Well-connected to city life

Well-connected to city life
Rhonda Dredge

The first gig that Jackey Coyle and Jules Pennell attended after lockdown was on January 15.

Magnussen and Wilson were playing at Uptown in Brunswick St.

Jules has a record of going to the gig stored on his device.

He can tell you about all of the gigs they’ve attended, about three per week since venues re-opened.

The couple live on Albert St in East Melbourne, a perfect location in terms of access to the music scene.

Jackey can walk to PBS where she has a radio slot on Roots of Rhythm. She researches the history of artists and broadcasts every third Wednesday from 9am to 11am.

“During the lockdown I couldn’t do my radio spot,” she told Inner City News. “They said you’ll have to do it at your kitchen table on your phone.”

The couple don’t really have a kitchen table. Their kitchen is walk-through. They live in an apartment and eat at a large polished period dining table in an impeccably decorated living room so she had to use that as a venue for her roots radio chats.

The room looks out over Albert St and houses Jackey’s extensive collection of books on writing plus the couple’s antique furniture, some of it upholstered in vivid pink.

During the lockdown when the city was gig-less they coped by staging concerts in their home. They used YouTube “to look up artists we hadn’t thought of in years.”

“We’re not sufferers,” Jules said. They met to watch the online performances in their living room with as much ceremony as they could muster.

East Melbourne suits their social life and personalities. Jackey used to live in Richmond just across Hoddle St but called it “East East Melbourne”. She’d walked her dogs here and knew people when they shifted.

It can be a bit noisy living on Albert St, she concedes. “At 4pm the tow trucks arrive. You hear the car alarms.”

Jackey was an editor of the music magazine Rhythms and of travel guides at Lonely Planet. She also taught writing at the Wheeler Centre and is pragmatic about taking on jobs.

She’s currently writing a book on death, not for personal reasons but for a palliative care place in Emerald. She’s calling it “a guide book for the final journey”.

“Let’s think about the bigger picture,” she said. “The five parts of the person are the soul, mind, body, people and possessions.”

Her tips for living a full life in East Melbourne include the Sunday roast at Prince Patrick’s, Geppetto Trattoria because it feels like a family and Rocella because of their generosity on Valentine’s Day.

She is well-connected to the area and even had her own wedding party at Prince Patrick’s when it was more of a band venue •

Like us on Facebook