Tour Diary: Roly Skender and The Tonics Japan Tour

15 Jul 2008
Japanese Tour Diary Day 1

Today we left the comfortable cocoon of Perth to embark upon our first Japanese tour. Rolf was especially excited.

We first arrived in Hong Kong and spent a humid day sweating our arses off climbing escalators before getting on a Plane to Nagoya. We have a show here tomorrow night at an unusually named venue, Club Upset. Can’t wait to tell you more.

16 Jul 2008
Japanese Tour Diary Day 2

Last night we did our first show in Nagoya. We’re happy to say it was a success! Also, quite the experience compared to Australia. For example, on arriving at the venue for sound-check bands are given three sheets of paper. One is for stage plot/musician names/instruments. The next is for the set-list with audio suggestions for the sound mixer (eg– delay/reverb settings), then another set-list for the lighting operator with suggestions for colours for each song. They really help make the show. Club Upset is a pretty small venue but it’s got a good friendly vibe and we had a decent crowd that seemed to really appreciate the songs even though they couldn’t understand the lyrics.

Our genius merchandising department can pat itself on the back for making those stubby holders to give away when we sell cds, although there was a little confusion about what to actually do with them.

After the show it was onto the serious business of drinking – Japanese style. Just around the corner there was a little Izakaya (bar). I had the distinct impression our alcoholic limits were being tested by our friend on the left (he’s the club manager), but being Australian of course we passed with flying colours. The food was good too!

Thanks to our new friends in Nagoya for showing us a great night out. I must have been drunk to be pulling that V sign with such confidence, but Tim really takes the prize in this one.

One show down nine to go. Tonight we head a little further out of town to play at Music Farm… stay tuned.

17 Jul 2008
Japanese Tour Diary Day 3

We expected tonight to be a relatively quiet Wednesday gig on the outskirts of Nagoya, but we didn’t expect to be blown away by some of the bands we were supporting, most notably Morning Glory, a three piece rock act with two female front ladies, magnificent harmonies and arse kickin‘ drums plus a girl called Jyunko that delivered one of the quirkiest Japanese folk heartfelt performances you could hope to see. We ended up next-door at her friends place, Harmonica Pu Pu. It’s real…

As far as we could tell, it’s a food/curio/music/bar/op shop. We drank some shochu (Japanese spirit). Interestingly, it’s open to 25:00! Thanks Jyunko!

It wasn’t too late to catch the train back to the hotel (they stop at 12am). Luckily our tour manager Duane had a handle on where we needed to go. By now the beer and Shochu combination were making things look kind of like this.

Tomorrow morning we travel to Osaka, check in at the hotel and have a night off from playing, so we’ll probably take in a few sites.

18 Jul 2008
Japanese Tour Diary Day 4

Things are moving pretty fast here. We arrived in Osaka yesterday and were treated to some of the hottest humid weather so far, but we had a mission. We had to find the venue for Saturday night and distribute fliers for the tour to as many people as we could. We also needed to find a music shop so Rolf could buy a guitar tuner. This was achieved fairly quickly with a combined logic-instinct technique, but the pub took a little longer. Eventually we found it at about 7pm. The Blarney Stone.. yes, that famous Irish Pub in the centre of Osaka. Never heard of it? Dallas Crane has played there and apparently Kasabian has been known to pop in for a Tequila.

It was still empty at this stage but we had a good chat to the staff who were really friendly. I noticed they had tv screens with video clips playing, straight from Youtube. I showed them the ‘Free’ video clip and they liked it, even clapping at the end. Before long a crowd started to arrive and we got to chatting and handing out fliers. Lots of nice people and enough English going around to make things easy. We’ve got a long show there – 2x 45 minute sets but I think it’ll be a good night. Earlier that night we’re playing an outdoor charity event on the harbour. It’s a short 20 minute set with a lot of other bands but it’ll be a good opportunity to promote the next show and the rest of our tour. Tonight we travel to Nara for the gig at Neverland. More on that later.

19 Jul 2008
Japanese Tour Diary Day 5

Last night we played at a venue called Neverland in Nara, about 40 minutes on the train from Osaka.

