Sunday, August 22, 2010

Gypsy Soul Tour Diary - Darwin Shows

20th August 2010 Friday

This morning we've had to get up early for a 10am pre-recorded interview at Darwin ABC. The interview was with Rob Mailer from ABC in Broome. He called in and we had an interview in the studio via phone ... some handy promo for yhe shows across the Kimberleys. We played two songs - the favourites - Never grow old and Gypsy soul. The interview went really well ... all wrapped up in half an hour.

In the studio - ABC Darwin

At 12.30 pm we had a 1 hour show at the Darwin City Library. This was like a concert setting and it was very enjoyable. I got to chat and sing and it was very relaxed. The Darwin Festival is on at the moment until the 29th August and so there are a lot of tourists and artists floating around the city. So we also got a few of the tourists at the library show.

We had a wander around the city to get a vibe of the place, although it was a bit too hot to be walking around and Freddy is stuck in the van when we perform. so we have to keep that in mind when we do stuff in the day time. My biggest worry is for tomorrow's show: we have 2 day time gigs and if it gets really hot we can't leave Freddy in the van while we play.

Evening - What a night! We played a 4 hour show at the Humpty Doo Hotel, which is a few k's out of Darwin and it's a 'rough-and-ready' pub. We played outdoors. They were actually a great crowd, loved the originals and Stew threw in a couple of standards through out the night. We had people up dancing on tables, on the railings outside, doing summersaults from the rafters ... these people sure know how to have a good time! It's billed as he 'world famous Humpty Doo Pub' - maybe that's why it's famous?

Then we had a guy named 'Coogee' come up and tell a dirty took him a while to get to the point because nobody could understand a word he said and he was DRUNK. We also had 'Danga' get up and do some bush poetry and then we also had another guy who kept trying to pull his pants down and flash his arse through out the night, right in front of us and when he wasn't doing that he kept trying to take my microphone to sing a song. We had to switch the PA off at one point to stop him in the middle of his own rendition. But, believe it or not, they were totally harmless - Stew said it reminded him of gigs he played at the Greystanes Inn during the '80's :)

In our break we met some Polish tourists Anya and Matt. We had mentioned we were from the Blue mountains and he said "oh, we bought our van from the Blue you know Claude Hay". What a small world. Claude is also a touring muso and we've played a show or two with him on the same bill.

We were exhausted after the 4 hours, the good thing was that our van was parked just behind us outside, so we could see Freddy and leave the van windows open all night.

21st August 2010 - Saturday

Today we've got another big day.
We're off to the Parap Village Markets to do a bit of busking. Unfortunately, we couldn't get a proper stage to play on because Wendy, the lady that organised it, said that we needed our own generator because they have a no power supply. So we had to busk. I've never done this before so it was a very new experience to me. I had to project my voice and keep my head facing the audience because I didn't have a mic. Also we had to be a little bit more animated and colourful. Stew says at these type of gigs they're always looking for someone like a 'one man band' with a cymbal on their head! ... meaning you have to be or do something quirky and different. My dad's always offering to play the drum with us if we ever busked, this would have been the perfect chance for him.

It was a scorcher and Wendy said that Freddy would die if we left him in the car, but unfortunately the Parap markets would not accept dogs on the premises. Wendy offered to keep freddy in her air conditioned market office while we busked in the heat ... lucky him. That was so generous of her and it also eased our mind.

Once all that was organised we went for it. I made up a little sign to stimulate some donation giving.

We'll try anything to stimulate some CD sales

The problem with busking is that they can't really hear the words in the songs properly and also you can't really talk to them and tell them a story about the song. I once again belted the hell out of the tambourine to create a bit of excitement, Stew experimented on his guitar with percussive noises too - an interesting experiment. We did this for about 40 minutes with people clapping and dropping in coins in Stew's guitar case - phew! Hard work.

Busking - Parap Markets

Had a break and then went for another half and hour and called it a day : ) We made $50! But it was worth the experience. We were soaked with sweat. We had to head off because we had another show at 3 PM for the Darwin Fridge Festival - an Eco festival. Because there wasn't any Fringe Festival this year, they had organised a 'Fridge Festival" - cute.

We got to the Fridge Festival a little bit early. It was in a suburb called Malak which has a high indiginous population and has a bad reputation and so they have difficulty getting people from outside Malak to come to the town. So this is why they put on the festival there.

As part of the Fridge festival they asked people to do artworks with old fridges, so there were lots of interesting artworks and sculptures made out of fridges.

This is a powered car made from a fridge - it really works!

If you look carefully you can see Freddy handling off stage security.

We did our show which was an hour long in another relaxed setting. Then we hung around to watch the band after us called the 'String Band'. They were a band from Vanuatu and they looked pretty funny the four big islander guys squeezed on the small stage. We sat down under the shade in the chai tent and fell asleep. Sarah who organised for us to play there invited us back anytime to play a full concert at the theatre in Malak.  

The String band - could be in the guiness book of records for this many islanders crammed on a small stage

Fridge Festival - During ... and after the show

After this we had a 5 hour break before our late night show at a funky venue called 'Happy Yess' in the city at 11.30 pm. This was an interesting venue. Happy Yess was within a community type building called 'Brown's Mart' right in the centre of town. The park next to it was where the main stage of the Darwin Festival was happening, so we had lots of people wandering in after the main show at the festival had finished.

A pretty full on show ... we played an hour set and then there was a DJ after us until 1pm.

22nd August 2010 - Sunday
Today is our last show in Darwin and we're exhausted. In future I think I might space out the gigs a little. Having 7 shows in three days is very tiring and also you start to lose the passion and feeling after you've done the same songs 3 times in one day.

This morning we're at the Nightcliff Markets, not too far away from Malak. It's a very nice suburb, close to the beach. Very beachy looking, lots of trees. We were on from 11am until 1.30pm. We had a great audience who interacted with us and they laughed at all my jokes : ) And heaps of good feedback after the show. We even got free crepes from the crepe stall - yummy. They said it was nice to work and hear such lovely music ... obviously people with good taste! It was a nice way to finish up with Darwin.

With all my tambourine hitting through this weekend I can honestly say that my right bicep has built up some muscle : )

The famous 'tambourine' right bicep ... Sleek!

Evening - We headed back to Adelaide River, where we were a few days ago at Mt Bundy Station - I can't believe how relaxed it is here at the station. So much space and Freddy loves it too. We're here until Tuesday morning to catch up on some rest and Stew has to work on some jingles. We also have a sunset 4WD tour booked on monday arvo: taking us around Adelaide River area. We'll get to see the landscape, some brumbies and lots of other stuff...I'm pretty excited about that, we haven't had time to do many touristy things since we left.

ahh back to Mt Bundy Station


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