M Ward

The first time I listened to and watched M Ward play was by accident. Mid-June 2003. Milkless Fridge were meant to rehearse, but Loui couldn’t do it for I reason I have now forgotten. Low Barlow was in town and Neil and I had decided to go the Rosemount on the Wednesday night. Since the rehearsal had been cancelled we decided to go on the Tuesday instead, at the Swan Basement.

Another context needs explaining. At the time I was very unhappy. The woman who I had fallen I love with, and invested the entirety of my hope for true romance in, went overseas with the resounding statement: ‘I’m going to London, I don’t want you to come with me, but I want us to stay together.’ Was I foolish? Indeed. The sacrifice was made and I was sad pretty much every waking moment for the six months she went away.

Except for the 40 odd minutes this guy, who turned out to be M Ward, played sweet freedom.

I remember the tires on Neil’s car were completely bald. In the rain we slid all over the road, the colours of the streets lights blurring on the windscreen.

We when we arrived the Guinness we ordered was crap.

Anyway. A dude in a baseball cap is working his way around the small stage. Getting his harmonica ready, back up guitars, a tune-up here and there. Unannounced, he works his way up onto the stall at the front of the stage, brings his head up to the microphone, curls his cap above the microphone, drawing a screen of shadow across his eyes.

He hadn’t even started playing and the audience were silenced. No one knew who this guy was, let alone the songs.

From memory I think he played Transfiguration #1 first. Now, this might sound completely corny, but I don’t give a shit: I certainly felt some kind of transformation, some kind of weight lifting off of my shoulders. The entire set was a blur.

I can only remember three things: he played Sad, Sad Song. He told the audience that he has only been in town two days, and I yelled out asked if he liked it, to which he responded: ‘So far’ (now I know he was lying, given Paul’s Song). And I said hello to him afterwards and told him how it made me feel.

The Great Thing About A Hypothetical Self

It’s a cosmopolitan sky
For now, a boat is moored
The lips of the wharf kissing its side
All the while I’m thinking this in lieu of you:

When I’m pressing my face in your welcome mat
Your neighbour licks a light post
She says it tastes like exhaust fumes whisked in
With pancakes & honey –
                                        (I’m none the wiser)

I sit all day, asking myself
Is this it?
Cigarettes and muesli don’t amount to much
That’s the great thing about a hypothetical self
Courageously he runs out in the drops
Of milieu, feeding your addiction

& you, the beggar, plead hopelessly for more
Salvaging every lampshade and cupboard
From the side of the road –

It’s chuck-out week & your youth punishes you like a milkless fridge

Poem by James P. Quinton

Thanks to Westerly, 2002

50 Safety Matches Film Clip

Michelle Lord, category of champions, made this film clip happen and editted it. We went to channel nine studios to record the beast. Had some pizza, beer and a few laughs. The introduction is by Dixie Marshall, the news reader for channel nine with a nice smile. Special thank you to Paul brown & Toni Riseley for their camera expertise in the film.

Milkless Fridge interview with Xpress

This is an interview run by Perth based rag Xpress. The answers are a joint effort between myself and Neil Collins. Hear Milkless Fridge at: www.myspace.com/milklessfridge

Order Milkless Fridge cd’s through www.unit6records.com

Milkless Fridge – Xpress interview –

Musically or otherwise, what influences have helped shape (or
drive) Milkless Fridge?

Cheese Pie, Medicine, 18th century philosophy, Shellac, carpentry,
Wangara, friends, badgers, catharsis, Tasmania, Hermann Hesse,
billiards, billiards-loving, Walter Lindrum, Martin Jan Stransky,
non-built architecture, Kyuss, Neil Young, Steb, absinthe, absinthe, Joe, absinthe.

2) From a listener’s perspective, yours is a very intense sound.
What kind of ideology are you working from, from an artist’s perspective?

We make no apologies for not targetting the greatest numerical
audience possible. Some might consider it pretentious, but we think the intensity manifests by intercontextual references and making the audience work.

3) What’s the connection between the members of the band (both historically, and as you all are now)?

Loui’s older brother lent a motorbike to my older brother who crashed it and ended up in a coma for nine days. He’s a little brain damaged. A mutual friend (Wes) introduced myself to Dr Collins. Wes is in
now. So I guess there’s a connection to Mao and hence Lennon.

4) What was the recording process like for the CD?

One night Dr Collins dreamt of Stebastian Parsons wearing a
french maids uniform. Turns out it wasnt a dream, and so began the recording process. Steb was pleasant for the most part, and
maintained a modicum of civility throughout the proceedings despite his deep hate of society and social convention.

We spent several months recording the cd as well as playing NBA jam and feeding the magpies at Wangers. Many of the sessions were arduous post-binge battles, but we were extremely pleased with the final flowering fruit of our labours.

5) Similarly, what’s the songwriting process like with the band?

Sometimes the songs materialise out of thin air in an almost-complete form while we jam. Sometimes they take months of subtle alterations and philosophical analysis before they are complete. Sometimes time just goes by, like a cheeeese pie.

6) Where do you see yourselves fitting in to the local scene?

We often feel like Donny in the flick The Big Lebowski. Maintaining a hopeless disposition with no frame of reference, confusing John Lennon with Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov Lenin, and on the verge of a heart attack. Besieged by the constant reproachments of Walter, yet comforted by the unquestioning friendship of the Dude. Sometimes we’re left behind and sometimes we’re held up. Fuck it, lets go bowling.

7) Realistically and fantastically, where to now?

Rumour has it; Ned Kelly’s last words were ‘such is life’. These peaks and troughs (see vicissitudes) equate in our case to the untimely devolution of the band post-October. Untimely because we’ve been around long enough now to actually be asked to play gigs.
Nevertheless, parallel vocations of both myself and guitarist Dr Collins, combined with unreliability of certain other members (cite drummer) means an indeterminate hiatus is now on the horizon. Henceforth, this is our second last gig for at least a year, possibly ever. The last gig will be with Benedict Moleta and crew at Reveley’s Bar and Restaurant on the 28th of October.

As the cowboy clad narrator in The Big Lebowski claims: “sometimes you eat the bar, and, well, sometimes the bar eats you.”