This post contains an archive of all journal articles prior to September 2012.
2012 August 29 : Canada, Coming Home Tour Part 1
Thought I’d write a very quick update on the last 10 or so days over here… feels like forever!
Arrived Monday night after a long long flight of screaming kids and smelly toilets. Headed straight to Mikes place in Calgary to meet up with the lovely Joel Plymin and twins Eric and Ivan. (drums and bass). Got to sleep at 2.30am only to wake at 3.30pm the next day!! I had no idea where I was and how I was going to do all the things on my list of things to do before the first show! Missed an important radio interview – great start!
First show was really awesome. Hadnt played with the twins for a few months, and it went really smoothly. Had our best crowd so far in calgary and sold a huge amount of cds, especially the brand new one “Coming Home”.
Struggled to sleep – as usual. I am still dealing with my body clock ‘not’ dealing with the jetlag and time change which really really sux.
Drove ten hours on Wednesday to Charlie Lake – north BC. We pretty much get out the car, set up, order dinner, sound check, eat dinner, sped back to the accom, get dressed, go back and play! A long day I have to say! Fun show however. We stayed on the lake again at Lindas bed and breakfast – literally right on the lake which is gorgeous. Just chilled out the next day – a short walk, a little read of a book in the sunshine – such stunning weather.
Another gig that night at the same venue, however they set us up on a huge stage outside, which was great except for getting a million mozzie bites. The Canadians kept swearing that the bugs dont bite – liars.
A big drive again the next day – about 7 hours – to a festival. We looked around, hippies everywhere wearing no shirts, long hair and round sunglasses. Could be fun?! A few tents scattered around. “where is the organiser” i ask… “hmmmm…. hes the dude without his shirt on, just drive around and look for him” is the answer. Hmmmm. Nice and chilled.
After setting up our tents and meeting some very ‘interesting’ people I decided at this point that I would say yes to the free beer. I stopped drinking beer years ago, but it was time to start up the bad habit again, it was the only way to go in this situation.
Then, it starts raining. Really muddy gross raining. The crowd was unfortunately a fair bit smaller than we had all expected which is always a shame for the hard working organisers. There was a lot of interpretive dance going on. A lot of waving arms in the air and I felt like singing out “koombayaaaa my lord”.
I realised at this point I am not really a hippy. My hair might give off a different impression. But I am a city girl. And what can I offer these people with my lyrics and stage show?? So I think, okay, I will wear my big feather headpiece -it’s colourful and fun and they will love it! Feathers galore. We play our show and people danced and we put on what I thought was a good show, sold some cds to some really nice people and then finally made my way through the mud back to my tent. The guys were back there looking worried, as they had been pulled aside and abused by a couple women about how offensive my headpiece was and that I should be ashamed of myself!!!! The headpiece for me is just artwork, and I happen to adore the artwork of the native indians, I certainly dont ever want to offend anyone. Thats for sure!
I headed to bed around 1am. I slept solid from 2-4am. Only to wake from out of tune guitars being played around the grounds… and then to top it off out came the flute!! Yes, the flute came out past 6am!!! This just did it for me. I tried to find my inner hippy zen and find a peace with the loud music playing around me, but I just couldn’t take it anymore. At 7am with tears flowing (just wanting to be at home in my own bed) I crawled into the back seat of my van and tried again to sleep. I think I got in one hour before the noise started up again and the dogs all started howling. Having had no showers and having held in my toileting needs for hours… we left. (the toilets by the way were drop toilets with no lights, and not exactly pleasant)
So, we find a diner and order a big brekkie and a super strong coffee, and I go to the washrooms and wash my hands and face over and over again – wiping away the mud and sweat of the night before!!
Getting to our hotel rooms in Edmonton was so exciting. Getting in the shower and feeling clean and washing the mud off our shoes felt amazing!
The show that we had been excited about in Edmonton ended up one of my favourite shows. Through our tiredness we managed to play a beautiful set of music and the small crowd made up for their size with their appreciation.
Next day was another type of fest – an out door street fest. It was fun and a lovely crowd ! We were treated so well again and decided to continue with the beer drinking.. and it was a good night. (if only I could sleep…damn jet lag) We really enjoyed our night… and the organiser Amanda gwas a sweetheart and made me remember why touring is so special as we get to meet some amazing, generous people. We really are very lucky with some of our experiences while on tour.
Next day was a day off! Off to Calgary – six hour drive, then a relax down by the lake with Mike and his folks. And a decent night sleep. It was just what the doctor ordered.
Yesterday (Tue) we drove five or six hours through the rocky mountains to a gorgeous lil town called Revelstoke. We played another outdoor street fest and it was really great. We are staying at one of Mikes friends houses- Travis. What a lovely guy – just lets four strangers and all our gear in to his house – he literally gave us the address and left the door unlocked. We get here, hes not here, but we walk in and try to make ourselves at homes, hoping that we had the right address and we weren’t sitting in some random persons place!
We find this a lot – people just opening their houses to us. Its quite amazing really? Would I do the same at home to a bunch of band people I had never met before?? Maybe these people expect a crazy band experience that they can talk about for years to come, and we must disappoint over and over again with how lame we are. We generally drink tea and go to bed way earlier than expected. Wild. Really really wild.
Today was gorgeous. A sleep in. Then some food. Then a drive up Mount Revelstoke. The van struggled a lil, but we made it to the top. The most stunning views of the ice/snow covered mountains. We went for a walk in the wilderness, but the streams and lakes. It was really peaceful and so good to not be in the car, in a hotel room or on stage.
Only not so nice part of the day was being eaten alive by huge mossies. My back looks like a bad disease right now, with so so many lumps and bumps – the guys couldn’t believe it – they were taking photos of how gross I look. On the way back down we saw a baby. black bear on the side of the road. Only a quick look at him, but still so exciting. He was super cute. Im sure his mother wasn’t so cute, but still, so so cool to see. Joel was pretty excited to have his first bear experience – it is his third tour over here, without one single sighting.
Tomorrow we are off to Banff. We have three more shows to go on this first stint of the tour. Then I head off on our 3 week adventure a very cool Womens Fest in Torrey, Utah in the Red Rocks. From here we will hit a few more national parks, have a night in a hotel in Vegas, then head to San Fran for four nights…cant wait to be back there. From here we have 3-4 nights of Portland and Seattle until we hit Vancouver. Then I start another tour. The band will join me again we we will drive a shitload and play 8 or 9 shows in 10 days, including Canmore, Fernie, Revelstoke, Armstrong, Nelson and a cool festival on the coast. Then, home time.
Anyways, thats the update. A little longer than I had expected. SO far so good. Exhausted, but alive and excited to be doing what we do. The guys are lovely and easy to be around. We chill around each other, have great chats and some good laughs. So, this is what you need on any tour. It is what makes or breaks the tour.
I will update again after the adventure part of the trip!! (thats if a grizzly doesnt eat us)
On this last tour, we did our third show at De Barg in a little village in Holland called Boskoop. Even a lot of people living in Holland have not heard of this village. But we somehow stumbled upon it, and the owners and the audience have simply welcomed us with huge open arms. And I am feeling really thankful. To watch an entire crowd of people clap along to your songs with huge grins, stamping their feet and singing along, well nothing can describe how happy this makes me. And proud. Proud to know that I have written some great songs, that I have managed to work so hard, and proud that I work alongside some wonderful people.
I now have a steady band in Europe and also one in Canada, and of course my band here in Australia. This makes life so interesting as every single member has a different personality and something new and different to add to the music. Every one of them is unique in their own ways. And everyone of them make a commitment to my music which makes me feel lucky.
Again I have finished another major international tour consisting of 30 shows. To see my Dutch guys again was wonderful. Tom on the double bass and Josse on the drums. I arrived at the Amsterdam airport after a long trip and there they were, dressed to the nines in full suits – just to make me smile. After hugs and kisses we get to the band van, which along with my manager Robert, they have decked out to become the TOBY-MOBILE. More smiles. This trip we were joined by the rather awesome Frank Ensink Op Kemna on saxophone. Frank is a man who can easily make you laugh. He also is a man who likes carrying around bags of apples – maybe its because he is a poor student, maybe its to help him not smoke, maybe its because he just likes apples a lot. Anyway, he very quickly became “Franky Apple” as saying his last name was just to difficult for me to deal with!!
So the four of us became a team very quickly and very easily. Add to the mix our fabulous, hard working Dutch manager Robert Suvaal and his incredible lady Jeannette (our new and awesome ‘merch bitch’) and we were set to go… 19 shows in about 23 days! Holland, Germany and Switzerland. There were a few shows that really stood out for me. We performed on two different boats in Holland. Amsterdam was just packed out crazy fun. The Motorship Friesland in Enkhuizen was like performing in a theatre on water. What I love about the European crowds is they really know how to enjoy themselves, how to take in the music, how to listen, and how to respond with such enthusiasm at the end of a song. Theres no better feeling when you do a live show then to know that the crowd is right there with you.
One of my favourite shows would have been Frank’s Bodega in Germany. For whatever reason I was worried about this show. It was new to us and I had no clue where we were driving. But as soon as I arrived, I knew we were meant to be playing there. Frank, the owner of this gorgeous wine cellar/bar has more enthusiasm then any bar owner I have ever met in the world!! He filled the place with fabulous music loving people. We drank wine, we ate cheese fundue, he filled our tummies with tapas, and we filled the room with our music. And we loved it! So did the crowd it seemed and we can’t wait to play there again next year! The next morning we were treated to the most incredible breakfast. My eyes were way bigger than my stomach, but I couldn’t stop myself from eating this amazing food, with the most beautiful presentation ever. Thanks again Frank!! You rock mate – you really do.
I always struggle saying goodbye to my Dutch team. They have become such good friends.. and I cherish my times with them on and off the stage! I can’t wait for Europe in October – it just keeps getting better!!
Thanks for reading and thanks for the support!!
I have lived a pretty good life in so so many ways. I have two loving parents who are such an incredible team, who have always stood by each other, and who still love each other so much. I have an older sister who has always been my best friend, I have grown up with all four of my grandparents and even 2 of my great grandparents (of course, these things change, but still, I was very lucky). I do what I love, I tour and play music. Sometimes I really struggle with this career – the knock-backs and rejection, and the huge amount of work it takes to be an independant artist. I have a different band in Holland, in Canada and at home. I have musicians living all over the world. This is great, because they are all lovely people, but also hard work changing all the time. Last year I did 150 shows. 100 of them were overseas. I get to make people smile or dance or cry. I get to move them with the music I wrote. I get to hear their lovely comments at the end of the show, or in an email. People tend to share their open feelings with me wherever I go. And once in a while you meet someone special. Someone you connect with, someone who has a story of their own. We have people invite us into their homes, they cook for us and trust us in their home.. they chat to us and make us feel welcome.. it is something that blows my mind. Humanity. People giving for no reason other than wanting to help out. This is really the most special part of my job.
I hear their stories and at times, I think I am so lucky. I have suffered great tragedy and trauma in my life. More than most people I know in my own circle of friends and family. I have nearly lost my sister on several occassions. We lived in what seemed like a living hell for several years. And we still deal with her sickness on a daily basis. But, we are so very lucky she is here. That she is who she is – a battler. I hear stories worse than this- where people lose their sisters or their parents or siblings. Where they don’t get to see them again. Where life is forever changed. And i seem to be drawn to these people for some reason. To make myself realise that we are still blessed? To make me realise I am lucky. Who knows. All I know is there are some incredibly strong, beautiful people out there, and I am so very lucky to become a part of their lives, and them a part of my life.
I am touring with such a special band over here in Holland. Luckily we clicked straight away on our first tour six months ago, so now, I am very comfortable being with them 24/7. And this of course, is not always the case. We laugh and chat and have fun and really enjoy the musical experience together. The crowds are also drawn to the band members for different reasons, for their high energy and fun stage presence. And this also gives me a lot of joy to see.
Yesterday we did a show in De Barg, Boskoop. Our third time there. We arrived to see all staff members wearing their own style “Toby” shirts. they had made them just for the show. De Barg is a big barnyard, set in a gorgeous little farm style village in Holland. The sun was shining, and after setting up, I sat back drinking my coffee watching everyone arrive on their bicycles with huge smiles on their faces. We sold out, and we couldn’t fit another person in the room. Every single song is appreciated by the crowd, they are a listening crowd, but they absolutely know how to show their enthusiasm and excitement over the songs. They join in, they laugh and cry and stomp their feet and it is such a special thing to be a part of. When the standing ovation came I felt like individually hugging each and every audience member! They give so much to us, and we are so lucky to have this happen. After the show everyone gathered outside the barn to be a part of our “Don’t Go Diaries” (a series of videos of our new song “Don’t Go” filmed in different places). We had so much fun filming this one! We only have one shot at it – and this was our first singing it with a crowd! And the Dutchies blew us away with their energy and loud voices!! It made me smile from ear to ear!
I think I may sound like a free flowing, flower power, tree hugging hippy right now, but I don’t mind. I just thought I would share my thoughts as they are right now. And my thoughts are, I’m lucky to be doing what I am doing and to be meeting some wonderful people in my life. So, to you, the wonderful person reading this, thank you. That’s all I wanted to say really.
63 Shows. Over 22,000 kms. Wow.
It was really refreshing to arrive in Switzerland. I love Canada so much, but it’s always nice to have a change after a while, and theres no better place to land than beautiful Switzerland – one of my all time favourite spots. We gave ourselves four nights off in Interlaken. After 40 shows in Canada this was hugely needed. Four days of relaxing and not doing much at all. Amy went canyoning, we went walking, driving through the mountains, and flying through an awesome 20 metre high tree top ropes course. Then the tour began again. We started at 3Tells Irish Pub, a new place in Interlaken owned by my gorgeous family over there. Awesome pub and great vibe, and I really enjoyed the show. The next day we headed to Cannobio, Italy.
Well, what a day. To cut a long story short, don’t trust TomToms. They can get you very very lost, very very quickly and without you knowing a thing! What should have been a 2.5 hour drive turned into over 5 hours, making us quite late. After getting our car onto a train and going under a mountain for 15 kms, and getting lost in some Italian village that doesn’t allow cars (yes, I drove right on through, and got VERY stuck) we ended up in an entire different place to where the show was. We felt terrible for Jessica, the organiser of the show. Plus our phones were not working, so it was a very stressful day. Which is horrible when you are driving through some of the most incredibly beautiful scenery you can imagine!
The gig was gorgeous. I played at a cafe just next to Italy’s second most biggest lake, Lago Maggiore Such a scene from an Italian romantic movie. Stunning! And a really fun show. Our one night/morning in Italy consisted of pasta, good coffee, gelato, panninis, more coffee and more ice-cream! Not bad at all. Thanks Jess for all your hard work!
Next stop – The Ono Bar, Bern. To a sold out show and one of my favourite venues, organised by two of my favourite people, Lena and Alex. It’s so exciting to sell out a venue, especially internationally. Gives you such a great buzz. For some reason the venue was incredibly hot. I have never sweated so much on stage!! I felt for the audience too, fanning themselves between joyful clapping! It was awesome to see some Swiss fans who had seen us in Canada and also in El Questro, WA. I love how small this big old world can be at times!
A huge day the next day. Flying from Zurich, through Barcelona to Amsterdam. Getting overcharged $300 for excess luggage, then arriving to find out my guitar was left in Spain. Not so handy when you have a brand new Dutch band waiting to pick you up and drive you straight to a show in Belgium!! Meeting my new band Tom Clarke and Josse Sharrard was a pleasure. From the second we met them, Amy and I loved them. Huge smiles, fresh fruit and coffee, and helpfulness! Perfect. So, after organising a new guitar, we headed off. No rehearsals. Just a show. And luckily it went well!
Holland feels like home to me. I love the Dutch, I really do. maybe it’s because I am half Dutch, who knows! They seem to know how to have a good time at a show, which in turns makes it a lot of fun for us on stage. Being on stage with the guys simply got better with every gig. And we seemed to gel really well together from the start which was a huge relief to say the least. It was awesome to play some new venues in Holland and also to play some repeat/return shows. Meeting new people, playing new songs – it’s what it’s all about.
We also played a couple shows in Germany. The Music Star in was new to me, but I had heard great things through the likes of Carus and the Hussy Hicks. What an awesome venue and a crowd that really digs live, original music. I love rocking up to a venue in a town where know one knows you, and then play in front of people who have researched you and listened to your songs online and watched your youtube videos. It’s a pretty great feeling. Our time in Hamburg was really very enjoyable. We got some time to explore to place, and Hamburg is a great city. We played at the Mobile Blues Bus – the trailor that has been made into the coolest little venue. I love this venue and the show was so much fun. It was an extra special night as two of our big fans from Collie, WA rocked up unexpectadely. Can’t thank Donna and Steve enough for surprising us and then taking us to brekkie the next morning. Again, it’s a small world!
Next stop, Prague. I love this city and it was awesome to return there with a new group of mates. We spent half a day wondering the cobble stone streets, eating local food, checking out the art on Charles Bridge, watching the buskers, doing some shopping, enjoying the sunshine and taking it all in. As a group we just clicked, so our time off stage was pretty special with a lot of laughs!
My suitcases seems to be getting heavier every day. I had already sent home a big bag from Canada, a guitar from Canada and box from Canada, yet the baggage just seemed to be getting out of control. I still don’t quite know what I bought, but it was definitely fun along the way! Luckily I had Tom and Josse to help me out carrying all the bags! Thanks guys!
On the Saturday we had a 13 hour drive back to Holland to perform that night. Our van was, well, not the most comfortable van in the world, but I can’t thank Willem enough for lending it to us! The guys were rather hungover on this day, so Amy and I took to the front. While driving along chatting or singing, or whatever we were doing, I was suddenly surprised to see a sock puppet talking to me from the back seat in a very strange voice. Tom, being Tom, had silently sat in the back with his mini sewing kit and had sewed a very special friend called Blenis. So, suddenly we had a new member of the touring team. Blenis definitely possessed the most ‘interesting’ personality of the group, and he knew how to entertain us on the long drives.
Josse and Tom and Amy really reminded me what touring is about. Well, what it’s about for me. You can tour, you can play great gigs, you can sell huge amounts of merchandise and have a successful tour. However, its the connection that I really like. Not only connection with audience or the new people you meet, it’s mainly the connection you have with your touring team, your band. And these guys taught me again why I love touring. The creation of a new little family happened on the day we arrived. Arriving to food and drinks and coffee and smiles and hugs with complete strangers was a fantastic way to start the tour. The guys loved the opportunity to play and tour and this was obvious. So was their appreciation for being able to see more of Europe and have more time on stage playing music.
I cant thank these guys enough for just being them and making this tour so magical!!!
After saying goodbye to the band after 5 weeks and 27 shows, it was time to start the next part of our adventure. This became the real ‘van-venture’ for us – as most our time was spent in Bertie the van. The guys left on the Monday 8th August after five hard weeks of touring. Ames and I went and spent a couple nights venturing around some mountains in Golden, BC and spending some quality time with Mike and Julz in Calgary.
We transformed Bertie the Van into a mobile home – packed her really well and created/made a big bed inside – and surprisingly it was comfortable! And of course cute!
Our first destination was Red Rocks, Torrey, Utah, USA. A good 24 hour drive from Calgary. I must share this experience with you all… it’s kinda cool. I have been attempting to read the book “The Secret”… where it states what you put out, you will receive. Sounds so simple doesn’t it!? So a few weeks back in Tofino, I left the crew downstairs in the bar drinking after the show and I went up to my room and happened to look at a snippet of John Butlers show at Red Rocks. The scenery looked so incredible. So I sat there, and feeling kinda silly I said out loud “I am going to play at Red Rocks”. Off I went to bed, and the next day, with no joke, I received an email (in my junk mail) saying “Hello, we would like to invite you to play at the Women’s Red Rock festival in Utah. I couldn’t believe it!! So of course I said yes. I recognised some great names like Aussie’s own Mia Dyson… so it looked like fun.
So off we went to the USA. After about 14 hours on the road we stopped off for a feed. We saw this cute lil mexican place and decided it looked good. Cute? I lie, it looked dodgey and dirty, but we were tired and hungry and made it look ‘cute’ in our minds. We went in and ordered a couple of meals. And well, dodgey. So so dodgey that we couldn’t finish the meals and the only other option at this time of night was McDonalds. Once again dodgey all around.
One good thing about the mexican cafe was that it had a newspaper called “Bear World”. We suddenly realised we were very close to Yellowstone Park. Where Yogi and Boo Boo live. So, we made the wise decision to go and sleep just near the bear world park and go there first thing. The first night in the campervan was quite comfty. We woke, headed to the park and suddenly there we were surrounded by bears. Right up at our windows. And wolves too. And all sorts of animals. It was one of those amazing and not so amazing experiences. Amazing that we could literally reach out and touch these bears if we were silly enough to, and not so amazing that this actually is possible…
Off we went on our journey to Utah. All things going so well, and we were praising Bertie for handling the heat so well. Well, we spoke to soon. We were 1-2 hours away from the fest when Bertie decided to really overheat and start spitting coolent everywhere. Quite stressful. We got out, had a look at the engine, pretended to look like we knew what we were looking for… and stood in the heat, stressing. I was meant to be on stage at 7pm and by this time it was past 5pm.
Luckily a very nice American man pulled over and took a look. Things didn’t look great so we totally unpacked Bertie and put all our possessions into the back of the man’s ute. (and we have soooo much baggage when we travel). So while we did this, he kept looking at the van. Thats when he said, “Toby, you drive in front, and we will drive behind you”. So off we went. Me in Bertie, and Amy and the stranger behind.
Bertie suddenly was driving okay, breezing along, and I am feeling a lil less stressed. In the meanwhile, Amy is having her own mini heart-attack as she sits next to this stranger, looks down and sees that he has a massive gun sitting between them. Trying to not look scared, she remained calm. Then he says “oh, it’s for the elk, you never know if they will attack… I have binoculars too if you want to check them out!”. Of course, in America, this is not unusual. In Australia, if you got in a car with a stranger and you see a gun, it may just be the last thing you ever see!
Long story short, he didn’t shoot Amy, and he ended up our saviour for the day (thanks Gaylen) we made it to the festival with about 5 minutes spare!! Beautiful festival set up, red rocks as the back ground and a wonderful bunch of people in the audience. Really welcoming and fun and gorgeous crowd. To be completely honest I was a little nervous about getting up and playing solo at a fest. I am always with a band. But as soon as I stepped on that stage and felt the love from the crowd it was all on. And what a weekend!! We literally sold out of merchandise, and I ended up playing two more sets as a surprise the next day! Had a load of fun. Got to listen to some great performers and also got to have a few wonderful guests on stage with me. Mona from Sister Wives jumped up on harmonica and totally rocked it, and Mia Dyson jumped up for a couple songs and wow, she is so great on that guitar. I also had an amazing didg player jump up too for temple. It was really very special. The scenery blew my mind, and I felt very very lucky to be in such a place. Thanks to absolutely everyone who helped make the weekend so very special! We hope to see you next year!
So, Sunday morning we were off again for a huge drive to Milwaukee. We drove through some fantastic towns… and drove and drove and drove. Between the two of us we drove 13 hours the first day, then slept in the van, then another 17 hours the day after, arriving in Milwaukee at 2am. Tired? Yes. Delirious? Yes. Exhausted? Yes. Over it? Slightly. Homesick? For sure.
It was great to see Jeff Hamilton again. I met Jeff when he was touring with the Violent Femmes a few years back. An amazing musician/electric guitarist. Also awesome to see his gal Kathy. The gig at the Nomad bar was really fun. I was totally exhausted, but it’s always awesome to play with Jeff. I was also lucky to play with cojone (box drum) master Johnny Sparrow – also toured with the Femmes. All in all it was an awesome stopover. Plus we got to eat at “Wholefoods” again so we were smiling.
Next stop Niagra Falls. Just for lunch! As you do. We went on the Canadian side. We were expecting it to be right there in nature. So you can imagine we were pretty shocked as we drove down the vegas/hollywood type of street leading to the falls!! Fun!! The falls really are incredibly stunning and wow. Again, how lucky are we to be sitting there eating our goats cheese, strawberry, cranberry and spinich salad looking over the falls. Touring is not all hard work al the time.
It was awesome to be in Toronto for a few reasons. We knew we didn’t have any long drives for three whole days!! We had two Toronto shows which were fun, and one house concert a few hours away, also really special. So good to meet so many wonderful people on the road. Thanks Jackie and Laura for your lovely hospitality and also to Andrea and Tiff for hosting us so well! Fun times! I really do like Toronto. A great feel to this city. Awesome second hand shops, vintage shops, markets, awesome choice of food.. the list goes on.
It was time to move on once again… next we headed to Ottawa. So cool to see some friendly familiar faces from last years “Blue Skies Fest”… then came New Brunswick. This was my first time here and I was quite excited. I met the owner of the cafe, exclaiming “I am Toby, I am here to perform”, only to see a very confused look on her face. There had been some mis-communication and I actually wasn’t booked to perform there! Hmmmmm… what to do? Luckily there was a patio party going on with a couple of performers, so I joined the line-up. Turned out a really fun night for all, and I am looking forward to heading back and playing The Vintage cafe as a headliner!
Woodstock New Brunswick felt like a really special show. Intimate, acoustic and a really sweet audience. I was beginning to really enjoy performing solo. It’s a special thing to perform solo. This is how the songs all start, me and my guitar and my voice. So to get back to basics and make it as raw and natural as it can be is a great experience. You can also play around with your songs a little more as you only have yourself to count on. Plus, being on the road with a large group is always a little trickier at times for many reasons. I have always said it’s hard to find the exact right group to travel with, so at least when there’s just a couple of you, you have to make it work to go smoothly. You simply have no other choice!!
Hubbards, Nova Scotia – what a gorgeous, laid back, beachy town and our host Wilma made it all the more special. Two shows, lots of amazing seafood, long chats, red wine, sambucca, coastal drives, fishing towns, dancing at Nova Scotia’s oldest dance hall to a wicked reggae band, jacuzzis, and personal connections make for a great few days. Thanks Wilma, I can’t wait to hang again. If you happen to be in the are you MUST eat at the Trellis Cafe – the yummiest food on tour!
We happened to be right on the border of USA when hurricane Irene hit. We had planned to go to New York, but quickly decided against it and off we headed (after much googling and discussing). After five hours of rain we realised we were headed right into the trail of the hurricane, so we pulled over. It was so dark and stormy and windy and a great excuse to get a really nice hotel room. We even used the gym! First load of exercise for quite some time!
Our journey back to Toronto took a few days as we tried to keep things chilled. Ended the tour with a beautiful house concert in Guelf (thanks Vicky, Dom and Dave) candles everywhere, great company, amazing food and all in all a lovely way to end the cross Canada tour. One funny thing did happen… I was playing my uke for a song and my guitar suddenly fell off it’s stand, it smashed face down, and I kept playing without hesitation… until I started smelling wood burning… yep, my guitar had fallen straight on a candle and was nearly on fire!! Well, it all adds character right!!
So, all in all… nearly 15,500 kms in Bertie the van, 40 shows, incredible scenery, new and exciting festivals, new friends, new fans, more cds sold than we ever expected, new songs, new stories, an amazing experience over all. I feel so proud to come out the other end without any real issues, and knowing I put together a successful tour. I can’t thank everyone enough for all their help. I don’t think some people realise just how much support and help they give us at times on the road, it is because of these people that we keep doing what we are doing – so THANK YOU – you know who you are!
Signing off for now. Part three coming soon!
Wow, five weeks has gone by already. 5 weeks since we left Perth Airport.
Even the trip over was an adventure of sorts. We left at around 5.30am Perth to Sydney flight. And we happened to be on a plane with a huge barber shop. And they were excited to say the least. Excited as if they had never been on a plane before. So excited they felt the need to talk very loudly. Row 17 would call out to row 29. Row 5 would answer back and so on. They also couldn’t contain themselves from singing. Yes it was in perfect harmony, but we were attempting to sleep. We had over 30 hours ahead of us. The guys behind us also seemed to love blowing in his tuning whistle thingy.
Next flight. Sydney to LA. And we got lucky. 8 guys on their bucks party. They had started the party the night before and were already extremely pissed. They were heading to Vegas and the best man made an announcement before the plane took off that it was all our jobs to not let the groom sleep the entire 14 hour flight. We were so lucky that we got to sit right between them all and i got to sit next to one of the drunkest guys. He smelt, he dropped things and he thought he was very funny.
Before we even took off the best man was harassing the flight attendees and it was all getting very messy very quickly. She tried to have them removed, but no such luck. Half way through the flight they were all moved and told off… but meanwhile the stench was still right next to me the entire way!!! Fun times!!
Third flight. We nearly missed this flight by facing the wrong way in the waiting area!! Feeling very very tired now. LA to Calgary. Finally, we fall into a deep sleep. That deep sleep where nothing can wake you. Except one thing…. an all mighty spine chilling, excrutiatingly loud scream. I woke thinking the plane was going down and that it was Amy screaming next to me. So first I check if the plane is going down then start screaming to the whole plane “its a dream, don’t worry, its a dream”. Meanwhile, the air hostess is running down the isle toward us and everyone is staring in our direction. The people sitting in front of us are both crying – a mother and 12 year old girl. Meanwhile Amy and I are both crying as it scared the life out of us and we were very confused (amy thought it was me screaming, and she has a fear of flights and also thought we were going down) and finally we realised it was the 12 year old who screamed. She had a nightmare, and the poor little thing was so scared. In the end we all started laughing hysterically and crying a little more! My life is never boring that’s for sure.
Finally we arrived in Calgary and it was great to see our good friends Julie and Mike waiting for us to take us home. Robin was already at their house as he flew in from Europe. We sat around chatting and laughing for a bit then at 11pm decided to walk to the local pub for 3 cent ribs and wings!! Perfect Calgary night – meat, more meat and beer! Calgary is really like a second home for us now. Julz and Mike open their house to anyone I bring along with me, and it really feels like home. They live near a gorgeous lake, which we ended up swimming in, sun baking, throwing the footy and using the paddle boats. Such a great atmosphere with families everywhere. We nearly got their lake pass revoked when I decided to get out the boat – apparently you can’t do this. Julz also happens to be an amazing cook – her salmon dish being my fav!!
On the first day we headed out to pick up my van. Yes, MY van, I bought a van we named Bertie. And I fell in love instantly! My little green machine!
We took the first few days off, then Jeremy flew in and Ivan arrived from Winnipeg. First and only rehearsal went really well and we were ready to hit the road.
Our first show (of 27 band shows) was a house concert 10 hours north. Such a gorgeous way to start a tour – great people, gorgeous big back yard and great vibes all around (thanks kim!) Then off to Charlie Lake for a couple of shows. We have now played here a few times and it was so great to see so many familiar faces at the shows. Our accom was beautiful, a bed and breakfast right on the lake. So perfect. Did a little fishing – the boys managed to break some hooks on the lines and Amy managed to catch a few sticks and some gooey stuff. We went for a big walk – and found ourselves some footprints. First we assumed they were bear prints, only to find out they were cougar prints, only to find out they were actually wolf prints. Still, very exciting!! We were also taken to the local late night pub in Fort St John. We pulled up our chair, ordered a beer, and then turned to see a completely naked woman on stage. And I mean, completely naked. In the time we drank our drink as fast as we could we witnessed something I never want to see again – it is legal to thrown money at the stripper. Not paper money… coins. Not only is she nude but she is also a target for flying money. We got out of there as fast as we could. Classy classy pub!
We had some highlight shows as usual in Canmore, Alberta. It always feels good to be in Canmore. Could be the mountains, the food and chai lattes at the Communitea Cafe, the audience members, the incredible scenery? The bears!! Thats right! We saw bears. Here I was telling the band to not get excited about seeing bears. It took me seven trips to Canada to see my first bear in the wild, so I didn’t want them to have false expectations!! And in one day (20 minutes actually) we managed to spot three grizzlys!! On the side of the road. Its a funny thing, you see one, you pull off the highway like a mad person, and then you grab cameras and go running toward the bear! Luckily there is a small fence between you and the bear, which then makes you feel even more brave and confident. It’s not until a ranger stops and starts yelling at you to get back in your cars that you realise it could be a little dangerous! A visit to Lake Louise is always on the agenda. I never get sick of this place. We decided to spend the big bucks and take out a canoe. Totally worth it. Incredible views!
Our show in Calgary was a lot of fun. It was the week of Stampede, so we decided to go country for the night. I am suddenly realising that I have several country style songs. I actually thought I was anti country music, but actually I think it’s starting to grow on me. We all dressed up in country shirts and cowboy hats and Robin even wore the full cowboy boots – looked great!
Panorama shows are always fun and the day times are spent hiking and chilling in the amazing mountains. We took the gondola to the top and went for a walk. Just before heading off we heard there was a few sighting of a massive grizzly on the track. We walked the other direction, but god, its an earie feeling knowing they could be around the next tree. Jeremy was certain that if he met a bear he could win the battle by a swift punch in the face. I’d like to see that!!!
Off to Fernie next – another mountain town. Highlight for me was seeing Ian Bolzenius – our wonderful Aussie/Canadian electric guitarist. the nicest guy you can ever meet, and a killer guitarist. Was so great to be on stage with him again. He ripped it up and the local crowd love him there! Thanks Ian!
Off we headed to a new town for us, Armstrong, BC. The drive was gorgeous. And we stopped at a local market where I got to buy my first ever hunting style vest. SO warm and cuddly and I felt so ready to get in those mountains and tackle it out with some bears and cougars and wolves. Actually to be honest, I hate hunting, but I do love my new vest… and I can’t help but think of who may have warn it in the past and what their experiences were… plus it was only $12 so I couldn’t say no.
Off to one of my favourite places next – Vancouver and the island. I love love love Van. The city is simply alive. Its open minded, its fun, its got the best atmosphere and some great shops! And of course a day trip to Granville Island is always awesome, as well as Grouse Mountain. Such spectacular views from up there, and more bears! It’s always fun to take different musicians internationally touring, and to see them experience places for the first time. I think day after day how lucky I am to be doing what I am doing, to be seeing what I am seeing and meeting who I am meeting. To combine travel and music. It’s all very special. Oh, I must mention the awesome mojitos at Falconettis. I don’t drink much on tour, but I made up for it all in this one night. Had a blast too! Robin and I had a good old dance (only ones on the dance floor) but it was just what I felt like! Also got to catch up with my uncle Steve and cousin Elly who happened to have flown in that afternoon – I love how small this world can be at times! Always good to have a dose of ‘family’ when you are away so long!
The ferry ride across to Vancouver Island was beautiful as usual. I was really excited to get over, to perform and to see more of the island. Duncan fest was fun, and playing a short set at Cowichan Festival was a great buzz. I was joined by MJ Dandeneau on bass, and it was so fantastic to be joined by her on stage again. MJ is a woman who knows how to play, how to perform and how to connect 100% to my music, and this is always a thrill for me. To connect like that on stage with someone is exactly what you are after. To see someone give it their all on stage is always awesome. Hanging at the fest was a nice break from playing, and it’s always great to see other musicians perform. Favourite act was Will from BC. Amazing singer/songwriter. He gave me chills in the best way possible.
The drive to Tofino was just beautiful. Huge forests and water bodies. And we didn’t have to rush the drive for once. Tofino itself is such a special town. Surfers and hippies and all sorts roaming the place. The gig was so much fun, especially for a Monday night. We tried out a country style version of Radiohead’s Creep which went down a treat!
