Northcote Social Club, January 2020

I’m really lucky to be invited up on to stages to play saxophone with some of the up and coming independent bands around Melbourne.

It’s always fun to share the stage with the 20-somethings, play at volume through some pretty awesome sound systems and a delight to share the stage with my son Dan, where he’s often on drums.

It’s a close-knit community and there’s lots of crossover in band members from one group to another. The kids are always welcoming and delighted to see me. I’m a bit like the “favourite uncle” turning up at a family gathering.

But there’s a darker side to the experience. It’s quite apparent that the issues facing the generation behind me are more complicated when comparing things to my life when I was in my mid-20s.

I really noticed it at a recent gig with the band House Deposit. The issues are revealed in the lyrics of the House Deposit song, from their Reward For Effort album on which I had the opportunity to play on a couple of tracks.

Anxiety, depression, self-medication, sorrow, mental struggles and unemployment. The lyric I’m so scared, I’m so scared of the future is a really honest declaration that reflects uncertainty and possible “forever renting” due to housing unaffordability.

another day in bed depressed
i’m not well yet
i’m trying to find a job somewhere
close to my home
it hits four o’clock, medication knocks me
asleep in an old chair
relaxed? it’s a luxury

i’m so scared of the future
in my head it gets better

my neighbours, they own four cars
and a caravan
two-storey house
inner-north family

i’m so scared of the future
in my head it gets better

one day maybe i’ll buy a house

from Reward For Effort, released October 25, 2019 © all rights reserved

 When I first heard House Deposit, (the band) their style and tone reminded me of The Go Betweens from many years ago. The jangle guitar and riffs are “sunny on top” but, peeled back, the songs House Deposit perform are quite serious.

I don’t remember having anxiety in my 20s. Back in the day there were, perhaps, better opportunities for employment. I don’t ever remember having a fear of the future.

My how times have changed for some.


Stereo Story #488


David is a Melbourne musician, music teacher and primary school teacher. His debut Stereo Story was about playing Great Balls of Fire at Sun Studio in Memphis. He has assisted in the organisation, and leading of gospel music workshops and Sunday gospel celebrations at the Anglesea Music Festivals, and is a member of The Seddon Jammers. His son Dan is the creative force of the band Jarrow.