It was one of those nights where you end up performing for the other bands on the bill plus a few strays, about 20 people. But once again it was great to see some more Japanese bands. One act from Tokyo by the name of Back Drop Cinderalla really stood out as the tightest heavy punk-rock crossover stage-show we’ve ever seen. We all loved it! And somehow they thought we were pretty good too, the guitarist even gave Rolfee a hug after the show. I don’t know how bands like this survive in Japan financially, but they have their own van and seem to be constantly touring, perfecting their stage show, probably playing a lot of shows like this outside of Tokyo.

It’s a strange fact that Japan is the second biggest music market in the world and it’s difficult for an Australian to name a single Japanese band. There’s this foreign idea that Japanese acts are somehow just copies of similar Western acts but from what we’ve seen so far they’re probably more original in a lot of ways. With the best bands we’ve seen here, there’s a passion for music that’s hard to describe, they put so much energy into it and seemingly get very little in return. I guess if they do make it big though the potential in Japan is massive. We’re looking forward to seeing more.

We’d also like to thank the other acts on the bill last night, especially Idle Boys who played a smooth set and tried to speak English with us

Until next time, here’s a random Osaka photo – Rolfee is on the lookout for unusual bikes.

20 Jul 2008
Japanese Tour Diary Day 6

Yesterday’s gigs were quite different from the others. The first was on a stage right in front of the harbour. It was a benefit concert for UNICEF called Charity Seaside Live. As seems the norm in Japan, the event was something of a variety show. We played after an eating competition to an international crowd of about 150 people. A few came up afterwards to say hello, a couple of Australians, a Canadian and some nice Japanese girls that wanted fliers for our other shows. Here’s a shot of Rolfee and Tim at the gig.

and this is is our tour manager Duane, dressed appropriately for the humid Japanese summer.

Later that night we did our two set marathon at Blarney Stone. The sound system was shit but the people were great. We had the front floor bouncing with Japanese friends throughout the second set and they took Rolfee and I clubbing afterwards.. an underground Osaka rock club playing all western music like Coldplay, The Strokes, Weezer etc. We drank tequila and headbanged until 2am before getting a cab back to the hotel. Thanks Naoki for showing us such a good time. Tonight’s show is at a place called Shirohige which apparently means white beard… ok!

21 July 2008
Japanese Tour Diary Day 7

I’ll admit I was initially skeptical about this gig. A club called Shirohige (meaning white beard) about 30 minutes out of Osaka that nobody around here seemed to have heard of with a capacity of 35 people. Imagine our surprise when it became one of the most enjoyable shows so far.

We did two sets and eventually must have squeezed 40 people in there, a full house! We had to tone down our rock antics from the night before, but the sit-down audience clapped, cheered and even laughed at in all the right places.. probably something to do with my attempt at speaking bad Japanese. After the show the manager gave us cold towels (nice) and passed around a tin for tips which we did pretty well on. We even got Japanese fans to help keep us cool (that’s the paper-wood variety). It’s times like these you wish you had more fluffy koalas. Thanks everyone at Shirohige! Especially Mr White Beard (it’s actually a moustache in this photo).

22 July 2008
Japanese Tour Diary Day 8

We didn’t have any shows yesterday so it was time for some serious relaxin‘. Our old mate Shady and his wife Miki took us to a place called Suma Beach. It’s crazy. Full of young people dancing, drinking and playing dating games in the afternoon sun.

It was nice relief from the heat, especially when the sea breeze came in. Still, this guy found it pretty hard going.

Later on we caught the train back towards Osaka and stopped in at a Karaoke bar.. I won’t go into details as I’m sure your imagination can take care of the rest. Tomorrow is a travel day and we have our first gig in Tokyo that night. Looking forward to more bright lights.

Tour Diary: Love You Not / The Reserves / The Colors

‘Pack Up The Bus Tour’ 07:
The Reserves, Love You Not and Colors Tour Diary
by Justin Cox (Love You Not).

