This was New Zealand's NOT QUITE RIGHT’s third trip over the ditch. The first time was spent around the Sydney and Canberra regions for a week and the second was an East Coast tour over the period of a week also. So spending close to a month there this time really was a good taste of what it’s like to travelling in a band.
People on the trip were Dan (guitar and vocals), myself Dave (drums), JB (bass), Hayden (our new guitarist) and KK who was like our tour dad. He made sure we got to where we needed to be, made sure we ate and most importantly kicked our ass if we weren’t having a goodtime!
And so on a sunny September, Wellington afternoon we packed up our shit and headed for the airport………
5th September 2007 - Depart from Wellington to Sydney. The flight is delayed 45 minutes because someone has stuffed a water bottle in one of the plane’s toilets – apparently regulations won’t let planes fly with a broken crapper!
Boredom sets in so we buy a couple of drinks to pass the time. Finally we are allowed on board. We carry on drinking once on the plane; they’re actually nice enough to have free alcohol on board – we managed to drink them out of beer, albeit we were reduced to drinking VB and XXXX. The plus side of Aussie beers are the bigger cans and higher alcohol percentage. Chur chur!
More delays as we are flying into Sydney, we can’t land as some world leader is also flying in at the same time, so of course they get to land before us arggh!
Finally make into Sydney and head off to duty free to stock up on booze and ciggies. So ten bottles of spirits, five pouches of tobacco and twenty-five cigars later we were ready to go thru customs…… The nice customs people thought it would be fun to ask a heap of annoying questions; seriously don’t they have anything better to do?
Meet up with Pete from DISABLES and Mitch from SYDNEY CITY TRASH (who we toured with last year). They have let us set up base camp at their flat.
Turns out the APEC meeting is happening while we are here. There were cops everywhere around the airport. The CBD has also been fenced off to keep cars out. The city was also forced to take a public holiday on Friday to keep as many people as possible out of the city…… never encountered such extreme security measures before! Made us wonder why they didn’t just have it somewhere less populated?
6th September 2007 - It’s amazing how much a two-hour time difference can actually fuck with your body clock, or maybe it was all the beer and duty free we had??!!
We dragged ourselves outta bed and decided to go explore the area around of Redfern where we are staying, then went down to Newtown (just as shady as our very own Newtown back in New Zealand). Checked out the cool record stores etc. They have genre record stores so you don’t have to wade thru piles of Top 40 crap to find what you’re after! Sifted around for the afternoon until it was time to get ready for the first show.
Our first show to play is at the Bull ‘n’ Bush out Paramata ways. It was a trendy kinda pub.
Was a bit strange being the first show and all, and Dan was really sick. He managed to spend the afternoon and evening spewing. Being on an extremely hot stage and feeling ill doesn’t make for such a good combination when trying to sing.
Shows actually start at a proper time over here, so when start time says 9.30 that’s when it starts – not at 10.30-11 as we are so used to in NZ.
MOTION MERCY? A very generic emorock band. They seemed to have a following of 80s hair-metal fans (seriously what’s up with kids today?).
It was great to see UNPAID DEBT play again, and to see them play to their local crowd.
The aim of the night seemed to be to try and smash as many bottles and glasses as possible; I have only ever seen The Valve [Wellington venue] come close to the amount of glass on the floor. Or possibly one of our mate’s Toast Jam parties.
7th September 2007 - We got up late and watched DVDs. Decided to go down to Wollongong earlier than we needed. What a bad idea! The intention was to go down there and hangout at one of the beaches, but as luck would have it the weather was crap. So instead we walked around the local mall for a bit then headed off to the venue. We couldn’t load in until 8.30, so we spent the next four hours sitting in the van drinking, crap talking, and watching all the interesting locals pile in for dinner before the show got started.
We purchased a great toy that we have named Rhonda; she is a naked lady pen holder! You put the pen in her butt and she moans. Hours of entertainment! This later turned into a game whereby every time we saw a Maccas, Rhonda would cop it in the ass. What else are you supposed to do for the many hours spent in the car??
Tonight’s venue is the Oxford, a good Aussie pub/restaurant. We played here last time as well and it seems to be the only live venue in town for non-mainstream music.
Got a good pub feed and watched the Warriors rugby game like good blokes. Pool games cost $3 – what a fucking rip!! The first band was an alt rock sorta thing. We played a lot better than last night. Decent sized crowd, not as rowdy.
We decided to bail from the show a little early as we had to drive back to Sydney and, naturally, consumed more duty free on the way home. Mmmm…..
