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19 November 2018 / leggypeggy

Music, birthdays and food—what a night!

John Farnham, Anthems concert, Canberra, Australia

John Farnham

Anyone who knows Poor John will be totally amazed that Saturday night he managed to stay awake until almost midnight.

The occasion was the ‘Anthems’ concert in Canberra that featured Jack Biilman, Lucy Sugerman, The Black Sorrows with Vika and Linda Bull, Kate Ceberano, Daryl Braithwaite and John Farnham.

Australians will recognise all the names, but others might not. Click on the links above to find out more about each performer.

Anthems concert, Canberra, Australia

The arboretum’s natural amphitheatre with groves of trees and Canberra in the background

This amazing shindig was staged at our National Arboretum, which was created after Canberra’s devastating bush fires in 2003. Part of the arboretum is a large natural amphitheatre, which is perfect for concerts.

The venue opened at 4pm and we arrived at the gate about that time. But let me explain our arrival and exit plans. I tried to organise the shuttle bus service for drop-off and pick-up, but it was booked out. So I leaned on Vicky, our friend and neighbour. ‘Would you take us to the event, if we can get our own way home?’ She said, ‘Sure.’

So much earlier in the day (about noon), Poor John drove our car to a convenient (but little known) parking place near the arboretum, and rode home on my bike (the lighter of our two bikes).

Kate Ceberano, Anthems concert, Canberra, Australia

Kare Ceberano

Bless Vicky for driving us to the event. It’s an hour of her life that she’ll never get back. It shouldn’t have been like that.

Let me explain. There was a lane for cars and a lane for shuttle buses. But suddenly about 50 cars decided to shift to the ‘shuttle bus’ lane. Geez, these are the people who think rules never apply to them. It screwed up everything, and caused a huge traffic jam and no access for the shuttle buses.

I wasn’t devastated to have missed the first performance and most of the second, but I was super irked by the thoughtlessness shown by some people. Luckily, their bad behaviour was soon forgotten.

Lucy Sugerman, Anthems concert, Canberra, Australia

Lucy Sugerman

Now I should explain how we happened to have tickets. My birthday was in September. For a present, our daughters gave me two reserved tickets—so Poor John and I had seats instead of having to sit on the grass—and a cheese and charcuterie platter.

After we chose our seats, Poor John went to collect the platter. It was a great combination with four or five each of various cheeses and meats, as well as sultanas, fresh bread and crackers. It was more than enough to serve as dinner.

The Black Sorrows with Vika and Linda, Anthems concert, Canberra, Australia

The Black Sorrows with Vika and Linda

So what were the highlights. For starters, the setting was brilliant. The arboretum overlooks the city and the lake in the middle. The stage blocked a lot of the view, but it was still a perfect location.

We arrived just in time to hear Lucy Sugerman’s last song. She’s a Canberra girl and was a finalist in the most recent showing of The Voice. She graduated from Year 12 the day before the concert.

Daryl Braithwaite, Anthems concert, Canberra, Australia

Daryl Braithwaite

My favourite performances of the night were Kate Ceberano’s Love don’t live here anymore, Daryl Braithwaite’s As the days go by and John Farnham’s Age of reason.

Was great to see sisters, Vika and Linda. I’ve always loved their music and have seen them live before. I had not realised their career got its start with The Black Sorrows in 1988. Also loved Kate Ceberano’s rendition of the late Chrissy Amphlett’s I touch myself, which has become an anthem for breast cancer awareness.

I was there as a birthday present, and there was another special birthday on the night. The audience sang Happy Birthday to Kate Ceberano. I won’t mention her age or mine.

But did I mention the sunset?

Sunset with Black Mountain Tower, Canberra

The sunset cast a golden glow on the arboretum hills in front of Black Mountain Tower


Leave a Comment
  1. ksbeth / Nov 19 2018 10:59 pm

    so much action and celebration!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Mick C Gorman / Nov 19 2018 11:26 pm

    It sounds like a great night out apart from the inconsiderate drivers. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  3. gerard oosterman / Nov 19 2018 11:43 pm

    That must have been a great night. Did you shake your fist at those inconsiderate drivers?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. gigglingfattie / Nov 19 2018 11:52 pm

    Sounds like you had an amazing time!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Sharon Bonin-Pratt / Nov 20 2018 12:04 am

    What a fantastic way to celebrate your birthday. Sounds like so much fun.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Nov 20 2018 7:28 am

      It was a perfect present. Especially because I don’t want to accumulate more ‘stuff’.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. beetleypete / Nov 20 2018 12:18 am