Thursday: We left Perth at 12:30 in the afternoon and arrived down in Bunbury at about 3. We were the first band (Love You Not) to arrive and The Reserves not long after. We loaded in to the Rat and Parrot which is located in the Lord Forrest Hotel. The sound guy was rather large and quite lazy but at the end of the day he was ok, considering the sound guy we would have to deal with the next night.

So The Resies did their sound check and the Colors arrived not long after. Gave us a couple of hours to cruise the town and check into our “rooms”. Originally they only gave us one room key between all bands. That’s 11 dudes in a room with 4 beds. After a talk with reception they gave us another room, thank fuck. Would have been quite a large bathroom queue in the morning, if we had to all share one room.

After dinner, we headed down to the Rat & Parrot where The Reserves kicked off proceedings. All bands had come to agreement before the tour that the lineup will be rotated each night. Although there wasn’t much of a crowd, the lads didn’t hold up and showed us that they were really going to give it their all this tour. The sound of the venue was not bad considering what we had to work with. Kinda reminded me of the Hydey.

Love You Not was up next. I thought we played very well. Just gotta say cheers to the big guy who was getting into it all the bands up the front. The Colors headlined this show. I have to admit although one of my favourite Perth bands I hadn’t seen them since we played with them at the WAMIs in Feb. Colors to me were quite exciting to watch. There new songs are gold and I cant wait to have a listen to their EP.

After a great performance by all bands it was time hit the piss and party. We headed up to the room. Already a bit rowdy. Our room was pounced on by 5 security guys who threatened us with the old “keep it down or you’re all out”. Then they went off and ate a dick. Slowly one by one people were passing out but Roo(Colors) and I managed to have a wasted jam leaving us the last two up. It was time for me to head back to my room only to realise everyone had
passed out. Knocked. No answer. Called phones. Thank god, the last person I called, Adam heard his phone and was able to let me in.

Friday: My eyes open. Feeling pretty good considering. Adam and I decide to make the most of the Pool/Spa facilities before we have to check out. We are out of the Lord Forrest by 10am. Headed to Macca’s for breaky in what seemed to be a competition of who could eat the most. Little Benny from The Resies was the early leader, until Johny went one step further and bought a cheeseburger after spending about $12 on food already. How the fuck do you spend $12+ at Macca’s?

So the short drive up to Mandurah was pleasant. Gave us a bit of time to relax at the Beach house we where sharing with the Resies. The Colors stayed at a house not too far from us. The LYN boys went for a trip down to Mandurah Forum. That place has had a bit of a face lift since I was there last. There was also some really hot women around the place, which is always a lifter on a road trip.

We got to the venue about 7. Players Bar had all the things that a venue in Perth would thrive off. Great size room, size stage, lights and a smokers balcony just side of stage but it has a fucking grumpy old prick of a sound guy. What an walking corpse. Never had someone so miserable do our sound before and by the end of the night he pretty much made enemies with every band. We opened the night and I’d have to say this was probably our worst show of the run. It wasn’t that bad, its just wasn’t as good as all the rest. The sound guy was pissing me off and I think the lack of crowd early sort of didn’t help. Cheers though to Duke St crew and Ash Miller for driving down from Perth just to see us.

Colors played second and once again played a tight set. The crowd picked up by the time The Reserves hit the stage. They were to me the best band to watch tonight. You could see they were eating up the extra numbers that strolled in. Roo from Colors had problems early on with a security girl/guys telling him he had to leave because he was wearing a hat inside. Also the sound guy ripped into him cause he had some effects that the sound guy didn’t like. EAT A DICK sound guy! Also lot of Bogans. Some bogan woman was off her head and said to me:

“you wouldn’t have a clue what I been on tonight?”
“Crystal Meth? Cocaine?” I said
She went nuts and said “fuck you” and ran off.
Didn’t
get it. Try to be all cool and brag about what she’s had but then got offended.

Things got better for Roo as the night went on. We all headed back to their holiday home. This place was gold. Basketball Ring, Table Tennis, Chess. Yep that’s right Chess. Simon Colors and Yuro Reserves played a long game of chess while the rest of us got out the Reefer’s and played Basketball and Ping Pong. After a couple of hours we went back to our beach house and talked shit for a couple of hours.

