Middle of a heatwave, Perth style. All of us are drawn, despite our better judgement, into commenting on the weather. The full spectrum of inanities are being tossed about with gay abandon and none of us seem to give a flying fat rat's about it. It's 'kin hot, eh?
Anyway, last night I fired up the Volvo and headed into alien territory... Out Of Freo. Alone, determined and like a fish out of water, I hit the Rosemount for a rare chance to see one of my favourite muso's in action... rare on two counts, the first being that she hardly ever comes this way and secondly, most decent gigs seem to fall on my week at work meaning I miss out. Link to footy number one... this affects my game attendances, too.
Now, the romance thing... music is essentially evocative, like smells can be. We associate a memory with a song quite often and sometimes a certain smell will evoke a buried memory, too. F'rinstance, the first memory I have of moving to Sydney years ago is the smell of suburban train brakes... hot asbestos, folks. And you thought I wasn't a romantic... Anyway, music and romance. Someone writes a song and for whatever reason, it plucks at the heartstrings for some and the drawstrings for others. Music, I reckon, is essentially romantic by nature. We listen to it, play it and go to watch it performed for all sorts of romantic reasons that generally involve some deeper or hidden meaning specific to us and our experiences. My romantic side was prodded into wakefulness last night listening to Neko Case
rarely have I had the pleasure of listening to someone who could effortlessly float across 3 - 4 notes unaccompanied and pitch perfect. Even more impressive was the fact that the band had only arrived in Perth that morning and were clearly struggling with the heat... not to mention the almost complete lack of air movement in the room. It was hard going, but bugger me, they put on an enormous show and today, I am besotted with Neko.
Ahh... I hear you mutter. I can hear one of you about to sputter into something about a caterwauling ranga, too... in advance, I remind you, I drive a Volvo. There is no end to the depths I can plumb, then... and besides, my daughter is blessed with a head of deeply lustrous red hair and, if I throw enough money at the lawyer over the next week or so, there's a good chance I could get to see her for the first time in two years so I'll indulge in as much caterwauling ranga music as I feel like on that basis.
The footy thing, though... there's always a connection to footy, by the way, it doesn't bear questionning. Listening to Neko (oh yes, we're on first names basis now) last night, effortlessy floating across notes as she can, I was reminded of a time I went down to watch the team training and the Genius that is was restricted to running laps at the time, deep in recovery or rehab for something, perhaps that broken leg he had. I got drawn to watch him run because he looked so effortless and poised... and there's a real danger of tripping into some less than attractive race based stereotyping here, but many indigenous players share this grace and poise. I'm reminded specifically of the Wizard, under intense pressure, a metre from the boundary, surrounded, twisting, ducking and bursting through with pace... all under complete control and with total confidence. So it is with the Genius running... the ground seems to rush past him with no apparent effort, he glides, focussed on the next move, the best option. I love the way some players can do that... Michael Johnson has a bit of it about him, too... he's like an upsized version of the Genius that is, for me. Poetry in motion... grace and poise. We get spoilt sometimes with the skills on display and lose sight of the spectacle as a result... most of us can remember poor disposal and slag the player for it mercilessly but, perhaps, we overlook the essential beauty of the game in our rush for gratification.
Now, in the middle of a heatwave and still over a month out from what laughingly passes for real footy in February, is a good time to appreciate the details, I reckon. The smaller things that add up to making the whole... poise and grace under pressure, making the impossible look easy, smiling in the middle of Coles, laughing along with the 4WDriver who simply didn't see you there when they took your lane... in the rush to see how the new players turn out, let's not forget the real class we've been lucky to call ours for so long. players like Mr Roger Hayden, folks, a class above and sadly underappreciated across the footballing universe.
Fitting, then... another song from my new girlfriend Neko... 'Set out Running'
Get out there and get some romance into your fat head.