The next stop for us was probably the most special stop. Kaslo Jazz Festival in BC. Wow! I was blown away by the atmosphere, the audience response and the setting! Picture this: a floating stage on a beautiful lake, surrounded by mountains. The sun was shining, people are ‘backstage’ in canoes and boats and kids are swimming and playing in the water in front of the stage while you play. Pretty incredible. Such a wonderful show and such fantastic people. We had the most beautiful ladies looking after us backstage, while the boys huddled around the keg, Amy and I made friends with some very special people who will remain in our memories for a very very long time. After the show and the signing, Amy and I spent some time in a canoe that you embark from the back of the stage. . Pretty magic to be honest. Listening to awesome live music and chilling out on the incredible lake.
After the show we met a guy called Glen. He is a balloon maker man. And he spent a good solid two hours making us all our own personal instruments in full details. Absolutely incredible. Robin’s double bass was just awesome and you couldn’t wipe the smile off Ivan’s face when he was handed his high hat and snare with drum sticks! Jeremy’s sax was rocking and my ukelele was just perfect! And merch girl Amy was stoked with the biggest bouquet of balloon flowers you could ever imagine. I cannot believe the joy it gave us playing our balloon instruments! Thanks Glen, you made the night even more special in such an unexpected way! The next day our drive was 9 hours, and somehow we managed to bring all our balloon instruments along for the ride. Every hour or so a balloon would pop, which made Amy and I giggle our heads off as the boys were incredibly hungover, and well, it was just a little too funny!
The last 7 shows we played as a full band we at the Blues Club in Edmonton. This is always an interesting show. All walks of life come to this show and it makes for a special gig! Music lovers swarm the place which is what I love, and it doesn’t matter what time it is, there will be people on the dance floor. One of my favourite things is to watch people dance, it brings me such a joy to see people moving and interpreting the music in their own unique ways. It was awesome to see so many fans at the shows night after night. Thanks to everyone in Edmonton for their continued support! It means so much to us all!
So all in all, the 27 shows with the band were a great success. Big thanks to Jeremy, Ivan and Robin for being such fantastic musicians and to Amy for working the crowds so smoothly!! A very special start to the world tour!
2011: April 16: Back in Europe
22 shows in 25 days. Pretty crazy really. I had to cancel two. My throat wasn’t too pleased with the amount of shows that I had booked for this tour!
It had been about 18 months since our last Europe tour, and this time around I made it an acoustic tour – I haven’t done this for many years, and I can say that I really enjoyed this experience. I was joined on this tour by Robin Murray on the upright electric bass and Jeremy Trezona on saxophone.
Our first stop was the UK. It was really bloody cold, but we kept very warm in our tiny car – the smallest we could hire. I have no clue how we managed to fit all the gear in!
The Uk shows were really fun. Our London show was pretty awesome, and hitting the south-west was amazing. Such incredible scenery and everything was really quite green. No snow which was a shame!
Playing acoustically was first a challenge. No drums… and it was really wonderful to hear everything we played, and we still managed to play some very rocky shows along the way.
Next stop was Zurich – one of our favourite shows – such an enthusiastic audience, as was our audience in Bern. The Ono Bar – what a beautiful venue – a cellar – an old gorgeous stage, and an even better crowd! (thanks lena and alex)
Holland was a stand out for me – loved the shows there, especially at Cafe Camille, The Swan and De Barg. A cafe, an old church and an old hay barn!! Great crowds, and I feel totally at home in Holland which I love!! (my mother is Dutch!)
As a favourite city we all chose Prague – and we happened to be there around an easter festival – awesome food and cheap beer, and the sun was shining. We also loved Berlin – well, my bank account didn’t love it as I bought a LOT of clothes in one particular shop – but we loved it The gig in an old trailor/bus turned into a bar in Hamburg was quite the experience. Very very cool venue for sure!
Each show was different, each show we tried something new, and by the end of it I had felt like we had been playing together for years. Once again, we all got along really well, which is such a key thing with touring – it makes or breaks a tour, and I have been so very lucky with who I have worked with over the years.
I’m really looking forward to getting back to Europe later this year, with what will be my brand new Dutch band!! Very exciting times ahead!!
2010: December 3 : Goodbye Shaun
Normally I like notes/blogs to be happy and bearing good news. This blog, unfortunately doesn’t do this. This morning I found out that Shaun O’Callaghan, my amazing recording engineer, and friend from the past five years, passed away yesterday, suffering a heart-attack. The news came as such a massive shock to me, as it will to many people. It hasn’t yet sunk in, as I was sitting with him for seven or eight hours just two days ago, working on our new live recording. We were nearly done.
So when you say “see you next week mate”, the thought doesn’t ever cross your mind that you may never see that person again. You hug and kiss like normal, and wish them a great weekend. This is what we do. This is all we can do in life, or we would walk around so scared of life, and so scared of losing life.
I met Shaun in 2005 when I decided to record Renaissance. I was so happy to find out that he would work with me, and since then we also worked together on several EPs, my live DVD and Love Underground. He also recorded some tracks on Sleeptalk. So in five years, we have spend a great deal of time together, recording, mixing, mastering, talking music, drinking copios amounts of coffee and of course, he would talk non-stop about the surf and the sea. This was his life. This was his passion other than sound.
I would even have to shut him up along the way, because if you allowed him to, he would have spoken about waves and wind all day long.
When I think about our friendship, it’s different to other friendships in my life. It was based around business and music. It was based around getting a job done, doing the best we could do together, picking apart my music and my voice and instrumentation until we were both happy with the final product. In those sometimes stressful times, the engineer really gets to see who you are, not just on a creative level, but on a deeper, personal level. Shaun saw me cry, or vent, or get frustrated and angry, or when I was singing my heart out, happily, feeling great about the project at hand.
He showed support, not only musically, but also personally, and created a great atmosphere to work in. Always friendly, always fun, always honest and real.
During the last session we had, it was obvious Shaun wanted to do more talking than working, which of course, can be frustrating. But now, sitting here today, I wish that we had talked all day long. We sat and talked about ageing, and about levels of happiness and what really makes us happy. He asked all about my current relationship – he could see how happy I am and commented on it – knowing of course, the different states I have been in over the years. You don’t just learn about each others musical ideas, you learn about each others ideas on life in general. You can’t help but get to know each other and feel love for each other.
The news is so shocking, and will affect so many people. Shaun was so well respected in the WA music scene, and he will be missed by many, including myself. I will miss his smile, his welcoming hugs, his friendship, his silly jokes, and his commitment to my music, and support of my career. He has played a major part in my career- I trusted him with my most personal songs, thats a big thing to do as an artist.
I will miss you Shaun, and you will always be a part of not only my past, but my future in music. RIP x
Last show tonight of this North West Tour, finishing up in Dampier. This tour has been quite a chilled out, lazy tour for me. Only 10 shows in 16 days, which is really quite weird for us. Normally there would be more like 14 shows in 16 days! So it’s been a new experience for me to have days off, to actually be able to nothing, or everything.
I was thinking the other day about 2010. It’s been a massive year – Going to San Fran twice for recording, going to Canada three times, playing in Melbourne and Brisbane, doing two north WA tours, flying into mine sites a couple times, a holiday in bali, Byron Bay Blues and Roots Fest, launching Sleeptalk with the big 15 piece band, the list just goes on. A lot of 9 months really. So, I have really enjoyed having some time to relax and sit on a beach, or riding a scooter around Broome, sitting on an amazing boat at Cables beach, flying over the islands looking down at whales in the incredible blue water, sitting at the outdoor movies, or sipping on a cocktail in the sun.
We’ve had some great gigs again, mainly in Gerro, Exmouth, Broome, Koolan Island and last night in Dampier. Some lovely crowds, and some fun time sweating it out on stage (its 30-40 degrees right now!!) Every single tour is so different. It all depends on what is going on in a small town the night you get there, or the weather, or school holidays, or the economy, or the group you are touring with. It’s so interesting to look back at the tours over the years and work out why some stand out more than others. There may be more issues with the van, or with personalities, or there may be new towns and new friends to meet, or a new album to launch.
I’m looking forward to the rest of the year as there won’t be a lot of shows – just some of my favourite venues and also three shows at Bridgetown Blues Festival. Can’t wait to get back there again! I also realise I have a lot of business work to do, and I have to really focus right now on getting stuck into booking tours for next year, promoting this album, doing my taxes- all the ‘not so fun’ part of the job. Trust me, I would much rather be hanging in Broome town drinking a Matsos Mango beer!
Well, signing off for now, but before I do I have to say that the other day we were at the Crocodile Park, and something came over me to just poke my finger in at the croc. Yes, it’s silly. But I have such a weird obsession/fear with these beasts that I just thought it may help! So I secretly poked my finger in, not only once, but twice – once on his foot, and once on his chin. This thing would have been about 16 feet long, and the most evil looking creature I have ever seen. Such a weird experience all around! Don’t think it has helped, but it got the blood rushing again!
2010: AUGUST 5 : Time for home
in three hours we will be home. i am so ready to have a shower and my own bed again after 32 days away. the last week has been a lot of fun. when we arrived in toronto we headed to the baseball to see the blue jays against the orioles – for me it was more about the hotdog and the ten dollar beer and the atmosphere. it was a lot of fun and somehow after one beer we were all feeling pretty jolly – i blame the long day and lack of sleep. we booked into the best backpackers i have ever stayed in and spent the next few days in toronto. we had two shows, one was good, and one was great. played with a couple really cool local bands, and spent a lot of time walking the streets of toronto. what a city- so diverse and so much to do and see. i really enjoyed my time there. gav and i ended up going to the theatre and watched ‘miss saigon’ – can’t say it was favourite, but good fun to watch a live show again. we were definitely the scruffiest two people in the entire theatre (we stumbled across the show- very unplanned).
unfortunately we had to cancel our show in hamilton, which i was really looking forward to, because i completely lost my voice. i woke on the thursday and went to speak and absolutely nothing came out – for a good couple of days. this is hard for me in particular because i speak, a lot. just ask the guys! so we stayed in toronto the extra night, the guys went out and i stayed home like a little nanna, and the next day we headed to blue skies festival not having a clue what to expect.
to say the festival grounds were of the beaten track is an understatement. i was just so stoked to have the GPS with us. the scenery on the way was beautiful. and as soon as we arrived, we knew it was going to be a special weekend. apart from the stress of not being able to speak, and having to put on two workshops and headline the festival, i had an absolute ball. so did the guys. i have never been surrounded by such a large group of amazing people. this was their 37th annual festival, and the way they run this fest in incredible. we camped again, but we were so well taken care of. everyone camps for this festival and its very family orientated – with all walks of life. everyone are music lovers and lovers of nature it seems. we met so many beautiful, generous, interesting people, and some awesome musicians too. the line-up was so great – such a mix of music – blue grass, jazz, caribbean, opera, folk, reggae – the list goes on. and during the day there are so many different types of workshops and activities and parades going on. in one corner people are jamming, in the other they are playing volleyball, then there is a choir group practising, a campfire with teenagers all rocking out, then a campfire with several fiddles and banjoes going hard at it. it was so perfect.
the artists were treated to the most amazing food all day every day. just wonderful. the sun was shining and then it came to sunday night. my voice was not really back yet and i was really quite concerned. i just wanted to give these people the best show. so before i went on i was trying all sorts of potions. litres of lemon, honey and ginger drinks. i even skulled two raw eggs!! so so gross. plus a little sambucca to warm me up. i am surprised i didn’t actually throw up!
the show was so much fun. everyone came right up to the stage and danced the entire set. during the slower songs they sat and listened, and for the dancey tunes they were up, right there on the stage with us! we got into the crowd and did the percussive jam which we all love doing, and we had special guest jarren on violin for ‘can’t afford me’. jaron is a very fun, talented canadian guy who we had been hanging with at the fest. during his solo, his mate came on stage and pulled a pair of can;t afford me undies right over jaronn’s face, for the entirety of the solo. it was hilarious. meanwhile, gain was wearing a woman’s wig! all too funny.
it was a perfect way to end the tour. and i was so glad that my voice somehow came out! the next day it was really quite sad to leave our new friends, but we had our last show in ottawa. again we didn’t know what o expect – but it was such a nice gig at such a cool venue. we played with fellow aussie, kim churchill (you should check him out for sure).
all in all, i am really very happy with the tour. 20 shows in total. 3 hire cars. 13 towns/cities. and a great bunch of guys to tour with. thanks to everyone who made our tour so special. (you know who you are!) looking forward to launching the new album when we get home, and then who knows what comes next…
SUNDAY 25th JULY
sitting in my tent at Evolve festival. feeling tired as hell and wanting a shower badly. we left booking accomodation a little too late for the festival, so we decided as a team to go camping. so off we went and hired a 4 man tent (that really only fits 3 people), sleeping bags and sleeping mats, and off we set. our gig in halifax was good fun, in a fantastic venue called ‘the seahorse’.
we got to the festival grounds after a lot of stuffing around, and the sun was shining still (at 7pm). the tent took no time to set up, and off we went for some burgers, beers and live music. you buy beer in 2 litre milk jugs, which we found quite amusing. what we also noticed was we seemed to be the only ones drinking beer as most people were extremely high on some kinda drug. we had a ball dancing to ‘easy star all stars” and ‘five alarm funk’ both bands put on awesome shows. then we headed to bed around 1am, and well at 6am i took half a sleeping tablet, as there was no way in hell i was going to fall asleep. the ‘doof doof’ music went until 6.30am. so after getting a ridiculous amount of mossie bites and hardly any sleep, it was daylight again. all of our tummies were screwed up – we blame the hamburgers, and well, a crook gut at a festival is not something you would wish on your worst enemy!
our set was at 2.15pm, and by this time a lot of people were leaving the fest looking pretty shonky after their efforts the night before. just as we started playing on main stage it began raining which kinda went with our luck it seemed! the crew who stayed in the cold and wet to watch us were awesome, and we played a great 45 minute set. but now, well its just rainy, the toilets are overflowed, and i am buggered!
gav and el are out in the rain, back on the beer, and ian is asleep next to me. i hope we somehow get some sleep tonight!! fingers crossed! tomorrow we need to leave about 9.30am, drive back to halifax, drop off the camping gear (dry and clean!! hmmmm) and get to the airport, get our 19 pieces of luggage on board and fly to toronto, where we will grab our hire car and head straight to the baseball! it will be my first time! bring on the beer, the hotdogs and the peanuts!
we then have a few shows in toronto, a festival near ottowa on the weekend, a monday night show in ottawa and then we head home.
so far the tour has been really wonderful. great shows, great crowds and good merch sales. plus the four of us have gelled really well on and off stage which is always such a bonus. there’s been lots of caring and sharing with tiny hotel rooms and tents!! and i think it’s amazing we have got along as well as we have.
the canadians have, as usual, been wonderful and hospitable and great fun. stand out shows have definitely been up north in Charlie Lake, plus the backyard concert at Kyms house, Canmore and Banff were excellent, edmonton again was a great week for music and awesome crowds… 21 shows all up. we have 5 to go.
so, a big thanks to everyone who has helped us along the way and supported us on this tour!! you guys are champions.
i am going to try rest my head and get a lil shut eye. wish me luck!!!
Sitting in my favourite cafe in Canmore, Alberta, Canada. Really relaxing day so far which is a change of pace! Actually slept a solid 7 hours, woke up and headed to the cafe to see an amazing band play “Tequilla Mockingbird Orchestra” – a great band to see live – piano accordian, violin, double bass, guitar and drums. Loved it- nice to drink a cup of good coffee and eat good food, and watch good music!
So far things are going well. We have performed 5 shows and we have 16 shows to go! I think I am finally getting over the jetlag. My body clock just doesn’t like to click on on tours, and it’s so frustrating to not sleep when you need it the most!
The trip over was fine. Getting here was going well until the boys had a few issues with customs! The poor things go completely drilled and asked a million questions, so they were pretty happy to finally get through to the other side! Of course, my suitcase didn’t arrive – as per usual. So we headed in our hire van to the music shop and hired our equipment and headed to Julie and Mikes for some sleep. So good to see our favourite couple again.
After, well, not much sleep we woke at around 6am and headed off! A long ten hour drive up north to Charlie Lake, BC. We really love this venue (Jackfish Dundee) and we were stoked to do two nights in a row here. Both shows were really fun – such a nice crowd and the support is there for our music which is awesome. We started the tour with the trio – Gav, El and I – and it’s really quite refreshing to go back to our roots and make it more acoustic.
It was Gav’d birthday on the Thursday and it was such a lovely day. AFter experiencing a really shitty birthday in Canada a couple years ago, I was determined to not let this happen to Gav. When you are on tour, your band is your family, and you have to look after each other and look out for each other along the way. So we headed out for a lovely breaky together, and then met with the owners of Jackfish Dundees Mike and Trynna for a gorgoues few hours on the lake. It was so lovely of them to take us out – the sun was shining, we had beer and a boat and it was perfect! It always astounds me to see how some people really go out of their way to look after us. It’s such a special feeling.
So after a great time on the lake with our new friends, we headed to another new friends place for our first ever house concert. Fellow Aussie, Kim – organised for 60 of her wonderful mates to watch us perform in her backyard! We can’t thank you enough Kim – it was such a stand out evening – really awesome people and a perfect night to perform. All was going well, even birthday cake for Gav, until the police rocked up (3 of them). I of course thought it would be funny to announce that the strippers had finally arrived, which of course the audience thought was funny, but the police maybe not so much!! So the night was over in terms of music, but far from over. We are definitely keen to do some more backyard concerts if they are all as good as Kims!
Next day we performed in a lil town called Dawson Creek. Funny lil show- and I mean LITTLE! It brings you very quickly back to earth at shows like this! But the crowd that were there were really into it – thank god!!
After about 3-4 hours sleep we hit the road again for another 10 hours and drove south to Canmore, where we met up with Ian. Its been four months since we last saw him, and instantly he felt like part of the family again. It was great to have him up on stage with us again playing electric guitar – god he’s good! Last nights show was my favourite so far. Beautiful beautiful crowd, beautiful atmosphere and the perfect vibe for a perfect gig.
Today the boys are watching the soccer finals – go HOLLAND!! And I am chilling, getting some work done and I think I will go for a wander around this gorgeous town!
We play in Banff tonight, then one night off and 6 in a row after that… the tour goes on, and we keep on going on!
Until next update…..take it easy! x
i started crying the morning after our first show. i had managed to keep it together for the first few days. but just for a few minutes i let myself have a good cry. i was skyping my parents and telling them about all our bad luck, and well, i felt pretty helpless. the tour looked like it was going to horrible. elliot and gav both gave me lil smiles and tried to cheer me up as best they could. they had arrived on the sunday night late in calgary. their plane was late. elliot finally came through the doors. great to see him. then we waited, and waited and waited some more. after 45 minutes i had convinced myself that gavin was not coming through those doors. i asked around, the airport staff told me all i could do was wait or leave. so of course we waited, and stressed. finally he came through. i was so happy to see him! here i was thinking he had been deported or something crazy like that! he looked upset, his bass guitar hadn’t arrived. that was the first of the bad luck.
we head to julie and mike’s house in calgary. they are two of my most beautiful friends, and they always take my band in as well which is always very special. the next day we would meet up with jeff our guitarist from america, and hit the road. the next day i still hadn’t heard from jeff, and finally i get an email saying “honey, i have been deported, i am on my way home’. this was number two. the stress was quite big that day. i had been on the road already for a couple weeks, and i had been sick the entire time. even with the ridiculous amount of herbal goodness i had been taking – echinacea, garlic, zinc, vitamins, oil of oregano… the list goes on… i was still really sick and worried about singing night after night. and without a soloist it means i have to sing more. this was really worrying me. plus i felt terrible for jeff and wasn’t really sure how we would go about this.
so all we could do was email everyone we knew in canada to try and get musos names and contacts. we started hearing from people. they were all interested but of course it was late notice to start a tour a day later! i then received an email from a young guy called ian. an aussie living in fernie, like all aussies seem to do. he was a guitarist and keen to get up and have a jam with us on our first show in fernie. so we head off on tour. i get to fernie and take my guitar out of it’s case. thats when number three hits me. my guitar had been smashed up by united air. the gaffa tape comes out, and i hold back the tears.
the gig goes quite well, and ian was really quite amazing. after the show i put forward the idea of him joining us on tour. he gets quite excited and asks when i need him. i say, “well, we leave in about 7 hours”. he tells us he will get back to us by 7.30am. i don’t sleep well. and when i hear gav’s phone ring in the next room, my ears prick up and i listen in on the convo. it was very clear that ian wasn’t coming on tour. and that’s when i start having a cry. but, we have a long drive, so i get my shit together, have a nice breaky and off we go. we are on tour. 16 shows in 20 days. i pop a whole bunch of garlic tablets and swallow a whole lot of horrible potions, and off we head to jasper.
playing as a trio can be awesome. it makes you step up. allows you to try new things on stage. and the good thing is when you trust each other it comes out in the music.
we had a few shows before getting to vancouver. the stand out show being in charlie lake, bc. most canadians look shocked when you tell them you are heading north. they just don’t understand why we would go there. similar to west aussies being in shock when they find out we go to port hedland or pannawonicka! but our shows up north in canada are great fun and we have such a nice fan base up there. so we loved that show. it felt great, and after the show we all had a turn on a snow mobile. it was awesome! the snow was just beautiful on this trip. there’s something cozy about getting all your layers on. but nothing cozy about being sick, and cold at the same time!
my throat was not getting any better, so i emailed ian again and asked if he was keen to join us for the last ten days of the trip. he said yes, and finally the stress just left me. things were about to change.
one week into the tour, and we had our longest drive. 13 hours from grande prairie, alberta to vancouver, bc. we had kind of forgotten that the olympics were on. that was until we arrived in van. what should of taken us 10 minutes to drive to our accom, ended up taking us about 45 minutes. we get to the apartment that belongs to marina and michelle. great to see a friendly face. and they take us out into the streets. the mad streets of van. i had never seen so many people out and about. it was like a crazy concert. people all amped up with the olympics. red and white everywhere. people screaming and singing and dancing and giving strangers hugs and high fives. there were fire works, and music, and it was pretty awesome to see. the next day was the grand finals of the hockey and the closing ceremony – it was a crazy weekend to arrive!
our show on the sunday was not a huge success. people were too drunk to get out. the streets we too filled for people to even think of going to a pub. the party was out there, or at houses in front of televisions. but it was a funny gig. mj came along and joined us, so at stages we had mj and gav on bass – it was more like a fun jam then a gig.
we were lucky to have our time off in van. what a city. was great to explore and hang with friends and take long walks and drives. michelle and marina were perfect hosts and showed us all around the city.
i was very very lucky to have an excursion to the vancouver aquarium. i wasn’t really that excited to go. i wasn’t sure what to expect. but going with marina, the marine biologist who used to work there, made it pretty damn amazing. we got to go into the beluga whale enclosure. where the normal paying customer aren’t allowed to go. seeing the belugas up close was enough to make me cry. they are the most beautiful creatures. like funny little snowmen gliding through the water, with huge smiles on their faces. then we were allowed to feed them. this was incredible. being so close to their huge heads and funny teeth. a little daunting. but the amazing part was yet to come. we were then allowed to kiss the beluga on its mouth. this just blew me away. i lean over this pool, and this huge whale comes out of the water, heading straight for me, with it’s mouth open, and all i feel is trust and love, and i lean forward and kiss him. it was one of the most magnificent moments in my life. the tears start up again, but this time there was no stress, just pure happiness. i felt very lucky and very blessed suddenly.
when it was time to leave van, our new roomies and friends decided to join us on the road. they were now a part of the family. and when we met up with ian in panorama, the family was made complete. it is quite rare to have the perfect touring team. lots of personalities, egos, moods, habits…. day in day out. sharing rooms and small spaces. it can get tricky. but this tour it was just really quite special. we were meant to meet ian, and he fit in just perfectly, on and off stage.
the next ten days were really fantastic. the guys went boarding in the lush snow. gav nearly broke his knee! not a good start to his first time on the slopes. the gigs were great. the driving, the snow, the company, the food, the music…all great. we even sold out of merch. our canmore show was again a stand out. we sold out our favourite venue which was exciting and the gig was just so intimate and beautiful.
when we arrived in banff the snow was heavily falling and it was so exciting to lose our car under all the snow. i had never seen anything like it. we were like little kids. gav making snowballs, and elliot peeing in the snow! (boys!) we also got to hang a lot with julz and mike who drove hours to get to our shows. wow, lucky. very lucky. us being the lucky ones i mean.
our day off in calgary was very much needed. on the thursday we get to edmonton – five shows in 4 days. and LONG shows. 10pm- 2am every night, plus a saturday afternoon show. blues on whyte is not pretty. its a large room, and it looks dodgey. but the gigs are awesome. always a jam packed audience who are there for the music. who appreciate good music. who really listen and really dance. outside the pub there are a fair few junkies, and it’s really quite scary. lots of police and ambulances, a woman having an overdose in the foyer, always something going on. and of course the kebab shop right across the road. i have never eaten so many kebabs in my life.
this tour felt great to me. i was on the road for a long time. i started in toronto. supporting john butler and the band. mj and i did this show as a duo. i love our energy on stage and what we create musically. she is a super talented woman. i was quite nervous. it was my first time in toronto, first time supporting john butler and it was a sold out crowd. but as soon as i got on stage i realised quickly that they were a wonderful audience, and i felt comfortable right away. i loved every minute of the show. and then i got to chill out to johns set, which was really very very awesome. a great way to start the tour.
then of course i got very sick and headed to san fran, where i started the recording of my new album. this is an entire different/new journal entry. these four days in the studio were just amazing. learning so much. i am very excited about this new release. thee’s some magic happening right now, and i am loving it.
this tour again showed me that i am surrounded by some beautiful friends. friends who really support me. who go out of their way. and strangers who help us out, and leave us with lovely memories. i am so very lucky to have met ian. a very special man, and a very talented muso. i can’t wait to work with him again. and of course, the likes of michelle, marina, julie and mike – what a wonderful bunch. what stand out people. and last but definately not least, my boys, my band mates, elliot and gav. two of my most favourite people. what a team. what awesome guys. funny, and chilled, and so lovely to be around. and they deal with me well. and we all deal with each other well. all in all, we’re all pretty damn lucky.
thanks so everyone and anyone who came to the shows, helped us out, bought us a drink, bought the cds, had a chat, cooked for us, and looked after us along the way. without you all, the tour would not have been as special as it was. so THANKYOU!!
So how do all these amazing events come about… I was sitting at the airport this morning.. San Fran, thinking about the past few years and what actually led me to being in San Fran recording with some amazing musos. I was sipping on my really bad, milky, luke-warm coffee, but feeling great since I was somehow upgraded to first class for this flight, seat 1A, not bad at all, and I got thinking…
I was about to do a tour through Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne in May 2006. For some reason I decided to cancel every gig except for one show in Melbs and one show in Adelaide. I cancelled the other six or so. I think the reason was I was coming home to launch my Renaissance album, and wanted to be well rested.
So, Lucy Fisher (violin) and I walk into the gig at the “Warm Up For Winter Fest” in Melbourne, and a Canadian band called Nine Mile are up on stage doing their sound check. I instantly get drawn to the bass player, she is playing upright bass, and totally ripping it up. It sound incredible. She also looked pretty damn funky on stage, so I was pretty excited to see their show. The bands name was Nine Mile and they had been touring around Austrailia with Xavier Rudd, Pete Murray and Donavon Frankenreiter.
The night was fantastic. Lucy and I played, then there was Rob Sawyer, Loren, Nine Mile, Blue King Brown and Epicure. I got rather drunk, and danced my ass off, and was pretty taken by two musos that night. One being MJ, the canadian bass player, and one being Joel Plymin, the drunk guy who got on stage with Rob and played sax for all of one song.
I approached Joel that night and we swapped numbers. And I also managed to get MJ’s contact details.
Two months later I flew Joel to WA for his first ever tour with us. It was awesome and since then we have toured throughout Australia and Canada together several times.
Four months later I am on a plane to Winnipeg. My first trip to Canada. I was expecting mountains … this was not the case. In fact, when I would tell people I was going to Winnipeg they would smirk or giggle, and I just didn’t get it at all. I was very enthusiastic. So, WInnipeg was not the Canada I had dreamed of. It wasn’t bad, its just wasn’t like the movies and docos I had seen!
MJ and I performed around ten shows, and musically we fit together really well. I convinced her to come back to Perth with me and doing some touring around WA. So she did. We also decided at last minute to book some East Coast shows, and it was at the Rails in Byron where things got interesting.
The gig didn’t start well. We were both exhausted. In two months we performed over 40 shows. We had also caught the midnight horror flight the night before, so we hadn’t slept for a couple of days. It was one of those gigs where a few things went wrong. We were playing Red Rooster, and naturally I wasn’t wearing any shoes, and my foot comes crashing down (as it does) and I end up with all this glass in my foot and my foot starts bleeding on stage. I decide at this point to keep playing, and without missing a beat, Julz (our trusty tour manager/merch girl) comes up and actually gets the glass out while i have my foot in the air, and I am continuing to play! This seemed to impress a bunch of American guys sitting up the front. What impressed them more, or made them laugh more, was when MJ rested a rather falic shaped shaker in between her legs while she played the bass!! It didn’t look good at all, but I saw the humour, and suddenly there was some funny banter with these American dudes.
Julz goes to approach them to sell them some merchandise, and just before she gets to their table, the manager of The Rails, Hannah says to her, “Wow, thats pretty cool that the Violent Femmes are here at your show”…. well, it was pretty cool. I had been a massive fan of the Femmes since I was 16. I remember I got their album when i was about 18 years old, and none of my friends were into them, but I just loved the rawness, and the ‘in your face’ lyrics, and the semi out of tune melodies and the odd drumming styles! So in our break, we end up sitting with them and drinking a bunch of jeiger bombs. The drummer Victor DeLorenzo and the mando player Jeff hamilton ask if they could get their instruments and jam with us on stage, so of course we say yes. So we ended up doing an entire set with the guys, and getting pretty rowdy with them for a few hours after the show. It was a really fun night. Didn’t feel so fun in the morning when MJ was in one toilet cubicle being sick, and I was in the next cubicle being sick and Julz was standing outside the cubicles telling us to get ourselves together as we had a midday show in Brissy! It had been years since i had got drunk on tour… but hey, we were hanging with some good people, and they just kept buying the jeigers. They actually bought all the jeiger, to the point the Rails had none left at all to serve us! That night, after driving back to Brissy, performing in the Queen Street Mall, then performing at night at the Tongue and Groove, we set off to the Tivoli Theatre. The guys had asked us to get on stage with them, and we were pretty stoked to have the opportunity.
So we get back stage, the Violent Femmes were already on stage, and suddenly we are handed a slide whistle and a tambo and shoved on stage! It was hilarious! MJ ended up playing bass for “Gone Daddy Gone” and I got to sing backing vocals and tambourine. It was an awesome night, and we promised to keep in touch. And we did.
In 2008 Jeff and I got to play together in Brissy again, and he suggested we try get to Milwaukee to play at the World’s Biggest Festival- Summerfest. So i put together the package, with massive doubt that anything would come out of it. And months later, sitting in a cafe in Fernie Canada, I open my email inbox to see that I had scored a show at Summerfest, opening for Gomez. To say I was happy is a massive understatement. I cried. I was that happy! Then i rang my parents back in Perth at an ungodly hour to tell them the news!
Summerfest was awesome. That whole tour was. I toured with Jess Gethin on violin and Almin Fulurija on drums. The tour was 35 days in total. Jess joined me for the entirety (Milwaukee, Canada and Europe), Almin was with us for two and a bit weeks in USA and Canada, and MJ joined us for a few days in the US. We were so excited. We were launching my new album Love Underground, and getting to play at a massive fest. And what an amazing fest it was. 12 days, 12 massive stages, and incredible bands – Stevie Wonder, Joe Cocker, Alicia Keys and so many more. Other then The Beautiful Girls, we were the only Aussie band, which was pretty exciting. It was also exciting to have Victor from the Femmes join us on stage. All in all a fantastic tour and so much fun had.
In 2009 I went back to Milwaukee. This time to play PrideFest. (also a huge festival) – the headliners were Cyndi Lauper, Brandy and Etta James. We were opening for Brandy. This tour was with Charlie Jones on drums, MJ on bass, Stacey on mercy and Joel on sax. At Pride Fest, Jeff joined us on electric guitar, mandolin and slide guitar. Victor drove a few hours to come and join us again on stage with percussion and some crazy-ass snare playing! The gig was great. The festival was great. And on the Sunday night we were told (very strictly) by management that we were no way allowed back stage. I tried to convince them to let us back there, but the answer was a firm no, but we did score VIP tickets to see the Etta James Roots Band. Third row seating. MJ, Stace and I were pretty excited to see one of the original divas, and when Etta’s band started playing I knew we were in for an amazing show. Such incredible musos. Then, on came Etta, and WOW! By second or third song I was crying. So was Stacey. MJ was busy filming it, trying to not get caught. There was a connection there that felt very strange to me. It sounds silly but I felt Etta look at me a few times, and the band as well. I soaked up the music. It was moving and so well played, with so much soul and groove. When Etta played the song “Rather Go Blind’ – I was breathless, I had never heard this song, and it just stood out to me. Such a beautiful, honest song, so emotionally driven. The others agreed.
At the end of the show we were hanging around, about to walk away, when Etta’s guitarist Bobby Murray called out to us from the stage….he ended up coming down to the gate and talking to us! And somehow conversation went on and he asked if we would like to come backstage, and the next thing we knew we were all standing in their limousine tour bus drinking beers with the band! There was Bobby, who had grown up playing with the Robert Cray band and BB Kings band. There was Jimmy Z, who is the famous harmonica player for the Eurythmics song “Missionary Man”, he had also played with Elton John. There was Kraig on trombone, Josh on guitar, there was Dave Matthews on keys – he had really impressed me with his playing, but also his showmanship. They were all lovely and so much fun to hang with. I felt honoured to be hanging with such amazing musicians.
It turns out that a couple nights before, while dancing to Cyndi Lauper playing “Girls Just Wanna have Fun”, (a very cool moment in time) Jeff’s girlfriend Kathy turns to us and says, I have just booked you the deluxe room at Milwaukee’s best hotel! We were so happy. (especially after we had been staying in this weird kinda closet in some studio that used to sleep thai boxers!) So after the show we head to this hotel, and it was beautiful, totally deluxe. We have drinks with the manager and he mentions the Etta James band was going to stay there after their show. So with this in mind, I mentioned we were going to that hotel for few drinks, and before we knew it we were on the bus, travelling along with the band. Etta was in her own bus with her manager and her drummer sun. I was bummed to not have met her, but still, i was having so much fun with the guys and MJ and Stace that it didn’t matter in the end. It felt like we were hanging with old friends, and when we got to the hotel, we all ordered cocktails and hung out for a couple hours. Chatted a lot, laughed a lot, MJ played the bass player’s bass and they got excited over bass stuff, while I sat with Bobby and had great chats about life in general. Very interesting man, very kind and honest as well.
When we were about to leave, we all swap emails, and at the exit of the hotel we suddenly found ourselves chatting to Carey Williams, Etta’s manager. We chat for a while, and instantly get along. I give im my DVD and we go on our way. What a night!! What a way to finish up a fantastic festival. All to good to be true!
