Zane stays on as Merrick’s assistant

Zane stays on as Merrick’s assistant RIGHT-HAND MAN: Clayton Zane coaching the first team last month after Mark Jones’ sacking. Picture: Simone De Peak
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TweetFacebookAssistant coach Clayton Zane hopes the Jets will give new manager Ernie Merrick time to rebuild the club rather than look for a “quick fix”.

The 39-year-old former Socceroo has been told he will stay on as Merrick’s assistant with the senior team, a position he has filled since head coach Scott Miller and deputy Luca Trani were dismissed in September.

Zane joined the club in 2011 as women’s coach, took over the youth team in 2012 then was appointed interim head coach after Gary van Egmond’s sacking in 2014.

He resumed the assistant’s job under Phil Stubbins before being shown the door with two other coaches and five players in early 2015 in the dying embers of Nathan Tinkler’s regime.

He returned to the Jets that year as youth coach and has been juggling that role with the A-League assistant’s job for the past eight months.

Zane’s roller-coaster ride at the Jets reflects the club’s tumultuous recent history, whose latest chapter was the sacking of Mark Jones after his sidefinished with the wooden spoon last month.

Zane saidhe hoped Merrick’s appointment would herald a new era of stability at the club.

“I was upset to see Mark Jones leave the club because I enjoyed working with him and I learned from him,” he said. “I think he was working towards something, and the A-League doesn’t give coaches a lot of time to get things right. I could see where he wanted to take the club.

“Partly getting judged on results also comes back to other people’s failures as well, because it adds more pressure to the next person who steps into that job.

“I’d love to see the Jets have a coach for four or five years and really get the chance to put their spin on things and develop the club from the bottom up.”

Zane was head coach when the Jets flogged Merrick’s understrength Wellington side 5-0 at Hunter Stadium in 2014, but that does not seem to have counted against him this week.

“The feedback I’ve receivedis that Ernie is happy . . . to work alongside me,” Zane said. “Ernie’s said he’s happy to inherit the staff. For me it was just a waiting game to see if he wanted to go down that path.”

Zane said he expected the 64-year-old Scotsman to bring a calm and “calculated”approach to the club.

“I know he’s an educated man, and through his experience he doesn’t react on the basis of one loss.

“He looks to me like he’s pretty methodical with how he approaches things, and he has a plan and he sticks to the plan. He’s not fazed by a run of one or two losses. He knows that, if he keeps going through the process, he’ll get to the solution he wants.”

Zane, a former Newcastle and Anderlecht striker, said Merrick’s experience in the A-League gave him a “massive advantage” over other prospective coaches from overseas due to the scouting responsibilities that came with the job at the Jets.

“The resources of the club effectively hand that job straight back to the head coach, and it’s a time-consuming job. And that’s where I think having someone with experience of the league is very important.

“He picks up that list of off-contract A-League players, and how that looks for one coach, it may look different to another coach. Someone might see a gem in there that they know they can work with. Another coach may not see that who’s not from the area.

“Most punters and coaches can see a decent player, but quite often there’s an expense attached to that that the owner has to be willing to back, so that’ll be interesting how he works with Martin [Lee] to secure those two or three players that can make the difference.”

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Dave Hughes roasts Seven boss … and is told not to turn up for show

Radio host and comedian Dave Hughes has denied there were “crossed wires” about being shunned from a Seven Network game show after roasting chief executive Tim Worner at the Logies, but says he has since spoken to Mr Worner who did welcome him to join the show.
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“I’ve also had contact with the CEO of Channel Seven, Tim Worner … I’ve had a big week… Have they banned me? What has gone on today?” Hughes discussed with Kiis FM co-host Kate Langbroek.

He explained that after some umming and ahhing about whether he would go on Seven’s new game show – ironically called Behave Yourself – which filmed on Sunday, he agreed last Wednesday and was told by his agent that it was booked.

“I thought Channel Seven execs have a sense of humour, good on them,” he said on air.

“But then I get a call back that it will have to go up the line if Channel Seven senior executives will have me on.”

He reiterated that his comments that he was pulled off the show were true, and said that Mr Worner has since contacted him saying, “I didn’t know anything about it and I want to have you on Channel Seven”.

