Tour Diary: Episode 4

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 3:” Armidale (With a foreword from The New England Highway)

If you pretend you are holding an invisible pencil between your thumb and forefinger ” this is how far on the map says we are from Armidale. We are almost there – like counting backwards from 1000 and reaching 10.” We are almost there.” I am full of good food.” McDonalds have added Triple Cheese Burgers, Double Quarter Pounders and Bacon Double Cheese Burgers to their regular menu.” They sit just above the lean beef burger on the menu. They are sinful and self-righteous at the same time.” Like catholic priests. If I am to leave any mark on this world, it may as well be a massive ecological footprint.” I have one of each.” When I am older I will wear my Type II Diabetes like a badge of honour.

As we hit the highway on the outskirts of Tamworth, The Nurse suggests we play car cricket.” I have no idea what he is talking about.” He explains.

Sedans are 1.
four wheel drives are 4.
Motorbikes are 6.
Trucks are out.

Mayhem opens the batting.” He gets a solid start. He is trapped lbw by a red Kenworth.” An excess and abundance of blood sugar has left me feeling edgy and overly competitive.” I take petty pleasure in his early dismissal.” I am up to the crease.” I am out for a duck to a B-Double. I am sick of car cricket.

We play on.

I estimate a chopstick between your thumb and fore finger – that is how far we are away from Armidale.” The Australian Beef in our bellies slowly turns car cricket into sleep and silence.

I drive on.

I can still hear a mumbling in the back seat.” Apparently The Nurse is not asleep.” It appears he is playing car cricket by himself.” I say nothing. The chopstick is slowly getting smaller.

I have never driven to Armidale before.” The road starts to narrow and turn. It is unexpected and mildly annoying.” I seem to be going up a lot of hills.” From the back seat The Nurse tells me that he can see the car temperature gauge is going up.” I tell him not to worry ” like the petrol gauge, the temperature gauge too is buggered ” you would be a fool to pay it any heed.” I continue to drive up more hills.” I can now smell something.” It appears that the temperature gauge works after all. I pull over – my poor valiant car -” like any honest vehicle with a ton of metal strapped to its over-worked back is

very

definitely

overheating.

I curse the route we have taken, I curse the cartographers inability to diagrammatically represent a huge fuck off mountainous hill climb in a street map.” While I curse loudly and frequently I reflect on the fact that if I drew street maps, it would make sense to mark out the mountains with big red crosses and things like “piss off” and “stay away” written all around with little arrows pointing at them.

I now estimate that if you were to hold two sheets of toilet paper between your thumb and your forefinger ” that is how close I am to totally losing my shit.
30 minutes later. The car cools.” We are back on the road.” I resign myself to being late ” again.” I declare the New England Highway my mortal enemy and arch-nemesis.” What this entails I am not entirely sure, but I intend to shake my fist in its direction at regular intervals while we drive.” I do so ” with vigour.

I find some amusement in the fact that we are playing in Armidale.” In a club.” The Armidale Club. Very unoriginal.” What the moniker lacks, the Armidale Club makes up for by being THE best place ever.” It is a Thursday.” It is University Holidays.” There is almost nobody at our gig. It is still THE best place ever.” It is circa 1960, wood-panelled walls, paisley couches, full size pool tables, old brass and oak bars.” It smells like my nanna”s place, thick with the smell of dust, must” and arthritic furniture (yet sans the stench of encroaching death).” In its hey day it would have been frequented by misogynist landowners in smoking jackets who would sit around the roaring open fire with old world accents and snifters of brandy talking of the relative merits of Herefordshires over Holstein-Fresians and lamenting their wives disobedience and sudden desire to vote.

The meagre crowd that trickles in are a friendly and appreciative bunch.” The sound however, is awesome.” While narcissistic, any muso will tell you that it matters little how much the audience enjoys a show ” so long as they sound good.” Thanks to Soy Bam”s PA and some nifty sound engineering by the Gimp, we sound good tonight my friends ” we sound great.

After the gig, the barman lets us buy a few cases and bottles of hard spirits. Such is the extent of the hospitality of The Armidale Club, we are sleeping on the floor of this wonderful venue.” The bar man goes home, but we stay, passing the guitar around until the wee hours.

My recollections are limited.” 4am.” I sing Hunters and Collectors cover accompanied by a scotch inspired melodeon solo.” I can remember only one verse. The show must go on.” I sing the one verse I know four times.” I am unsure if anyone notices ” they clap appreciatively.

Sometimes, I like to imagine a little referee in his little striped shirt, sitting on my left shoulder.” Tonight in Armidale, he pulls out a red card, orders me to put the guitar down and go to sleep under the full sized pool table.

I do as such.

God bless this club in Armidale called The Armidale Club.

Next ” Bello

2 Responses to “Tour Diary: Episode 4”

  1. Hmm, does the next episode involve the armidale club wanting its floor back from passed out musos in the morning?

  2. Never so far from a bar fight in Armidale it seems. *sigh*