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100 Seats with Peter Blakeley

Emily Allen

100 Seats is a series of special, one-off sessions in which renowned performers explore their art through conversation and performance, in the intimacy of the National Film and Sound Archive Theatrette.

Former Rockmelons lead singer Peter Blakeley will be here at the end of the month to treat audiences.

Peter has enjoyed massive chart success and in 1990, won an ARIA award for his song ‘Crying in the Chapel’ from the album Harry’s Café De Wheels.

Having recently returned from more than two decades working in Los Angeles, 100 Seats will share songs from his forthcoming album and old favourites in an acoustic set.

Songs from the Dime references a place in Downtown LA where Peter lived for some time and was the inspiration for much of his forthcoming album.

I caught up with Peter for a brief chat in the lead-up to his November show.

Emily: What can Canberra expect from the show?

Peter: “I would like to introduce Canberra to some of the wonderful people from Downtown Los Angeles, who the world feels it has left behind.”

“The show will also be peppered with a number of songs written whilst I was living Downtown. I want to show with these songs and stories that the best of humanity shines through in the most unlikely places and pose a question to ourselves, how much do we value another person life?”

What process(es) did you go through in exploring how to incorporate conversation and performance for this show?

“It was quite an easy process as my memories and impressions from this time are still so vivid. I’ve found the easiest way to realise these stories was to sit in front of a tape recorder to actually feel like I was back with this people again.”

 How will the intimacy of NFSA’s Theatrette help to showcase your set? 

“The NFSA is a very intimate gathering and the perfect forum to be able to sing these songs and tell these stories. I’m approaching this show as if I’m having an intimate conversation with another person. “If you want people to listen, you need to whisper.””

How did you decide upon your set?

“The stories and the songs seemed to really select themselves for this show!”

the essentials
What: 100 Seats: Peter Blakeley ‘Songs from the Dime’
When: 20 November, 6:30-8pm
Where: NFSA Theatrette, Canberra, ACT
Cost: $35 online


Emily Allen

Emily is an arts administrator with a background in writing and music. By day, she works at the ANU School of Music, and by night she moonlights as a contributing writer, the Communications Coordinator and Secretary for MusicACT, and dabbles in freelance marketing, social media and communications for the arts. More about the Author