    The only name I knew was John Farnham, as he had a big hit with the song, ‘You’re The Voice’. But it was a nice present, and you obviously had a whale of a time. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Nov 20 2018 7:29 am

      Thanks. John Farnham is widely known, but the others are worth getting to know.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. Phil Huston / Nov 20 2018 12:50 am

    Guys with telecasters, girls in short skirts with acoustic guitars, geezers with microphones and female singers with too many band members – This could have been the Texas state fair, any California wine country venue or pick your location. There is a universality to music festivals. Played a few. The venue here reminds me of a comment James Taylor made at the Starples amphi one night. “I love intimate settings like this. Me, a guitar, the band and 60,000 of my closest friends.”
    Which was far kinder than Dave Matthews at the outdoor palooza deal I took my daughter and a full Cherokee of 13 year old girls to (rock n roll dad duty). Dave looked out at the hillside full of people at dusk, said “Hello Austin! Home of more bad music per square mile than any place on Earth!” Well, of course he was right, but…
    Good for Poor John. We went to see Chris Botti the other night, stopped on the way home at a 24 hour Jack in the Box at midnight like we were 20 something…makes for a long weekend…

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Nov 20 2018 7:38 am

      A Cherokee full of 13-year-old girls—I knew you were made of tough stuff. No way, Poor John would stop for food at midnight unless it was ice cream.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Phil Huston / Nov 20 2018 8:15 am

        Yes. The Dad who will sit under a tree all day while stupid young people who drink and don’t eat in the heat start to barf around 4 and my charges have run wild all day know to show up at the tree on time or they won’t go next time. And lord knows ALL 13 year old girls want to go where they aren’t supposed to. And a dad crazy enough to take them and wait? “How cool is that?”

        Liked by 2 people

      • leggypeggy / Nov 20 2018 10:56 am

        Very cool indeed. Reminds me of the time I took my 15-year-old twin sisters and 14 of their friends to drill team camp in Colorado. Not one parent was willing to take them, so I did. It was my only week of holiday from my job.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. derrickjknight / Nov 20 2018 1:10 am

    A great event. Kate C was a revelation to me

    Liked by 2 people

  9. lexklein / Nov 20 2018 2:27 am

    What a lovely evening! A pretty night outdoors, some good music, and a cheese platter to boot! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Nov 20 2018 7:38 am

      Perfect night, although I should have worn an extra layer of clothes. Got quite chilly.

      Liked by 3 people

  10. pvcann / Nov 20 2018 2:32 am

    Great lineup

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Invisibly Me / Nov 20 2018 4:14 am

    What an amazing birthday gift to have two reserved seats! I’m sorry the transport was a bit of a nightmare, but hurrah for Vicky saving the day to drive you guys there. An unforgettable experience! 🙂
    Caz xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Nov 20 2018 7:40 am

      It was a great night, and the transport headache gave me something to write about.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Curt Mekemson / Nov 20 2018 5:43 am

    Sounds like a great time, Peggy. And hats off to Poor John for reaching midnight. He has my complete sympathy since 10 pm is late for me. (grin) –Curt

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Vicky / Nov 20 2018 6:30 am

    Glad you both had an amazing night Peggy! If we’d known what was going to happen, the walk up the hill would have been much quicker 😳😏😊

    Liked by 2 people

  14. lmo58 / Nov 20 2018 6:51 am

    So pleased that you and Poor John had such a great time. The Arboretum is a lovely venue.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. afterthelasttime / Nov 20 2018 7:16 am

    Happy Birthday to you! Great present!

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Nov 20 2018 7:42 am

      Thanks Dave. The birthday was back in September, so I guess it keeps on giving.

      Liked by 2 people

  16. sidilbradipo1 / Nov 20 2018 8:01 am

    Great adventure! And special Happy Birthday 🤗☺️

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Nov 20 2018 10:53 am

      Thanks Sid. It was a great way to celebrate my birthday two months after it happened.

      Liked by 2 people

  17. Nilzeitung / Nov 20 2018 9:13 am

    We sing here .. bay bay summer.
    We Have Winter Time, We Have Winter, We Have Winter Time ..,!!!!!!!! Nice a lot of joy. Nice greetings:::

    Liked by 3 people

  18. jeanleesworld / Nov 20 2018 2:44 pm

    What an awesome time! There’s something about the joy of experiencing music together that’s unlike anything else.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Alison and Don / Nov 20 2018 3:14 pm

    What a fabulous evening. I’ve never seen the arboretum, and the amphitheatre was definitely constructed after I moved to Canada. I have long-time friends who were caught in that fire. Of the 24 houses on their street all but 10 were incinerated. Theirs was one that the fire jumped over.
    OMG John Farnham takes me back to my teenage years when he was a BIG STAR and known as Johnny Farnham.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Nov 20 2018 4:36 pm

      I’m not sure how much ‘construction’ was needed to create the arboretum. A lot of it seems to follow the natural contour of the earth.
      We also have multiple friends who were caught in the fire. Except for one, all their homes were saved.

