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


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


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.


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.


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


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


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


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 6

Ferg got to perform a few solo gospel tunes in East Sumba, Indonesia. In late November 2014, he led a small team from his church (8 people ranging in age from 18-75) on a trip to visit some of the World Vision projects they support. Adelaide West Uniting Church has had a partnership with World Vision for around 5 years but this was our first opportunity to gain some real understanding of the work they actually do. The dedication and work ethic of the WV field staff were really impressive, and Ferg and his team were really impressed by the ways they are working to ensure that the education, food security and community development work becomes self-sustaining (it’s a 15-year project which is about half way through). They also established links with one of the Uniting Church’s sister churches, the Christian Church of Sumba (GKS).

This shot was taken by Ferg’s daughter, Lizzie Ferguson, when they visited the GKS seminary (the school for training teachers and pastors). It wasn’t until much later that he realised what a great video clip set this would have been.

photo 1 (2)

What We’ve Been Up To All This Time – Episode 5

Ferg took part in Welcome To Australia‘s “Walk Together” event on 25 October 2014, 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.


Thanks to Dianne Holden for the photo.

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 3

CB at Gov

In July 2014, Ferg had the opportunity to sing with the lovely Clare Bowditch at The Gov in Adelaide. This led to the most incredibly intense couple of weeks of madly coordinating and rehearsing a hastily-thrown-together gospel quartet (featuring Ferg’s daughter Rachel Ferguson, his kinda-sorta daughter Lily Wicks and the inimitable Luke Thompson). The quartet backed Clare singing her song One Little River using an a capella gospel arrangement by Ferg’s incredibly talented brother Mark Simeon Ferguson (based on Clare’s original, Ferg’s cover and Mark’s actual understanding of gospel harmony). The photo above is a still from the video taken by Daniel Ralph from PressStopProductions . It’s a nice grab, sure, but why not check out the whole video below?


Sting would be another person who’s a hero. The music he’s created over the years, I don’t really listen to it, but the fact that he’s making it, I respect that.

Hansel, (Zoolander, 2001)

I feel exactly the same way.

Well, about his recent albums anyway. I haven’t really listened to the last three in any great depth. Sacred Love I found really disappointing and while I can appreciate Songs From The Labyrinth on an intellectual level … meh. It doesn’t really do it for me. I haven’t even bought the Christmas album which some reviewers tell me is not really as awful as it sounds. I’m sure I’ll pick it up eventually but the fact that I haven’t hurried speaks volumes.

I love Sting. He has written some of my favourite melodies. I love his voice, I love his basslines, I love his willingness to experiment and the astonishingly great musicians he surrounds himself with. I love his intelligent, articulate songcraft. I would be delighted to write something half as wonderful as I Was Brought To My Senses. And yet …

Sigh …

I miss the effortless pop gems.


The first real gig I ever played, I got paid in pasta. I played clarinet in a pick-up “jazz” band at Crawleys Restaurant halfway between the little towns of Watervale and Auburn in mid-north South Australia (Google Maps tells me the area is called Leasingham these days). The piano was half a semi-tone flat which made it hard to tune our instruments but it was exhilarating and exhausting and wonderful.

I was about 15 years old and it was the first time I ate fettucini. Creamy white sauce, soft silky pasta.

It’s never tasted quite the same.

Old Friends

I saw a friend in a car park, struggling to get something out of the boot. Wandering over, I asked if she needed a hand. She said, “No,” so I reached in for a hello hug, realising just in time that I had never met this woman in my life. Up close she didn’t really look like my friend at all. Older. Different hairstyle. Completely different expression of horror on her face. I recoiled rapidly and, mumbling a hasty apology, hurried off to wherever I was headed.

It was a few years ago now. I just remembered the situation last night and am surprised at how vividly I can recall that awful moment of discovery.

I think I can feel a new song coming on.

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