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


Henley Square

Before Fergus Maximus, there was Stumbletrip. And before Stumbletrip there was Sideways Glance.

It started when I wrote Henley Square as an entry in a SCALA competition for songs about parts of South Australia. I got together with my friend Grant Shillabeer and he figured out those awesome chords. The song ended up being a co-winner in the Adelaide category and we had the opportunity to go into Mixmasters Studio and record it. Unfortunately, the session dates ended up being when Grant was away on his honeymoon (this was 1997/98, back in the previous millennium). We didn’t have any control over the recording session so I ended up recording the track with my brother Mark (who wrote the killer arrangement) and some members of Spank You Very Much, one of the many bands he was playing in at the time (Damien Steele Scott on bass, Andrew Bignel on kit and Dave Innocente on guitar).

It sounded great but I’ve always regretted listening to the producer tell me I needed to change the chorus. The song as written only mentioned Henley Square at the beginning of the first line. I caved and rewrote it as suggested and I’ve never been entirely happy with that.

Anyway, Sideways Glance the band formed out of that songwriting session. After a while we enlisted our mate Jamie Harrison on bass and the road toward Fergus Maximus really began. But that’s a story for another day.

Last Friday night at Woodstock Kym, Jamie and I pulled Henley Square out of the folder and blew the dust off it. A wonderful, balmy night was a perfect setting to reminisce:

Henley Square, 10pm Tuesday, still over 30 degrees …

This is where I belong


Wonders may cease. But not today.

Hi there, Stumblemeisters,

Well, Shelly did make an appearance last night, proving me wrong. And she looked lovely in her new outfit. I mean, I realise that may sound self-aggrandising since I designed it but, hey, she did look great. I really like the new arrangement; makes the song work so much better.

Great night, if a bit quiet for the restaurant’s sake. Apparently last week they had 89 there and things were mad; this week was down to 30 after a group of 20 pulled out at the last minute. Swings and roundabouts I’m sure.

We had a couple of tables hang around to the end and it was nice to make some new friends.

Back soon,


Shelly To Appear Tonight. Maybe.

Had a really productive session with Kym last night and it seems we have managed to coax the new arrangement for Shelly out of my head (notwithstanding the clumsiness of my fingers trying to show him what I meant by stumbling around on the guitar).

For her part, Shelly said she would try to make an appearance tonight. I hope she does but I have learned to take her promises with a pinch of salt.

With great power comes great … um, refrigeration?

Hey there Maximisers,

We had our regular jazz gig down at Woodstock on Sunday afternoon (well, Kym and I did; Dale couldn’t make it and Jamie had another gig). As I pulled up to unload the truck I thought there was a lot of noise coming from a little shed I’d never really noticed before. Turned out that most of McLaren Vale had a blackout and Woodstock were running their generator to keep the fridges going.

Fortunately, you couldn’t hear the generator inside but they were being cautious about power consumption so they didn’t run the air-conditioner or fans. As a result the gig was hot and harder work than usual. Still, we soldiered on; highly trained professionals that we are.

If you’re ever at a loose end on the third Sunday of the month, why not enjoy a drive down to Woodstock at McLaren Flat. Great food, terrific wine and (obviously) fantastic music. It’s an excellent venue and really enjoyable gig. Make sure to book ahead, though, as they often fill up.

Hope to see you there!


Gig news!

Hey there,

The gig at Woodstock on Friday night was fun (the pizza was delicious as usual). It was quiet as they’d been closed for the previous two Friday nights but many thanks to the faithful friends who joined us. It’s possible that young Finley’s dancing was at least as entertaining as the band but his constant requests for more were most encouraging.

The good news is that Woodstock have have now pencilled us in for the next three months so there are more chances to hear the band, enjoy great wine and pizza and possibly spot Bruce the Koala (I haven’t seen him yet but I’m assured he makes regular appearances when the weather is nice and he can be bothered; we might have to get onto his agent).

Here’s to 2011 being an absolute ripsnorter!


Greetings, earth creatures!

Yes, new year greetings to all on earth (and any paying attention beyond as well),

It’s 2011, ready or not. I’m excited about the possibilities. New songs, new gigs, new band member (welcome aboard Jamie; you are aboard, aren’t you?) … all sorts of new things including a resolve to actually update the Word Puddle blog. So, here’s to that happening more than once, eh?



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.

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