Why the music industry is buying more insurance than ever before...

The Guardian in the UK has this excellent article on the role of insurance in facilitating the most important revenue stream in modern music - touring. As touring has become more important, so has insurance. Unlike online, touring happens in the real world - weather, illness, travel delays, equipment failures, and even security threats abound and can halt gigs. 

Do read the article at this link. Hat tip to Jeremy Bernstein of Crombie Lockwood. 

Cabaret - the musical - by Auckland Theatre Company: A Real Great.

On Saturday Fran and I took in Cabaret at the Salon Perdu Spiegeltent which is temproarily set up at Auckland's viaduct harbour.

Cabaret isn't only a good excuse for some great songs and raunchy dancing, although those things are good, and don't need any excuse. It is also, as Director Michael Hurst notes in his notes in the programme, a cautionary tale reminding us to fight totalitarianism which might seek to shut the clubs and take their desire to 'clean-up' to horrific lengths: killing lots of people that don't agree with them. So, for a musical in which everyone you like dies at the end, it's incredibly good fun.

The audience loved it too. There was only one point where I felt like someone should hold up a sign saying 'it's alright to laugh' - that was at the end of "If you could see her". A dance done by Hannah Tasker-Poland with a heavy leg brace on, where she is pretending to be handicapped (who were also a target of the Nazis) finishes with the emcee singing "If you could see her through my eyes, she wouldn't look Jewish at all". What Hurst has done is take the Cabaret back to it's original (in various versions it has been mucked about with quite a bit). This is one example. Wikipedia notes that the line was changed in some productions:

'"She wouldn't look Jewish at all," which, while meant to be anti-anti-Semitic, sounded so anti-Semitic that it was changed.'

I think the production was brilliant, and also that the audience did get it - but not quite quick enough to laugh right then. All in all the show was great: the atmosphere of the unusual venue, the decision to run with the original format, the choreography, the perfomer's energy, and the incredible dance involving both Mike Edward and Ebon Grayman. Anyone who works out can appreciate just how hard it is to achieve their strength, anyone who has danced can appreciate just how hard it is to achieve their grace - but both together...

As an aside, I think the play is also about the balance between short-term happiness, and long-term happiness - and that governments should broadly keep out of the constant search for the right balance between those that individuals are striving to arrive at.

Here is the ATC site link (some good photos)

Here is the NBR review.


Had a great time at my 40th birthday party. Here's a photo of the band.

40thpartyphotos 034 picnik 

These are the Sly Riders, slumming it in my rumpus room. Names (from left to right) Kevin Findlater, Toni Kenyon, and Andrew Snoid.

They were brilliant.

My NZ music knowledge is too poor to understand, but my friend Matt said "the highlight of my evening was when they played Sierra Leone".


We are a musical family. Fran's musical, and we're a family. Actually, I have recent efforts to learn the piano, a dim and distant history of singing, and the children who beign young are cheerfully indifferent to evaluations of their efforts - but we are not the Von Traps that is for sure. But Fran plays for the North Shore Concert Band (brief and bad web-site over here) who play a lot better than they write web pages, so a coming event is here:

Details: Sunday 30th October at 7.30pm,The Pumphouse Theatre, Takapuna, Tickets $12/$8 (available in advance from me or on the door). With special guests the Hibiscus Coast Rock & Roll Club.