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

June 2010

Fix One Thing …

… and, obviously, something else will break. I hadn’t really planned to become a codemonkey but, well, such is life.

We’re making progress. Slowly.

But big thanks to Dazz for suggesting onfocus and onlostfocus for the entry corridor (it should be onblur for those keeping score at home but it was enough to help me sort it out and getting me back into that code helped me find another silly bug that was annoying me). So, thanks Mr Dazz.


Stumbletrip was the second incarnation of Sideways Glance, the band I started with Grant Shillabeer back around the end of the 20th Century (1998 as best I can figure it). We had added Jamie Harrison on bass for a couple of gigs and had a few rehearsals with a hot girl drummer (she was way too young and gorgeous for us and, sadly, much to busy). In the end Kym Perry came on board as our drummer (he’s now the guitarist for Fergus Maximus and is remarkably and unnecessarily talented in either guise). I’ll write up a proper bio for both bands eventually but that’s not the point of this post.

The name Stumbletrip actually comes from Michael Rosen’s wonderful book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. To date, only one person has made that connection independently. Well, only one person has told me they’ve made that connection (thanks, Jo, you’re an exceedingly well-read legend).

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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.


She wants me to throw out my favourite T-shirt
‘How many favourite T-shirts can one man have?’
I said, ‘That’s like asking me to lose my memory’
She just looks at me like I’m an alien


That’s the first bit of the song T-Shirt that I wrote with Grant Shillabeer back when we were performing as Sideways Glance. It’s one of the first songs we wrote together and one of the few from that era I still really like. I recently dusted it off and wrote out a chart in a (lower) key so Kym could have a bash and it remains a great, 3-minute pop tune*.  This originated in 2000 when — much to the surprise of a few people who had stocked up on baked beans and ammunition — the world hadn’t ended.

Rumours that the second line is a direct quote from Andrea, my wonderful, long-suffering wife, have some basis in truth. Rather a lot of basis, actually, since it is completely true. And the answer to her question, of course, is ‘Lots’. Surely I am not alone in understanding this?

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