Thursday, July 30, 2009

Woolloongabba, Brisbane, 1995

Band: Carl and Wendy
Members: As above
Setup: Gibson SG, Ibanez GB10, Roland JC100

The last rehearsal room in Brisbane was one of mystery and wonder, Barsony black ladies, beaded curtains, plastic ribbon shades, cups of tea, biscuits and a record player. It was Wendy's loungeroom.

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I had met Wendy through Spank, a nostalgia for Jazz was shared, and we formed a duo.

Wendy was courteous to the point of formality when I went around, always ensuring I was comfortable with offers of green tea and cheese platters in her broken soprano voice.

But something changed when she sang, a visceral confidence, her voice transformed into a powerful musical instrument, with the added talent of adopting vocal characteristics of those torch singers she admired, some phrases almost a mimic. Wendy was the greatest vocalist I had ever performed with.

The songs included jazz classics like Black Coffee and Cry Me A River and some Lovs E Blur songs, In My Head, Paranoia. There were no recordings of some of the Lovs E Blurs tunes, so to work them out Wendy phoned Tony, who told me how to play them over the phone.

We played at Art Exhibitions, Wedding Receptions, parties and had a residency at a bar in the city. It was the first time as a musician that I was treated with respect at venues, and the compensation was better in the two piece than any of my previous rock bands.

The more we practiced and performed the more Wendy would ease the condenscention, and I would listen wide-eyed about the touring, the photoshoots, the boyfriends, the fashion, the homebake.

We were recorded onto a fourtrack tape by a friend of mine, Justin. No rearrangement of the room, just a milkcrate for the Tascam, two mikes, one headphone for the mixer.

I met Wendy and her boyfriend Brian once in Sydney when I moved down south. At the Judgement Bar. I had other things to do musically, I was too young for a jazz gig, I thought. You make your choices, don't ya.


  1. What a great band Lovs E Blur were. The world is all the poorer for not knowing more about them. That seems to be left to the lucky few who saw them live, and the even luckier few who purchased their wonderful single. My favourite tune was 'Stab, Stab, Stab'.

    Not only were Lovs E Blur great live, and a consummate group of accomplished musicians, they did not possess attitudes or affectations above themselves. Tony (the guitarist) will never remember me, but he was a good bloke to chat with around the traps. He had to be, to put up with my drunken ramblings.

    You were very blessed to have had such intimate encounters with such good people, Carl.

  2. No arguments here, Axe, they were incredible. You might have thought that Tony would consider it weird to be asked to explain how to make that KRANG sound before the chorus in Paranoia, but he was more than happy to do so. He was a great finger picker too, which is something a bit rare in rock...note Duane Denison is also a finger picker.
    It was good to play with Wendy and it was one of the things I did regret having to leave when I moved town. I have been in touch with Justin, the guy who recorded us, and he will try to search out some of those recordings from over 10 years ago. I'll post some up if I get them.

  3. Hearing those recordings would be fantastic. The info about Duane Denison is helpful to me. It explains a lot about the Jeez Liz's git sound, especially on the last album 'Blue'.