Never Like This: Two Tons of Oz Fun

In out and about, ozstraylia, tunnnneeeee! on February 21, 2010 at 1:30 am

I’m sitting in the beer garden of the Windsor Castle on Albert St (I think, I’ve checked my map and that’s the road it looks like its on), a pub I’ve stumbled upon as I try to retrace my steps to get back to Chapel St, from the coast road. It’s a swelteringly hot day, and the only reason I’ve stopped is because I can hear the loud high chatter of people and just above it the plastic fantastic electronic slivers of funkiness that is Disco. The outside of it doesn’t look too appealing, painted a peeling, black with red highlights and blocked out windows, its on a side road, beside a freeway/highway which is only blocked off by a high wall and a row of trees, and the roundabout from which side road sprouts, one of the exits takes you over a railway/tram line, I think.

But the siren call of the good seventies tunes calls me inside and as I grab the cold cider from behind the bar (Mercury, from Tasmania, if you really want to know, its only six bucks – ozstraylian – a bottle which is so much better than the eight or eight fifty that a bulmers or magners will run you, and they are the smaller sized bottle, 345/375 mls) and head out blinking into the bright sunshine, I never seem to carry my sunglasses with me, this is obviously a big mistake in this country, as everyone wears their sunnies all the time. The beer garden, with its benches, and booths, and overhanging awnings and umbrellas to make oases of cool welcome shade, is populated by the bright and the beautiful of St Kilda and Prahran (pronounced PraHn).

I fall into conversations with a couple of Aussies and a Kiwi at the table I’ve managed to wedge myself onto, and I spend a good four or so hours, engaged in people watching banter, as attractiveness is discussed, dissected, and acted upon. All the while I’ve been nodding away, humming along, and singing choruses, to songs I haven’t heard since my sister was listening to pirate radio way back in the day and pumping out the 80’s soul jams. The Bright Times crew would be proud of the man spinning the tunes this arvo. It feels like a musical home away from home, bright times, all day e’rday. Big tune after big tune rains down, and the bright young things, soaking up the sun and talking, talking, talking, couldn’t be fussed, even as the long, long, long intro to the Four Tops version of Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone rumbles out of the speakers.

And as I listen to these classic tunes played out in the bright sunshine, a smile plastered across my face, as head hung low, that old funky head nod, moving me from side to side, he drops Two Ton’s of Fun “Never Like This” and I have to go and shake the man’s hand.

I’d first heard this song on one of Eddie’s mixtapes way back when I had hair long enough to grow into a high top, still wore Nike trainers that cost over a hundred pounds, and getting hold of an Aiwa two motor walkman with auto reverse was one of the major missions in my life. As with all things, I loved this song immediately and would play the tape over and over again just to hear it. Eddie wasn’t/isn’t the most organised of tape makers so I never knew the title or the singers, but every so often I would hum it to myself, keeping the memory of it alive in my head. Then recently, I don’t know how or where, I heard it again, and using the JFGI (Just Fucking Google It) school of search I found it and downloaded it, (illegally of course) and was so damn happy I could have been a paraplegic getting their first blow job since the accident.

So anyway this tune makes me happy whenever and wherever I hear it and hearing it here, in this random pub that I was just passing, which I wouldn’t have stayed at apart from the sociability of the Aussie’s on the table I was sitting with, made me want to hug the whole fucking continent, and obviously I had to go shake the DJ’s hand. Because if no one else in the place knew it was a big tune, and gave the man some props, I had to let him know I appreciated his hard work and diligence.

So I did, and discovered he plays out there every Sunday, and he and a mate do a Saturday night thing, funk/disco at the Night Cat up in Carlton, which I believe I will be attending.

“I’ve been in looove before, but never like THISS!”

ps. just discovered that two tons of fun, are the weather girls, how’d you like them apples…

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