Andrew Muecke – Stories

Here are some stories associated with the early years prior to the formation of At Random, as well as stories about solo works.


It’s not all beer and skittles – so those horror stories are true PART ONE!

I am sure like in other artistic pursuits, when you look to following a particular journey, people who have also done that, often share stories about the many horrible things that can happen to you. I have found over these years that with music, many of them are sadly true.

For my brother Jono and I, we had one dealt to us in one of our very first gigs.

We were offered the amazing opportunity to be the support act for a band that was playing at the ANU (Australian National University) as part of orientation week festivities (that is the week before official university studies begin and is effectively party time for those involved).

We were very excited, as the gig was in the Uni refectory, and there would be hundreds of people in attendance. We were well rehearsed to present our all originals show – everything was planned and agreed to, and we were even given the opportunity to do a soundcheck. We had an excellent singer in Jenny Curtis, great keyboard player (Gowrie Waterhouse) and strong drummer (Chris Ferrara) as part of the band and our confidence for a good gig was high as it was sounding really strong on stage!

That is, until about 15 minutes from start time, when we were getting everything finalised and ready, then realised that the sound guys and the main band had all disappeared. On purpose.

We had no alternative but to go on – to find out that only the two vocal microphones were turned on and going through the desk (and therefore the PA system). Everything else had been turned off. This meant that the sound coming from the guitar, bass, keyboard and drums would only be the minuscule sound coming from the stage – with the Uni refectory being effectively a 50m by 25m space, we were about to die by a 1000 cuts. And be made to look spectacularly amatuerish.

Although we had people do their best to help us, nothing was able to be done at such “last minute”. It still remains, by far, the worst 45 minutes of my musical life. There were a lot of friends and associates there – it was utter humiliation. Nasty stuff.

I can genuinely say that I have no memory of what that band was called, I think I blanked them out very early on – and I am very thankful for that!

Our band (called “Them and Their Instruments” for some reason!) ended up playing a small number of other gigs around the Uni and Canberra over the next few years (88 – 89). I am pleased to say that we had no more experiences like that, and in fact, they all turned out to be good shows. Phew!