Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Gypsy soul tour diary - Timber creek, Tennant Creek and Aileron

10th September 2010

Tonight is our show at the Timber Creek Hotel – upstairs in the bistro. We’re on at 6.30 pm to catch the dinner crowd. Most of the crowd will be tourists from the caravan park attached to the hotel.

Cane toads around Timber Creek - lick the back of this sucker and it's like your on an LSD trip apparently.

The downstairs bar gets very rowdy and is mostly filled with aboriginals. I’m noticing a bit of segregation in these country towns and I’m not sure how much of it is natural and how much of it is enforced.

We went upstairs around 4pm to set up early and get some free dinner. It’s Friday pizza night tonight and they said it usually gets busy…mmm pizza!

Evening - 6.30 pm
We started on the dot with people strolling in slowly. Soon we saw two sets of eyes peering at us from the side of the stage and these big wide smiles. We had gained our selves some little aboriginal fans. They weren’t allowed in without parents and also you weren’t allowed to just have a drink, you had to buy something otherwise you had to go downstairs.

With each song they slowly crept in and finally sat on some chairs right in front of us with big smiles.
Everybody seemed to enjoyed our original songs and we even tried out one of our new songs that we wrote on the road called ‘Red dirt wanderer’….it was a train wreck…haha nobody noticed except for us I’m sure. While we were playing, once again there were fights breaking out down stairs with the locals so we were competing with that.

Stew setting up the gear

Throughout the evening I was talking to the bar girl and I asked her about the segregation and she said that it really was a natural separation of colours. She said that the locals usually separated themselves.

Just to give you an idea of the bistro - before the show

When the night ended I asked the bar girl for our money and she said she knew nothing about us getting paid! uh oh! and that she’d go and ask Pauline (the boss) about it. She came back and said Pauline doesn’t know anything about it either double uh oh! and so she told me to come in the morning and speak to Rachel. It was looking like we were not going to get our money for tonight. I gave the girl an invoice, packed up and went to bed, with the hope that I’d be able to get the money in the morning. That's our Alice Springs petrol money, man!

11th September 2010

We had to rise very early this morning because we had to get to Katherine which is 300 k’s for a gig at the Katherine Markets at 11 am. We awoke around 7am, showered, shaved and then I went to the reception to find out about the money. There were two girls. I asked for Rachel and they said she was asleep triple uh oh! and so I said "I need to be paid for last night". The two girls got all flustered and confused. So she just took the money out of the till and gave it to me - yeehah, payday! That was easier than I thought.

We got in the car and raced off to get to Katherine.  It’s still a scorcher and I tell you what, I need an eyebrow wax real bad. My little sister Diana normally does them for me (she’s a beautician) and I don’t trust anyone else... I wonder if stew could help:)  Also I get allergic reactions to certain waxes and it makes my eyes puff up…not a good look. So I’ll have to go with mono-brow until I get home.

Got to Katherine park at about 10.30am. We found a shady spot in the car park to leave Freddy and we then had to find a guy named Dez who is letting us steal an hour from his show for us to perform.

Katherine markets

Stew doing a soundcheck

We were pretty much busking for money, so we left the guitar case out, but at least there was a PA so people could hear us. We did our usual songs, a couple of new ones. It was really difficult to enjoy our show because the sound was not that great. Not a lot of fold back , but we just went with the flow. People were really interacting with us and that was the important thing.

My merch desk and money collector

After we finished I sold some CD’s and in particular these two girls were really taken with our music, they each bought our CD and then asked if they could have a pic with me. That was really nice. They seemed to be so excited to have heard us - nice. They were from Melbourne on a working contract for a couple months in Katherine.

Rangi, me and Janine - new fans : )

We made $40 from the markets, oh well sold some CD's at least. Norma, who organized the gig for me, asked for my bank account details so she could transfer some money to us – bonus.

After that, it was so hot that we went to our favourite milkshake place (we’ve passed through Katherine 3 times already) and ordered a chocolate milkshake with extra chocolate and a caramel milkshake with malt…mmmm. We decided to get the hell out of here. We wanted to get away from the heat.

We’ve got one more show in NT in Alice Springs at the night markets there. Apparently it’s so much cooler, so I’m looking forward to getting there.

First thing first, we stopped in at Mataranka because there is a hot springs there to cool off. It’s about 50 k’s from Katherine. It’s called ‘Bitter Springs’.

the rocks on the bottom were slimey so I was struggling to stay afloat so my feet didn't touch it.

