Wednesday, 21 December 2011

High Noon Tour Days 33-34

Days  33 and 34.

With the shows in Perth cancelled we have no reason to go there so the homeward flights are brought forward. I decide to stay out until Xmas to try and blag a couple of acoustic gigs, find the elusive sun and maybe write some music in a different setting. The other guys get booked on a last minute flight and are right now in the air somewhere over Asia, winging their way home with Lamont no doubt eating his body weight in aeroplane food.
The tour has had incredible highs and some sad lows, but we have done it. We have brought our music to the other side of the world, made friends, fans and hopefully established ourselves enough to do it all again in the near future. The emotions have been intense at times and I have kept some the details out of the diary as I need to let some things fester so i can write them into songs at a later date. Like a fine wine that reaches maturity, then goes bitter...that’s when we uncork it, add a riff and press record.
Happy Christmas and Happy New Year. Until next time.
Jon

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

High Noon Tour Day 32

Day 32  11/12/11
I’m not totally sure I have my dates and days 100% right with this diary, but with the odd event being recorded on the wrong day the actual sequence is pretty much spot on.
We have a show tonight at The Annandale, right near the hotel. Its to be our last in Sydney, but the day looks beautiful so before worrying about the gig we decide to make the most of the weather and head to Bondi. It has rained constantly during our time here, but this morning was incredible and set to be a scorcher, however on arriving at Bondi we see one of the most amazing, fake looking storm clouds i have ever seen, and before you know it its raining, very hard indeed. We go and drop Mike’s guitar back to him on the way back to the hotel wondering what it is we have done to anger the rain gods.
The gig is an all-dayer, with us on early evening. A couple of local bands kindly lend us some gear and we play a respectable set before going for dinner.
It seems that most of the Aussie pubs have a book makers section in them. Drinking and gambling clearly going hand in hand. This pub is no exception, but with no money to place bets we end up just trying to pick winners for fun from the vast array of sports and races beemed from across the world. Dog racing from Singapore, horses from the west coast, horse and cart racing from somewhere else, football from Asia....gambling addiction must be rife here.

High Noon tour Day 31

Day 31  10/12/11

Tonight’s gig as at Oxford Art’s Factory, right in Darlinghurst, the scene of last night’s bad bar choices. It seems we should have chosen this place as its a cool little venue with good sound, good people and the other bands are damn good too.
Outside we see a sunglasses (at night) wearing Asian guy filing a pop video. He’s dancing along the street with the camera man trying not to fall over the people in his way. This little stretch of town seems slightly more alternative and if they manage ot get a shot without some hairy rocker in the background giving the finger i’ll be surprised. I just admire the guys guts to get out and dance like such an idiot without any apparent discomfort. There’s no way i could do it, that’s for sure.
After the gig a couple of us go to a bar called Gaslight. It has a roof terrace and its from there that i can see the moon which appears to have a black bruise in its side. I had no idea but apparently there’s to be a lunar eclipse tonight and here I am in the perfect place to see it. A cheer goes up when it appears totally eclipsed only for it to die down when people realise that last, somewhat faster covering was in fact cloud. Eventually the moon disappears and I suddenly think i ought to call Si. He is back at the hotel and missing out on something I’m sure he’d like. He seems enthused by my call and I feel a little pleasure in spreading the joy. Its not until i see him properly a day later that i ask him if he saw the lunar eclipse. With no sense of irony he said “I went outside and looked, but couldn’t see the moon at all.” No-one else found this funny, but its shit like that that really tickles me.

Friday, 16 December 2011

High Noon Tour Day 30.

Day 30  9/12/11

Mike is a musician who has forged a successful path in both the UK and Australia, right now he is in Bondi and that’s where i drive with Si. On the way we get a call about picking up another guitar in a different part of town so go to do that first. However we arrive at the shop and get told the hire department is elsewhere. After far too long we finally get the damn thing, needed for tonight’s acoustic gig and manage to get to Mike’s before he heads of to play his own show.
We relate our tale to him, of the Asian tour, of arriving in Oz and of the ups and downs since we got here. Telling it to someone else somehow clarifies in my mind what i said before about feeling a little down, but knowing really i’m still very lucky. Mike recounts a few stories himself and its good to know that our situation is far from unique and maybe just a rite of passage.
We head to the Taphouse where we’re playing tonight, somewhere we played first in fact on this Oz leg of the tour. The stage sound is bizarre, the one monitor crackling like a broken radio and we have no idea if people can hear us properly out the front, but we battle through, playing every song we could possibly pull off acoustically.
Afterwards we head into Darlinghurst, every bar is populated by muscled guys in vests and girls with skirts shorter than I imagine their parents would approve of. The whole place feels like a meat market, or maybe we just chose the wrong places to go, but we give up and head home.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

