In the key of life

BREATH-TAKING: Martha Baartz and Shannon Marshall look on while David Ades puts his heart and soul into a solo at the Bangalow Bowlo.
BREATH-TAKING: Martha Baartz and Shannon Marshall look on while David Ades puts his heart and soul into a solo at the Bangalow Bowlo. Tim Bradshaw

FRIENDS, fans and fellow-travellers packed out the Bangalow Bowlo recently to support local saxophonist David Ades, who learned he had lung cancer earlier this year.

The audience squeezed into the club to hear Ades blow like there was no tomorrow, alongside the musical luminaries who organised the gig to help fund his battle with the disease. They spilled out into the cool evening air, to hear the jazz, pop, world and funk music pour out through open windows.

Ades looked happy despite his ordeal as he related how he had responded to the devastating news with a range of alternative treatments.

They included standing on one leg, facing north and drinking your own wee, and a dietary regime so strict that his girlfriend said it would bore the cancer to death, he joked.

Most recently he spent a month in a clinic in Germany, where a tube was inserted into the tumours to allow them to be "smart-bombed" by chemo.

But it appears that the key weapon in Ades's arsenal is his attitude: one of humour and humility - and his insistence on living in the immediate present.

"We worry about things like paying the mortgage and so on," he said. "But look around this room: everything is all right, right now, isn't it?"

And right then, for the hundreds of people present, witnessing his courage, and enjoying themselves amid the music, the moment was more than all right. It was perfect, on many levels.

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