Tour Diary - A Great White Shark and a proper Aussie bar-b-que



I got a little behind on this with all of the crazy-ness involved with being out here. So without further ado, here’s the remainder of the aussie tour blogs:

Week 3 In a nut shell- two sold out shows (Manly and the Monkey), a proper Aussie bar-b-que to watch the National Rugby League grand final between Manly and New Zealand (Manly won) that turns into an all night jam session, and recorded a duet of “Poor Ol’ Broken Hearted Me” with Aussie singing sensation Shannon Noll… more on that later…

Week 4 We drive north up the east coast to Byron Bay. After a full day on the road we arrive at the venue, a place called the Buddha Bar, only to find out that their “provided accommodation” is the backpackers hostel across the road. It was a pretty far out place full of transients, surfers and general hippy types. Everything is painted in psychedelic colors and there’s a guy named cockatoo Pete with his namesake bird permanently fixed to his left shoulder hanging around in the lobby. We did a little exploring and tripping around the grounds – people are literally staying in tepees- before hitting the hay. The next day Sean and I rent boards to head out for a surf at main beach. As we’re paddling out we noticed a jet skier going from group to group of swimmers and surfers and sending them in. It turns out there was a giant great white swimming around in shallow waters and the beach was being evacuated. Needless to say, we got the hell out of the water. Another catastrophe narrowly averted- instead we hike up to the lighthouse and take in some of the breath taking views from up there- Byron is truly a beautiful and inspiring place. The show goes well and we even manage to squeeze in a surf the next morning before heading out to Brisbane – no sharks in sight this time around. Brisbane at the Zoo was perhaps one of the best shows of the tour. It’s a great rock venue and the crowd was awesome – more than a few Canadians in the house but some local fans as well – we had a great time. As we wandered around the neighborhood between sound check and the show we found ourselves surrounded by a street festival taking place in which every shop window featured some type of performance art. I snapped a shot that had one of our show posters in the fore ground and one such display in the background, check it out (insert photo here) … pretty creepy eh?

Next was a venue called the Spotted Cow in the thriving metropolis of Toowoomba… what to say about this gig…hhhmmmm it was “interesting”. Maybe a little small for our full throttle rock show. I think it may have been better suited to our acoustic set. Oh well…

The next day we drive 14 hours back to Sydney. All along the coast… beautiful scenery. We travel a lot, we see lots of beautiful scenery and Australia has some of the best. We make it back in one piece…

Week 5 Tim Chaisson arrives in Sydney and shares our Sydney accommodation at our Aussie manager Geoff Trio’s place in the Sutherland Shire. Tim’s touring solo through Australia so I back him up on the 3 local shows he has before we quit town- one of which was supporting us at the Brass Monkey, our favorite local haunt. Tim and I spent over a month on the road together when he supported us on our second acoustic tour so we’re pretty familiar with each other’s material. Tim also joined us on stage for our set at the Monkey, it was great to play with him again. We had our best Newcastle show this week and our typically nutty Manly show. The whole trip wrapped up with our headline set at the Gaelic Club in downtown Sydney. Two of our favorite Aussie acts open the show. The Lockhearts and Sarah McLeod’s new outfit Screaming Bikini. Both band and crowd had a great evening. After the set, it was back to Trios for an after party to bid adieu to all of our Aussie friends who we’ve grown to love dearly – we hope to be back soon.

I make sure I surf everyday this week, had to take in as much as possible before we leave this place. On Sunday we hop on a plane for the 20 + hour trek back to Toronto –I’m bumped up to first class so it’s really not that bad and I’m pretty sure my band mates hate me for it. We get to Toronto…in less then 36 hours we’ll be onstage in the UK… and the band played on…

JA

PS- here’s a little treat from our time in Oz. While visiting the rock station triple M in Sydney we were asked to perform an acoustic version of any theme song from an 80’s t.v. show. We chose Degrassi, just to keep it Canadian, and it turns out it was a huge show over there to. I hope you enjoy it