Henry Shires @ Bay

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My Life; A Punk Journey to St Kilda and Beyond

 

Dear readers, I will save the inevitable turgid round-up of my latest health tribulations till some later date and start straight in with “A Punk Journey St Kilda and Beyond,” being held at St Kilda’s very own Brightspace gallery from November 19th to 23rd.

Despite having bottled it and withdrawn my presence at one stage due to my then ever darkening depression, I am still privileged to be on the “ex-punk/expert” panel for the discussion event which rounds off this fascinating retrospective by Melynda Von Wayward, along with such other Melbourne punk luminaries/old codgers as Fred Negro and Paul 12FU Conroy. If you would like to actually see me in the flesh (what there is of it) this is your chance!

If you have ever even just worn skinny jeans (and let’s face it who, from nine to ninety, has not these days) or spiked your hair up with a bit of product, then you owe a debt to punk, whether you know it or not. And this fabulous, free, photographic exhibition, book launch and panel discussion of all things punk retro and prospective is your best chance to find out what all the fuss, gobbing (spitting), and ear biting off (Shane McGowan of the Pogues – the biter not the bitten!), in your very own Melbourne and all, was all about.

My only comment at this point – come to the Sunday 23rd 1-4pm Discussion Forum: Is Punk Still Relevant, if you want to hear me pontificate further on the subject – is to say that if you want evidence of the contemporary political and social potential power of punk you need look no further than the work of Pussy Riot the recent Russian feminist punk protest group. If the world, and particularly the world of politics, had more rioting feline feminists and less boring bigots or fanatical fundamentalists in them, they would both be much better places.

Not quite in the tradition of punk but certainly in the tradition of “Do it yourself dress,” I happened across some very enterprising artistic folks on St Kilda’s packed promenade on a sunny Sunday afternoon, who were trying to launch their t-shirt business via crowd funding by promoting their proposition at www.pozible.com.au/customtops direct to the passing public. Always a hard act that one, but good luck to them for getting out there and trying. And some of the t-shirt designs are great – I got one with the image of an old, sad looking, bearded, man of the sea, dreaming of tall tales and travel on tall ships, which very much represents me right about now.

And finally, let’s hear it for local soaps. No not Neighbours and Home and Away. Can’t see what the rest of my fellow Brits see in ‘em, even though I once received the dubious accolade in my heady days as a film and TV extra of acting as Harold Bishop’s body double.

I mean the don’t-drop-prison-shower variety. Another amazing locally sold DIY entrepreneur in the making is Sunne who sells herself (no not that way) – she is a multi-tasking and talented holistic therapist and more unusually also “intuitive personal trainer” – and her absolutely fantastic, almost good enough to eat, homemade essential oils only soaps via the St Kilda Sunday market. But if you miss her there you can also buy them all online at www.thesunshop.com.au while her various therapies can be perused at www.sunwellbeing.com.

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