Saturday: LYN and Reserves went for a stroll down the beach. It was nice to get out in the fresh air after another night of boozing. Headed back to the house for couple of hours. Johnny (LYN) and Purga, Benny and Yuro (Reserves) played soccer hackysack for an hour which was a bit of fun and much needed exercise for us.

Today we had a bit of a longer drive which was good for me because I was able to get a little nap in on the way down. 3 Bears is always fun and tonight was brewing to always be the biggest night of the run. We got a free feed from the pub which was great and also each band got 6 jugs of beer so I must say high five to 3 Bears for treating us with respect and looking after us all night.

Colors opened tonight and played to a fairly descent early crowd. Although they didn’t play bad, I thought this was probably their weakest show of the run. I think it was something to do with opening slot. It seems that the later you play,the bigger the crowd,the drunker the crowd,the more receptive. Which the Reserves found out as they once again played a “who gives a fuck lets just have fun show”. Must say all bands’ sound and lighting tonight was fantastic, thanks to the pro sound guy at 3 Bears. This is 5 star setup for bands and no wonder bands like Grinspoon and Wolfmother play there. We ended the night and it was our time to shine.

Tonight was easily the biggest night crowd wise and I feel we easily played one of our best shows ever. There was a good vibe in the air that night. People were up dancing and drinking. It helps when you have two great bands playing before you getting you pumped. I think the 3 Bears setup definitely helped us.

The show was over but the beer garden was the next stop. People were drunk every where. A fight broke out. We were having a laugh with the locals. At 1 we all had to leave. So Dave”Reefer”Colors said
“lets go back to the rooms and party on.”

After a bit of smoke and booze once again there was noise complaints so went over the park with the soccer ball and played ‘Smashed Soccer’. It was so fun. There was about 10 of us all of our trees. The rest is a blur.

Sunday: Checked out of 3 Bears and headed straight to the Dunsborough bakery. Dave Colors today one the unofficial contest of who could eat the most. The Pepper Steak Pie from there was the best pie I’ve ever had from a bakery. All bands where quick to hit the road knowing that this would be the longest stint. The weather didn’t help. Especially the Reserves who had the trailer with all the backline. All bands made it back to Perth safe and sound thankfully. 5pm we roll up to the Hyde Park for the last show. You could tell three days of little sleep and partying was starting to show!

How did we deal with it? The same as every other day: Have a beer. Paul Wood from Red Jezebel opened the show. This is one guy that I’ve have been looking up to for years. He didn’t let anybody down and played a set full of strong songs. ‘Demons’ was a highlight for me. The guy is quality. Colors played an awesome set. They had the crowd on there toes. They certainly lifted everybody out of their Sunday blues and into party mode. We were up next and I must say once again, I was pleased with the way we played. That’s all I’m going to say.

The Reserves finished the Pack Up The Bus Tour 07 with a tight set, that was highlighted with Johny LYN, Dave Colors and Myself getting up to join them for a song.

So the Pack Up The Bus Tour 07 ends. Id have to say it has been absolute mayhem. So much fun. All three bands deserve a pat on the back for this. Independently organized, promoted, self
managed, we showed all that we are as good as anyone. Most of all we had a blast!

Well done lads. Thanks also to all that came to the shows and made our
nights even more enjoyable.

Cheers!

Coxy.

Tour Diary: College Fall in Europe

College Fall Diary Entry
European Tour
Wednesday 12 July 2006 – Tuesday 18 July
TWO PEOPLE, ONE CAR, FIVE COUNTRIES, TWELVE HOURS… NO PROBLEMS!

Wednesday is the worst day of the entire week to have a pole-driving hangover. Particularly when you have to drive six hours from Plymouth to Dover… Then the next day from France to Belgium, Holland, Germany up to Denmark. Oh my god I feel hideous! “That is it” I kept telling myself “I’m never drinking again”. What is so weird about that comment is that at the time I truly mean it.

