Having just done a mail out to my list regarding (among other things) the WPA Hall of Fame induction I was at great pains to sensitively word the fact that this event has an air of finality about it for us. I didn’t make any grand statement but quietly, in small print, finished with the thought this would be our last show for a while. I think after going through the whole fanfare of a big publicly announced and promoted break up back in 1998 I just didn’t fancy putting everyone through it again.
I get the feeling that people are really tired of the cynicism that can infect these affairs and that’s something we all really want to stay away from. When we walked off stage at the Belvoir Ampitheatre January 1998 we really meant we were stopping. But then came the Community Cup show in Melbourne, then the Queenscliff Festival… and the fact that ten years later it seemed like a nice idea to release a DVD and do a tour seemed natural enough in itself. Then came the idea of the annual Grand Final Eve get together, the Scorn of the Women show at the Enmore in Sydney, then we were offered Bluesfest, then there was talk of a tour through the North West…..
When myself and Squeezebox Wally were in Holland recently a friend who I’d stayed with back in 1998 was amazed at just how much the Weddings had become part part of my musical diet again after all this time. He had met me as a player who was focused on creating an artistic life after the Weddings and here we were wrapping up a European tour to get home to the all encompassing big show at the Palace. And I suppose it has gotten me thinking just how to go about the whole thing and what is in fact on offer with or without the name Weddings, Parties, Anything.
There’s no accepted hard and fast rule about how you go about these things. There’s no handbook that tells you how to exploit your musical legacy in a meaningful and dignified fashion. But I think it’s the word dignity that always is the sticking point for me. It’s just got to feel right. It feels right that Dave Steel will be playing Scorn of the Women with us on Tuesday night and that Pete Lawler is going to get up for a song, that Support Act are going to accept an award on behalf of Janine Hall and that she and Jen Anderson are the first two women in the Hall of Fame. It feels right that this is going to be the last Weddings show – if not forever – then for a good long period of time.
The first email I received after the mail out that went off yesterday morning was from a punter in Queensland asking if the Weddings could come up and play one of the Day on the Green shows. Apart from the fact this would suggest he probably hadn’t read through to the end of the mail out the thing this illustrates is the idea that the Weddings could (and can) do whatever they want. But the Day on the Green shows are a pretty coveted show in the Australian music industry. You don’t get them whenever you click your fingers and paradoxically the only time I’ve ever been able to get included on the bill is in a solo capacity. So what I am getting at is there perhaps isn’t as much on offer or at stake here as some of us might think. And of course it is a fantastic legacy, providing it is just that – a legacy. So Hall of Fame here we come. See you Tuesday night.