Behave Yourself features Australian comedians and television personalities taking part in a quiz show alongside embarrassing challenges. It will begin on television screens in the coming weeks.

Hughes was due to film an episode for the upcoming panel-style show over the weekend, but was told at the last minute he wouldn’t be needed and Langbroek replaced him.

During his opening monologue at the Logies, Hughes ruffled feathers at Seven when he brought up the affair between Worner and Amber Harrison.

“Channel Seven were working on a pilot of The Wrong Girl, that was starring their CEO Tim Worner,” he said. “That was more a reality show. He picked the wrong girl to mess with.”

After the crowd laughed and winced in equal measure, Hughes added: “I’ve never worked on Channel Seven and I probably never will.”

Hughesy told Kiis FM listeners: “If you do a joke it has got to be funny and I thought I had come up with one… A lot of people in that room were from Channel Seven and they were all clapping.”

Seven firmly denied Hughes was turned away from Behave Yourself because of the Logies gag – or any gag, for that matter.

A spokesman said it was merely a scheduling error and the network would be happy to host the popular radio personality “anytime”.

“We’ve been trying to get Dave on Channel Seven for years, and that door remains wide open,” he said.

Hughes was reluctant to speak directly to Fairfax Media.

Either way, it’s safe to say the comedian will be sure to call Seven’s bluff and milk any opportunities that now come his way.

“I’m happy to go on [Seven’s] Sunrise in the morning,” he joked.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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How far will the budget’s housing measures go in Canberra?

News Crafted director Matt James director of construciton Tom Simonds, and Crafted director Peter Sarris on the Prince development site in Kingston. 7 May 2015Photo: Rohan ThomsonThe Canberra TImes Photo: Rohan ThomsonFederal Budget 2017: First-home buyers get ‘super’ saver schemeFederal Budget 2017: Retirees given $300,000 incentive to downsize’Canberra case study: Super tax concessions to speed up first-home savings
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Canberra property experts have welcomed Federal Budget measures to help first-home buyers save for a deposit and encourage older Canberrans to free up houses for families.

But the effectiveness of the incentives announced in Tuesday’s budget rely on the provision of better housing types for the ACT’s ageing population and the release of more land for residential property.

Allhomes data scientist Nicola Powell said the $250 million First Home Super Saver Scheme provided an added incentive to save, however supply would need to be raised to meet demand.

“What it will do is boost the demand for entry level properties and that’s really adding fuel to the fire if you don’t do anything about the supply,” Dr Powell said.

“In the Canberra market unlocking the supply really is the crux of the solution.”

Housing Industry Association ACT and southern NSW executive director Greg Weller said that although the super scheme might not cover a full deposit on a Canberra property, it would make a significant contribution.

The scheme will allow first-home buyers to save towards a deposit at a discounted tax rate by making additional contributions to their superannuation, capped at $30,000.

“The fact it won’t get an entire deposit isn’t a reason not to do it,” he said.

“Superannuation is about saving for people’s retirements and there’s no better way to ensure people are comfortable and not draining the public purse in retirement than owning your own home.

“I think what the government has come up with here, given the concerns, is a really good way to compromise and use the means of super while protecting compulsory contributions.”

Property Council of Australia ACT executive director Adina Cirson said her organisation supported the scheme.

“Providing a facility for first home buyers to help them bridge that deposit gap is a sensible approach,” she said.

Master Builders Association ACT executive director Kirk Coningham said the super scheme could be a “game changer”.

He agreed that the $30,000 might fall short of a home deposit however, this came down to a “land affordability crisis” in the ACT.

“That’s a state or territory issue,” he said.

The ACT government will also have to chip in with better housing options for downsizers to complement the federal government’s announcement of a $300,000 superannuation contribution for retirees who sell their family homes, experts say.

Both members of a couple are allowed to take advantage of this incentive for the same property.

“It’s a huge amount of money,” Dr Powell said. “For a couple it could be the complete sale of a home, but the decision to downsize is not necessarily about the money.”

Dr Powell said retirees are not only attached to their home but the suburb in which they live.

If appropriate housing is not available in their neighbourhood, some will choose to stay in their family homes.