The drive to Dover was okay, considering the dilemma facing my body and mind. Jodie and I shared the duties before the ferry captain took the wheel for the trip to Calais. It was then that everything went a little pear-shaped. I’m sure I would have got the hang of driving a right-sided vehicle on the right side of the road… If only my mind wasn’t already on vacation in Venus at the same time. Two near accidents at the first round-a-bout after the ferry port. I can still hear Jodie’s cackles of laughter resonating inside my brain as I write this. The worst thing is, I am so pig-headed that I wholeheartedly believe that both the near accidents were the fault of the accomplished right-side French drivers that I nearly side swiped! My confidence shattered, my fear escalating by the second, we ended up pulling over fifty kilometres up the road in Dunkerque to retire for the night. I’ll try driving in this weird new world after a good eight hours sleep.

Thursday morning. Then twelve hours and five countries later we had finally reached our destination: Odder, Denmark. Our wonderful little Peugeot handled the trip exceptionally easily. What a buy that was. But our late night arrival in Denmark did pose a few problems:

Problem one: We are in a very foreign part of the world, a place neither of us have ever been to, nor could imagine what it would be like.

Problem two: we are extremely tired and eager to catch up with our Danish contact Stewart to get a night of rest before tomorrow’s big debut show in Denmark.

Problem three: We can’t get through to Stewart on his mobile phone.

Problem four: somehow we find his house without a map and only half a clue we were even in the right town! But we knock on the door and low and behold… he doesn’t live there anymore!!!

Oh shit.

For a fleeting moment Jodie and I panicked. I had spoken to Stewart many times about the tour and all of the happenings. Everything had been brilliant and above-board so far… But then you start to think, “well we have never actually met the guy before, perhaps this is all a big joke that the earth is playing on us!!” It’s weird how those types of thoughts can sneak into your mind when your tired. As you will no doubt find out when you keep reading this diary, these thoughts could not have been further from the truth!

As an angel appeared and things turned for the better like you would not believe – We knocked on the door of what was indeed not Stewart’s house. A lady answered which, of-course took both Jodie and I aback a little. A little concerned about having our first Danish conversation, I informed her (in English) that we were looking for an Australian guy called Stewart. As luck would have it, she had just been doing courses learning English and understood what we were saying. She mentioned that Stewart doesn’t live here anymore, but she invited us in for coffee and said that she would be able to get on the internet and find Stewarts phone number and new address for us.

It is quite amazing how a tour can hinge on such a pivotal moment like this… We were just so happy to have found him.

The next morning, exhausted from the drive and staying in the lounge room of the family home, all Jodie and I needed was a few weeks sleep. But, hey that is not what life on tour is all about!!! Tonight; our first gig in Denmark! At the Underhuset in Odder. Underhuset, basically means “under the house” or basement. It is a fantastic little venue with a real traditional Danish feel about it. We were scheduled to play at 10pm for a two hour set. It appeared that we were the talk of the town as-well! When we arrived we met with a bunch of really nice people that were very eager to hear our music. It was a great night. The strong crowd responded to us very well indeed and it was good to get our first Denmark show off the ground after such an eventful last few days!

Now, Jodie and I need a few days sleep…

For more of the College Fall european tour diary go to:
http://www.collegefall.com

Tour Diary: Heads We’re Dancing – Jul/Aug

TOUR DIARY – 26 Jul, 2006

Thursday, July 20
There’s 2 ways to look at it. 1. The negative – The night before we’re due to leave the sound module dies. 2. The positive – it happened the night before we leave and not at the first show. The amazing Alan Dawson spent a sleepless night changing his whole set-up.

Flash planesw with a movie screen each (thanks Royal Brunai). There’s a Richard Gere movie on – now we know why they give you sick bags!

Friday, July 21
We get picked up at the airport (by our camper van, not customs). A quick stop at a music shop to buy some stands for keyboards and guitars (cheaper than paying for excess baggage) and off to the east coast. We finally managed a brain restoring swim in the channel (NOT the ocean, as one of us called it. “We don’ ‘ave no bleedin’ ocean. This is bleedin’ England!”

Several wiggly roads later and we stumbled onto Eastern Haze Festival. Haven’t seen that many dreadlocks since the great comb famine of 1652. Dreadlocks and piercings. More piercing than the fight scene in Sparticus. And tattoos. We felt right at home! Fremantle, mark 2. One woman described it as a flashback to the 60’s. Great Festival! About 10,000 people all having a great time listening to a wide variety of music.

