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Out of Luck

When I had to write about definitively Melbournian experiences for Lonely Planet's the City Book I included this:

hunkering down in a Fitzroy pub to watch local band the Lucksmiths
If you own that book, it's time to get out the red pen, because this essential Melbourne band is no more. And their final show wasn't in Fitzroy, but at Richmond's Corner Hotel, one of the city's great remaining pub venues.

It was a bittersweet gig after a long farewell tour but the cheeky chaps behind Melbourne's best indie/folk/pop outfit put on a great final show. Stage banter between Marty, Tali and Mark has always been a big feature and this gig featured songs interspersed with good-natured scuffles about Scrabble rules and a nod to the ex-Fitzroy landmark Punters Club, which was "dear to our hearts if not our livers". They were always a Melbourne band - where else could a song like "T-shirt Weather" be such a powerful anti-depressant?

They played songs from across their 16 year career but even after two encores they were bound to leave fans disappointed. The gig sold out so the Luckies even had their own breed of scalper - a weedy bespectacled guy who mumbled "Anyone need tickets or whatever." After the show, girls cried on the footpath about how much they'd cried inside, while their boyfriends got restorative pizza slices. Sure it was the end of an era, but there's something eternal about fans. Maybe that's why I bought the fridge magnet with an elephant on it weeping, "I remember the Lucksmiths".


  1. well they do good magnets, I'll give them that much…

  2. Apologies for this off-topic comment, but I've been searching your blog unsuccessfully for a reference to an article about how to get to Europe without going on a plane.
    Am I remembering correctly that you referred to this? If yes, where could I read it?


  3. Parlance, you're timing is perfect. I did do a piece for the Herald Sun answering a reader's question about how to get to Australia without using a plane.
    As luck would have it the HS did a redesign (it's very fashionable at the moment) and no longer run this section. I was just wondering if anybody would be interested in such a post and now I have an excuse to whack it up here!

  4. That would be great if you post the article on travel without a plane! I went up to my local (very efficient) travel agency the other day trying to get information on that topic, and they weren't able to give me much, so I'll look forward to your article.

    (I reckon there's a book on it, you know. People like me who have developed a hatred for being treated like a side of beef in a travelling coolstore - read, economy class air travel - and who now have time to travel slowly, would want to buy such a book.)

  5. Parlance, you can find it here:


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