Smokie and the band. Geelong Library, February 2016. Photo by Eric Algra

Libraries. Where would we be without them?

Given the literary aspect of Stereo Stories –  with its emphasis on quality writing  – and the embracing, innovative nature of libraries, one should not be surprised that libraries have hosted quite a few of our concerts.

Williamstown Library was first to get onboard in April 2015, where we played a one hour bracket in the upstairs gallery. We brought our little PA, plugged in and presented eight story-songs, from Nick Gadd’s parenting story based on Massive Attack’s Protection to Steph Payne’s summer holiday camp story about Cher’s If I Could Turn Back Time.

A few months later we found ourselves in the Sunshine Library, an afternoon gig that was part of the Brimbank Writers & Readers Festival. Our drummer set up his kit in front of the large picture books, our accordion player near a box of soft toys. Yes, we played in the children’s section, with Rijn Collins talking about Nick Cave and The Mercy Seat, and Rick Kane musing upon about Culture Club and Do You Really Want To Hurt Me.

February 2016 saw us in the brand, spanking new Geelong Library – The Dome – where we played a 90 minute show as part of the Library’s extended opening celebrations. The venue was gorgeous and we had had the luxury of rehearsing there a week beforehand. Given the Geelong background of much of the ensemble we included a few stories set in or near our hometown. Solid Rock, Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You, Way Young Lovers Do, Forever Young.  We returned to the library in November for Word For Word, the annual non-fiction festival.

All of our four shows at the Write Around The Murray Festival  have been in the Albury Library Museum. The lovely festival staff transform a gallery space into a pop-up nightclub/cabaret venue within a matter of hours while we set up and do last-minute run-throughs of cues with guest writers. It has become our home away from home.

Libraries. Long may they run.

Emily Maguire and the band. Write Around The Murray 2017. Photo by Peter Charlesworth.


More Centre Stage stories

Coming soon:
a Centre Stage story about Williamstown Literary Festival

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