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Monthly Archives: May 2012

TORRES STRAIT ACTOR JIMI BANI — FROM “THE STRAITS” TO KOIKI MABO

Jimi Bani

One of Australia’s most important stories comes to ABC-TV in June. MABO – tells the story of Eddie Koiki Mabo — who championed indigenous land rights all the way to the High Court. The man who portrays Eddie Mabo is a familiar face to ABC TV viewers – Jimi Bani.

Jimi added authenticity and class to the recent ABC-TV series — The Straits — with his portrayal of Marou Montebello, a god-fearing man torn between his faith and loyalty to his family and their criminal enterprises.

We hear that when Jimi went to audition for the Mabo role, director Rachel Perkins knew she’d found the right man the second he walked through the door.

Jimi says playing Eddie Mabo is a great honour. And if you’re wondering whether there’ll be a second series of The Straits — well Jimi doesn’t know either. But he says making The Straits was a wonderful experience.

Click here to hear my interview with Jimi Bani

For more on the Mabo tele-movie http://www.abc.net.au/tv/mabo/movie/

For more on The Straits http://www.abc.net.au/tv/thestraits/

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Posted by on May 30, 2012 in EFFINCUE, far north Queensland, indigenous, People, Torres Strait

 

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EFFINCUE’s OWN ITINERANT BLUES MAN — ANDY “SUGARCANE” COLLINS

Last weekend we enjoyed a feast of music at the 2012 Cairns Blues Festival. Today we spend some time with local bluesman Andy “Sugarcane” Collins. Andy came to FNQ in the early 70s, when the Cairns waterfront was known as the Barbary Coast, renowned for its robust music scene and often rowdy nightlife.

Andy had one of the hottest bands of that era, the Barron River Drifters. These days he works solo, exploring the music that has long been his passion, the blues. He’s just completed an Australian east coast tour, and will soon head off to the USA for one of his regular pilgrimages to the home of the music he loves. He’s enjoyed success over there, and has met and played with some of the biggest names in blues.

Andy with blues legend Pinetop Perkins

Andy’s last album, Way Down the River, was a collection of original songs inspired by the Mississippi delta blues of the 1920s and 30s. He’s currently putting the finishing touches to a new album, due out next year.

Click on the audio player to hear my interview with Andy Sugarcane Collins.

Click here to listen to Andy sing Blues How Do You Do

Read more about Andy at  http://www.andycollins.com/

 

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FREDERICK PIGGOTT AND THE RISE OF FORENSIC SCIENCE IN AUSTRALIAN POLICE WORK

DETECTIVE FREDERICK PIGGOTT OF THE MELBOURNE CIB IN A NEWSPAPER PHOTO CAPTIONED “ALAS POOR YORICK”

If you watch any of the cop shows on TV, or if you’re unlucky enough to be the victim of a crime, you’ll see plenty of science in the way police investigate crimes. Fingerprints, DNA, footprints, tyre tracks, every possible fragment of physical evidence can be examined scientifically to establish who did the deed and prove a case against the perpetrator.

Forensic science is at the heart of modern police work. But you don’t have to go back very far to a time when this was not the case. Police were hired for their brawn more than their brains. Witnesses and informants were the main sources of what sometimes loosely passed as “evidence”.

The earliest use of what we now know as forensic science in Australia dates back to the 1920s, and the pioneer was Frederick Piggott, a detective with the Victoria Police CIB. His story is eloquently told in a new book by Melbourne author Kevin Morgan, Detective Piggott’s Casebook.

Frederick Piggott solved some major cases using the new methods. But he was also involved in the infamous Gun Alley case, in which forensic science was used to hang an innocent man.

Click on the audio player to hear Kevin Morgan talk about Detective Piggott’s Casebook.

Link to publisher’s website http://www.hardiegrant.com.au/books/books/book?isbn=9781742702650


 
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Posted by on May 17, 2012 in EFFINCUE, rd on the road

 

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LIVE IN CAIRNS? HAS YOUR DOG GOT FLEAS? WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU.

Have you got a dog? Chances are that dog might have some fleas. A research project has just begun in Cairns looking at the effectiveness of flea treatments. The researchers would like your help.

Fleas go back to the age of dinosaurs — they’ve been pestering and biting for about 100 million years. There are various types of fleas, but the one that drives your best friend nuts is most likely the cat flea – Ctenocephalides felis.

Fleas love tropical climates, which is why Dr Peter Miller and his colleagues have chosen Cairns for their research project. Peter is a research fellow at the University of Technology Sydney.  http://datasearch2.uts.edu.au/science/staff/details.cfm?StaffId=6975

If you have a dog, up to four dogs, at your place, you could help Peter’s research. Your dogs have to be friendly, and have some fleas. Peter and his team will provide free flea treatment for a year, your pooch gets checked once a month, and you get some information about flea control to help you and the dog stay free of fleas.

Click on the audio player to hear Peter Miller talk about one of nature’s peskiest but most adaptable creatures.

To take part in the research, you need to live in the Cairns metropolitan area, have one to four dogs who have fleas and be able to have a monthly visit from the researchers. Call Dennis on 0401 204 877 for more details.


 
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Posted by on May 16, 2012 in Cairns Queensland, EFFINCUE, environment, far north Queensland

 

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EUGENE HIDEAWAY BRIDGES – IN TOWN FOR THE CAIRNS BLUES FESTIVAL

The annual Cairns Blues Festival gets underway tomorrow at Fogarty Park — with a great line-up of local and overseas performers. This afternoon I met the man I’m sure will be the highlight of the festival, Eugene “Hideaway” Bridges.

