Hugh Jones (left) and Stephen Andrew: When You Walk In The Room. Photos by Eric Algra

Hugh Jones (left) and Stephen Andrew: When You Walk In The Room. Photos by Eric Algra.

More than 60 people filled The Gallery at the Williamstown Library on Sunday afternoon April 19 for the latest compelling performance of Stereo Stories.

The ensemble of 13 writers and musicians entertained the audience with nine Stereo Stories, including several debuts:

Darren ‘Smokie’ Dawson’s  humourous yarn about how Paul Kelly’s Before Too Long was a deal-breaker in a teenage relationship;
Hugh Jones’ blushing memories of interviewing Don McLean at Wrest Point Casino in Hobart;
Steph Payne turning back time with a story about body image, sailors and Somers Camp on the Mornington Peninsula;
Reuben Maskell’s subtle percussion on Nick Gadd’s gentle story about new parenting and Protection by Massive Attack.


Steph Payne turning back time.

Steph Payne turning back time.

Writer Lucia Nardo and piano accordionist Salvatore Romita, daughter and father, once again brought many to tears with their Lili Marlene story. Salvatore then picked up the tempo with a Louis Armstrong tune while the band prepared for Killing Me Softly and Vincent.

Salvatore Romita


Two of the more surprising moments of the gig were the (brief) barking, from downstairs,  of a Guide Dog, and the passing sound of bagpipes as veterans marched down Ferguson Street – at the same time that Steph Payne’s story referred to sailors from HMAS Cerberus.

The show concluded with what is becoming Stereo Stories’s signature finale: Zoe Krupka’s story about the Australian summer of 1982 and the XTC song Senses Working Overtime.

Jack Gramski, Stephen Andrew and zoe Krupka: Senses Working Overtime

Jack Gramski, Stephen Andrew, Zoe Krupka: Senses Working Overtime


Many thanks to Williamstown Library and particularly Rosemary Clark,  marketing coordinator of Hobsons Bay Libraries. (See the Library’s  video snippet on Instagram, and  pics on Facebook)

Many thanks to Stereo Stories photographer Eric Algra.

GroupPhotoWilli Library

The  Stereo Stories Band

Left to right: Vin Maskell (red T-shirt), Stephen Andrew, Zoe Krupka, Jack Gramski, Steph Payne, Reuben Maskell, Smokie Dawson, Julie Merritt, Nick Gadd, Lucia Nardo, Salvatore Romita, Hugh Jones. Centre: Peter Maskell.

Set list at rehearsal

Set list at rehearsal. (Photo by Vin M)

Many thanks to the audience for coming along, on a cold rainy day. Here are some of their comments:

Stereo Stories gets better every time I see it & that’s coming off a mighty high base. You guys seem so well rehearsed, so tight & together. I can’t wait to see you  again. Thanks for making my weekend! – Chris

Thanks for inviting me, it was great. A bit of reminiscing does us good. The stories, music, singing etc were all excellent – Rocco

That was a really good show yesterday arvo, thoroughly enjoyed it. – Joe

The Willi Library gig yesterday was my first in the Stereo Stories audience and it won’t be my last. I don’t usually have a soundtrack to my daily life, preferring silence, but yesterday showed an alternative way of relating to music. Taking time to be still and listen to lyrics while experiencing the music is something I look forward to – a different kind of Zen. Thank you to everyone involved in yesterday’s gig – it must have been a huge amount of work, but it was certainly appreciated. – Vicki




More details soon on gigs at:
Williamstown Literary Festival, Saturday evening 13 June
Newport Folk Festival, Sunday afternoon 5 July
Victoria University, Thursday evening 30 July

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