Live at The Yarra

by Liz Stringer

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about

'Live at The Yarra' was filmed on an Autumn night in May 2014 at The Yarra Hotel on Johnston Street, Abbotsford, Melbourne in front of an intimate crowd of 100 punters. Liz performed two sets on the night, choosing songs from her four studio albums to date. The best ten were selected for the live album and DVD. It was a special night, made possible by a talented film and sound crew and the generosity of the good folk at the Yarra.

credits

released October 20, 2014

Performed by Liz Stringer at the Yarra Hotel, Johnston Street Abbotsford, Melbourne, Australia on May 27th, 2014.

Live engineering and recording by Nigel Swifte, assisted by Tom Stroder

Camera Department - Tom Hayes, Bonnie Moir, Tim McCormack, Agostino Soldati and Francisco Flood
Lighting - Rowan Matthews, Tom Hayes and Tim McCormack
Producer - Cat Leahy
Co-Producer - Tim McCormack
Editor - Tim McCormack and Tom Hayes
Director - Tim McCormack

Mixed and mastered by Nigel Swifte and Aaron Bateman at Forge Recording Studios, Reservoir

Live photography by Emma-Jane Johnston (www.emma-janejohnston.com)

Liz's hair and make up by Marlene Olsson

Cover art and design by Kirrily Anderson

Photograph of The Yarra Hotel by Heather McDonald

Title plaque engraved by Andrew Bailey

All songs written by Liz Stringer

My heartfelt thanks and love to everyone who stood in the room with me that night at the Yarra and helped make it one to remember. To the team who made it all happen: Tim, Bonnie, Tom, Franscisco, Ago, Rowan, Nige and Tom and Emma-Jane, thank you for guiding me through such an unfamiliar experience and doing a fabulous job of representing the gig so truly and beautifully. I'm so lucky to have such exceptionally talented and beneficent friends.

Love and thanks to the Yarra owners and staff for giving us run of the joint for a whole day and night and for being generally top-shelf people.

Thanks to Mick for the intro. And thanks to Cat for her concept, unwavering belief and organisational nous.

Special mentions to other wonderful people for their help and input:
Van Walker, Tajette O'Halloran, Colin Wynne, Shane O'Mara, Jenny O’Keefe, Yvette Maker, Kirrily Anderson & Aaron Bateman.

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Track Name: Drawn To You (live)
There ain’t no going back if I go down this road with you
But I’m still swimming in that ocean, those eyes I fell into
And it’s difficult to see straight when you got a dizzy heart
No use thinking ‘bout an ending when we haven’t made a start

Sitting ‘round in the dark
You might break my tender heart in two, but I’m drawn to you

I drink so much these days it’s hard to know what’s real
But I’m so sick of second guessing every single thing I feel
So blindly I tread forward, down this road I turn
It’s just a matter of time when both ends of a candle burn

Sitting ‘round in the dark
I might break your tender heart in two, but I’m drawn to you

And when that road came to an end we found ourselves facing a raging sea
And try as I might I couldn’t stop the tide from turning there in front of me

I saw you yesterday when I was driving in my car
I forced my eyes to turn away, dragged on my cigarette real hard
We both had our scars, now some of them are raw
But I never liked perfection, it’s such a fucken bore

Sitting ‘round in the dark
Guess we broke each other’s hearts in two, but I’m still drawn to you
Track Name: Children (live)
My regret and me and a cheap cask of wine
We meet every evening around the same time
No formalities, I’m at ease, we know us so well

And all down my street the lights go on slow
While righteous women brush their hair while their fellas get stoned
We’re still children let loose with each other’s hearts

Oh I saw the moon rise tonight casting walls between us
How much easier it is to say that I miss you more when you’re
Here than when you’re away

I know I’m not the only one who carries a bruised heart
After all we are all the same animal, the only thing that tells us apart
Is the one we miss; those eyes, that kiss, that voice in the dark

Oh I saw the sun rise today casting roads between us
How much easier it is to say that I miss you more when you’re
Here than when you’re away

That’s why when children get older mothers get scared
I wish I could’ve told her how unprepared I am
Track Name: Lady Luck (live)
I was born in Brisbane on a hot spring day
Among my kin a big storm brewing
And when Dad got a job up Port Moresby way
That big old storm it blew in

It scattered us around like autumn leaves
Mum in Melbourne, brother in Manly
I started sowing trouble seeds
My dad’s new missus hated me

My father looked at me sometimes
As cold as a Melbourne outer eastern squall
I went to find my mother when I was nine
And hung with new mates by the station’s wall