8th September 2007 - Bummed around the Newtown area again today. Tonight’s scheduled show in Canberra was cancelled due to the venue being double booked. Jeeeeez!
We decided the best thing to do was to drink with Pete and then find our way to the Lansdowne Hotel to watch some bands play. RUN FOR COVER was playing – we stayed with their drummer Toddy last time we were over. We all ended up too drunk and headed home before show finished. Destroyed some shopping trolleys on way home.
9th September 2007 - Walked down into Sydney city and did the whole tourist thing – as you do – took some photos down by the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Did some more record store shopping also. We also checked out all the high security fencing, armoured buses and massive amounts of cops closing off the city for APEC. Craziness! Gotta watch out for them terrorists, I’ll tell you what!
The show this afternoon has also been cancelled for some unknown reason!
So we came back out to Redfern and went to the local pub across the road. Had some more cheap beers and pub feeds.
Two girls did an acoustic set while we were drinking; good mellow times and really good voices!
8.30 rolled around and the bar lady announced free beers!! Apparently every Sunday they clear the beer lines so instead of just wasting all the beer they fill up heaps of glasses and give them away – this place is awesome, we will definitely have to come here again!
10th September 2007 - It’s actually sunny today, so off to the beach! We went and hung-out at Bondi Beach. We just laid around on the beach and played at the skatepark. We all managed to get sunburnt – it’s a bit of a shock to the system when coming from Wellington’s freezing cold!
Bondi is definitely a see-and-be-seen beach. Seriously, there were people doing laps of the beach the whole time we were there. The topless girls on the beach are another incentive to go visit Bondi again while we’re here…….
We had another mellow night drinking back at basecamp. Bit of an early night for some.
So, pretty much, we will be doing these sorts of activities until our next show – being on holiday is such hard work……
One bonus of our days and nights off is that we have been able to carry on writing material for the next album. We had two songs pretty much written before we left and we are now hoping to come up with ideas at least for a few more by the time we get back. The plan is to demo the new songs soon after we get back and then record at end of year – ready for album release early next year IF all things go to plan!! Whether or not this actually happens will be another story.
Finally saw Mitch again – so we stayed up talking to him
11th September 2007 - It’s JB’s birthday today, so we woke him up and sung happy birthday, after which JB promptly went back to sleep. Dan and I went off to the Waterloo Skatepark in the morning once again, while the others went to Toys ‘r’ Us. It was here that they got Uno cards – or if you’re Australian "You know".
Went to the local music shop where KK found Aubergine maraca – looks very much like a big purple dildo?!
More great weather again. And so we started our new favourite tour activity: drinking and playing Uno.
12th September 2007 - The SYDNEY CITY TRASH boys have let us use there backline and practice space, so we actually started writing a new song!! SC Trash came round for band practice – drank with those boys and played mandatory Uno! I got attacked by Pig’s (bassist for SCT) girlfriend’s kid – that kid was supercharged.
Stayed up drinking with SC boys and Pete DISABLE. Good times…
13th September 2007 - My birthday – more cake and candles for brekkie. Off to the skatepark again – best way to get over a hangover!!
Midday Uno game… Disappeared up to rooftop for a bit of afternoon sun… Drinking and Uno in evening…. Very lax day!
14th September 2007 - Drove to a town called Orange, very similar to New Zealand’s Palmerston North in size and vibe.
Stopped in at Bathurst [famous Aussie car racing track] on the way and did a lap of the racetrack. I skated down from top of Mt. Panorama – awesome hill bomb!
Show was an all-ages gig at a church hall – Turbulence Hall. It was quite a small show but the kids were into it so it was pretty fun!
First band sounded like a mix of pop-punk and alt rock from our very own mobile pub in the carpark.
FLATLINE DRAMA - Emocore sounding generic stuff , really energetic and the kids loved it. We played next - kids were on the floor kicking round like beatles funny stuff! I think that means they liked us?
UNPAID DEBT – not too many kids left by time the band played. But on form as always, the guys played a lot of new unreleased songs tonight; will be good to hear these recorded.
As the gig wasn’t at a bar it was back off to the motel for some after show drinks with UNPAID DEBT. Managed to get through three boxes of 24 Tasman Bitter this evening – it’s just as bad over here as it is at home! Discovered Red Rooster – sorta like K-fry but way better….
