‘Round Dead Rat Bones’, 24 September 2011, Brunswick, photo by Alicia Bee.


When your numbers come up you know it’s your time, and this Friday as all digits align to 11, I know its going to be just another day; like New Years Eve St Kilda, or a birthday, but again the event will launch something very special for me.

“If you can see – the numbers all go to 11, look, right across the board 11, 11, 11,” Nigel Tufnel explains in the famous scene from Spinal Tap mockumentary which has been used as social network subliminal advertising for my book launch event (yes, it was calculated to spread the scene through sharing on public walls).

In primary school I had foreseen that this date would occur somewhere beyond 2000 in my years as an adult in a world that is very different to the one that was known.

As we had always observed REMEMBRANCE DAY’s elevenses in school minute silence, it occurred to me then that perhaps the most significant date to watch out for would be in the year 2011.

In the industry we have had Christmas gigs, New Years, Final END of Year Parties, Public Holidays in all states, Labour Day, ANZAC DAY gigs, CUP DAY, GRAND FINAL DAY, special birthdays and death day celebrations, and numerous TRIBUTE NIGHTS and BENEFITS of every single thing from Friday the 13th to Halloween for our devil’s rock and air guitar salutes to give promoters something special to make the date significant amongst WEEKLY RESIDENCIES, and the flow of streetpress and radio shows, that churn out each month making music more like FACTORY WORK than living the LEISURE LIFESTYLE that it is supposed to be when we quit our day jobs.

But never before have music events celebrated the number 11 on this coming date 11/11/11.

I think all dates that have multiple numbers should also be promoted in this way and the music industry should be more open about its love of the mystical relationship between counts and measurements of time. Mathematicians and those that use their phone as a calculator to add and divide the door money booty, will all agree that Eleven is by far the most famous number from the Spinal Tap Documentary.

After that the numbers 3 and 4 are also very lucky to music people, and those fans of Led Zeppelin extend favoritism to numbers 1 and 2.

Some Christians feel that 7 is the most significant spiritual number.
Repetition of the number 6 is often seen to represent the mythical devil.

And for others the number 11 simply means ‘tea time’ and teetotalers all over the world take their Elevenses break as a human right of each work day.

To fathom the majesty of this date clocking understand that these double digit repetitions are quite rare.

The next big gig of this kind will occur on 22/2/22, however next year 12/12/12 will also be significant.

Look ahead to big celebrations of the Long Player record during the month of March in 2033.

Events that have alignment in the day and month can also be celebrated though it is better to have the year combined which makes the 11s in Friday’s date so collosal.

My big gig dates for 2011 were 24/5/11, 3/9/11, 2/10/11, 9/10/11 and this one 11/11/11; and that was enough for me to think it be the best year yet.

NOTE: One other movement that marks this date occasion is called ONE BREATH ONE WORLD which has organized a worldwide Qi breathing meditation in celebration of world peace on Friday 11 November at 9:30pm.

They believe if they can get lots of people globally to breathe at the same time, they can build up an electrical energy in their bodies that feels like a soft humming vibration.

In their own words; “Experience the ULTIMATE ENERGY at this once in a lifetime celebration. Globally we will synchronize BREATH & PRAYER for healing our planet. This is a rare opportunity to maximize your physical and mental potential. On 11-11-11 the Global Community Unites for a Live Broadcast live at this cosmic celebration. Using special yogic breathing we will create
 a massive Power Breathing Prayer Circle for WORLD PEACE.”
So those of you that cant make the BOOK LAUNCH  gig, think of us at 11:11pm on 11/11/11 when we make a note of the time and date, or join in on the breathing movement for ONE BREATH ONE WORLD from 9:30pm.


Melbourne writer Alicia Bee’s second collection of poetry captures the limbo left from the grief and funerary process of loosing loved ones, which she likens to an injured state in a hospital.

THE BOOK OF THE DEAD AND WOUNDED celebrates the lives of the deceased in prose, and asks those that are left behind to respond with meditation, tears and anger.

