Pandemic Schmandemic Pt.1

Narratives resulting from Covid-19 would have to amount to billions. Some tragic or at the least situation-changing but, mostly count as mere inconvenience in the scheme of things. Such as being coerced home halfway through our well-planned and half-enjoyed trip to New Zealand (all we experienced was amazing, but we only experienced half on the itinerary).

However we have the flexibility to reschedule after the world has become a little less bonkers. We might even predict that the resumption of said Tasman-hop will be more enjoyable, all things considered.

Rewind to May 2020 where I was to perform an acoustic set at my sister’s wedding in Adelaide, presenting a few requested songs as ‘muzak’ while the punters gathered to settle. And then, to support celebrant Dorinda Hafner, my hopefully dulcet tones would add a dash of sensory emphasis as Barbara made her way from the back to the front. 

Boss (wife) and I intended to fly from Tasmania to Adelaide for the wedding gig, before remaining for a couple of weeks so we could bump heads with old friends.

Back to the big day: as a surprise to my sister who wouldn’t have had any inkling of this part of the plan until she reads this post; my long-time mate (and booked DJ for the evening) Keith Arnold and I were going to collaborate after the ceremony on a couple of songs; Keith doing what he loves, mixing and creating musical transitions, and me sparring on acoustic guitar and vocals. We thought it would be fun and a surprise for anyone paying attention.

Not if I have a say in any or all of the above, muttered pandemic-personified.

Enter plan B: restrictions lessened with the reduced number of cases being South Australia (zero covid-cases) and Tasmania (zero covid-cases). Barbara and groom-to-be Ian proved themselves bold when they re-scheduled the wedding for early November. Could we still make it, Kathy and I deliberated?


We decided it was too much of a gamble. I mean, what if some toerag kicked everything off again and Kathy and I became stranded in another state with the generous-with-her-time carer of Poppy (our beloved four-legged companion) needing to be elsewhere? 

Enter plan C: Kathy and I would video the performances and covid-safe-EFT to the venue for them to play at the appropriate moment(s). We would recline to the isolation of our sunroom and watch a live stream courtesy of our accommodating nephew Simon, with bubbles in our glasses and a bowl of crisps on our knees.

Given the opportunity to be a little more creative, I decided it would be fun to collaborate with a couple of talented musician friends. I approached lifelong friend Gary Pine, frontman for Tasmanian band Avargo Groove, to perform our version of The Church’s massive 1989 hit, ‘Under the Milky Way’ (as requested by Sis). I’m delighted to say Gary leapt at the chance for us to work together for the very first time.

Gary turned up with his box of harmonicas, tried a few out and decided which would be best for the song. I chose to take high harmony and Gary low, and we were right into it — no rehearsal, just play and record. Unfortunately there was a glitch in the separate audio recording, meaning the sound on the video is straight from the iPhone. Despite that uninvited gremlin, performing with Gary was a joy and long time overdue.

Under the Milky Way (Steve Kilbey, Karin Jansson). Performed by Michael Cannon and Gary Pine

Footnote 1: In the face of months of organisation, Ian had inadvertently left his phone at home and the poor punters were made to peripherally listen / watch each song on a loop while a volunteer broke the sound barrier to collect said live-stream-portico so Ian’s folks back in Estonia could witness the joyous occasion. 

Footnote 2: It’s a blimmin’ good thing we decided not to border-hop, by the way, as some toerag indeed broke the zero count and those borders did slam shut, as we conjectured. South Australia will sort it out while we get on with things back in Tasmania.