We drove toward Adelaide with our Covid border passes. SA and Victoria were the only two states open to each other. The drive takes most of a day and many hours later we approached the border checking area. You are also forbidden to take fruit into SA so we had to dump some tomatoes and an avocado. (This was after a debate as to whether either was actually a fruit). We were taking no chances. We had completed our forms online before leaving and stopped for a while to get them all checked. Evenutally we drove into Adelaide at about 9pm and sat in a queue for an hour at on old race course to get Covid19 tested.
We sat around for most of the next day, waiting for our results, which we eventually got in the early afternoon. Negative to both.
We drove into the Adelaide Hills for our first show on Friday July 2nd - Three Brothers Arms, Macclesfield SA.
This was a very cute , old timey pub which had music outside in a beer garden in the warmer months. It was also a very cold winter night and the fire was blazing in the bar where we were to play. There was a record player which was blaring out John Lennons Imagine album as we set up. It keept repeating until I had to look through the piles of records to find something and I put on some Yardbirds and then some Hollies. There were piles of albums and also many musical instruments about the room. Classic Mesa Boogie amps, 12 string acoustics and old basses, all laying around waiting to be played. There was a stand up piano where we were relaxing before the show and the sheet music on it was The Waters Of March by Jobim. Classy!
The Covid crowd restrictions meant we were to play two shows in the one night which we didnt' mind. They had sold the capacity of the room and then that capacity had been halved.
We played two hour long sets to a small listening audience on a cold, winters night. It was pretty delightful. Nice people in the room and nice people running the venue.
The next day we played at Trinity Sessions in Adelaide itself. Inside a church on Goodwood road. Again the capacity had been halved so were did two long shows. This was a beautiful sounding room, every sound was allowed to swell out.
I was playing my Maton EB808 acousstic and D'Angelico New Yorker electric into my Crate amplifier which I bought in 1998.
For the acoustic, I also had a Submarine pickup under the two top high strings which I was then putting through an octave pedal and then into a small Vox amp for some extra prettiness on the arpeggios and picking. The pickup is supposed to stay in one spot with suction but I have to tape it in place as I play standing up and moving about occasionally.
Clare was playing her Boosey and Hawkes vibes and a Yamaha Reface keyboaard and an iPad with a virtual mellotron as well as percussion and vocals.
The show was a pretty full and deluxe sound for two of us.
The next day we left Adelaide at 8am to drive to the next show at Bellwether Wines - Coonawarra in SA, near the town of Penola. I had played here before but we had a bit more gear this time. It was in an old shearing shed and again we were to do two longs shows. There was no PA so we put our two microphones through the Crate amp amd MADE SHOW.
Playing in this area is pretty personal for me. Many people I had known in olden times in the crowd, including blood relations. People who know me and my family. There was an exceptionally loud, drunken guy with a loud voice who seemed to be used to yelling at people. After the show he was yelling at me about something. Asking me how old I was and the like. I gave him nothing. His friend with him was a good foot taller and the loud man was very obsequious to him. Looking for his approval. They talked about music things like seeing the Allman Brothers - but in 1992. I was even less impressed with the fact the show had been on an American aircraft carrier and then heard a long list of fighting planes and helicopters. Just stuff people tell you about after a show. I soon learned that they came from Naracoorte and I said that was where my mothers family came from, the Fogartys. The tall guy knew my uncle and aunties and more. The loud guy was a lot quieter because he knew of a late cousin of mine from the area who had a fierce reputation and this obviously still had a charge from beyond the grave. (It was the second time a connection with my cousin had stopped an aggressive character from trying to test themselves against me. A few years ago in Port Adelaide, this tough guy took offence at me for some reason and was really looking aggressive until I mentioned a certain name from Naracoorte - where this tough guy had told me he hailed from. He turned white and backed away into a dark corner.) Anyway, it was nice talking about my mother and her family with someone from the area. I got directions on how to get to the family farm where I had had a lovely stay as a little boy.
We stopped in Penola before leaving to buy some threads at JILLS VINTAGE which is the greatest vintage shop in thecountry. Jill is my stylist!