So over the next week or so, Carey and I start emailing. Etta’s next show was in Las Vegas, so we decide to meet there for a proper meeting to discuss the possibility of supporting one of Etta’s upcoming tours. Stacey and I book our tickets and say goodbye to the band and head off for our first ever adventure in Vegas. Turns out the band and Carey didn’t get to Vegas. Etta had become really ill and they had to cancel everything, including the upcoming tour. I decided that I had got myself all excited for nothing, and that in future times I should just chill a little more. I was really very disappointed, but Stacey did her best to cheer me up, and we ended up having an amazing few days in Vegas. We went to the Bette Midler show, which I loved!! When I was a child, I loved Bette’s movies and her albums, I was a huge fan. So seeing her live was very cool. The next night we saw The Lion King – just so beautiful, the best theatre performance I had ever seen. Again, both Stace and I cried! We had a ball in Vegas, especially walking the streets drinking our yard glasses of frozen mojitos! Good times.
So, the tour ends, and Carey and I stay in contact over the next 6 months. I find out more about him. He had been Taj Mahal’s tour manager/manager for about 20 or so years, and had produced a couple of his albums. . . .
And this leads me to San Fran!
Carey and I decide he is to be the producer of my next album. So this week I have been in San Fran recording. We did four days and so far, it’s all very exciting. To work with such honest, gorgeous, talented musicians over here has been an amazing experience. I am learning so much and I can’t wait to come back in April to finish the album. So far we have tracked the bass, drums, guitar and keys to nine songs.
The musos…so far…
Dawn Richardson plays drums on four tracks. She’s fantastic and has such a beautiful energy. Dawn used to be in the 4 Non Blondes and last year she toured throughout Europe with Tracy Chapman! A very humble woman and a pleasure to work with. And she knows how to work a drumkit!
JP on bass. A very cool bass player. Very quiet, a real observer. He laid down some great bass tracks. JP was so easy to work with and easy to be around. A very cool guy.
James Nash on electric guitar. James plays with the WayBacks. I’ve never really worked with a guitarist, so I was nervous. As soon as James started playing, my nerves left instantly. James is amazing on the guitar and really creative and open with his ideas, and also open to play just what i wanted him to play. He has added real flavour to a few tunes, very exciting.
Danny Eisenburgon keys. Danny has toured with Ryan Adams. He comes in with his flares and his scruffy hair, and I am thinking, ‘this could be interesting’, and then he plays! And he totally gets my songs instantly, and gets it all at first go. Very cool to watch and be a part of, and a lovely guy to have met and worked with.
Jon Stevens on bass. I was excited to work with Jon, and nervous too. He has recorded and toured with Tori Amos for 12 years. And shit he is amazing! And what great guy. So easy to be with, so full of suggestions, so laid back, so supportive, and so very talented. I love his bass lines, they are intricate and clever and so groovy.
Scott Amendola on drums. For some reason I had a picture in my head about Scott. The picture was so far off what he looked like. A huge grin and totally sweet. And then he starts playing drums, and I am blown away. He just smiles and loves what he does, and watching him and Jon work together was a privilege. Very cool.
Dave Matthews on keys. I had met Dave while he was playing with Etta. Dave is a cool guy. He really is. He sits down at the organ and starts playing. Im not a religious woman, but suddenly I wanted to be in a church gospel choir singing to the greater gods! Dave added his touch very nicely on So Tired and Birthday Blues, and also on the track I have chosen to record (inspired by Etta), “Rather Go Blind”.
JJ – I love JJ. He is so great to work with. Big smiles, and honesty and a warmth about him. Same with Jon. Jon Evans is also engineering half the album. Both guys are quick and know their way around the studio and know how to make you feel comfortable instantly. I trust both of them so much already.
Carey Williams. I stayed with Carey at his house for the week. On my first morning he took me out to a diner to get some ‘black soul’ food in me! Maybe this was what I needed for the week ahead! I have never heard someone play such good music. His collection is huge. This is what Carey does. He plays great songs loudly on his stereo and he dances around the house and giggles and says stuff like “Now, thats what I’m talkin about!!” Carey and I are sharing a lot of similar ideas. Its fun to be co-producing again. And chatting about ideas, and getting excited with someone else who is really feeling it and digging it. Carey is a great new friend as well, and it’s a lovely connection.
So, they are the events really that lead me to here.
And I am exited about this year. There is so much I am learning, and so much more to learn and experience.
And seat 1A, well it’s very comfortable. I could get used to this!
sitting here in hopetourn, seven hours south east of perth, what a big day. ending a bloody huge year. when i think of this past year i get a lil overwhelmed. its been a big year musically, emotionally, spiritually and physically. sounds a little poxy, but its true. so many things have happened in one year. touring and travel have been huge. the five week stint in usa and canada was crazy. so much flying, so many shows, so many awesome people, festivals, great artists, shitty gigs, fun gigs, intimate shows, festival shows, even a really drunken show in some irish bar in milwaukee (we will never show our face there again!), bears, mooses, teepees, horse riding in the rockies, more flying, a weekend in vegas, bette milder show, the lion king, summerfest…just crazy. a couple of major WA tours as well, driving, the van blowing up, losing money, more driving, having to hire a ute for five people, country folk, topless bar staff, rowdy pub audiences, getting in the crowd doing our samba percussion jams, flying on tiny planes to tropical islands, buying my beautiful electric guitar, new drummers, old drummers, crazy drummers, great soloists, great opening acts, mining towns, huge audiences, tiny audiences, more car problems…. the list goes on. the europe tour… getting lost all over europe, getting tonsillitis in switzerland, men taking their clothes off in the audience, dutch audiences going crazy, weird german dancers, frenchies singing along to our songs in tiny little basement venues, castles, tiny streets, mountains, more getting lost, driving 160 kms and still feeling like we were the slowest on the roads, lack of sleep, getting to know band members up close and personal, walking the streets of amsterdam…. thats europe. and of course the east coast of oz. loving our victoria shows, and byron of course, brassy, yamba – all the great places right on the beautiful ocean…
then all the great perth shows, and south shows and of course our ‘doing it her way’ swing/jazz night at fly by – releasing the new ep, “c’est lamour”… and of course working with so many great musos over the year and making new friends once again…
it’s just so easy to forget how lucky i am in this career. i mean, i chose this and i choose this everyday and i work my ass off to make this work for me. to make a living. but i also feel blessed, blessed to travel and to meet amazing people and to share my music around the globe. sometimes i think about quitting when it all gets too hard – booking your own shows and emailing and calling and sending packages and the many rejections along the way… its a lot to handle. but i promise myself that i will wake up and keep going, and the ups make it so worthwhile. when you are driving by a castle, or when you see snow for the first time, or when you laugh till it hurts with your band members, or when you play a new song really well for the first time, when you hit a new note, or when an audience member goes out of their way to sincerely thank you, or when you sell more merch then you expected, when you make people dance or smile… its all worth it.
it’s been a big year with some heartache thrown in, learning more about myself. a year of saving for bigger and better things. of losing my opa – my very special friend and grandfather, being lucky enough to now own his very beautiful gypsy jazz guitar, what a honour, and what a sadness dealing with this death, but also realising how very lucky i am to have the family i have.
my best friends giving birth and experiencing those joys of life that i am yet to experience. all of this in 52 weeks. how is it possible??
and next year – well, new adventures. new travels. a new, very exciting album. new venues, new friends, possible new band members… a bigger year i am sure.
thank you to everyone and anyone who has been involved in my life in any shape or form in 2009. i am a lucky woman. x
happy new years!
2009:October 17: Mountains Of Things – Europe Tour
This past Europe tour was quite the journey of sorts. Arriving in Switzerland made me smile instantly. I love Interlaken. Interlaken for me, is filled with wonderful, funny memories of being 21,22 and 23 years old and running amuk and meeting awesome people. Of partying every night, leaving work early due to the worst ever hangovers, skydiving, paragliding, hang-gliding, water rafting, canyoning, dress up parties, driving scooters through the mountains, the sound of cowbells in distant… this is Interlaken for me. The first few gigs were fun… and being back in the middle of the Swiss Alps was awesome.
We then played in Zurich for the first time. This gorgeous little bar called the Casa Bar – very European looking. Great wine bar… packed out…and we played between 9 and 2am!! yep, they do it differently over there. Plus, everyone smokes. EVERYONE!! So by the second night I got so sick. Poor ‘ol Gav was on the bunk bed above and I was sick as a dog below. Thinking I had swine or worse, I was freezing cold, shivering, sweating out what felt like litres of waters, my entire body dripping wet, sore legs, craziest migraine, weird breathing, huge swollen glands, sore tummy – the whole deal. The next day was just horrible but somehow I got through the next show. I nearly passed out after and again my body was completely wet and gross. So as you can imagine the next three days was spent in bed. Doctor ‘wasn’t sure’ what I had. Maybe glandular, maybe bad tonsilitis, but hey they charged me a huge bill anyways! We had to cancel our first German show which is always a big disappointment.
But we set off on the Wednesday for Germany. My first time ever. I, very cleverly decided we didn’t need a tom tom on this tour. I was very very wrong. Every single day without fail we got drastically lost. On more than one occassion. We had the night in a hostel and set off early the next day to Hamburg. Our show was an outdoor concert right in the red-light district… very interesting. Great place for live music and a really enjoyable show on the tiniest stage in the world. The mojito cocktails definately helped and Gav desperately needed them to help wash down his german spam burger. (only two euros- we were on a tight budget!) The next night we played this really awesome cultural fest also in Hamburg. Great vibe, awesome music and amazing food stalls and markets. And the crowd were so fantastic. Dancing and cheering and really getting into it. Having a festival on a tour really adds so much fun and playing with great sound and larger crowd is always uplifting.
Next stop, Holland… and gosh I feel home when I get there. The gig was awesome. We just made it in time. Again another little fest. The place was packed and soooo gorgeous. I am half Dutch, and it’s great to be surrounded by a very enthusiastic Dutch crowd. Finally I could enjoy a few wines, some great tapas and an awesome set of music. We had a very gorgeous young girl draw photos of us all – I will try post them – they are the best drawings ever – especially the one of Jean-Guy and his harry high pants! We sold a huge bunch of CDs and left feeling very happy and it was a great mid-point of the tour. The next week was spent in Holland. Four shows. the boys stayed right in Amsterdam in a TINY lil hostel and I had the luxury of a double bed all to myself at my mate Siz’s house! Sorry boys. I think you were glad in the end that I wasn’t shoved in that TINY space with you!
My week in Holland was beautiful and emotionally draining all at the same time. My very beautiful Opa passed away two months ago. So my week in Holland was all about meeting family that I had never met before. It is so amazing to meet this people you are somehow connected to – and then to realise they are all just as emotional as I am- it seems to run in the family. That mixed with being by myself in the car, and getting so lost that it took me 2.5 hours to drive what should take (as google maps tell me) 25 mins… you can imagine how stressed I was. Yes, I should have invested in the Tom Tom!
Apart from getting teary with family, the gigs were great fun. We were lucky enough to have the Hussy Hicks join us for a couple shows. Such awesome women and awesome musicians. Love what they do! (thanks girls). Our last show in Amsterdam was really packed out and fun… until it hit about 3am and I started wondering why I was still on stage singing! After two hours only of sleep we hit the road again for ten hours and drive all the way to Bern, Switzerland. Oh boy, it’s fun getting lost in Germany where they speak, yes, you guessed it, German. Half an hour of German instructions from a lovely, kind German lady and we start pretending we understand, only to leave the petrol station more confused then when we arrived.
Our Bern show was just beautiful and one of my favs. My good mates Leena and Alex (we played at their wedding in Switz last year) organised a private concert. 40 francs a ticket for a show and cheese and wine. Perfect really. And it was. Such an intimate, acoustic, lovely night. Great crowd, great acoustics and great feedback. the five kilos of cheese also made me smile as did the quality red wine. We got to play songs we hadn’t played for years. Songs I thought I would have forgot.. but they all came back to me and it was so much fun to pull them out again and explore them musically and lyrically.
Again, lack of sleep and an extremely long drive all the way through three countries. Beautiful drive. Breakfast in Switzerland, lunch in Italy and dinner in France. My favourite day. Amazing views. And then suddenly realising that at the petrol station you are in Italy as this big Italian mumma comes out of the petrol shop yelling at me in Italian. The very Italian panini and expresso coffee made me forgive her very quickly. In fact she somehow became quite cute! The gig in France was by far my favourite (the boys too) We played in a medi-eval village next to a castle! Tiny streets, old buildings and people speaking my favourite language! How perfect.
Le Black Cat was just gorgeous. Like a little dungeon hidden away hundreds of years old. We walked in and loved it straight away. Again, the coffee that our new friend Fabrice made definately helped! The stage was so tiny that only Jean-Guy and I could fit – but we didn’t care – it made it even more special. After an amazing dinner and a super quick shower we returned to Le Black Cat. I didnt expect that amount of people to fit into the room, and as we walked in they all started cheering and clapping. It was so welcoming and gorgeous. The gig was just so much fun and so intimate and I didn’t want it to stop.
We tried some new things out on stage. The boys really got into the singing and sharing the tiny space, and Jean-Guys name was chanted over and over! Hilarious! The two French songs went down a treat! I was so nervous to sing them, but the reaction was pure gold!! I cannot wait to get back there… Massive thanks to Fabrice for his hospitality!
Our last show was back in Interlaken – after the most beautiful drive ever – over the most incredible mountains, driving through the clouds. What a way to end a tour!
So all in all, the first full band tour of Europe was pretty special. Some great gigs, some amazing people, good times, good music, and loads of adventures! x
We started the tour in Milwaukee with just Charlie (drums), Stacey (merch) and myself. After a long flight we arrive and Tony Saxaphone kindly picks us up. Our accom … well, this is super hard to explain. Imagine a huge warehouse with loads of rooms and studios and rehearsal spaces… it was once a chicken slaughter house, and once a boxing ring. We stayed in this tiny tiny little room where they used to sleep the thai boxers. The first night, after 40 hours or more of flying and airport stopovers, there was a heavy death metal typa band rehearsing under our room… so that was lovely. Very suitable music to help you doze off and have beautiful dreams. Actually it was scary, two days before we arrived, two policeman were shot dead two streets away from where we were staying. They had pulled over a bicyclist and he simply shot them right there on the street for no reason at all. It makes you realise that Perth really does seem so much safer. It makes you also realise that we are so used to seeing all of this on the movies, and then it’s there in real life and you’re not really sure how to react to it all.
Anyway, moving on from there, we had a show the next night. We had local musos Guy on bass and Jeff on electric guitar and slide, and Tony on sax. The gig was really fun. We were exhausted, but managed to enjoy it and somehow it turned into a huge night. For some reason in Milwaukee you tend to drink more then anywhere else. So right in between drinks, this random woman comes running in the bar screaming something about her boyfriend. We end up out on the street and suddenly this dude punches Jeff in the face, a minute later everyone is on top of the guy and Charlie decides to jump on top of the pile sweetly yelling ‘peace brothers’. Stace and I just stood there not knowing what to do. Then suddenly a guy pulls a knife and at this point we grab the drunken Charlie and run back inside. Hello – welcome to America?? And that was our first night!
Friday arrives and its Pride Fest! MJ also arrived in the avo. We go along and set up our booth. Our booth, which looked so tiny and somewhat dull compared to every other booth. So we quickly set out to find everything rainbow and pretty up the booth – I personally think it looked great after we got all creative. Stace was in charge of the booth and did a great job manning it. It was the best position to people watch. And I have never had a better people watching experience then this particular weekend. The colours, the outfits, the personalities and different characters – was so awesome to be a part of. That night we got to see Cyndi Lauper from the VIP stand – such an awesome show. We had seen her doing her sound check and wow, what a diva (in many ways). But then, she comes out on stage and is the pop star you want her to be! it was really a great concert. The fact there was free beer and food as well did seem to help.
Saturday is our big day. We rehearse a lil as MJ and Charlie have never met, let alone played together. The day seems to take forever and then we head on down to the fest. We are joined by Victor from the Violent Femmes on percussion. Was so lovely to see him again after one year. And so sweet of him to come all the way to play with us! We also had Jeff Hamilton from the Femmes join us and he was brilliant. Tony also jumped up for one tune. So it was a great gig. A really awesome sound and really awesome audience. It felt so comfortable being up there – a beautiful stage and great soundies always helps! The merch went really well and overall I was smiling hugely! We had such a fun night watching Brandy play – she was really excellent on stage – a real entertainer. All in all it was a successful show and we so hope we get to play again next year.
The next night was one of my favourite nights from the entire tour. We were lucky enough to get third row seats to Miss Etta James. We didn’t really know what to expect – but oh my god, she was brilliant and so was her amazing band. The band starts first and by the time they had finished their first couple of bars we knew we were in for an amazing show. Then out comes Etta on her electronic motorised wheelchair. She sits herself down on her personalised chair and starts singing “I Just Wanna Make Love To You”. By the second song Stace and I are crying. By the third song we are laughing due to the fact she was touching herself really quite provocatively for a 71 year old woman! Something we didn’t expect at all!! Didn’t quite know where to look! We were so impressed by the show and knew we had to meet the band.
So, somehow after the show we end up talking to Bobby Murray – the guitarist (also played with BB King, Robert Cray etc) and he takes us onto the limousine tour bus where the rest of the band are hanging. Such a nice bunch of people. To have lived their lives and played with the world’s best and to be such world class players themselves, and still be humble and lovely to hang out with was a beautiful thing to see. We ended up back at the hotel with them drinking and chatting all night. It was so much fun to meet new people and chat about all sorts of things and feel 100% comfortable with them as well. I hope so much to cross paths again and maybe have some of them as guests on stage or on future albums. I told Jean-Guy about Ettas harmonica player and he was so excited. To get Jean-Guy excited about harmonica players isnt easy – but he has such respect for Jimmy (Eurythmics – Missionary man solo!) Big thanks and hugs go out to Mike, Kraig, Bobby, Josh, Carey, Donto and the guys for a great night!
This night just topped off a fabulous weekend. Such good memories, and such an awesome way to start a five week tour!
Sitting at my mates house in Melbourne. It’s great to be back here. I can’t help but fall in love with this place every time I come here. And I haven’t played gigs here for quite a while. I did a show last night with just Joel and I and it was such a beautiful show. The venue is in Healesville, and with a name like “Cheese Freaks and Book Nuts” I knew it may be a special one. There’s nothing more lovely then turning up to a venue and the owners treating you so well as soon as you meet. Beautiful food and amazing wine, and even better a gorgeous audience. An audience who were absolutely there for the music, and showed their appreciation and really listened to the lyrics of every song. As a musician there’s nothing better than that – an audience that actually listens, or an audience that know how to shake their booty! Either one is great! So Joel and I played our set of thirteen songs and it felt great to really mix it up. Sometimes you can play a song you have played hundreds of times, but you suddenly find a new meaning in it – or a new way to sing a verse, or a new groove. It was also great to play with Joel again having not played together for five months. Joel did his thing and jumped up on a couple tables belting out a ripper sax solo… so much fun!! We have another show tonight, I have a feeling it may be a rowdier type show…who knows.
Big thanks for Nadine, Ewan and Christine for organizing the show for us and being so hospitable. Had a ball and cant wait til the next time
September 30 : Coming Home
I like calgary. Went for a beautiful
walk last night out in the cold with my mates Julie and Nat, and really
its a great city. I leave Canada in 16 hours. Not that i am counting!
i get home in 48 hours! not that im counting!!
Its been a very smooth tour. 22 shows in all. No real problems. i had
my last show on Saturday night at the Axis Cafe in Edmonton. It was
solo. an i think that possibly it was my favourite show. to be playing
to a room filled with people, with most of them knowing my songs, really
filled me with a new pride. It felt really safe, and i actually enjoyed
doing the solo thing. Its a great venue – very intimate, candles – the
My other favourite show would have to be our show at Egans Pub up in
Ft St John – again playing to a room totally filled, with awesome people
- singing along, dancing along and really showing their appreciation.
Thats all you want in this. Is to affect people. To get them moving,
to make them smile or think. Anything is good right?
Well, im glad to be heading home. I cant wait to be back there with
my family and friends and partner. Bring it on.
I love WA. I really do. I love my home.
Bye for now.
September 22: I’m In Lurve
Its raining today in Fernie.
Typical. Yesterday was about 35 degrees – so beautiful. And today we
have a complete day and night off, we had planned picnics, canoeing,
hiking and campfires with marshmallows!! But instead we are spending
time doing nothing. I have bought a bunch of new books, so at least
I can chill with a good read.
Its been a lovely tour really. A great bunch of people. Our new French
Canadian percussionist, Ivan Burke is wonderful. A very talented and
very special 20 year old. Such a pleasure to tour with him, play on
stage together and a new friend!
Our gigs have been great. We’ve had some awesome ones and a few quite
ones thrown in. musically this trip is fantastic. Playing with MJ again
is so wonderful. I have never seen a better bass player ever. She amazes
me. Jean-Guy of course is THE man on the harp, cant beat it. And now
with Ivan – well it’s a great mix of musos.
I am in love with Canada. This is my fifth trip here. And I fall more
and more madly in love with this place every time I come here. It makes
me smile. Even though the drives are long between gigs its well worth
it. To see these pristine lakes surrounded by mountains – just wow.
And the colours of fall – just like the movies, but so much better!
I am smiling. I am feeling good. And yes, finally I am writing. I have
three or four half songs on the go. A new one in French. A new blues
one. A new folk one. Its all happening. I am healthy for once (I haven’t
drank a sip of alcohol for 3 weeks now!) and I am also looking forward
to coming home and heading to Broome on yet again another tour.
Life is good.
September 14: Killer Cougar Attack (Canada Tour)
Hey there. Well I thought
I would share a funny little tour story. We finally had a day and night
off yesterday which is always a blessing on any tour! On our Friday
night gig we were privileged to have local Prince George musician, Matt
support us. His music is beautiful, moving and totally blew me away.
The show was small, as there was a huge band playing at the local uni,
but the show was still really enjoyable. Sometimes the smaller crowds
can be even better – you tend to explore your music a little more at
these shows. Anyway, after the show, we get talking to Matt about my
obsession with seeing a bear. This is my fifth trip to Canada in two
years – and still no sighting of a bear. So, Matt tells us of a spot
half an hour away where we can go hiking and we would definitely see
not just one bear, but several. So me being me gets extremely excited
– and we plan out the next day with Matt.
So all night I am dreaming of meeting my bear (in my dream I don’t get
eaten – it’s a happy smiley dream of bears). Our day off arrives, after
checking out the local market and packing our gear we meet up with Matt.
He decides to make a quick last minute call to the local ranger, who
tells him we mustn’t go hiking in that spot as there is a huge, very
aggressive bear right ion the path. No one was allowed in that area.
I was so disappointed, I cant even begin to explain!
So we end up going for a walk on this beautiful trail up in the woods
– apparently there are cougars up there. Now, cougars are worse then
bears, they are likely to attack you and possibly kill you. I am not
so interested in seeing a cougar, but still the thought of them is very
very scary. So off we go, walking along chatting the entire way about
cougar and bear attacks. We see some bear poo. It was old bear poo.
No bears around here.
After walking maybe an hour or so we are heading down this path and
MJ is infront of me. She suddenly screams loudly and jumps off the path
into the bush. My imagination saw it all – a cougar running down the
path coming for us. My reaction was to scream and turn around and grab
the nearest tree and for some reason hug it for dear life. Several second
later, I turn to see the killer cougar ….. and it’s a big labradour,
floppy cute dog, tongue out, tail wagging, running down the path! It
was the funniest thing I have seen. MJ in the bush, me and my tree,
and the guys laughing themselves stupid at us! I hacked up my wrists
from gripping the tree so quickly and so full on!
For the rest of the day Jean-Guy cant stop suddenly bursting into laughter
– he keeps laughing so hard that he starts crying!! In four years of
playing and hanging with Jean, I have never seen this! I will never
live this down, ever.
There I was, such a brave warrior woman….. turning my back, grabbing
a tree and hoping to hell the killer animal would eat someone other
then me, if I just blend into the tree enough!
Hmm….. still…. No bears. Grrrrrr!
17: Chilling Down South
Sitting on the verandah at my
aunty’s house in Balingup. What a magic little town, one of my favourite
spots in WA. And her house is amazing. Its such a beautiful morning.
Totally relaxed, feeling at peace. There’s no internet which means I
am not allowed to work for a few days!! And no phone coverage – so I
am made to not sit here planning ahead!
Been listening to some great
cds – Damien Rice Live, Fiest, Jeff Buckley, Cat Power – all perfect
for this space. Feel like I haven’t listened to music for ages. My CD
player in my van is screwed, and well, sometimes the idea of having
music on just drives me insane as I feel like I need no noise at all.
But right now I am loving it.
Its two weeks until I go to Canada
again. Its full on. I can’t quite get my head around this one. I only
really just got home and I suppose I’m not quite ready to leave again.
I screwed up my flights which means I have to stay an extra week. So
now 3 weeks has turned into 4 weeks, which means more shows. 20 in total
this time. In 21 nights we have 18 full band shows. Then the band will
leave and I will do a couple solo shows at my favourite music cafes.
I just hope my health and voice hold out. That’s really always my main
concern. MJ has found a great drummer – so I am trusting her judgement
and we will meet each other literally a couple hours before getting
on stage. The risks we take!! Its always so odd to play with a new drummer
or bass player – you get so used to playing with the same people, that
when you hear something else it feels strange for a while.
We have a new bass player playing
with us at the moment. Gavin Arnold. He is just lovely. So nice to be
around good people. The hardest thing about having a band is keeping
the band. Keeping everyone happy. Getting the right mix of musicians
and personalities. If you’re not touring you can get by. But as soon
as you hit the road with each other everything changes, and the fact
is you want to get along. Or t could be disastrous. I have been very
lucky in this area. Generally we have a lot of fun.
When people ask me how was my
last tour to USA/Canada/Euro – my first answer is “I had SO much fun”.
Because I really did. Jess, Almin and I just laughed so much everyday.
Every day was a new adventure and we loved it. It was a perfect mix
of people. Traveling with people you love and respect is a complete
joy. It makes everything g smoothly and the shows just get better and
more fun. It makes you feel not so far away from home. You create your
own little family and you learn to live with each other well. That only
happens if you’re with the right people. I have heard some horror stories
about band fighting and breaking up on tour.
I think about all the touring
I have done in the past 4 years and some of the memories I can now laugh
at. What I thought was huge back then seems tiny now. No major fights,
although I did fly one drummer home! It just wasn’t working, and I was
so over it that I booked a flight that day and did the rest of the tour
without it, and it was the best decision I could of made. I imagine
this happens a lot with bands. You take a big risk by getting in a touring
van with people for several weeks! Such a small space, for so many long
We have our live DVD coming out
soon – its taking a while to get together, didn’t realize it would take
so long. Again, if feels too soon! Having just released Love Underground,
and now I’m back in the studio listening for mistakes and trying to
get the mix right with Shaun – it’s a pretty intense process, but I
love what Shaun has done with the audio. I really trust his judgement
and like working together. You just get so over listening to your own
songs and your own voice!
Well, I am feeling its time to
get up and go for a walk in the sunshine. It was freezing last night,
so its time to soak in a little of that heat and the sunshine’s rays……
July 17: The Global Update
Just thought i would say a quick hello
hope everyone at home is great!! we get home in 5 days..and what a trip
really, its been the best tour ever! so much fun, so much adventure,
so many places… way too many flights and airport time aswell
im sure i wrote about america – it was really the ‘rock and roll’ type
of week- hanging at the fest, sleeping in the day, playing gigs at night,
hanging with old time rockers, playing at summerfest, radio interviews,
and recording bad rock songs at 3am! summerfest itself was amazing.
i was stoked with our show. we had victor join us on percussion (violent
femmes) and the crowd was packed. loved every minute up there…was
stoked with the full standing ovation from the crowd (2 thousand or
more people!) on the last song. had fun out in the crowd. selling cds
and meeting some great people. very happy overall. got to hang with
gomez -they are lovely guys, really down to earth and fun to be with!
canada was amazing. 5 really great shows. mountains, and walk around
beautiful lakes, chair lifts up to mt fernie, then hanging in canmore
in our beautiful lodge! three nights in a row – with two beautiful shows…hanging
in our favourite cafe drinking soy lattes and eating yummy food, driving
to lake louise, and banff and enjoying every second of it! also getting
to hang with julie of course – which is a highlight for me! oh, and
jess and almin were so sweet – they organised a mini surprise party
at the lodge with cake, balloons, wine and singing with a few friends,
coz last time i ws in canmore i had my bday and it was shit!! so they
re-invented it and it was sooo gorgeous! our fernie shows were a lot
of fun – heaps of dancing and quite rowdy shows. the canmore shows were
more intimate – a cafe with about 60-70 people both nights, such a differnt
type of show – i love these shows. huge thanks to marnie and alex. your
cafe is beautiful and we cant wait to get back.
then it was good bye to almin….. was a very strange feeling – felt
like we were really missing something!
off to holland.. after 18 hours of flights and airports again. this
trip will involve over 100 hours spent on planes and being at airports.
at least we were upgraded on one flight to first class – my first time
holland was short and sweet. siz was the at the airport to pick us up
- sooo good to see her (shes my old housemate) jess and i were so tired
as we had again missed an entire nights sleep. we had our gig that night
and it was great fun. got to catch up with some dutch family and friends.
always nice. i feel right at home in Holland . My family is ducth ,
and it I feel strongly about my connection here. The room full and it
went down well. Blues Cafe in Apeldoorn – really supportive, enthusiastic
crowd. unfortunately we got lost on the way home and it took us nearly
three hours instead of one. so we arrived home at 5am ! so, we wasted
most our day sleeping! then off to amsterdam with jess and siz..just
the usual amsterdam type of adventure. we had so much fun..walking through
the streets, eating yummy crocetchas (spelling?) and laughing our heads
off to switzerland very early the next morning (again we didnt sleep!-
this is becoming the pattern of this trip!). We got to Zurich airport
and was told our baggage was still in amsterdam , so we had to wait
another 2.5 hours at the airport. so annoyed. but they put us up in
the special lounge area for swiss air – and we got free food and drinks.
i hit the coffee while jess hit the champagne!
as soon as we hit interlaken (after falling asleep and nearly missing
our train stop!) i fell instantly in love again. here i was thinking
canmore was again my favourite spot – but actually i dont think anything
can beat this place. i love it!!
we quickly caught up with sandy, had an hours nap – then it was time
to get on stage! so good to see some old friends – from inters, and
also from home! the gig was jam packed. probably 300 down in one small
room. very verbal crowd! always fun at teh metro bar! it went well.
we then danced all night – mainly with hilarious korean boys!
next day we hung out and relaxed a little. i went and had coffee with
sandys parents and sister pam, who i havent seem for about 4 or so years.
it was great to catch up with them. we had dinner with stacey, jess,
matt, dani , mark, kat and timmy. thai. yum. early night for once.
tuesday jess went to bern and it was our first day apart for nearly
4 weeks. kinda weird feeling. on these tours you live in and out of
each others pockets. you learn so much about each other, and you hope
to god it all goes well. this tour has gone just perfectly in the area
of band mates. i couldn’t of asked for it to go any smoother. i met
up with all the aussie/brissy crew and did the ropes course again. you
are 20 metres high in the trees, on this crazy ropes course, with only
a little hook thing to save your life. really comforting! i enjoyed
it more this time round – the flying foxes are mad! then 10 of us hired
scooters and quad bikes and zoomed up the mountains for thee hours,
stopping for a beer …so much fun. stace and i shared a quad bike -
we got it to 68 kms. good fun! that night we had a show…it was awesome.
such a great big audience, really into the music. i felt jess and i
played really well musically – very tuned in to each other and so much
trust on the stage. again we danced…and then i became mum/nurse to
a few drunken friends..great way to end the night!
yesterday was spent taking a long while to get out of bed, then hiring
bicycles and riding to lake bergerseeli . and sunbaking and swimming!
sooo lovely. dinner in the park and off to bed at a good hour!!
we are at gig 13 tonight. 2 more to go then home!
kinda looking forward to coming home..but it will be weird not being
out and about in the world for a few weeks. poor jessy was sick as ever
last night at 4am … hope shes better today.
love always , tobes
2: Two Days til Summerfest
Two days left. Well, one really. Til the big gig! Apparently our stage
is huge! I haven’t even checked it out yet – for some reason I want
to leave it until the last minute. Not like me at all! We have our set
list, our outfits, all exciting. This festival is pretty amazing. Just
a massive showground – with never ending stages, and food stalls like
Corn on the Cob, Weeners, Burgers, Mexican, typical American stuff.
You really feel like you are in America . The people here have been
incredibly hospitable – they go out of their way to help you out – to
make you feel at home. We’ve been pretty lucky all in all – with our
accom, and with having Tony just downstairs. Hes been a total trooper
– love ya work Tones!
We are about to head off to our first ever USA radio interview. We have
again been trying to sleep most the day. Amazingly our body clocks are
still completely screwed. You sleep for a couple hours, then wake completely
hungry for dinner. Its doing my head in. I still haven’t seen any of
the actual city. We seem to be nocturnal here. But I know as soon as
we get to Canada all of that will change.
We went to the Fest on Monday night and caught some of matisyahu show
– pretty huge sound – the crowd was insanely massive. Also caught one
song from the Gin Blossoms – their main hit Jealousy – again awesome.
Also got to see Bootsy Colins – from James Brown Band – they just funked
it up for a very short set with a stage full of young and old musos
– between 20-80 years of age! Crazy.
Last nights gig was interesting – not my favourite – it was a last minute
show and unfortunately due to bad sound I struggled slightly. Still,
it went down well, and it was great to play again to a brand new audience.
Again, the bar tenders get drunk here while working and give you triple
of anything you ask for. Dangerous mix really!
Well, I gotta roll..wish me luck!
so, usa , milwaukee … interesting place – not that i have seen much!!
i really dont get my body clock. i cant fall asleep til like 8 or 9
am !! how crazy is that. its been going great really. the place is amazing.
just a crazy house really. pity theres no furniture at all. you should
see it – just huge spaces!! the kitchen is wicked! Did I mention the
rock climbing wall..inside the house..
so our first gig was like, hmmm, ok. bad bad sound. the crowd liked
it but i didnt really get into it. not being able to hear myself and
being jetlagged , and feeling kinda deaf didnt help. then trying to
sell cds at 20 bucks, not realising that is double what they normally
charge! well, that was hard work! one guy said he would ‘take me out
‘ if i was being serious about the price! was fun a night but. then
of course slept all day the next day
then sat night we went to summerfest. it is bigger than anything i have
seen. just huge. and at the entrance theres like 100s and 100s of harleys!!
this is the home of harleys. and of happy days. they are actually getting
the tax payers to pay for a huge statue of the FONZE! crazy hey. over
here they use the word ‘chache’ for tryhard. or chachbag…or douchbag!
anyhoo – we managed to score free tix to get into the fest – pretty
cheap anyway – less than 20 bucks to see blondie! so we somehow got
right down teh front – front row! we have made friends with this super
american dork called tony who works at the recording studio below us.
so we went in with him and his friend melissa. really fun. just danced
a lot . blondie was awesome. her band were tight as. she just cracks
me up completely! what a funny ass woman she is. but some of her songs
are so priceless!
so, we end up at the studio recording a bad pop rock song… drums,
violin and me. plus Bobby – the guy who owns this whole place on keys,
jeff on bass… and a bunch of old time rocker stoners watching us talking
us up when really we sounded like shit! lots of fun. we ate pizza and
drank beer. and went to sleep again at 8am or so.
slept in til 5pm on sunday. then after a sandwich we went off to our
show. our first song was to 2 people!! by a few songs in we 40 or so
and it was a great show. sold lots of merch and the people here are
sooo nice. so generous. they pour massive drinks… and offer up any
help they can give. really nice crew over here.
i did however learn today that there are shooting every day in milwaukee
. especially on july 3 and 4th. because there are so many fireworks
that day people pre meditate murder – because gun shots just sound like
fireworks, so no one finds out theres shootings going on! how crazy
June 28th or 29th: Very Confused??
