Today I sat with my 2015 diary. What a year!! We have officially done 100 shows, driven close to 30,000 kms, flown over 118,000kms, spent nearly 300 hours in the van, stayed in 70+ different beds, and played to over 20,000 people. Thats about 2000 songs I have sung live this year. We have also played in 6 different countries and also 5 different Aussie states. It’s been huge! I have played with 12 different band members during all of this. We have had SO many people look after us, welcome us into their homes, made us incredible food, shown us around their beautiful cities, clapped and cheered and purchased our cds, we have had countless arguments in the car that always end in hugs and “I love yous!”, plus thousands of laughs! We have had one tyre burst on a Germany autobahn, several trips on ferries, a couple of interesting border patrol incidents, we have roller coasted down mountain sides in the USA, played an intimate house concert for a beautiful dying man, eaten WAY to much bread and cheese, drank over a thousand cups of coffee just to myself, crashed a couple touring cars, played a couple of lovely weddings, froze ourselves on tiny boats in Switzerland, danced on random roadsides, eaten amazing food, eaten some not-so-amazing food, stayed in incredible houses and hotels, stayed in some HORRIBLE rooms as well, played a show in a small kitchen, played our biggest Euro gig to date in Germany, opened for some wonderful musos, had food poisoning in Germany when I had to go on an IV drip just before the show… the list goes on. I launched my brand new album to an awesome sold out crowd at Freo Arts Centre. My son Angus and my wife Amy joined us in Germany, Holland, Canada, Darwin, Gove, NSW, QLD and Broome. Angus has seen more in his first year of life than a lot of us do in many years. My band have been beautiful and kind and so patient with him over the weeks on end of touring. This year experienced the most amazing times as a first time mother. I have never been more exhausted and tired in my life. My wife has continually supported my career and has allowed me to keep following my dreams. My family have continued to be so incredible with their love and support and friendship. And our fans have been amazing and always make me feel so alive and so blessed. Thank you to EVERYONE who has had anything to do with us in 2015. You are why I keep doing this and why I keep trying to climb this massive mountain!! Bring on 2016!
If you have been to a show (or not) tell us your favourite memory of one of our shows, or travel moments or songs etc from 2015. We would love to hear from you! Thanks again everyone!
Part four started on Friday May 23rd in the Netherlands. We were joined by Tom. One ofour most favourite men to walk this planet. We played a show that I loved last year – the venue is a beautiful old church with great acoustics. We had a gorgeous bed and breakfast and a wonderful show. Because of the space we wereable to try out some new ideas with the audience. We began the second set up inthe upstairs bit of the church (not sure what that bit is called. Where the organ is??) We did a huge percussive jam and danced the audience and then hit the stage. It got pretty rocky and at the end of the song I did one of my big jumps and somehow my right heel came kicking up and I kicked my guitar, and it smashed. Like, totally unusable. So upset. It’s my favourite guitar – my baby. So it is time to get a new guitar once again! Loved working with Roots on the Road again – such fab people.
After the next Dutch show I became really really sick with tonsillitis. Went to the doctor with my glands looking like golf balls covered in pus. Went to the doctor and was put on penicillin for ten days. We were so lucky to be able to stay with Vera and Colin and lay in bed all day and eat soup and drink a ridiculous amount of lemon and honey. I was so sick that I had to move a show. Haven’t cancelled a show for so many years now. Felt terrible to do this. Pretty much I was flat out for about 5 days. Then I had no choice but to do 10 shows in 9 days. And it has been SO full on. Trying to recover and heal whileperforming every night and going to bed every night is kinda crazy. But we got there. The bad part is Amy then became really sick. A bad flu/cough for apregnant woman on tour is not fun at all. I was feeling so sorry for her. A few gigs I made her stay at the hotel all by herself while we went off to perform. Suddenly our brilliant idea of getting pregnant and going on tour seemed really quite stupid.
We had some great shows in Holland. On the Friday night wedid a new show – a totally new experience for me. We played at a New York stylebar – with a house band. I was asked to sing 3 songs – my own song Wont Be A Fool, and also two covers “Rather Go Blind” and Folsom Prison. The house band learns then super quick. We started setting up and other guest singers started coming in – and they were all proper ‘soul ‘ singers. And lets just say Ibecame very very nervous. They were incredible. So, I grew some balls and got up and did my thing and really enjoyed the experience, so di the audience. Wegot to meet some awesome people – we all sat around a dinner table eating and chatting – about 20 of us – mostly strangers. You really have to deal with somany new experiences and well, it keeps life very interesting.
A few more shows around Holland. Some great shows. Places we have played before and brand new venues. Old record shops in Amsterdam, places up north that fed us an incredible amount of Dutch style fish, acoustic shows in tiny cafes filledwith happy, enthusiastic people, and of course more interesting people.
We started playing with our new Dutch guitarist Daan whowent well with his first show shows. And of course Joey (Dutch) on drums aswell for a few shows.
It was Amy’s birthday on the 5th of June and thepoor thing was really very sick. While she slept at midnight I got the crowd to sing to her “Don’t Go” and we recorded it for her – they were such an awesome, silly, gorgeous crowd who were very happy to be a part ofit all. It made her feel better for a few minutes at least!
That night we played at a beautiful theatre and I got to share the stage with this amazing singer Ezekiel. He was one of those ‘soul’singers I had met in Amsterdam and he joined my on stage for a duo for my newsong “Tell My Lover” (that I wrote with Morgan Bain from Perth) and wow, this guy just blew me and the audience away with his voice. It was so hard to concentrate on my parts and I ended up stuffing up a couple of chords because Iwas too busy watching him perform next to me! It really was a special experience for both of us I think.
Next stop: Belgium for a few shows. My low point of the tour was performing in a massive store that we thought was a record shop, but in fact itwas an electronics store that sold tvs, cds, stereros etc. We had to set up inthe middle of the shop, in front of a big screen tv with videos of me playing on the screen. It was as awkward as you could get.
The Friday show was fun – our third time in this venue and it is slowly building which is always so good to see. The next day we did the usual – headed to the square, checked out the market and ate yummy food. Thistime we ate some incredible mushroom paella type of thing. Trying out the local food is one of our favourite things to do – if only we could take all the smells in a jar and bring it home with us!
We had the Sunday off in a beautiful part of Belgium called Tavigny. So Joel, Tom, Amy and I went on a little adventure in the van. We found a beautiful city called La Roche – we ate lunch in a gorgeous, typical square, had a few beers, explored the town and then decided to go kayaking down the river for 10 kms. It was such a magic day – the sun was out and we had so much fun chilling on this river, sometimes racing, sometimes swimming and getting stuck on the rocks way too many times. We even managed to find beer. It was aperfect type of day off. We don’t get this often on tour, so when it happens itreally is amazing. So good to chill out and laugh and not have to be anywhere at any particular time. And good to see donkeys. I like donkeys.
The next few nights we had off to recover and get healthy again at my family’s house in Biddinghuizen. Iam so lucky to be able to call their home my home away from home. To come home to family who are happy to see you and who ask questions about the shows and listen with enthusiasm to all my tour stories is wonderful. It really feels so comfortable to be with this part of my family and to honesty feel right at home.
TOBY is officially coming home to Perth! TOBY is super excited to be back on Aussie soil. TOBY has two very special Home Coming shows – one North and one South of the river. So we want to see you all there!!
Thursday 21st – Northshore Tavern, Whitfords
Sunday 31st – Fly Trap, Fremantle – limited tickets - www.flybynight.org