tour diary

November 20th-22nd: Come Across Tour Leg 1: Brisbane and Armidale - Ben Grounds

THURSDAY 20/11/03 - Brisbane

We left before midnight on Wednesday and drove through the night to get to Brisbane. It took a Bluebottle Kiss amount of time to get out of Sydney. Sleep is patchy at best and the trip is a little surreal. On the way up we stopped at a famed 'big' thing, and made bad food decisions. At this place, good food decisions are hard to make. 

We end up in Brisbane safe and sound, much to the relief of many outside of the band. And by the time we arrived it felt as though someone had rubbed a handful of sand in my eyes.

We slept all afternoon and had heaps of time for soundcheck and lunch. My eyes still felt full of sand.

It's hot up here and we wasted no time working up a sweat. We had a good show, with the band acquiring some screaming female fans, courtesy of one unnamed band member. It was not one of these fans that approach our table at a local café after the show (where, incidentally, a bad food choice is impossible to make). A woman of greater stature than Ben approaches him and asks him a question. When Ben doesn't hear it, she asks him again. Ben asks her to repeat it once again, just to make sure that he's correctly heard what she said.

"My friend wants to know if you'd like a fuck," she repeats for the third time.

The question is met with a stunned silence from us all…

FRIDAY 21/11/03 - Armidale

We played at Armidale the next night, at the Armidale Club, which is reminiscent of Newcastle's Salarium, but smaller and more intimate. According to the excitable sound guy, our soundcheck had us sounding like the best band in the world. The soundguy also had a sound system that was a little oversized for the room. Actually we may use it when we do our album launch at Telstra Stadium.

The audience was not quite as intimate as the room they were blown out of, although a few members of the audience were coaxed into mid-set conversation with Jamie. They really got into us when we rocked hard (especially Give Up The Ghost, where Jamie did a knee-slide guitar solo,), but weren't as excited when we didn't 'rock' so hard. When pressed for reasons by Jamie, someone sitting down the back called out 'we're all stoned, man'.

We did have some fun though, Ben and I losing our inhibitions and - yes I know this sounds C-R-A-Z-Y - undoing our shirt's buttons to reveal our sweaty torsos to the masses.

On retreat to our accommodation at the end of the night, we notice, next to our hotel car-park, a local taking a break from the hectic night life, sleeping in a carspace, using the concrete stop-guard as a pillow. We tried to wake him to tell him the rain would leave him cold and wet if he slept there, but to no avail.

SATURDAY 22/11/03 - Armidale

We were keen to get home early on Saturday by leaving at 10 am, but before we could get away from Armidale, our van broke down. After some (well, a fair bit of) phoning and hassling (and help from the friendly NRMA guy), we found a mechanic in Armidale that was prepared to fix the car on a Saturday afternoon, before the bucks party he was attending. So we wandered the streets awhile, eventually finding a pub serving counter meals that would challenge our good food experience in Brisbane as the best this tour.

By half past three the car was ready to go. We took a short cut to Sydney with information bestowed upon us by the previous night's friendly soundguy. The shortcut not only did turn out to be one, but was also a beautiful drive.

I left Sydney, bound for hometown Wollongong (and extra hour-and-a-bit's drive) with my rearview mirror showing me Jamie, obviously desperate, peeing in a dark corner of a dark alley, with the rain coming down.


<tour diaries



design: kirrily walker

painting: chad carey

hosting: allette systems