      Liked by 2 people

  20. Miriam / Nov 20 2018 3:18 pm

    Sounds like a wonderful concert and a great way to celebrate your extended birthday. Some great artists there. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Nov 20 2018 6:48 pm

      I was so tickled our daughters thought of it, but here’s the funny bit. A couple of days before the event they wrote saying, ‘Don’t forget to go’! I’m not that forgetful.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Miriam / Nov 20 2018 7:20 pm

        Haha, as if you’d forget! I bet you were super excited. Glad you enjoyed it. Special moments like these are priceless.

        Liked by 3 people

  21. thewonderer86 / Nov 20 2018 6:24 pm

    I don’t know any of the performers, but I love outdoor concerts. What a lovely birthday present!

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Nov 20 2018 6:49 pm

      It was a great present. You should follow some of the links so you can know a bit more about their music. Try Kate Ceberano.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Emma Cownie / Nov 20 2018 7:22 pm

    So nice to have seats. Looks to have been a great night. How far did you have to walk back to your car?

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Nov 20 2018 11:17 pm

      The seats were comfortable enough. I’m pleased to report that the walk to the car only took 20 minutes—all downhill.

      Liked by 2 people

  23. Green Global Trek / Nov 20 2018 9:26 pm

    I always love outdoor concerts… something about hearing live music and being outside in the fresh air rather than indoors just makes it extra special. Lovely!


    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Nov 20 2018 11:19 pm

      The music and outdoors were great. Have to admit that the wind came up and the temperature dropped, and I wished I’d brought more layers of clothes.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. thisboyissaying / Nov 21 2018 3:40 pm

    This looks colossally convivial! I’m so jealous😂 keep up the good work👍

    Liked by 2 people

  25. janesmudgeegarden / Nov 22 2018 7:29 am

    What a great lineup. My favourites would be the Black Sorrows (haven’t heard anything of them for years) and Vicka and Linda. And it looks like a wonderful venue which will be even better when those trees grow.

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Nov 22 2018 8:20 am

      I’ve always love Vika and Linda. First knew of them when their songs were used in the TV series ‘Sea Change’. Thanks for mentioning the venue. I should go back and photograph the arboretum. It’s coming along.

      Liked by 2 people

  26. America On Coffee / Nov 22 2018 1:03 pm

    Great talents and fun invites, i.e., holiday. Enjoy!

    Liked by 3 people

  27. kyleoyier / Nov 27 2018 5:35 am

    Nice blog

    Liked by 2 people

  28. America On Coffee / Nov 27 2018 12:58 pm

    You sure have inspired my holiday onset. Your share adds to the feel of the season: family, festive and jolly! Cheers Peggy!

    Liked by 2 people

  29. inesephoto / Nov 29 2018 12:28 am

    Fantastic event and great settings. I will look up the singers.

    Liked by 3 people

  30. Zambian Lady / Nov 30 2018 1:50 am

    What a beautiful setting you had! That second picture is beautiful. I am sold to anything that shows the big outdoors.

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Dec 6 2018 7:17 am

      The arboretum is a perfect place for outdoor events. I need to do a post on the arboretum itself.

      Liked by 2 people

  31. milliethom / Dec 6 2018 6:56 am

    A fabulous event, with great music and in a very beautiful place. I well remember Kate Ceberano’s piece – and she is a lot younger than me! – and loved it. The night out was lovely birthday gift for Poor John.

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Dec 6 2018 7:18 am

      It was a fantastic night out. Kate Ceberano is a lot younger than me too. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  32. ProgressiveMusicStation / Dec 7 2018 5:59 am

    Love this! Check us out to find new music every day! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  33. / Dec 19 2018 6:24 pm

    Awesome 👏….. what a wonderful day

    Liked by 3 people

  34. chattykerry / Dec 21 2018 5:50 am

    That looks like a great night out – way past my bedtime!

    Liked by 2 people

  35. rokblokrecordplayer / Jan 23 2019 12:43 pm

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    Liked by 1 person


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