My Place: Patsy Toop

Patsy Toop Photo: Damjan Janevski

Williamstown’s Patsy Toop retired as a lawyer to pursue a country music career. Now, as one half of The Long and Short of It duo, she is sitting above Keith Urban in the charts. She speaks with Goya Dmytryshchak.


What’s your connection to Hobsons Bay?


I’ve lived there all my life, born and bred in Hobsons Bay. I’m passionate about ensuring that the community has great assets, such as Seaworks, and that our heritage is maintained and preserved and protected.


What do you love about Williamstown?


What isn’t there to love about Williamstown? I love the eclectic buildings, because it was a working class fishing sort of village and then it was affected by the gold rush, and all of those very quaint cottages and large-scale homes, and the fact that, because it was a working-class suburb, a large portion of our forefathers’ history has been preserved in the buildings. I think that’s amazing. Aside from the magnificent views and the sea and everything that goes with it … I think that’s probably the thing that I find most attractive.


What would you change?


I think Williamstown should remain a low-level suburb and that we should not really have significant high-rise development in the heritage village. I see it as a beautiful village that is easily accessible, where everyone has great views, and I just don’t think that it’s really appropriate to overdevelop it into this sort of Docklands style … it’s not suitable for that and it ought to remain an historical township.


What’s your favourite cafe or eatery?


I really like the new coffee shop, Mez Mez. In terms of eating, the one that I like going to is Raguza. Mez Mez has great coffee and Raguza has really good food – it’s Croatian food. I love it; it’s great. In fact the guy who runs that restaurant, Movida, in the city, it’s one of his favourites as well.


Can you tell me about your country music career and how it is going – you’re sitting above Keith Urban at the moment …


Isn’t that amazing. But not completely – only one of his albums. His most recent one is still above us at No. 3, but we’re certainly above him with two of his albums that are not going as well.

The Long and Short of It had an amazing year last year. We won the Southern Star awards in Victoria, which is for best duo or group. Then we went down to Tasmania and took out the Tasmanian Independent Music Awards as most popular duo. And then in Tamworth this January, we won the Independent Country Music Awards for most popular duo. The icing on the cake is to have our album, which was released in October, in the ARIA charts.