Malcolm Beveridge The Lomond Hotel
This shoot features two men of quiet substance. Both supporters of strong women, calm and humorous, each has a long history of promoting artists from Australian indigenous culture. They are people of immense integrity, humility, and tend to be camera shy despite their public facing roles.
314 Sydney Road
Brunswick VIC 3056
(The Flaming Mongrels)
If you’ve been into The Lomond, you’ve probably met James Neagle, the unassuming face of the pub. James has run the bar for 32 years in partnership with the proprietor – his mum, Valerie Neagle. The family – James’ sisters, beloved wife Carol, and their three sons – have welcomed everyone. The pub has paid a decent guarantee to musos since they took management in the 80’s. In recent years the family has had some health worries, and in 2017 the pub took expressions of interest for sale, although at the time of filming nothing is set in stone. With AOQR I had a chance to thank James and his family on behalf of myself and the many musos who have held the Lomond so dear.
My connection with the pub is not only musical. I had my 18th birthday in the bistro, and launched my first album there in 2007. It’s where I first saw the legendary Joe Geia perform, jammed with obscure Melbourne old-timey outfit Headbelly Buzzard, got a job after my overseas travels, and incidentally I was working behind the bar when I first properly met our guest.
It can be easy to misjudge Beveridge’s character. He has a crude turn of phrase, a crass sense of humour, and absolutely no drive for self-promotion. In the pub scene he tends to play original songs in the vein of his favourites, Merle Haggard and Hank Williams. He likes old-school Americana and knows it backwards, but his knowledge and skills are much broader than that with an extensive background playing jazz (bass), and touring the world with the Ilbijerri Theatre Company and productions such as Uncle Jack Charles Vs The Crown.
If you’d like to know more about the pub, I can recommend the songwriters events: Lomond Acoustica every Wednesday, and The Writer’s Block once a month run by Frank Jones. Or check out the photographic study by Alia Coates of Blackplate Photography.
Beveridge is a confident instrumentalist, but can be shy about singing. His offering Gone is vulnerable and humble, as gentle as his treatment of my own song August Moon. I love watching him step outside of his comfort zone to play acoustic ballads on guitar. A stalwart session musician and band player, it’s especially great to place him in this series alongside players whose names are lit up large.
‘Man Up On The Moon’
by Stefanie Duzel
Malcolm has strong opinions on independent music, and had a hard time finding an independent writer to cover. This is a big part of AOQR – asking songwriters to listen to and advocate for each other. The song he did choose is a stunner. Based in Gisborne, he’s recently teamed up with Stefanie Duzel, performing locally and helping on her upcoming album. He insisted I sing it, in exchange for his vocals on August Moon. Duzel has an immense voice and her song is structured beautifully, walking a line between pop and country. I love that it name-drops the Bolte Bridge and the Westgate.
As I mentioned, Mal can be shy about singing softer ‘nice’ ballads so it was a special treat to hear him phrase the lyrics for my own song. August Moon has a classic, vintage feel – I always feel like I wrote it for an early, western romance film, maybe even black and white. The song came out of a trip to the beautiful Nannup Festival in WA, where I danced under the stars. It was my first trip to WA and also the first time I saw Lior Attar play live. It’s been recorded for Youtube before, by Ryan Tews, with Sally Taylor and Rowena Wise (all members of the Stray Hens).