The online home for Fergus Maximus (both the band and the bloke)
The online home for Fergus Maximus (both the band and the bloke)

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Ferg tells a story

Beyond Festival 2015

Over the October long weekend, Ferg was part of the inaugural Beyond Festival in Canberra. Well, near Canberra. Far enough outside the city that there was no phone coverage (unexpected but not such a bad thing).

Ferg was travelling as PA (and support act) for his mate Dazz who was speaking at the festival. Dazz talked about justice (and sex) and making the world a better place. And did some stand up comedy (really). Ferg sang some songs and told some stories. Much fun was had.

Ferg tells a story
Ferg tells a story

 

 

 

 

This calls for more red wine (Dazz laughs)
This calls for more red wine (Dazz laughs)
Q&A after Dazz's presentation
Q&A after Dazz’s presentation

 

What We’ve Been Up To All This Time – Summary

Wow, this turned out to be quite an adventure. For handy reference, here is an overview of things that happened in 2014:

Episode 1—rough recordings, arranging, rehearsing and a handful of gigs

Episode 2—saying goodbye to Mike Stewart

Episode 3—singing with Clare Bowditch

Episode 4—Sri Lanka

Episode 5—Walk Together

Episode 6—East Sumba, Indonesia

Episode 7A—So Many Gigs

Episode 7B—Seriously, SO many gigs

Episode 8—Meeting awesome peoples

Episode 9—Ferg’s first solo show

What We’ve Been Up To All This Time – Episode 8

2014 was full of wonderful opportunities.

Saturday, 9 March 2014. WOMADelaide. It was very dark, the flash on Ferg’s phone camera is terrible and the poor guy was exhausted after performing for an hour and a half but Speech from Arrested Development was gracious, humble and thoroughly lovely and Ferg’s big goofy smile says it all! So ridiculously excited to meet one of his heroes and so delighted that he turned out to be such a great bloke.

Speech

 
Later that same week. Ferg’s Christmas present to @ashlyferg was VIP tickets to the launch of Kate Miller-Heidke‘s fantastic new, crowdfunded album, “O Vertigo”. The show was in the Garden of Unearthly Delights as part of the Adelaide Fringe. Of course, Ferg had to go along too. Because, fanboy, you know?

KMH-&-Ash-BW

 
In May, Ferg flew to Melbourne for Clare Bowditch’s Big Hearted Business conference. It was a challenging and rewarding experience. One of the highlights was Missy Higgins‘ keynote speech — it was incredibly encouraging to hear her articulate and affirm the value of what we do as songwriters (and Ferg’s daughters were appropriately jealous that he got to meet Missy). The lovely random stranger who agreed to take a photo of Ferg with the equally lovely Missy Higgins captured the candid shot below while they chatted in the moment before posing for a more typical fan photo. There is a sweet irony in the RAGE apparently emanating from Ferg’s forehead since the mood was entirely cordial.

Missy2

 
In July 2014, as mentioned elsewhere, Ferg had the opportunity to sing with the lovely Clare Bowditch at The Gov in Adelaide. Clare is a genuinely lovely human being and she was so warm and welcoming of Ferg’s hastily-thrown-together gospel quartet (featuring Ferg’s daughter Rachel Ferguson, his kinda-sorta daughter Lily Wicks and the inimitable Luke Thompson). The snapshot below was taken backstage after the show (thanks Lily). If you haven’t seen the video, you can find it on YouTube by searching for “One Little River Fergus Maximus Clare Bowditch”. Or, you know, click here. That works too.

Ferg&Clare

 
Megan Washington‘s “There There” is Ferg’s favourite album of 2014. This shot was taken by @ashlyferg after Washo’s album-launch gig at Adelaide Uni Bar in August (Ferg hadn’t been there in 15 years but ended up returning a few weeks later to bid a bittersweet farewell to Bluejuice). Meg was feeling pretty ordinary that night but soldiered on and even hung around afterwards because she is a super trouper. The highlight was a solo version of Cement (with full audience participation, of course). She almost didn’t do it because she said it was a “terrible idea”. Best. Terrible. Idea. Ever.

Ferg&Meg

 
On 25 October 2014, Ferg took part in Welcome To Australia‘s “Walk Together” event, playing congas in Rundle Park, Adelaide to help welcome the thousands of people marching to say we want to change the conversation surrounding refugees and asylum seekers. He had the chance to meet the charming Wally De Backer (aka Gotye) who had flown over to lend his voice to the cause. Technically, I guess you could say Ferg shared the stage with Gotye but they were on that stage at different times. The shot below illustrates beautifully why Ferg doesn’t usually post selfies.

Wally&Wally

What We’ve Been Up To All This Time – Episode 7 (Part B)

Like we said. So many gigs.

The Angels launched their killer new album “Talk The Talk” at Jive

Angels2

 
You Am I rocked Memorial Drive after the opening of the redeveloped Adelaide Oval. In fact, they rocked so ferociously that the security guy achieved a momentary state of serene calm. (Spiderbait were on first and they were seriously great too).

You Am I2

 
Things of Stone and Wood re-formed to celebrate 25 years since the release of their debut album at The Gov (and as a special treat for the Adelaide crowd, Seven Stories also re-formed just for the night).

