tour diary

September 7th-8th: Melbourne - Ben Grounds

So it is with bright eyes this young morning welcomes our glassy eyes with lids half-cast. With the others having discovered the joys of unearthliness, the van again contained just three of us: Wesley, Justin and myself.

With spirits level and a shining sun we were again watching the scenery blur to the distorted soundtrack care of our piece-of-crap stereo. Evidently my over-eager earthliness was more easily detected than before, and came from my fasting pocket. A good start to the day had very rapidly turned into a very crap start. The problem with learning from experience is that you take the test before you take the lesson...

...And not very surprisingly it eventually began old friend for most of our drives south. A good pizza lifted my mood as only a good pizza can (country take-away shops, I believe, come in two varieties: very good or very bad). I fell asleep for most of the remaining duration in a backseat bed contraption which made me feel like I was being airlifted into a helicopter by one of those stretchers with lots of harnesses...

It seems to take as long to get from Sydney to Melbourne as it does to get from Melbourne to where we want to be in Melbourne. This isn't helped by our lack of time to get there. We eventually get to the Esplanade Hotel, St Kilda. We are playing the Gershwin room both nights, and it wins me over in an instant, with its old charm and glitter-gold backdrop curtain.

Melbourne, too, has won me over. I love it and I don't know why. I do not understand Melbourne. It seems, to me, confusing and chaotic. And relaxed. Maybe I love it because I don't understand it. I wonder: is our reaction to foreignness learnt, or are we born with it? 

Both shows are very enjoyable, the second being especially so for all involved. Our rock endings are running away with themselves and Saturdays' almost escaped. This was the last show for us on this tour, and a white christmas, courtesy of our surprise industry-type guest, gave it all a celebratory feel. This being just the beginning, the night moved on and at one point saw Richie and I hunt down our missing key, Matlock-style, from some seedy depths. Revelling in our detective prowess, we rejoined our posse, whose ranks had somehow been bolstered by an unknown Englishman. Who talked a lot of rubbish. And the night's finale involved a select few witnessing an extremely rare occurrence, involving me, and...oh I've said too much already...

I don't understand Melbourne, but it seduces me nonetheless.


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