Saturday, July 22
Gig went well. Great response from the crowd (and the crew)and a big thumbs up from the organiser (the outset of that is that we’ve been offered a gig at next year’s festival)

Sunday July 23
Went from Eastern Haze to spend a night at a camping ground at Great Yarmouth. The complex had everything – pool, gym, spa, sauna, kids jungle gym, food outlets and… cabaret lounges. In an hour we went from dreadlocked, tattooed hippies to middle aged people doing kareoke and having talent contests (complete with a smiling compere straight out of a Monty Python sketch), all rounded up with a stand-up comedian/magician/singer, having a microphone shoved in our faces and being forced to sing along to Buddy Holly and Elvis songs. That, my friends, is culture shock.<!– D([“mb”,” \nMonday July 24 \nHeadad back to London (still wondering if the cabaret actually happened\nor was some crazy dream) and booked into the camp site. Alan\’s ankle has\nbeen swollen and started getting bigger, so he took a trip to the nearest\nhospital to do something about it. The nearest hospital happened to be\nthe one he was born in (The journey of life, from light to light).\nWe started drafting an ad… Bass player wanted, but he returned alive\n(just as well). His ankle was due to an insect bite and possibly a\nsprain. Anti-biotics and rest.

Tuesday July 25

Headed into London to check out the venue, find internet cafe, get phones\nsorted, etc. I went to the Austrade office at Australia House to sort out\nsome business stuff. Did manage to sit at Trafalga Square for a while\n(playing tourist). The venue looked great and the manager (Sammy) was\nreally nice.

Thursday July 27

Left extra early for the gig, expecting to hit traffic problems. Didn\’t\nreally hit any traffic problems, but definitely hit direction problems.\nWe took the kind of route they use in spy films to make sure they\’re not\nbeing tailed. Left, right, right, right, left, backwards, sideways, back\naround the corner, turn left, do the Hokey Pokey and turn right around\n(that\’s what it\’s all about), do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars,\nask half the population of London for directions and get 763,201\ndifferent answers. Rather dizzy, we find the venue. The news awaiting our\narrival is that one of the bands has ddouble-booked (the 2 d\’s in double\nwas a typo, but I like it so I left it in there) and had to pull out. A\nsecond band was their friends and were going to borrow their instruments,\nso they had to pull out too.

The Lark in the Park is a small pub on the edge of a park. Well, small by\nAustralian standards anyway. The good side of the bands pulling out was\nthat we had time to set up and sound check. A friend of the band who\’s\ndoing modelling in London brought a friend of hers and they cut loose\nfrom the first song. This got the people who came with the other band (a\n2 piece hip-hop crew) onto the floor and dancing. The hip-hop band was on\nthe floor too (during the start of "Tunnel Vision" I heard them\nsaying they wanted to "talk" (as in rap over our music) (I\nhope). Not a huge crowd, but a huge gig. We headed north straight after\nthe show.”,1] ); //–>

Monday July 24
Headad back to London (still wondering if the cabaret actually happened or was some crazy dream) and booked into the camp site. Alan’s ankle has been swollen and started getting bigger, so he took a trip to the nearest hospital to do something about it. The nearest hospital happened to be the one he was born in (The journey of life, from light to light). We started drafting an ad… Bass player wanted, but he returned alive (just as well). His ankle was due to an insect bite and possibly a sprain. Anti-biotics and rest.

Tuesday July 25
Headed into London to check out the venue, find internet cafe, get phones sorted, etc. I went to the Austrade office at Australia House to sort out some business stuff. Did manage to sit at Trafalga Square for a while (playing tourist). The venue looked great and the manager (Sammy) was really nice.