Well I am super confused, we all are actually. It’s the first time in
my life that I have slept all day. Very weird. We had our first show
last night. After 50 hours of travel. Well, lets start from the jetlag.
Jess and I missed our flight from LA to Phoenix …it wasn’t our fault
(for once) so we had yet again another r4 hour stopover. Then we get
to Chicago at around 3.30am . this is when we decided to jump in a car
with two random men and semi-hitch hike to Milwaukee . And they were
lovely (thankgod) I was so tired I could hardly speak, but Jessy – well
you cant shut her up – so the conversation was flowing. Thanks so much
to Skip and Grant – our saviours!
Anyway – we get to our place and sleepy Almin comes down to greet us
and take us to our ‘pad’. Holy shit!! That’s all I can say about this
place. Its massive, its luxury (but, we have NO furniture at all, just
a bed- which we all had to share on the first day!) But t has this amazing
bathroom – which makes you feel like youre CleoPatra – right in the
middle of the entire studio – stairs leading up to a big spa bath –
for everyone to see. A great balcony, a view of Milwaukee – one of the
main streets, and a huge rehearsal space, a loft and get ready for it….
An entire rockclimbing wall!! You can imagine we all ran to it even
though we were dazy and climbed to the top!! So so cool.
We managed to get a couple hours sleep – that’s it , and then off to
our first show. A bar called Up and Under – a blues bar. We asked for
red bull each and they give us one with a triple shot of voddy just
to get us going – then they began to feed us shots and drinks all night.
They were told by Jeff to get us hammered. Well done Jeff! The bar managers
completed their task quite easily. We lasted all night. We supported
a band called Black Dog – a real mix of The Doors and Jimi Hendrix –
pretty awesome band, so we had a dance, a few more drinks and headed
to the local burger joint. Jess ended up on the wrong side of the counter
– wearing their burger joint uniform! Back to the bar, where I found
myself driving Jeffs new very cool moped up and down the pathways, I
don’t think the Americans liked me so much at this point! But, what
a wicked bike! We finally got home and fell asleep at 7am .
We woke at yes….7pm! such a strange feeling to not know if its morning
So now we are about to eat some pizza for breakkie/dinner and head out
to the fest to see BLONDIE!! Bring it on!
So far we are buggered. What
a long trip. Jess and I left Perth and then flew for 6.5 hours to NZ.
Then a 14 hour stop over – we are about to board now to LA. Three more
flights – 21 more hours til we get to Milwaukee . We ventured out today
in our very tired states – didn’t really see much. A cute town called
Mt Eden. Ate some Turkish food and shopped around. Both pretty exhausted
really. Feeling excited, but too tired too think really. I think once
I wake up in Milwaukee the excitement will really hit. We are staying
at an ex-NBA stars pad! Apparently theres lots of Italian marble in
the apartment. I am hoping Almin will be at the airport to pick us up
– midnight . Then the next night we have our first ever USA show at
some pub in Milwaukee . Then the adventure begins. We are staying very
close to the festival grounds – so we are hoping to catch as much music
as possible. We get to hang out with a few mates from the Violent Femmes
– I haven’t seen Victor for 18 months – we have kept contact via email
– so its going to be great to hang again and have a few bevies together.
Well they are calling us to board now – so I must get going. Here we
March 27: Back in Canada
Canada . Here I
am back in Canada . Third time now. And I still love it. We drive along
and I sit there looking out my window on the wrong side of the road
and I really cant help but smile. Touring in snow. In minus temperatures.
I like it a lot. Its so weird being used to your own audiences in WA
– the audiences that come to see you, that know your songs, that dance
and sing along. Bigger audiences. Then you com to a new place and you
start again, trying to win over a new crowd. Trying to get your music
out to anyone who will listen. What a challenging career choice!
Hugh’s doing a great
job on drums (first time ever with us) and of course MJ is playing amazing
bass as usual. Another challenge – being a trio. Im so used to having
Jean-Guy or Lucy or Jess next to me – so used to hearing that extra
instrument. But as a trio who are forced to play better, to try out
new things, its kinda cool.
We are definitely
doing the budget tour! When touring internationally your budget is non-existent.
We are used to going to cute cafes at home for breaky every morning
and ordering the works, with GOOD coffee. Here, well, we are eating
a lot of cheap yogurt and a lot of subway super specials! But I must
say that Canadian hospitality is awesome. The food been great at the
venues and you should see my room right now! We all have our own hotel
room – huge – double room, kitchenette, lounge area, 2 tvs, bathroom
with bath, fake fire place, 2 phones, the list goes on – all to ourselves!
And this particular hotel gives you free breaky too – so you wake up
and go and eat hot waffles with maple syrup, fresh fruits and cream,
then mosie on back to bed for a while! Well, to be honest, I have been
in bed all day today working (its now 3pm !) You assume I’m being lazy??
Nope, quite the opposite – I am working non stop with emails back and
forth for the new album, the launch, the 18 players, song lists, tour
bookings blah blah. The fun stuff. Ha!
Its such a weird
life style. I like it, I really do, but sometimes I am so sick of living
out of a suitcase. So sick of different beds, and you miss home too
and your family and your partner. Sick of driving. The other day we
had an eleven hour drive and then a show that night. Our hire car starting
screwing up and that held us back as well. By the end of it I was ready
to die! But it’s all part of the big game – the big plan – whatever
that may be.
Back to Canada …still
no bears, no mooses. Its like a little game they play with you just
to get your hope up and all excited – they have all over Alberta big
signs of very angry nasty looking mooses (they aren’t the cute ones
in Alberta) so, you see the sign and desperately look around, just to
be disappointed once again. I am beginning to think there is no such
thing as a moose. I want my money back.
This weekend we
are off to Edmonton – the city with the worlds biggest mall! We will
be joined by my very good mate Julz – we have been mates now for 16
years. Its my birthday Tuesday 1 st , but that day will be spent driving
for 8 hours and performing at night, so I have decided its my birthday
on Saturday. We have the day and the night off, so it should be a pretty
cool 28 th birthday. My first birthday away from home. How will the
presents find me??
Next week were off
to my favourite places Banff and Canmore. Maybe that’s where our tour
will suddenly turn into a national geographics tour and all the wildlife
will start attacking our car and I can get some good youtube footage.
Lets cross our fingers!+
Well, I really should
get some sleep. I don’t seem to sleep at night here. Too much work to
do before getting home.
Thanks for reading…see
you soon. x
December : Euro
Europe . Another adventure. This
time a lot more enjoyable. Cant really find an explanation why – maybe
just a lot smoother the second time around. UK seemed a whole lot smoother.
And this time no smashing the car and no car fines. So that was handy.
Really loved our shows over there – Oxford , Debenham, Bath (love love
love Bath ), Harrogate , Cambridge . Oh my gosh Cambridge – well, lets
just say we had a very very big night. I ended up behind the bar and
we got half an hour sleep before waking and stumbling to the hire car
at 5am or some crazy hour and driving over two hours to the airport.
Not a fun morning. Coffee did not fix it. Nor did any type of greasy
food. It was just wrong. But, a very fun night was had, and a great
show at that!
Holland . My first time playing
there. And I loved it. Was a beautiful week. Hanging with my old housemate
Siz, and playing seven or so shows, hanging in Amsterdam, meeting great
people, performing at some wonderful venues with really wonderful audiences,
not having to spend to many hours in the car and doing some shopping,
eating, sleeping in….really cant complain about Holland. Cant wait to
get back there.. The Dutch audience are awesome – they are so present
and so enthusiastic. I feel right at home there….bring it on.
August 31st : More On Canada
Well, another quick journal
page about our tour in Canada. Only four shows to go. I cant believe
I will be home in a week. Its weird, its felt like we have been here
a lot longer than we have. I spose we have managed to see a whole lot
of BC and now we are driving into Alberta. The land of the good steak,
so we hear. MJ is driving, like normal. Its strange, normally in Australia
I am the one who does most the driving and sorting of maps and itinerys,
but this trip MJ has decided to be the boss!! And she loves it. And
it suits me fine… most the time coz I get to sit back and take in the
scenery, some of the best scenery I have ever seen in my life. Canada
is amazing, it really is. Mountains, and rivers, lakes, woods, forests,
ocean, prairies. All really quite stunning.
Well we have played twelve shows now. And they are going well. We plan
to come back in March, April next year as a trio to do another short
tour. I would love to make this place my second home. We loved our time
on the island – an amazing place. Also Vancouver is a definite stand
out for me. For all of us I think I can safely say; ohh, we just about
had a deer run infront of us. Wow, that was full on. Normally it’s a
kangaroo. We are still on the look for bears and moose and elks, but
no luck so far. Not that we would be that lucky if we came face to face
with a bear – but we all worked out exactly how we will deal with the
bear – we are such a tough gang in our own heads! We did chase a squirrel
–that was pretty tough if you ask me.
We have found some beautiful spots –Joel normally gets out his flute
and plays away – sounds so beautiful when you are in the fresh air and
in the middle of a forest.
Oh did I mention we have had some of the best food ever!!! We found
our most favourite shopping centre in the whole wide world – Whole Foods
in Vancouver. It is like a food heaven. We could have lived there –
well, we practically did. The best coffee, the most amazing selection
of organic food, a bit of everything. I could safely say that I could
eat there the rest of my life and I would be forever happy!!
Musically we are playing around a little e- a new jam with Run, and
working on a new song of mine called Karma. Its kinda reggae, quite
different to what I normally write. Its funny, I really cant fit into
any particular catergory of music, I have tried, but I fail and in reality
I really like having such a mix. I think if I played one style I would
simply get bored. I love that we can go from a ful folk song, straight
to a jazzy number, or latin. Keeps it interesting for us. Joel blows
me away with his playing. He has really developed this year, if only
he lived in Perth!
I feel like next year we will be doing a lot of travel again, We are
already looking at doing 2 Canada trips and 2 Europe trips, and probably
five east coast tours – if all goes well. Plus we must release the new
album – Im excited and sacred!! Its going to be quite different form
the last – I think I would like it a little more raw – more our style
on stage, I suppose it will all develop as we go along – so who knows
what the final product will be – but I am definitely keen to get back
into the studio and start being creative again.
Well, we have just entered Alberta, another 45 minutes shoved in this
tiny car with everyone. All I can say is lucky we all like eachother,
or it could be very very messy.
I have five shows in Perth before I head on a north tour of WA – so
I hope to see all the Perth crew at these shows – looking forward to
doing some WA shows again. Bring it on.
Take it easy…cheers ….
August 24th: Canada ey
well finally i have a moment to write. im back in vancouver – i think
we are on day 15. 11 to go. well – its easy – i love canada. i really
do. especially this time round. i didnt really see much last year in
winnipeg – and now this time we are touring in BC and its magical. Great
scenery, great people.
its been a very full on tour so far. mainly you have four people (some
who havent met before!) shoved in a car with not much space to breathe.
i couldve got a minivan, but it cost about 700 more – and its a budget
trip. so joel and i have been pretty much sitting on eachothers laps
in the back with all the luggage. this trip is a get to know eachother
and get to know yourself trip. there is no space, no privacy. its full
on. the hotel rooms are always two double beds for four people, or we
get in a “cot”. still no room to move and sharing beds – taking turns
who you sleep with that nite. so yeh, not much sleep, way too much driving,
way too many smelly boy farts, and a very loud and energetic bunch (well,
me and the boys anyway!!)
our shows – well i have really liked a lot of them. the festival was
really cool. we played both days alongside sarah harmer (awesome!),
michael franti, xavier rudd, and som amazing funk bands, blues bands,
acoustci folk bands. rwally great crowd – lots of hippies!! we got fed
well, and even got free massages backstage – yes very rockstar!! we
stayed at a local ladies house – she was so so kind – diana. but then
i look up at her book shelf and i see this reptil – and its alive -
yep she has a very large pet iguana – with no cage. a lil freaky – and
way too many spiders!!
we were very festive that weekend – dancing and being silly and all
that. sold a good bunch of cds which is great!
we spent a week on the island – so so cool. i could definately live
in a place like this. weve done some hiking, picnics, shopping, lots
of eating at yummy wholefood vegan places, great great food, loads of
driving, loads of laughig and being dickheads, oh we stayed in a very
flash cassino on the first nite (my accidental internet booking), seen
amazing mountains, a couple of skunks ( i chased him – he didnt like
it much), played so far 7 shows, met some cool people..all good. no
bears..no mooses – yet …quite upsetting
it gets really hard not having space. you just want your own bed, or
at least your own room. you want some peace and quiet at times (yes,
can you believe i am saying this), you gotta put up with peoples moods
and weird behaviour!! its all crazy. mj has taken charge of maps and
driving etc which is cool. coz i think the boys and i would be screwed.
they are great a great bunch to travel with – we are always beng silly
and running amuk which is cool. we found this awesome bar in victoria
- with peanuts all over the floor and hundreds of bras hanging from
the ceiling. i kept mine on!! for a while.
oh my favourite show was in kelowna. really awesome bar/restaurant -
beautiful crowd – sold lots, and met again some wonderful supportive
im really glad i took the risk with this trip..looking forward to next
we have another 3 nites now in vancouver then head north to real country
!! wish us luck
AUGUST 22nd – Review on Toby at Cumberland Music Festival (Canada)
review on toby – canada
Jules S. Xavier
It was a love at first sound when the audience was introduced to Toby
Beard during her second of two high-energy performances during The Big
Despite having sleepy vocal cords, the lead singer of West Australia’s
most energetic and vibrant roots act was in her element during Cumberland’s
three-day music festival.
Performing at high noon Sunday, Toby found the dampness and early rise
from slumber curtailed what music lovers would have witnessed if she
was on stage later in the day.
“I was struggling to hit the high notes that I’m usually double what
you heard,” she offered afterwards in The BTO media tent. “I’d much
prefer a night slot. Like the audience, we were all just waking up.”
Still, once Toby and her band mates Manitoban MJ Dandeneau on upright
bass, Melbourne’s Joel Plymin on sax/flute and drummer Adrian Van Praag,
also from West Australia, warmed up they had the audience focused during
a 60-minute performance.
“Festivals are my favourite,” said Toby. “You’ve got the people and
you can work with them.”
And work she did. Drawing on songs from her latest CD Renaissance and
new tunes for a yet untitled next album, the singer/songwriter quickly
piqued her audience with her dynamic guitar playing and an array of
emotive and untamed lyrics.
Renaissance offers a perfect fusion of roots, blues, jazz, reggae, Latin
and rock. With lyrics being important to her, Toby said the creative
process sometimes leads to writer’s block.
“For eight months I’m not writing anything,” she said. “Then something
happens and I can write five songs.
“In my teens and early 20′s, I’d take my guitar everywhere. But when
you do 160 shows a year, I don’t anymore. I’ve got friends who will
ask me to play, but sometimes you need to be away from your music.”
Used to three sets a night and performing Down Under five nights a week,
Toby said coming to Canada to perform felt right at this juncture in
her music career. It has been stressful of course, with Van Praag filling
in when her original drummer begged off flying here three days before
She met Plymin and Dandeneau last year in Melbourne at a music fest.
“It was an odd meeting,” she recalled. “We exchanged numbers. We get
along â€¦ I flew them over to Perth and we’d perform
With her band only together a week prior to arriving in Canada for her
inaugural mini-tour of B.C. and a few stops in Alberta, they had a chance
to perform in Kelowna in an intimate setting of a pub.
“I was in my element there like I am back home,” she explained of long
road trips and a hectic pace that leaves little time to work on a video.
“I can take notice and look to see that the people are listening or
dancing. There’s interaction.”
While some BTO goers danced off to Toby’s right, Plymin escaped the
stage and performed with his sax much to the appreciation of relaxed
spectators capturing the moment on their digital cameras.
“For me, coming to Canada was good. It’s time to take some risks,” said
Toby. “This is going to cost me money, but this is also good. My band
changes a lot, but I like to mix it up. Change is good for me and my
She added, “If you’re going to be a performer, you’ve got to get off
your ass and do it. I’m going hard this year â€¦
when I get home I’ve got 70 gigs already booked.”
While she receives radio air time back home, Toby concedes her music
is not mainstream, or pop. She covers a variety of genres for good reason.
“I just can’t fit into one. Sure you might want to be more commercial,
but that’s not me. If you can add a jazz or latin sound it’s just expanding
your audience. I write what’s natural to me. I like blues, but I can
get bored sometimes. Mixing things up is great.”
Does she have a favourite song?
Breathe, she said. She loves the lyrics, which is a part of the writing
process she excels at when there’s free time or a subject like love
“It’s easy to write about love. Everyone does, whether it’s a sad or
feisty song. It’s easy. No, it’s easier to write a song about love actually
if you think about a situation.”
Like Breathe, it’s a song that she can relate because she drew on an
experience to create it. The lyrics and how she tackles the song do
garner the attention of an audience: “There’s no escape/Well I can’t
sleep when I’m next to you/I lay there watching you breathe/ Well I
can’t keep my hands off you/you make me feel so beautiful.”
Describing herself as raw, passionate and natural, Toby admitted she
writes what comes naturally from life around her.
“I only do what’s natural. I’m not something I’m not and that’s what
you get. I know a lot of my songs are written about my own experiences
and that’s something I’m trying to do differently.”
With her exposure to Canada and its people, Toby said she’s enjoying
the experience. Australians, she added, tend to have a sarcastic side
that takes some getting used to after a first meeting.
“Canadians are super friendly. You’ve got a good-looking country. In
my country, we are sarcastic. People think I’m being rude or nasty when
I’m just being sarcastic.”
And for the three boys who asked that she sign their arms with a pen,
Toby is still not used to being a celebrity and signing autographs.
“It’s a funny feeling because they think you’re bigger than you are.
You have a line of people wanting your autograph. But you have to give
of yourself because they’re supporting you.”
Just like the BTO fans sipping on their morning java taking in Toby’s
performance on a warm summer morning in Cumberland.
Jules S. Xavier Assistant Editor
2007: JUNE 12th: BALLS
AND BUMCRACK TOUR QLD/NSW
why balls and bumcrack – really can’t
answer that. i think we just got so used to seeing julz’ bumcrack that
it just stuck and unfortunately with all of us being so mature – it
become to butt of every joke.
what an awesome tour. i can say
that in all honesty. i mean, there were a couple dud gigs in there,
but generally the gigs were great – playing with almin and michael -
and one night with joel – really loved our time on the east coast
julz – well shes a winner all
around. the best tour manager you could ask for (other then when shes
a bossy shit!) – waking you up with hot cups of teas, making your bed
all snuggly at night, driving around her beloved van (harry by day,
hazard by night), putting up with us singing harmonies over and over
again to music she apparantly once used to like! giving us her portion
of the drinks, and of course getting her crack out on demand. love you
it was quite the touring party
- al, mik, julz, kera, kat and our support band nightillion – krissy,
marz and luka. great band – very jazzy cool. very cool to hang with
after a gig. they forced us to drink. and it was fun.
also we can’t miss out kath and
sach and thomas who does the best actions to goodbye baby. nasty – but
we arrived brissy wednesday and
performed that lunch – at the queen’s mall. i really enjoyed it this
time (last time here i was so hungover i couldn’t stand up!) really
great crowd – good start to the tour. that night we had the pleasure
of seeing nightillion perform at barsoma. very enjoyable. then up we
went. felt good to be performing a couple new songs with the boys “so
tired” and “favourite day”. always a good feeling to
try something new
next day we had off. shopped
a little. drank lotsa coffee. went to a wonderful restaurant and caught
the end of mick harts show. not a bad day at all
friday we played in the freezing
cold mall in the valley. and i mean freezing. funnily enough mike woke
up with a flu – which is strange coz he was wearing all of a bonds tshirt.
hmmm, clever! despite the cold it was a fun gig. al got a dollar seventy-five
thrown at his head – that was a compliment alright! julz got her head
patted. and we had crazy men running past several times in tights with
socks as balls. good look.
next day we set off to malaney
- the lovely upfront club. i had really enjoyed our last show there,
and it was great to see some familiar faces back again. again we very
much enjoyed nightillions set, then on we went. i loved this show -
the audience were a very appreciative crowd – they listened, the danced,
they enjoyed. so that all i can ask for at a show. i had fun. we felt
like teenagers sneaking vodka into our drinks. but it was worth it.off
to the pub with the nightillion gang, where i decided not to be a nanna
on tour anymore. yes – i am no longer nanna toby, and i am proud!
we all felt a lil seedy the next
day – and luckily the next gig was kinda empty. so empty infact that
i got on the drums and al on guitar and julz slept in the van. yep -
monday – byron. yipeee! i love
byron. we had four nights in byron. two nights off – to chill, go to
the movies, watch sunsets, eat amazing food (way too much), get tattoos,
massages, have jams on the beach, go to the lighthouse, nearly get weird
piercings, and of course play at the rails. we had the absolute pleasure
of having mr joel plymin join us – which of course was awesome. we also
had the pleasure of watching his shit hot band – frankie wants out.
nine piece swing. so so cool.
i really enjoy the byron shows
- again some familiar faces and a supportive crowd. oh, and the best
salad i have ever eaten in my entire life. julz will back me on this
i got my first (and last) tat.
it hurt. but i felt tough. and i managed to not cry. since i am
now not nanna toby, i had to not cry. that would be just wrong. so only
a tear or two. thats all. really. kinda.
poor kera got sick. bites and
puffiness and the poor thing ended in hospital. so that was the huge
bummer of the tour. somehow she managed to still be a party girl and
make us laugh and be as gorgeous as ever. love to you miss kera.
so, it was a week of playing
music and watching other play music. went to the beach hotel and saw
dejagroove play. and we danced. like we’ve never danced before. so good
infact that almin and i were asked if we were dancing partners proffessionly.
i think maybe, just maybe the person asking was blind. or intoxicated.
or both. but we thought we were amazing. and we rocked our piece of
the dance floor. the band were brilliant – so full of energy – really
our tongue and groove gig was
a really fun gig. ofa behind the bar was more then generous with filling
me up on jagers. thanks ofa. nightillion did their best set – very fun
and energetic and smooth. our set was great fun- cool crowd, up and
dancing and a wicked group of girls who knew my lyrics better then i
did. turned into a crazy night filled with shanatagans. ..but, what
goes on tour stays on tour.
yamba was a stand out – what
a beautiful place. awesome pub overlooking the ocean. sooo yum. good
sound. good people. good fun. mike was on fire with his new hat. a very
fun night of music and silliness.
all in all a great tour. with
a bit of holiday time in there – a good touring group – uncle albert,
cussin dubby, aunty crackerjack, little micky-dee, mutha kat, mutha
mary and cousin kera-billie. oh, and who can forget harry – the love
of julz’ life.
big thanks to the boys, to julz
and to the nightillion crew. love your work. x
29th: LET IT SNOW
I woke this morning
to MJ saying “quick get up, look out the window”. It was snowing.
Real snow. Real, pretty, white snow. I have never seen actual snow falling
before so I did a happy dance on the balcony. And then realized after
a couple of minutes I was freezing, and I looked like a dickhead in
my pyjamas getting wet doing the happy dance. 4 degrees. We got all
rugged up and walked into town. Singing ‘frosty the snowman’, ‘walking
in a winter wonderland’ and ‘let it snow let it snow’. Then I quickly
realized I again was losing my voice and should really shut up and get
back indoors. Anyway, the mountains look even more incredible now covered
in snow. It looks like a postcard, the mountain, the woods, covered
in white fresh snow. I love Switzerland !! Let it snow let it snow let
May 27th : TREE HUGGER
It’s midnight ,
and we just did our second show at Metros. Wow, playing to a bar filled
with about 300 very loud, very drunk backpackers – mainly American,
mainly football players – well that’s kinda “special”. It
actually somehow went pretty well, especially since I have been super
sick for here days now. I spent today in bed – literally all day. Watching
Sex in the City and House and trying to sleep. I had one quick break
– to check my bank account details – I have been charged over a grand
for car issues. Quite possibly we got way more speeding fines then we
ever realized. I hate the England road system!!
So, being this sick,
I am surprised that any voice came out at all. Lets just say it was
lucky I learned a Johnny Cash song a couple days ago – I think we could
of played that all night and they would have been stoked. I haven’t
seen so much bumping and grinding in a very long time. Is this what
I used to do when I worked at Balmers???
Well we’ve spent
our time here so far hiking, bike riding, driving the scooter up mountains,
relaxing, being sick, and yesterday we went and did an amazing rope
course. It’s a new adventure course over here, so we thought we’d give
it a shot. MJ being a climber was stoked, me, on the other hand was
shitting myself as I am no so good with heights. You are up in these
SUPER HIGH trees over 60 feet high, and the only thing that is saving
you from falling is a couple of tiny metal clamps. Which you are responsible
for yourself. So if you stuff it up, you fall. Pretty scary if you ask
me. You go on all these hanging logs, flying foxes, thin ropes, repels
The flying foxes
were bloody scary. My first one was insane. I was so scared, then finally
I get the balls, and off I go. I didn’t make it the whole way – so there
I am hanging off this rope 60 feet high screaming, and MJ is on the
other side filming me and laughing. Apparently its really funny to be
hanging there waiting to fall and die on the rocks below. Not funny.
But once you start there’s no turning back, and it only got worse. After
a while I was so mad that I even tried to overcome my fear of heights.
I mean, what a stupid thing to do – climb huge ladders, and find yourself
in the tree tops, pretty much crying like a baby, desperately wanting
to be back on the ground, telling yourself “you can do it, you
have to do it,you are a brave warrior princess!”I officially at
that moment became a tree hugger. I have skydived, paraglided and hang
glided, but for me this was much scarier. But I got through it and felt
pretty damn good after. I think I will stick to staying on the ground
from now on.
Well time for this
nanna to go to sleep. Nitey nite. Sweet dreams.
2007: May 23rd : CAR
Well what a great week. We had
our final week in the UK was fabulous. Bath was a stand out. But our
gig in Cambridge was probably my favourite – great country pub bout
100 or more in the audience and they were payers which always means
you will have a responsive, attentive crowd and these guys were awesome.
We had to do a three encores and we ended on Blue, which we never do
as a duo but the entire crowd started clapping along and stomping and
it was great fun having that involvement. We sold out of CDs which was
great, but a bugger as we would’ve sold another 20 or so albums that
night. If you are in Cambridge check out the Elm Tree – very very
So back to Oxford for a super
fun gig. The crowd were up and dancing the entire set and people had
come back from our gig there three weeks before and they knew the words
â€“ a pretty cool feeling! MJ was going off this particular
night, pulling out the most incredible bass solos you can imagine and
the crowd loved her! We were also joined by a local violinist who played
before us. She was pretty awesome and a lot of fun to be on stage with,
so hopefully when we are back in the UK she will join us for some more
After our show on Sat in Norwich
we drove back to London arriving at 3am, so tired. We just about had
our 2 nd crazy accident. The first was my fault â€“ I am
driver and MJ is in charge of directions …works way better this way.
So, I’m happily driving along, dancing along and singing along to my
new Patsy Cline CD and suddenly MJ leans over and grabs the wheel and
swings it toward her. I was on the wrong side of the road (yes I know
England is the same as Australia and I really don’t have any explanation,
maybe I was too involved in Patsy at the time) and we just missed an
oncoming van coming at us at around 100kms per hour! Really quite scary.
Well the second accident was slightly more scary. I fell asleep at the
wheel, which I have never done with all the driving I have experienced.
I don’t know who woke first but we were about to hit the side railing
again at about 120 kms per hour. And MJ saved the day once again. Talk
about a heart attack – bloody scary stuff. Oh, and did I mention
how I smashed the hire car!!! Yep, I have never smashed a car in my
life (actually I lie, I did back into a car once) So we are driving
along and I notice how incredible the sunset is I get all excited and
pull over and the as I am backing up to get the best position we hear
a smash and bang, I hit a huge rock and it scrapes the hell out of our
very brand new car. So it cost like a minimum of 500 aussie for doing
this. Add this to our two parking fines worth over $400 and our speeding
fines and the bank situation is not looking so good. Big ouch.
So â€“ us, being
so ‘clever’ drive to a Ford company and purchase some Apple Green paint
â€“ yes apple green. And we attempt to paint over the many
scratches …hmm not pretty at all. If we get a blind person checking
for smashes, then we will be just fine. Fingers crossed.
Our third near accident (well
now our fourth really) was on the way to the airport at 4am. Again ,
the wrong side of the road this time I blame MJ – she told me
to do it. Simple as that really. So I simply believed her and off I
went and as I get to the corner a car whizzes around it and misses us
by a metre or two. Fun I tell you! Really fun. Especially after only
three hours sleep.
Anyhoo, after nearly missing
our plane here we are in my all time favourite place – Interlaken, Switzerland.
We had our first show last nite. Huge crowd, pretty cool nite all round.
Today MJ and I went for a mountain hike, but didn’t quite make it to
the top. But he, “ we tried. Then we went for a scooter ride , much
easier way to get to great hights. Loved it. Love being back here. It
is my heaven. The most beautiful place – a town in between two
amazing lakes, surrounded by the amazing Swiss alps. We were given last
night a ticket to the top of Europe by the owner of Balmers. Very nice
prezzie, so we will hit the Jaungfrau in the next few days. We also
want to go water rafting, canyoning and rope climbing.
Should be a great couple of weeks.
Bring it on!
May 16th – TOO FAT TO PLAY BRITTNEY
So the second part of the tour.
Right now MJ is driving and we are heading back to Brighton. We will
stop at Fiona’s houseboat for a well needed cup of tea and then head
to our gig in Hastings.
Friday night saw us at the Cherry
Tree Inn, Debenshire. Just near Ipswich. Pretty cool country typa pub.
We got there and were told there was no PA. Luckily local lad Smiley
came and saved the day by taking us to James house. Yep James is a winner
and leant us his PA…thanks James, you’re a star!
Back to the venue and after some
nice home made pasta we start the show. Well, it was definately ‘interesting’.
400 people in town headed to a footy three coarse dinner and dance,
so we weren’t left with that many people. We did however get a big bunch
of young guys …very rowdy young guys who obviously are into their
top 40 shit and not original roots live music. So, as were trying to
play one lovely guy calls out “why don’t you play us some Brittney”,
he follows the request with yelling out “actually, no, you’re way too
fat for that”. Oh I really liked that guy…so sweet, so caring, I’m
surprised I didn’t feel the urge to go home with him. Then five minutes
later I get the next lovely comment. This time another guy who calls
out “My first dog’s name was Toby”. I don’t think you want to know my
response to this guy. The owner Zoe ends up coming up and politely asking
them to shut up or leave. So they left. Which was awesome, coz then
we had a lovely crowd who wanted to hear the music. So the last set
was great, a good bunch of people enjoying and having a dance.
The next day was lovely, we headed
into this beautiful little town, I forget the name, but the streets
were gorgeous and crazy to drive on, all big enough for one car only,
in the most stunning countryside. Anyway we spent the day looking at
the little markets and stalls and this amazing castle. How cool is it
that you can be driving along and you look over and there stands a medieval
castle. And again we seemed to spend the most time in the gourmet cheese
shops. We found James in there and again he was a winner and gave us
some yummy brie for free …thanks again!!
Saturday night back in Norwich
(this time a lot more fun as local guitarist Ross joined us for the
two sets â€“ nice work!), then Sunday Harrogate. What a
cool town. I loved this place. And we loved the venue too. The blues
bar/cafe. Totally our type of crowd and set up, really enjoyed the gig.
This gorgeous young boy came and sat on the stage and after a while
hands over this piece of paper saying “Hi Toby, my name is Hamish, I’m
nine.” A while later he hands over another paper, this type this drawing
of a guitar on fire, he named is Fireuitar, It was a very sweet moment
-he even became our personal roadie as well for the day – even
We had a few interesting things
happen on the road too. While MJ had to stop on the side of the road
â€“ I stupidly go walking through a bush with no shoes on
and my pants rolled up and then suddenly I have this crazy itching and
stinging sensation over my legs and feet and these lumps start coming
up!! Some sort of poison plant. It was the last thing I needed while
we were lost and late once again! Luckily the pain only lasted for under
an hour. Another lesson learned.
Next stop was my favourite …Bath.
What a place. Filled with so many amazing heritage building and churches
and cute cafes. And of course the Roman Baths . I went in and explored
for just over an hour â€“ really quite amazing. And the
gig was great, the Porter. Love this place. Really intimate setting,
cool little round tables and round chairs, lovely people, fosters beer!!
What more could you want. The manager said it was the happiest audience
he’d ever seen at the Porter, so I was pretty stoked to hear that comment!
We got to have a day off in Bath
which was beautiful and then here we are ready for another Hastings
gig â€“ could be interesting, lets hope we don’t get lost,
and have more people there than last time!!
Ciao for now.
2207: MAY 10th – GETTING
LOST IN THE UK
it’s been two weeks since we arrived, and it feels like forever ago.
I met up at Heathrow airport after a pretty shitty long flight (MJ only
took six or eight hours, lucky girl!). We jumped in our hire car, a
lovely manual olive green ford, pretty much brand new. Experienced my
first bad coffee in a plastic cup …the machine didn’t give change
we headed to Oxford . Our first destination. The trip went really well
considering I haven’t driven before in the UK â€“ so I thought
this was a sign of how sweet and easy and non-stressful our driving
would be. I have never been more wrong in my life!!
we should have got a sponsorship from panadol, or red bull, or Nescafe,
or, well who knows.
bed and breakfast on the first night was really a shithole.It smelt
like dead nannas, and once in the shower you couldn’t seem to get out,
mainly because the sink was in the way and you had to very tightly suck
in your tummy, rub up against the wall, and hold tight to squeeze past.
Lesson number one, the English B&bs are rather different from our
B&Bs. Oh oh, am I complaining already …yupget ready for it!!
our first gig was on the Friday night at the X in Oxford . It went down
really well, we were placed in between two very heavy rock-punk chick
typa bands. Well suited hey!! HA! I was again a little stressed, but
in the end it was all good, and we managed to sell a lot of cds which
is great, and we were invited back to play a couple weeks later which
is a bonus. Thanks AL , lovely lovely lady who runs the place.
go to catch up with my aunty, uncle, granny and couz in Oxford . They
were in London a few days and came and visited. Pretty much we had six
people in the car, all our luggage and instruments, and we drove around
what seemed to be all day looking for parking. Lesson number two, there
is NO parking in England . None whatsoever! We also kept driving alongside
police cars, and then even tried to find illegal parking at a police
station. Poor old Gran couldn’t move in the back, sitting on someone’s
lap with a bass and a guitar on her lap. Always treat your elderly with
respect and kindness, oops.
to our next gig. Won’t mention any names or places here. We drove over
four hours to this gig. We had got lost. It should’ve taken us maybe
two hours. But the road systems are crazy. I mean, WA touring is hmmmm
should we go north to Broome, or south to Margs. Hard really. Well you
get to UK and there’s M25, A1525 then more Ms, more As (thousands it
seems!) and meanwhile you are driving over 130 kms per hour trying to
keep up and there’s no speeding signs, yet there are warning signs for
speed cameras EVERYWHERE. We have been honked many a time in the past
three. . .we hate the roads in the UK .
