Hello my friends,
I meant to write a daily or weekly entry about how things were going here, but instead I’ve just been running around this amazing country, trying to experience all the greatness it has to offer. Today, however, we have a little time, and I have access to a real computer, so I figured I’d let you all know what I’ve been up to.
After navigating the Australian immigration gauntlet, and hoping my bags and I got into the country safely, I exited the international terminal to find my good buddy, Austin Lucas, awaiting my arrival. After big hugs, I met our trusty Tour Manager and host, Lachlan Hodgeson of Trusty Chords Records. Lachlan took us back to his home in Bacchus Marsh, and quiet little suburb of Melbourne, where we relaxed and recharged for the day, ate meals with Lachlan’s lovely family and generally just felt great. When I left NYC it was icy and cold, and when I landed I was in summer paradise.
Day two found us running around taking care of merch, meeting folks who’d help us along the way, and picking up our tourmate, Jamie Hay. Back to Bacchus Marsh for more relaxation before the tour.
First show day required a six hour drive west to Adelaide, which I was not fully prepared for. The heat got up to around 100 F, and it was like walking around in an oven every time we stopped to stretch our legs. I loved the idea of leaving the winter behind, but I was not ready for a heat wave. Some of the towns we passed through made even the most remote American areas look overpopulated, and I was still getting used to the prices, seeing as everything is about twice as expensive here. $4 for a soda or a water, $20 for a six pack of beer. Rough. We eventually sweat our way into Adelaide, loaded in our gear and then left to go eat some of the best dumplings I’ve ever had in my life. I’d heard that Australia has great Chinese food, and both Austin and I were anxious to sample it. So far, things were looking good. After our great meal we headed back to the venue, where I was curious to see how well our first show would go. I have little to no presence in a lot of areas of Australia, and it’s my first time here, so I didn’t know what to expect. As it turned out, the show was amazing, the room was packed out, the people were kind, welcoming and warm, they said nice things, drank beers with us, bought merch, and generally made us feel happy. Success!
The next day we woke up feeling good, showered the sticky sweat off our bodies and climbed back into the air-conditioned car for our 7 hours back to Melbourne. We again passed the Giant Koala (a silly tourist trap/zoo with a huge koala sculpture) and blazed into Melbourne to play the Reverence Hotel, which is the reincarnation of the Art House, a seminal punk/rock club in Melbourne that kept the scene alive for 20 years. Not only was the Reverence show another great success, but I saw a bunch of old friends and semi-new ones I’d met in the states, so it felt like a reunion of sorts for me.
Melbourne to Bacchus Marsh, just 45 short minutes, and a beautiful cafe where everyone was amazingly kind and quiet. I ate a cheese plate meant for 3 people and probably clogged most of my arteries, but helped free them a bit by glugging down as many Coopers Pale Ales as I could (I’ve found a new love that is Coopers). The close proximity of these shows spoiled us a bit, but also let us recover from the long hot drives, and we then headed off for Canberra, the country’s capital. There we played another great little cafe, The Front, and I saw yet another friend I’d met in the states. We were told we’d only get a couple of beers, so I went to the supermarket, bought some Coopers and snuck them in all night. Turns out, the show went so well that the cafe was giving Jamie and Austin free drinks the whole time. Oh well, my loss, I suppose.
With so many great shows, something was bound to break. As it turns out, for the next few days we’d be following another tour, similar sounds and all the same friends, and each night they’d be one city ahead of us. So, for 4 days, we came into towns where all the people who’d be excited were home nursing hangovers and empty wallets. Wollongong was a quiet, but fun show, and everyone was so nice it more than made up for the lack of folks. We also got fed some of the best food of the tour by Jamie’s friends Maris and Liz, afternoon fresh fruits, late night nachos, early morning breakfast spread, complete with Brazilian cheese bread. I’m starving now, thinking of it.
I was just told we are heading out to go jump in a swimming hole, so I’ll leave this here for now, and we’ll catch up later. I hope you are all awesome, and if I know you, I miss you.