We also stopped at my cousin Kristyns in the marvellously titled locale of DISMAL SWAMP where we posed for some photos and generally had a great time with Kristyn and her wonderful family.
photo Kristyn Jones
We drove back to Melbourne, armed with our border re-entry papers and had a couple of days rest before we got a 5am flight to Brisbane on Thursday July 8th, hired a car and drove to Ipswich where we checked into our hotel and had a few hours rest. This time I had my Maton Mastersound electric as it is tougher as far as being tossed around by baggage handlers. Clare had her keyboard and percusion and I had my small Vox amp and pedals.
I mainly have bit of compression and tone shaping on with options for delay, tremolo, phaser and overdrive if needed. Also the octave on the acoustic again. The show was at Goleby's Basement in West Street Ipswich. It was a great room, all BYO alcohol so it was basically open to all ages. We did two long sets. Christian runs the room as a real community space and he helped mix the occasionally complex nature of our instrumentation. It was a fantastic night. there are no venues like any of these in Melbourne or Victoria.
For this trip I was wearing a Ben Sherman jacket, a pale blue umper, some black slacks and light blue Dunlop Volley style sneakers.
The next day we drove back through Brisbane and up through the northern suburbs to the Sunshine Coast and the Imperial Hotel Eumundi. This was a beautiful, big room and we played to a seated audience from a high stage. Like the Trinity Sessions in Adelaide it was a real concert type show. Fantastic vegetarian food as well. A great time with great people.
We stayed in a Bed and Breakfast about five minutes from the venue and had breakfast on a deck looking out over the rainforested hills of the Sunshine Coast. A Butcher Bird came down and tried to psych us into giving it all of our food stash.
We stayed strong and then drove back through Brisbane and out to Toowoomba. I had played here in 2008 with Henry Wagons and wrote about it in 1001 Australian Nights. The venue was the Bar Wunder, right in the middle of town on a Saturday night. I expected a low turnout and prepared a set of slow, gloomy tunes. When we walked out to play we discovered it was a totally up for it, rowdy Saturday night crowd and we did our best to match the noise of the room, armed with our minimalist, pretty sounds. It went pretty well!
photo Mark Louttit
As we flew back to Melbourne we learned that we would not have to isolate at home for 14 days as the Red Zone we had strayed into (Eumundi) was now an Orange Zome.
The flights had been both jam packed with people, including so many little kids. Why do people want to travel with toddlers on planes is beyond me. There was one person with three young kids who just barged through everybody and everything on board the plane, stuffing so many oversized cases into the overhead lockers and keeping up a stream of loud talk with the three kids behind her, with no acknowledgement of all the other passengers. It made me think that there could be an actual character in WWF wrestling called SUPERMOM. She would kill everybody.
Generally I sat with mask on and a further scarf around my head and tried to sleep.
We still had to apply for re-entry permits and were met at the flight gates in Melbourne by a troupe of health officials taking everybodys details. We got tested the next day as every testing location in Melbourne seemed to shut at 5 pm. We stayed home until we got the results (negative - the next day) and watched some tv, winding down.
I had been looking forward to two weeks locked up inside. We had had to cancel a Melbourne show, a rehearsal and recording date but these will all happen. Not the Melbourne date. It seems hard for us to find the right room in Melbourne. We live here but its not our town. We play more outside of the city. While we were away we were even looking at possible new locations. I do like it here. Our neighbours are cool and we have a few friends. I just don't buy into that cornball Melbourne jive. We have some shows coming up.
LIVE STREAM - Thursday July 15th - 8pm Via Stage It Dot Com. Show #85
Saturday July 24th , Archies Creek Hotel, Victoria
Friday 30th July 30th
Citadel Murwullimbah, QLD
Saturday July 31st The Hotel Eltham in Eltham (Lismore) NSW.
Sunday August 1st The Dust Temple in Currumbin, QLD
Friday August 13th Smiths - Canberra
Saturday August 14th - Palais BallroomKatoomba, NSW
Firast of a FOUR WEEK residency by Dave Graney and Clare Moore in this boutique venue.