Coming up….


Australian music before rock ‘n’ roll

Direct from Canberra, Australia, John Shortis and Moya Simpson present, in Lanark, Scotland, their unique style of documentary cabaret in Tin Pan Aussie, the story of an emerging Australia, as seen through its popular music.

Shortis is a musician, songwriter and music historian, Simpson a singer and comedienne. Together they combine surprising research with musical versatility, humour and poignancy to take you back to the first half of the twentieth century, to a remote nation that enthusiastically embraced whatever was on offer from Britain and the USA, and added its own perspective to create a popular music industry that was unknown to the rest of the world.

Tin Pan Aussie traces the journey from ragtime to rock ‘n’ roll, Antipodean style- from the ubiquitous piano carried by bullock cart to every corner of the outback, to the portable ukulele that came with the Hawaiian music craze, from the yodels of hillbilly music to the razzamatazz of vaudeville and dance bands, and much more.

Lurking throughout the show is a tale of a young nation forging a new federal political system, finding its identity in a world coping with the pressures of the Depression and two world wars, and grappling with its acceptance of its indigenous people.

Tin Pan Aussie is rich with well-known (in Australia) ditties like I Like Aeroplane Jelly, Along the Road to Gundagai, Our Don Bradman, and rediscovered gems such as Sheep Dip Blues, Bridge of Our Dreams Come True, and Memories of a Lovely Lei. For laughter, tears, musical heights and depths, and a new slant on Australian culture and history, don’t miss Tin Pan Aussie.

St Mary’s Club Rooms, Lanark, Scotland, Wed Sept 3, 7.45 pm. Bookings

Then on Oct 23, Shortis and Simspon perform Prime Time, a cabret show based on John Shortis’s songs about all of our Prime mInisters. At the State Library in Perth. Details available soon.

And on Sat Nov 29/Sun Nov 30, Shortis and Simpson will perform We’ve Got Our Standards, a personal and quirky take on their choices of well-known songs. Hardly a Shortis original in sight. Details available soon.