Moving on with the story. We get to our next venue. And the guys have
no clue who we are they have never heard of us … the past owner had
booked us (he had told us all was cool with the new owners), but apparently
not. So, we hunted down the past owner in another pub, to say he looked
slightly frightened when he saw me, is an understatement. But, we were
told no gig, no accom, no nothing..¦.so back on the road for
another 4 hours. This time heading to Brighton .
after midnight, totally exhausted. My very good mate Fiona lives in
a houseboat. Hmmâ€¦sounds interesting?? Well it is.
I will post some photos for you to see. It’s crazy. And a little smelly.
Yep, one of those toilets you can’t flush you put your bog roll in an
itty bitty bin next to you â€“ so yes you get to breathe
in other peoples shit while you are trying to relax on the loo. Lovely!
But, the houseboat is cool in many ways lots of artwork, crazy nik-naks
and tiny rooms. Plus I got to hang with Fi and I miss her so sooo much,
so it was awesome to see her. The low ceilings proved quite difficult
for me however, and I nearly knocked myself out several times during
our three nights there!! Brighton – I love Brighton . Like an even better
version of freo. Great pubs, cafes, shops, people, awesome vibe. So
we looked forward to our one Brighton gig at the Joogleberry Playhouse
â€“ a beautiful theatre. The gig was really awesome. Great
crowd, really responsive which was great. Would play there again anyday.
Thanks beautiful Fiona for spoiling us and making me laugh!
we headed into London , for our one off London show. We arrived feeling
pretty smelly as we hadn’t showered for a few days due to the off smelling
toilet. It kinda felt dirtier showering then not showering, if that’s
possible. And no amount of lavender spray can get rid of that. Or nag
arrive to meet my sister’s best mate Jade in Mayfair . Jade greets us
with a huge smile and informs us she has a ‘little treat’ for us!! Well,
the little treat was a HUGE treat, the top suite in a hotel room for
two nights! With all free alcohol and food! It was lush. The most perfect
treat I’ve ever had! Thank you Jade- our complete hero! We love you!
London gig was pretty spesh. Well, it was spesh to see lots of my mates
who I hadn’t seen for ages. So the gig was very short and sweet but
the night was great. Thanks to my mates who rocked up – thank god for
you guys -you rocked that tiny pub!
in London was sweet due the fact Jade spoiled us rotten. She took us
to one of the top five restaurants in London called “Sketch” and wow
it was just incredible. Never seen anything like it. It was a few days
filled with luxury and great food!
stopâ€¦Leighton Buzzard. We got lost again. Funny
that. MJ was on directions may I add. Yep, not my fault. Completely
hers. Of course. Nothing is ever my fault right!?
pub in Leighton. Great crowd. Great curry. Very country pub like. But
we liked it a lot.
to get very lost the next day too. See any pattern here?
to Norwich . A very cool venue. The gig was pretty packed out- several
drunkens, but some cool people too â€“ didn’t get much sleep
however since Donavon Frankenreiter CD was playing downstairs loudly
from 3-7am. To think the day before that I had actually enjoyed Donavon.
Shame really. We also had the pleasure during our sleepless night to
hear someone having sex right next to us â€“ and not just
any typa sex the sex where either she was really enjoying herself, or
she just liked to fake it so loudly that all of Norwich could here.
Time to get outta there we thought. So we were in the car by 7am heading
to Manchester to perform at the “Girls Got Blues” Fest. The countryside
was just stunning during the drive up there. The gig was cool. Got to
see some great artists perform – my favourite being GeekGirl – check
them out – very cool.
then we have been hanging in London again with my mate Jas (been mates
for 20 years) and her fiancÃ© Louis. Having fun. Did a gig
last night near Hastings â€“ well, it was our second smallest
gig on record â€“ total people at one point in the room
was 11 including us! But it turned out really quite fun â€“
luckily the people there were a lot of fun.
in London now just chilling until tomorrows gig. Getting spoiled once
again by Jas and Louis. Bring on the Spanish tapas.
I know that by the end of this tour, I will have gained so much knowledge
on overseas touring. We are definitely having fun, but it’s a lot of
hard work. Word of warning don’t ever ask a touring musician “how’s
your holiday going”. This is not a holiday at all. It’s a huge learning
experience, new venues, new audiences, new road systems, new rules,
and at the same time I think we are managing to keep our sense of humour
with the whole thing.
my hat off to any musician who is out there doing this â€“
the likes of Carus â€“ well done!
we have another six or seven gigs here, then four in Switz and maybe
a few in Holland . Bring it on!! And thanks to any crew who have come
and watched our shows and also to the people who have bought an album!
We love you!
18th- Life and stuff
Bit of a time for writing.
Maybe? Not sure what about. Feeling pretty tired. I am so over organising
this UK tour. Its my first time, and its yep its been bloody difficult
putting together so many shows. I have just paid for car hire, some
accom, let all my mates know we will be doing some couch surfing while
we are there (thanks guys!) and well, just trying to work out how to
get from one destination to another. MJ is meeting me there. Haven’t
performed together for six months – should be good. Then Miss Lucy Fisher
will join us for a few shows. Luce has been over in South America –
so we haven’t seen each other for nearly six months. Will be great to
see Luce and hear all her stories.
I feel like this year is whizzing
by. I counted and in the first four months of this year there has been
58 shows. Quite a lot really. And I look at my plan for the next six
months and its crazy – UK , Switzerland , south west WA tour, QLD/NSW
tour, North/West WA tour, Cross Canada tour, then a full WA state tour.
Plus a new album and a Red Rooster single. All in six months!
I have moved home. Back with
my fam , and actually its going quite well. I get to cook in a nice
clean kitchen (not so clean after I have been in there), be with my
fam who crack me up most the time, do the Home and Away thing, and most
important spend time with my very beautiful sister. So its all worth
it for me.
Everything seems to be happening
around me right now, mates getting married and other pregnant, people
travelling, friends dealing with family illnesses. Its all happening
and its all kind of overwhelming. And still, I cant seem to write. Probably
because I am stuck behind this computer organising tours and car hire
and trying to get my name out there. If you know of any good managers
please send them to me!
Looking back at my last journal
entries I have missed some major things!! Like CANADA !! Yep I went
to Canada for a month last September. Pretty awesome. Did about ten
shows with MJ in Winnipeg – funny little town, but had a ball. I especially
like Calgary – and while staying in Calgary with one of my best mates
Julz – well we had a few adventures. We did Banff and Canmore (stayed
in a beautiful motel, spa bath, late nite bbq, mountains – amazing)–
could you get anymore beautiful!??!? Also did Lake Louise which is honestly
one of the most beautiful sites I’ve ever seen. We went on canoe for
an hour or so. The water was so incredibly cold, just so yummy. …
And we did a road trip across
the border of America .
Three towns in a few hours
–Very memorable. It involved the mission to find huckleberry pie. It
included the greatest love of all from Whitney Housten. (on repeat)
It involved twangy accents. and crazy dogs. and towns called Shelby
, Kevin and Sunburst. It was funny. We had set off with our country
hats to America in our hire car, Whitney blasting from the speakers.
Met some strange Americans. Went to three very weird, very backwards,
very redneck towns.
First stop – (we were in Montanna
by the way) Sunburst. Nothing sunny bout this town. We find the
one shop – it has a big sign saying fresh hot donuts and an ATM inside.
So i ask the girl kindly for some donuts. She stares at me blankly.
So I ask again. maybe she has a hearing problem?? I ask again. Then
again, this time in my best american twangy accent. Finally she says
back to me without smiling, total monotone –“ the boss ain’t cook any
today.” We ask to use the ATM – three times and again she looks
blankly and says “Ain’t working today” . Very special girl… wander what
she does for entertainment??
A town called Kevin. Yep. A pub that had closed down, some houses and
cars that belonged in a time wap. Not a person to be seen. A playground
and the Kevin city hall. And flags. Everywhere they have that blue red
and white flapping around in your face. Kevin is the perfect town for
a murder. This Wolf Creek .
Next stop. Shelby . We were on
a mission for huckleberry pie.We had no luck. Instead we settled for
a few budweisers in a tiny pub filled with pokies, old popcorn machines,
pizza and loud Americans all wearing football jersies. A 65 year old
man tried feeling me up. That was nice. He was slightly pissed, and
began telling me about his battery operated guitar which was missing
a few strings and missing a battery. He even told me how you can actually
record yourself these days – on a cassette. “have you heard of a cassette
Miss Toby??’ (he was serious) I replied “why, no sir, I don’t think
I have”….so John told me all about cassette tapes and how you can record
your voice and listen back to it. He then was kind enough to try and
kiss me while singing one of his own originals called “it hurt so bad”
And trust me, it hurt so bad just listening.
And that was that. Back to Canada
. I drove. Wrong side of road. 3 hours. 140kms. Nice ey?? It was such
a fun day. So many funny moments and lots of laughs and silliness. Yvonne-Rae,
Julie-Mae and Toby-Fae had a toot hootin day in America .
Well yeh,. That was Canada .
Came back, with my new bass player MJ – ready to hit WA. MJ had done
the east coast a few times with her old band Nine Mile. They were supporting
the likes of Ben Harper, Pete Murray and Xavier. So she thought she
knew what touring was like in Australia . (you know, hotel rooms,
huge concerts, great food, only half hour sets, good pay)Well,
she thought she knew until we took her to our first stop – MARVEL LOCH?
Where the hell is that I bet you are aksing. On the way to Southern
Cross. And yep – its another one of those Kevin, Shelby typa towns.
A little scary. We were not allowed the steak. Costs too much – don’t
wanna waste that good cow on tourists like us! But the gig was fun.
The crowd were pissed. And after an hour or so they had decided we weren’t
the smelly hippies they had decided we were when we had arrived. ‘Bloody
hippy music shit!”
Well, we began to teach MJ what
WA touring is like. Endless hours on the road, early mornings, bad road
house food, biltong, unpacking your own huge PA system, doing tour own
sound, playing for three hours, selling your own merch, packing up your
PA system, getting to bed late, and waking up a few hours later to do
it all again. Driving through 40 degree heat – with an non-airconditioned
van – not much foot room, a cd player that jumps every four metres and
red dirt. Easy!
But – the tour was great – Elliot,
Lucy, MJ and I. Sold huge amount of merch, played some new places –
Port Hedland, Marvel Loch, Murrin Murrin Mine. Was all pretty cool We
were late to our Pannowonicka Gig. We get out the car there at about
8.15pm . Thiking we were on stage at 8.30pm . The bar manager “bastard”
(yes that’s his name) comes out to ‘greet’ us. I tell the gang to start
unpacking while I deal with getting told off. And boy, did I get told.
I got told we had 15 minutes to set up the sound and be on stage or
we don’t get paid. And did we do it- sure did! And did it go off – sure
did! Our gig turned out heaps of fun – and Bastard and I were buddies
once again. These are the memories that make our touring experience
interesting and memorable.
You can make it big in the
industry in two different ways – you tour and tour and don’t stop touring
for years until the venues become sold out and you become a household
name. This is independent. Or, a big label puts shitloads of money into
you and you get a great album, a few top quality video clips and you
become a house hold name. Now of course we may want the second option
– but I would never give up the memories we have created in the past
I remember our first tour. The
excitement of packing. Of hitting the road. New audiences and venues.
And you get some of that excitement every time you hit the road. You
learn so much too. Lucy and I, for example, learned that you cant drink
half a bottle of Sambuka and jugs of Illusions and keep standing. We
learned you can fall off the speaker you’re standing on. And its embarrassing!
You learned that you cant be stoned when your driving because you believe
you are in a video games where all the kangaroos are your enemy and
you must kill them. We learned that some people are harder to travel
with – some don’t shower, some don’t like wearing clothes, some like
lavender way too much, some are escaping the law, some have several
personalities, some like to shag in your bed, some like to cry a lot.
But we also learned more about
our culture, our people, and their way of living. We learned about our
land and how huge it is, how our roads are endless. We leaned how to
look after my van (well, not really) We have had one van explode on
us years back which burnt Lucys arm – we missed a gig because of it.
Elliot and I, years later learned how to get lost in the desert (again
think Wolf Creek ) at midnight
with all of the lights flashing on the car. We decorated the van again
with hot coolent from the over heated radiator. We then did this again
recently in Exmouth – Joel was being the brave one – and BANG – he was
covered. So actually – we haven’t learned anything here other than its
time I buy a new van.
I learned about friendships.
I have the most amazing friends within this band and I count myself
very lucky. My main boys – Almin, Mike, Elliot and Jean. Couldn’t ask
for better mates. And all the wonderful people I play with – Jess, Lucy,
Joel, MJ etc. Such beautiful people.
We have had our times –(
no names mentioned)where I have screamed across a lonely car
park in Derby – screaming “you’re walking home” (so, maybe I should
have thought about that one first)– or band members telling other
band members they need mental help!! Yep – it all happens on the road.
But you just breathe it all in and keep driving
We have done so many miles together
and we keep getting in that van – so something must be going right!
Wow, I am babbling on here – maybe I will stop for a while.
All this car talk makes me stress
about driving in the UK ! God help me!
Thanks for listening. And thanks
for all the support. It means the world
February 8th -On stage with the Violent Femmes
hey there lovely people
i am writing from Brissy.
We arrived wed morn after no sleep and the red eye flight out of Perth
- to say we were buggered is an understatement. Julz our trusty road
manager picked us up and later that day headed to Byron Bay. My first
time there, my first gig there. The Rails Hotel. Pretty cool place.
We set up our ‘special’ pa system (thanks hamish) and the gig begins.
Duo with MJ and I. So half way through this rowdy bunch of American
guys start a bit of banter – we share a few jokes and they do some
backing vocals for my version of Piece of My Heart. During the break
we are informed they are non other than the VIOLENT FEMMES. Lead singer
wasnt there, so i didnt really recongnise them. After sitting with
them and sharing a few shots of jeiger they ask if they would be able
to joinMJ and Ion stage – the drummer Victor (who is amazing) and
Jeff on mando – who us also amazing. So we start our brand new
four piece band – we decided we were called ‘a leaf hit me’….hmm
dont know how that came about. so we played an hour set – heaps of
fun. The crowd suddenly got bigger, and they loved it. So the night
turned into a couple hours of craziness. We hung with the guys and
their tour managers and they ran the bar dry- Ihave never seen that
much jeigermesiter in one night being consumed. Was such a fun night…..
pitty i felt so messy in the morning. We had an early wake up call
from Julz as we had a lunch time show back in Brissy and one that
Did I mention that during
Red Rooster, I hit one of those heavy duty notes, stomped my foot
down (no shoes of course) and slammed down into a huge piece of glass.
It went straight through the skin, nice and deep and I started instantly
bleeding… a lot. Without missing a beat or a note, Julz comes over
and rips out the glass (foot in air, still playing!!) and teh song
went on. Painful to say the least. I think only half the glass is
out, and I am rather bruised. Thank god for the Jeiger. It defintaley
eased the pain!
soTthe good new was the Femmes invited us to go to their concert,
and to play on stage with them at the Tivoli in Brissy. Hmmm… didnt
have to think that hard about that answer! we did a bit of time swapping
with out gig, played our set with kasper on percussion at the tongue
and groove (very coolplace) and off we went to the femmes. we arrived
backstage and then got told “youre on, NOW”. Out we went first song!!
MJ on the slide whistle, me on percussion. the army song. Crowd was
1000 plus. And what a beautiful theatre.
great guys to be on stage with – lots of energy. Then we played for
“black girls” – mj on bass, me again on tambo. Their box player was
incredible. and Victor was going off. All of them were.
Then came my favourite femmes
song – gone daddy gone. And I did backing vocals!! So stoked.
Love that song so much. Was so much fun. We had some chats and we
are hoping to head over to the states maybe this year..so victor and
jeff are wanting to put together a show with mj and i and tour it
in America – so who knows.
Either way we had a ball.
met some great guys – with no egos attached who just have fun doing
what they are doing – and its been 26 years of touring for them. Cant
imagine that at all. Crazy really, and admirable.
We are off again for another show tonite. So far its been a great
August 14th – back from tour
The tour is over. It was smooth.
And fun. And the gigs were really quite awesome. Well, some of them.
Normally on tour I am ‘nanna’ . The boys know this. Every night after
a gig, little nanna goes to her room by herself and rests her little
throat. Boring hey. But its just the way I do it. Well, did it. This
tour we all decided it was best to drink. And we did it well I may add.
Always so much more fun to sit in a van for hours at a time with a hangover
right? You would think we would learn after a few days, but you just
don’t. It was a chirpy little tour really – lots of laughs and lots
of beautiful places and people.
We had a guy from Melbourne
come on tour with us – Joel. The story goes, when I was in Melbourne
doing this festival, after many beers I heard this sax player playing
with the Rob Sawyer band, I watched him for probably less than thirty
seconds and decided he was great and went and asked him if I could fly
him over for the tour. And he said ‘yeh sure whatever’. And then I sobered
up. And took the risk, and flew him over, and he is awesome! Great musician,
great entertainer and a great guy to be around.
We also took along Maera as
our support act. Which was a wonderful choice. It meant we were blessed
with her voice and songs every night, and then she would join us on
stage for a few songs which is always fun. We all travelled really well
together on this tour, which definitely helps!
Favourite spots? Coral Bay
and Monkey Mia of course. The Karratha festival was pretty huge. We
played to a crowd of over three thousand which was cool. But just before
the gig I somehow managed to smash the boot of my van on my head, leaving
me with a huge lump, and a massive headache. Somehow in Mad Man, I totall
lost the plot, forgot the chords, the words, the guitar solo – I went
all dizzy and we caught it on film – pretty embarrassing to say the
least! Pannawonica was hilarious! What a funny town! Good food but –
there’s a plus! Dongara was fun as usual – got the crew going on that
tiny dance floor. Oh, and we spent a day at the farm/dam with our beautiful
Gerro friends again which was just so nice and relaxing. We have the
best group of friends up there – we love you guys!!
We got to swim in Coral Bay
. So yummy there. Best view ever from our room. What a great spot. We
played there on the Wednesday and the gig went so well that we went
back on the Monday and played again – you couldn’t get us off the stage
that night. We finished the tour on a huge night in Coral Bay . I had
no voice, yet we managed to play four hours non stop of music – thanks
Maera! Then headed to the beach with many wines and beers and started
fire twirling. Beer and fire not so good together. We were meant to
wake up nice and early but kinda ended up leaving later than we expected
with very sore heads. Fifteen hours later we were home once again.
It was also awesome to have
Pippa, Stace and Sis come visit! Three of my favourite people ever!
Heaps of fun all round.
Thanks again to everyone who
made this tour so much fun, and such a success – we sold more cds than
we ever imagined – so I hope you are all enjoying them!
I am off to Canada in two
weeks – for a few gigs over there. My first time and I cant wait!
See you all soon
June 28th – wintertime blues.
Bring back the summer time. I
can only handle the winter when I am in bed with many dunas, or when
its raining and I am warm inside, or even better when I’m up north and
I’m sunbaking! That’s when winter is okay with me. Soon…. we will be
back up the west coast, soaking in the sun and the ocean.
I’m really looking forward to
the next state tour. I have taken a risk and invited a guy called Joel
over from Melbourne to play with us on the tour. I heard him playing
sax after our set was over at the Warm Up For Winter Fest in Melbourne
. And his stage presence really grabbed me, so me being me, grabbed
the chance to play with someone new. That’s what I do love about our
band, so many wonderful dedicated soloists to perform with, all whom
I love and admire in so many ways.
Haven’t posted a journal page
for ages. Sorry about that. Lots going on. I spose since the beginning
of the year I have been so busy and haven’t really put aside any time
to write down my thoughts. So here they are.
Well, I wanted to say a massive
thank you for the 500 plus people who came along to the launch on May
20. What a night. So much of a build up, stress and anxiety, and in
the end it all ran so smoothly. We didn’t even manage to have a full
rehearsal, which is kinda crazy when you are about to perform with 14
people on one stage! Lucky for me my musos all learnt their parts and
stepped up for the night. I was sooo impressed!
I remember when I first stood
up the stage and looked out to the crowd – and wow! I wasn’t expecting
that many faces staring back at me, all so supportive and all smiling
and having fun and enjoying themselves. So to be honest I think my only
nervous bit was the first line of the first song, and then I stood back
and thought “Yes, this is awesome. This is what I have worked so hard
for, time to have fun!!” And that’s exactly what we all did. It was
one huge party for all. The musos not only looked hot but played brilliantly.
My highlights of the night? I
loved the strings verses brass bit down with the audience. Heaps of
fun. Also loved the impromtu performance of Nina Simone’s ‘Sea-Line
Woman’. Permission was a winner with all the soloists going hard at
But my three favourite songs
on the night were definitely Dream of Me, Breathe and Blue.
Dream Of Me I decided to put
down my guitar and sing without my little safety net! Never done this
before, and it was fun dancing around the stage and having that complete
Then Breathe….well….I had in my head
how it would sound, but it was so much better on the night. As I stood
side stage and listened in the pure darkness as this wonderful mini
orchestra slowly and beautifully introduced Breathe, I actually had
tears rolling down my face. Hearing Sarah on the cello by itself in
the silent room, then Mike on the guitar, then Pete on bass, then Almin
on drums with that strong heart beat, slowly Jess and Fiona joined in
on violins, Pen on the flute, Dave and Lucas on brass, and Maera’s powerful
voice, Mo’s keys, and Arun’s percussion with Jean-Guy finally playing
on top of it all – it was a magical moment. It felt like the stage was
lifting as the sound built up. I could’ve stood there for so much longer
just listening, but it was my turn to go on stage, and I loved every
moment of it. The build up was beautiful and intense. Easy to get lost
in the music.
And then of course the finale,
Blue – with all fourteen players on stage. I was quite worried about
not being able to pull it off – but we all did, and I don’t think any
of us were ready to leave the stage!
So there you have it a great
night. Sold a huge amount of albums which was a great feeling at the
end of the night – so again, thank you everyone who helped out, performed,
came along, danced, smiled, bought the albums and had anything at all
to do with the night. So much gratitude to you all! Five hundred and
thirty people! Sweet!
Whats going on theses days? Well,
our time with Almin is coming to an end – although he will ALWAYS be
a part of the team, and I know he will join us whenever possible. Elliot
is returning from South America next week and will be back with us in
full force which is also very exciting. I just wanted to say a massive
thanks to Almin for the past five months – the drumming, the support
and the friendship. Its been so much fun, so chilled, and many many
laughs. You are a wonderful drummer and I love what we have together
on stage – you are a champ Mr Fulurija!!
And of course a massive welcome
home to Elliot – we have missed you and your funny one liners! And cant
wait to be playing together again!
Its about one year now that Pete’s
been on bass with us – and the more I play with him the more I realise
what a talented guy he is. Not only can he funk it up, but he can find
these perfectly beautiful melodies/riffs at the exact right moments
in a song, which I love. Not bad at all.
Well, that’s really about all
that’s going on. Gigs, organising upcoming tours, trying to get gigs
out of Perth, trying to flog the cd – we need all your help with making
requests to all radio stations- It only takes a few minutes! We have
a new song that I’m enjoying. It’s called Missing You – its fairly universal
in the way that all of us can relate to it in some way or another. Look
forward to recording it in the near future.
Well, that’s about enough computer
time for me. Hope to see you all at a gig sometime soon. Thanks again
for all the recent support. Much love.
April 5 – Little stressed.
Hanging at mum and dads place.
Good place to be. Good company. Good advice. Mostly.
My head is everywhere as the launch comes closer. So much to do- so
much to organise, so much to criticise, So much to be happy about, so
much to be nervous about, arghghgh I’m think I am going a little
crazy about it. I look at my bank account and there’s nothing
there- all is bare. How do I come up with the funds for such a project.
But I do trust it will work. Deep down I trust my own ability and my
songs, and I really trust my musos. God they are great.
The recording is nearly done. The graphics are on their way. Photo shoot
is happening on Sunday. Songs are nearly in order. MGM are on board.
Venue booked. Musos booked. Tickets starting to sell. Exciting really
I have named the album, “Renaissance”. Why you may ask??
Well, a few reasons. It means re-birth – a kind of new journey.
And for whatever reason I feel this is it for me. The journey is really
beginning and I’m enjoying the ride. New tunes, new ideas, new
band name (it is now just TOBY), new musicians, new sounds, new European
influence it seems, I think we have times in our life our re-birth and
maybe this is one of those times for me. And really, I just like the
word “Renaissance” – has a nice ring to it. You can
play around with it and it works.
Life is going pretty well. Its just a rollercoaster I spose all the
time. Now that Elliot is in South America (and loving it) we have Almin
back on drums. It all takes time. New songs, old songs, getting them
on track. No rehearsal time. I’m lazy when it comes to that. But
I like the way its going so that’s cool.
March was fun. About 15 gigs all over the place. Katanning – well,
that was interesting to say the least. Stepped in to the tiny smokey
pub thinking ‘oh shit, we drove all the way to end up here??’.
But it was fun. And the people were fun to watch. That’s the good
part about being on stage – you get to observe a lot! Dunsborough
was awesome. I love it there. Great crowd. Great sound. And Nannup Festival
– awesome! Really beautiful, fun, frollicky crowd, all up and
dancing having a great time – about 500 or more people in the
crowd just enjoying the music. Great feeling.
Then of course there was Dongara. What a ripper. We were running late.
The police then pull us over. We are driving with an un-registered trailor,
with lights and brake lights not working. We all get out (six of us)
stand on the road, acting dumb, for about twenty minutes. The policeman
gets out his screw driver and rips off the number plate. Sorry uncle
Steve. Your trailor is ruined. But off we head. Now so late. And worried.
We were meant to start at 8.30pm. We arrive 9pm. A huge crowd. Biggest
we have had in Dongara. They are cool, coz they see us running around
like maniacs being the feral looking roadies that we are at that point.
We set up and I shower in one minute and thirty eight seconds. Then
the sound system I hired doesn’t work. The company gave us the
wrong leads. We are totally screwed. Meanwhile the owners aren’t
too happy. And they let me know of this. My police story doesn’t
seem to cut it. Finally Lynn, a lady in the audience runs home and gets
us a PA. Hoorrraaa for Lynn. Go Lynn. Thankyou Lynn. And we start. We
were meant to perform on the big outdoor stage, but we play inside.
And all the many people who would fit comfortably in the beer garden
are now shoved into this tiny intimate room. And we have no stage. So
after a while, the owner is slow dancing it up with another guy, and
they fall, right onto my guitar. They hit the guitar, and I keep on
singing and strumming and simply step aside so they land right on the
drum kit. Almin keeps drumming. We keep playing “Pass me another
vodka and lime…..” and they scurry around on the floor then
finally stand up with bruises and cuts on their faces. Pretty funny.
But no so funny when twenty minutes later another man comes crashing
down. This time he rises, with blood dripping down his face. Does he
notice? Not at all. Does he spill my wine. Certainly does. Am I impressed.
No. Not really.
But the gig was awesome. Really good fun. Really silly and fun crowd.
They all seemed to know the words, which always makes me smile! We like
Dongara! We also like Geraldton. We always do. Love the people! Love
the food! Just love it.
Next weekend we hit Ravenswood. Then we play at Williams Narrakine Winery.
With a seven piece band. Because the year before I drink too much wine
and promise the owner I will give him a seven piece. Oops. But I am
glad I did. Heaps of fun. Outdoor show. Lots of wine and cheese. The
electricity went off, and in the pitch black, Lucas starts belting out
an awesome sax solo. Crowd loves it. We steal a lot of cheese and bring
some wine back to our cute cabins and make a night of it. All good.
Next year we are booked for a nine piece band. I cant seen to keep my
Freo gigs have been fun as usual. Especially our last gig at Clancys.
What a super crowd. Heaps of crew wearing “Toby and Code Red’
shirts and some guys wearing “Toby and Code Red’ undies
over their pants. Always a hot look. Always a way to pick up. Other
guys that is. Or maybe superwoman.
I’m off on an east coast tour in May. I think nine gigs in ten
nights. With Nathan Kaye, Carus, Epicure, and a few others. First time
in Adelaide and Byron. Also doing Victoria and the Sunshine Coast.
Cant wait. Although it is kinda really bad timing as the launch is five
days after I arrive home. That scares me slightly!
Anyhoo, its time for me to go drink another cup of tea with my fam,
and then head back to my cute little messy home. Thanks for reading.
Thanks for the support. Thanks for buying your tickets – now!
That’s a hint!!!
Hey there. Just a quickie.
Thinking about 2005. Now that there’s only one day to go.
So, the highlights. A few spring to mind. Wignalls Vintage Wine festival
was a definate stand out – maybe even number one. Doing our first
show in the day was great, but then playing straight after Tex Perkins,
and just before the Waifs, was the ultimate spot to get. So we were
very happy with the show and with the response.
Fremantle Blues and Roots was another highlight, took me a while to
settle into the show, but the crowd were so supportive and enthusiastic
that soon I forgot how shitty the fold back was and got into the groove.
And had a ball. And of course the Bridgey Blues Fest stands out as a
As for tours, the October tour up to Broome was wicked. The shows went
off, but we got some time in Monkey Mia and Coral Bay so that made it
East Coast gigs were pretty cool. I loved the gig in Brissy at Three
Worlds with MJ Taylor. Such a beautiful intimate show. Cody and I went
to Sydney supporting Eugene Hideaway Bridges- all shows were really
fun and it was great to explore Sydney. Melbourne – well I always
love Melbourne, and the shows with Bomba were awesome. Loved seeing
Bomba live. Can’t wait to work with Nicky Bomba in February.
Having Pete join the band was a really interesting time. It was hard
to say goodbye to Cody since her was there for three years, but Pete
has added such a new sound, it its really exciting. Great guy to be
around as well which helps! Finally started writing again. So I am pretty
happy with the new tunes – Goodbye Baby, Photos in The Sand, Blue
etc. Can’t wait to record them next year.
I got to see some great live music as well this year which I just love.
Michael Franti and also the Doors (with 3 original players) at the Moonlight
Fest. The Violent Femmes and Jack Johnson at Blues and Roots. Janis
Ian at Fly By – what a beautiful concert. Also Luka Bloom at Fly
By – when I was lucky enough to support him. Great songwriter
and guitarist. Ozamatli, Bomba, MJ Taylor, Ryan Toohey, Hirst and Greene,
John Butler Trio, Hilltop Hoods, Little Birdy – the list goes
I’ve also had a great year socially with my wonderful friends
and family. I love where I live and who I live with, my sister has been
a star again this year, and I am feeling pretty bloody good about life
So there you have it – the best bits of 2005.
Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou
To all of you who have supported Toby and Code Red during 2005- there’s
a few stand outs – Jean, Jay and Arian, Trisha, Andrew and fam,
dreadlocked Andrew, Julz and kazz, the JTC girls, and of course the
lovely Stace and the very wonderful Jasmine. Also a big thanks to my
fam and extended fam, and to Cole and also Frank.
Have a wonderful new years everyone, and see you in 2006.
December 17 – End of Year Rant
I really can’t believe
that it is Christmas only next week. How crazy is that. Where has this
year gone?? What stands out?? Why does it all seem to blend in together
like one really long day? And what am I going to get my sister for Christmas?
Too many questions for a Saturday morning.
Only three more gigs to go for 2005. Feels rather strange knowing we
are going into yet again another new year. It does have that feeling
like you can start a fresh, or try something new or do something kinda
crazy. Hmmm, what will I do?? Well, I’m going on my annual camping
trip in beautiful Yallingup with a huge group of family and friends
– about 40 of us. We have done this since the day I was born.
Two weeks of camping, happy hours, laying around reading, sunshine,
flies, bakery goods, beach in morning, body bashing at Rabbits beach
in the avo, and dining out here and there. Not bad really. We do camp
in style I must say. We even have fridges in our main kitchen tent!
Not bad hey. It really is my favourite time of the year – with
my awesome fam and extended family. Such a loud rowdy fun bunch of people,
always lots of laughter. My most favourite childhood memories are always
from our times camping together.
I used to take charge every year and organise a massive concert. Sometimes
we would have up to 50 or more of us camping, so that meant there were
a lot of people for me to boss around! I would organise the acts, the
songs, the dances, the programmes, the judges, the prizes, the stage
and setting and everything else that makes a good camping concert. And
of course I would get the lead part in almost all the plays! Not at
all an attention seeking child. They were always heaps of fun, until
one year I became violently ill the day before the big show. I was 12
years old, and had to get a needle in my ass to stop me from vomitting
(and other lovely things). Let’s just say the needle didn’t
do its job. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the concert all set
up – with fifty chairs and the mini stage. They were actually
going on with the show without me! Who would give directions? Who would
dress the other kids? And most importantly who would be my understudy?
I remember laying in my tent in the most pain I’d experienced,
just crying because I couldn’t be out there joining in. and I
spose my point is, I knew back them that I wanted to be a part of something
big, with a stage, an audience etc.
And now I sit here looking over the past few years of running Toby and
Code Red, and I do feel really proud. We have come along way, and we
have such a massive massive massive way to go. I take my hat off to
anyone who is in this business, making money, making fans, and making
good music, and still remaining sane. Its such a learning journey, so
many highs and lows, like riding a really strange wave, or rollercoaster
or something similar. But I do love it. Whenever I walk on to stage
and start playing and singing, then everything falls into place in my
life, I stop worrying about these silly little things that seem to worry
me off stage. Its such a great feeling to own.
November this year was definitely a stand out month for the band. About
twenty or so shows, all great in their own ways. We had a residency
at Paddos on Wednesday nights, and we love playing here. The sound is
fantastic, and there’s a great dance floor and great crew. We
also had our Thursday night residency at Clancys which we always walk
away from smiling. Such a sun crowd comes along, plus we have been getting
into the seafood before shows, yumyum!
We had a couple of support shows this month. First was Richard Clapton
(“Girls On The Avenue”) at the Leopold. It turned out a
really great show, as we had an entire new audience at our fingertips,
which is always a challenge, but I can safely say we seemed to win them
over. We also supported Greg Arnold (Things of Stone and Wood) and Nick
Barker. At the Balmoral in Vic Park – such a great venue. Lucy
and I did a duo show, and it was really chilled and cruisy.
Lucy came over for a week to play with Carus and with us. Was great
to have her back on board, and back on stage. What a player she is!
Blows my mind still!
The big weekend was definitely Bridgetown Blues Fest. Sold out! Huge!
Loved it! Was on a high all weekend. We had Friday night off, so we
listened to a few bands and had a dance. Got a fairly decent sleep.
Next morning we were up early since our show started at 10am. I had
to ask the organisers for the earliest possible show since one of my
dearest of friends, Emma, was getting married that afternoon in the
Swan Valley! So I was a little worried people would still be asleep
or far too hangover to make it to the show.
So we started at 10.05am. and there was not a person to be seen in the
Geegeelup tent. I can’t say I wasn’t at all stressed about
this. But halfway through the first song the crowds started heading
down. The security had decided to lock them all out and wouldn’t
let them in for some reason. So thankfully within a couple of minutes
the place was packed! And you couldn’t wipe the smiles off our
faces. It was a really enjoyable set, people up dancing and singing
along, showing so much support. It really is a wonderful festival. It’s
our third year in a row, and I love it!
After the show I jumped in my car and drove four hours to the wedding.
And what a beautiful wedding. I couldn’t stop crying. Emma looked
like the most beautiful bride you can imagine. Was a really fun, silly,
gorgeous night all round. Next morning we jumped in the car and headed
back down to Bridgetown. Carus and the True Believers were on before
us cranking it up. Our set went off. The crowd was massive and the show
was just great. So much energy. Great response from audience and we
got to do a wicked extended version of Breathe as the encore. Was fantastic.
