THURSDAY 5/9/02 - Wagga
After what must surely have been a record in time wasting
(even by Bluebottle standards!) we eventually get out of
Sydney and head towards Wagga (Wagga). The place we are
playing tonight turns out to be a saloon-type bar, a big-enough
room with wood everywhere, wagon wheels hanging from the
walls, and corrugated iron on the bar. The only thing missing
was chicken wire across the front of the stage. Of course,
none of it was authentic.
As it turned out, it was an eventful night. The crowd was
bigger than expected, although not overly rowdy (at least
until later), and ending the set with Last Cinema saw Ben
attack his guitar with a drumstick (until the guitar lay
unconscious in a bloody heap). Jamie, after stepping down
to the dance floor, thrust his guitar ground-ward, and after
some interesting and exuberant interpretive dancing, began
racing across the dance floor and, at first, sliding across
on his knees, then gliding gracefully prone from one side
of the dance floor to the other.
Then, midway through selling a nice little amount of merch
(and signing every bit of it, and some stuff that wasn't
our merch), one of the guys who had some title or other
at the pub all but abused me about our playing time, and
implied that if we wanted to be paid we'd have to come back
in the morning and continue the argument. I put up some
resistance, but not much - I was a little shocked. Jamie
then had a few stern words, where this guy had changed his
mind to us not being paid at all now. Richo, as only Richo
can, then spent the best part of an hour wearing this guy
down, with the eventual result of us getting paid. This
guy had lied blatantly (and would continue to do so) to
make us look bad and him look good. It was easily the worst
performance by a venue person I had ever seen. We were all
filled equally with amazement and utter disgust. It left
a very bad taste of Wagga (Wagga) in our mouths.
FRIDAY 6/9/02 - Melbourne
The drive to Melbourne took longer than it should have,
partly because we were pulled over by the police. Originally
because we were having an eye kept on us for speeding (teamwork...),
and then when the policeman was about to leave us be, and
took over us, one of the passengers in the back seat was
leaning over to the front seat to deal with the inadequate
tape player. The cop saw no seatbelt (correctly), the van
had out of date rego (again), and we were done for, 2 years
jail, surely. Generously, we were let off with a warning.
Very nice people in Violet Town...
Another part of the reason we took so long to get to Melbourne
was getting stuck in traffic on the way in. We still haven't
figured out (or even tried to figure out) the electronic
tolls, so we are relegated to the bad way. We, then, don't
have time to go to the hotel where we are staying. I have
done more changing of clothes in the backseat of the car
than I have done in a room so far.
The show tonight was quite good - a couple of technical
hitches, but otherwise fine. Justin came to watch and do
merch, and lights, and had such a great time he decided
we would come to Adelaide with us.
SATURDAY 7/9/02 - Adelaide
Having Justin with us for this drive was just like the
old days. The van was a lot squishier, there was some friendly,
funny banter, and there was someone who ordered pork chops
for lunch at a service station.
This drive took an incredible 10 hours, somehow. This tour
has become the 'take-longer than-need-be' tour. We almost
ran out of petrol. We ran late. We listened to some questionable
music. We eventually got there.
The venue we played tonight was pretty big (I don't think
it would have mattered how many people we were to get, it
still would look not very full.). The floor, wall and ceilings
are all concrete, and the ceiling was about 100 metres high.
As a result of this, the sound in the place sounded like
a stadium. So tonight it sounded huge. My bass amp shook
enough so that it moved a foot in one song. It was a pretty
good end to the tour.
And, OH! it hits me that it's the end of the tour, and that
apart from a one-off show at the metro in a couple of weeks,
this could be Richo's last touring/headlining show with
us. And it's kind of sad.
We get back at 2.30 to our accommodation to find that while
there are enough bed spaces (there are five of us by now
- Ben and Richo stayed out all night to catch the 6.30am
airplane home, which would have had them home hours ago,
and I'm still in Adelaide), 2 beds are doubles, crazily,
and we have to share. Justin opts out and finds himself
put up somewhere else. Jamie and I share. And apparently
I snore sweet nothings in his ear.
SUNDAY 8/9/02 - Hay
We've decided, for the first time since I've been in the
band, to split the drive up over two days. Which means we
have enough time to sleep in a little, visit one of our
favourite record stores, and sit down to eat, before we
hit the road to hay. Whenever I visit a record store 1 of
2 things happens. Either I walk in and as soon as I step
through that door, and despite any amount of preparation,
I have a brain meltdown and completely forget anything I
may want to look at or buy. Otherwise, as happened today,
I am overwhelmed at the number of things I want to get and
have a meltdown trying to decide what to get.
The drive from Adelaide (to anywhere) always turns dreamlike.
The sheer hours spent on the road, with very little variation
in scenery, tends to cause one to lose track of a lot of
I can remember it happening a long time ago, when I was
about 11 or 12. Dad was driving me to Canberra for an athletics
carnival, and as we were going over the Clyde Mountain,
the day was just on darkness, and the effect of the sky
was very similar to tonight. Half full of clouds, the sun
had well and truly sunk and the sky was coloured precisely
dichotomously. Those years ago it was black and a rich,
burnt orange. Tonight it was cast-iron grey and a dirty
grey-white. The colours were so separated that it became
impossible to tell which was empty sky and which was cloud.
And the more I tried, the more the shapes turned abstract.
It felt like the drive had turned into a dream. Maybe it
Just outside of Hay we were again pulled over by the cops.
We were speeding, and the rego sticker was still not updated
(how could it be?). Although it was not a dominating issue,
this leg of the tour could have easily and accurately been
dubbed the 'cops are tops' tour. We were let off again.
MONDAY 9/9/02 - Home
Eventually and gradually the hills returned to us. We
had breakfast in the town that is home to Australia's largest
playable guitar. I met with THE girl in the world at Wagga
(Wagga) and cruise home in slightly more style. We were
a few kilometres behind the van on the way out of Wagga
(Wagga), and the last I saw of the guys was when we passed
them: they were stopped by the side of the road. A cop had
pulled them over...