Mr Coningham said territory planning to address this “missing middle” was key so retirees could stay in their communities.

He said downsizing incentives might see adult children buying the family home and, given block size, accommodating elderly parents in a granny flat.

With the ACT government phasing out stamp duty and the federal government offering incentives to downsize, Mr Weller said providing more housing options better suited to retirees was the last piece of the puzzle.

“With some changes to the planning system in the ACT, I think we’ll really lead the way in terms of the transition out of homes, freeing up housing stock for younger people,” he said.

Ms Cirson said the budget measures overall were a “signal that we’re heading in the right direction” however, there was “no quick fix” for affordability.

“There are a range of levers that need to go into this, some are supply levers and some are demand,” she said. “A range of mechanisms are needed to address housing affordability.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Rehab reaps the rewards

Dedication: The committed team at Newcastle Private Hospital Rehabilitation Ward are some of the best in the business. For some patients arriving at rehab can be the start of a long and often emotional journey, sothe care and communication provided by professionals in that time is critical.
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Since she was first sent on work placement as part of her TAFE studies to the Newcastle Private HospitalRehabilitation ward, Blair Farquharwas certain itwas the job for her.

Now just months away from qualifying as a registered nurse and notching up 4 years at that very same ward as an endorse enrolled nurse, she is still as enthusiastic about her role, the team at Newcastle Private Hospital and the patients they help everyday.

“It’s a very rewarding job. Some of our patients can be very sick or have experienced a life-changing injury that impacts not only them but their families too, so being part of that recovery journey and ultimately seeing them walk out of the dooris extremely satisfying,” says Blair.

The Rehabilitation Ward at Newcastle Private Hospital providesintensive rehabilitation programs to a multitude of clients with various post-op conditions, injury from accident or referrals from cardiothoracic surgery.

The ward offers a gamut of elements to its programs including hydro-therapy, diversive therapy (craft and colouring-in for mental stimulation or relaxation) andoccupational therapists. Every patient is dealt with individually, with a tailored programto suit their needs.

“Our patients are assisted daily with their programs which usually involve 2 physio sessions and or hydro-therapy, which is very popular as it can be quite effective in promoting a better range of motion in joints,” adds Blair.

“Because we are supported so well by our allied health team and the occupational therapists we are all able to focus on getting patients home.”

While the team are dedicated to ensuring patients progress psychically, mental well-being is also given much consideration. With a vegetable garden on site patients are able to get out into the garden and get active if and whenthey are ready or simply sit in the sunshine and read a book.

“We understand that there can be other contributors to a persons progression and feeling emotionally supported and mentally well is a big part of that.”

“Many people arrive feeling that they may not get better, we’e here to encourage and support them, manage theirand thefamily members expectations and provide the best possible care and attention we can.”

Patients staying at Newcastle Private Hospitalfor intensive rehabilitationare provided with 3 meals cooked on site a day and have access to all amenities including the gym and all treatments are overseen by the rehabilitation specialist Dr Kirstin Bailey..

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More fun than a barrel of monkeys

Pork Pie Directed by Matt Murphy Written by Matt Murphy, based on a script by Geoff Murphy and Ian Mune Rated M, 105 minutes ????????????
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It would be hard to count the many ways in which this remake of a Kiwi classic from 1980 could have gone wrong.

Remaking as beloved as Goodbye Pork Pie is in New Zealand, is hard enough; remaking a film made by your father, who is still very much alive, makes it personally fraught.

Doing this as your debut feature seems like madness, but Matt Murphy says he adopted a phrase from All Blacks coach Steve Hansen: worry is just wasted emotion.

The original film grew out of Geoff Murphy’s time in the now-legendary 1970s musical theatre troupe Blerta. Murphy was the film guy in Bruno Lawrence’s Electric Revelation and Travelling Apparition (to use its full name).

Several of the players, including Lawrence, found their way into the film. More important was the spirit of anarchy that gave it such rude energy.

Murphy started shooting in late 1979, about six months after the original Mad Max premiered in Australia, and it’s easy to imagine there might be some influence. Murphy and Ian Mune’s script follows a stolen yellow Mini from the top of the North Island to the tip of the south, pursued by dopey cops in Holdens.

