Yes folks, its the Weather Advisory Tour Update #4, from the comfort of my lounge room. On tour at home? Why not!
From now on, this is how you tour!!! - note the pile of Bourbon and Colas. NOTE: Not our tour bus - this belonged to the Pool Comp team!
Once again we return to the intrepid Stormcellar-ites as they hurtle down highways in search of Blues Venues.
Weather Advisory Tour 2008 - Udpdate 4!
After a glorious night in Myrtleford, we packed the cars (ok, I packed the cars. I was feeling a little too energetic) and made our way through Yackandandah.
We worked out that the local roadside sobriety tests consist of being able to clearly pronounce your local suburb. None of them were short a vowel.
As Mark is an Albury boy, we were met at our destination with flowers by the lovely S. Aloha!
The Astor. - Secret Gig! (gig 3)
After an energetic welcome that included some biting (WGOTSOT!!!) that left me looking far more rock than I actually deserve, we settled in to say hello to some old friends and get ourselves together for the show the following day.
Albury was jumping last weekend - thirsty merc were doing a free gig, Shannon Noll was in town, it was all happening.
We started the night with a practise run and some blues numbers, featuring the lovely Sharon Bilson as a guest vocalist. Frank (Hi Frank) bought a CD and lost it, then found it, but got it signed either way. Geelong eh? We'll talk!
We collected our bruised selves, hid in our rooms and prepared for the full three set onslaught the following day.
Now I was meant to post where we were playing but web connection failed us. (sigh) We'll hook a sattelite on the wagon at some point. Thus our secret gig was totally frickin secret. Except for those who were there. they would have surmised we were playing. Ok. Anyway.
Gig 4 - Astor Afternoon Sunday
Penny and Graham (HA! I got it right!!) came back to see us on Sunday, as did a bunch of folks who had dropped by the night before and we turned on a full afternoons music.
Sometimes its hard to tell how the music is being received - sometimes its not recieved at all! We had a PA failure in the middle of Whiskey Talkin, but, whaddya do? We finished the song, took a quick break whilst Dave on sound gave CPR to the amp and hey presto, back into it. Cheers to Dave for dealing with it so swiftly.
Going back to the 'are we connecting with the people listening thing', well, there were some chaps down the front in Dark Glasses with a particularly hard set visage and i was worried failure to like music may result in knee capping, but then...I saw it. Just a glimmer. Just a motion. Just a...yes...yes...there it goes...A tap! two taps! Feet Tapping! Hurrah! We're going to LIVE!!!! And what was the mysterious, hard core rock power anthem that set their feet tapping? Why it was Yamanote Line! Who says tough guys dont like swing?
All throughout this tour, people have responded well to Roscoe's Boogie and a few other numbers. We're still working through the potentials for the next album, but it is amazing to see the different types of folks who all enjoy a Blues Groove. The girls got up and danced, they grabbed the mike, the usual. Mrose tells me this doesnt happen in Indy music. I think its cos we're more accessable. Literally. They put Indy bands up on a stage out of reach for a reason. They put us on the floor because its easier to mop up. I dont know. Anyway.
Cheers to Jake for the video work (Happy Birthday Billy), to Cous who bought One for the house and One for the Car (thats my kind of thinking!) and to all of the family and friends who came out to see us (Hey Paula, Danielle).
Huge thanks to Sharon B (you get a special mention in the thanks section!) and also to Chris and Vicki at the Astor for taking such good care of us. Also a shout out to the unforgettable Angela, whos name i forgot when I was trying to thank her. I suck.
Now I need to make special mention of Mick, for my favourite quote of the tour: 'If you need me to come out from the bar to sort some trouble out, just start playing a few chords of smoke on the water and I'll come running out, cos I know no band would ever play that song.' No offense intended, Deep Purple. Mick, you rock.
We had such a good time there that it was hard to leave. Mark had friends and family to give him a huge roar of applause and even MRose got to say Hey to a cousin (Hey Jo! Glad you liked the lyrics) and we had an opportunity to play one last song with the incomparable Ms Bilson (no wonder she's a local legend).
Checking Out And Checking the Cars
We pulled out of town behind schedule and found Mroses headlight busted, so we called on the helpful NRMA and sorted out the lights. That left us on the open road a little late, so we put Groover on a train so he could make his business appointment and headed out onto the road to see how far we would get before needing to sleep.
Surprisingly enough, by stopping every two hours (Yes Dr Karl, we're listening) and checking for signs of drowsiness etc, we found ourselves back in Sydney by sunrise.
I think we stopped at all but one of the brightly lit highway stops on the route, watching them put up Christmas decorations and testing the acoustics at the Eagle Boys Pizza stop (and no, I did not pick up in Melbourne. Thankyou for asking dear pizza lady. Its not a hickey its....oh never mind...its a hickey ok? I am a love god. there. I said it. WGOTSOT!!!)
So we made it back to Sydney but, we're still on tour! Yes, not over till Saturday! So, what did we do next? Write New Songs! Last Drinks at Glenrowan became the focus for the afternoon. An interesting little song. We'll see how it turns out.
Some Sleep and then The Sando
2AM and your second wind kicks in. Thats when you find yourself recording vocal guide tracks and wondering where it all went wrong.
Rockstar Parking #2
For the second time in as many gigs, we got a spot almost right out the front. Ok, so last one was even better, but still, ROCKSTAR parking! Woot!
All Happening at the Sando!
Gig...wtf...4? 5...no...5. Ok. The Sandringham Hotel, Newtown
Love The Erles
We played with Adam De Roma and the Big Erle troupe. We dig the Erles. They do a raucous thing and we have played with them at the Lansdowne (and doing it again on Nove 29th!) Wollongong's finest. Adam started the night off brilliantly and we had the wonderful and Youthful Jay on sound (Happy Birthday Jay. What I said holds true!)
The Sherriff Rides Again
Mal was back on deck for the Sando and Slinky said he wanted to do something trippy and watch from the front for a change. Mal's looking (and feeling) great and we're absolutely stoked to see him in good order and back on the job.
Slinky earned his stripes as the Deputy and we are grateful to him for totally saving our butts.
We played some of our faster stuff, I almost got heat stroke from wearing my dammned jacket (cold on tour?) and No, I was not Punched in the neck, no I did not pick up in Melbourne. I have been asked that a lot of late.
Why Is The Sando Playing Such Good Music?
Seriously folks, everytime we've played at the Sando, I've wound up listening to the other bands and digging them.
Not just Adam and the Erles, but Buzzard downstairs. Buzzard were a totally committed three piece (3? there might have been more. it sure sounded like it). Had a post modern rock vibe with a bit of chili peppers, bit of thrash, bit of flipping everything. Great work guys.
Several people in Newtown have commented on the Sando having something on almost every night, and they're right (see pic above).
We finished our set by curfew, bid our goodbyes to the Erles and packed the show up once more, until Saturday at Lake Munmorah in Newcastle.
NOTE: The boys have also got some pics and notes they'll post in due course
Note Note: We've got a stack of thankyous to give out, so we're gonna do a great big thank you post after our last official tour gig!
Until Next Time!