Thursday July 27
Left extra early for the gig, expecting to hit traffic problems. Didn’t really hit any traffic problems, but definitely hit direction problems. We took the kind of route they use in spy films to make sure they’re not being tailed. Left, right, right, right, left, backwards, sideways, back around the corner, turn left, do the Hokey Pokey and turn right around (that’s what it’s all about), do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars, ask half the population of London for directions and get 763,201 different answers. Rather dizzy, we find the venue. The news awaiting our arrival is that one of the bands has ddouble-booked (the 2 d’s in double was a typo, but I like it so I left it in there) and had to pull out. A second band was their friends and were going to borrow their instruments, so they had to pull out too.

The Lark in the Park is a small pub on the edge of a park. Well, small by Australian standards anyway. The good side of the bands pulling out was that we had time to set up and sound check. A friend of the band who’s doing modelling in London brought a friend of hers and they cut loose from the first song. This got the people who came with the other band (a 2 piece hip-hop crew) onto the floor and dancing. The hip-hop band was on the floor too (during the start of “Tunnel Vision” I heard them saying they wanted to “talk” (as in rap over our music) (I hope). Not a huge crowd, but a huge gig. We headed north straight after the show.

Saturday, July 29
Bradford – The Gasworks. We found the bar (again eventually). Black walls. Black ceiling. Black shirts worn by the staff. Then I took my sunglasses off. Still all black! Doubt started creeping into our tiny, under-utilised brains about the appropriateness of the venue. Then we discovered we were the support for a GreenDay cover band. Alan’s already trying to remember all his old Led Zeppelin covers and we’re looking for scissors so we can all have mullets. Our fears were, of course, unfounded. Bradford is near Leeds, and Leeds has a huge dance scene. The gig went well (even after the lights died during the first song and the smoke machine decided to intermittantly (sorry, no spell check) turn it self on). The response from the crowd was great. The people who liked dance music came to the front when we played, and the Greenday lovers came to the front when they played. Now we tell people we supported Greenday, making sure to mumble the “tribute band” bit.

Scotland – lost track of dates (early August)

We cruised across the Scottish border with a big “Och! Da Noo!!” (Don’t ask what it means, or is meant to mean). Well, that was the plan. The reality was that Alan and I were in the front and couldn’t hear the plan hatched in the back of the campervan, so we missed the whole thing. It’s okay though, because we videoed the same thing a minute later and we’ll cut and paste the results. No one will know the difference.

Found our campsite, got settled and cruised into the beautiful city of Edinburgh. The Sweet staff welcomed us like the prodigal son (when I say Sweet staff, that’s the name of the venue) (they are sweet, though). We found venues, got our bearings, found a great pie shop, ate great pies, looked around some more, had another pie, rested, had a pie, had a pie and had a pie. Went to catch the bus home, but couldn’t use our ticket. There are two rival companies in Edinburgh… you learn something new every day. Luckily we were already told that you need exact change to get on. The next day we found out that they charge different amounts… more in the next installment, coming soon to a computer near you.

August 3
First gig in Edinburgh. Technically, it was a preview gig, because the festival doesn’t officially start until Sunday, but it was a first for us. Not a huge crowd, but definitely an energetic one. They were up on the dancefloor early and stayed there. Lots of fun for us (and them).

Getting to find our way around Edinburgh, both by foot and in the car. Bus, on the other hand, we’re getting used to. Different companies mean different prices (I think one works in zones and one a flat rate) Very confusing – the “It only cost one pound to get here” argument doesn’t work.

August 4
I’m breaking all the diary rules and going semi-non-chronological. I’m using this date to copy a review we received for the August 4 gig from SKINNYFest (a street magazine). The review was published a week later… here we go

HEADS WE’RE DANCING (4 stars) (out of 5)

“The cozy surrounds of the Wee Red Bar were almost not enough to contain the energy of 4 piece Australian band Heads We’re Dancing. At the tail end of their UK tour the bright musicians full of character shared stories with their unique sound which combined melodies of folk and pop with heavy bass lines, up-tempo percussion and an array of electronic samples. Often described as world music, you can tell they have vast influences ranging from rock, folk, electronic and a hint of reggae and funk. It all comes together as quite an original package, one which could be among the surprise musical packages of this year’s festival. Although only drawing a modest crowd for their first festival show their openness and well-spirited performance effectively captured their tales of travel, love, and political leanings. Heads We’re Dancing played mostly tracks from their latest album ‘Tunnel Vision’ covered the like of Bob Dylan and revamped an earlier track of their own, where it was simply a little hard to not get up and dance away”

