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459 Fitzgerald Street
North Perth, WA, 6006
Australia

The Amber Fresh Chronicles

A new thing, homo ludens

Andrew Ryan

there's a whole theory about humans being more "players" than "thinkers". the guy's name escapes me, run run down the same track as all the memories of dreams, and the names of people who were special and it seemed i'd die if they didn't talk to me, look at me.

anyway the theory is called homo ludens. so i was thinking, why is it we "play" music? even in french, it's playing. what's it in your mother language? is it playing? doing? working? touching?

well, cause here it's play, it doesn't matter if anyone is watching or not. i'm 36 now so my body's just trying to get impregnated at any chance. but that's mixed in with me being a super private person who keeps their body to themselv. maybe part of the sublimation of those feelings is through music. the self that's trying to make a new thing plays alone or with another person and makes a new body. a body of a tiny baby, a body of a great piece of music that only you and nick in the music room have heard. we made a beautiful song, sprawling long organs, pt30 casio, guitar through all the wazzlers, voices through the 0s and 1s of digital crustacean, bit crushing, on and offing, pitch shaping, twisting, it was the perfect languid beast, ending up on a journey across the tasman strait, with leonie in the middle of it, her hair flapping wet across her face in the strait winds. "you caught a plane over/ but i put you on a ship/ your hair blowing/ you got a plate of weetbix". that's how it starts. but then alone nick took it over in a different direction, it's like the shape shifting musk duck in my dream, switching between immature teenager and duck - you might wish a body would keep its form… but that's the ultimate beauty , the change, which is also a euphemism for menopause.

we played a show on saturday and no-one was there, except ringham and pandora and all the people who played, and gentle lovely jim the sound man who i think likes my personality but not my music, with water from the band room above dripping onto his sound desk.

the rosemount was gutted out in a way that made it much, much, much cooler. the floor all concrete, wires hanging down from the roof, a big puddle of lake on the concrete floor which i dipped my boots into along with the rhythms of "reeks".

all the music was better for having no-one there. everyone was just playing not interacting with a crowd.

jordan shakespeare was first. he looks like a cool guy, he's got hair he's got glasses, a face, a tshirt, jeans, the coolest thing i know about him is that he used to really drink and now he doesn't, surrounded by cool kids in jeans also, getting high on cool things like liquid xanax, a kool look that writes both ways and takes you both ways, into a party zone and into temporary sleep - i'm just guessing.

i think my friend was on it when she had a big fight with her boyfriend which extended to all the extended friends, she's got the cool dark eyebrows with blonde hair combination and aside from teenage immaturity is one of the only true genius musicians i've met.

so from upstairs where kate with a big split in her dress to see her strong pale leg and i were talking to the Dirac Sea boys, kate explaining Safe Spaces and how no there wasn't going to be a panel after all because xanthea had got death threats for writing a mild article about sexism in band art and used maybe not the best examples, jordan's music was wafting strongly up to us. not pale, who did he have playing drums for him? someone great but when we went downstairs it was no-one, as in his own playing self from the computer. good work. big guitar, big drums, no voice to wash out the sense of it with too many overlaid words potentially in a non-self accent.

nathan too, no words. one time he was djing at the norfolk and leant me a jumper and that's the sense he gives off, good guy, always with a jumper to give and something humourous and intelligent to add to the playful conversation. what is this? am i reviewing these people as people? homohomo, manman. if i am, then he had tom on visuals, the only man i've been truly in love with since teenagehood, making everyone see his genius. he was holding a vhs camera, but with good reason, pointing it at the screen, with cut out dogs, poems about being on a plane to bali listening to bob marley, and legolas carrying his arrows in a coles bag. see? genius.

i forgot the cords for my main keyboard, so me and nick had to lay our balls out across the stage, skinned, with the scrotum open and the stringy bit stringing along. we made things up, in front of people, nick made things up with his mouth and wazzling guitar and me with the tiny casio and my stringy looped nuts. then i stood on one leg and sung an old song, then another old old song because nick MADE me do it with his eyes.

Reeks was next, no words again, phew. beautiful beats to which i whispered "footwork" to nick not knowing if that was right. he covered his head and face with his shirted cape so apparently you don't need a face to be cool. this all appeals to me, crushed chopped or screwed or worked beats and samples pinging over a concrete floor, dipping boots into water, never knowing if sincere worded songs, strongly pronounced production and true metallic metal exist in everyone's mind as the same thing, but they do in mine and they do in kate's who put the whole thing together. "it's better that no-one's here" i whisper in her ear, she kisses my cheek, and in my mind now telling her "it just means there's more room for us to make new beings to fill the space also, beings of our imagination, beings poured onto wet concrete, exchange of energy only, but still a new thing."

*this is about a show at the Rosemount Hotel, 25th March 2017, with Jordan Shakespeare, Henry Kissenger (Nathan Tempra w Tom Rogers), Rabbit Island, Reeks and Dirac Sea, by On The Side (Kate Daniel)