The Moreland Sessions, Episode 11: John Fox @ Irene Warehouse



John the Fox has three albums to his name – and next to no web-presence.
He’s a beloved fixture in Moreland, and instantly recognisable.

Irene Warehouse

5 Pitt St
Brunswick VIC 3056

John Fox
John Fox does not
have a website

Directed and filmed by
Agostino Soldati

Recorded, mixed,
and mastered by
Phil Collings


Regular busking and a passion for live music venues keep John out and about. I’ve known John for a long time, but it was actually our co-producer Agostino who suggested him for the series. Ago saw a rare performance at A Whole Lotta Love on Lygon Street, Brunswick East, and has never forgotten it.

I had an absolute ball recording with him and our crew at Irene Warehouse. John has recorded here before, in the gorgeous clay-rendered studio which is the domain of our host Steve Fraser, one of the volunteer committee members who administer Irene. Some of the committee are in a band that Ago and I met on on a bus to Wallaby Creek Festival in far north Queensland, and it turns out that our engineer Phil is a good friend of Steve and has worked with him before too.
It’s a small world.

Set in a re-purposed lingerie factory, Irene hosts acrobats, sculptors, beats artists, and dance crews. Creatives of all kind are welcome to apply to use their space via their beautiful, accessible website. Steve took time out of a busy day to talk to us about the room, and about Irene.

One of the biggest highlights of my time with John was behind the scenes, when I was handed a battered old book which turns out to be John’s personally signed copy of Douglas Adams’ Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy. This is a man of taste with a surprising depth of integrity, wisdom and hilarious sense of humour. He never ceases to surprise and delight me. So few people are treated to his humour and his wit, and I feel lucky to have had some time to get to know him better.

John’s Songs
‘The Punter’s Regret’
‘Rough Old Ride’

I knew John was witty and incredibly well read, but I’d never heard much of his own stuff. I was so enamoured of his songs that I threw the planned format out the window and included two of them, forgoing the inclusion of a cover. John already supports other musicians, and hardly needs much reason to ponder the virtues of other locals.

Besides, in The Punter’s Regret John name drops Irvine, Brady, and Melbourne’s own Tim Scanlan (now living in Japan). For this song, I carry the instrumentation on my own, and we have a hard time suppressing giggles through an irreverent line.

His second song, Rough Old Ride, is a beautifully nostalgic piece, referencing Brunswick and North Fitzroy, and the famous evening flight of the bats.

Mandy’s Song
‘Broken Bone’

This is another song written about my time in a share house in Carlton. It fits nicely with John’s reference to living in Carlton and studying in style, although in my case I was working full time to fund my music habit. A few of my songs are written about the time I lived in Faraday Street – this song is a pity-party I had after I hurt my little toe on the uneven stairs out the back. I’d also just been dumped, and was truly feeling sorry for myself.