SPIN Doctor had the great misfortune to wake up in the middle of the night on Tuesday, convinced I was about to be beaten up, or worse, by Shirley Manson, redheaded vocalist for electro-popsters Garbage. Now, I know for a fact there are men out there for whom a telling off in Manson’s Edinburgh twang and perhaps physical repercussions afterwards would be considered a good thing, perhaps even on a weekly basis, but for this writer the shockingly vivid image conjured up nothing more than mild panic and a sudden need for malt whisky. What provoked this nightmare was a viewing of the new season of sci-fi television series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles ( see review page 38), in which Manson, in a consistently threatening tone, plays Catherine Weaver, a company executive with a secret agenda that does not bode well for her employees, or indeed mankind. For someone with little acting experience Manson, 42, is surprisingly convincing in the role, not least when she . . . well, let’s just say she’s adaptable. Hopefully her acting success will lead to other parts, since the career of her US-based pop group appears to have ground to a halt. Manson is also in the news in her native Scotland, where she is to THE Sound Relief bushfire benefit concerts in Melbourne and Sydney next weekend will have sent a number of local musos off to their rooms for a few hours of revision in the past week or so. I’m thinking mainly of bands such as Melbourne heroes Hunters and Collectors, who haven’t played a note in earnest ( they were good at that, too) since Elvis was a boy. Iva Davies and his Icehouse cronies will no doubt be cramming for their Sydney performance, but it’s the Melbourne gig at the MCG that has the biggest revival roster, with Split Enz ( OK they’ve had a few warm-ups recently) and Midnight Oil in attendance. The Oils’ guitarist Jim Moginie sneaked in a bit of a practice last weekend, albeit without his old buddies. Moginie was part of the line-up at the inaugural Foggy Mountain Jam in Laguna, NSW, a lowkey roots music jamboree hosted by producer Nash Chambers on his sprawling country property. Chambers’s sister Kasey, dad Bill and brother-in-law Shane Nicholson all did a turn. The moonlit Wollombi Valley was alive with the sound of great music, although some of the local wildlife could be seen heading for the hills during what could best be described as a jazzcountry version of the Oils’ Beds are Burning from Moginie and his friends.
spindoc@ theaustralian. com. au