Sold nearly 200 CDs and lots of shirts and undies, which made me feel
That night was spent drinking sambuka and dancing to Blue Shaddy –
they absolutely went off, in every way possible.
A huge thanks to all the crew who made the weekend so enjoyable –
the organisers and the punters, and all the bands. Was an awesome weekend.
The weekend after, we had Ravenswood Blues and Roots. Another great
day, a whole heap of great music. A lot of drinking, dancing and laughing.
Really fantastic mini-festival. Rob Sawyer, Nick Barker, Loren, Carus,
Blue Shads etc.
So the last weekend was spent in Kalgoorlie. This is an interesting
place to play. We do three nights in a row. The crowds in kal are used
to hearing covers and seeing skimpy girls all over the place. So, when
we give them the opposite – it’s a toughy. But now there
is a crew up there who like what we do, so thankfully they all come
along and show their support. We did have a good weekend in the end.
The Friday night we were all pretty buggered. Saturday night went off,
and the crowds loved it. Sunday night was my favourite. Earlier show,
more acoustic, the crowd were there to listen. And it was so enjoyable.
Also a great weekend because I got to catch up with cousins and family
and some old mates. We were lucky enough to have Sarah join us on stage
with cello, which is always a treat. Great to catch up with Sar as usual.
She is moving to Perth, so we will be seeing and hearing a lot more
Well, I think I have gone on long enough, I really should get out of
my pyjamas and get a life. Speak soon. Thanks again. . .
2005: November 2 – Northern Coastal Springtime Tour
The tour. Well, I could probably
say it was our best yet. Nine gigs in about eleven days I think. New
places, new faces and some new songs. Dongara, Geraldton, Kalbarri,
Monkey Mia, Coral Bay, Exmouth, Karratha and Broome. It began with a
bang – and the high energy just kept coming. Dongara was heaps
of fun. Didn’t expect much on a Wednesday night, but the bar was
paccked and everyone was in high spirits. We tried out my brand new
song and it went down a treat. I think I will call it Blue. Its really
kinda ethnic, some say French, some say Greek, others Jewish or Latin.
Whatever it is, I love it. I really do.
Gerro was awesome as usual. I always love our gigs here. We had the
place full, with lines of people out on the street waiting to come in.
Which I must say, is a great feeling. My folks and sister came for the
first few nights which was great. Lots of nice lunches and café
Kalbarri, well you never know what to expect with Kalbarri, but this
particular night was great fun. Lots of our special friends in Gerro
made the trip up and that made the night even better. Love you all in
Monkey Mia – oh yeh. My favourite stop on this tour. What a beautiful
place. And we even had one night off. The gig was awesome. Outside stage,
heaps of great crew, lots of dancing, and major CD sales. The next day
was spent hanging on the beach, long walks, jamming and checking out
those amazing dolphins. So beautiful. Can’t wait to get back.
Coral Bay, the next gorgeous spot we were blessed in. lots of beach,
snorkelling and chilling out. The gig was really cool as well, great
crew up there, really great vibe, got the dance floor going and just
generally had fun and got to sit back later and finally get into a few
bevvies. Great stay all around and the accom was just awesome. All sweet.
Exmouth- well, this wasn’t our favourite. For a few reasons. I
mean, it really wasn’t bad at all, but I spose compared to rest
of the trip it wasn’t an actual stand out. Gig was fine, but yeh,
like I said nothing too stand out. We did get to see some dolphins and
massive turtles and manta ray.
Next stop, Karratha. Two gigs. Best steak on tour. Great crowds. Exept
for one particular dickhead who deciding to get on stage and start dancing
and tripping over our gear. Security were pretty onto it and got rid
of him the first time round. Second time we weren’t so lucky.
I let him go for a while, that was until he started humping my leg/side
like a really ugly dog on heat. Pelvic thrustations all round. My only
reaction was to (whilst still playing) kick him very hard, where he
stumbled over and became really mad at me. Not a pretty sight. Got a
little messy. But funny, in the end. I got drunk. Got very drunk. And
that was about all. Good stay all round. Except for my killer hangover.
I took aside the band and told them we all needed sleep and no hangovers
allowed since we had to get up at 5.30am to head off for Broome. The
band were all pretty organised, and I accidently drank way too much,
and then hit the hotel bar fridge. Bad idea. Luckily I didn’t
drive for at least five hours!
Finally we arrived in Broome nearly ten hours later, after nearly losing
petrol and having to drive at 50kms instead of 110. Plus it was bloody
hot. Arrived in Broome and there were straight away problems with the
accom and rooms. But once we sorted it we headed to Divers tavern where
Nathan Gaunt and The Black Eyed Dogs were already playing. Great to
see them play again – awesome as usual. I love the Broome crowds,
loads of familiar faces, great to catch up with some old crew. Really
fun gig, great to get back there, great way to end the tour. Being on
stage in 40 degree heat was just arhgghg, but also a bloody good feeling.
Spent the next day laying on beautiful cables beach, not bad at all.
Cant really top that off now can we.
So, Jean-Guy and Pete were smart and flew home that night. Elliot and
I went to dinner with some mates and went to the outdoor movies –
the oldest outdoor theatre in the southern hemisphere. Saw Wedding Crashers
– so funny.
Next morning I kinda really badly screwed up. While I was filling the
oil in my beloved van, I got distracted by the huge mango tree, working
out how I could steal as many of those mangos before we left. So I accidently
poured in way too much oil. I thought it wouldn’t be a biggy,
so off I went to the mango tree and started jumping around collecting
my yummy friends. Got three bags full until the hotel receptionist came
out yelling at me! So anyway, off we set on the inland road home.
The trip home – well, it was one big fuck up after another. The
oil problem caused so many other problems, over heating, which meant
we had to drive at half the speed, stopping a lot, pulling over strangers
on the side of the road etc. just horrible. Then we hit Marble Bar.
Somehow after this stop we got so heavy into conversation that we missed
our stop and after a couple of hours we finally realised we possibly
were lost. In the Little Sandy Desert. In the middle of the night. Pitch
black, suddenly on a gravel road. Yep – we really stuffed up.
To cut a long long long story short we left Tuesday morning and we were
meant to be home around 7pm the next day. But we ended up getting home
about 5pm Thursday, just before our Clancys gig.
We ended up staying in a donga in Marble Bar, Then the next day Elliot
decided to take the radiator cap off only after only about four minutes
of having the engine off, and what do you know, the very hot liquid
sprayed all over the inside of my van, just to add to our worries. We
ended up staying the next night in Meekatharra – with our mate
Brodie, at her nurses quarters!!!
It was so great to be home. But all in all we had a really wonderful
tour in every way possible. I loved the time with the boys and loved
the gigs. Happy. Very happy!
October 17- Ready to go
Well it’s been a quite
week. It’s the first time for years since we have had an entire
12 days off!! No shows whatsoever before next weeks tour begins. I am
so ready to get on the road. Bit worried about the actual drive, I just
spend over three grand on a new engine, and it’s the first time
I will drive with a trailor, so its best everyone keeps off the roads
for the next two few weeks. Apparently it over 40 degrees up north.
Kinda excited bout getting a tan again, if there’s any time for
that. We have only two nights off, but those nights are spend relaxing
in Monkey Mia and Coral Bay so I really can’t complain.
It will be the first state tour with Pete on bass, and Jean-Guy is also
joining us. Jean doesn’t make it a habit to leave the perimeters
of his precious Freo, so it could get quite interesting. I don’t
know which one of us will lose the plot first! I vote Jean for sure.
I’m going through one of those shitty emotional weeks for a few
reasons, and the only good part is I am starting to write again. When
I am at my happiest I don’t seem to write as much. But already
this week I am coming out with a few newies, and they are great. Really
enjoying watching the songs develop and I can’t wait to jam them
with the band. Such a great process, watching your own songs grow.
After the tour we come home to a busy November. 17 shows booked already.
Our favourite – Bridgetown Blues Fest. Lots of Clancys and Paddos
- our two favourite venues. Then every weekend we are away – down
south, and also Kalgoorlie.
Today I pick up a bunch of brand new Toby and Code Red shirts. They
look pretty cool I must say. You can order them over the net soon or
at live gigs. $20 only. I think.
Have you ever listened to the CD “Sacred Spirit” –
well its getting a thrashing this week. Definitely one of my most favourite
albums. It makes me cry nearly every time. I am so often blown away
by music. How can it be such a powerful force? What would be do without
Now I am just blabbing about nothing, so off I go….. ciao.
2005: AUGUST 16 – Melbourne Bomba Bomba
Hey there. Just arrived home
from Melbourne a couple of days ago. All up spent 12 nights there, and
what a great trip. I headed over with my fam – mum dad, my sis
and my aunty and uncle. We hired a 12 seater van and headed down to
Queenscliff where we stayed two nights – such a beautiful place.
We drove all around Lorne, Apollo Bay, Sorrento, Mornington etc –
saw about four whales that were so close in. What an amazing sight to
see, and the Great Ocean Road is incredible. Had a wonderful time with
As soon as we got back to St Kilda it was all on. Had a gig that night
with MJ Taylor – who I have absolutely fallen in love with –
his music that is. I played with MJ in Brisbane a few months ago –
what a songwriter, and his voice is like an angel with an attitude.
Great to be back on stage with Lucy who is now living Melbourne. Was
a really fun show, a smaller audience, but really appreciative which
is cool. The entire week all I think I did was shop, eat and drink coffee.
Lots of time with the fam (helps having them there, as I got to stay
in a four star hotel for the first week!) And ohhhh the coffee in Melbourne
is just so good! Can’t beat it. Got to catch up with heaps of
mates as well which was awesome. Did a few little gigs, and then Elliot
flew over and we supported Carus and The True Believers in Ballarat.
The drive there was insane. Lets just say I get scared driving with
Lucy in Perth, so in Melbourne its even more dam scary! We were running
late, it was dark and Luce thinks its okay to drive straight across
four lanes without checking any mirrors at all. We were pretty pleased
to get out of the car once we arrived. I tried getting out of the car
as it was moving, but it didn’t work.
So, the Karova Lounge was really cool. Great little pub for a country
town. The people there were really into it. Good gig – then Carus got
up and we all got to chill out and dance. On his final number Luce,
El and I got up and jammed with them – it went off – “Darwin
Jam” – great fun. Awesome to be on stage with Carus again.
Elliot and I were lucky enough to stay in a bloody beautiful apartment
on St Kilda road, just a few minutes from the city. Luxury! Spent the
weekend dragging eachother around shopping – Elliot got the funkiest
vintage leather jacket – I’m a little jealous I must say.
But… it doesn’t even come close to my new red leather boots
Had a great weekend supporting BOMBA for two nights. God they are amazing.
One of the best live bands I have ever seen. So fun, so positive, so
much energy, so many smiles and fantastic music to top it off. Also
really lovely guys to hang with. Both gigs were huge, and it was great
to have a completely new audience to win over. And I think we managed
to, which feels good.
Good to back in Perth now, getting amped up for our new residencies
– Thursdays at Clancys in Freo, and then Sundays at The Carine
– our old stomping ground. Could even be a regular Wednesday night
show coming up – venue still being confirmed.
So, once again the band has changed slightly. I think I like that about
Code Red – I get to play with some fantastic players, and it keeps
it interesting that’s for sure. We now have a new bass player
on board – for how long, we are not quite sure, but we will see how
it goes in the near future. His name is Pete Gallon and he’s an
awesome player. Really knows what he is doing and is once again one
of those musos who can play anything they pick up! Make sure you say
hi to him at the next gig, he’s a good guy to be around. I’m
forever learning in this industry. I think in the end all you can do
is depend on yourself, and hope that you get lucky when it comes to
band members, so far I think I have been very lucky.
I realised while on the flight home, that it’s been a pretty full
on year so far. I have got to perform in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne
and all around WA again. Brissy was wicked – only a few shows,
but got to see some of the most beautiful sites. Little Em and crew
took me to these beautiful waterfalls
And I also got to catch up
with some old mates, which I love. Sydney was cool. Cody and I went
over together and supported Eugene Hideaway Bridges. Three shows in
wicked venues, big crowds, great sound and sold shitloads of CDs. Again
I dragged Cody around shopping, and came home feeling happy, and broke!
Anyway, here I am rambling on again. Time for break. Actually, time
to get working on this grant – wish me luck.
JUNE 20 – Kalgoorlie Tour
Hey all. Just arrived home
from a weekend tour in Kalgoorlie. It was the first time that the band
has played in Kal. I did go there a while back while I was on tour with
Carus, but this time was really quite a different experience. Went up
with El, Cods, Jean and Stace. We were joined by Sarah on the cello
which was awesome, having not played together for sooo long, it was
so great to have Sar back on stage with us again. Adding so much to
our songs. So thanks Sar – you played really well, and I can’t wait
to play with you again – hopefully sooner this time. We were a little
worried to play In kal, as we have been told that the locals aren’t
too keen on original bands. But…I am very happy to say we had a great
crowd all three nights! Very stoked about that. Met some really funny
people this weekend. Friday night we were pretty tired after the big
drive. Saturday was a great day – catching up with some of my family
and with Sar. Then the show went well, and we all decided to go out
and hit the Kal pubs and clubs. Very amusing night. I hung out mainly
with my brand new friends Charlie and JO. Drinking way too much sambuka,
and then hitting the dance floors with my cous Matt and with Elliot.
Elliot, I found out has some hidden dancing talents – and lets just
say he can get down as low as you can possibly go on that dance floor!
We then hit some other dodgey nightclub, and by 5.30am I knew it was
time I hit my hotel room. Next day – well we were a very sorry sight
to see! Hangovers from hell. By then we were pretty over eating pizza
- it seemed this is all the bands are allowed to eat. Great pizzas -
but we were all pretty pizza-d out by the final night. Sunday nights
gig was really great. The first set was quite chilled and everyone was
there to really listen. I’m really enjoying playing my two new songs
that I wrote in Broome – “Photos In The Sand” and “Goodbye
baby”. Wicked to play with Jean-guy again – he continually cracks
me up and surprises me in so many funny little ways! We met a kinda
‘special’ girl last night. A little scary infact. She decided to sing
as loud as possible over the top of the entire band – without ever hearing
the songs. And well, hmmm, it was rather, entertaining for all to see.
Entertaining not really being the right word. Bloody annoying could
describe it a little better maybe! But, all good – and it made us laugh
a lot – so it wasn’t that bad I spose! Stace and I had a great drive
home- everything being so green and beautiful, and checking out all
the funny little towns in between – including Doodlakline, Clackline
and Grassy Patch?? We stumbled across the most gorgeous little trashy/arty
junk yard in one of the towns – this front yard was filled with hundreds,
if not thousands of memories – statues, dolls, windmills, potties, outdoor
baths, helmets, bottles, and so many other bits and pieces – it was
truly an awesome sight to see – took lots of photos – so hopefully I
will post some up to prove just how unique this little house was. It
really made the journey home quite special. Listened to lots of great
CDs – Janis Ian, The Doors, David Gray, Missy Higgins, Patsy Cline,
Ani DiFranco, Paul Kelly – all inspirational artists. I really do love
driving through our country side, listening to music, checking out the
scenery, and thinking, thinking and more thinking. And being pleased
with the weekend always helps. So all in all, I’m feeling good – feeling
exited about our launch on Wednesday night – and feeling pretty ready
for my warm bed right now! So, goodnight – and sweet dreams. x
June – 8750 songs- Broome style
So much to say, but where
do I even begin to start. I’m home, finally. I felt like I was in Broome
for an eternity. Such a strange trip. I finally had time to me. I normally
surround myself with people at all times of the day. But in the last
five weeks I spent so much time by myself, just wandering aimlessly
around, taking long walks on the beach, writing in my journal, sitting
on the shore, watching other people, having quiet time. And I enjoyed
it, I really did. I slowly came to realise that I am ok to hang out
The gigs. 25 of them. We performed
around 750 songs in the past five weeks!! I loved some of the gigs.
Most of them even. But some were a real effort it seemed. The whole
going out to win new people over again. People who went to the bar to
get pissed and listen to a heavy metal band only to find us up on the
stage instead. So, yes a new challenge. And did we take on the challenge??
We sure did! And I can safely say we won over many hearts and in the
meantime made some beautiful new friends.
Elliot and Dave had their
birthdays up there. Dave fell in love. And has decided to stay in Broome
playing his trumpet and hanging with his new love, Daisy. He is an inspiration
- playing his instruments for at least six hours of every day. Amazing
player. Elliot caught up with is old drum teacher (more like a guru)
and has been also inspired to learn some new tricks on his sticks.
Highlights were definately
supporting the Choirboys, having Penny come and play with us for two
nights, surfing with Jas, El and Steve, having Stace and Mouse come
visit, dancing on the beach, picnics, sunsets, my sis Pip coming up,
the Friday night gigs that continually rocked, meeting the two Emmas,
and our last night there – climbing coconut trees, trying our hand at
firetwirling, our night time bush walking mission, and our poorly lit
fire on the beach at 3.30am.
Broome always proves to be
an interesting time of learning and a shitload of fun. And this trip
was no exception. So once again we come home and a new journey begins…
sister you will always be my best friend, a superwoman, a queen.’
I’m having a strange day
with so many thoughts going on in my mind. I feel like whenever I
feel content in life something comes flying at me – a new hurdle,
a new experience, something semi or fully dramatic. I always thought
I was a dramatic person, but then as I get older I start to settle
down a little (would you believe). I have led in some ways
such a full on life for a 25 year old. The experiences I have gone
through in some cases are quite rare. I want to share with you a little
bit about my sister. Her name is Pippa and she is my hero. Pippa is
two years older, and is an amazingly strong unique person. Pip became
very ill at the age of 19, and it turned out she has an extremely
rare disorder, only 12 people in Australia have this disorder. I won’t
go into details, lets just say its very life threatening and Pip has
been in and out of hospitals in and out of comas, on life support
systems, and poked at and prodded at and examined by every bloody
doctor around. She has proven doctors and specialists wrong over and
over. And it’s all because of her amazing attitude toward life. She
has never once given up. Not once. She has never complained. Her life
has changed so dramatically, in every kind of way, and still she loves
life and deals with her disorder in ways which so many of us could
and would never do. Our family life changed hugely, and I realise
more and more how lucky we are to have such a large, loving supportive
family. My parents are the greatest on earth, and I feel blessed more
and more. I have always wanted to write beautiful songs about Pip,
but it seems I can’t quite get the words out, so instead I wrote the
very short song on the Indi album called “Sister”. Why am I writing
this today, I’m not really sure, I spose I don’t have to have a reason.
I was feeling a little down today, and then I think of Pippa and I
think about how very lucky I am in life, being able to do what I want.
Yes it’s a struggle in this music world of ours, but along the way
I just learn so much and have so many fun times. Its not as fun as
I thought it would be – I didn’t really think about all the competition
and all the ups and downs and the journey itself. I think when I was
younger I always thought about the end result rather than how exactly
I was going to get there. But now I ‘realise the journey will never
end, and I will never actually ‘get there’, because there is no ‘there’,
its just a continuos life journey of learning and growing.
Look out for Pip at my gigs
– she is the gorgeous blonde who is normally dancing having a great
time. She loves life and her life I’m sure will be beautiful, she
can teach us all something pretty special. I am lucky enough to have
her as a sister, a best friend and my biggest fan. Much love.
April 3 – Blues and Roots
Blues and Roots. Interesting
day for all I think. I have heard so many mixed reports. I spose I
really stressed out all day – for no reason in particular, and
had a really average time. I think I was just anxious about the show,
and playing with seven of us up there, which we haven’t done for over
a year. Even the mud everywhere was stressing me out, I felt like
we needed to wear country hats and get some pigs to throw in the mud
for one of those mud pig chasing games! I’ve heard there were up to
20,000 people there. I’m not sure of the exact number. But it was
huge. Never have I smelt so much mull being smoked in one place! Pitty
I can’t smoke before going on stage!! It was everywhere –which
did seem to make everyone pretty chilled out which is good I spose.
I managed to see some of Xavier’s set – but we were too far
away to feel the music pound in our bodies (In Bridgetown you could
feel your own body parts vibrate!). Actually it as really quite funny
being all squashed together, and only hearing the music faintly –
we all ended up hysterically laughing at the scene! Had the same experience
with the Violent Femmes – but I did get to have a groove to
a couple of my favourite tunes. I think second stage was the way to
go. The sound seemed better and you could get a little closer to the
stage without being trampled on!
Finally our set arrived.
After frantically getting dressed and doing my make up in Little Creatures
with Lucy and Penny, we ran back to the festival and jumped up on
stage. Our audience was huge. Really big, and really amped up. There
was not enough room for them around the Pines Stage – which
was kinda frustrating, but then again great to know there were hundreds
and hundreds of people right here choosing to see us play, over Jeff
Lang and over the Waifs. (who are both brilliant!)
I had a fairly stressed
out time on stage for parts of it. My sound on stage was kinda shitty,
I think having so many instruments going at once, and then having
the other stages so close made it hard for me to hear my own voice
and guitar, but the show went on, and it was awesome. Everyone played
so well – Elliot, Cods, Pen, Lucas, Lucy and Jean-Guy all on
this little stage! I think the set we chose was fantastic and the
crowd proved to be one of our bests – they were rocking, and
seeing random people singing every word to my songs was such a mint
feeling – some looked so passionate when singing or screaming
along to Satisfaction, and Cant Afford Me. Such a great feeling to
know there are people who enjoy the music and identify with it as
well. Permission was our final number and WOW! I got so exited that
when we came to the part where everyone does their solo – I
accidently screamed out Penelope instead of Cody. Then I said “Elliot
on the Bruse” instead of Elliot Bruse on the drums. It was hilarious
and I thought maybe no-one noticed, but I was unfortunately wrong!!!
We have this footage of El’s solo, and it’s hilarious. It’s so wonderful
to watch him go through the emotions of his solo. He starts quite
serious, then his facial expressions go all over the place and its
like he is experiencing some sort of drum stage orgasm, then right
at the end of the drum roll he accidently throws his drum stick up
in the air. Very amusing, and great to see.
So after the show we got
heaps of great feedback and sold heaps of CDs. There are some really
genuine, beautiful people out there who just randomly come up to say
thanks or to give us a great compliment. These people are so lovely
to come out of their way to thank us, when I feel I should be thanking
them. It’s such a strange feeling.
So after our set, I finally
was stress free. I went over and watched Jack Johnsons entire set.
Had a few drinkies with Pen, Jas, the great Gerro crew and the boys
and chilled out!
All in all, I can say
it was a day for learning, but a great day in many ways as well. Can’t
wait for next years, where hopefully we will be up on a bigger and
better stage!! Bring it on!!!!!!
2005: March 17 – Impressed
I just got back from the
Janis Ian concert at the Fly By. I was lucky enough to get two free
tickets, so I went on a date with my mum. And wow! What a beautiful
night. Firstly having a date with my mum was really lovely –
long chats over red wine and antipasto. You may even ask me who is
Janis Ian – well “I learnt the truth at seventeen, that
love was made for beauty queens”…. What a sad song. Actually
so many of her songs from the seventies were full of sadness. She
wrote back then with succh wisdom, aand such sincerity – so
can you imagine how beautiful and sincere and wise her songs are now,
thirty years later. There’s this short little lady on stage, dressed
so casually, probably sixty – and out comes her voice –
so pure, so incredibly moving. And shes funny!! She made us all laugh
so many times!! I had such a wonderful night, and it makes me so happpy
to be a musician, having people like janis to inspire me and hoping
that I will, one day down the track I will travel like her, and play
to millions. How incredible is that!!! So many of us have that dream
– to be a folk singer, or a rock star, and so little of us make
it. Is it luck?? I think its way more than that. But, gosh I wish
some luck my way!! Please wish with me.
I look just locally at the
talent that surrounds us – and there is such an abundance of
great musos – singing great songs, selling their CDs, and I
wonder where are we all going to be in five or ten or twenty years.
Who knows?? Keeps it interesting not knowing I spose.
Shit, I’m totally raving
on about not much at all. On the subject of Fly By Night Club, I love
this venue!! The sound is soooo great. I was luck enough to support
the very well known Luka Bloom last weekend at the Fly By. It was
a fantastic night. Jean-Guy joined me for some of my set. And to be
honest, I think we both loved being on that stage. And when I say
loved, well we didn’t want to get off. I love playing to adults or
maybe to anyone who has paid their hard earned cash to see a show,
and they are there for music. Not for social catchups, but to sit
their and absorb and observe, and that’s what they do. They listen
to every word, every note and then they applaud – and what a
Then we were blessed enough
to see Luka play. He plays a classical guitar. Its not often that
I get super impressed by guitarists – but lately I have been
very impressed, by Luka, Janis, and previously Kristiina Olsen and
of course Ani DiFranco. Also hugely impressed by Robby Krieger from
the Doors. Yep, I saw the Doors play in February at the Moonlight
Festival. I think that was my ultimate concert experience. I have
loved the Doors for about fifteen years, knowing every word to every
song. And even though it wasn’t Jim up there, I just shut my eyes
and focussed on the songs themselves, and on Robby and Ray on the
keyboard. I think I was in heaven.
JANUARY 10 – Wignalls and Waifs
Wignalls Winery Vintage
Blues Festival… oh what a day!! Couldn’t wipe that smile off
our faces. Last year it was a massive stress for me, arriving literally
five minutes before getting on stage, not dressed, no makeup, not
at all ready and totally stressed out from the horrible trip down
there. This year – well, we got there well in time. The drive
was amusing – me, Cody, Elliot, Lucy, Jas and Jean-Guy and our
equipment shoved in my van! You could hardly see poor jean in the
back amongst all the guitar cases and drums etc. We were also very
exited because this year the Waifs and Tex Perkins and the Dark Horses
were playing. And even better than that – we got to do two sets
– one at 5pm , and the other straight AFTER the Waifs! Yep that’s
right – after! The weather was perfect, the crowd were awesome
– it was a sell out concert- over three thousand there. The
sound and stages were fantastic, and we sipped on our beers backstage
and just took it all in. Our first set was really fun, fifty minutes
long. As soon as we started our first song, “safe” people
ran up and started the dancing! And the crowd got bigger and bigger,
and it was such a joy to see so many people singing the words to our
songs. Such a fantastic feeling I have to say.
Then on came the Waifs.
It was great to see them again. Every show I see is so different to
the previous. I suppose this gig was such an honour for me playing
alongside them, as years ago they were such an inspiration for me.
I remember seeing them when I was 18 at Mojos. It was crowded, there
were just the three of them, and it went off. The energy was contagious
and the crowd was going off. Such intimate fun shows back then.
So, when the Waifs finished
we started up again! But this time we had three thousand people up
against the stage dancing and screaming and having a blast. It was
an awesome feeling. We sold our record number of CDs, and had such
a great night. Great fun back stage. Was also really fun to hang with
Tex once again. Hadn’t seen him since Sept in Broome – such
a great guy to be around. Cracks me up over and over!
So, all in all it was
a very successful very fun day! Thanks to everyone for making it such
a wonderful experience!! See you all soon I hope! Bring on 2005!!!
2004: DECEMBER 30- Thoughts on 2004
It was a crazy type of year.
I never really felt settled to be honest. We definitely had some fantastic
moments, and heaps of fun times on tour. It seemed that we were constantly
on tour, and constantly training up new drummers, which was rather
tiring. Got to work with some great people, and of course meet so
many new friends while we were away. The major highlights were finally
bringing out our full length album in April and our country EP in
November. The two tours in Melbourne were great – love being
in Melbourne and seeing my friends over there. Then there were the
two major tours – both proving to be such learning experiences!!
My major highlights were
supporting Paul Kelly. He is a total inspiration and such a living
legend, so that night meant so much to me. Also supporting Donavon
Frankenreiter and Pete Murray later in the year was awesome. The most
fun was probably in Broome at the Blues and Roots Festival the night
we all went to the Nippon Inn with Tex , Charlie and James, Donna
(Waifs) Carus, Nick Barker etc. It turned pretty messy but so fun!
Sharing the stage with these people when we all did a jam for 45 minutes
in front of a packed out bar was wicked.
Selling the CDs has been
really exiting as well. Finding out the total numbers at the end of
a night is always a little scary, but most the time I have been pretty
happy. We got to play with Dave Johnson, Fiona Simms, Dipaunka and
Almin on drums as well – great people to tour with and hang
The weekends away were normally
heaps of fun – Fairbridge Fest was great. Some old lady had
to escort Cody home because she found him in a nearby paddock talking
to the horses!! (was it the beer or Dipaunkas herbal party mix???)
Weekends in Gerro were also highlights – great crowds, and wonderful
new friends to be with. The days at Phil and Donnas farm were beautiful!
I have learnt so much in
the past year, about people, about the industry and about myself.
I know there is so much more to learn, its endless, and I cant wait
for this year to unfold. Who knows where we will end up. I cant wait
to record an other album, this time in the studio, and let’s hope
it hits the radio stations very fast!
I really wanted to say a
huge thankyou to all the code red members for their commitment and
time and friendships. Also a massive thanks to our tour manager Cole,
all our many hours of yapping on the phone have paid off!. James in
Gerro – you have been such a great friend and support, and our
special mate Fatty (Ian) in Karratha – thanks for the baths
and yummy food and clean beds! Much appreciated. And of course a massive
thankyou to our supporters. All the thousands of people who have come
to our shows, bought our CDs, checked out the website and encouraged
us along the way. And last but not least our families. I couldn’t
imagine a more supportive family and Cody also says a massive thankyou
to his mum and dad and three sisters.
Cant wait for 2005 –
will be interesting!! Hope to see you all soon. Thanks again for a
DECEMBER 12 – A Bunch of Gigs!
ell, I thought it was about
time I throw in a journal entry. Time has flown by since the Donavan
gig. So much has happened in so little time, but I am feeling really
on top of the world, really happy in most areas of my life right now
which is fantastic!
The Donavan gig was really
fun. The sound was awesome, and I was pretty nervous playing to such
a new large crowd, but as soon as I got up there and started the first
few notes of “Gossip and Lies’, I looked out to the crowd, saw
some smiling faces, and completely let go of all my nerves.
The gig itself went really
well, and I had Cody, Jean-Guy and Dave Johnson join me for various
numbers, and it seemed to go down really well. Sold lotsa CDs, met
Donavon and his band, who are really chilled out down to earth people
and danced the rest of the night away!! All good!!
Hmm, what else is news?
We did this hilarious gig at Shark Bar Festival – it was called
the Southerly Wind festival, and we understand why. We were put in
a marque on this tiny stage and could feel the wind nearly blowing
the tent over! Unfortunately the porta- loos were placed right behind
us, and with the wind it all got a little messy. Dave Johnson joined
us, and the gig was so funny- just making up songs as we went, really
like one big jam.
We also did a weekend at
the beautiful Plantagenet Winery, performing at a very posh upper
class five course dinner party!!! This weekend was great as we got
to sample some of the best wines. While Fiona and I slept, Almin and
Cody got rather drunkee on $400 bottles of wines!! Nice work boys!
The weekend in Gerro and
Dongara was beautiful as ever. On our night off Lucas, Cody and I
spend the night at our friends Phil and Donnas farm which is out bush
in Gerro. Such an amazing property – and the best people to
hang with out. There were maybe twelves of us, great food, heaps of
tribal drumming, fire twirling, long convos, cold beer, right there
in the middle of nowhere. Thanks again to all of you for a wonderful
Did a few festivals in November.
Frankland River was great fun, playing on the back of a huge truck
then dancing all night to the wonderful Blue Shaddy.
Then… there was Bridgetown
. Which of course was amazing. A real highlight of the year. Such
a well organised festival, with awesome people filling the streets!
We got to meet some terrific people and fellow musicians. Once again
we packed the festival club, having to shut the doors – so sorry
to the crew outside who missed out. Loved Xavier Rudd’s show on the
Sunday, such a chilled vibe, felt like we were back in the sixties
with a bunch of free loving hippies! Our three performances all varied
so much, which was great, and I am so happy on the way they were received.
We also sold record numbers of CDs, so I was stoked!
December – I headed
off to Bali with Jas for ten days. The trip was, well, perfect really.
Learnt to surf for the first time in my life. I was like a little
kid screaming my head off every time I stood up! Heaps of relaxing
and shopping and we met some great crew and hit the Bali clubs in
full force. So beautiful to be back in Bali . I have been there about
ten times before, but not since the tragic bombing. You could really
feel a difference, and I can’t get over what positive attitudes the
Balinese have. Its really incredible to witness their ways and such
strong beliefs. If you have been – go again! If you haven’t
– then you are just plain crazy!
So, we came home, and a
few days later we got top support PETE MURRAY! At his sold out show
in Kings Park . So so so cool! Played to five thousand people on this
bloody massive stage with fantastic sound. Loved every moment of being
up there, just as the sun was getting ready to fade into the night.
Danced away to Carus and Pete, and hung backstage, drinking maybe
a couple too many and hanging with Pete Murray’s band members, who
are the coolest crew around. Very happy with the show and with the
amount of CDs sold!!! Thanks to Sunset Cinemas for such a terrific
We ended our year off last
weekend in Kalbarri and Gerro. Oh, I must mention our very new drummer.
Eliot Bruce. He is a total spunk and such a gorgeous person to hang
out with, and to top it off he is a bloody awesome drummer!! Gerro
was wicked. Drank lots of the yummiest mango cocktails (thanks to
Graham and Karen) and the show went off! Packed out room, great vibe,
and we got to finally start playing a few songs we haven’t played
for ages!! BREATHE! Had a beautiful day on Sunday at the farm with
Donna and Phil, James, Paul and all their wonderful crew. The whole
band had turns at going on this massive flying fox that drops you
in the dam at the end!! Lucy had no glasses on and was blind as ever,
so that was pretty funny to see! The weekend was really such a great
way to end of 2004.
Will write more soon,
when I have more time. Now, I am off to wrap up chrissy preents. I
can’t believe this year is nearly over. It scares me so much that
time seems to go by faster and faster as we grow older. Shows how
precious every day is I spose. Hope you all have the best chrissy
and new year – and thankyou thankyou thankyou for a wonderful,
exiting year! Without your support, we would not keep going at it!
So thankyou!! Merry Christmas guys and gals! See you at the Paddo
on Jan 5th 2005!!!
Im so exited about upcoming
gigs!! First I get to solo support Donavon Frankenreiter then Pete
Murray, also got some Carus supports coming up! So, there’s heaps
to look forward to! Plus our mini country EP should be available very
very soon – let’s just say it’s, well, refreshing! Want to say a thanks
to everyone who has been coming to our Mojos shows – and a big thank
you to the code red members for doing these gigs!! Just a quickie
today – wanted to say a massive thanks to beautiful Cody. I adore
SEPTEMBER 13 – Lotsa Blues, no roots
“Perko, you fooooooool”.
That would have to be the quote we used the most on this past tour!
Why? Well, I was a little bit tipsy, well a lot tipsy, and suddenly
turned into this very Australian woman when meeting Tex Perkins, well,
actually, when sitting on his lap squashed with everyone else in the
back of my poor van. (who still hasn’t been named) Much thanks to
Jeff Lang for being sober enough to drive! Thank god there was one
of us sane enough. Our tour started with a bang! The Blues and Roots
Festival in Broome. Two days of driving up there, then we performed
at the opening party along with Nathan Gaunt. Good crowd, you could
tell they were all ready for the weekend ahead of them. The gig went
well, except for my massive migraine – it had been a fairly
stressful week and finally I had shut down. (bad timing really!)
