Back to University and Beautiful Friends

Well, today is momentous. I am now officially back at University! I’m a little scared still but very excited about getting back into scan reading mountains of papers and books for references, making coherent arguments in essays and referencing it all correctly – oh dear, what have I done??!!! No, seriously – it’ll be fun once I get back into the swing ๐Ÿ˜‰

Thanks to my beautiful friends Lauren and Patsi, I’ve been able to log on and join in the discussion board and download extra material that Griffith University didn’t post to me. Yes, I still don’t have a dedicated internet connection at home and sadly, I haven’t been able to keep up with my NaBloPoMo committments, but I’m doing my best.

Over the weekend, I also had some great times with other beautiful friends, namely Jax and Malcolm Battersby. Mal and I played a really nice gig at the Richmond Festival. It was the inaugural Songwriters Concert at the festival and we got to work with some great local artists and the organiser – champion of original music, Roger Joseph.

The other truly beautiful thing is I heard a new song Jax’s written (as yet untitled) and it’s just gorgeous. I understand she’s going to debut it live at the ASA December 11th gig and I can’t wait to hear it again! I heard a rough from Belfry Studio but once the mix is finalised, it’ll be up on Jax’s Triple J Unearthed page. It’s so satisfying to see someone with so much raw talent start to blossom into a confident and accomplished writer and recording artist – it’s really inspirational!

All in all, a very satisfying time in my life – despite the lack of home internet.

Take care everyone and have a wonderful day too, wherever you are

Debra ๐Ÿ™‚

Mal & Jax 24 Nov 2013

Upcoming Gigs for the End of the 2013

Now that I’ve finished recording The Lucky Six, it’s time to spend a little attention on two live shows I’ve got in the immediate future.

Firstly, this Sunday 24th November, my partner in mayhem and music – Malcolm Battersby – is joining me for The Richmond Festival. We’re performing as The Fringe Dwellers at the Songwriters’ Concert and we’re both looking forward to it immensely! There’s some great Tasmanian songwriters on the bill with us, Marc Smith, Peter Hicks and the wonderful Wolf Arrow Rain.

If you’re in southern Tasmania, it’s worth the trip out to Richmond. It’s a lovely little hamlet and I have it on good authority that the weather should be fine after a damp morning…….

In December, it will be ten years since the Australian Songwriters Association (Tasmania) reignited at The Telegraph Hotel. Apart from making me feel really old, it’s fabulous to see how many performers from those days are still playing in venues here in Tasmania as well as interstate and overseas. In honour of the occasion, a very special ASA night is planned for Wednesday 11th December at The Night Owl Cafe in Liverpool Street, Hobart. The best part for me is that students of mine, Cassie O’Keefe, Kirsty Leaf and the fabulous Jax will all be performing, along with myself and Mal.

I couldn’t be prouder!

ASA 11th Dec poster

And Now – Back to the Music!

After a little sojourn into urban farming and environmental concerns, today it’s back to the driving force in my life – music!

At the moment, I’m preparing to finish recording my next project, and it’s something completely foreign to me. After years of writing and playing my own songs, I’m recording an EP of other people’s songs. I started recording a couple of months ago and I now have five songs that I’m pretty pleased with as studio roughs. But I’d like to record one more and then start the mixing process.

Bertha & Blondie, ready for action!

Bertha & Blondie, ready for action

The concept is to record songs that have influenced my own songwriting and/or singing and believe me, the hardest thing has been narrowing it down to just six! In conversation with my musical partner-in-crime and studio whiz, Malcolm Battersby, “The Lucky Six” came up as a title. And I love it!

Also, it’s been my first opportunity to record in Mal’s new facility, The Belfry Studio, and what a delight that has been! The space is lovely and the equipment is excellent but I always love recording with Mal for a multitude of other reasons. We play together in The Fringe Dwellers so musically, we know each other very well. Everytime we get together, whether it’s for rehearsals, gigs or just a cuppa, we have a great time – we both have a similar mad sense of humour – but it’s his professionalism that shines through when I’m recording and he’s engineering.

We have a plan and generally, stick to it. He gives me space in the recording studio to get on with what I’m good at and doesn’t get in my way when I need time to consider my next move. He’ll make suggestions but not demands and knows exactly when to call a tea break. And his recording gear and microphones are good!

