Episode 1: Nick the Stripper

by Nick Cave & The Birthday Party

Nick the Stripper, The Birthday Party, Paul Goldman

We enter the strangely alluring landscape of Nick the Stripper. We look at the Crystal Ballroom scene in Melbourne’s St Kilda and head to the set of the chaotic Nick the Stripper video clip.

Download the single!

The Almost a Mirror podcast has a soundtrack featuring Australia’s top musicians. You can download the songs on Bandcamp. Nick the Stripper features a wild performance by Anna Simic and guttural grunts by Andy Griffiths, who used to be in the band Gothic Farmyard at the Ballroom. Original Birthday Party’s Phill Calvert is on drums and Jasper Fenton does Rowland-esque guitar. The soundtrack is recorded and produced by Richard Andrew at Pharmacy Studios.

Listen to the podcast theme song

The theme song brings a touch of pop whimsy and melancholy, and makes me feel like I’m in a John Hughes movie. Written by Michael Simic, produced and performed by Mick Mooney aka Le Trouble, with backing vocals by Kay Proudlove.

Anna Simic
Anna Simicvocals
Anna Simic is a multidisciplinary artist residing in Melbourne. Her music project Anushka in the Woods has recorded their debut album, soon to be released on Bandcamp.

Phill Calvert
Phill Calvertdrums
Phillip Calvert is an Australian rock drummer and producer best known for his playing in Boys Next Door, The Birthday Party and Psychedelic Furs.
Andy Griffiths
Andy Griffithsbacking vocals
Andy Griffiths messed around in bands in Melbourne’s early ’80s underground and later became a children’s writer. www.andygriffiths.com.au

Jasper Fenton
Jasper Fentonguitar
Jasper Fenton is a musician from the Sydney scene who has performed with Aerial Maps and The Laurels.

What we make of memories & what they make of us

“It is 1979 the year I finished high school and the night of my last HSC exam. It was a t shirt and jeans evening in early November. Gus Campi a school friend and me borrowed his mum’s car and drove over to the London Tavern Hotel on Hawthorn Road in Caulfield South to see the Boys Next Door play. My memory is the gig was in an upstairs band room and the room had a blue white lighting. This gig possessed none of the sweaty crowded edginess of later Birthday Party gigs at the Ballroom. Rather, Gus and I stood in a near empty room with four other paying attendees plus Keith Glass the BND manager who we recognised from Missing Link records where he was the owner and where Phill Calvert the BND drummer worked on the counter. As for the gig there was Shivers and at least one song where the band not quite having it together had to restart at the insistence of a finger waving Nick Cave. As for the band, they gave off a distracted and bored air. They did distracted and bored really well then. We ended up at a party at the home of two of the other attendees somewhere in Richmond off Bridge Road. We’d left the car in Caulfield and got a lift over to Richmond to the party so had to walk home down Punt Road toward St.Kilda Junction. By then the balmy evening had given over to a much cooler night and with no money for a taxi and no bus or train to catch it was a long, cold walk home. ” – JOHN WILSON

PHOTOS courtesy Jane Sims, Andy Griffiths, Mariella DelConte, Melynda Van Wayward: Nick Cave; Tracy Pugh and Nick Cave – Boys Next Door; Andy Griffiths and Gothic Farmyard; Hugo Race; Bands 1977-1980 at punkjourney.com




Thank you …

Almost a Mirror podcast credits

Kirsten Krauth – host, writer and producer
Jed Palmer – sound designer and composer
Richard Andrew – soundtrack recording and producing
Louis Challeyer-Grey – tech support
Jason Walker – tech support
Josh Durham – graphic design
Supported by the Donald Horne Creative and Cultural Fellowship from the University of Canberra
Thanks to Australian Music Vault at the Arts Centre Melbourne and punkjourney.com

Jed Palmer
Jed Palmersound designer & composer
Jed Palmer is an Australian born award – winning composer, musician and producer.

Utilising electronics, guitar and classical orchestration his work blends contrasting influences such as experimental music, noise, minimalism, drone, electro-acoustic, ambient and art rock. In 2018 Jed was nominated for an AACTA award for his score for Upgrade, Leigh Whannell’s cult sci-fi action film. In 2019, Jed was awarded the best score award at the Flickerfest Awards for his work on short film Sleepwalking.


Richard Andrew
Richard Andrewproducer - Pharmacy Studios
As founder of Pharmacy Records, Richard has over the past 20 years, recorded, produced and released numerous artists including Grand Salvo, Silver Ray, Kim Salmon, Rob Snarski and Princess One Point Five. Richard approaches the recording process primarily as a musician, giving him unique insight into what a song requires to fulfil the artist’s vision, beyond just technical engineering skills. The Studio is a fun, creative, nurturing and productive space. He has performed in the bands Underground Lovers and Registered Nurse.


This podcast is inspired by the mixtape songs in
This podcast is inspired by the mixtape songs inAlmost a Mirror
As the novel is structured as a mixtape, where each chapter is inspired by a particular post-punk or pop song, I liked the idea of exploring each song further, interviewing people about their memories and narratives, and looking at the gaps between fact and fiction, that space where storytelling begins. Each podcast episode features a mash up of spoken work and music that brings the writing alive in new ways. The hope is eventually to release the chapters and music as an audio book. We are also working on a festival show with musicians…