I'm sorry to proffer yet another bleak missive due to viral impacts but there's no sugar-coating it, I appear to have lost almost every gig I had scheduled for three months in the space of one afternoon.
I remain determined to manifest meaning, music and culture, in public or private, no matter what goes down in coming days/weeks - but allow me this one edition to process a little shock (despite my long-standing impression that this was all headed our way with some desultory inevitability) at the woeful state of play for everyone at present. For so many this will be a desperate battle for basic survival.
Essentially today I aim merely to tell you what is no longer happening in my calendar this week - and what I still (somewhat forlornly) hope might.
Wednesday March the 18th ~
The heroic Hollywood Hotel will open (primarily to provide some final skerricks of income to staff) but it will be without myself or live music until the inevitable lock-down begins.
Thus Neighbour Night will be no longer, at least til the other side of this crippling crisis.
I will endeavour to share a recording I made on one of these Wednesdays (in equally dire - but more personal) circumstances in next week's newsletter.
Thursday March the 19th ~
Bands and deejays at Palmer & Co have also gone the way of additional art at the Hollywood.
It's simply beyond the budget of suddenly contracting businesses (who are staring down the barrel at annihilation all over again, just as the long-promised lifting of the lockouts was providing a glimmer of hope here in Sydney).
Friday March the 20th ~
All DJs at The Paddington have been cancelled for the indefinite future.
Well never let it be said that I let the merest minute go by without an acute sense of both my good fortune and responsibility - at every venue, function or festival I was lucky enough to play.
Neither did I ever buy that disaster of vast dimensions was not likely any time soon. Swings and roundabouts eh?
Saturday March the 21st ~
FBi Radio has instituted strict new protocols: ceasing guest visits; getting staff to work from home (including producers); purchasing myriad new disposable mic socks.
Consequently I hope to continue broadcasting Jack Off until the government orders otherwise (and even then I'll be aiming to enact a remote workaround).
The unmet need for frank and civil exchanges on the reality of what we collectively face was palpable last week (listen back here if you wish, it is more affirmative than frightening).
As someone that has dedicated the bulk of their adult life to voluntary community media I am not about to go missing in this situation, even if there might be minor risks in fronting up.
Please keep tuning in between 3 and 5PM each Saturday whilst the signal endures via FM and online. Encourage others who do not already subscribe here to do so - in order that we might foster more radical solutions to isolation than the usual panicked social media echo chamber does.
Sunday March the 22nd ~
Amazingly the Petersham Bowling Club has not yet thrown in the towel and is continuing to trade.
As the only entertainment there based outside in the fresh air - where there is plenty of space for social distancing - I'm hoping against hope that this (likely my last live gig til perhaps the end of winter) may yet go ahead.
Full respect to those who've already chosen to self-isolate but if you wish to adhere to current health guidelines in a safe yet social context - and share songs to mark both the tragedy of this situation and the indomitable nature of the human spirit - please join us between 3 and 6PM by the greens for free.
Take care everybody. These are unprecedented times however they will make us stronger and more sound eventually, both as individuals and as conjoined citizens of this plaintive planet.
Keep yr ears to the ground and yr hands to the sky. It's gonna be a dangerous ride to the other side.