WEDNESDAY 31/7/02 - Jindabyne
An uneventful drive to Jindabyne left us disappointed with
the relatively excessive temperature and lack of snow. In
fact Wesley had no dilemmas wearing only his muscle shirt
on top the whole night, to show his new acquisition off.
The crowd was a little sparse in population and understanding.
Earlier, at dinner, we are approached by a nervous-looking
character, who, it turns out, just wants us to accept a
bottle of vodka in exchange for mentioning the brand name
of this vodka while onstage. Our rider included another
bottle of vodka, of the other brand… it seems there's rival
vodka wars down in these parts.
Another rider issue: somehow tonight some cans of Redbull
find themselves a place in our rider. I'm not sure if this
happened because we're gaining a reputation for being tired
and dreary, or because Wesley phoned ahead with a little
addition to the usual. Maybe they just thought a band, after
a long drive (you know, it didn't seem as long as it was)
would appreciate a little pep-up on arrival. At any rate,
none was consumed tonight.
THURSDAY 01/08/02 - Albury
There's an old Russian saying: There's only one thing
worse than not getting what you want, and that's getting
what you want. Our complimentary hot breakfast this morning
comes at a cost - breakfast finished at 9am… but we almost
all agree that a complimentary breakfast is a complimentary
breakfast, and drag ourselves out of bed for the occasion.
On the way over the mountains we pull over for a frolic
in the snow. I've never been to the snow, and it was quite
exciting. Actually, standing there in the snow, amused by
Ben and Jamie's uncoordinated, legless efforts of descending
a steep, snow-faced hill, I felt an anxious desire to go
snowboarding. Partly present, no doubt, because I couldn't.
Tonight's appearance was in Albury's revered club, Liquid.
The afternoon saw me in search of a lock for the trailer,
and this search had me wandering the isles of a major chain
store. After trudging around for a while, I found and bought
a couple of items to help us on our touring way. I hurried
to the car park where our unlocked trailer sat attached
to our van. As I began the task of fitting the lock to the
trailer, two rough-looking, burly, unshaven men surrounded
me (they were big enough to do that), one showed me a police-type
badge (I was surprised enough to barely pay attention to
the badge), and both began a tirade of interrogative questions.
They had been following me for the last ten minutes. I looked
very dodgy. What was I doing in the car park, the large
retail variety chain store, the area? Where was I from?
Did I take anything from the store that I didn't pay for?
Could they see what was in my shopping bag? What was in
my shoulder bag? I was a little startled, but eventually
they decided I was innocent (not guilty) (even though I
looked so dodgy), and was free to return to life as usual
and get back to fitting my lock. Which, I discovered now
I had taken up the task again, would not in my wildest dreams
fit where it was supposed to. So back into the retail store
Batter up! I arrived at the venue in just enough time to
immediately start setting up. And only slightly less immediately
find that in the chain of events that makes sound in the
frequencies where I reside occur, had called it a permanent,
irreversible day. After much stress and rearranging we found
it was my brand new speaker box's dacks that had been packed.
And after a great deal more rearranging, with a lot of effort
and obvious trouble by another, I had something that made
sound. Not enough sound for me to hear, but sound nonetheless.
The day up to now held events that made me think the show
would follow suit and spend the entire time smashing its
head against a brick wall: on the contraire, it was a great
show, a room full of loudly appreciative crowd who sang
along, applauded ferociously, offered endless drinks, requested
signings, and bore witness to a rare crowd interaction at
the end of Goodnight Believer. As Ben titillated the crowd
with his prowess of presence, those who could reach him
hugged and kissed him.
FRIDAY 02/08/02 - Melbourne
I allowed with little regret the crew to leave at 6.30
this morning to make Jamie's JJJ appointment in Melbourne.
I spent a lot of the day on the blower, trying to tie up
many of the loose ends that had appeared in the last twenty-four
At the other end of the day, I eventually arrived at the
venue, having been stressed to (almost) the end of my tether,
mostly by public transport. And even though I managed to
make it there before the doors opened, the 'Sold Out' signs
were going up. The show was quite good, good enough for
Ben to repeat last night's performance of getting within
reach of the crowd…except unlike Albury, no-one within reach
reached for him.
SATURDAY 03/08/02 - Ballarat
We were in no hurry to get to Ballarat today, so we moseyed
around until late afternoon. Jamie, who had temporarily
spilt from the pack, called me to say he was sick, and that
we should pick him up later than previously planned, and
Once we got to the venue (run by one of the nicest venue-runners
I know), Jamie went straight to bed, while the rest of us
played pool and the jukebox, passing the time until we were
due onstage. Team Wesley very obviously had the upper hand
on the pool table, although we were up against some stiff
competition in the White Ball Challenge.
We woke Jamie a few minutes before we went on, and had quite
a reasonable show, although we were all suffering to some
degree - a fuzzy-logic, grey type of degree, of tiredness
Jamie went straight to bed, and we all enjoyed the luxury
of not having to load out until the morning.
SUNDAY 04/08/02 - Adelaide?
At last I catch a little bit of a sleep in, and upon doing
the rounds to wake everybody, and begin pouring the water
out of the trailer (yes), and then loading it, Jamie wakes
to find himself unfit. For anything. He's more sick today
and after little deliberation we decide we aren't going
Unaccustomed to driving from Ballarat to Sydney, the captain
at the helm at the time decided to pull over and ask for
directions. Why the captain (Richo) decided to ask directions
from an old guy who had surely never left Ballarat ever
was beyond us all. This directionee was a nice guy, but
tried to be more helpful than was possible for him. Alarm
bells rang when, after asking the quickest was to Sydney,
he replied "oh yes, Melbourne…" and proceeded to refute
interruption for the next 10 minutes giving us useless directions.
Being on the road has an infallible capability of taking
any feeling to its extremity. In particular, any less-than-positive
notion seems amplified with tiredness and contrasted loneliness.