15th September 2007 - Red Rooster for brekkie – breakfast of champions! We had to drive back to Sydney for tonight’s show and, just for good measure, did another lap of Bathurst on the way! Stopped at a ghetto as skatepark in Katoomba to stretch the legs.
Gotta say, driving from town to town is a lot easier when there isn’t road works every 30mins! New Zealand’s road crews have a long way to go.
Show tonight is at Agincourt Hotel, in Sydney city across from Central Station. Every Saturday they run a night called Trash. The venue has three levels. Bottom floor was a metalcore DJ. Ground floor was the main bar where we played and then upstairs was another club area having a NIN after-party – strangely enough the DJ was playing Fallout Boy and other fantastic pop hits, go figure!
First band was SNIPER RIFLE - They were really good, sounded a lot like STRUNG OUT. Then us. The crowd was very stand offish, it had an Auckland kinda vibe going on. So many hotties! Sound guy tried to stop us having water on stage as he was scared we would knock it over and electrocute ourselves – needless to say I did knock mine over and didn’t die…..
UNPAID DEBT closed and played with the same quality as always. The crowd still didn’t really seem to get into the whole live music thing – kind of another see-and-be-seen place maybe…
16th September 2007 - Got up and wandered down to a festival in Newtown called Earthdance. It was kinda the same size as the New Zealand Big Day Out but it’s free and had a lot more hippies / people on who knows what?!
But SYDNEY CITY TRASH was playing so we went to find them. It was very cool to see these guys play while we were here. Even though they were all fucked from playing Tasmania the nights before they were still awesome! Imagine Punk Country music for pirates!
Picked up some party treats for a couple of the lads for later in the tour…… went back to flat to chill out for a bit, then packed up gear and headed down to the Sandringham Hotel to meet Damo of UNPAID DEBT in Newtown for the show. This was an after party venue for Earthdance. There was a country band playing downstairs and we set up upstairs. For a Sunday evening this show went really well. Pete, Mitch and the SCT boys came along which was cool.
First band HC SCULLY - Best way to describe, ska-core. Then us. Dan broke his locknuts for his guitar strap in first song - I guess he was rocking out so hard hahaha!! Then some lame rock bands from EDance played, kinda bored and tired so we bailed…….
Went to pub over road for couple of after show drinks, our favourite lesbian duet was doing their set again and the free beer was flowing also….. good times….
17th September 2007 - Skatepark - off to Paddy of SCT for a Barbie! Paddy cooked us up a huge meal of spag bol, fucking amazing! Sat around with Mitch and Paddy in the sun all arvo drinking VB’s and eating…… later in the evening we all wandered down to the local bar to meet up with some more peeps. Stumbled home to catch some z’s before heading to Melbourne.
18th September 2007 - Even feeling somewhat hung-over, we got up early and started the trip down to Melbourne at 8am.
At about 6pm we arrived in Melbourne and got completely lost trying to find Hayden’s sister’s house. Eventually we ended up driving 45mins in the opposite direction to where we should have turned off the highway. The U-turn is now a mandatory manoeuvre of any outing we have been on!! Finally, we found a map at a servo and made our way to the house which is in a suburb called Burwood. Holly had cooked us up a good feed of pastry treats and we then spent the night drinking and catching up.
Hayden’s friend had found a zine from earlier in the year over here, Ampallong zine, that had a review of our EP and our STRIKE ANYWHERE tour. Very cool finding stuff away from home.
19th September 2007 - Got up and went to find a tram to take us into the city centre. Cost us $9.80 each to get a tram day pass – would have been cheaper to just drive in. Spent the arvo just wandering aimlessly around Melbourne city. Noticed a lot more people smoke on the streets here. Apparently smoking in bars has only been banned within the past year.
Got tram back out to Holly’s, cooked up a huge BBQ feed for dinner, more drinks and food.
20th September 2007 - Went out to St Kilda to find tonight’s venue, Pint On Punt, and to check out the area.
Booked into accommodation above the venue. That’s a great aspect about a lot of the venues here – they are traditional pubs so more often than not you can play and stay at the venue. Stumbling up to your own room is easy as and there’s no getting lost in random cities.
Started drinking in the arvo and had a few mandatory rounds of U-no before going downstairs to meet the promoters etc…
It’s a really small stage / venue, and only a vocal PA, but still a good environment and for a Thursday night there wasn’t a big crowd so the smaller room suited the situation really well.
First band THE WAR? Sort of AGAINST ME! style but more rock influenced. Then it was the turn of us. By this stage we were pretty pissed and had heaps of fun. The PA shat itself and only one side was working. Got to meet a lot of people we’ve been talking to over the net which is always awesome to do.
