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coverpic flag US - Washington - Full Moon 96 - 07/31/04

The Microphones
Rob Roy Hotel, Fitzroy, Melbourne, AUS, 1.7.04

On Jannine's 30th birthday we went to an expensive restaurant and I met her cousin Steven. He confessed how much he was challenged by his relationship with his partner Justine, and how sometimes he felt he needed to protect a part of himself.

Sam and I arrived at the Rob Roy after the meal and I tried reverse parking into a spot just outside the venue. Having heaved the steering wheel of the 1964 Holden EH right the way around twice I was exhausted, frustrated and angry. I looked out of the back window and Sam was just standing there. I paused, leaned out of the door and asked her how I was doing in an exasperated tone. (I assumed she was going to keep an eye on my trajectory.) She noticed how uptight I was and parked the car herself.

We went into the venue, handed over our tickets, had our wrists stamped, and were immediately met by the backs of the crowd. Completely packed. By the bar was a sign:

PLEASE do not talk during any of the artist's performance's [sic]. They are normally very quiet and there are lot's [sic] of people. THANKS!!!

Sam went out to the car to sleep after a few minutes. I left after a few more, realising that dinner at an expensive restaurant and an evening of Phil Elvrum weren't complimentary. I told Sam about how I felt in the car and she told me she was fine, just tired, and that I should go back inside as I was looking forward to it.

I did, and nearly melted. A guy in front of me turned around twice before plucking up the courage to ask me if I'd like to stand in front of him as he was taller than me.

Phil's fringe was like the perfect wave, his skin clear and glowing. Just his voice and a gritty electric guitar tone, I couldn't discern individual songs. Each tiny fragile lullaby was a frayed luminescent thread held up to the lightbulbs on the Rob Roy ceiling, straining to glow.

Phil refuses to protect himself, and we're all the better for it.

Copyright © 2004 Tim Clarke e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Microphones article/review: an interview with Phil Elvrum.

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