Peter Maskell and Anthony Shortte. Photo by Eric Algra. Geelong, February 2016.

Peter Maskell was the sound-engineer for our first ever show, in the Council Chambers at 2014 Williamstown Literary Festival. He made sense of a spaghetti tangle of leads and cords that fed into vocal mics, acoustic-guitar direct inputs and two, yes two, small PA systems.

A few weeks later he was on stage at the Newport Folk Festival,  playing guitar and singing All Or Nothing At All, to accompany a love story by Nick Gadd. By the end of the year, at a Newport Bowls Club gig,  he’d brought drummer Anthony Shortte into the ensemble, and was alternating between acoustic, electric, slide and bass guitars. And singing.

Stereo Stories shows are very dependent on timing, as the writers and musicians combine story and song to create humour or drama or sweetness. It’s particularly so when the writer’s story is comedic: the punch-line depends on the timing of the band’s cue. Peter has played the straight man, so to speak, on very funny stories by Danny Katz (Cats In The Cradle), Chris Hammer (Purple Haze), Tony Birch (Brown Sugar) and Brian Nankervis (Baby I Love Your Way/Show Me The Way, plus Little Boy Sad).

Danny Katz, with Peter Maskell and Chris Phillips. Photo by Eric Algra

Peter’s  also delivers the goods with poignant stories, singing tenderly on Bright Eyes by Melanie Cheng, Protection by Nick Gadd, Evie by Jane Harrison, Re-Stacks by Paul Bateman, Betwen The Bars by Maria Majsa, A Good Year For The Roses by Zoe Krupka,  Sooner Or Later One Of Us Must Know by Brian Nankervis…

Write Around The Murray Festival 2018. Albury

And when it’s time for the whole band to play songs in their entirety? Man Of Constant Sorrow, Stop Dragging My Heart Around, Highway Of Pain, She Didn’t Do Recycling…

Over nearly 25 shows the band has played 75 different songs, and Peter has played on most of them. He has also written one Stereo Story of his own: Cherish by David Cassidy.

Thank you, bro.

Video: Peter and band accompanying Brian Nankervis at 2016 Williamstown Literary Festival. Travel story based on Baby I Love Your Way/Show Me The Way.

Editor: Vin Maskell Assistant editor: Louise Maskell Web legend: James Demetrie, of DISKMANdotNET