Tag Archives: Ghostboy with Golden Virtues

Mid-Winter at The Back Room

After a couple of days at home, I am starting to feel back on the Brisbane clock, but I am sure I will feel even more at home when I get behind the mic with the mighty Sheish Money at The Back Room’s Mid-Winter Session this coming Wednesday. Let me just say… the line up crackles!

Lighting up The Back Room at Confit Bistro (4/9 Dogget St, Fortitude Valley) this Wednesday night (July 27) alongside Sheish and I will be the twisted tunes and bent words of Ghostboy & Skye Staniford, co-editor of the legendary Going Down Swinging and all round literary over-achiever, Geoff Lemon, performance ensemble Zen Zen Zo and an exhibition of new work by fashion illustrator, Oliver Searle.

To give you a taste of what to expect on the night, here’s a quick hit from Geoff Lemon, live from the 2009 Nimbin Performance Poetry World Cup:

and this from the belly of Ghostboy with Golden Virtues:

And with San Francisco still firing all my synapses I will be hollering the words of some of their favourite sons and daughters and I know that Sheish has a few new songs ready to burst, so …

the walls of the place just might implode. Make sure you are there to find out!

If you can make it along, drop a comment on the post and let me know numbers or shoot me an email at geenunn(at)yahoo(dot)com(dot)au and I will look after the rest.

Entry is free and the doors open at 6pm with the live sounds beginning to rumble from 6:30pm.

Hope to see many of you there,


Filed under events & opportunities

Enter: Ghostboy with Golden Virtues

Brisbane’s children of the night, Ghostboy with Golden Virtues are just about to let their debut album out of the box to make love to our ears at the Hi-Fi Bar this Saturday night… So I threw a few questions at vocalist/lyricist/spoken weird artist Ghostboy and this is how he hit ’em back!

Your debut album Enter is now signed, sealed and delivered (and ready to be launched I might add). How are you feeling about the album? Does it capture the wild and whirling nature of your live show?
Ghostboy: We feel extremely proud (and very hard) about our first aural infection Enter – it is a great document of where the act was at last year…being both magical & flawed. It has some killer tracks on it – we are about to make a second video for our next single Love Me  – and overall there is only a few things I would change. It is getting great reviews, in that they have clearly been listening to the album without blowing smoke up our arse (there is enough in mine already:) In terms of capturing our live show energy – that is a really huge challenge given the theatrical and intense nature of what we do live / and the feeding off, constant dialogue I have with every audience. If I Were a Rock”N”Roll  girlfriend – an old track which has been severely overhauled in the arrangement by Skye & the band – best captures the visceral raw nature of GBGV. I am personally really proud of the vocals as I did them handcuffed in a room alone direct through a guitar amp, so really let Ghostboy fuck me  to get across the line. That’s the thing – the album was recorded over 5 days in total, lots of late crazy nights, lots of wine and strange silences, and I wouldn’t change a thing about the experience, even the bits I can’t remember….
You have been working together collectively for some time now… how has the writing process changed over the years?
Ghostboy: I first worked with Golden Virtues in 2005 when they were a folk rock band accompanying my poetry and I was an upstart poet with this “other” raging inside trying to find a medium for “its” voice. Back then we just did it very quickly and probably to respectfully in terms of holding the poetry up as something not to be altered or responded to as part of the actual music. Over time, this has changed enormously – as has the sound – and is still evolving. A couple of key things have happened: we started to add more of a cabaret theatre aspect that required central pieces to carry a show; Ghostboy with Golden Virtues became much more than a side project / now a band in its own right separate and informing each other and it’s art lies in the point of kissing in between;  Skye and I started to write songs together including me writing far more in a lyrical form rather than just poetic – sometimes I bring a piece like Crimes already written and describe the sound / nature of the music needed…other times like Wolfish  she has a song and I work a spoken word bridge out. Skye describes what I do as “spocals” and the thing is I have had to own that I am a lead singer in the act – in the tradition of acts like  as well as a spoken weird artist. The music and words are now the same thing rather than separate entities – we are even going to try some GBGV jams in the studio with me writing improv words – got to keep pushing the mule or it will kick you.
Ghostboy with Golden Virtues have been likened to legendary artists such as Nick Cave, Bowie & The Velvet Underground. How do you feel about such comparisons? To what extent have these artists influenced your writing and performance art?
Ghostboy: I am not much into comparisons – they are great for bios and in reviews for reference points and for approaching venues & festivals because that is the constant language of music & writing – context to what has already been. Those three are all amazing and have done it – we are just starting by lighting the fuse.  Nick Cave has been a big influence for his fierceness and integrity and style of singing (particularly the way he has developed his voice) – Henry’s Dream was the album I thought of alot when writing Crimes (lyrics below / based on truths and myths within the GBGV community). Bowie is a massive influence on me – his sexual ambiguity, “otherness”, performance art, literary and spontaneous approach to writing lyrics, his willingness to think grand when so many want to think small & smaller, Lodger is an album that really gets me but Diamond Dogs is probably the one that I think of the most in terms of our live show. Other key figures along the way have been from so many different art forms: noir cabaret act Mikelangelo & the Black Sea Gentlemen, New York performance artist Taylor Mac, Iggy Pop (the album The Idiot was and still is a soundtrack behind the past year – we interpret Sister Midnight on the album) & The Cramps, spoken word punks Emily XYZ, and of late seeing Peaches live had a huge impact on Skye & I in different ways: for me it was confirmation that punk is still alive and for me to keep pushing it and going with live primal instinct and for Skye…it offered her a vision of the lead lady she can be, wild and unapologetic while knowingly referencing what has come before.
What can people expect to take home in their backpocket after the launch show?
1. A copy of Enter if said pocket is big enough and they want to sleep on something that will wake them up in the middle of the night.
2. A very small girl if they have big soft hands and a very handsome smile
3. A light in their right eye for every time they realise that Brisbane is a little looser for having us in it
4. Three great sets by GBGV, the amazing James Cruikshank solo (The Cruel Sea) and The New Jack Ruby’s  plus poems by MC Pascalle Burton & some special guests that overall will remind people that the true artists never die, they just go to sleep one day. 


