August 17th-18th: Brisbane & Byron Bay - Ben Grounds
Having had to cancel the Gold Coast show, Friday saw us all up the ungodly hour of before sunrise. Definitely a non-rock time of day, we all stumbled mindlessly in to the van, and pointed the vehicle north.
The hapless van had to endure not only a trailer full of gear but also a massive 6 man line up for this leg of the tour. Apart from the regulars (Jamie, Richard, Ben, Wesley, and myself) we had a specialist merchandise man along with us, Justin. There was no doubting the sales prowess this man displayed (nor could we doubt his skill as a homemade jam connoisseur)…
After chasing time all day we barely had time to load into the Zoo, find our accommodation, and get back in time for the gig. As it was we made it back at exactly the same time we had to start setting up to play. And so we did.
The crowd was shaping up to be vocal and excitable. Ben F merely setting up and strumming a chord sent the crowd into feverish applause and screaming from those assembled, which is an effect he seems to have on people generally. By the time we began our set the crowd was a nice size and nicely vocal.
The first gig in a while saw us toward the ragged end of the spectrum, but this didn't make it any less enjoyable for us. Despite - or perhaps in spite of - the imposed noise limits we refused to be restricted…I believe Rock Rule Number 1 should be 'no turning down'.
The stage ate Ben F's slide but being the smooth operator he is he continued unfazed. The set didn't give much time for breath after opening with Maps… until Matrimony midway through. Culminating in a noisy end of Homeless Blueless we handed the stage over to the feedback. A great start to the tour.
SATURDAY 18/8/01 - Great Northern Htl, Byron Bay
A class structure is developed for the van occupants and is (of course) finalised and enforced by those in the upper class. This makes everyone happy (except the lower class).
A (relative) drive to the corner store found us in Byron today and the sleep in plus short drive meant we could all run off and play for the afternoon. So we did. Trying desperately to fit into the scene I went for a surf, and took in the…um…vibe, man…
After loading in we could hear in the distance a sound which caused our ears to prick up…hypnotised, we followed the sound out onto the hotel balcony to discover a slap bass and bongos jam happening. We had to be detained from joining in by onlookers in the interests of our finger condition for our gig later that night…I'm led to believe that very same jam was still happening many hours later…
Ben F started mixing up a blend of his special recipe Loudmouth Soup just in time for our set. You know he might be on to something here…
We started the set with Tap Dancing… and it felt goood. Jamie's declaration of Byron as the Rock Capital of the World may have been a little unfounded, or maybe just tailored to the low-key audience tonight in an attempt to rouse them some more.
We had a great show tonight, and although our spirits may not have been matched by the crowd, we had a lot of fun, and there was a lot of rock action. There was no turning down, and a few rock moves, intentional and otherwise, reared their head. The stage was our territory and Ben F was our patrolling security guard. Closing with Running Around The White Picket Fence saw the grandaddy of all rock moves, the Rock Jump, repeated to perfection, and like last night the set closed with lots of nice feedback. We walked off stage happy little rockers…and the rock moves continued into the night…