All The Best stories of power at Sydney Writers Festival

Campfire Collective are big fans of FBi’s All the Best so we went along last night to help out on an All The Best live recording, in a special Sydney Writers Festival event at the festival Club Stage down at Hickson Road Wharf. We took some photos. There are billions here and a few more below.

The show’s theme was Power, and the show kicked off on a powerful note with footage from a powerful moment, Gough Whitlam’s dismissal. Then the show turned to the live tellers to share their stories on power, exploring among other things powerlessness, the power of fear, magic powers, and what happens in the inner city when the power goes out. An unbelievable hotbed of talent shared stories including All The Best contributors and guests Adam Zwi & Mikah Pajaczowska-Russell, Katherine Lim, and Vanessa Berry, plus special SWF guests Wendy Bacon and Alicia Hamilton, Mandy Sayer, and Anna Krien.

Special musical guest Fergus Brown powerfully kicked out the jams with the Freeman siblings providing backing on bass and voice/loop/melodica respectively. My favourite moment of the night happened off air, as brilliant writer Mandy Sayer talked with composer and musician Fergus Brown about a bit of music for the band to play as she reads a passage from her novel Love in the Year of Lunacy.

Mandy: can you just play 12 bar blues?
Fergus: (without skipping a beat) No.

Instead, Fergus played something heaps better, and it was great. To hear what he played, plus all the great stories from the night, tune in when the live recording is broadcast on Sat 28 May at 10am on All The Best on FBi 94.5FM.

You can find out more about who was there, here, except Iranian Australian feminist Sarah Haghdoosti didn’t make it which is a shame. Judging by this article about Jake Gyllenhaal’s Prince of Persia stealing her identity, she would have been great to listen to.

Thanks to everyone at All the Best especially Jesse Cox for the hookups and Brigitte Dagg for involving us and for buying us a drink. And to Amber, Susie, and the rest of the Club Stage venue gang, cheers. What a crew!

Some pics? But of course! Ok so I can’t work out how to make a slideshow so please imagine this is a slightly drunken slideshow in a lounge room (from top left). Me: “Sooo, that’s Fergus Brown and Dan Freeman and Dan’s sister in Fergus’ band. Then that’s Fergus again with the thing on the big screen, then that’s Mandy Sayer with the blonde hair, then that’s Anna Krien (she accidentally told everyone she did something bad to Fairfax, but no one cared,  now more than ever. Oh, we laughed). Then the two people are Wendy Bacon and her former student Alicia Hamilton who helped Wendy tell the story of the time Wendy sewed the words ‘I got fucked by God’s Steel Penis’ or something like that into a nun’s habit in the 70s and got taken to prison, then it’s Fergus again as he closes the show. And down the bottom of all the photos is the great host Eliza Sarlos keeping it all going. Yeah that’s all the slides I have. I ran out of film after that. Cocktail?”


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