By thirteen I was drugging and wagging class
Changed schools ‘bout a thousand times
I’d never really fit in anywhere
Been moving ‘round all of my life

But Lady Luck she comes and goes
And she leaves this gentle warning
For what you have tonight, who knows
If it’ll still be there in the morning
But there’s always a new day dawning

I left school and got an apprenticeship
Sweeping hair from a salon floor
Gave up the drugs when I lost some friends
Couldn’t see what the madness was for
The road was good I was travelling on
For the first time the sun was shining
But when I met that man and thought he was the one
That old road started winding

We moved in ‘cross the train line down Croydon way
‘Cos he told me I was pretty
But his soul, like his fists, got harder every day
It was the needle he adored and not me

But then one night my hibernating pride
Woke just like a black snake
A friend and I we headed north
Drove all night for my life’s sake

But Lady Luck she comes and goes
And she leaves this gentle warning
For what you have tonight, who knows
If it’ll still be there in the morning
But there’s always a new day dawning

And now I’m sitting on the deck of my Buderim house
I’m pulling double shifts and living clean
I think of all those dark angels back in the south
All the places that I’ve been

When I talk to my mother I can hear her smile
Feel her mighty strength and reason
She taught me that though there’ll be storms to come
Life keeps changing faster than the seasons

And that Lady Luck she comes and goes
And she leaves this gentle warning
For what you have tonight, who knows
If it’ll still be there in the morning
But there’s always a new day dawning
Track Name: Glutton (live)
I’ve been collecting buttons ‘cos I know that you need one
I have so many colours now, all the shades of a setting sun
I’ve wandered through your garden, peered over your wall
I’ve watched you through those thin panes, I’ve watched you come and go

With your love, that’s when I’d fall apart
Don’t you go breaking anyone else’s heart
‘Cos I’m a glutton and feeding upon this pain is better than nothing

The cuff links in your pressed suits, the creases in your pants
I’ve memorised and studied every time I’ve had a chance
I’ve leant idle on a counter and watched endless passers by
In the hope that I might see you, commit you further to my mind

With your love, that’s when I’d fall apart
Don’t you go breaking anyone else’s heart
Cos I’m a glutton and feeding upon this pain is better than nothing

I met you many years ago but my face you wouldn’t know, at least I wouldn’t think so, babe
Ever since I’ve kept in touch, but I’ve kept it all pretty much on the down low

Of the millions of things lying between your heart and mine
Worst is the fear of falling, falling way behind
In an instant I could have you but your rein is loose and long
And I’ll wait here under your tall tree ‘til tomorrow’s dewy dawn

With your love, that’s when I’d fall apart
Don’t you go breaking anyone else’s heart
Cos I’m a glutton and feasting upon this pain is better than nothing

Sometimes I think how it would be, but a delicious fantasy, you gotta stay so
We’re closer than you think, this could all change in the blink of your eye
And even over your highest wall, I’ve seen things, I could tell all, if you only knew that
Spend all my time creeping up, but all the time I’m never close enough
Track Name: In Anybody's Language (live)
He sprung a leak, spoke when he shouldn’t speak
Now the bypass is carving up the country
The future’s iron lung, from a university tongue
Been licking at this town for a century
The abattoir gone quiet, they moved it out twenty miles
Now those bloodied hands rest tapping on a sports bet

Well you’ll have a better life
You’ll have a better life, you mark our words
Have a better life, you’ll all get what you all deserve

Oh man, this is too fucked up
In anybody’s language it ain’t good enough
‘Cos I’ve been here almost fifteen years
In anybody’s language this is fight or fear

Pipes on the beach, a sickening rotting peach
As the blood from the Redgum fills the valley
Tracks in the sand, heavy hammers in their hand
And their deals done with their pants down in the alley

Well you’ll have a better life
You’ll have a better life, you mark our words
Have a better life, you’ll all get what you all deserve

Oh man, this is too fucked up
In anybody’s language it ain’t good enough
‘Cos I’ve been here almost fifteen years
In anybody’s language this is fight or fear
Track Name: Stay With Me Here (live)
Why you run, run so fast
Is it clear that we’re fading like sand
You come home every night
With another girl’s heart in your hand

But oh lover, stay with me here
Oh lover, there’s nothing I fear
When you’re near, babe
So stay with me tonight

One door opens, another one closed
Hey boy, ain’t that the way that it goes
‘Cos I’m not here to teach you or to reach you
Or to show you how it feels to be in love

But oh lover, stay with me here
Oh lover, there’s nothing I fear
When you’re near, babe
So stay with me tonight