Tributes to dead people are boxed in the first book section like a museum collection of lifelike stuffed animals; that remind us that our memories preserve mortality after the grave.

The cringe surrounding emotions, fear of discussions of suicide and melancholy, are made taboo in glorious detail in this important release designed to change your reaction to death.

Alicia Bee writes about her relatives, friends and dead pets; exploring aging and the afterlife, in a book that tells us again that it is okay to think about the dead and the lessons they have taught us.

If poetry was ever described as depressing the form is taken as strength, for Alicia Bee revels in the dance of macabre arranging this dried flower display as a shrine for your bookshelf.

Alicia Bee’s first title BATHERS ON THE BEACH is available through direct sales, Brunswick Bound bookstore and Readings Carlton.

Join us for the launch with music entertainment this Friday night in St Kilda.

THE GOOD FOLK CLUB presents a launch of THE BOOK OF THE DEAD AND WOUNDED poetry collection by ALICIA BEE with bands BURN IN HELL + SLACQUER + CHARM + MARK WOODWARD on FRIDAY 11 NOVEMBER at ST KILDA BOWLS CLUB at 66 FITZROY STREET ST KILDA from 8pm, its $11 entry ($25 with book).

Jewellery by Daughters of Cambodia.


CAMBODIA just held its first national FASHION WEEK from OCTOBER 27 – NOVEMBER 5 2011. I found out about it because band CAMBODIAN SPACE PROJECT  let me know of a gig they were playing last Friday 4 November 2011 where INDEPENDENT designers KEOK’JAY, EBONY DESIGN, THE VINTAGE SHOP and DAUGHTERS OF CAMBODIA got together at GASOLINA venue in PHNOM PENH to celebrate the occasion. MEREDITH TRLICA of DAUGHTERS OF CAMBODIA acted as our ambassador for CAMBODIAN FASHION WEEK, explaining a little about INDEPENDENT CAMBODIAN FASHION.

ALICIA BEE: Has the first Cambodian Fashion week been exciting?

MEREDITH TRLICA: It’s been great to see all the cat walks and designs. It’s really exciting to see Cambodian Fashion is growing!

ALICIA BEE: Have you made many extra sales from new people who are holidaying in Cambodia for the week?

MEREDITH TRLICA: Yes our sales are doing really well this week.

ALICIA BEE: Who are the main fashion labels that are taking part in Cambodian Fashion Week?

MEREDITH TRLICA: Water Lily, Sentosa Silk, Jasmine Boutique, Keo’K Jay, and Eric Raisina

ALICIA BEE: How many independent fashion labels is there in Cambodia?


ALICIA BEE: Where do you sell your clothes?

MEREDITH TRLICA: We sell our products in our shop near the riverfront as well as all over the world. We have distributors in the UK, America and Australia, and we will ship to anyone anywhere!

ALICIA BEE: What does your label do? What type of clothes and material do you use?

MEREDITH TRLICA: Our label gives freedom to victims of trafficking. We make night ware, t-shirts, and fashion accessories. Our products are made with cotton and recycled materials.

ALICIA BEE: Tell me about this show- How did the idea come about?

MEREDITH TRLICA:  The show came from the band “Cambodia Space Project”, they are aware of our organization and wanted to promote Daughters and raise sponsorships for our clients. We are so excited they came to us with the fabulous idea!

ALICIA BEE: How did you know the other labels?

MEREDITH TRLICA:  Through visiting their shops, and previous events ie advertising and networking.

ALICIA BEE: Are you a fan of the band ‘Cambodian Space Project’?

MEREDITH TRLICA:  Absolutely!!! Srey Tee has an amazing voice!


Melbourne raw funk act DEEP STREET SOUL are my competition for the best Friday night gig on 11/11/11. They launch album LOOK OUT! WATCH OUT! on Friday at THE ORDER OF MELBOURNE 2/401 Swanston Street. HOT OFF THE PRESS PUBLICITY lined up an interview with MAY JOHNSTON the newest vocalist to the band.