He was making music by the age of three, playing with his blues guitarist father, Hideaway Slim. On his mother’s side, Eugene is related to Tina Turner. The road is his home, and that road has once again brought him to Cairns.

Eugene’s musical roots run deep in the blues and gospel, but he believes music is much more than the labels by which we describe it. His dream was to travel the world and play music inspired by the sounds of his life in Louisiana and Texas.

And Eugene is a natural story-teller in music and conversation. As they say in blues circles, he’s the real deal. He’s played with the great gospel group The Mighty Clouds of Joy, and with the legendary Big Joe Turner Memphis Blues Caravan.

Here’s the conversation we had on the radio this afternoon. It begins with a song Eugene wrote in the shower in Perth, while on a previous Australian tour.

EUGENE AT ABC FAR NORTH

Read more about Eugene Hideaway Bridges at http://www.eugenebridges.com/

And check out the Cairns Blues Festival program at  http://www.cairnsbluesfestival.com.au/

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2012 in arts & culture, Cairns Queensland, EFFINCUE, far north Queensland

 

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WE’RE LOOKING FOR FNQ’s FAVOURITE SONGS

It’s not often you get to choose the music you hear on your local radio station. Here’s your chance to program your favourite songs on ABC Far North. Over the next few weeks, I’m asking you to nominate your top tunes and we’ll play them and tell the stories of how they were made. We’ll put together the ultimate far north Queensland jukebox collection.

Every afternoon, we explore popular music on the Trip Down the Time Tunnel of Top Tunes https://rdontheroad.wordpress.com/the-time-tunnel-of-top-tunes/ We’ve told the stories of thousands of songs in the ten years since the Tunnel began.

Nominate your favourite songs, any style, any genre, and we’ll compile a FNQ top 40 and play them on the Time Tunnel. Post your songs and what they mean to you at the bottom of the page and we’ll do the rest.

To get this started, here’s today’s list of my top ten, in no particular order. It’d be a different list every day, but these are the tunes at the top of my favourites list today.

Big Joe Turner’s Shake Rattle & Roll. Later covered by Bill Haley, this was one of the sign-posts along the road to rock and roll. Joe was one of the great blues “shouters” and a giant of a musical talent. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20Feq_Nt3nM

Leaps And Bounds – Paul Kelly. From the Gossip album, a fine example of Paul’s gift for conjuring people and places in song. Every time I hear it I’m instantly transported to a cold Melbourne day, mid 80s, looking out over the MCG.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9cTVJtsS9c

 

Coyote, by Joni Mitchell, from the Hejira album of 1976. Possibly inspired by Joni’s travels with Bob Dylan on the Rolling Thunder revue tour. Musings on the way people “from different sets of circumstances” connect. Joni’s gift for strong lyrics and musical exploration are evident, the studio version enhanced by the fretless bass of virtuoso Jaco Pastorius. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2rfbuaMXKM

 

 

Bob Dylan’s Talkin’ New York, recorded live at Gerde’s Folk City 1962. Dylan had recently arrived in the big smoke from Minnesota and tells of his early city adventures in this rambling laugh out loud classic.  He wasn’t yet the big star he would become, but talent and sense of humour combine here to great effect.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQWdVNuwxPg

The Bangles – Walk Like and Egyptian. I’m a sucker for good pop song-writing and this is a great example of the craft. Full of pop hooks, a cleverly constructed lyric, and a great arrangement. The 80s wasn’t renowned for these things but the Bangles delivered on this one. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5N7RNQUKts

Soul Makossa by Manu Dibango. An early 70s hit and one of the first African tunes played on Australian radio. Manu is from Cameroon, and now one of the giants of African music. The song found its way to an Indian grocery store in New York, from there to radio station WBLS and soon was an international hit. A must have for long distance drives. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uL4HjujWESg

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was the modern day great of Qawwali, a style of devotional music with its roots in the Sufi branch of Islam. I’ve always been partial to the music of Pakistan & India, so when I first heard Nusrat sing, I was hooked. He was one of the first stars of the 1980s boom in “world” music, but there’s much more to the great Nusrat than his international releases. This is the first Nusrat piece I heard – Shams-ud-Doha, Badr-ud-Doja, from the Shahen Shah album.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVO2PY6PWI0

Or watch a traditional live Qawwali performance of it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQ_5twTogpE

Hoagy Carmichael was a master song-writer. His 1930 composition “Up a Lazy River” became a jazz standard. Louis Armstrong’s live take on it soars above the hundreds of covers of this song. Here Louis and His All-Stars work their magic at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVMTwxLY7b4&feature=fvst

Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground – a haunting gospel-blues piece by Blind Willie Johnson recorded in 1927. It’s Willie humming over his self-taught bottle-neck slide, no lyrics, but you get what he was going through. One of 27 songs launched into space on the Voyager mission in 1977 to represent the diversity of life on planet Earth — it was chosen to express and explain the human feeling of loneliness. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vD4fKKhYS1g

My earliest musical memories are my uncle’s jazz collection, and hearing 50s pop songs on a bakelite radio. The Del Vikings were great exponents of that 50s vocal harmony style, and their Whispering Bells is probably the first song I can remember hearing on the radio. The Del-Vikings were members of the US Air Force when they put the group together in 1955, and were one of the few racially integrated groups of the time. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDrjIW91Qh0

 

OK – that’s my list. Now – over to you. Nominate your favourite songs here and get ready to hear them on your ABC Far North.


 

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