It’s basically 100 minutes of chase, with comedy bubbling out of a clever mix of characters: a 19-year-old delinquent car thief (Kelly Johnson), a lovesick older bloke (Tony Barry), and a high-spirited young woman who enjoys sex but claims she’s a virgin (Claire Oberman).

In the new version, the delinquent is Luke, a Maori, played by James Rolleston (the kid from Boy, now grown up). Tony Barry’s character, who didn’t really have a job, becomes Jon, a failed writer played by the versatile Dean O’Gorman. His girlfriend has gone back to Invercargill after he failed to commit matrimony, so that’s where he’s heading. They pick up Keira (Ashleigh Cummings), a vegetarian, after she throws in her job at a drive-in burger joint.

The new movie follows just enough of the old movie to evoke fond memories, and changes just enough to make itself relevant to the times. The result is more fun than a barrel of monkeys.

Matt Murphy may be on debut but he has been directing commercials since 1995, and in film since helping his father as a teenage lighting assistant on the original. His work here on the car chases and stunt timing is exemplary, especially if you are the German company that owns the Mini.

A better advertisement for the car would be hard to imagine. That’s one difference from the original, in which the little yellow car was torn to pieces en route. For some reason, the orange mini in the new film arrives looking more??? complete.

If the new film is more professional than its predecessor, that was inevitable, given the 1981 version was made for sixpence and a couple of sandwiches for the crew. That ragged charm was part of what made it the first home-grown film hit.

It was rough as bags, drenched in satire and dirty good humour. The new one offers different charms: the character development is more subtle, especially in the young Maori character, who broods about his past. Matt Murphy’s mother was the late Maori activist and director Merata Mita, so there is a rainbow-coloured tinge to this version of New Zealand.

I cannot say the new version overshadows the old. The father’s film was assertive and alive; the son’s is respectful of its elders, fully equipped for the job and a full tilt boogie. Nicely done, bru.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Fly me to the moon … is it as far as Shanghai?

Set the controls for the heart of the Sun. There will be stops at the moon, Neptune and Pluto for those passengers with an adventurous mindset.
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Judging by the breathless coverage, Port Adelaide and Gold Coast might as well be heading off into outer space.

So arduous is the portrayal of their journey to China for the first AFL game for premiership points played in Asia, it’s hard to draw any other conclusion.

We have had hand-wringing concerns over the air quality in polluted Shanghai, with asthmatic players having been ruled out of contention.

We have had fears expressed over the physical strain of such a fearful long-haul flight – particularly for the Suns, who are travelling in cattle class – and the deleterious effect it will surely have on the finely toned athletes of both clubs.

We have had worries put forward over the quality and kind of food that the players may have to eat, the environment they will encounter and the reception they may get.

Come off it, please.

Either the players are such delicate flowers that their suitability to play such a robust sport as footy must be called into question, or it is yet another example of the AFL world’s tendency to navel gaze, hyper ventilate and over-emphasise even the tiniest event.

Where footy is concerned, every drama, it seems, becomes a crisis.

Has it not escaped anyone in the footy bubble’s attention that travel to China is not new?

The lads from the Coast and the Port are not following in the footsteps of Burke and Wills.

They’re not even pathfinders where sports men are concerned.

Teams from the A-League have, for the past dozen years, routinely travelled to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, Thailand and the Middle East to play competitive matches in a much bigger tournament, the Asian Champions League.

There has been little breathless commentary on the difficulties and challenges their players face, the travails they must endure, to play for their team.

I distinctly remember covering the 2010 A-League grand final when Melbourne Victory – in a precursor to last Sunday’s title decider – played out a 1-1 draw with Sydney before losing in a penalty shootout.

That game was played on a Sunday. After Victory’s loss there was no time for commiserations over a season that had come up agonisingly short, no moments of reflection or wistfulness over what might have been.

Coach Ernie Merrick and his players had to go straight from the stadium, swallow their disappointment and head straight to Tullamarine, where they boarded a flight for Japan that night.

Three days later – on the following Wednesday – they had to face Kawasaki Frontale in an Asian Champions League group game.

