Tamworth CMF 2017
Letter To An Absent Friend
So I went to Tamworth (stop laughing) I know you know it’s not my favourite event, but I wanted to promote our tribute album so I took one for the team. Di came too, and rode shotgun in the passenger seat (hello Luke O’Shea) and we actually had a great time. Here’s what happened….
18th June 2016
I had the pleasure to be a small part of the third in a series of industry fundraisers for our dear, departed friend Karl Broadie. Organised and produced by Leyce Simmonds and John Krsulja, it was a fitting night of remembrance and love for a songwriter and musician who left an indelible mark of the fabric of the musical community of this country. A packed house at The Dag, John K’s wonderful and charmingly rustic old sheep station an hour from Tamworth, enjoyed something that transcended a mere musical concert, it was a communal reverie and reflection on the things that matter most in life – love in all its forms and the people we share it with. Read more…
Concert for Karl
Rooty Hill RSL
17th April 2016
It wasn’t supposed to be like this, it was supposed to be a rousing, “get better soon mate, we’re all with you” moment, a fund raiser organised to help out a sick friend. Things changed. Having been overtaken by tragedy has meant some time has elapsed between the Concert for Karl and this meandering musing, but first some context is in order…. back, baby, back in time. Read more…
Broadie Bunker Benefit
23rd March 2016
The power of music
If any proof was needed of the unifying and healing power of music then attending the Broadie Bunker Benefit concert at Coogee Diggers Club would be exhibit number one. Musicians, friends and colleagues came together to support songwriter, artist and producer Karl Broadie in his fight against a recently diagnosed and aggressive cancer, to celebrate his songs and to raise some money to help him cope through the coming tough times.
Karl has been running a singer/songwriter night every Tuesday for nearly 2 ½ years at the club, and in that time has encouraged and mentored hundreds of writers. That he has provided a format for original songs, in an era where Idol-X Factor cover nights are king, is a rarity in itself, but to consistently have new writers appear and perform is nothing short of remarkable. A few short weeks ago Karl’s world, and that of his family and close friends changed hugely with the sudden diagnosis, and immediately a night that was set aside for launching one of Karl’s protégé’s albums, became a night to support and celebrate his music.
The night kicked off with our resident Canadian, John Chesher, performing his When You Go, a Bunker favourite, before ceding the stage to friends from far and wide, some local like Keith Armiger and Adrian Heath and some from miles away like Brendan Nawrocki, John Krsulja and Graig Johnson. Bunker stalwarts Taryn La Fauci, Matt Thomson and Justine Whalin raised the stakes by performing Karl songs, Map Of The World (co-written with Taryn) Nowhere Now Here and Paperback Book respectively, before the first section was closed by Mags Stewart and Ilona Brooks, performing Dirty Shoes, a song from the very fine album that should have been launched on the night, Mags’ Karl produced, Far Away and Long Before.
A somewhat weak, but very determined Karl sat in the front row the entire night to soak in the epic love and goodwill that flowed from the stage, as Fanny Lumsden and the inimitable Dan Freeman kicked off the second section. Lyn Taylor sang a gorgeous version of Karl’s It’s You, (with Nick Payne on piano!) and Shane Flew, himself a cancer survivor made his musical contribution, topped with a heartfelt salute, and Julia Clarke stepped up to do a killer, soulful version of Karl’s beautiful song Sleep On. Anthony Ackroyd provided some comic relief and art auctioneer skills before we finished with Caitlin Harnett, Katie Brianna (singing Karl’s Drink The Whole Bottle Down, with the amazing Bill Chambers on dobro), Adam Young, Luke O’Shea (memorably doing Karl’s Fishing Pole Song) and the wonderful Kevin Bennett and friends topping off a rich evening with Karl’s classic, It Lasts.
The memory of that night will indeed last for all who were there. But more than that, seeing the power of music working at such a deep, human level fills you with the conviction that art unifies and moves us in ways nothing else can. Karl Broadie’s humanity and art is the embodiment of music being able to speak where words leave off, of finding expressive layers in songs that reach for some sublime or unutterable experience that connects and defines the human journey. Karl’s belief in the power of song, in nurturing and encouraging fellow writers to find their best has made the Bunker nights an ongoing joy for all of us who attend, but on this night the love that he had sent out into the world was merely returning to him in ways that will hopefully be as medicinally healing as any of the drugs modern science can provide.
Karl has been my brother from another mother for many years now, and helping organise this evening was a bitter-sweet pleasure, and so was stepping up to sing to him a song he wrote and I produced for his first album, the poignant waltz, Leave On A Light. Aided by the fine fiddle of John Kendall and the luminous vocals of Katie Brianna I attempted to return a debt I know I never can, but reaffirming the cathartic nature of music works both ways. The fact that we could quantify the night as a success in practical, money raising terms (over $17k!) seems irrelevant when weighed against the transcendent and transformative power of song, which cannot be measured in a strictly utilitarian sense. The night worked its magic and healing in ways that cannot be measured but are as immutable and eternal as the fundamental laws of nature, and a reminder that humanity is at its best when gathered around one of its wounded, laughing, crying, loving and singing songs.
Get well soon brother – from all of us, we’re leaving on a light.
Micky Blue Eyes.