Watch: Jack Irish
I am well known for my addiction to crime books and television series. So for those who might assume the gushing praise which follows is down to my enjoyment of this genre, I should clarify that I think this is one of the better Australian television shows I’ve seen in a long time, even putting aside my adoration of people killing each other for my entertainment. Jack Irish is ABC television series adaptation of Peter Temple’s excellent novels. Set in Melbourne, the title character is played by Guy Pearce, who brings Irish to life in fine form. This is as good as it gets for Aussie television. Tight script, pitch-perfect performances and a story rich with local detail. The first episode has shown that the team responsible know how to lift the magic of Temple’s novels off the page and not muddy it with extraneous ideas. It retains Temple’s gift for writing believable Australian voices without the ocker backlash. Catch it on ABC iView while you can.
Read: The Broken Shore
If you read the section above and had no idea who Peter Temple is, you should really read his award winning novels The Broken Shore and Truth (they feature a different set of characters, so you can watch Jack Irish without having anything given away). As with the Jack Irish series the books are set in Melbourne and revolve around crime, the police force and the political powers pulling the strings. These novels go beyond genre basics and craft stories which have won literary fans as well as those, like me, who love a good crime story. After the release of Truth, critics started hailing Temple as more than just an outstanding crime writer, but as one of Australia’s finest writers of any genre.
Listen: Grizzly Jim Lawrie
I’ve only just discovered Grizzly Jim Lawrie after someone on twitter proclaimed him to be the new Jordie Lane. I can certainly see the comparison. Lawrie has just released his latest single ‘What Did We Do?’. Lane and Lawrie both have that lovely, laconic sound which makes you melancholy in the best kind of way. The clip for his older single, ‘Wish I Was There‘, is also testament to how evocative a music video can be even when its presentation is bare-bones simple. Two enthusiastic thumbs up.