The next day the festival
really began. Quick question – have you ever seen Sally Dastey
perform?? Well, if your answer is no – you must somehow get
around to seeing her. What an amazing woman. Her voice just fills
the room – no matter how big or small the room actually is.
Her words are beautiful and her constant smile seems to make everyone
feel special. We were also lucky enough to hear Nathan, Carus, Nick
Barker (what a character!), Jeff Lang, Dave Mann, Tex Perkins, Donna
Simpson, Ben Weaver and Xavier Rudd.
The weekend was just so
much fun. On the Saturday night after we performed, we sat and watched
Tex , James and Charlie do their set. Really so amazing to see. After
the show it was all on back stage – just sitting amongst these
fantastic musicians, and taking it all in. Singalongs and laughs and
beers and great convos. Couldn’t ask for much more really. Hearing
Donna (the Waifs) and Sally sing while Lucy played her violin was
a treat. Then off we all went to the Nippon Inn. This is where is
got messy. This is where somehow we fit most the musos into my van
while I gave orders from the back on how to start her up! Listening
to “Copacobanna” the whole way there! Somehow I convinced
Tex to get up the next night with us and perform with us. And that
seedy looking crew around the Broome Hotel – I couldn’t move
from my bed for hours. Cables Beach helped a little for sure. Then
we sat back and watched Carus play (looking very aussie in his double
pluggers, jeans and white bonds singlet!!) the day starting looking
up. We were pissed that we couldn’t see Xavier perform as we were
on at the same time. But this didn’t stop us from having an absolute
ball on stage. Tex stuck to his word and got up and did Red Rooster
with us. The crowd was going off. Then after I did Red House as our
last song, I wasn’t quite ready to leave the stage. So out came Codys
mando and I started belting out Bobby MGee – this is when Sally
got up and joined me – and I had shivers going up and down me
having such a powerful woman singing with me! Meanwhile the crowd
is building and dancing away. Then came the real fun- we got Carus,
Nick Barker and Tex all up with us and did a spontaneous forty minute
set together. It was an awesome night. We spent the remainder of it
in Tex ‘s room singing all night until the neighbours starting complaining.
After the fest it seemed
like a come down, and off we drove to Derby . Always a laugh up there,
and always wicked food!! We tend to sit around in our rooms and eat
in Derby , And that’s about all. We did go visit the boab prison tree
for the first time – pretty amazing story there. And it feels
like you are really stepping onto sacred ground when approaching the
Back to Broome for a gig
and also for the stairway to the moon – and then off we headed
to Kununurra. Three gigs there – again heaps of fun. Then we
ended the tour in El Questro again. They were definitely my favourite
two gigs of the entire tour. Really beautiful atmosphere and such
fun, down to earth people up there. I have to say a huge thanks to
Cody – he puts up with us girls so well. Sometime I don’t know
how he handles it! Lucy and I always there – the three of us
turn into the biggest dickheads on tour- thank god no one sees or
hears the stupid things we do and say in the van. We all got cabin
fever so badly on the way back. More than forty hours of driving tends
to turn you insane! I was waiting for the men in white suits to come
and lock us away!
All in all, another very
interesting tour. This one really gave me time to think and think
and think. About what I want in the future and about my music and
future recordings etc. Theres some really great things heading our
way, and I cant wait to get to all of them! A huge thanks goes out
to our very good friends Kate in Broome and Ian in Karratha for looking
after us so well! We appreciate it so much and it makes the tour so
much more enjoyable.
Time to go…. Till
10 – Band Tour in Melbourne
We arrived home from Melbourne
late last night. Pretty buggered today. We did five gigs in five nights,
each one proving to be extremely different from each other. I was
so stoked this time round that I could bring over the boys –
Almin, Cody and Lucas. It is such a different feel just having the
guys up there. When Lucas plays with us our music seems to turn so
much more jazzier with that added bit of funk. Its funny how one song
can be played in just so many different ways, all depending on our
moods, our instruments, the sound equipment and of course what type
of audience we are playing too. I love it coz it keeps things interesting!
So, Melbourne. I really
do love the place. So much more culture, in the surroundings and even
the people. More of everything I spose – the cafes, the shops,
the music, the buildings, the museums, the art exhibitions, the pubs,
the restaurants, the scene in general. (but it just doesn’t have our
beautiful beaches!!). It was Cody’s first time in Melbourne , and
I’m pretty sure he loved the experience and we all cant wait to get
back there. Heaps of my family were staying in the same motel as us
which was fun! The guys some how put up with my large, very loud family
for six days which they deserve a medal for! So we did heaps of eating
out and a shitload of shopping. We all managed to buy awesome op shop
jackets. Cods and I are very proud of our new leather jackets. And
guess what colour mine is ! Yep – red of course! We also met
heaps of great people, and some really, really dodgy ones at the same
time. Almin thinks I am a magnet to all the freaks in this world!
Maybe he is right?? We had one man follow us home, telling us he had
created the world, absolutely certain that I was his ‘woman’!
Another very interesting one rang me and sang for 16 minutes – it
was hilarious! Very amusing to say the least!
The gigs? Enjoyed all of
them, a couple stood out more to me personally. The Greyhound gig
was heaps of fun, and not a bad sound. The best fun was definitely
the Sunday gig at the Zimmer Bar. Had everyone dancing and the sambuca
shots were going down a little too easy. Sold quite a few CD, so hopefully
every time we head back to Melbourne we will build up the crowd and
eventually bring over the full band!! (I’m talking all 10 of us!!!)
A couple of our new songs are sounding great with the sax. We have
also started jamming on this middle easter sounding song, with drums,
mando, guitar and Lucas on flute – its growing and changing with every
Just wanted to say a huge
thanks to Michael (our Melbourne manager). You did a fantastic job
and we all really appreciate everything you did leading up to the
gigs and during the past week! You are a champ! All in all it was
a great week of playing, shopping, eating out, drinking, creating
new alter (super hero) egos such as Muff Man and Titjob Tony, and
then attempting to write hiphop songs about it all, and of course
there was the case of the fluffy hangcuffs causing some security issues
at the Melbourne airport! Won’t say anymore on that one!
Well, I think I may need
some crib time now! See you on the next tour!!! Only a week or so
away! Bring it on!
JULY 26 – More Random Stuff
Hey there. Thought it was
about time to put in a short entry! What’s been going on since our
tour?? Well, heaps I spose. We have Lucy Fisher home which is great.
Also have Almin drumming for us which has changed our sound a fair
bit. We didn’t win our semi finals of the NBT. In one way I was quite
disappointed, but in a positive way, we gained some new followers,
and got to be part of a great night of entertainment! In my view we
also put on an awesome set, so I was really proud of the band and
also of myself.
Had a ball a couple of weeks
ago with Al, Cods and Fi. We played at Jarrahdale Primary School to
100 kids between 5-12 years old. WAM are doing this school project
of introducing local contemporary music to kids. So we get there,
and I am faced with all these little gorgeous faces staring us up
and down , and I’m thinking, “Oh Shit! What are we going to
play!?!?” We went ahead like a normal gig, I just changed the
words a bit – replaced lots of our words with ‘love’ and
stuff like that! You should have seen these kids rock out! They loved
when Fi did her Irish gig, and also Al’s very dark drum solo! Question
and answer time proved to be very interesting! Kids say the funniest
things hey! We ended up going to the Jarrahdale Irish Tavern for a
few drinks. It ended in us playing a few songs for the local drinkers
and selling a few CDs and getting free shots! All in all a great day
of Irish madness (thanks Fi for doing your THANG!!) Also thanks to
the wonderful Stacey James for helping us out and being our merch
chick, roadie, camera woman and for laughing at us!
Hmm what else is news? Oh,
we did a gig in Geraldton at the Freo last Thursday which was awesome
fun. The place was packed out and again we sold heaps of CDs. (thanks
james!) Next night was Dongara at the Priory Lodge. Love that place.
Great pizzas and it feels really old and haunted. Was waiting to be
woken by some ghost. Instead I was waken by some drunk! (luce!) Had
heaps of fun at this gig. The crowd were so into it and such a good
bunch. So stoked, I bought a new electric guitar – it’s a wicked
reddish colour – of course. Gotta learn how to rip up a good
Next week I’m off to Melbourne
with the lads – Cods, Al and Lucas. We have five nights there,
performing every night. Should be great, hopefully we will win over
some Melbournites. Then we head off on another 28 day state wide WA
tour, kicking the tour off with a couple of gigs at the Broome Blues
fest- playing alongside the likes of Tex Perkins, Xavier Rudd, Carus,
Jeff Lang, Gaunt etc – not only do we get to play, we get to
be in beautiful Broome, but we also get to sit back and watch some
incredible soloists and bands while up there. Nice one!
Well, that’s about all
for now. There is some news of a new CD coming out….Toby and
Code Red go country….will keep you updated!! Ciao for now!
JUNE 21 – Next Big Thing Comp
So, we won our heat last
night in the next big thing comp! So stoked! It was our first ever
gig with Almin on drums, so that was really exciting! He is an amazing
drummer, and I suppose I have wanted to play with him for a very long
time, and finally the time has arrived, and now I see us going in
a few new directions. Sometimes I have such doubts in this industry,
so many knockbacks and you are constantly trying to sell yourself.
I start to think maybe I am dreaming about making a name, but then
after gig like last night at the Swan Basement and Indi Bar, I totally
believe in our music and the musos I work with and I see huge things
ahead of us. When I think realistically about the time we have been
performing (just over two years), I do feel proud of what we have
accomplished, and I see what Cody and I have been through together,
and it puts a bloody huge smile on my face! Well, it was just a short
entry to say we won! And to welcome Almin to the code red team! Let’s
hope we are the next big thing!
2004: JUNE 4 – State Wide
Tour Finally Over
Well, here I am back in
Perth after being on tour for exactly four weeks. Perth is bloody
cold and I feel kinda pissy that no one will see my tan I have worked
hard on for the past month!! But, it’s great to be back, especially
after such a long journey home. Three full days of driving in a row
(15 a day, non stop!!) Yep, being shoved in a car with Cody and Fi
was fun, but you are definately ready to get out and sleep in your
own bed and have a home cooked meal!
What can I say about this
tour? It was really different from our last few, as this was organised
by Cole, our tour manager, and he did an awesome job. (Thanks Cole)
Day one found us in Geraldton. We had Lucas VanBerken join us on sax
and flute for that entire weekend, which was such a privilege. I had
never really thought about what a brass instrument would do to our
sound, but my god it was so cool to hear Lucas going off on his sax
and completely adding to our songs. We had an interview in Gerro that
avo which was really fun. Sang Cant Afford Me and my new song “Hammock”.
I wrote Hammock while I was in El Questro about 6 weeks ago, and I
gotta say I love it, and so far so do all the crowds. It’s our first
reggae song, and pretty catchy. On the way back from the interview
with six people shoved in to four seats, we were pulled over by the
cops, not a great start to the tour, but also pretty humourous to
try and convince them that we were this great touring band and they
could come see us that night, and that they just had to let us off.
I have to say a huge thanks to James for all his hard work with the
Gerro gig. The Freo that night was packed and everyone was up and
dancing. Sold heaps of CDs that night and was stoked that if the tour
continued like this it would be a huge success.
So… some nights were
as great, others not so great, a real mix of performances and a real
mix of crew coming to our shows. The stand out shows were definitely
our VERY intimate show at the Priory Lodge in Dongara. Great little
set up and the people were so much fun, and the wood fired pizzas
were a treat!
The gigs in Derby were heaps
of fun. The people were also so much fun and it was a real mind opener
being back up there. All the locals decided my name was ‘Tobby”,
pronounced like “Dobby”. So all night I had people screaming
out “Dobby, I knows you, I loves you, you member me?”
One woman, Meggie, was convinced that we met in Derby in 1979 at the
Spinni Hotel! So I ended up going along with the fact that I must
have met her before I was even conceived! We had to sign heaps of
shirts and hats and even people pants and skin! So funny to see! Had
a great day hanging with our good friends from Derby Karen and Viv,
a day that will never be forgotten, due to the mass amount of laughter
we all shared.
Then came Broome. Two weeks
at the very beautiful Mangrove. We played outside (only got rained
on once!) and our backdrop was Roebuck Bay . So stunning. We spent
the nights performing to a huge variety of people, and these gigs
themselves were really chilled and I suppose a little more relaxed
and aimed at the more mature audiences. Gave us a chance to work on
new songs such as Dream of Me, Intrigue and Hammock which are all
sounding pretty good. Again we sold heaps of CDs up there, which is
such a fantastic feeling. Knowing the time and effort and thousands
of dollars that went into the album, every time I sell one, or sign
one, I get such a feeling of pride and a very silly smile on my face!
We were very lucky to be
joined in Broome by beautiful Jas and Nicole. Both came up for about
a week to hang with us, and they did a great job on the merch. Thanks
chickas! So the days were spent on the amazing beaches, having picnics,
watching sunsets, going to outdoor movies, having the best soy lattes
at Blooms Café in Chinatown, and lazing around the hotel pool.
Also headed into Murphy’s Irish bar and did a few numbers.
After our gigs in Broome
things turned a little crazy. I had kinda lost my voice, which isn’t
a good thing when you are meant to be the lead singer (thanks Cody
for taking over some of the vocals, and Fiona and Dipaunka for their
long instrumentals!) On the Monday of the third week things went a
little mad. Nic missed her flight to Perth , a few dramas, I lost
a box that contained about two grands worth of CDs, only to stress
out completely and end up in a dumpster looking for them – yep,
that’s where they were. Either the cleaners really hated our music,
or really got pissed off at Fi and I for the state we left our room
in! (hardcore rockstars trashing the room hey!) or they were just
kinda dumb. So that was another drama. Then came the drama of the
blow up mattress (wont even begin to go there!) The next day we got
our whopping big bill for our laundry! You don’t even wanna know how
much it costs to get a few tops cleaned and ironed!!
Back to Derby (after getting
Nic on a plane to Perth ) we got there fairly late and Fi and I got
into our room, and started to relax and chill out. This was until
we were attacked by an army of mammoth cockroaches coming out of every
corner and every hole in the very small motel room. There must have
been a nest and the baby cockroaches were ready for their first kill,
and they were surrounding us! And we were being typical girls on the
beds screaming at the top of our lungs. (it was much scarier then
it seems) Kinda like the movie Aracnaphopia, but the cockroaches,
I’m sure, wanted to eat us alive. There were at least twenty of the
huge bastards and we were on one bed and suddenly so were they so
I did this huge movie style jump to the next bed, which unknown to
me was on wheels and went flying across the room. We managed to escape
the infested room, and run into the pub (with our not so sexy pjs
on) and demand we needed another room! So at midnight we swapped rooms.
We were very stoked to see our new room looking a lot fresher than
the previous. The night didn’t really get any better, I tried to turn
the aircon on (which was not working, and it was bloody hot) and the
stupid thing broke and fell off the wall, landing on my head, and
giving me a huge mother of a head ache! Gotta love Derby ! (but, the
food, well, if you want good food go the The Boab Inn- soooooo good!)
Next stop was Kununurra.
What a drama of a drive! We ran out of petrol! And Fi and I had to
hitch hike, yep the boys made us do it. For 50 kms with these strange
Germans. Then at the petrol station (Halls Creek) we end up in these
futuristic toilets with way to many buttons to handle, Fi gets a bullant
bit on her ass, we find ourselves some new drivers (Judy and Ken)
and off we go to find the boys again. They had tried to be macho men
and push the van, I think they got about five metres! So off we go
again, only to run out of petrol about ten kms out of Halls Creek.
So we sent the boys off this time. At this point I needed to do a
bushsquat. So there I ma trying desperately not to pee on my fisherman
pants, I look up and I’m facing this HUGE spider so of course I jump
up and start running with my pants around my ankles and fall into
a cactus bush and get spikes all in my toes and right at this point
the guys return with their new drivers to see me running around like
a madwoman with no pants on!
By this time is starts getting
dark and it had taken us nearly three hours to drive only 50 kms!
Then starts the lightning and the storm in the pitch black. Then I
hit this huge beautiful white owl. Really horrible feeling. And of
course soon after that Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing” comes
on the CD player. So typical! By now we were exhausted and getting
to Kununurra Hotel was such a relief!
The two gigs there were
so much fun. We really rocked it up and had a blast on stage and the
audience were loving it. Sold shitloads of CDs and met heaps of great
people. Finally we got to rock out again, and Fi and I were up ion
the tables jamming away. She did an awesome solo in our version of
House Of the Rising Sun and the crowd went off. Had a great time up
there visiting the Hoochery and Barra Barra. And again searching for
crocs which we never found. Dipaunka flew home on the Sunday morning,
(lucky bastard didn’t have to drive with us!) and the three of us
headed off to El Questro!
I was jumping out of my
skin to get back to EQ. The drive in was absolutely horrible! My poor
old van was all over the shop as it was so bumpy and its not a 4WD.
Hours later we arrived and it was even more breath taking the second
time around. Cody and Fi were snapping away just saying a million
“wow’, and “oh my gods”! Our time in El Questro
was perfect. The gigs were great, and so so much fun. Performing outdoors
under the stars, around a campfire, with a good little sound set up,
lots of people dancing around, and having a blast while performing
to them all. They loved the Hammock song and all the staff got up
and danced around claiming the song as their own theme song! Buddy
Tyson got up with us a few blues songs, and we were also joined by
Kevro on the guitar and vocals. So good to see everyone again. Our
accom was beautiful and the views are spectacular. On our day off
we went exploring and hiked through the beautiful El Questro gorge.
SO stunning and so much fun hiking with Cods, Fi and our mate Dan.
(thankyou so much Dan for the akubra hat – I love it and wore
it the entire way home- I am SO McLOUDs Daugher!!!) Also spent some
quality time in Zebedee Hot Springs – had the place all to ourselves.
The drive home was exhausting!
Three full days of driving, blowing out tyres, we hit a couple of
little birds, had some way too close incidents with huge bulls on
the road, crashed at a couple of mates houses (thanks heaps Sal in
Broome- the bed breaking beneath us was way too funny! And thanks
to Fatty for taking us in and making us great food and running that
beautiful bath!!) and managed to laugh a lot and sing a lot and sleep
a bit in the van!
All in all the tour went
really well, we all got along really well and had heaps of fun together,
the gigs were successful, we sold over 150 CDs, made some fantastic
new friends, and can’t wait to play some of our new songs to the Perth
crew, so come along to one of our Indi gigs in June.
Wow, that was longer than
I expected. Time to go unpack. See you soon I hope!
APRIL 27 – Crazy
April has been crazy. Really
crazy. I came back from Melbourne and things seemed to go mad. And
now I’m like “Arghghgh, stop the madness!!!!” So much,
in so little time. First, the launch. I made a few mistakes with the
launch. First, I couldn’t have chosen a worst day to launch the CD.
On this day there was also the Botanical Blues and Roots CD, The Hoodu
Gurus just a few doors down in Scarbs, The Masters Down South with
John Butler etc and also The Pines. Even so, we managed to get a couple
hundred crew in the door. The support groups were great (Ali Borg
– my gorgeous cousin, the spunky Molly Jones, Sam Smith from
SA who has a fantastic voice, Ardia – always great on stage
and the very fun Micadelic) You must check all of these groups out!
So, on the launch we had six of us on stage. It had been a long time
since we played together, so it was kinda like a reunion. The show
went well, people were up and dancing and once I had a few sambucas
you couldn’t get me off the huge speaker down the front! We did “Gossip
and Lies” as our finale – and somehow it turned into “Hit
The Road Jack” – I think I started truly believing, while
planted up on that speaker, that I was really Ray Charles, (just blind
in a different kinda way) and there was no way anyone could get me
down or stop me from belting out the lyrics!! Finally after the extra
long extended version had hit about ten minutes, and we had already
gone half an hour over time, Terry and the band decided it was time
for the song to end!! Thank god for that. I think I could have gone
on forever! When I looked in the mirror I was so shocked to see that
I was actually a white woman, not a black man with thick glasses on!!
We sold quite a few CDs,
and then the madness began. Little ol Lucy is still in South America
having a wild time, working in a bar, and impressing many new people
with her violin skills, and she is also started to write some of her
own beautiful songs – if you get a chance to get hold of her
EP, please do- she’s done a great job with it! But for us, it meant
there would be no Lucy on this next tour. Also Terry couldn’t make
the tour due to his other commitments and his two little boys. So,
what was I to do!?!?? I pondered this for a while, and decided I needed
to go out for a beer or two at the OBH. This always helps right??
The night was going great, I ended up in the toilets chatting to some
blonde girl, who happened to mention she plays electric violin. I
happened to have a scrunched up business card, and that’s how Fiona
Simms and I met. So, for 28 days, we will be sharing a room! Lets
hope we don’t kill each other!! So the soloist problem was sorted.
Now we just needed a new drummer! Last year we met Dipaunka, a Freo
dude who had played with many local bands. So, luckily I still had
his number, gave him a ring, and without even asking him anything
he screams out “Yes!!! Yes, I will do it!!” So the new
band is here and rearing to go!!
Unfortunately there was
no time to rehearse, as I was flying off to El Questro. I really didn’t
know what to expect here All I heard was there was a resort that you
pay $1200 for per night. I also heard there were crocs, which I have
a fascination with – I am totally petrified of them! So off
I went to El Questro. No resort for me!! I was placed in a room in
“the Barn”, sharing a little house with a few other workers
there. “The Barn”, was great, except for the fact that
in the previous two weeks, they had found two huge king brown snakes
curled up in the middle of the room. Luckily all I found in my room
were a few geckos and spiders. (still not happy bout that!)
I had an amazing week in
El Questro. The staff (about 30 of them) at the station were so much
fun and so welcoming, and we had a blast. I got to go on river cruises
through these amazing gorges, fishing, hiking, rock climbing, swimming
in natural little water holes with beautiful waterfalls, spent some
time in hot water springs, and also went on a helicopter ride which
was so stunning. Our countryside is beautiful, and there is so much
to see. As for the crocs, well all I got to see was a croc in the
river, form way up in the chopper, and I also got to go out with CALM
to set a croc trap for a 14 foot salty that was lurking about –
lurking about just where we were standing at times!! They caught a
10 footer the next day! So, no, I didn’t get to be the female version
of Steve Urwin, which did upset me. I think I was expecting that when
we went hunting for the croc, that we would spot him, jump on his
back and tackle him, screaming at the top of our lungs “Crikey
Mate” and then all sit around a campfire talking about how “boootiful’
our croc really is. This didn’t happen, we went on a long boat, and
all I got to see again were spiders!!
As for the music side of
things, I played every night for a couple for hours at the bush bar,
and it was so much fun. A couple of the nights were pretty rowdy,
and everyone was up and dancing (photos coming soon) and one of the
nights I had a extremely funny pommy boy (it was his last day of work
there) do a complete strip show while I sang “Dumb Things!”
Never thought I would accompany such an exotic dancer!! I also got
to make a fool of myself in front of a famous actor (Andrew Lincoln)
from the movie Love Actually (he’s the gorgeous one called Mark who
is in love with his best friend’s wife) So before I realised who he
was, I was singing Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” and he
was up there singing it with me. And then I start going on about how
I have met him before, and how we have definitely seen each other
before, how he has such a familiar face blah blah blah! Of course
I had seen him, I had drooled over him on the big screen!! Wicked
guy. Quickly did the typical chick thing and grabbed my camera!! Was
stoked that he told me he loved my music.
So, I got to sing a lot
of my new songs, and also wrote a few new ones. One is called Hammock
– or the Reggae Riverside song. I was laying in a hammock by
this beautiful river, and bang this song came to me, and I wrote it
there and then. Its pretty catchy- the lyrics have been posted already.
(we played it last weekend at the Ravenswood Hotel, and it went down
So I came home on a Thursday
night and the next day was Fairbridge Folk Festival!! Time to really
meet the new band!! Yes…crazy! So we did three performances
over the weekend, the second two being the best. It was so strange
to be on stage with two brand new faces, but at the same time it felt
really exciting. They are both very talented musos and have picked
up so fast. And we all get along well so that’s great. SO once again,
Code Red is expanding and going new places and creating new sounds.
It interesting having band, and working alongside so many different
personalities. Always learning at least! Fairbridge was fun as. We
camped for three nights. Also Cody and I performed with our children’s
band “The Twixters” so we had the company of Han and Dave
and their beautiful family, along with a few other mates and our merch
chick/roadie/photographer Jas. (thanks again!) Cody looked ever so
cute in his big red fluffy suit, and I looked, well, kinda like an
escaped psycopath in my very out there fairy outfit! Funny to be on
stage singing to kids again. Such a different feeling. Music is amazing.
I sit there and wonder what our world would be without music. It brings
so much into people’s lives. When you hear just a few chords of a
song, it can bring you back to being a child, or back to a lost love,
or back to a memory that you never knew existed. So, to be able to
share my music with people is a wonderful feeling. One woman that
really inspired me during the festival was Kristina Olsen –
her lyrics are incredible, she’s a fantastic guitarist and made me
cry from laughter. Jean Guy was the one who made me go and see her,
so thank Jean!! If you ever get a chance to see her when she’s next
over, make sure you do. You will not regret it!
Today, I buy a van! Very
exciting! All I ever wanted when I was a kid was to play guitar and
sing in a band and own a van!! So there you have it!! Life is complete!
Ha!! I just hope I can pay it off as well as paying off the CD and
getting to Broome in one piece next week. Yep, we are off on tour.
Twenty gigs in about 25 days. Cant wait! So, spread the word to anyone
you know in WA that we are heading their way!
And thanks again to everyone
who has been supporting the new album and coming along to our shows!
Without you none of this could ever happen!!
If you are still reading
this journal entry (I cant believe how long I have gone on for) you
either have way too much time on your hands, or well, who knows, but
Cheers, Tobes x
: APRIL 1st – Melbourne
Hey there. Well, I arrived
home form my week in Melbourne just last night. I’m exhausted. I think
my earliest night was about 3am , so I am desperately needing some
sleep. I love Melbourne ! So much more culture, funky shops, cafes
and bars, and the music scene is really pumping. I did four gigs over
there, all very intimate crowds, all solo. It was really interesting
to go solo again. Felt like I hadn’t been on stage for ages, and then
suddenly I felt myself enjoying the experience again, really going
back to my roots and only depending on myself for the entire show.
Managed sell quite a few of the new albums which is awesome. Will
definitely head back to Melbourne in July or August. Actually, my
gig at this extremely groovy little place called the Bez Bah, was
recorded and one of my songs will be on their compilation CD, with
artists like Carus, Ash Grunwald, Lloyd Spiegel, Jess McAvoy, Rob
Sawyer, Loren, Urban Legends and heaps more. Should be a wicked CD.
Talking about CD, we have
the big launch on Sunday night – I’m a little stressed to be
honest, simply because so much work has gone into the album itself,
and I hope it all goes as planned!!
Well, I will write next
week, hopefully a VERY positive entry about the launch. I’m off again
next week to beautiful El Questro to play to a bunch of rich Americans…bring
it on!!! Should be a very interesting week!!
Take care, see you at
: February 13th – Mullets, Sambuka and Paul Kelly
Well, we did it. We supported
Paul Kelly. Was I nervous??? No way! Yeah right…my nerves gave me
good reason to go out and buy a new, very expensive outfit and a new,
very expensive haircut! Now, with a maxxed out credit card, and a
hairdo I don’t particularly like, I sit here, ‘pondering’ over that
night! Firstly- the haircut. How can Donna from the Waifs write such
a good song about her haircut- but all I’m left with is some ‘rock
chick’ hairdo that some guy got all exited about and for some reason
I trusted him and let him ‘go crazy and experiment’. I was there for
four hours, and ended up with only a third of the hair I went in with,
three patches in random spots of nearly no hair at all- aha- bring
on the undercut! And colours through my hair that were not at all
what I had asked for. So, the morning of the Paul Kelly gig, was not
successful and rather tiring and stressful! (it’s hard to be a
whining woman you know!)It was also the first time in a long
time that I had used the public transport system – on the way in,
I got stuck with a granny who was trying to convince me that mullets
are okay, and all young boys and girls should have them. I tried to
back off slowly, but there was no where for me to run it seemed.
So, later that evening we
head off to Fly By – Terry was early! Can you believe it! Penny was
late – another shock! We watched some of Paul Kelly’s sound check,
and when it was our turn, we desperately tried to look like pro musos.
(not sure if we convinced the sound guy, who kept having to interrupt
Jess, Pen and I from talking about my new haircut!) I also tried to
convince all band members to get three random patches on their heads
- not sure why they didn’t take on my advice? I mean, now it is Jean-Guy
and I against the lot of them!
So, we go get some food
- Nic’s Place kebab shop, talk about our set- we were told we were
playing from 9-10pm and Jean-G was to turn up at 9.30pm. All planned,
all sorted. That is, until we get a phone call from the Fly saying
we are now on at 8.40-9.45pm. So, we freak out a little, head back
to the FLy, have a couple of sambucas and jump on stage! The place
was packed. Sold out- you couldn’t move in there. Probably over 700
in the room.
Our set went down really
well – the audience were kinda similar to those at Bridgetown, they
really listen to your lyrics, and take in everything you do on stage.
Started the set with Welcome Home and built it up from there. I started
getting pretty nervous half way through that Jean wasn’t going to
turn up. So there was this build up for our harmonica player, and
when he finally arrived the crowd went crazy! We managed to play our
last two songs with him. Satisfaction and Permission. The crowd were
awesome and managed to make us feel really happy with the set. So,
now we were all so hot and sweaty and hyped up- ready to listen to
So, on came more sambucas,
wine and beer. Oh oh- can you see the problem arising. Mixed drinks
and hyped up emotions = disaster!! Paul came on, and wooed the crowd
completely. He is just so at ease on stage, just being his quiet self.
Not talking much- just playing damn good music. I took my mate Ryan
back stage (well, side stage) and we spent most the night dancing
away back there. A few encores, with all his old classics – I had
to hold myself back from jumping on stage and belting out ‘Dumb Things’
After he finished, and all
the crew left, we went backstage and hung out with Paul and his band
for an hour or so. As soon as I shook his hand, I felt the alcohol
hit me. So there I was, shaking Paul Kelly’s hand, feeling my words
slur into one long sentence about how much I loved him. He nodded
and smiled politely and the more he didn’t talk, the more I seemed
to ramble on. I walked away, and decided to get my shit together.
Then I sat on the floor, and totally shut my mouth for a while, (which
is merely impossible)and just listened to the others and observed
the situation. Cody was all drunkee, adding in random comments and
then chuckling to himself. Penny was buddying up with Paul’s guitarist
Dan, and trying to steal all his vodka. Terry, well he was just standing
around with this huge smile on his dial. There was this sad looking
case, standing outside the room’s window, gently strumming his guitar,
trying to serenade Paul, singing some of Paul’s older songs, just
looking like a puppy dog. Felt like he was in a jail, looking all
sad at us all through the bars. Paul got him a beer. The guy was stoked,
and decided to sing some more.
Soon, after some interesting
convo, the band left, and so did we. Pen and I hung out with Robbo
- who had managed to get in free, and get backstage too – and off
we went again to Nic’s Place. This is where I thought it was ‘nap
time’ and rested my head – for about an hour or so! Robbo ate my kebab
and they sent me to a mates home in a taxi. Interesting taxi ride
- all I remember is the driver saying over and over ‘you must not
vomit, you must not fall asleep’. Pfft, like I would do that. I’m
way too classy for that! However, I think we really connected on a
deep level!! ha!
Woke up in my clothes, wandering
where I was, and what I had said to Paul Kelly. Penny came over and
we went and had breaky for two at …you guessed it, Nic’s place ..laughing
about all the silliness from the night before.
All in all…..well, what
a night. That’s about all I can say!
2004: JANUARY 21 LIVE RECORDING
Well, finally the album
has been recorded – thankgod!! It will be ready by the end of Feb!!
Not long to wait now! Here’s a little write up on it…. It won’t
all fit on the CD cover so I thought I’d share it with you on the
It’s only taken two years
of playing around WA, for us to finally get it together and record.
Why a live recording? There’s a few reasons for this. The energy we
create on stage, in front of an audience is what Toby and Code-Red
are all about. We thrive on audience interaction, feeding off the
audiences response, creating a fun and rowdy atmosphere, and mostly
having a ball on stage. We recorded the album over two nights, at
the Indi Bar in Scarborough . First night you couldn’t move as the
place was packed out and the dance floor was filled. The second night
was a little more chilled (and a little more sober), and the audience
really got into the music and what was happening on stage. The songs
were mainly written between 1999 and 2002. (a few from 2003)
There’s a heap of people
to thank. Firstly I want to thank the members of Code-Red. (and any
other musos who have played with us in the past) I have had the pleasure
of playing with a fair few musos over the past years, all adding their
own individual touch to my music. The musicians I play with are all
incredible in their own way, half of them have studied classical and
jazz music, and they are all naturals at what they do. The recording
was like a reunion for me with seven of my favourite musos joining
me on stage and doing their thing- most of which is made up on the
spot. We are a band that don’t rehearse, we just play.
The people who played on
this album are not only amazing to play with, but also very special
friends to me. (love you all loads!) We have formed friendships over
the past years that are irreplaceable, and I want to thank all the
members for this wonderful gift. I am extremely lucky to play on the
same stage as you all, I look up to you all for your musicianship
and thank you for helping my songs grow and improve over time.
Cody Robson- the ‘code’
part of Code Red…you have been there from day one, quietly adding
your touch and your ideas to my songs and helping write songs such
as the Country Song – you are my main sidekick- thank you for putting
up with my bossy behaviour and for standing by my side- you are one
very special guy and a brilliant musician. Terry Vinci- thanks for
coming out of no-where and joining our not so little band and making
the experience on stage so much more pleasurable. Your Permission
drum roll is a highlight of every show! Jean-Guy – you are a
rock god!! You put up with us all, and you are so modest about your
playing. I am constantly blown away by your solos – THANKYOU!
Lucy Fisher – a total rock diva – I have never seen someone
rip up a violin bow the way you do. What we share on stage is awesome-
thanks for the support and friendship and being so passionate and
great at what you do. Jessica Walker – your gentleness and good
humour is continuous. You have helped transform so many of our songs
– and hearing you play on stage next to me always sends shivers
up my spine. Penelope Kimble – an extremely good friend to me,
so serious about what you do, and so particular about the notes you
choose to play. You are like a little angel and I love having you
up on stage with us! And last but not least, it was fantastic to have
Sarah Pierce join us on stage for the first time. (with such late
notice) I thoroughly missed playing music with you – you play that
cello with such emotion – you are a star.
James Hewgill –
you were kind of thrown into this project not quite knowing what to
expect and the way you handled it was with such professionalism. You
are a master at what you do- thank you for your time and for doing
your job so well.
Kevin at the Indi- thanks
for the constant support and for helping us out with the album. The
Indi has become a favourite of ours and much of that has to do with
your positive encouragement. So Thanks!
Big thanks to our sponsors
– mainly The Indi Bar, and Chris and Cloe at Clientforce. Thanks
Shea Walsh for having a great eye for detail and taking such great
snaps. Also thanks to John Small and Hugh Buttsworth for the film
and the great photos! Ta to our lovely doorbitches on the nights –
Fiona, Michael and Brodie. Thanks Rachael Cochrane for helping us
out with promos – much appreciated.
And a huge thanks to my
very special family, especially Mum, Dad and Pippa- for always supporting
my music and putting up with my band jams, and encouraging me to try
out lots of instruments and putting up with my rollercoaster of emotions!