Innocence is over-rated /  Blake and his lambs taken for granted
We’ll back the lone tiger, guild the girl and her white lily
We admit to the following crimes (but we don’t feel guilty)

Girls, you don’t have to fear me
I’m average in all the right ways
When I get my hands behind your bars
we’ll separate night from day                        


We’ve danced on the roofs of your well parked cars
double parked in the heart of the handicap spaces
masturbated in the shrink’s secret lair
come in the hair of those pretty boy faces

Boy, even the tap doctor
can’t stop those tears
your fears / your fantasies, they’re lovers
they’ve been doing it for years



I admit to the following crimes
Won’t do no time
Won’t pay no fine
I think you’ll find
I’m clear of conscience and there’s nothing on my mind
I’m looking forward to the next time
I take the law and make it mine
Walk to my own beat
March along my own fine line
Oh I admit to the following crimes…

And the judge said
How do you plead?
Not Guilty!

he lost both kidneys as a teen
spleen a bible / black washing machine
shot seven men just to get too sleep
there’s a bullet in his prayers
but he still can’t weep         

your name wasn’t important at the time
we married because we could and down that street
I put the ring around her throat / but I didn’t ever squeeze
no I didn’t ever squeeze, unless she said           please!


there’s a body rotting in this mangrove
there’s a dog with a bone in its throat
they didn’t come home from the night before
and the bloated lovers they float

she stole her mother’s car as a teen
took a junkie to bed but he didn’t get far
buys quarters from the ex-wife’s boyfriend
he writes the name on the bag, like their gonna forget!



we bought hash cookies / sold stolen gear
disappeared from jobs to the faraway places
been at large on your credit card
freed the wild books from their library cages

the pink moon is arising, and so are our teeth
the keys in the lock , gonna hear us breathe
we ain’t no lawyer, we ain’t on trial
we’re at large in your closet
better turn and smile


the undesirables, the jack of spades, the arse bandits,
who’s gonna judge where we go,  the lights won’t find us
the pills and trips, torn slips, the midnight stashes
who’s gonna judge what we take, who’s gonna chase us

and if the punishment fit’s the crime                  then it’s my  turn  to cry
and if the punishment fit’s the crime                  it’s your turn to say goodbye
but if punishment is the crime                              then both of us should do this time



Buy ENTER: http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/GhostboyWithGoldenVirtues
Launch tickets: http://www.thehifi.com.au/events/ghostboy-with-golden-virtues–7664/


Filed under events & opportunities, interviews/artist profiles

New Music for Lost Sharks

The new music cup is spilling over at the moment, with some very cool releases. Here’s a taste of what’s creating waves in the world of this Lost Shark.



Nick Cave & Warren Ellis

Nick Cave & Warren Ellis – Sorya Market

This track is taken from the film The Girls of Phnom Penh and can be found on their new release White Lunar, which collects much of this duos soundtrack work from the last few years. Since the departure of Blixa Bargeld and more recently Mick Harvey from the Bad Seeds, Ellis has become Cave’s main collaborator. This track is stunning in its simplicity.



Do make Say Think

Do Make Say Think – A Tender History in Rust

Toronto’s Do Make Say Think are set to release their sixth long player Other Truths, and while it may only have four tracks, this is definitely not an EP. Do Make Say Think, create sonic narratives, songs that cast off the compositional anchor and set sail for non-liner waters. Here’s a track from their last album, You, You’re a History in Rust to help you on your way… Other Truths will be released in late October. You can currently listen to a sample here.




Lou Barlow – The Right

Barlow is an indie institution. Whether he be with Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh, Folk Implosion or in solo mode, his songs have always had a clear-eyed pop sensibility. His new album Goodnight Unknown will be released in early October. For those of you who just can’t get enough Lou, you can watch a documentary of the making of Goodnight Unknown here.