SPENT SHELLS, Melbourne’s answer to the BOUNCING SOULS finished proceedings off. Great band and really funny dudes to hangout with.
21st September 2007 - Part of the deal of staying here at the venue is you get free breakfast in the morning, so we made sure we were up in time to go raid the supplies. When you don’t have to pay for a meal on tour you make sure you eat as much as possible! Cleaned up the mess we made in the room and checked out. Pretty hung-over.
Went back down to St Kilda and lay round in a park for couple hours. Went out to the Chamerwell Skatepark.
Checked into the Arthouse where tonight’s show is. Unloaded gear, and caught up with Adam from A DEATH IN THE FAMILY, who works at the Arthouse. Went out at five to do an interview with a local radio station PBS. It was a pre-recorded type deal so we all just sat round in one of the studios and answered some questions, always funny doing this sorta stuff, something different to do.
Back the Arthouse to do the usual pre-show drinking and Uno. UNPAID DEBT had arrived while we were out so caught up with them as well.
Showtime. First band ANGRY KID? Bronxy sounding, pretty good. Singer had a Kurt Cobain type thing going on… The second band had a RAMONES style I think. When it came to us, we found we had a pretty strange mix on stage so we thought it sounded weird, but apparently it sounded sweet out front and people were getting into it. Not a big crowd as there was a footy/Aussie Rules Final on or something and all of town was pretty dead.
SPENT SHEELS put on another great show. A random drunk dude attempted breakdancing to them, very amusing. Earlier the same guy was threating to beat up PJ (UNPAID DEBT roadie) for taking a photo of him. KK thought this was funny also and spent the night trying to take pictures of him.
UNPAID DEBT's crowd had really thinned out by now. More breakdancing attempts by Captain Drunko and others.
Packed the gear up and then bought a slab of Caltons and continued hanging out with UNPAID DEBT and SPENT SHELLS. The Arthouse is a good dirty bar, sort of like a big version of Wellington's very own Valve.
22nd September 2007 - Extremely hungover this morning and rolled outta bed bout lunchtime, watched Robocop, something everyone should do. Took a soccerball and went back to St Kilda Park to kick ball round and eat pizza. Dropped gear off at the Espy for tonight's show. This place was huge! We were playing as a part of the Poison City Records festival. Three different rooms with bands playing. It was like having Indigo, Bodaga and Valve (Wellington Venues) all in the same building. It was free entry and the place was packed out. I think there were about 15 bands playing over the course of the night. Really cool. Got to hangout with and see A DEATH IN THE FAMILY play which was great. It was probably the best show we’ve played so far, and most fun too. Got to catch up with a few friends from home as well, good to see some familiar faces!
Meet the radio dude again before we played to redo the interview as the first one had some interference on it. Second time around was more amusing as we’d been drinking.
23rd September 2007 - UNPAID DEBT left for Sydney today as they all have work tomorrow. Somehow, we managed to dodge hangovers today, got up and wandered down the road to the Victoria Markets. These are huge markets all trying to sell you the same shit. Headed back to The Arthouse for a powernap.
Mucked around for the arvo: played some Uno, drank some wine. Then went down stairs to watch FEAR LIKE US (Jamie from DIF's other band) play their EP release show. Sound sorta like acoustic HOT WATER MUSIC – really good band! Another band on the lineup was the LUNGS. Their drummer is from Taranaki so we had a yarn to him. Another great band to find out more about.
24th September 2007 - Got up at 6:30 and hit the road back to Sydney – nice long day of sitting on arse in car. Got back to Pete and Mitch’s and had some drinks and an awesome feed across at the pub. Back to flat for drinks and Uno – Paddy Trash came over. Said our goodbyes to the boys. Thanks for having us stink up the place!
25th September 2007 - Another ridiculously early 6am start to get on the road to the Gold Coast. 45-mins into the journey we ended up in a car accident. Some idiot pulled out in front of us at an intersection. We t-boned them and knocked them into another car waiting at the intersection. There was minimal damage to our car but the car we hit was pretty much written off, not a good way to start the day!!! We then spent the next four hours giving statements and organising another rental car. The car company wouldn’t let us drive it any further even though KK (who was a mechanic for many years) said the car is fit to drive.
Scenery as we headed North on was a lot more interesting - lots of trees and cool land forms.
