Area-7 at the Espy is still a hard act to follow. This creaky old hotel in St Kilda does however manage to hold itself together whilst the people inside bounce up and down to the infectious ska that comes out of the place.
Maybe it's because they've disappeared off the radar for the last few months but Area-7 played nothing from any of their albums or EPs. The show I saw last night was for all intents and purposes, Area-7 as a covers band. People would yell stuff from the pit and almost without warning, they'd launch into whatever the first person said. Literally music on demand and it's a skill which few bands will even attempt.
The Melbourne Test has ended in 3 days with Australia rolling onto what could very well be the first whitewash in Ashes history. England elected to bat on the first day and could only muster 159 as the rain came, went and came again. In reply Australia played on a drying wicket and Hayden and Symonds who scored his maiden test century, made the English bowlers look like a Sunday club.
England's second innings was as dismal as the first and with grey skies above, the action on the pitch wasn't much better. The only real glimmer of class came from Monty Panesar who batting at No.11 had the sheer cheek to belt a Shane Warne delivery back over his head.
The Sydney Test on Jan 2 is the last hope for England to walk away from this with a shred of confidence: certainly it lies in tatters at the moment.
Eng 159 & 160 def by Aus 411
I have been exploiting Melbourne's tram network to the point of laziness. At one point I needed to go to a cashpoint machine and rather than walk the block to get there I saw that a tram was coming down the street and got on and off, thus saving me maybe a couple of hundred yards walk.
It's interesting that once you have a weekly Metcard, the idea of validating the trip once on just never dawns. If a connie were to inspect tickets, then it would still read the expiry date at the end of the week. In fact Connex has such a hard time counting the number of trips made that they're even running a mass campaign at the moment for people to validate their tickets.
The number of English people in Melbourne at the moment is scary. Assuming that the crowd was bi-partisan, than that by inference means that there's 40,000 running around the centre of town. For the moment the city sounds slightly skitzoid, with the voices of the Mother Country and the crosses of St George all around.
A thought just occured to me. One of Deano's favourite comments in church is that God replaces peoples colours with his own. Now if you look at the world's flags you'll find in principle a few basic designs.
a) the tricolour as invented by france, or horizontal like Germany and Austria
b) the cantoned flag - ala the USA, Australia, Malaysia
c) the religious flag - either with a cross or a crescent on
Seeing the crosses of St George around the place is interesting. When England took up the flag during the crusades, it was most definately saying to the world that they believed in and were fighting for God. The Union Flag whilst being British and not English is a combination of three crosses.
The United States on the other hand has a distinctive flag but it doesn't openly say anything about where it's heart lies. The coins and the banknotes declare "In God We Trust" but unlike England or say Pakistan, the flag ironically doesn't.
Meanwhile what does the Union Flag in the corner of the Australian Flag say?