I would have enjoyed it, only the water was warm and not at all refreshing, but it was beautiful to look at. We dived in, and let the current take us to the other end…..

step 1 - Walk down the steps

Step 2 - Watch the slippery steps!

Step 3 - That's gonna hurt in the morning

Step 4 - Watch out for crocs

After all our absurdities in the water, we packed up and headed to a new destination.

We then found a very basic camp spot and set up there for the rest of the day and night for a well earned rest.

12th September 2010

We slept in very late this morning. I was so overly tired I couldn’t bear to get out of bed. I started carving another boab this morning after I had a dream of the artwork I was going to carve. That was nice. As soon as it started to heat up we packed up and headed off. We’re going to try and make it near Tennant Creek today.

Half way to Tennant Creek there is a place called Daly Waters. It’s a tiny township with petrol, pub and caravan park. They have a historic pub where we stopped in.

It was hilarious, the whole of the inside was covered with all sorts of things tourists had hung on the walls. Railings of bra’s above the bar, old guitars, postcards, stickers and lots of funny signs and jokes.

Daly Waters pub - Australia's most remote traffic lights

Funny : )

We decided to have some lunch and a beer for refreshments and Freddy was welcome to sit with us too.

We kept driving on and arrived at a place called ‘Three ways’. It was just a petrol station and a caravan park. We decided to stay at the caravan park for a shower and pool stop over.

Stew’s starting to get a blocked ear from all the swimming we’re doing and he’s not sure if he’s getting an ear infection, so we’ll have to head into the pharmacy or doctor in the morning, hopefully it’s nothing too serious.

13th September 2010

This morning we went into town at Tennant Creek to pick up some groceries and then we went in search of a doctor. It was 12 pm and all the docs were out for lunch and wouldn’t be back till 2pm, so we have to wait until we get to Alice Springs for that. We should get there on Tuesday or Wed. So we kept driving.

Passed through a tourist spot called ‘Devils marbles’, big round rock formations made from granite. It is where the aboriginal people did ceremonial dances.

Devil's Marbles - Only one part of it, there were hundreds

There were lots of little walking tracks around there, we had a wander around, took some pics and then skedaddled.

Tonight we were aiming for a place just outside of Ti Tree. We stopped at the Ti Tree petrol station, nothing much else there. While Stew was pouring petrol an aboriginal man asked if he could get a lift 'about a mile' out because his car was there. Stew said we didn’t have room. He persisted.  Then the man said that there was 4 of them. 2 women and 2 men.

While Stew went in to pay for the petrol, the four of them were hanging at my window begging for a lift and practically opening the doors to get inside. Stew finally came out with the guy that works at the servo and the servo man said that they were all good fellas but to be aware that a mile usually means 6 miles to them. So the 2 woman and 2 men squeezed in the back of the van. They looked hilarious.

The guys in the back of the van

Then they asked if we had any country music to play on the radio. I said "We’ve got Kasey chambers". That’s the only country we had in our ipod and they were happy with that. We passed a dead goanna and they started talking about how tasty goanna meat was and kangaroo meat was and I told them we were ‘vegetarian’. They said "What….you don’t eat meat?". That was an awkward moment haha.

Sure enough the 1 mile ended up being 60 kilometers to a place called Aileron. They just kept saying "We live where the ‘Big man’ is, just over that mountain". We weren’t too sure if we were being led astray for a while there, because there was no sign of any ‘Big man’ for a while.

Finally got to Aileron which was a roadhouse once again. There were big scultures of a ‘big man’ and a 'big woman' apparently made by Ted Egan's son. 

'The Big man' in Aileron - about 20 metres high

Jumping out of the van

They got out, we took a pic and then one of the ladies asked "Can you pay us $30?". I said "You should pay us!" Then they kept asking for money and then for beer. We gave them a bottle of water and said our goodbye’s and took off.

The gang

We made it well past Ti tree and the weather was now cold and windy, the change in weather was quick. We’ll be in Alice Springs tomorrow.

I’m starting to feel a little bit scared of coming home actually. We’ve had such an adventure, I’m worried that I’ll be depressed without all the excitement. Mind you, I have heaps to do when I get back home, I won’t have time to think about it. Stew and I have already started talking about all the things we want to do when we get back, setting goals etc. One of my main goals when I get back is to start playing solo live. Just me and my guitar. I’ve been practicing while I’ve been on the road and it’s coming along nicely.Stew's goal is to build a wall in the studio for separate recording room and to set up a free 'Song Development' program for songwriters.

So we’re about 60 k’s out of Aileron at a rest area. Had dinner, all full and in bed early.


No comments:

Post a Comment