Things of Stone and Wood

 
Ferg’s brother, the absurdly talented and even more hard-working Mark Simeon Ferguson, launched his new project, a 19-piece Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra called Orquesta Mermelada, at Nexus.

Orquesta Mermelada

 
Courtney Robb launched her terrific new album “Into The Dark” at the Grace Emily.

Courtney Robb

 
And to top it all off, Ferg was treated to a masterclass in being a frontman by Mick Jagger, lead singer in some obscure little band you’ve probably never heard of (the tickets were Ferg’s Christmas/Birthday present from @ashlyferg). The Stones had originally been booked to play at the opening of the redeveloped Adelaide Oval in March but circumstances conspired against them and it was a nervous wait until October when they made good on the promise (since they are, collectively, about 250 years old). Well worth the wait.

The stones

What We’ve Been Up To All This Time – Episode 7 (Part A)

So. Many. Gigs.

Wow. It was a huge year for seeing live music. A handful of lovely memories are illustrated below.

Cat Dog Bird‘s launch gig for their wonderful “Headfirst Into The Riddle” album.

CatDogBird

 
The Brouhaha (Kelly Breuer) with special guest Jenny Biddle at The Wheaty for the Feelgood Folk record label launch.

Kelly & Jenny

 
Kel & Jenny were followed by the raucous, joyous madness of The Timbers.

Timbers

 
Cyclone Ronnie (aka Ronnie Taheny) performed her annual gig at The Gov.

Ronnie

 
And then there was WOMADelaide. Oh boy. Ngaiire was a pocket powerhouse (but is super sweet in person).

Ngaire

 
Megan Washington previewed tracks from her (at the time) impending new album.

Meg2

 
And after more than twenty years, Ferg finally had the chance to see Arrested Development live. (Definitely worth the wait.)

Arrested Development

 
And then the wonderfully unpredictable Kate Miller-Heidke performed with Keir Nuttall at The Famous Spiegeltent. Wonderful.

Kate MH

What We’ve Been Up To All This Time – Episode 4

To celebrate their 24th wedding anniversary in September 2014, Ferg and @ashlyferg flitted off to Sri Lanka to visit their friend Carolyn and her partner, bluesman Glen Terry. Glen and Carolyn run a wonderful resort on the West Coast of Sri Lanka called Udekki. So much fresh seafood, lazing by the pool, reading for pleasure (Ferg devoured 4 novels in a week!) and a wildlife adventure where they got to see a couple of wild leopards. And music, of course. Glen used to tour the world playing the blues. Now the world comes to him!

Ferg & Glen Terry

 
The shot above of Ferg jamming with Glen by the Udekki swimming pool was taken by the aforementioned, exceedingly talented Carolyn McKay. Nice work, Lyn.

What We’ve Been Up To All This Time – Episode 2

Adelaide’s music fraternity was rocked in late May 2014 by the tragic, unexpected death of Mike Stewart. Mike was a saxophonist, big-band leader and jazz lecturer. Most importantly, though, he was a really excellent human being and he is sorely missed.

Joy commingled with sorrow as the Adelaide jazz community gathered at The Wheaty to say farewell to Mike. It was emotional and beautiful and heartbreaking and there was a tremendous sense of solidarity, of community. Mike was taken from us far too soon but his legacy lives on.

Some highlights from Mikey’s wake:

Adam Page soloing on Radiohead’s High & Dry.

Remembering Mikey - Adam

 
Yes, it’s blurry, but check out the delight on the faces of the guys watching 17-year-old wunderkind David Goodwin cook up a storm.

Remembering Mikey - David

 
Dave Palmer hands the solo over to Alex Taylor.

Remembering Mikey - Trombones

Ferg sings with Kate Ceberano (on drums!)

Apparently Kate Ceberano plays drums. Who knew? Ferg was at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival with some friends to see Virginia Gay’s excellent show “Songs to Self-Destruct to” (her mash up of Mr Sandman with Enter Sandman was worth the price of admission). At the Piano Bar later we were surprised to find Ms Ceberano hiding behind the drum kit, guesting with an outfit called Oz Cocktails (“lounge versions of Australian classics”).

They had a variety of guest artists up to sing with them and then at one stage asked if anyone else wanted to come up and sing. Andrea and Dazz bullied Ferg into stepping up to the plate (cos he’s so terribly shy). The band didn’t have a chart for “Under The Milky Way” so Ferg sang “Message to My Girl”. So much fun.

And maybe Ferg got a big hug from Virginia Gay afterwards (or maybe she was just trying to get past him since she was next up on stage). We’ll never know.

Ferg singing "Message to My Girl" with Oz Cocktails (featuring Kate Ceberano on drums!) at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival Piano Bar
Ferg singing “Message to My Girl” with Oz Cocktails (featuring Kate Ceberano on drums!) at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival Piano Bar

Song Summit 2012

Wow. Just wow. APRA’s Song Summit in Sydney was amazing, inspiring, encouraging and other “ing” words I can’t quite find at the moment (they’re probably in my luggage somewhere). Highly recommended and … yeah, wow again.

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