HOLDING COURT IN KING STREET
The Background to "Holding Court in King Street"
I have been a legal practitioner since 1977 and a member of the NSW Bar for the last 39 years. In about 2009 I was involved in a mediation which was held in the upper levels of the old Supreme Court of New South Wales. It is a marvellous building, designed by Francis Greenaway, an architect who was transported to the colony of New South Wales for forgery, and whose work included the Hyde Park Barracks, the Mint Building, the first Government House (now the Conservatorium of Music) and the Macquarie Lighthouse.
It was mid winter when I attended this particular mediation, and it dragged on well past the intended cut-off time, and dark had descended by the time we were leaving the building. This was the first occasion that I became aware that some of Sydney's homeless used the verandah of the building as shelter. It was also the first time that I appreciated the extent of the problem of homelessness in Sydney, because the floor was covered with bodies who were, in the main, laughing and joking among themselves.
It was that experience that inspired this song. The original of the song appeared on my second CD "Tortology", released in 2010. This version, which is much more pared back appears on the 2015 CD "Stripped Bare". The video was produced by David Pendragon with Ernie Van Veen as cameraman. Ernie also plays the slide on the audio.
In about 2014 I set up a project, using the video, to raise funds for "Swags for Homeless", a charity which provided "swags" for the homeless. The project raised approximately $2,500 which I understand translated to some 300 swags.