Newsletter April May 2023

with special guests, Nigel McRae and Beth Tully, the owners of Smith’s Alternative, advocates of live and local music

Smith’s Alternative celebrates 10 years since it morphed from independent bookshop to live venue. It is home to gigs by local musos, music legends, and lesser known touring acts, as well as jam sessions, arts and crafts gatherings, cabaret, political conversations, poetry, belly dancing, and more.

Since 2015 it’s been in the hands of Nigel McRae and Beth Tully, themselves musicians, and passionate advocates of live and local music.

Shortis and Simpson feature them in the next episode in their Under the Influence series in which they highlight the musical influences of their guests.

Anyone who’s been to Smith’s will have seen Nigel and Beth behind the bar and checking tickets. Now here’s a chance to hear them sing songs and tell tales of yodelling vaudevillians, buskers, school punk bands, family singalongs in cars and around pianolas, culminating in the rarely told adventures of the Canberra music scene of the last 30 years.

Under the Influence with Nigel and Beth is informative, entertaining, surprising, delightfully subversive, and chock-a-block with great music.

76 Alinga Street, Canberra
Saturday May 13, 6pm, $40/$30 concession

John Shortis is leading a series of songwriting workshops for anyone who has written, or would like to write, a song.
Room 11, AINSLIE ARTS CENTRE, 30 Elouera St, Braddon
Tuesdays May 30/June 6/13/20, 7-9pm
$100/$90 concession- covers all 4 sessions
To register, contact me at