Matthews Band. I love and adore DMB. I’m listening to them right now. Coincidence? I think not. I first became aware of them thanks to my old man. It’s one of the greatest things he’s ever done for me. Not that it’s a long list. But I won’t bring up daddy issues here. Not today.

Anyhows, as I was saying…

My old man introduced me to good ol’ DMB. It was 1998. He had their new album, Before These Crowded Streets playing in his car as he drove me to my music exam. Okay, a quick explanation is required here, so please forgive the upcoming tangent – again.

I played the trumpet through high school and shortly thereafter. So, for some eight years I suppose. I haven’t played in years. I keep saying I should, but it never happens. It’s a shame. I do miss it. Anyway, I took it seriously enough to work my way through the AMEB (Australian Music Examinations Board) exams, both theory and practical, all the way up to grade 7. Grade 8 was as about far as you could go, with the only thing after that being some form of diploma. So I did alright. I could technically teach trumpet if I wanted to. Might have been a good idea in hindsight.

So, my father was driving me to my AMEB exam, and Before These Crowded Streets was playing. I enjoyed it, and couldn’t help but notice the absolutely awesome use of saxophone on the album. And as a kid learning any form of brass or woodwind instrument through school, you held onto hope that the opportunity to play with rock bands existed, because lord knows we were so bored of the classical orchestra and all the likes. Even the jazz band was boring because it was too much of the same structure. And it just wasn’t cool. I wanted to play in a Ska band, or Rock band, or jazz trio, or something like that. And so the use of horns in popular music filled me with hope.

But back to the story at hand. I was worried I was going to fail. I suppose Dad had more faith in me than I did. So he bribed me. He suggested that if I passed my exam, he would buy me any music album I wanted. It’s amazing the effect that has on a kid. I was no longer worried about failing my exam. Suddenly I was focused on playing the best damn music the panel had ever heard in their lives. Instead of thinking about what happens if I failed, I was thinking about what happens if I succeed. And I did. I was magnificent (as I remember it). I probably wasn’t. But I passed. And so Dad took me to the music store.

They had one lonely Dave Matthews Band album in the whole store. Before These Crowded Streets. And just the one copy at that. I decided that was it. That was going to be my reward for playing my own music as well as I could.

And I loved it.

I treasure that album. Nowadays I label it my favourite album of all time. I think it’s perfect. And from there I checked out more from Dave Matthews Band and fell madly in love with the band. Their songs have gotten me through every little problem I’ve encountered in my life. They feel like a family to me in a way. The collection of DMB albums and merchandise and all that I own, feel more like sentimental belongings than actually part of my music collection.

But that’s probably enough of a history lesson about my musical tastes for now. I am going to go enjoy some more DMB.


Let me know, how did you first come about your favourite band/artist?