Concert Review: Jamie Lawson, The Tuning Fork, Auckland, Saturday 29th August 2015

Jamie Lawson in Auckland, 28 August 2015 at The Tuning Fork. Image copyright Caroline Barron 2015.

Jamie Lawson in Auckland, 29 August 2015 at The Tuning Fork. Image copyright Caroline Barron 2015.

The young boy standing next to me hung close to his Dad, every few minutes pulling his phone out from his jeans pocket and checking the camera was ready.

‘How old are you?’ I asked him.
‘Eleven.’
‘Lucky you,’ I said. ‘Have you been to many concerts?’
‘This is my first,’ said Isaac (as I learned was his name).

We chat about first concerts. Mine was Queen at Mt Smart Stadium in 1985 (I’d just turned nine). Jeremy’s was the Eurythmics. Isaac’s dad’s was a punk band in a dive bar in London at aged 13. And now Isaac’s is Jamie Lawson at the Tuning Fork in Auckland.

And the story gets even cuter from there. Isaac’s Dad slipped a note to the sound guy with the beard and the AAA pass slung around his neck. Isaac’s Dad won’t tell us what the note said. I wonder if anything will come of it.

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U.S. Soldiers’ Camp at Auckland’s Victoria Park, 1944

U.S. Camp, Victoria Park (approx. 1944). From the Ministry of Works WWII report, held at Auckland Museum.

One of the only two photos I have ever seen of the U.S. Camp at Victoria Park (approx. 1944). From the Ministry of Works WWII report, held at Auckland Museum.

One of the settings in my book is Victoria Park (Auckland, New Zealand) during World War II. Now a peaceful green-space for Aucklanders to enjoy, back in 1942 it was developed for the U.S. Marines who had arrived to protect us from a possible Japanese invasion (and for R & R after the terror of Pacific battles e.g. Guadalcanal). Towards the end of the U.S. presence in New Zealand (most U.S troops had departed by mid-1944), the camp was taken over by the U.S. Army.  Continue reading

Book Review: Body & Soul by Frank Conroy (1993)

Five stars. Amazing. Body & Soul by Frank Conroy

Five stars. Amazing. Body & Soul by Frank Conroy

Of course Conroy was an accomplished jazz pianist. There is no chance a non-musician could write such a vivid story about a musically gifted little boy and about music the way Conroy does. I studied music through to my last year of school; I sing, play piano and guitar. Body & Soul gave me so many ‘a-ha!’ moments; musical moments I did not think could be put into words: Continue reading