Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Gypsy Soul Tour Diary - Tambo, Blackall and Barcaldine

31st July 2010 - Saturday

We arrived in Tambo, what a cute town. Not much there, very small - two pubs and a cafe and supermarket... I suppose that's all you need.

We got there about 3pm, found a park and had a snooze. One of the problems we're having now in the outback is that the soil get's very soft in the camping areas and there's a chance of us getting bogged. So we have to be real careful about where we park.

Our show is an early one - 7.30 pm start

The Club Hotel - Tambo

Blackboard in front of the hotel

When we got to the venue that evening, it was like stepping back in time a bit. It was like an old diner with a restaurant, pub and sitting area. It was more like a family restaurant. There were kids everywhere.

It's hard work gauging the crowd and sorting out how I'm going to entertain these people. It was a lot different from the gig in Charleville - which was a real pub atmosphere. Tambo was more family orientated.

Overall we had a great night, I'm giving my tambourine a good workout ... getting a bit funky with it now! Lot's of people are coming up to us and saying that they're enjoying our songs. The common phrase in QLD seems to be "youse guys are awwwesomme!".  This is great considering the country music was blasting through the jukebox during our breaks.

During the night one of the little kids, about 3 years old, stole my tambourine and ran up and down the pub shaking the damn thing while I was singing. Finally got it back.
At the end of the night, we packed up and on our way out that same little boy was out in the street on his own peeing in the gutter. At that moment a police paddy wagon drove past and the police asked if he was my kid, I said 'NO' of course. So they told the little boy to "Keep up the good work" and to "Wash your hands when you're finished" as they drove off....only in QLD - mind you, we haven't seen NT yet.

1st August 2010

From today onwards we have over a week's break. Our gig in Winton was cancelled so that leaves us with a lot of time to explore. Just need to be in Katherine NT by the 10th August...Nice ... although Katherine is 2000kms away!

We're starting to head into places that have no reception, so I'll be posting my blog every couple of days.

Today we arrived in Blackall. Which is not too far from Tambo and it is the home of the Black Stump Festival and the Black Stump itself.

We stayed on the side of the road. Not many camp spots. Falling asleep to the sound of road trains buzzing past. These trucks are humungous; they have about 4 trailers behind them which is about 100 metres long and they are a bit tricky to overtake because the back trailer bounces around and sways and swerve on the bumpy road. 

At the same camp spot we met a couple who would have been in their late 40's who had retired and were living out of their 4WD permanently with no fixed address. Wow, the four wheel drive is more cramped than we are. They've been doing this for about 18 months now. I suggested to Stewart that this might be the way for us to go in the future....but Stew got a bit sentimental about his studio. (Stewart adds "I got a LOT sentimental about my studio")

2nd August 2010

We found out that they had a heated pool with a natural mineral spa in Blackall, so we headed off this morning for a bit of relaxation in the spa and a hot shower. The water in the spa comes directly from the Artesian basin which is like an underwater sea that runs under part of QLD, NT and SA. Neither of us actually knew that, we just got it explained to us :) The mineral water is naturally hot which was very nice ... but unfortunately I got a rash. Well, there were no signs warning us to not stay in there for 4 hours!

We headed off after that to Barcaldine which was only about 90k's. After driving up and down for a while we finally found the camp spot we were looking for. A nice spot on the river and a lot of other caravaners and campers.

We spent the night working on a new song that I started before we left on tour.


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