It’s late afternoon in Sydney. Two o’clock shadows and I’m swimming in coffees, overly loud conversations and the general hustle and bustle of the Jet Cafe. I order a peppermint tea. I’m ready to drown myself in conversation. Across from me sits Patrick of Patrick and the Deep End. The lead singer of this up and coming talent is no ordinary “fish in the pond”…he’s a siren. He wears a collared floral print shirt, a skull emblazoned knit and spectacles that highlight the slight twitch of creativity sparkling in his eyes. A musician, in the breed of passionate. His speaking voice engages me as we talk our way through polite introductions, niceties and we eventually get onto the stuff that you have to dive deeper for.
I ask him why “the Deep End“? In excuse of my own pun I remark that it is quite open-ended. His reply gleams in his eyes before it pours out of his mouth like song. The Deep End…it is the experience that I go through when I’m writing songs. An emotional experience, a quick peak and then a heavy descent or whatever. Originally it was a name for my “lows”. It’s also my boys. My band members. He then goes onto talk about the music he is creating. Standard artist talk. I find myself sitting on the alternative pop fence. The statement in itself is an oxymoron but that’s where I’m making it. Now it’s words about the way he writes his lyrics, something I’m particularly interested in. They’re clever, ironic and punchy in the bleeding-nose kind of way. I try not to write it too differently to the way I’m feeling. If I’m writing a song about a previous relationship of mine I would use the words I used in that relationship. I quickly interject with the word success.
He follows my drift and responds accordingly. I would hate songs that other people wrote for me. They would use words I wouldn’t use…I hardly use the word “love”. It’s overused and under valued in pop music. It takes a really good songwriter to say that without using that word…when I do use that word it comes with a heavy dose of sarcasm. The last sentiment spat out acidly. It is really then I sit up and take notice of this muso. He however is momentarily distracted. Looking out the window he checks out a strapping young lad in a fedora and bow tie. I watch as a smirk forms from one corner of his mouth to the other. Patrick is unapologetically gay but it’s not something he wants us writers to focus on. I’m happy being gay however at first I was not comfortable with the community. I don’t want people to focus on my sexuality… or make it a focus point. Only if they are talking about my music like Gay Divorcee ( a track that turns the marriage equality debate upside down and pokes a poking-fun stick at it). I find it difficult, especially if I’m grouped with others in the Sydney scene. There is mention of Brendan Maclean* (a local talent and friendly “rival”). I’m just a musician who happens to be gay.
I sip some more of my peppermint tea which at this point is as cold as the deep end. It’s the cue for Patrick to turn the tables on me. We talk fashion, as some sort of spin off to the discussion about his stage costumes. Jil Sander, The Antwerp Six and Gareth Pugh, the boy knows his stuff. I’m impressed more so than when I first witnessed him at The Imperial in Erskineville dancing and performing in costumes that could outfit The Knife. Outfits styled by the lead singer himself or generously given to him by fellow creatives. Amongst talk of taffeta and Walter Van Beirendonck, I’m the first to surface and end the conversation. Air feels good but I’m left wondering what the deep water just gave me. You’ll have to hear for yourself.
NEW Patrick and The Deep End EP coming out soon. Stay tuned.
* Dandy Sachs is also hoping to feature Brendan Maclean on this site very soon too.
Shirt custom made by Louisa Giffard. Photography by Rob Jones. All courtesy of the artist (Patrick and The Deep End)