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459 Fitzgerald Street
North Perth, WA, 6006
Australia

The Amber Fresh Chronicles

Perfect Thursday Club and Emlyn Johnson at Mojos

Andrew Ryan

i'm going to put out pos vibes today. no more talk about the world burning like in my dream last night, trying to convince everyone about the warming and what we should do about it. aie! so, a while ago i made this club called "the perfect thursday club". people who joined were always meant to get a tshirt, but no-one got a tshirt yet. 

the idea was this: it's hard to be all that you want to be, do the things you deep down want to do, make the world how you wish it would be. but, if you just try on ONE DAY, to make make all your dreams come true, live just how you wish, make yourself and the day perfect, well, it's not that hard. to just be perfect on one day - thursday. 

sometimes people in 'the club' would write to me or tell me at work what they did on perfect thursday. small things like writing a letter they'd been wanting to write but putting off or big potentially life-changing things they'd wanted to do for a while but been too monday-wednesday/friday-sunday to do it. perfect thursday club still works for me sometimes, i get up in the morning (and have enough to eat and no bombs to run from, and no-one oppressing me and my immediate countrymen i.e. housemates) and i set my perfect thursday mind to not let things drag me down, and to get around to those things i want to get around to.  

a thursday would be a great day to be vegan for example, or paint fake blood on the windows of the office of a c.e.o. who's exploiting poor people in a far away land in order to have more expensive watches and personal yachts. what do rich people do with all that money anyway? i guess we leave the lights on and buy take away coffee every day… well, so for example as well, a perfect thursday would be a good day to work out how to convert your car to biofuel. to go in the rain if it's raining, to learn a bunch of guitar chords, or to try harder to be generous rather than a jerk. 

intro gentle motivational suggestions aside, last night i went to mojos. it was a wednesday night but i was still doing my best to perfect thursday-it. that meant listening to the good voice telling me not to worry about playing, to enjoy it, to stay all the way to the end of the show where i got the best treat of the night. this is the thing with the 'good voice' - it tells you things that will be good for you and good for everyone. if you listen to it, you never regret it, you just get mystery or good things, or get to give good things to other people in surprising ways. so instead of going home early and missing pete playing as chief richards and emlyn playing with his new intensely perfect band, i stayed and saw both those things, and also drank tea from the barman, and also won a game of pool, and also had my hand shaken for long long times by several strangers independently telling me their musical feelings about what i'd played. i also got a massage from albert, who's from the same town as me and can play all the instruments, maybe while i watched the first songs of emlyn, maybe during the 'between music', it's hard to say.   

well, emlyn is like this: very demanding and very giving. and when emlyn plays it's like this: the songs always can take you by surprise. you might be hearing them for the first time, or this might be the fiftieth, but it's the kind of art where you can scratch the surface of it and there's more underneath. it's like an onion or whatever. except unlike these sentences, there's no clichés. emlyn's songs could seem funny, but really they are Big songs. like, when he's singing "baby boomers got a lot of debt, baby boomers collect the rent/ make them coffee, sell them shoes", well, yeah, laugh a bit, and also feel like politically it's true, but something about this big guy with his missing tooth then going on to do a last song that's all whistling and acoustic guitar, silencing the room, silencing the sound engineer, the supportive family, the young well dressed girls, the speedy barman, the friend whose grandma just had a stroke etc, it's just bigger than funny. 

apart from the whistling, the best song of the night was when splodge, a guy called marcus, came up to read the lyrics emlyn had written. they were masterful, dirty, deep, and delivered by this man whose history is hidden but you get some feeling of it from his wild face, his big mouth blubbering or yelling out the words, his big scar, his boots and sweating english accented self. when it had just been emlyn, his brother on keyboard, his friend goongey on drums, it had seemed amazing enough, like no-body could deny this is top shelf, but then splodge came on and they all backed him and were with him as he read emlyn's words in some possession by the writer, but bringing his whole history and some feeling of the history of more worlds into these words. hmm. it was powerful, like a very big storm and you're in a tent, but the tent is made of cement and so you don't need to worry about getting set alight, kind of thing, you can just enjoy it. 

[show was rabbit island, goongey (sorry i was playing pool), chief richards, and emlyn johnson 18th august 2016]