ALICIA BEE: How did Deep Street Soul find you (please tell me the story)?

MAY JOHNSTON:  I went to see funk legend Marva Whitney perform at the Corner Hotel in Melbourne on Xmas eve 2009.  At that time; I was singing with another soul band and some of us decided to go together to see the show.  Deep Street Soul was playing the support & when they came on; I could not take my eyes off the drummer – I dug his playing.  The guitarist and Hammond player were both fantastic & the bass player was so tight with the drummer.  I kept saying to my husband “I have to sing with that band”.

When they finished playing their set, Papa J (bass player) walked past and I stopped him to tell him how awesome the band was.  It was short and sweet.  I went home that night so inspired that I jumped online to their Myspace page  and sent an email just to say how much I enjoyed the show & if ever they were after a fill-in vocalist to give me a call.  I received an email back from the guys and we kept in cybertouch (they would probably call it cyberstalking) sporadically from that point onwards.

A year later I was walking out of my day job around 4pm & got a call from Papa J which went something like this, “our regular singer has pulled out of a gig last minute, hypothetically if I asked you to come do a gig with us tomorrow night, could you do it?”  I didn’t have to think about it and immediately said yes (which I think shocked him) –  I also didn’t tell him that I had just got my twisted ankle out of a cast the day before, had no car and had a recording session that would take up the entire next day! But as I told my husband that night, I just really want to sing with this band so I just had to say yes, even if it only was for one gig.

I got the music a couple of hrs later – 2 sets of songs I’d never heard before! I spent pretty much the whole night learning songs.  The following evening I took the train from Werribee to Parliament; I limped onto the tram and then hobbled up 2 flights of stairs to the gig, no one knew but I was actually in excruciating pain with my ankle when I was singing in the first few songs but I loved every minute of it.  The rest is history; I started doing fill in gigs when their other singer could not perform & eventually they asked me to join the band & be a part of the new album, which I’m proud to have been a part of.

ALICIA BEE: Can you act as a reviewer and describe the sound of their first album as you heard it?

MAY JOHNSTON:  I think that the band stays true to the genre of funk by not steering away from the natural rawness of the genre, instead they honour it by just letting it be real – and that’s a powerful thang!

ALICIA BEE: Did their music make you compose lyrics or did you sing something that they had written?

MAY JOHNSTON: The guys had already tracked the album by the time I came on board. I’m not sure what they expected when they asked me to pen some lyrics & vocal melodies – and I think they may have been keeping their options open as they had already put together melodies and words for two of the songs LOL, but they gave me free reign to go to town on the songs ‘Look Out, Watch Out’ & ‘What She Said’.  I guess they must have been happy because they also asked me to put lyrics to one of their old instrumental B-Sides’ “Deep Street Strut”.

ALICIA BEE: What were the first lines that you started singing when you first rehearsed? eg. was it Watch Out lyrics?

MAY JOHNSTON: No rehearsal – it was a few handshakes and ‘nice to meet you’s’ and ten minutes later we were on stage! But in terms of writing & singing on the track ‘Look Out, Watch Out’, it was the first song I wrote lyrics to & it just sort of poured out.  That’s what a good groove will make you do.

ALICIA BEE: With so much white soul coming out, did you guys want to sound more funky or teased afro genuine black?
MAY JOHNSTON: For me personally I just go with what I can hear and feel.  In terms of the whole whitey doing black funk thing – one of my absolute favourite songs is the great Linda Lyndell – What a Man (Stax) track, her voice is the very essence of a funky soul sister.  More recently you have the whole funk revival being led by UK girls like Alice Russell & Ria Currie and locally we have Kylie Auldist so I don’t think color comes into it so much these days.  It’s all about paying your respects to the past, not about ones race or nationality.

ALICIA BEE: Do you have any advantage singing soul music? what training or upbringing did you have?

