As the music plays a green tree viper appears outside my window. It’s slithering through the branches just a few metres away.
My mind drifts away with the sublime guitars and complementary vocals. The song unfolds gradually but confidently, like the highway I’m driving on...past Tutye, Boinka, Linga, Underbool...
Hey Little Girl does not remind me of anybody in particular. But it reminds me of Madrid. It’s what I heard at that moment, when I needed to hear something just like it, when I was between jobs and almost broke.
Nathan Johnson Edinburgh, Scotland; September 1997 Chumbawamba was in my face. Far from being a pop band that sang only about pissing the night away, they were, above all else, anarchists with a deep suspicion of government, politicians, the Church, landlords, bosses, union leaders and other forms and figures of authority. While I didn’t share all of their extreme views, their music and lyrics awakened something inside of me.
Nathan Johnson South-Eastern Australia, 1985 Sometimes we travel far away and I feel like we’ve reached the end of the world. Wagga Wagga, Yass, Goulburn. I trace our route excitedly with a highlighter on my fold-out map of Australia.
Nathan Johnson Pyongyang, North Korea, September 2013 In the evenings your group is confined to your hotel. You have few entertainment options, but the hotel karaoke lounge is open, empty and even has Western songs. You look through the song list and make your selection.
Nathan Johnson North Adelaide, Australia, January 2004 A mate of mine was saying something, but I heard none of it. My eyes were fixed on the screen; my ears taking in every drum beat, every distortion, every melodic ebb and flow.