Monday, October 19, 2009

Mussel Inn & Mapua adventure...


(by PD Reid)

Onekaka...Friday 16th Oct

We left for Onekaka at around 5.30pm on Thursday and I for one was in for a great surprise as soundman extraordinaire Andy Biff had managed to get the time off work to help out with the two dates, hell yes!

After a long trip (too many stops eh guys...) we arrived at the Straight family home around 12 or 12.30? We all immediately hunkered down as we knew band mother Seedy would be getting us up before 7am (!) for the long drive to Onekaka. This drive is one hell of a long trip, and five guys with a loaded van trying to navigate Takaka hill has to be seen to be believed! Memory fails me but I believe we arrived at the Mussel Inn at around 3.30 – 4pm.

Now the Mussel Inn is quite something, an incredibly awesome rustic wooden style cabin/bar surrounded by beautiful native bush. In fact both Seedy and Andy Biff may take their respective special lady friends there in future, the lucky gals! Packing in and setting up was a bit frantic as meals were being served from 5pm onwards, so obviously we finished sound check at around 5.30-6pm (this is LOR after all...)

After this we all sat down to an excellent meal and sampled the Mussel Inns famous brewed beers. For those who don’t know there is a brewery connected to the Mussel Inn where an impressive selection of beer, wine, cider even homemade lemonade is made and sold exclusively at the bar. It’s all fucking excellent, especially that White Tiger eh Andy ;).

After eating, it was chill time until the start of the gig at around 10pm. I set up a rather shoddy merch stand literally 5 minutes before the start of the first song (I couldn’t set up until all the diners were gone, honest) and proceeded to watch LOR melt the locals faces with two amazing long sets. Andy and I both agreed that vocally this was the best gig of the tour so far, so massive props to Tono for his vocal warm-up techniques.

I haven’t talked to the other guys but I consider this to be one of the best venues in the country, amazing staff, cool as fuck locals, awesome beer (home brewed mind...) and some of the best scenery in the country. The owners, Andrew & Jane allowed us to stay in their log cabin and let me tell you this was incredible with more than enough beds for everyone.

We were also invited to a local party at the beach but the 7am start and us all being pissed as rats put an end to that idea (apart from Metz) who was the sole representative.

Mapua...Saturday 17th Oct

So we woke up Saturday morning in the log cabin and proceeded to get showered before checking back at the Inn for an 11am breakfast of muffins and (excellent) coffee. After this we packed up both vans as well as we could with the rain and made tracks to Mapua. Now to get to Mapua from the Mussel Inn is around a 1.5 – 2 hour trip but of course the Takaka hill made things slightly more difficult. I don’t remember drinking that much but I was close to spewing on several occasions, fuck touring rules!

We arrived at The Tap at around 3.30pm, it was pissing down with rain and there was lots of stairs but harnessing the power of the blanket allowed us to get all the gear in there without any damage, thank god. Setup was a bit more difficult this time around due to the stairs, no P.A and most of us being hungover, but luckily, everything was checked before most of the diners arrived.

Now the food provided by the Woodstock Hotel, Hot Mamas and Mussel Inn was excellent but for me the pizzas provided by The Tap were simply astonishing! We even had pizza left over for later, a rarity on tour let me tell you... Oh and the bar staff at The Tap were quite simply gorgeous, irrelevant but kinda cool at the same time.

LOR went on stage at around 10.30pm the first set however was plagued by guitar problems. It seemed like a big deal at the time but Callum of course, dealt with it like a pro! Second set was considerably better both performance wise and technically (Andy’s Fender Deville has some tone boy!).

Now maybe this was just me but I spotted some of the most sexy girls on tour in the audience, special props to the particularly phwoarsome Miranda sporting an incredibly tight, white, signed LOR t-shirt, sadly no-one goes for the merch guy, sigh... In general, the locals at Mapua are an incredibly friendly bunch and I reckon at least half the punters there bought some form of LOR merchandise. Not bad for a rainy Saturday eh. Pack-up as always was a nightmare but tonight was especially bad with the knowledge that most of us were driving back to Dunedin straight after the gig (Milhouse I’ve got work tomorrow! Give him back his soul!)The locals thankfully helped out with carrying some of the stuff down those stairs. Also I’m not sure who will read this blog, but I will say one of the LOR crew was especially lucky that night, who was it? I’ll never tell!

The drive as expected was a fucking nightmare & I’m pretty sure me and Seedy didn’t get to sleep until at least 9pm the following night... fuck I think I’m hallucinating... Oamaru, Timaru, Chch and Lytleton next week, see you there! Also massive thanks to Andrew ‘Biff’ Straight for being an excellent soundman and one of the coolest guys i know (Awww), hope to hang out again soon!

Over and out – PD ‘fuckin’ Reid

Van playlist:

The Tweeks


Biff Merchants – Battle for Jubilee Park (Sorry Biff!)

Michael McDonald

LOR – Nuggety, tape version cos’ tape is hardcore motherfucker!

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