MAY JOHNSTON: Singing soul lets me feel free as it can thrive on improvisation.  Singing soul & funk is like giving your own personal testimony; preaching or telling it how it is about heartbreak, your man leaving you, you’re your sister taking your man, losing your faith in love, feeling down, moving to the music or grooving to what is in you.  It’s all about feeling it; movin with it & letting your soul sing.

ALICIA BEE: Can you finish this sentence please? Since Amy Winehouse started singing ‘soul’ music has…

MAY JOHNSTON: Since Amy Winehouse started singing “soul” music, she has reintroduced the very best of what soul music has to offer into the public consciousness.


When ANTISKEPTIC ended their band in 2008 singer ANDREW KITCHEN sent a thankyou to his press mail list for their support over the years; with a warning of the later release of a DVD package of their final show, and a request asking for interested email addresses. Polite as their first performance, they sent me a DVD for review and answered questions for interview in the same feel good friendly manner as our fresh FREEZA faced phase many years before ANDREW KITCHEN got the gig at THE PUSH. (The DVD review will follow soon in a later blog.)

ALICIA BEE: How many times have you watched the DVD of the 2008 final performance?

ANDREW KITCHEN: I have 3 kids … so the simple answer is that I haven’t actually watched it from start to finish yet. I probably have seen the whole thing in sections, but not in one sitting.

ALICIA BEE: Any regrets about outfits or onstage comments during the DVD? Confess them here for a feel good sharing moment-

ANDREW KITCHEN: I made so many fashion faux paus during our career, that from about 2006 onwards I stuck to a uniform. Long sleeve white shirt, tight black pants and slip ons. Previous to this there was an array of poor fashion choices. I’m a musician … I’m not a fashion guru. Apparently you are meant to have the know how to wear the right thing as well as play and write music. Would anyone want to her Jennifer Hawkins sing? Eick!! I think that I quoted the Mastercard or American Express advert at the gig between a couple of songs …something like ‘Finishing your band, in your home town, with a room full of friends = priceless.’ I don’t regret saying that.

ALICIA BEE: What have you done since 2008?

ANDREW KITCHEN: See answer 1. In 2006, I was offered a job at The Push as the Artist Development Project Coordinator. I’m very lucky to hold this position, because it means that I can do my bit to help the new and exciting bands coming through the ranks. I’ve also developed some skills in landscape gardening, which I’m really enjoying. I have also ridden my bike about 25,000 k’s … which is more than half of the circumference of the world.

ALICIA BEE: Do you remember your first shows? We got Antiskeptic to play a FREEZA gig up in Emerald in 2001 (with Addiction 64, Sound Like Chicken and The Lads), Do you remember that show? Can you say anything about that show?

ANDREW KITCHEN: I have vague or vivid memories of pretty much every show. And yes I recall the FReeZA gig in Emerald … I remember being on stage knowing that we had to be at the airport at 5am the following morning for a flight to Brisbane and worrying that Sean would simply refuse to get out of bed to get to the airport on time.

ALICIA BEE: Did Antiskeptic have a hey day with peer bands like those old names?

ANDREW KITCHEN: ALICIA – I’m not sure what you mean by ‘those old names’?

ALICIA BEE: So it’s not left hanging- I meant – Addiction 64, Sounds like Chicken and The Lads bands from our Freeza show in the question before, that for me sounded very like bands of that year and time a decade ago.

ANDREW KITCHEN: Right … sorry I didn’t realise it was a reference to the last question.

Answer: Yes, I actually booked Francis from Addition 64 (now from The Resignators) to come and speak at a music industry conference that I am running called ‘Face the Music’ at the Arts Centre on November 18 + 19.

ALICIA BEE: Have you spoken to many other bands about what they now do? Had any reunion type family get togethers with band members since the band ended?

ANDREW KITCHEN: I still see Nick and Sean very regularly. I live right near Nick and we catch up every week or so. Sean is a FReeZA worker and so I see him through my work at The Push.

ALICIA BEE: Did Antiskeptic have a ‘hey day’ with peer bands like those old names?