I anticipate “The Lucky Six” will be available as a digital download early in 2014. I’ll have links through this blog when we get it finished ๐Ÿ˜€

Some of the neighbours are a bit too cute but the view and the vibe is relaxed and lovely.

The Next Door Neighbour

The Next Door Neighbour

Personally, I think the Daleks in the control room are what really drives it and makes it perfection ๐Ÿ˜‰

Cheers everyone,


Daleks keeping Jax in line in the control room

Daleks keeping an eye on Jax in the control room

Bushfire Benefits

On Sunday nightย The Fringe Dwellersย did a trio show – their first gig since Mal’s enforced stay at Nubeena and the Tasmanian Bushfires. It was held atย Brookfield Winery at Margate, just south of Hobart. Two stages, loads of acts and huge hearts all round. At last count these amazing folks raised $4500 for the local St Vincent de Paul Society – brilliant effort!

3/4 of The Fringe Dwellers 20th Jan 2013

3/4 of The Fringe Dwellers 20th Jan 2013

It was an emotional night for us, thanks so much to our dear friends who were there – we love you all! xxx

Next weekend, we go to full band mode down at the Dunalley Hotel for Regrowth: Bushfire Relief Concert for Tasman & Dunalley. This will be bringing it on home for Mal and many of our friends.

Dave Campbell the gig organiser (also a local) is a powerhouse and has managed to get everything from kid’s entertainers through to full bands. He’s also accessed shuttle buses so people don’t drink and drive – awesome work man!

If you’re in southern Tasmania please come down and join us, we really want to thank everyone who’s been so supportive over these difficult days.

Meanwhile, much love and best wishes to you all,



The Fringe Dwellers play Amplified Festival

The Fringe Dwellers ripping it up at Amplified 2012

After a super-busy week (including storms and tornado warnings for downtown Hobart!) The Fringe Dwellers got down to the business last night at The Grand Poobah in Hobart and played at the Music Tas Amplified Festival.

It was a total hoot, with heaps of friends there and lots of new ones. We played a cracker set and generally had a brilliant time. Hoping to have TFD gig news soon! Check out The Fringe Dwellers’ Facebook page for updates ๐Ÿ˜‰

Meanwhile, our good mate Lindal McDonald took some great pics…. hope you like them!

Peace to you all,



The Fringe Dwellers at Amplified 2012

From L-R: Malcolm Battersby, Debra Manskey, James Excell & Oscar Neyland

Debra Manskey – Tasmanian singer songwriter still hits the high notes. – ABC Tasmania – Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)

Hey everyone,

This is a lovely article on the ABC Northern Tasmania blog written by the most articulate tech in the country – Chris Ball. I’ll be writing a blog of my own in the next few days….. with less photos of me in it!

Wherever you are, enjoy!


Debra Manskey – Tasmanian singer songwriter still hits the high notes. – ABC Tasmania – Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

In the ABC Northern Tas studio

Video Saturday

The Fringe Dwellers have an album out – “After Time” – and to promote it we’ve decided to make a video of one of my favourite songs from the CD, “Sunstruck”. Yesterday was supposed to be filming day, on my balcony in Hobart in the late morning sunshine.

Typically, the heavens opened and didn’t let up until late last night – though the irony of the situation wasn’t lost on me! 19mm of rain later, we finally got a window of sun this morning……. and I got to use my new toy.

About a month ago, I discovered this amazing little device that literally turns anything into a speaker. It’s very small and great fun to play around with. For the video shoot we needed some playback for me to synch with and groove to and the mini speaker on the wheelie bin was perfect! In the picture below you can see it on top of the bin, being fed signal from the laptop.

Mal with laptop on the plastic chair, powering my tiny speaker on the wheelie bin for playback

There’s a silly video promoting the product here – and I guarantee it sounds awesome on the toilet seat!

Meanwhile, we had a heap of fun. Made the neighbourhood wonder what the hell we were doing and entertained my neighbours and the plumber immensely.

“I don’t like make up”

I’ll be sure to post the final video here when Mal finishes editing. Take care everyone and have a brilliant weekend wherever you are!