Tag Archive | Music

Born to Sing

An Australian Point of View #2 Redcliffe

There’s a lot to like about Redcliffe. This seaside suburb on Brisbane’s northern outskirts has a broad esplanade overlooking the calm waters of Moreton Bay. Redcliffe Jetty, the third to be built on the site, has heritage features copied from its forebears. There are plenty of cafes where cake and coffee can be enjoyed with an ocean view, but there’s no big city hustle and bustle to contend with.

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Perhaps this is what attracted Hugh and Barbara Gibb to the area when they emigrated from England with their young family in 1958. Three of their boys, talented musicians from an early age, formed a band to make pocket money and, in 1960 at the ages of 12 and 9, they were regular performers at interval during the Redcliffe Speedway. The boys were allowed to keep the money the enthusiastic crowd would throw onto the track.

Little did those people know they were witnessing the birth of one of the greatest musical acts of the 20th century, with eventual worldwide sales of more than 220 million records. After those early shows Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb went on to become The Bee Gees.

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Bee Gees Way, a 70 metre walkway on Redcliffe Parade, documents the amazing career of the brothers who called Redcliffe home. It celebrates their music with photos and video footage played on a large screen.

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Visitors are serenaded by the music of the Bee Gees as they view the group’s first recording contract, signed by their parents because they were underage.

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Two statues pay homage to the brothers, first as barefoot boys singing at the speedway, and then as a supergroup of the 70s and 80s.

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Barry Gibb opened the walkway on 14 February, 2013 and visited again on 9 September, 2015. Perhaps the last plaque on the walk echoes his thoughts about the walkway dedicated to the story of the Bee Gees.

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Hear The Bells

You don’t need to wear a watch when you’re in Bruges – every quarter hour the bells of the carillon in the Belfry ring out over the city, signalling the passage of time as they have done for centuries.

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The Belfry is a medieval bell tower, first built in 1240. At 83 metres it dominates the skyline of the Markt. Climb 366 narrow, winding steps to the panorama viewing platform and you will be rewarded with expansive views of the city and the lush countryside surrounding it.

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The Belfry houses the carillon, a set of 47 bells dating from 1741. The bells of the carillon are usually played by a clockwork mechanism and an enormous cylindrical drum just like the ones in children’s music boxes. For weekly concerts and special occasions however, the carillonneur plays a keyboard with both fists and feet, although the music he creates sounds so light and delicate.

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It’s the bells that many tourists come to hear and a twilight performance on a chilly autumnal evening is a magical experience.

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PS Note to self – don’t turn the camera when recording!