August 15 (all attempts at staying chronological are now gone)
WOW! How hectic are things in Edinburgh. Gigs, flyer runs, networking, checking out venues for potential future gigs, attending Fringe events, diary avoiding…well, not avoiding, more a case of so much to do. Honestly. We’ve only got 4 gigs left… time flies when you’re having fun. The gigs are going well. Most nights we have most of the venue up on the dance floor, and even when they’re not, the response has been great. The possibility of playing at the Adelaide Fringe has reared its head. We ended up playing an extra night at a large venue called The Jam House. The other acts were a lot more cabaret and cover-based than us, but variety is the spice of life. By the time we got on it was 2.30 in the morning, so there were a few bleary eyes the next day. The next day was the Fringe Sunday concert, with an estimated 200,000 people attending. Still had thousands, though. Not all watching us, unfortunately. The park has tents, buskers, rides, etc. The gig went well, even if it was a quick rush on, play for 15 minutes, and rush off kind of day. One woman was told by her doctor to keep off her feet… but she just couldn’t resist the Heads’ rhythms.

more soon…like I said. Things are hectic!

August 26
Well. Things got so hectic I didn’t get around to adding more diary entries. To deflect my sister’s suspicion that “something” happened on August 15 (my last entry) I thought I’d better do a quick update about the last leg of the tour.

Had a great last gig at Edinburgh – even an encore – on Sunday night. A bit of a party at the bar and then we hit the road. We drove until some ridiculous time in the morning, slept in the campervan for a while and then continued towards London. Our original plan of reaching London at 6a.m. on Tuesday was foiled by the recent terrorist scares, so we had to get there on Monday. Heathrow was TOTAL chaos. We slept (or didn’t sleep) the night in the arrivals lounge then joined the check-in queue at some stupid hour in the morning. Excess baggage is always a problem for us, even with the extra allowance the lovely people at Royal Brunei gave us. After much ranting, raving, and jumping up and down, our baggage was off and we were ready to sit in the departure lounge for more hours…then on the plane for hours…then Dubai Airport for hours…then the plane again…then Brunei Airport…then a different plane…then home (about 2 1/2 days after our last show)…EXHAUSTED.<!– D([“mb”,” \nSo we\’re currently recovering from what was a tiring, but fantastic\nadventure. Photos will be coming soon (about 1000 to sort through) and a\nlonger version of this diary. Just be patient. \nWe\’d love to say a big "Hi" to all the fantastic people we\’ve\nmet and the new friends we\’ve made. Make sure to pop onto our site every\nnow and then and say hello. The updated diary will be soon. \nHeads We\’re Tired Dancing
\n

\n\n\n”,0] ); D([“mi”,10,24,”10e1742af691e865″,0,”0″,”Alan”,”Alan”,”witzend@highway1.com.au”,[[] ,[[“me”,”leoabbs@gmail.com”,”10e1742af691e865″] ] ,[] ] ,”Oct 5″,[“Leo Abbs “] ,[] ,[] ,[] ,”Oct 5, 2006 2:56 PM”,”Re: Perth Sounds becomes perthsounds.com”,”Hi Leo, Have now settled back into freo after our tour, then supporting the D…”,[] ,1,,,”Thu Oct 5 2006_2:56 PM”,”On 10/5/06, Alan wrote:”,”On 10/5/06, Alan wrote:”,”highway1.com.au”,,,””,””,0,,””,0,,0,”In reply to \”Perth Sounds becomes perthsounds.com\””,0] ); //–>

So we’re currently recovering from what was a tiring, but fantastic adventure. Photos will be coming soon (about 1000 to sort through) and a longer version of this diary. Just be patient.

We’d love to say a big “Hi” to all the fantastic people we’ve met and the new friends we’ve made. Make sure to pop onto our site every now and then and say hello. The updated diary will be soon.

Heads We’re Tired Dancing

Visit their website at http://www.hwd.com.au