Ghostboy with Golden Virtues

Ghostboy with Golden Virtues – Wolfish

This is the first taste from what is sure to be a wildly dynamic debut album. Shot in New Farm Park in the depths of morning, this showcases Ghostboy with Golden Virtues at their dizzying best. It’s Howling meets Breakfast Club, it’s burlesque meets snyth pop, it’s damn good fun!


Filed under who listens to the radio?

Where do the Words Come From #7 – Skye Staniford

SpeedPoets rolls around again on Sunday April 5 and this month’s music feature is Brisbane songbird Skye Staniford. Skye is a member of local music outfits,  ‘We All Want To’ and ‘Golden Virtues’, who regularly collaborate with Brisbane’s Ringmaster of Debauched Cabaret, Ghostboy, so I asked her the big question… Where do the Words Come From?

Her reply…

In bursts from my mind. Past, present and imagined love. Being. 

Beautiful, tell me more, I said… and she did:





I’m influenced or inspired by many things I come across. It’s a recurring process:

1. Come across ‘thing’. IE: book, album, sauce.

2. Get caught up in the moment of ‘thing’. IE: adopt language of book, begin singing in same style as on album, start putting Worcestershire Sauce on everything.

3. Initial hit of thing wears off. IE: finish book, get bored of album, start questioning the versatility of Worcestershire Sauce.

4. Some element of ‘thing’ weaves its way into me forever ie: A love and gift for using Nadsat, a love and gift for singing harmonies (thanks Simon, thanks Garfunkel), a love and gift for preparing and consuming  an incredible Bloody Mary, and we all know who the star of that show is…

It’s all about the ‘thing’.


The writing process

The pen is romantic but the keyboard is swift. Writing the words and working out how to express what I’m feeling and wanting on the guitar is a very strange ‘thing’. Explain I cannot. I have to jump on any desire to write straight away or it vanishes. I rarely practice. I don’t sit down and go ‘ok, I’m going to write a song now’. When I have done this in the past, the songs have been shit. I’m not extremely prolific but I’d like to think that means I’m a quality over quantity kind of girl.


The importance of voice

I’m a flautist and singer who smokes. I spent a large part of my childhood in hospital, hooked up to machines, with acute athsma. So aside from being insane, I will say that I don’t value and respect ‘the importance of voice’ enough.


Recurring themes

Longing and dysfunction. Satisfaction and contentment. Caring too much or not enough. Infected tattoos.


How have my feelings about lyrics, changed since I first started writing?

I used to be able to hammer out a stream of consciousness filled with mistaken rhyme. I also used to go night swimming on mushrooms. I’m more careful these days – less is definitely more.


Find Out More:




“ Brisbane ’s premier folk and roll outfit” – RAVE MAGAZINE

 Here we have a spearfishing guitarist. He can find a feast on any suburban street. Where we see pavers Reece sees starfruit. Background: Garage, Punk, Stoner Rock. Foreground: Words, Voice, Guitar, Bass, Harmonica. 

Coming up like a hurricane is our Shakespearean Siren and calligraphic enigma. An olde world, r-rolling violinist; Hannah Jane sings sweeter than syrup and looks like a wrapped present in any garment. Background: Classical, Gypsy, Folk. Foreground: Words, Voice, Violin, Guitar, Keys.

To her left we have a wandering minstrel. All legs and mellow, Robbie is a teleported-from-the-seventies cat, a melody-mining machine who loves on the frets like he loves vintage vinyl. Background: Prog Rock, Psychedelic, Experimental. Foreground: Voice, Bass, Guitar, Mandolin.

Then there is the ale-sipping chanteuse Skye, who sings off headlands and relates to the pied piper. She wants to eat a devilled egg and lay across your piano. Background: Blues, Doo Wop, 90’s Rock. Foreground: Words, Voice, Flute, Guitar, Bass, Tambourine.

Lastly, a true gentleman. Radovan holds his knife like a jazz drummer and plays a mean slide ukulele with a ripe pear. A Serbian pimp daddy with the crib to prove it, he reigns on sticks and mallets but draws the line at brushes. Background: Metal, Hip Hop, Heavy Rock. Foreground: Drums, Percussion


Catch Skye live at SpeedPoets when it returns for its second gig of 2009 on Sunday April 5. It all happens at the The Alibi Room, 720 Brunswick St, New Farm from 2pm. The gig will also feature local spoken word/hip-hop artist Dark Wing Dubs and Pru Gell (Northern Territory). There will also be live sounds from the SpeedPoets engine room of Sheish Money, free zines, giveaways and the hottest Open Mic section in our fine city. Entry is a gold coin donation. See you there!

SpeedPoets: Sunday April 5, 2pm – 5pm @ The Alibi Room, 720 Brunswick St. New Farm.


Filed under Where do the Words Come From?