Luke B – Season 01 / Ep 04

Shoulders broad, tortured,
A man in thrall with demons,
Shining heart of gold

Luke and I go back to medical school in the mid 90s. He always says that we were not close there but that’s not how I remember it. Perhaps that’s a key point in trying to understand the man, or at least explain him. For there are few people I know who inspire such devotion and fondness, who retain the ability to charm and beguile, and at once remain hidden in plain view.

We do agree that it was in Australia that our relationship really blossomed. Both of us lost, uncertain of medicine and our places within its conservative and demanding structures. We each have found ways to live with that uncertainty but my great pal “Bannune” perhaps wears the mask more skilfully than I.

Smart, so smart, he could have taken the path to the very highest, most distinguished teaching hospital anaesthetic post. He decided against that for a semi-bucolic life on the New South Wales coast with his adored wife and children. I believe this was the saving of him. We share many of the same demons and every time I meet with him I feel I can breathe again, time vanishes and the world goes away.

Tender-hearted and self-critical I looked forward to this interview so much. It did not disappoint. I learnt things about my old friend and I feel his enormous soul was displayed in the words he found.


Luke Bannon


1) Cat Stevens, Another Saturday Night (00:06:10)

First memory of the sheer joyfulness of music, pure family / moment in time happiness, I owe it to my parents too – I truly experienced and was totally present to innocence, exhilaration and fun for those 2 and a half minutes.

2) Nathaniel Ratcliffe, Son of a Bitch (00:22:34)

I love alcohol and being totally submissive to it, it’s angry fighting music, yet collegiate, boysy and choral. I almost chose Andrew WK, I Get Wet over this. I understand the eroticism of bondage and being out of control, that’s where beer and red wine take me… I look forward to having more time to dalliance with spirits. I also like to think I have ‘discovered’ a new artist (I’m an arrogant cunt) and no one else I knew had heard of him – even Jamesy, my weekly muso source in the US.

3) Damien Rice, Blowers Daughter (00:56:08)

Makes me think of Grace and weep, sheer emotion, it builds and keeps its promise of purity whilst delivering a perfectly crescendo when he hands over to Lisa Hannigan, her voice is hauntingly pure.

4) Imelda May, Should Have Been You (01:25:11)

Reminds me of Cinders and how I have let her down so many times. Despite trying to be a better person for her on an almost daily basis, somehow my innate selfishness always gets the better of me. The song also hits ‘that note’ that it makes you believe it will from the beginning – it doesn’t let you down. It is the exact opposite of Chasing Cars. Adele is the same – I genuinely love her too but it feels less contrived to list Imelda May, cause she’s less well known – see arrogant cunt in 2. I also love her female perspective, that mismatch of expectations. Funnily I manage to forgive myself for failing too, each and every time I listen to it, because it reminds me that everyone is let down by their partner on some level. Interestingly it always makes me run very fast too.

5) Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here (02:01:22)

The pick of Pink Floyd but I was also deeply influenced by The Wall, introduced me to politics, the conspiracy of government, the fallacy that is democracy and the comfortably numb theatrics that we all accept and what’s worse strive to achieve, to this day I believe we are all being lied to or what’s worse constructing our own lie.

6) Smith St Band, Little Sinking Ship (02:36:52)

It is almost written for my sister Lucy and describes really well how I feel about her. I almost achieved it on the guitar – I love the idea of creating a song whilst being unable to carry a tune; Billy Bragg has also been a favourite for this reason over the years.

7) Ludovico Einaudi, Nuvole Bianchi (03:41:16)

Wow! A great back story too as always, surrounded by Yolomen headbangers, played by pizza boy who ‘borrowed’ the musicians piano during an interval, I wept openly. It also reminds me of my mum’s relaxation music she tried to settle me with on a Sunday night – I still struggle a little with Sunday night blues but not so much – soon I shall stop working Mondays and then I will have truly conquered the need for them.

Now finally, along with all Douglas Adams’ written works (Google if you’re not familiar with him), please tell me:

Your chosen spiritual/religious text

No religious texts, they make me too angry and in someways are almost certainly responsible for me ending up in the far reaches of our solar system, instead I shall take the complete box set of Friends.

Your choice of book

The Dice Man is totally impractical in these surroundings, Encyclopedia Brittannica, although I fear, with no one around to ‘show off’ my new found intelligence, the garnering of new knowledge may be wasted.

Your luxury item (that may be neither alive nor an aid to escape)

Electric Guitar – Taylor T5; whilst I would like to add the biggest, loudest amp ever marketed, the Capricorn in me knows there is unlikely to be any atmosphere on Deep Space Gideon to transmit sound… but my willing suspense of disbelief is an indication of how much I love you.

The one piece of music or album you would choose of your seven if you could have only one

Ludovico Einaudi, Nuvole Bianchi

If you have a favourite saying, quote or proverb, here’s where you put it please

Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see