There was little wailing or gnashing of teeth over Victory’s schedule, no outrage or complaint.

They simply got on with the job.

Did the horrendous schedule affect them?

Of course it did. They lost that game 4-0 with three goals coming in the first 22 minutes. A week later they played Kawasaki in the return leg, and beat the Japanese powerhouse 1-0, but by then it was too little too late for their ACL campaign.

Were Western Sydney Wanderers cut much slack when they had a horror travel schedule during their heroic run to the final, and ultimately success, in the Asian Champions League of 2014?

They beat Saudi team Al Hilal 1-0 in Parramatta on October 25, then had to fly to Riyadh to play the Saudi side on November 1.

The weather was hot, the crowd hostile and conditions challenging – yet nowhere was that made out to be some sort of groundbreaking trip or some hitherto-unknown challenge for a bunch of sportsmen to undertake.

Yes, it’s fine and well that Port and the Suns play what most of us expect to be a pretty meaningless match in a city that will be far more interested in the outcome of the Tottenham v Manchester United clash taking place a few hours later on Sunday evening than in the AFL game.

It’s nice for the AFL bigwigs to enjoy a “jolly”, good that they can build the sport’s “brand” and make some expats happy, and it presents some decent marketing and sponsorship openings for the clubs involved. After all, it is all about the money.

But please, if it happens again, don’t make out that it’s like a journey to the centre of the earth. It’s just not.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Kew home of ANZ executive Mark Lang tipped to fetch up to $6m at auction

Holly Kramer does the sums – and they don’t add up to nine
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The Southern Highlands, where prestige property prices have risen 76 per cent in five years

Homes that make you wish you lived in Kew

ANZ executive Mark Lang is selling his contemporary home in Kew’s prestigious Sackville Ward.

The banker, who has held many senior positions including as the head of business banking for Victoria and Tasmania, can expect between $5.5 million and $6 million following a private auction on Monday, May 22.

On a 780-square-metre block, the Thomas Street residence has five bedrooms, three of which are fitted with en suites and two with fitted study zones.

A retreat dividing two of the upstairs bedrooms could easily be configured into a sixth bedroom.

The manor, accessed through electric double gates, also includes formal and informal living and dining rooms, four bathrooms and a top-end kitchen fitted with Smeg appliances.

Other luxury appointments include polished European oak parquetry, Jetmaster open fire place and picture windows.

A Paul Delany-landscaped north-facing garden includes a self-cleaning heated pool and in-ground trampoline. Kew’s Sackville Ward – near to Cotham Road shops and transport – is a classic lush and leafy east Melbourne environment.

The area made headlines in late 2015 when an enormous Federation home, which had been extensively renovated by ex-Hawthorn Football Club president Andrew Newbold, sold for $9.4 million to a Chinese investor who knocked it down last year.

Kay & Burton Hawthorn’s Scott Patterson and Sam Wilkinson are the marketing agents for the Thomas Street property.

The median price of houses in Kew is $1,995,000 compared to $1,958,000 in 2016, according to Domain Group data.

This year, 101 four-bedroom houses have been sold in the suburb. Significant recent sales include a new five-bedroom house at 27 Carson Street, which had its sale price withheld, and 39 Mont Victor Road, a house on a corner block with development potential, for $3,045,000.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Greenline goes solar: a new 36-foot hybrid

CARBON FRIENDLY: The Greenline 36 can cruise in full electric mode at six knots, but there’s a 220hp diesel to call upon if you need that burst of power. THE word ‘hybrid’ conjures images of professors and hippies flitting about in glorified golf carts, so not surprisingly the concept has never quite resonated in the big, bad and hairy-backed world of motorboating.
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And that’s a shame, because nothing can drain the world’s supply of fossil fuel, nor warm the globe, like a conventional marine engine placed inside a power-hungry planing hull.

Slovenian builder Greenline made a bold hybrid bid, around a decade ago, with a diesel/electric propulsion system plugged inside a 33-footer. It sold some 400 units in six years but went belly-up in 2015.

Not for long, though.

With fresh backing from new owners SVP Yachts, a new 36-foot hybrid is set to reignite interest in the brand and its carbon-friendly ideals. The drive system is akin to the old 33’s, but elsewhere the new model embraces more sophisticated styling and technology.