So there it was, there it was
I didn’t love you like I said I did when we were sweating
Nothing changes and nothing will
You and me like poison, like trying to push a river back uphill

But baby, stay with me here
Oh lover, there’s nothing I fear
When you’re near, babe
So stay with me tonight
Track Name: It's a Long Way Down (live)
I ain’t too good when I’m sober
My weary head it won’t let me rest
It never seems to be over
The demons crouching beneath my breast

I got a job in the city
Making coffee for cops and crims
Hung-over, shaking and shitty
Until I got that bottle between my lips

So if you go, would you take me with you
‘Cos I want to know how it feels to leave
I saw the future like a chasm below me
And honey it’s a long way down

We go out drinking on Monday
Graffiti shining on the rain slicked streets
With cigarettes and a week’s pay
And friends who drink just as hard as me

We talk shit ‘til we’re thrown out
Go back to Jimmy’s and smoke some weed
This ain’t no kind of a blowout
We’ll do the same thing every night this week

So if you go, would you take me with you
‘Cos I want to know how it feels to leave
I saw the future like a chasm below me
And honey it’s a long way down
Track Name: High Open Hills (live)
I met him high on a hill when I was sixteen
And my breath it was taken by the cold August wind
I left school that next summer and to Melbourne we fled
As the sky over Mansfield turned orange and red

I asked him where he came from, he said he wasn’t quite sure
He said he’d moved ‘round so often, he didn’t keep track no more
But he said I was the reason that he could stand still
And he kissed me that first time on the high open hill

See everything changes ‘cept for the sound of the rain
That comes down every time I see him again
And I wish for a moment that we could once more stand
On those high open hills of our youth
Me and my traveling man

He went off to Western Australia where the pearl fishing’s good
He said he’d been once to Broome and there he felt understood
He said I’m gonna return with a fortune untold
So just sit tight my darling for our future to unfold

He came back to me to Melbourne for a week or so
We were lover to lover, I didn’t want him to go
But with a fire in his belly and a baby in mine
I prayed when he’d come home it would be the last time
See everything changes ‘cept for the sound of the rain
That comes down every time I see him again
And I wish for a moment that we could once more stand
On those high open hills of our youth
Me and my traveling man

I got a letter from Darwin later that month
He said, “I’ve found myself a lover, in fact I’ve found quite a bunch
The last thing I want to do is to hurt you or our boy
But you know all I touch I go on to destroy”

He sent us some money, but soon that dried up too
Just like the hope in my baby’s eyes blue
He’d sit at the window and wait every night
And I prayed that that bastard would do what is right

See everything changes ‘cept for the sound of the rain
That comes down every time I see him again
And I wish for a moment that we could once more stand
On those high open hills of our youth
Me and my traveling man
Track Name: The Summer They Slept Under The Pines (live)
Well singing songs from town to town
There ain’t no time to settle down
Driving east from Portland, stinking Christmas eve
Drunk from driving, window down
Red hot wind through an ice-cream town
All our guitars cracking, swelling from the heat

I saw her leaning by the kitchen pass, drinking water from a glass
Her working shirt clung to her, I wished that I could too
Fire to make this cold heart light, a vision there in sweat and white
I gotta talk to her I thought as I began to blush

Well I never thought I’d meet the one who made me want to stay
Who’d pull me up like buttercups when I had gone astray
But I was young and restless, roamed at my will
I burned a lot of bridges, and I weren’t about to build
Things are gonna change

That summer we slept under the pines
All day I held her hand in mine
I’d go singing, she would wait on tables after dark
I met her mother, she met mine
We smoked Marlboros and drank red wine
And I remember thinking I think now is the time

Well I never thought I’d meet the one who made we want to stay
Who’d pull the strings and see the things that I had shut away
I was young and restless, she just knocked me hard
I’d burned a lot of bridges, so she built one to my heart
Things are gonna change
Track Name: Ain't No Healer (live)
I heard your voice from a mile away
It came through the floor into my feet and through my legs
And then it curled like a snake around my heart
Oh no love ain't no healer

I fell to my knees where I stood
And put my hands to my mouth
cos I know that nothing better ever came from anything good
Oh no love ain't no healer

I built those bridges and then I watched them burn
They lit up the sky line like a firework
And there you came with the materials to make them new again
Oh no love ain't no healer

Save me, Save me
Save me
Oh no love ain't no healer

So I'm sorry if I freaked you out
But you see I have nothing good to say if it's love I'm talking about
So I'm gonna curl like a snake around your heart
And tell you sweet darlin
Love ain't no healer