Tour Diary: Episode 2

by Bloodnut

This diary is a record of two bands and their fortnight spent touring the pubs and clubs of coastal Australia with twelve band members, one sound man, a small entourage of friends, five vehicles and one piss-off-huge trailer.

Episode 2: Newcastle (Almost) to Newcastle

Time check ” 6:30pm. We need to be in Newcastle to set up for the gig by 8:00pm. Current Status ” Out of petrol. We need to have petrol in the car in order to move musicians to the gig.

We have a quandary. I had a hangover. It has now been replaced by an urgent need for drink. Beer, scotch maybe nail polish remover. I have punched the car. I do not need its shit right now. I feel like crying. I feel like crying harder than any bald tuff-stickered man has ever cried before. The Docter, The Nurse and Mayhem rally to pull me back together again. On their urging I call the NRMA.

The lady asks me my location. I tell her. The Freeway – halfway to Newcastle.
The lady asks me what the problem is. I tell her. The car no work. No petrol. No vroom-vroom.

The lady asks me the nearest intersecting street. The lady says she cannot help without an intersecting street. I feel like telling her to fuck off. I feel like asking whether she sticks pins into kittens for kicks and cheap thrills.

The Nurse and Mayhem walk to the next intersection to satiate the NRMA lady”s sadistic demands.

The Lady says they will be there within 60 minutes. I want to ask her to bring us some beer too. I need a drink. I do the maths. We will be there by 9:00 at the latest. Latest is the operative word.

Mayhem”s phone rings. Apparently purely by coincidence our dear friend Charlie is just passing Sydney on his way to Newcastle. Charlie says he will also bring petrol. We will take petrol from wherever we can get it. We are petrol whores. Charlie does not require an intersecting street to find us.

20 minutes pass. Charlie arrives with petrol. He parks behind us. The NRMA bloke arrives. He parks behind Charlie. I laugh. I remind god that his shitful attempts at irony go unappreciated. We have too much petrol. I am however in a better mood. I take out my book of “People To Kill” and cross “NRMA Lady” off the bottom of the list.

We are back on the road.

We arrive at the pub. It is a lovely pub. It is full of lovely locals. It is a hub for local artists, poets, musicians, beatniks and jive cats. It is the sort of pub that Defence personnel and Liberal voters avoid. The carpet still carries the lingering memory of days when cigarette smoking happened inside. The bartender smiles a lot ” her name is Kat Attack. I think that is an awesome name.

I need a beer so badly it is manifesting itself physiologically as a localised pain directly behind my balls. There is no time for beer, only time to set up and play. We play. I am reminded that playing music with these guys makes running out of petrol totally worth it. My happiness surpasses the dull ache of sobriety.

We finish. Some people come and shake our hands. Some of them want CDs. I cannot converse without beer. I must seem like one of those arrogant-rock-god-arsehole types. I am talking to a bloke named Theo. I am simultaneously looking for someone to be Designated Driver after the gig. My heart sinks. Everyone is drinking. I shoulder my newfound driving responsibilities with all the enthusiasm of a prisoner retrieving the soap from the shower floor.

The band we are touring with begins to play. They are amazing. They make me dance. I never dance. I wonder if that is because I am normally too busy drinking. Probably. That and I am arrhythmic. I work through my repertoire of stilted jerky moves.

I worry.

Half of our touring party have not yet organised a place to stay the night. This problem is recified by a lovely local musician called Mojo Juju. She offers space in the artist commune down the road. Apparently there is room on the stage in the hall. They can sleep alongside a large coffin perched next to a percussive installation of saucepan lids. I do not ask why there is a coffin ” or the saucepan lids ” in my current mental state I am not equipped to deal with the answers.

We finish the gig in Newcastle and head to the temporary beds we have arranged for the evening ” floors, sleeping bags coffins and saucepan lids await. I buy six takeaway beers. I fall asleep halfway through my first precious stubbie grateful for the comfort and hospitality of a cluttered lounge room floor.

Next ” The New England Highway

2 Responses to “Tour Diary: Episode 2”

  1. Hooray! I’ve been hanging for more of this.

  2. Indeed! To think all the value my sobriety could add to their efforts. And my well functioning car.