Four 285-watt solar panels on the roof and a powerful charger keep the lithium battery bank well supplied. These allow the Greenline to cruise in full electric mode at just over six knots. Beyond that, you fire up the standard Volvo Penta 220hp diesel and run at up to 18 knots.

A Yanmar 370hp diesel option provides a 25-knot top speed but there’s no electric mode available, which kind of defeats the purpose of saving both the planet and running expenses. Still, it shows that the 36’s hull shape is easily driven and fuel efficient even under modest power.

For many cruising scenarios, the hybrid combination is a perfectly reasonable compromise – quiet and comfortable when the conditions are good and, when they’re not, a burst of speed to reach a safe harbour.

Significantly, the 36 doesn’t try too hard to look like a green machine. There are no wings or fins, foils or silly French curves, just a nicely balanced blend of contemporary styling cues.

A large opening transom and swim platform boost cockpit space, while inside the saloon you can drink in the view through panoramic windows. These are complemented by electric opening sunroofs and a sliding glass door leading to the walk-around deck.

There’s a good-sized galley that also draws on the power supply with 240-litre fridge/freezer, two-burner induction cooker and microwave.

Serviced by a single bathroom with separate toilet and shower, scissor berths create a large master double berth forward and the separate guest cabin has singles.

Another dynamic new craft taking the efficiency route is Sealine’s C430, albeit using conventional Volvo Penta IPS diesel pod drives. And like the Greenline, the Sealine also has some clever electrical attributes – a new Smart Boat System uses digital switching and a touch-screen display to control the onboard systems.

Its wave-slicing, deep-vee hull shape with vertical stem borrows from the offshore yachts for which designer Bill Dixon is better known. A light displacement of 13.3 tonnes allows for twin 300hp diesels to be offered as standard – remarkable for a 43-footer with three double cabins.Buyers can upgrade to either 370hp or 435hp if more zing is needed.

CLEVER ATTRIBUTES: Among other things the Sealine C430 has a touch-screen display to control the onboard systems.

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Power in gospel passion

CONNECTION: From left, Tomika Webb, Nikki Brown, Gloria Brown and Dom Turner. The Turner Brown band will perform at Lizotte’s on May 25.
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Some old-fashioned musicmagichappened in a studio in Toledo, Ohio, last year.

Australian slide guitarist Dom Turner, of Backsliders fame,and gifted electric lap steel guitarist Nikki Brown had been corresponding by email for some time but had never met. Turner, you see, had an inkling that his style of blues and her Sacred Steel skills could work together on an album.

So he jumped on a plane to meet Brown and hersisters Gloria (rhythm guitar and vocals) and Belinda (bass guitar and vocals), as well as her cousin Tomika (drums and vocals) at the US studio.

They had just three hours to collaborate on a project neither musician had actually defined. Somehow they found common ground between his soulful blues and her southern US church gospel and the result is Sliding Steel, a mini-album by the newly-formed Turner Brown Band,and an Australian tour. More albums are to come.

Brownwas taught by steel guitar masterDel Grace and has been described as the “Jimi Hendrix of Sacred Steel”. A lifetime of gospel singing has given her a powerfully rich, raspy soul-gospel vocal style delivered with impeccable flare and flamboyancy.

“I’d always been interested in the sort of music Nikkiplayed, which is called Sacred Steel,” Turner tells Weekender.

“It’s a style that goes back about 70 years and the story is that an African American musician came into a church one day and started playing a lap steel guitar rather than an organ, and it took off.

“The steel guitar isused differently in this context than it is in, say, country or Hawaiian music.It is very vocal like, and that appealed to me because that’s the way I approach my slide guitar.”

Havingtwo distinct sounds from a similar instrument islike having two different vocalists in a band. They both tell a story, but in a different tone.

“It’s unusual to have two slide guitar players in one band, not that it hasn’t been done before,” Turner explains.

“We were only in the studio for about three hours one afternoon and it was surprising what we came up with in that time. It was more like what you’d do over a week.

“Going for Blood is the first track and we wrote it in thestudio as we were recording and it’s worked out to be the song we are happiest with, too. It’s funny how that works.

