First gig of the new year.
Frankies, Thursday, 9pm.
First gig of the new year.
Frankies, Thursday, 9pm.
They are evacuating Eden and I don't know what to say.
Firefighters are doorknocking Eden to get people to evacuate.
The roads on the Monaro are clogged with people escaping.
A watertank collapsed in Cooma.
I can barely see past my neighbours house here for smoke and I am 5 hours away.
Australia has been the lucky country, by and large. So far from the rest of the world that its troubles do not reach us easily, or quickly.
We watch other places become war zones and we change the channel to the footy.
We marvel at tornadoes and we murmur our gratitude that we face few of those problems here.
Today, we are the warzone, the ravaged land.
Dust has settled across the paper of my notebook, leaving the window open I wipe a fingerful of grit and dust from the page of my shopping list.
We are at war with nature, as it has ever been for colonial settlement, fighting the floods, the fires, the drought.
We who think we possess this land are as easily stricken from it as the dust wiped from my page.
These things are the impersonal account of an angry planet, the fruits of what we have planted in greed and ignorance.
The commonwealth of coal, of carbon dug back up from the ground and burned for this profit of destruction.
When the air is poison, what will the powerful breathe? What words will they use to explain their own destruction, to deny it further?
Today I weep for my friends and neighbours, this Australian nation, my beloved New South Wales, that we must endure so hard a lesson and watch as paradise burns.
It's not much short of apocalyptic.
The fires have directly affected a few of the band, some family evacuations, at least a few of our mates have lost homes, a few have been injured and the smoke knocked me for a loop.
Even our Golden Roadie, Carl, has been out there with the VFS, putting out flames.
We're still doing tour planning and dealing with last minute stuff.
As usual, when the blog is quiet, I am doing stuff offline. Although recently that involved a week getting over a chest infection from the smoke.
What a time.
Getting ready for the tour has continued and normally we stay quiet on the ups and downs of touring because That Is The Way.
In particular, under the circumstances, any difficulties we face in doing tour stuff is small trouble in comparison to the fires.
We tour through the south coast as often as we can, it's one of the prettiest places on earth, and it's been savaged by these conditions and the fires.
I keep seeing Musicians getting ready to do benefit concerts. But the disaster isn't over yet and our 'thoughts and prayers' and even our donations are not as directly useful as our respective state and federal governments stepping in and treating this as the disaster it is.
A state of emergency has been declared in NSW finally.
I get the feeling that we are so used to bushfires that we shrugged off how bad it can be.
Sydney is not prepared for this level of disaster. Our houses are not built to keep out the smoke.
Those living in the Bush have better understanding of the nature of the danger, they are better informed and prepared these days. The toll is higher in property than lives, thanks to better planning and evacuation.
The loss of bush life and animals is staggering. Some of the pictures I have seen break my heart and I cannot share them here.
When we get through this and we all rally around to thank the firefighters and volunteers, to help the survivors, the friends and family, I hope we will collectively demand more resources and planning from our elected officials.
There is a growing level of awareness that these conditions and these events may become more prevalent, that this might not be just another in a recurring every-few-years bushfire pattern. This is starting to become an annual feature of life in Oz.
To our mates, stay safe, don't take any chances. To our community, we are in solidarity with you, all of us have reached out to those we can help with offers and what help we can provide; The few bucks raised at the small benefit we helped with down in Wollongong seems insufficient to the task.
Meanwhile we wait, and we hope.
It has been a big year for us. We've lost a few friends and family along the way this year, had a few wins, a few losses.
It's funny to note this change of decades and realise we commenced in 2007, releasing our first album in 2008.
Depending on where you measure, we're either coming into our 12th or 13th year in the stormcellar.
It's time well spent, in good company.
2020 Beckons and we're looking forward to the next phase of what may come.
We are who we are in passport photos; the world consists of who and what is around us.
This is a slice of our 2019.
See you all in 2020.
With love from all of your friends in the stormcellar.
I wound up with a chest infection thanks to the smoke.
It's been a few days of patchy rain and cool weather, it's still smoggy outside.
Thankfully my singing duties have been light, thanks to well reasoned cancellation of outdoor shows.
Taking down time has been necessary. Bah humbug.
Rather be out there doing stuff.
We have a busy January and February and 2020 is knocking on the door. With some luck I might get another couple of videos out before the year is over.
As usual, there is a lot going on in the lives of the stormcellar community. The members prize their privacy sufficiently that I limit my posts to what I believe are appropriate levels of sharing.
Nonetheless, we send our love out, for those who need it, for the reasons they do, and by extension, to the cellar dweller community and our community at large.
Goodwill is still a valuable commodity and we have it in abundance, so we offer it freely.
We are entering year 13 of being an active working band. All the way back to Mr Wizard deciding to try recording an album back in 2007.
We're still together, still active. That's a blessing in itself.
While the seasons change and the weather swirls in uncertain aspect, we continue to focus on the useful things we do.
2019 has been a rough year for the larger community around us, for a variety of reasons.
We look forward to the return of more peaceful times, and until that happens, we will try to offer as much support to one another as we can, and to you too, dear reader.
On behalf of the band and community, we say Seasons Greetings, and we wish you a return to better times in the coming year.
I was really bummed about us having to call off todays outdoor show and second guessed a lot. Looking out at another pea-soup smoke day at 7am with forecasts for End Times level heat and fires, it's probably one of the more rational calls we've made. Stay safe everyone.