Full Bore by William McInnes (Hachette, 2016); audiobook read by William McInnes (W F Howes, 2017) A gentle, rather wistful gathering together of memories and musings. McInnes presents recollections within recollections, the weave of his stories constituting less a riotous series of anecdotes and more an appreciation of life as a mosaic of shared happiness and small moments.
A Lifetime of Impossible Days by Tabitha Bird (Viking, 2019); audiobook read by Abbe Holmes (Wavesound, 2019) A sad, beautiful book that weaves together childhood imagination, adult trauma and the wandering recollections of old age. Bird’s protagonist interacts with herself at three different stages of life, creating a believable life-in-flux at the juncture between speculative paradox and real-world therapy.
The Whitlams – Gaffage and Clink Tour Live @ The Fortitude Music Hall, 17 September 2021 Half the Whitlams were joined by Brisbane bassist Ian Peres for a rescheduled evening of Tim Freedman’s jazz-lyric-infused indie piano rock. All three musicians were in fine form. Highlights included You Gotta Love This City, No Aphrodisiac, and Up Against the Wall.
Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton (4th Estate, 2018); audiobook read by Stig Wemyss (Bolinda, 2018) Dalton paints a detailed, unromanticised picture of Brisbane in the 1980s. The story is a slowly unfolding epic, neatly plotted, with great attention to character, yet the writing’s unremitting descriptive slather evokes in its consumption the cloying regret of eating cheesecake nonstop.
The Brisbane Line by Hugh MacMaster (Rockhampton, 2000); audiobook read by Graham Webster (QNS Audio, 2002 A locally produced account of Australia’s controversial Second World War defence strategy and the historical circumstances from which it arose. MacMaster succeeds admirably in detailing Australia’s war efforts and providing the global context of military mismanagement, clandestine manoeuvring and self-interested political short-sightedness.
The Cat Empire’s Stolen Diamonds Tour Live at the Fortitude Music Hall, 19 October 2019 Let there be jumping. The Cat Empire rocked Brisbane with its unique blend of brass, beats, keyboards and vocals, unpacking new gems and improvising solos through a back catalogue that now spans twenty years. Highlights included ‘Barricades’, ‘Fishies’ and ‘Steal the Light’.