Talk about an absolute hacka - no blog since November 2009!
So here's to a new year and the start of what will be our summer tour blog.
We're back in Dunedin after the first 4 dates of the mish - including getting our minds melted at PHAT 11 in Inangahua on New Years day and having a major honey leak in the van on the first night.
We'll be heading to Te Anau on Friday to start the main chunk of the tour.
Anyone who has looked at the poster and the dates will see that we are doing a lot of back an forth/up and down the country mishes and its not the most linear tour but that's just how it worked out this time - a bit of a clacka tho.
Tuesday 28 December
The tour party for the first leg of the tour was: Kieran, Lagahn, Metz, Seedy, PD Reid and Freyor Train.
We only managed to get away from Dunz around 10pm after humming and harring about what gear we did and didn't need to take (taking into account that it was likely to be very very wet and muddy at Phat so gumboots were essential for everyone).
We only had to get as far as Templeton to bunk down at the mighty Biff residence. Muzz and Ailene weren't going to be home as they had been in Dunedin awaiting the birth of another grandchild. We had been totally oblivous to all the rain in the South Island and had to take quite a chunky detour as the Rakaia bridge was shut. Arrived about 4am and got our heads down for a few hours before I got the troops up at 7am for the next leg of the journey to Onekaka.
Wednesday 29 December - Mussel Inn, Onekaka
I discovered our first disaster this morning as I went to load in our bedding etc into the van. I opened the boot to find honey dripping from the back door and all over the bumper and towbar etc. A very sticky sitch. Metz had brung a massive bucket of honey for the tour - good for maintaining voice on tour (hot honey drinks etc). However someone had left it on its side and it had leaked all night.
The photo was taken after we'd used hot water to wash away alot of the honey. It definitely doesn't do the spillage justice.
After this debacle it was my turn to drive and I got us as far as Springs Junction before succumbing to 'the dropsies'. Metz drove the majority of the mish before Kieran did the Takaka Hill mission. None of us can be trusted to not fuck the break pads on the down hill descent (Lagahn especially has a chequered past when it comes to this). We arrived @ The Mussel Inn about 3.30pm (only half an hour behind our aim) so a bloody good effort.
Most bands/musicians/people in general will tell you that the Mussel Inn is an unbelievable venue and they are spot on. We love getting the chance to play there and hope we always will over the years. We booked the whole tour around this date - what a great place to start. We were greeted upon arrival with a round of famous 'Captain Cookers' - Manuka beer.
PD Reid made his sound engineering debut at this show - and he did a bloody awesome job! We'd also lined up Oli Cameron 'Oleh' to play support for the show as him and his fiancee were up in the area travelling round. After a brief line check it was time to tuck into amazing food and then some backyard cricket before preparing for the show with some vocal warm ups and a few beverages. Oleh kicked off the night in style. We were all blown away with his set - really cool stuff. It was soon decided that he would join us for our show in Motueka the next night.
We played a pretty cool couple of sets to kick off the tour and were feeling right in the zone after drinking Mussel Inn beers all evening. PD had a great monitor sound on stage. Great to also see some familiar faces in the crowd including: Sammy Asshole (on a hitchhiking to Auckland mish!), Mel Ronson and Kat Ramsay (Penguin Club, Oamaru).
Thursday 30 December - Hot Mamas, Motueka
We arrived in Mot around 3pm and began the set up. We were to debut the record decks on tour this evening. Kieran had them all set up and good to go for a dj set at the end of the night. After set up was a famous Hot Mama's munch of pizzas, salads and fries. We couldn't finish the munch (even with Metz onboard!) so saved some for later on. Back to Lou's place (manager) to chill before the gig.
Oleh kicked off the evening again - and we retained a few of the previous nights crowd. Again he was a great way to get things going and we'd be keen to play more shows with him in the future for sure. We played two sets this evening which is often the norm at Hotties. However tonight it may have been a better idea to push on through as we had the vinyl set up our sleeve later on. We had built up a wicked crowd in the first set but lost a few peeps in the second. We even had a couple of PHAT 11 tix to give away as we realised we still had our comp tix left. These were snapped up by some keen folk on the d-floor. Overall a wicked busy night in Mot.
PD Reid did a great job on the sound again and even tried his hand with the delays which was choice. Great to catch up with Nell (owner Franks Cafe in Greymouth) and Parrot (Barrytown Hall) both places we are playing later in the tour.The DJ set was classic - we had the remaining crowd grooving to Average White Band and MJ. However Bryce (owner) had had enough by the time Ice House came on.
Friday 31 December - The Commercial Hotel, Murchison
We made it to Murchison around dinner time so loaded in all the gear then had our munch. This show had been booked pretty much 10 days previous so was very last minute! Stoked Syliva (manager) had taken a punt on us hackas.
Everyone we've talked to that had seen Murchison on the poster has made various comments but most a long the lines of 'what the f**k are playing murchison for?!'. It turned out to be really cool night. After set up Lahgahn and I had a game of road cricket until the ball was lost under the venue after a spanking cover drive from gunn.
We spun some records before the gig until about 11pm when we kicked off. The minutes ticked away really fast and before we knew it we were counting down the new year. Rather than belt out Auld Lang Syne we smashed out some Cream - the locals were ok with this. Overall it was choice to be able to pump out our own tunes and retain the local crowd who just seemed stoked to have some loud live music on new years. We will definitely be keen to play Murchison again in the future.
There were some absolutely classic locals around. My favourite being 'Mama Kearney'. She was an amazing old darl who had a dance with all of us during the post gig vinyl set. Unfortunately there is no photographic record of her as PD's camera ran out of battery at the start of the show. She will remain in our hearts and memories for ever hahaha. The other local of note was the lady in red (tiny dress). She had the attention of all the lads in the room and was the cause of a one scuffle later on. We just kept playing the hits on the record decks till the wee hours of the morning.
Sat 1 January (PHAT 11)
And so the final date of this wee leg of the tour loomed - PHAT 11. We set off after lunch after a lengthy load into the van and trailer. There were a shitload of bees around as the van still had heaps of honey around the boot door. They did a good job lapping up the dregs. We made it to PHAT around 1:30 and arrived in glorious sunshine. It had been this way for the entire festival apparently which was great considering all the rain in the lead up days.
Our set was from 2:30-3:30. Great to catch up with so many familiar faces upon arrival and we smashed out a set for all the hard nuts still piecing their heads together from the previous 3 nights. We had a better onstage mix than last year but nothing will beat the onstage sound of PHAT 09. After the set it was time to have some fun! In the past we've always had to leave the same day or straight after our set to get to another gig (last year all the way to Te Anau!). So we rewarded ourselves this year by getting hammered and enjoyed the festival for what it is.
The line up for the evening after us was: Wicked Draw, Minuit, Salmonella Dub, Optimus Gryme, Concord Dawn, State of Mind & Evol Intent + heaps more after. Gryme and Evol Intent were absolutely sickening! It was choice to have the van parked in our usual spot which is not far from the main zone. After a huge night we one by one dropped and found patches of earth and spaces in the van to curl up for a couple hours sleep before the big drive back south. As usual the music stopped at 9am on the final morning.
Caption: "Local grom has good time at festival in sun"
We left Inangahua around midday and made it back to Dunz before midnight. Special mention to one PD Reid after what is likely to be his last tour with us for the foreseeable future. He has been awesome to have on the road since 2008 and is one of the most loyal cats around. I've got no idea who will do our door takes now! He starts his new job mid Jan. All the best bruv, hope its not the last tour...
So we set off on Friday to restart the tour in Te Anau and will return to Dunz in mid Feb. Keep an eye out for us in a town near you.