High Noon Tour Day 29

Day 29  8/12/11

Tonight’s show is at The Metro in central Sydney. One of the main venues in the city. Soundcheck goes without a hitch and then Lamont and I are asked to go and do a video interview for Moshcam TV. To the question “What were some of the first songs you played on guitar?” I answered, “Old Rock n Roll classics, Eddie Cochran, Buddy Holly and Buckcherry........hang on that’s not right?!!” So if anyone sees it I am not a Buckcherry fan, just a dyslexic interviewee.
A friend of ours asks to go on the guest list for the gig tonight so we put him down, plus one of course. Later on as we’re eating he texts to say he’ll not be able to make it now, so we speak to the two German students sat near us and say if they want to go to a gig for free and say they are “Mr Cannot Be Named plus 1” they’ll get in. It was pretty cool to see when we went onstage two tall, blonde haired kids come running up to the front of the stage, dancing, swing their beers everywhere...shout “Thanks guys!” and head off before we’ve had time to get off stage. Youthful enthusiasm at its best.
After the show we head to Tatler’s bar...somewhere the locals we have mentioned it to all seem to think is bad, but after loud music and noise a quiet, discreet little place like this, with some jazzy band playing was a welcome break. The International Swingers guys were there too along with some of their friends and it was with some sadness we realised this was already to be our last show together.  Clem Burke is one of Lamont’s heroes and I found Jon stood watching Clem play a cowbell. Nothing else, just a cowbell, jamming along with the jazz band. Its an odd sight, first Clem playing cowbell in this situation, then the normally very composed Jon looking with awe at his hero play something even your gran could play. Cute really.
At a ridiculous time in the morning we heads back to the hotel. I check my e-mails and see that a friend of ours, Mike is in town and can lend us a guitar for tomorrow’s acoustic gig. 

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

High Noon Tour Day 27-28

Day 27-28  6/12/11

Its raining...still...oh no, hang on a second...there’s blue skies!! A quick ring around the guys and I find Lamont is up for doing something fun with the day. We decide to borrow the car and drive to Botany Bay to see where Captain Cook came ashore, then head up to the cliff top nearby and try and see the humpback whales.
On the drive we’re chatting away and Lamont pulls into a queue at the traffic lights. After 5 minutes we notice the queue hasn’t moved, at this point we realise we have just pulled in behind a line of parked cars. Well done.
Eventually we make it to the national park area and the Botany Bay visitor centre. Its deserted and the sky suddenly goes grey, it looks like we timed it just about as badly as only we seem to be able to. We hurry down to Cook’s landing spot feeling highly unimpressed by the scene off the coast. To the right an oil refinery, to the left a sewage pipe and over head plane after plane going into the main airport. It could be beautiful, but instead its just a bit shit.
We jump back into the car to get up to the cliff top area to see the whales, but on the way the heavens open and we eventually stand for 5 minutes in the pouring rain looking at slate grey seas only to discover the whales are long gone and only come here in the winter.
The whole trip is a disaster so on the way back we pull in for a beer at the Taphouse. We played our first show here acoustically about a week agao and we get some free drinks and an offer of another show. Cool so at least it wasn’t a total waste of a day!
The next day i can’t remember what happened, but it was probably a non-descript day with me writing diary entries and the other guys fixing their gear.

Monday, 12 December 2011

High Noon Tour Day 26

Day 26  5/12/11

Back into the Subaru iBack Breaker 2000 we go. I take the first shift driving, wanting to get it out the way and then attempt to sleep for some of the journey. As usual i fail (to sleep, not drive) but as i have nothing to do but stare at the scenery going by I do manage to spot some live kangaroos. Finally! Lots of dead ones littered about the road this time and we even see a truck with what appears to be a kangaroo plough on the front for clearing the way. That’d be an odd job.
Its a long day of just sitting doing nothing and conversation is at a minimum, not because we’re hating eachother, we’re just lost in our own thoughts/iPods/daydreams. We’re not sure if any more shows have been booked in Sydney to replace some of the cancelled ones and we feel like we’re not headed on an adventure, but returning to some familiar, grey, dull fate.  However it dawns on me that I’m in Australia, watching kangaroos jump a wire fence, driving between Melbourne and Sydney, here because of the music we make and I’m essentially one lucky fucker. That’s the problem with plans....if you make them and they go wrong you can sometimes fail to see that the resulting alternative is not bad, its just different. Resolving to not be such a miserable bastard and maybe to call home at some point I get back to my usual role of irritating whoever is awake and eventually we pull up at the hotel in Sydney, in the dark, exhausted, but maybe more inclined to accept things for what they are.