“We tried to work out common songs and we ended up not having many to draw on as a starting point, aside from Amazing Grace.So Nikki would throw a song at me and I’d throwone back and it felt like we’d been playing together forever.”

Turner has spent a lot of time in the US over the years, working with artists the calibre of John Jasckson. His favourite blues region is the northern part of Mississippi where there isa crossover between gospel and blues “where they almost meld into one but not quite”.

“In Australia we don’t have the raw and real and very human and natural sounding church music that the US has,” Turner says.

“Unlike secular music, there is no financial gain in Sacred Steel music. It’s purely played for musical reasons.

“For the sistersto go outside of the church is a pretty big thing. They’ve been brought up playing music for nothing, just for the love of music, and I think that makes it even purer.

“It’s incredible to see the music played in its natural form. It’s a continuous tradition, it hasn’t been broken in any way. In other words it’s just passed down from parents to children and back around again.

“It’s music formusic’s sake.”

Turner hopes Australian audiences will connect with and learn from a crossing of musical borders and traditions each night of the show.

“I think it’s going to be a real education for people. It’s not going to be overly churchy, if you know what I mean, but it is so powerful,” he explains.

“This is their first time out of the US, too, so it’s a big thing for them. They’re very excited about it –infact excited is not a strong enough word to describe it.”

Catch The Turner Brown Band at Lizotte’s Newcastle on May 25. Tickets are on sale now.

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Five-year-old girl publishes book

Five-year-old girl publishes book TweetFacebookTree Story, which was being promoted as “a simple tale of life, death and renewal through the eyes of a child reflecting on the life cycle of a tree in her backyard”.
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Imogen said she did lovethe tree. As such, she was keen to tell “everyone in the whole world my story –even people who don’t know me”.

Asked if she missed the tree, she said “yes and no”.

“I miss it because it had such beautiful leaves, but now [that it’s gone] we can see the stars at night,” she said.

As for that world record, there is a bit of controversy around the matter.

Guinness World Records lists the youngest commercially published author as Dorothy Straight.

Dorothy, of Washington DC, wrote thebook How the World Beganin 1962 at age four. However –this bit is crucial – she was six when the book was published.

Topics will be sure to keep an eye on the outcome.

The book is due for releaseon May 28. Itwill be available for purchase at selected bookstores in Newcastle, Canberra and Sydneyand online through opheliawest南京夜网.

Big Cats

Following our recent stories about black panthers, we had an email from Judith Cousins, of Jewells in Lake Macquarie.

“Australia doesn’t just have black cats, it has lions as well,” Judith said.

A mountain lion spotted in a US state park. A reader saw one at Jewells.

“I can vouch for this. I saw one at Jewells Wetlands in 1980. People say ‘it must have been a feral cat’.

“But definitely not. It moved like a lion, not a tabby. And I have seen a huge feral cat in almost the same place.

“This animal was bigger than a feral cat. It was a light colour, either fawn or cream. It was dusk so you couldn’t tell. It probably looked like a puma, but was smaller, perhaps only half the size.

“It was slimmer thana big cat.”

We’d reported previously that researcher Rex Gilroy believed some panther sightings were marsupial cats.

Judith agreed.

“I believe that it was a marsupial cat. Since then, I have talked to many people who have also seen a big cat ortracks of a big cat from here to Albany in Western Australia.

“I read an article once in which Aboriginals said there has always been cats in Australia.”

She’d heard a story about baby panther cubs playing near Blackbutt.

“I also heard that someone’s uncle used to talk about the lion in Blackbutt,” she said.

“There are pictures and reports on the internet of lions in Australia.”

Vaughan King, founder of the Australian Big Cat Research Group, doesn’t think they’re large marsupial cats.

But he believes the big cat species in Australia are the leopard, jaguar and mountain lion.

The Naming Game

We’ve been writing about names and nicknames lately.

What’s in a name, eh?Quite a bit, according toPaddyLightfoot, ofNew Lambton Heights.

“There are only two groups of men in the world,” Paddy said

“One elite group are named Patrick. The rest of the men in the world wish they were named Patrick.”

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