Mel Buttle and Patience Hodgson carry on the type of conversation that makes you want to be their friend. You know the type when you’re sitting next to a pair of besties, and they’re having a great time chatting away, and you just want to join in? But you can’t because they may think you’re a creepy intruder trying to latch on to some new friends. That. Only in this case, you can’t join in with their conversation because they talk on a podcast.
Comedian and writer, Mel Buttle and singer Patience Hodgson, or PatiencefromtheGrates, as Mel calls her, do a fortnightly podcast called The Minutes, and have recently created a little sister podcast called You’re Welcome.
One of the thrill seeking activities I do late at night is curl up in bed listening to podcasts. Outrageous I know. I have a whole range of favourites – from cooking (KCRW Good Food, Poh’s Kitchen) to the more serious and informative (ABC’s Background Briefing and Life Matters) to audio documentaries (This American Life) to conversations (Conversations with Richard Fidler) and music (NPR’s All Songs Considered). It’s another way of reading books, I guess, and a good way of learning about new things and people and having some company in the house when I am all alone. I discovered The Minutes through an iTunes recommendation late last year. And I’ve been hooked, listening to back to back episodes when I couldn’t sleep through the brief heatwave we had in January. The podcasts actually didn’t do much to make me sleep because they were too addictive!
They invite guests to the podcasts – family, band members or other musicians. Here’s Mel and Patience with singer Lanie Lane.
They have a knack of making those ‘you had to be there’ moments come alive. I have laughed out loud (or perhaps LOLd, in this online media context) at their stories of touring and families and radio plays. It’s really funny and creative stuff.
Mel and Patience interact with their listeners on Twitter and Tumblr. I talk to them on Twitter and they are funny! Their little sister podcast You’re Welcome has been developed specifically to answer questions sent to them on Twitter. I listened to their most recent You’re Welcome and laughed so hard at their stories of who they’d turn gay for that I had to have a second listen.
How long have you been doing The Minutes?
Mel : The first episode went up on August 25 2011, but we did a sneaky practice episode before then which was just us mucking around, it’s never been put up for public listening.
How did you meet?
Mel: The internet! But the first time we met IRL was at ABC Brisbane Radio I ‘interviewed’ Patience one day when I was filling in for Richard Fidler, instant besties. Patience is a dream to have on air when you’re hosting radio, she also impressed me with her outfit and she brought me a slice of cake. I think it was an avocado mung bean chocolate sweet potato cake. I was blown away by her and her cake. I’d also been a long time Grates fan and I knew she was about to release ‘Secret Rituals’ so I got her in for an interview, mainly just so I could meet her. Yes I am cunning like a rat.
Why did you decide to do a podcast?
Mel: It was Patience’s idea, she’d had a podcast before and we’ve both dabbled in radio, also she’s a wag and I’m a card, so it seemed like a fun idea.
What’s the best thing about doing a podcast together?
Mel: Eating cake afterwards, talking for hours on end and pretending we’re Oprah and Gayle.
If you two went on holidays together where would you go?
Mel: Somewhere we can be sunsmart and eat chicken wings, maybe The Hamptons? I’ve heard people on TV go there on holidays, it sounds nice. Would I have to swim though? I’m not swimming.
Will you consider entering my Kitchen Rules in 2013, and if so, what would you cook?
Mel: Well it would be unfair of us to enter, as we’d obviously win and no one else would have a chance, but if I had to enter and break hearts, I’d make slow cooked pork belly, with apple slaw and a cherry cola float. See people forget about drinks, I think serving a cool non alcoholic drink with a dish can be a hoot.
Who would be in your supergroup/festival and why?
Mel: I’d like to be in a Sister Act tribute band with Oprah, Patience and Nigella Lawson. I think we’d nail it.
Tell me about a time when…
Mel: When I pashed an ex cast member of Heartbreak High? Really you want to hear that story? Actually no I’ll tell it on The Minutes, you’ll have to listen.
Where can we hear/see more of your stuff?
Mel: www.melbuttle.com.au is where I put my blogs and update my gigs. The podcast has its own tumblr too it’s like the afterparty for the podcast. You can listen to The Minutes here too! And www.thegrates.com is where you can find out about Patience’s band.