Saturday, October 2, 2010

Gypsy soul tour diary - Wagga Wagga

30th September....

Talk about lead foot! Yesterday we were in SA, today we passed through Vic and now we’re already in NSW. Will be in Wagga Wagga tomorrow morning. The petrol prices have come down a fair bit since we got into busier areas. There’s no more red dirt since we passed Port Augusta in SA. All green grass, what a change : ) farewell the outback – so sad. Not much to say today. We’ve just been driving, driving and more driving. The countryside since Port Augusta, thru Mildura and into Wagga is green and lush - they must've had heaps of rain - beautiful.

After Port Augusta

Freddy savouring the green grass

It’s pretty difficult being an independent artist. Especially when I’m on tour. The industry doesn’t care unless you fit the trend with the hundred others at the time and very rarely will you get a compliment or some kind of acknowledgement. It’s easy to get in a rut or unmotivated. If I was doing it just for recognition I’d have given up long ago, because it seems I’ll be waiting a long time for that.

But every  now and then I get a nice encouraging email from a fan or someone in the underground music scene. Or I get an offer or compliment from some unexpected place, that makes it all feel worthwhile … and today was one such day. Today I got 2 lovely emails : ) So, I savor the moment and enjoy that little extra boost it gives me to keep going on and on and do the music that I love and I hope moves people too.

Saving a turtle off the highway! A semi trailer had just missed it - Poor tyke
1st October 2010....

We’re in Wagga … no 'outback' here: no crocs, no stingy things, no heat, no red dirt :) This morning we headed over to ABC Radio in Wagga to promote our gig here and also the 2 in Tumut. We’ve had an interview with Chris Coleman before, on our tour this way in Feb. The interview was fantastic.

Normally they have you on for 5 minutes and a song: real fast, in and out. Today he asked a lot of interesting questions and we performed new 2 songs. We were on air for close to half an hour. It’s the most comfortable I’ve felt at an interview.

Waiting in the foyer of the ABC Riverina - made up and dressed up - looking 'human' again :)

The one question he asked was “So what is touring like? Did it live up to expectations and will you be doing it again?” So I told him “Well, to tell you the truth most of my performing life I thought touring would be glamourous and exciting. Now I know, it’s definitely not glamourous … but it is exciting! Living out of the van makes things a lot harder to prepare for gigs, you don’t have the comforts you need.” Along with all the fantastic gigs we’ve done, there were a lot of disappointing gigs. It would be 50/50 good and bad and I guess this is where I have to learn which gigs to take and which ones not to. The bad gigs are like a kick in the gut, (Stew just looks at me as if to say “told you so”) but the good gigs are amazing and keep you going. They remind me why I’m doing what I’m doing. So YES I will tour again!

Anyway, Chris invited us back to ABC anytime and he said he really enjoyed our music. I also got talking to the sound girl there – Alison and she was a mine of information about concert type gigs in Wagga and surrounding area. We exchanged details, she’ll be very handy next time we come round. The ABC has been wonderful and so supportive all around Australia – thank you Auntie.

Evening – Playing at the Tourist Hotel. There was hardly anyone there. We had an early start at 6pm, I suppose to entertain over dinner. It’s hard to enjoy a gig when you don’t have an audience to feed off. It turned out to be just another pub gig. People didn’t start coming in until about 8.30, with half the crowd yelling in the middle of a ballad because they got the ball into the left pocket at the pool table.

I’m over these types of gigs! I’ve made an executive decision to not do these types of gigs anymore after this tour (Stewart sighs quietly with relief). They’re soul destroying. No one cares about the songs. It’s not they’re fault, we’re in the wrong environment. I need to choose my gigs more wisely. This is the one thing I’ve learnt on this tour, that my music does not fit i that scene. I can make it fit, but then I’m compromising my true path.

So when I have to start booking gigs again for our next tour it will comprise of markets, house concerts (anyone want one?), cafes, folk clubs, festival and special halls etc. 

This was the first gig I have to admit I did half-heartedly. I was over it. I felt like I was wasting my time. This is why I need to not do these gigs. Stew calls these gigs ‘petrol gigs’.
Tonight is the last night we’re spending in Vinnie the van. After Wagga, we’ve got accommodation at the Oriental Hotel in Tumut (nice venue) and a real hotel room for 3 nights (Freddy is allowed too!) and when we get into Canberra we have a friend who’s putting us up for a  couple of nights.

One week left to go on the tour..... how time has flown : )

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