Also, huge thanks to all my mates for the constant encouragement and
to everyone who comes along to our gigs and enjoys our music. And
a huge thanks to everyone who has bought this album!
Hope you all enjoy….
DECEMBER 22 – Thoughts on 2003
Well, we had the first
half of the live recording last night. I’ve had no sleep, so I probably
won’t make much sense at all. It’s been quite a big week, the grand
finals last weekend, and then preparing for the recording, which really
didn’t start happening until two days ago. Terry, Cods and I went
through the set list, then yesterday morning I went through a couple
of numbers with the girls. I hadn’t played music with Sarah for four
years, so yesterday when she got out her cello and started playing
it sent shivers down my spine! It’s such a beautiful instrument, especially
when it’s played with emotion and passion. It was also the first time
to have both Jess and Lucy on the violins. There were eight of us
in total (Jean-guy, and Penny as well) I was sitting there listening
to all the girls worry about if they were going to screw up on the
night, and I started stressing, coz really if anyone was to stuff
up it would be me! There I was surrounded by incredible musos- all
of which have studied classical and some jazz music- most of them
having been at the Con, and all of them totally capable of ripping
up amazing solos…….
So anyway… the
day all went a bit nutty yesterday. The Indi Bar was meant to be shut
in the morning so we could have some peace while James Hewgill did
his thing. I arrived there at the same time as Sar and Cody at 11am
, and the place was filled with over a hundred men, all drinking and
watching the boxing fight. So everything kinda went a little crazy
trying to sort out what the hell to do!
James did a fantastic job
at keeping cool, he seems so calm as he sets up the room with his
mega expensive equipment. He is one man who is so pro it’s scary!
So, anyway, the support
bands played (Stringer and Thorn) and my spunky cousin Al and his
trio, Lunchbox and the room was starting to fill. By the time we hit
the stage at 7.45pm , there were close to 300 people jammed into the
Indi- and what a range of people – aged from twelve years till
over 80!! They seemed pretty amped up- and I was stressing.
Our first set was fairly
short- no drums. It was the ‘intimate’, soft, lovey typa set.
Where I was joined by members of Code-Red for duos and trios. It’s
always hard to play softer material to a rowdy crowd, so I was kinda
relieved when that set was over. I was ready to get up and get the
crowd dancing and do our thing.
The rest of the night was
incredible; we had such a blast on stage, and rocked it up something
chronic. Everyone had their opportunities to show off their playing-
and they were all little rock stars!! We were up on the high speakers,
we were in the crowd, the crowd was going off, and all in all the
night was a hugely successful – as a live show…. But
I am very unsure of how the actual CD recording will turn out. Because
we kinda forgot to worry about getting our timing and tuning and vocals
as perfect as we could, instead we just run amok on stage.
But even so, even if we
can only pull off a few songs from the recording we still have the
second half – that’s on Jan the 11 th – so we can be more serious
A huge thanks to everyone
who came down last night and supported us, also to everyone who played
– Sarah, Penny, Jess, Lucy, Cody, Terry and Jean-Guy –
love ya all!!! And also to Kev at the Indi and our sponsors.
So, the year has nearly
come to an end. I can’t believe that Christmas is in like, three days.
This year has been kinda crazy for me. Like an emotional rollercoaster
Musically, I have learnt
so much, about my own playing, and about how bands work and sometimes
don’t work together, about managing your own band, about dealing with
other people’s shit, about dealing with your own nerves and also your
own expectations. About rejection, and about highs and lows of the
Highlights? There are heaps.
Having Lucy Fisher join the team was a huge high point for me. She
is a professional rock star, quite the diva! And a bloody awesome
person to hang out with. Luckily we get along so well, especially
when we are touring, we are always in each others space and have learnt
a lot from each other. Also learning to play with different musos,
and different ensembles – sometimes no bass, sometimes no drums,
different instrumentalists. Always keeps it interesting.
Having Michael join us was
heaps of fun, he was great to hang out with, allowing me to be a bit
of a dickhead and act about five years old at times!! (The inner child
comes out!!) Then having Cody rejoin us was fantastic – I think
Cody and I are meant to play together. We are like family now and
we have a connection through our music that feels very natural and
exciting. Also having Terry along for the ride has made the year a
little more crazy- we laugh a lot together, and make fun of most situations.
We have been dealing with the ‘drummer’s zone’ and learning
a lot about each other and enjoying being on stage together.
And of course having Jess
play with us is awesome. She is always so positive and happy and friendly
and fun. Always prepared to help out and support us, and Jess is also
the busiest woman I know- so the time she gives to the band is so
precious to us!! Ta heaps Jess! Penny – well, we only get a
few times on stage with Miss Pen, but I love it coz we have been such
good mates for years now. Pen knows her shit, and takes it seriously,
so once she gets her solo right, she rips the bag out it and I just
get so into her playing. The same with Jean- we play with him the
most really, why coz he just happens to rock up! We have even managed
to get him to play down south with us, and north of the river! He
likes to stick to Freo, so we are pretty lucky getting him to get
out of the Freo zone!! Jean-Guy is an amazing man- he seems so quiet
to everyone else, but really he is a cheeky bastard and constantly
cracks me up. I love what he does – musically he is the man!!
Highlights for me are definitely
the tours- there has been a few biggies this year and lots of weekend
tours. Broome would be our favourite place. Got to know each other
very well up there. Fist tour was with Mike on bass, I think he learnt
way too much about Lucy’s and my ideas on life, and got a little scared.
Driving up there in Terry’s van was the mission of all missions. We
had our special night where terry was sure we could make it 130 kms
on an under empty tank at 1am . And we had to go with his ‘vibe’
and ended up hitting a roo and turning around and heading back to
the last station and sleeping there all night! And of course we were
woken up by a not so friendly country petrol station worker –
they are a class of their own I tell ya! Bit scary. We decided they
all need to be locked up in a cage at a zoo maybe..Or Terry thinks
in one of those huge roundabouts, so everyone can drive round in circles
and look at them – looking, not touching. We also had the incident
on the first Broome tour where we slept through our alarm in Karratha
(by five hours) and were extremely late for our Carnarvon gig- the
car then decided to cark it and by the time we got there, the crowd
were pissed off at us. So much that when I got up to do a solo set,
someone got up and turned the jukebox on!! (That one is so not a highlight
for me!!) So that was kinda, well, ‘special’.
Another huge highlight for
me was performing my ten or so shows in Switzerland . I learnt again
to rely on myself (as it was solo) and go back to the basics of my
songs. Great crowds, different people every night, and the bar packed
out always. Having Carus come and join me was awesome. He just happened
to be in France , on his first tour and popped over for a gig with
me! We loved it- had such a fun time on stage with him, and got so
much great feedback on the night. The tour with Carus and his crew
was great too. Heaps of fun, and I learnt a great deal from them –
and also getting to know Noel, Jason and Trav heaps better was awesome.
Blues at Bridgey was definitely
one of our major highlights, mainly because we got such great feedback
and a bit of a following going on during the weekend, and now after.
Can’t wait to play at heaps
of festivals next year. Just wanna have fun and travel and play music!!
That’s all I need. Well, nearly!!
Anyway, I think I have
rambled on enough. So I will wish you all a merry chrissy and have
an awesome new years. And hope to see you in 2004 for a bigger and
better year… x x
14 – NO WIN
Well, I’m exhausted. We
had the grand finals of the Coca Cola Comp last night. It went from
like, 6pm till 4am . Pretty crazy night I must say. We did our set
with the six of us (Tez, Cods, Jean-G, Lucy, Pen and I) and it was
a pretty awesome set ! We just had heaps of fun on stage, got the
crowd rocking and gave it our best. And…blah blah blah, the
night continued, and nope we didn’t win this time! I feel sad about
it, but also feel like it’s not a huge loss. But what I have been
getting from a lot of people is would a folk band ever really win
a comp held at a pub? And this I have been wandering about. It seems
the mass crowds want heavier rock, with the normal set up of guitar,
bass and drums. And more distortion than I can handle. I hope I’m
not sounding bitter, because I do believe there was some great talent
at the comp – in all genres, but it kinda did get me thinking.
Why is it that the Waifs have been at it, working their asses off
for ten years before they win an Aria. They are brilliant and were
just as brilliant five years ago. So what is the Perth scene? What
makes our locals happy? I spose you just can’t win over everyone.
We all had fun, and it was
great to get to the top twelve bands out of 250 other bands. I wanted
to thank everyone who came down and supported us. Loved having your
smiling faces in the crowd. Thanks Nicole, Niccy and Jas for sticking
round to the early hours of the morning with me!!! Hope I wasn’t too
much of a pain in the ass!
So now the next big thing
for us is next weekend – doing our live recording. I’m nervous
for sure, just hoping we can pull off a top night up on stage! I’m
sure it will be great! Right!!? I’m really looking forward to the
gig actually. I have an old mate of mine Sarah, who I used to jam
with four or so years ago, who hopefully will be joining us on stage
with the cello. Absolute beautiful player. What an instrument. And
then also Jess, Jean-Guy, Penny and Cody, Terry and maybe even Mike
will help us out on guitar. Whatever happens it will be a shitload
of fun and interesting to see what comes out of it!
Well, I want to wish everyone
a Merry Christmas and an awesome New Years. Live it up and hope to
see you early in 2004. We are touring a fair bit over the Christmas
break and have some really exciting things planned for next year.
Check out our gig guide to see where we are playing over summer!
Thanks again for all the
support. Take care!!!
Cheers, Tobes x
17 – Just a Quickie
Been writing heaps in the last few days.
As soon as I got home from Bridgey I couldn’t stop writing lyrics!
Also been listening to some great music lately – Voices On The Verge,
Paul Kelly, Dave Johnson, Sade and of course Ani (new favourite song
- Overlap). Have a listen to any of these if you can!!!
Our gigs at Clancys are going well. Cody
is starting to sing more which is great – his voice is getting better
every time i hear it, so I’m loving doing our good ol’ daggy country/blues
duets together! We had heaps of fun on stage the other night at Freo
Clancys – we went one hour over time. Did the funniest longest version
on Land Down Under- made me crack up. Wicked to see some familier
faces from Bridgetown at the gig! Thanks guys! Hope to catch up again
11 – Bridgetown Update
What an incredible weekend. It hit us a
week or two ago that we were actually going to be playing at the Bridgetown
Blues Festival, so we suddenly got a bit nervous, quickly whipped
up a couple of new blues songs, and tried to get our shit together
for the weekend!
I drove down with Penny.
It was quite the road trip – singing daggy girly songs the whole
way, and stuffing our faces with chicken flavoured twisties and pork
crackle chips. (don’t even ask!) We finally arrived in Bridgetown
and there were thousands of people everywhere. This was about 8pm
. We got sorted at our school camp dormitory style accommodation –
and for some reason unknown, we were put in the room called ‘The
Pig Pen’ . (I think they saw us coming with our crackle!) We
got some sambuca into us and headed into town! It was a great night
– saw John Butler play, and a few other fantastic bands. We
ate many a buckets of fried potatoes, and Penny managed to make quite
a scene with a group of pot plants in the most crowded area she could
find. Nice work Pen. While watching an awesome band called The Satellites,
we were asked for ID twice in fifteen minutes. And for some reason
when the security asked for me to spell my middle name, I completely
forgot what it was- so we were dragged outside to meet up with two
new security guards, telling us we were only 17!! So with a bit of
sweet talking we managed to get these people to believe that yes we
actually were legal, and for some years now!! Somehow we managed to
walk/crawl home and hit the sack. Only to be woken by one very loud
and drunkee Lucy Fisher who decided to jump on me at about 3am . I
didn’t sleep so well, kept waking up screaming and sleep talking.
Think I was a bit exited and nervous!
So, we woke up, ate a big
breaky (yes, we like our food) and headed into town to meet some of
my fam who had come down. Watched a heap of amazing musos play, ate
more, and waited for our trusty drummer to turn up!! Well, twenty
minutes before we were due on stage, Terry and Cody rocked up. And
on we went – in the Festival Hall. All six of us – Terry,
Cody, Lucy, Penny, and Mr Jean-Guy. And what a gig!! The hall was
packed, and every person seemed to listen so closely to every note
and every word and observe every movement on stage. Certainly a bit
different from Perth pub gigs! The set went off- one and a half hours
– we were so amped up – and at the end of the show we
got a standing ovation. (300 people) You couldn’t wipe the smiles
off our faces!
After the show we got
to talk to huge amounts of people, all with great feedback on the
show. Became rather hypoactive for the next few hours!! The rest of
the day was spent wandering around to different venues, listening
to bands such a s Chris Wilson, Mia Dyson, Lloyd Speigal, Matt Taylor,
and many more.
Next gig was at 8pm . Back at the Festival
Club. The room was filled, people were lining up to get in, and some
were rejected due to lack of room. There was a great vibe in the room,
and we were as exited as ever, we couldn’t wait to get up and play!
Started the set solo – Red House, then half way through the
song I was joined by the rest of the band, and it turned out quite
the intense experience. The rest of the gig was so much fun, we turned
the hall into a huge dance party, Cody put on a cowboy hat way too
big for his head, and we did our new blues song – “Shot
Down” – with Cody and I singing together. By the time
we got to our last song – The Country Song, everyone was having
a ball. We finished up- and then were called back for an encore –
out came Permission with all of us on stage- everyone did mint solos….and
our little red shoes were dancing round on stage!! (yes, Pen,
Lucy and I all own red shoes now!!)Again we were asked to do
another encore – so we performed “Breathe”. Hadn’t
sung that for ages. Always interesting to see the audiences faces
while singing the first line, “It smells like sex in here…”
So that was our Saturday
at Bridgetown. Next morning we had to drag ourselves out of bed, and
perform at 10am at the Geegeelup Tent. We were surprised at the outcome
of people – we were not the only ones up! So again it was a
very enjoyable show with a great audience, and even some early morning
I had an awesome time in
Bridgey – loved nearly every moment of the weekend!! Wanted
to say a big thanks to my gorgeous band, and also to Alison Paull
for all your help and support and to everyone else down there. Thanks
for a terrific weekend!!! X
- Random Stuff!!
I’m writing heaps at the moment. I find
it funny to see people’s reactions to different songs. It’s like,
for me, most songs have a person involved – and I write how I feel,
but then along the way, I may just add in some random sentence or
word that fits the song.and suddenly the song takes a turn. Sometimes
you are literally singing as it is, sometimes you are singing as you
would like it to be, sometimes you sing about not much at all. I also
find it weird that most of the songs written over history are about
love of some sort – falling in love, getting your heart broken, and
everything in between, and even if you try to write about other day
to day type of stuff, somehow that word love seems to pop up!!! It’s
pretty frustrating to say the least!!! So I finally started writing
a song about my best mate Fiona and I sitting on her front porch,
drinking red wine, having a chat. but then of course our chat involves
We are pretty busy at the
moment. Been doing a fair few gigs locally – mainly hitting the Indi
Bar and Clancys. In a few days, Cody and I are going on Warp Factory
TV, doing a couple of songs and also an interview. Should be pretty
fun. Will remind me in a warped way of Australian Idol – hopefully
without all the bullshit in between!!
We are planning on recording
in the month of November. I am having personal dilemmas about whether
to do a 16 track live album, or a studio album. I have so many songs
to choose from, and no money in my bank account (the sweet life of
a muso) and no idea what to do! Whatever we choose it will hopefully
be ready to launch by the end of December. That’s my crazy aim anyway.
We’ll see what happens. You just never know!!
We are also planning on
having a short break for the band in late January – lucky Lucy is
off to Trinidad, Penny may be off to Spain, Jess is getting married
and I may head off to some tropical destination, or in more realistic
terms, I will sulk in my bedroom that everyone else is off around
the world, or getting married! Scary!! Then once we get back together
we will hopefully tour over east in March – not sure yet which band
members are coming, all depends on who’s available and what we can
hook up along the way. I’m really exited about taking our music outside
of WA. I have done solo in Melbourne – just a couple of shows, and
also played a fair bit Interlaken, but it’s time to get the band out
there!! We are ready to take on the world!!! Or at least the East
In late September I was
lucky enough to be the solo support for Carus and his band (Noel and
Jason) for their WA leg of their national tour. I gotta say I was
kinda nervous and exited. I’ve known Carus for years, but didn’t know
Noel or Jason too well. We were also blessed with the company of one
Travis Williams – our roadie/doorbitch. Me and the boys. All squashed
up in a smoke filled four-wheel drive – for many hours at a time.
Gotta love it – I think – most the time! Got to know the guys a whole
lot better, and learn that all bands have their ‘stuff’. Which is
great! “Stuff” not necessarily being a bad thing, just a way of working
together??! So we had eight shows – Freo, Bunbury, Margs, Yalls, Denmark,
Kalgoorlie, Esperance and Albany. I would open the night with a solo
set (with Noely-Noel jumping up and playing some harmonica in the
blues numbers) and then the guys would get up and do a couple of sets.
I would then go and drink with new drinking partner Trav, have a dance,
and then get up for a few numbers with the boys – playing the good
ol’ tambourine (I’m slowly perfecting it – after many purple bruises
on my left hand!) and sing harmonies with Carus. We got to see some
of our beautiful coast, eat some ripper meals (boshing big bazzers
all the way), drink possibly a little too much, play a heap of music
and meet some awesome people. Gotta say my favorite shows were .Yallingup
- at Caves House, nice and intimate in the lounge room, fireplace
going, and after my show a wicked chick came and started putting dreddies
in my hair!!! Denmark – lots of hippies, got up for about seven songs
with the guys as they were all swapping instruments, danced and sung
through the crowd – the ‘Denmark Rap’ suddenly came out and Carus
and I sung the extra extended version of this!! Also Esperance was
awesome – I had my uncle and four of my little cousins there, so that
was very cool! All in all, the trip was a success and heaps of fun,
plus I got to listen to Carus’ tunes night after night – and by the
last night I was still enjoying them! That definitely says something!!!
Toby and Code-Red have got
some great gigs ahead of us. We cant wait for Bridgetown next month.
We are performing three times. Should be awesome – with all seven
of us!! God, that means we really should practice – which would make
it literally our fifth rehearsal for the year!!!! Oh oh. That can’
be good! We also have been accepted to play at the Vintage Blues Festival
next January in Albany – another fantastic festival , and Capel Fest
have invited us to play next April. I love the festival scene – our
band haven’t done festivals together yet – I was lucky enough to do
a heap of festivals with my children’s band – Shinju, Bridgetown,
Fairbridge, Balingup, Capel, and heaps of others. The atmosphere is
great, the music is great and you find a heap of amazing people all
around! So bring it on!!!
I got to say a very big
thanks to Claire for her awesome work on this website – if you ever
need a pro doing graphics and design, or web pages – contact Claire
- excellent to work with!! [...thanks toby!
Well, must go . this has
been a long one.. So catch you soon. x
5 Broometime Tour
Hey. I’m sitting here in the beautiful
backpackers in broome. fantastic weather. So hot! It’s over
30 degrees. Done quite a few shows already. Our shows start late here
- like 11pm till about 2.30am!!! The crowds are pretty interesting.
Always big, up on the dance floor, quite rowdy- which is great coz
it makes us act a lot more rowdy and adventurous on stage. Getting
up on the speakers and amps and being kinda silly! Getting to some
new places musically – just jamming on stage and creating some
Caught up with some mates here which
is awesome, plus making some joy new mates while up here! Bring on
the KK crew! Broome has such a unique feel to it. So relaxed and free.
Broometime they call it. The town is great, the beach is the most
beautiful I’ve seen, great company, awesome accommodation, and excellent
music!! Can’t really complain. Get pretty tired in the day but-
coz after the gig your high seems to last until about five in the
morning before you can relax enough to fall asleep. And Lucy’s
and my room is right next to the pool, so sleeping in isn’t
really an option.
I’m loving Broome!!! Fourth time
here now in two years. Would like to make this place my second home
(other than Interlaken of course!!!!)
- Chillin in Perth
Ohhhh life is good. We are flying up
to Broome tomorrow! Can’t wait to get there. Got a 17 day tour
up there, and in Derby too – Terry, Lucy, Cody and myself. Yep,
Cody is back and is fine form!
It’s strange being back in Perth again. It’s as if Switzerland
didn’t happen! It was such a quick decision – booked it
three days before! Only there for a month this time, but it was incredible.
Seeing all the Balmers crew again was the best. I also did ten shows
over there. Every few nights I would play at the bar – heaps
better than I had expected. The crowds were always joy, between 100-300
people every night – from all over the world. Sold a lot of
my little EP demo thingy!! Kinda surprising! Also got to perform on
Swiss Day – outside in the sunshine with a great crew all around.
Pity the neighbours are so anal – wanted us to keep turning
the sound down- gotta love that. Swiss Day rocked – drinking
all day, parades in the street, live music, markets, fireworks, and
a shitload of dancing! The weather was awesome – in high 30’s
everyday. Got to be with my favourite chickas again which was so cool.
Didn’t want to come home.
But here I am, ready for Broome. Only
did a few shows in the last month – Bootleg, Indi, Gilgai. Just
been chilling a bit more – listening to my newest CDs –
Michael Franti, Beth Orton, Ani and Fiona Apple. Sweet as. Gotta get
my shit together and record my own album – one of these days….I
Metro Bar show with Carus
hey all. well i am on an ongoing high it
seems. life here seems to get easier and breezier and more and more
fun. i have two days off. today I’m having an easy one with
the girls. had a huge one last night probably one of my most fun gigs
ever… carus arrived on monday nite, we hung out and had huge chats
and cups of tea on the balcony….next day went riding the bikes to
the lake and went swimming, also jumped in the freezing river and
carried away by the tide…
last night we did our gig
together. it was fairly well advertised, and the crowd was pretty
big, about 250, all packed in the underground metro bar. the sound
was better than I have ever had it here and the crowd was amped. i
have a lil fan base here now which is awesome…so i did the first
set which was fun then carus did a set then we did about an hour set
together. ended up a long night 9.30-1am. all made up on the spot,
it went off!! had the entire crowd rockin and dancing, and carus and
i were going off on stage and sweating up a storm. it was such a great
experience, i learnt so much in those few hours. had people buying
us shotties and bringing the drinks to the stage…so funny. Bring
on the jagarmeister!
then we went out and saw
Djambi (the reggae band) play a few tunes… all in all a wicked night
the past few days have just
been great,i soooo dont want to leave. already a few of us are getting
a lil upset over it…. mmm i will try not to think about it…
so, next week we are going
to paris I think – a girly road trip is on the way!
If you ever need a place
to be, a place to feel amazing, come to Interlaken……
Hey, the last few months have been awesome.
Heaps of gigs, heaps of fun. We did ten weeks in a row at Paddos which
went well, we have done four weeks in a row down at the Indi Bar and
also four weeks at La Bogg Inn, Northbridge. Also played at Mojos,
Murdoch Uni, and then there were the little tours. Been learning heaps.
We have had one of my guitar students Michael join us on the bass
for the past couple of months, which has been pretty cool. We have
been lucky enough to go down south on three different occasions to
perform- Bunno, Margs, Nannup, Dunno, Albany and Yalls. Loving it
when we go away- just the company and the laughs and the various crew
you get to meet. Its such a different feel when you are playing in
the country towns. But best of all we got to do a north west tour-
Kalbarri, Broome, Derby and Canarvon. went with Terry, Lucy, Mike
and me, all squashed up in Terry’s van- which was interesting. We
overheated several times, and managed to only hit one roo. And of
course when you are in such a small space for so many hours you tend
to tell each other more than you usually would (or should) so now
we know each others dirty secrets! That can’t be a good thing! Broome
was awesome. chilled out heaps, spent time down at the beautiful beaches,
jammed at Cables while the sun was setting, went fishing, and played
some wicked gigs to great crowds- about 400 up on the dance floor.
We all kinda got into the shotties during our breaks so it was pretty
funny up on stage!! Made me laugh jumping around like a dickhead with
Mike and Lucy while Terry was going through the audience playing whatever
he could get his hands on. (im talking percussion, not woman..) Derby
was fun- outside stage- Lucy and I got into ripping through country
folk and luckily they found it all amusing, Met some fantastic people
while there, cant wait to get back up. Canarvon- we won’t go there-
disaster day! Slept through our alarm, the car had every problem possible,
Lucy burnt her entire wrist while taking off the radiator cap, Mike
nearly crashed the van, I stressed out and stressed everyone else
out, and Terry, well, like I said we wont go there….it cant all
be roses!!! We got to Canarvon like three hours late- I did one set-
and well, it was shithouse! So we got in the car and kept on driving!
Kalbarri was joi as well- had one very pissed woman get on stage and
play Terry’s bongos- and then another woman took off her bra and threw
it at her! So funny!! Anyway- all good! Im loving it!!!!!!
It’s been a pretty full on few weeks.
Code-Red now have a residency at the Paddington Ale House in Mt Hawthorn.
I’m in charge of the night- which means I have to pull in other solo
and band acts- so far we have had Unit Three, Ali Borg, Marcus Bancroft,
Monsoon, Leena, The Wah Threes and last night Carus did a set. He’s
over for his CD launch, so it was great to have him play. Carus jumped
up with our band for Paul Kelly’s “Dumb Things”, (which
I suddenly forgot all the words and chords to!) and Hunters and Collectors’,
“Throw Your Arms”. It was awesome to play with him. Carus
has this unique energy when he’s on stage, and it’s totally catchy-
that’s why I think anyone would enjoy his live shows- even if they’re
not into that genre of music. Coming up we have Tragic Delicate, Alanah
Bancroft and heaps of others.
Rehearsed today with Terry and Lucy- actually I don’t think we know
the meaning of the word! We normally just sit around making jokes
and ripping through each other and playing stupid songs that we would
never actually play on stage! But it’s all fun and we are getting
to know each other a whole heap more which is great. I’m excited-
we are heading down south this weekend for our first little down south
tour! Christian Thompson is joining us- Bunbury and Yalls. A couple
of weeks later we head back down- to Dunno, Nannup and Margs. The
week after is Busselton and Yalls. Then off we go up North- Kalbarri,
Karratha, Canarvon and Broome. Let’s hope Terry’s new van last the
distance, and that we don’t kill each other on the way. It’s so great
to finally be doing what i have dreamed of for so long- sharing my
music with friends and random people, whoever wants to listen I spose.
Anyways- come to Paddos on any Tuesday night, it’s an awesome venue
and serves bloody good food! See ya all soon!
- Back in Perth
Hey all. So I have been back from Melbourne
for a month or so. It’s been really busy. Living back at home with
my fam, which is turning out better than I had expected. Had a few
good gigs lately. Supported Carus at Mojos on the 28th February. It
was an incredible night. About 130 people. Got up with Jess on violin
and Jean-Guy. My cousin Ali also joined us, on guitar and vocals for
a couple of numbers. (his first time on stage!!!) Just before getting
on stage I showed Jean and Jess the new songs I had written! And of
course they rocked out with joy solos- how is it that they can play
so well to anything they’ve just heard? It was great to see the crowd
up on the dance floor even though there were no drums. It was a wicked
audience- thank for the support! Got off stage on a huge high and
danced all night to Carus.
Also played some sets at Applecross
Clancys and Norfolk Basement. Started playing with Lucy Fisher which
is awesome. She’s a brilliant player and also has an excellent voice.
Got some great stuff planned for the next couple of months- down south,
and heaps of gigs at the Paddos. Can’t wait!
Hey, so I performed last night at the
Laundry in Fitzroy. I was up first, then Christian Thompson and then
Carus. It was great to see the guys- Christian’s set gets better all
the time, and of course Carus rocked out. I tried a few new tunes
that I have written over here- one is called “You Can’t Afford
Me”. I wrote it with my best mates Paulina and Fiona- the idea
of the song came from us walking in St Kilda one night, and heaps
of people for some reason thought we were hookers! And we were like,
‘You so can’t afford us!” and so the song evolved! Also did Breathe
and Safe which are pretty new. I’m really into writing right now.
I think getting away form Perth has been good for me…..our five
weeks here have been pretty weird, and interesting. Fiona bought a
van, and we were meant to drive up to Brissy, but we kinda got stuck
in a country town called Lake Boga. The name says it all. The van
died, and we somehow ended up staying with some random country folk
family for eight nights. It was awesome. You just learn how beautiful
and generous people can be. (a big thanks to our new boga family!)
But being there also gave me time to sit and think and write, that
was cool. (also gave me the opportunity to have a smoke and a drink
up a a really high quarry and roll off it at the end of the night
in the complete darkness…..I have many bruises and scratches to
Anyway, the gig at the Laundry went well, nice to have the opportunity
to get up in front of completely new people- they seemed to enjoy
the set. While watching Carus, I had a few tequilas, hung with the
guys for a bit, then headed off home. Sweet!
I did my first ever Melbourne gig! It
was so funny. I played at this bar called the Muse Bar. Imagine this-
me and my guitar on stage. The two owners, who are brothers, their
names Jim and Win. Their mother, a girl, and a best friend. The mother
and Win have a huge disagreement, in another language, halfway through
the song Driveway and she leaves angry. The girl leaves halfway through
the third song, Temple- she gave me a half a smile. And suddenly it
was just me a Jim, he was doing the sound and politely clapping after
each number and supplying me with shots of Midori and pints of beer!
Above me was this very ugly paper mache whale, which I feared would
fall on my head and knock me unconscious. (may have been a blessing)
At the same time there was a TV screen with JLo and Mariah, dancing
around in what they class as skirts! Mmmmm, well it was good to get
up and practice my set anyway! Haven’t sung for like three or four
NOVEMBER 14 : MADNESS!! – Perth
Wow, what a mad few weeks.
Heaps of gigs- Mojos, Indi Bar (with a stripper in the next room),
Murdoch Uni, The Basement Lounge, Paddos, Clancys…..In the last
five days we did four gigs. All excellent! Had an awesome day last
Sunday. My house mate Skye and I have spent the last few weeks putting
together a Bali Benefit mini fest. The Bali bombings affected us so
much- personally having been there about ten times. So after heaps
of organsing and a million phonecalls, the day arrived and it was
brilliant. 18 local bands, including the likes of Team Jedi, Carus,
Nathan Gaunt, Pussy Galore and of course Code-Red. It was a twelve
hour concert, and turned out fantastic. I was buggered by the time
we got on stage- I had been at Fly-Bys for over 15 hours that day.
Did a longer set, with all six players- Cody, Terry, Jess, Penny and
Jean-G. I totally loved it! That’s definitely when I am in my element-
surrounded by amazing musicians- who help my songs to grow- who add
so much more intensity and emotion. Cody and I did our country song-
he ripped on the banjolin and it now seems to be a lot of people’s
favourite. It’s weird- it’s such a daggy song! Maybe that’s why everyone
likes it. Ended on Permission, where all the players got to show off,
and they did- so well! All in all it was such a great day- so much
local talent- all friendly people- a crowd of nearly 400, and we made
about six grand for the balinese. Thanks for all the support!
Hey, got back from beautiful
Broome yesterday. Pretty buggered. Did the trip in around 30 hours-
quite a few stops- to try and save orphaned joeys! (which were a figment
of our imagination anyway) Spent the week up there with the Dragonfly
crew- Laura, Leonie, Hannah, Davey and Skye. We were so lucky- stayed
in the Bali Hai, right next to Cables Beach! Hung out all week having
yummy lunches, going out dancing, and running around in the nud on
Cables. Performed four or fives times (Shunju Matsuri Festival) and
did our last ever Drangonfly performance, which was really quite emotional.
We have been together for two years now, so it was so strange to think
it would be the last time I would be on stage with my mates, all glittery
and winged up! I also did four solo gigs- at Town Beach Cafe and also
a restaurant called 2Rice. I love Broome, we were here this time last
year as well, but we did 12 or more gigs in that week, so this time
we had a bit more time to chill, which was all great.
So I am back to reality now, gotta get back into Code-Red stuff. We
have a new drummer, Terry Vinci. Somehow his phone number ended up
in my wage page at work! We have don a few gigs together so far, and
it’s working well. He is a top guy- lots of fun to work with, he has
one of those huge laughs that cracks me up. I’m looking forward to
creating some music with him.
Hey, wow, what an adventure!
Got back from Europe a few days ago. I was working in Interlaken,
Switzerland for about 6-7 weeks (also did London and Bali in between)
working in Balmers Hostel- one of Europe’s top hostels. It was awesome-
met so many wonderful people, and partied so much. Lots of crazy shit
too- canyoning, water rafting, paragliding, hangliding and skydiving!
I feel like an adrenalin junkie! I performed at the July
The Fourth mini-fest, and had an awesome day. It was an all day
fest- heaps of American tourists and hundreds of drunky people! I
kinda broke my ‘dont drink before you perform’ rule- and accidentally
drank way too many Interlaken home brews!! Even entered a funnel comp!
(such a classy chick!) Bad move- coz i started feeling rather
seedy on stage!And started forgetting the words to all these
American classics, so I had to announce it was kareoke time- so all
I had to concentrate on was getting the chords right!! I have to say,
it was pretty cool to sing in front of such a wicked crowd- cheering
and singing along, and right there, in the middle of the brilliant
swiss alps! Couldn’t ask for more really! Overall – the trip was just
It’s been a bit mad since I got home! I got a phone call while I was
in Bali from Nathan Gaunt asking if I could support his band at his
CD launch at The Amplifier Bar. So the day I arrive home I have two
gigs in one night- and tonsillitis. The Amplifier went off- huge crowd-
totally pumped up to see Nath and the boys. Then I drove like a mad
woman to support Sophie Moleta at The Seaview. Next night at Mojos
supporting Carus- as usual these gigs are great. I spose I was a little
huskier than usual. Like Janis on drugs maybe? I’m off to sleep….god
knows I need it!
JUNE 9 On the way to London
I’m on a plane to London.
And I realised that one day I will have to get my shit together and
get a web site going. So I thought I would start writing a bit about
stepping into the world of music….or the Perth scene! Last night
we were in the finals of the Taste band comp, we came fourth out of
like eighty band. So I was pretty happy, well kinda. Good experience
anyway. Wicked to get Penny and Jess playing with us. GOt home at
2am and a few hours later headed off to the airport.
It’s been a great first half of the year. At the end of last year
I headed to the Kaboodle Lounge and got up and sang a few original
tunes- it went well, and they offered me some gigs. Then i got together
with an ex-student of mine, Cody and his mate Harley and suddenly
Code-Red began. The name? Well its inspired by my song “Red House’.
Plus I love the colour. So we somehow managed to pull weekly gigs
in the Freo area- Im stoked! I finally got up on stage coz i have
been writing for so long, and needed to share the music with some
people- to see their reaction maybe? Sometimes singing your originals
is like reading a page from your journal- like wearing your heart
on your sleeve. I think I write it as it is. I love the process of
writing- some songs taking years, others taking just hours.
Well- I have lots to write about now- I have become a full Freo chick!
Moved into one of those national heritage places with five other girls!!!
It was once a boys boarding school, once a brothel, and also a doctors
surgery! and its kinda creepy! Kinda crazy….one house…five rooms…six
girls, hundreds of visitors, one asshole neighbour, fairies, writes,
dancers, students, lesbians, psychologists, alcoholics, drama queens,
hippies, bar workers, ghosts, musos, house meetings, eviction nights,
arguments, a whole lotta women energy, a whole lotta cheap goon,…welcome
to 211 High. It can drive you mad..but there’s always someone to hang
with – or to share a beer or a cuppa tea. And luckily they support
my music- so that’s a bonus for sure.
So my adventure has begun- and I cant wait to see where it goes- and
who it goes with! Let the journey begin!