ANDREW KITCHEN: I’ll have a go at the question as though you asked ‘Was there a period that you remember when punk / rock scene was really thriving?’

For sure – probably around 2002-2003, when bands like Seraphs Coal, For Amusement Only, Bodyjar and One Dollar Short were getting great support from live crowds and radio alike.

ALICIA BEE:  Do you have any bands that you loved playing with alot? Are they still around?

ANDREW KITCHEN: We probably played with Bodyjar a fair bit and it was great to take Gyroscope on their first national tour, as well as Kiss Chasy and After the Fall. Those crazy kids in I Killed The Prom Queen were really hitting their strides and I’d never seen live hardcore / metal like that before. Gyroscope are the great survivors, but pretty much all of the other bands have split or are just hanging in there. It’s a long hard road rock and roll – a lot harder than most people realise.

ALICIA BEE: How often would you mention Christianity in your live shows?

ANDREW KITCHEN: Very rarely. I never verbally denied it when asked in interview or conversation. I was and am proud to be associated with the tag ‘Christian band,’ though I erred on dropping that tag too regularly myself. As soon as you say it, people think that you only play in churches … which we didn’t, or that all of your songs were about God … which they weren’t, or that we never drank … which we did (albeit in moderation).

ALICIA BEE: Why did Antiskeptic stop playing?

ANDREW KITCHEN: There is a logical end to all things in life and one thing that our culture is not great at, is letting people finish something and move on. We were all ready for change and to have our weekends back. We were mates, we weren’t in debt and the fans were there for us. It felt like a logical place to stop. Our life demands were rising … parenting, full-time work etc etc … and we were all entering a phase where we simply wanted to be more present and available for our long-neglected friends.

ALICIA BEE: What is on the DVD?

ANDREW KITCHEN: Rock and roll goodness – is the short answer.

A DVD of our last gig – each and every song, A bonus disc, just of the audio (for those people, like me who can’t figure out how to get audio off a DVD), A doco on the band and the last gig, An audio commentary, A photo gallery of the life of the band … and I think that is about it. Also – the packaging is amazing. Like STUNNING.

ALSO IN POPULAR MUSIC: Check out this new video clip from The Taylor Project.


The Vagrants  sound like a motorcycle couple riding the band name around to the same old haunts wearing denim, tattoos and a leather jacket for protection.

The Vagrants are the kind of 70s blues rock that Fleetwood Mac made a fact of happy unions (in the album before they all split on Rumors of course).

Hell, I even see angels wings around their victory ‘V’ sing, making them seem as fanghouse as the Coffincheaters or Outlaw motorcycle gangs, and you best make friends with them because its easier to do business this way.

Pat your old friend on the back at a gig and join their following.

They sit in Australian music next to Electric Mary and Eastern suburbs bands aged 30-50 that I know from standing on the local radio towers sky high at Mount Dandenong late at night after drinking at the hotel.

Stand Up LP sings of ‘no rainbows at the end’, an agnostic need to believe, and ‘catching raindrops’ in their ‘Angels’ song.

‘Talk to your soul’ speaks of the need for silence to listen to inner thoughts.

You could do a sharpie dance to ‘Accelerated Kharma’ with Suzi Quattro if you would just Stand Up and join them.

Other bonus live tracks include older songs, ‘We’re Gonna Go’ and ‘Why Me’.

Self described in Steve Iorio’s New York voice as ‘Aussie Pub Rock’, The Vagrants are an independent band led by female vocalist Renate Ludwig.


Tahiti ‘10.

By Alicia Bee 2010©

Andy Irons never made it back to Hawaii,

He died in the Grand Hyatt at Texas Airport,

Extreme sports people think they are never gonna die,

The last title he took down was at Tahiti.

He was born in the hospital on Oahu,

He went to the surfing school that are wave taught,

He well never see the baby child that grew.

He abandoned Puerto Rico for Kauai,

When he missed the wakeup call that was when they knew,

To return to his own doctor and pregnant wife,

“Last time I saw Andy was Tahiti ’10.”