George Hrab at the Clyde

I should really have put this post up weeks ago but, sorry I’ve been busy, with work, blah blah…. I’m sure you don’t want to hear about it.  Anyway this post is a not-very-good attempt to re-live a great night, a bit of a pat on the back for the organizer, Catherine D and to show some nice photos.

And what a week TAM Australia Fringe was in Melbourne, with events on successive nights.   Beginning on Tuesday the 30th of November, George Hrab put on a great performance at the Clyde Hotel.

Self confessed “suit guy”, podcaster, composer and musician George Hrab was pleasantly surprised to find that he had so many fans in Melbourne. A crowd that numbered around 150, knew the words and joined in with enthusiasm.   What a fun night, lyrics that resonate with skeptics and rational thinkers, music and laughter – good stuff.

I recall talking to Terry Kelly after the event. He said:

That was great. I can’t believe it was a free event – I would have paid good money to see that!

(hint, Terry, don’t tell Catherine).

George played Far, I really didn’t think he’d try, maybe it’s just my naive understanding of music.  The full CD version of Far sounds like it has the full backing band with big sound, treatment.  “How’s this one guy with an acoustic guitar and an amplifier going to make it happen?” I’m thinking. Well it did happen and it was a huge treat, if you weren’t there, sorry, you really missed out.

Other songs loved by Geo’s fans such as God is Not Great, Skeptic, When I Was Your Age and many more were warmly received. George did the equivalent on stage of his Ask George podcast segment – hilarious.

Can someone remind me in the comments of this post of the title of the song George did using only his iPhone as a sampling device?  That was fascinating to watch, hugely nerdy (I’m sure you know that I mean that in the nicest way) and showed what a huge talent George is.

The name of the tour, Styrofoam has a back story.  Those that listen to the George’s Geologic Podcast, will know that there is a kind of fun password in use.  Apparently a well known Skeptic from WA (Can I mention your name Kylie? – oops too late) once called out to George using the word Styrofoam instead of the correct password.  Of course, from then on, Styrofoam became the new “special” password for Australian listeners and the name of the Australian tour.

[Update: The version of the “Styrofoam” story I have isn’t correct.  There you go, that’s the difference between a 3rd hand story (mine), and the first hand story you can now read in the comments below – thanks Kylie.]

The Styrofoam tour went in this order: TAM Australia (Sydney), Brisbane, Melbourne, Christchurch, Auckland, Adelaide and Canberra – I’m not kidding. You work it out!  I hope the people who were lucky enough to see George Hrab perform elsewhere enjoyed it as much as we did.

Many thanks to Catherine Donaldson for organizing and advertising this event. The posters looked fantastic, and it was a great night.

[Another Update: I’ve messed up yet again, The Young Australian Skeptics had a lot to do with the running of this event, sorry I didn’t know and thus neglected to mention them. Oh and by the way, The Young Australian Skeptics have an excellent web site (per the link) and an excellent podcast called The Pseudo Scientists I’m a regular listener, plug, plug.]

I hope George finds a reason to come back to Australia soon.


PS; You can find the audio of “Far” recorded in Melbourne here.

You can find George’s Geologic Podcast here.

(photos by Fred Bremmer and Mal Vickers)


click - full view

8 Responses to George Hrab at the Clyde

  1. KSturgess says:

    Actually, I coined the term ‘Styrofoam’ on purpose? It was in the courtyard outside that same venue, The Clyde, during the time a group of us were visiting the Young Australian Skeptics after lecturing at the Uni of Melbourne, which was across the road. Kylie S.

  2. KSturgess says:

    Speaking of which, you seem to have left mention of the Young Australian Skeptics (podcast, Pseudo Scientists) out of your review, as they were working with Catherine Donaldson?

  3. Joel says:

    True. The gig was proudly brought to you by the Young Australian Skeptics, who made sure everything got paid for and are extremely “shnboofen” to have Catherine at the organisational helm. Also, how cute did the YAS kids look in their “I <3 Hrab" t-shirts!

    Thanks for the wrap-up Mal. Was great to see Terry, you and others from Vic Skeptics there. Truly a night to remember.

  4. malvickers says:

    Yep sorry, this post was obviously not accurate in a number of places – although its now a little messy, I think I’ve fixed it.

    There is nothing like a first-hand account – thanks Kylie.

    I honestly didn’t know YAS where additionally involved in putting on the George Hrab gig. Some people like me, perhaps a little selfishly, just showed up, had a great time and went home. The Vic Skeptics didn’t contribute in any way to organizing the gig, I just wanted to write about it, reminisce a little and put up some nice photos.

    I think all the emails I have about this gig prior to the event, where from Catherine, thus I wrongly assumed she was essentially the sole organizer.

    Although it’s now obvious where I’ve messed up in the post, (I’m human) it’s good that I can see people are actually reading the blog AND there is a way to correct my mistakes.

    Did anyone notice the work on the images I did?
    – The colorful image/cartoon thing with George bowing at the end and the nice removal of the dull background.
    – The panorama which has a guy in a blue shirt with a very thin head (Sorry to whomever this is, nothing personal, the panorama software did it).
    – The last image taken from a low angle, with its combination of flash and a soft merge of another slow shutter speed image.
    No? …*sigh*

    Fred Bremmer took the silhouette and the “Ask George” photo. The silhouette I particularly like.

    Alright then – the photos are OK but the text was… err, not so good. Sorry.

    Does anyone want to volunteer to write about the talks held on the 1st and 2nd of December? I’ve got the photos if you want to write about it.

  5. malvickers says:

    I’ve just listened to episode 194 of the Geologic podcast. In it, Geo thanks all the right people for his Australia-New Zealand Styrofoam tour. For the Melbourne leg of the tour he thanks Catherine D and The Young Australian Skeptics. So rather than read my guesses of who the right people to thank would be, listen to this episode and hear thanks from Geo himself.

    Two other items of interest from this episode; Fred Bremmer gets a big mention and Geo says Melbourne can sing – nice.

  6. catherineLd says:

    hi mal!

    A ) don’t stress!
    B ) yes i did do everything but i did it under the banner of YAS.
    C ) thanks for the thanks :D))
    D ) great image work.

  7. malvickers says:

    E ) *phew* thanks

  8. catherineLd says:

    F) fantastic work! happy 2011!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: