28 May 2011
It was the first time I’d played in Parliament House and it was the Great Hall, so in terms of a gig this was big. We were providing background music for the dinner of a national industry conference with guest politicians and diplomats and it was all choreographed and controlled: a big event management activity, with lots of staff and perfect presentation and speeches and videos on massive screens. But in terms of music, it was not too big. We were playing comfortably at acoustic level and this was quite adequate despite the grand space, the sound was open, Mike had a large Yamaha grand and it sounded solid and clear. We managed one decent set during the main course, but mostly it was just a few tunes between speeches. Mike got a longer solo piano set behind desert and snuck in a Chopin waltz (C#min) which added some time-honoured class. We got some (unexpected) applause after our All blues, and we played capably and started and stopped when flagged by the event manager. It was an easy gig except for setup. Everything needed to be x-rayed, and double bass refuses to fit in the small machines at the Parliament entrance, so it was the loading dock in the afternoon. This was interesting enough the first time, but it could easily become tiresome. Lauren said to me the other day that she finds it a buzz to play at special locations. So do I. I’m still living off my story of playing for Rupert Murdoch, the then PM (who arrived by helicopter, much to the amusement of a visiting US newspaper editor who must have seen it all) and other Australian and US dignitaries on Murdoch’s local farm many years back. There are no particular stories from this gig, but none-the-less it’s a good one for the scrapbook.