Finally get to Gold Coast at 11pm! With tempers wearing a bit thin, it was good to get out of the car. Staying at Damo's house (ex-member from Dan's highschool band) catch up with him for few hours drinking.
26th September 2007 - Reasonably hung! Get up and jump in the pool - it's freaking hot even though it's only 10am – it feels like the middle of summer! We go off to explore the neighbourhood and find the closest skatepark – too many kids as it's school holidays. KK sorts out getting some tatts done for Saturday at a place in Surfers. Drinks and Uno in the evening, cook up a mad feed of curry for dinner.
27th September 2007 - Try and get up early at about 8.00am and head to the skatepark – again it's way too hot for this time of day, so decided to head back to the house for pool action and feeds. Lie round the pool most of the day then head down to the main beach at Surfers Paradise to check out the beach, and get a general idea of the place. It's kinda like Bondi in the fact it’s a see-and-be-seen type atmosphere. Really nice beach tho. Town is all the usual trendy stores etc….. they do have a good skateshop! Boobs on the beach. The town is gearing up for the indy races, so there are stands and fences being put up everywhere; apparently the town just erupts when this is on!
Get back to the house a bit more sunburnt, jump in pool again and start drinking in the pool as all good rockstars should. Casual night again.
28th September 2007 - Muck around at the house all day before meeting up with Damo for drinks in the evening.
We find out half and hour before the show that the venue has change and somehow manage to find the venue after many wrong turns and a bunch of swearing.
The show tonight is at Burleigh Town Tavern. Due to our late arrival, we miss the first band that plays. We play, it’s a million degrees on stage. UNPAID DEBT follow and THE SHORTFALL – sorta emo rock punk stuff - finish the evening off. We have heaps of fun hanging out with these dudes. They will also be doing the next two final shows. Crowd is decent. Sell a good amount of merch. Probably the drunkest night so far, got on the whiskeys……..much spewing went on leaving the venue and later on. Chucked Damo in the pool when we got home.
29th September 2007 - Extremely hung!! Catch up with some more friends down the beach. Run into Damo's flatmate, whose partying near the beach – he's been up all night and is just having some more disco biscuits to keep him going, funny guy! Lie around the house feeling varying shades of ill. KK disappears for the day to get his tattoo done.
Pack our gear up, say our goodbyes and head for Brisbane. Stop in at one of KK’s mates on the way, have some afternoon beers. Makes everyone feel sick again.
We drive around Brisbane looking for either the venue or Judd’s house (from DISBALES). The lack of directions and maps get the better of us again and we end up driving round for about an hour in middle of city. Finally find venue and load in.
SUPERMAN IS DEAD from Bali play tonight – a last minute addition to the lineup. It's bloody great band, so look them up. NOT QUITE RIGHT discover another hot stage and epileptic lights, although the sound is really good. UNPAID DEBT crowd actually gets moving, Joe's voice is sounding a bit tired still good. THE SHORTFALL has hometown advantage and play well. Great backstage room, everyone just hangs out being drunken fools… Harry almost gets kicked out by an angry bouncer, have to difuse the situation.
Spend ages standing on side of road looking for taxi – finally get a van back to Judd's. Spend time catching up with him.
30th September 2007 - We wait for UNPAID DEBT and THE SHORTFALL to turn up and lie around in sun. The convoy heads to Towoomba for an AA show, about two hours inland from Brisbane. Real small town feel about this place and all the shops are shut. We get to venue and there are issues about PA hire and there's like two kids there. Show almost doesn’t go ahead. We all come to the conclusion as this is the last show we’ll just get a heap of beers and play for each other. It turns out to be a great relaxed afternoon. Played a heap of covers and members of bands were jumping behind instruments and mics doing swapsies. Load back into cars and head back to Brisbane to Denine’s house (THE SHORTFALL). Stop at Maccas and get asked to leave, as there was food fight breaking out….. get back to house with many more cases of beer. Finally get to bed at some ridiculously early/ late hour of the morning after much shit talking.
1st October 2007 - Very hung / still drunk. Get up and pack for home. THE SHORTFALL dudes decide they’re too hung to go to work, so we all go to Sizzler for an all you can eat lunch. So full!! We say our good byes and go to airport, drop of the rental and wait around for a few hours till flight home. The flight is relatively quick which was good, bit bumpy on landing into Wellington. Got pulled aside in customs, had passports checked and asked if we do drugs – anything to make peoples lives difficult!
2nd October 2007 - Back to reality, hardly seems like we left. Time to detox!!!!