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black is black, straight back

So, Melbourne.

It’s about twenty four hours since I got back, and I’m only kinda just starting to feel like a human again. It’s been a long road, filled with sleep and comfort food.

After breaking my alcohol drought at Ess Bar on Wednesday night, I went home, did some last minute checks with my luggage to make sure I had everything, and then called a cab to go out to the airport. One arrived on time, and I got out to the airport and onto the plane without incident. Slept through most of the flight over, which was awesome. Arrived in Melbourne at about 7am.

I caught the Skybus into the city, and then a cab to Krispin’s place in Brunswick. I could have caught a tram out, but didn’t know exactly where his place was, so cabbed it just to be sure I made it. I bashed on his door to wake him up. We had a cup of tea and some toast. There was a trip to the shops, and then out to a pub to meet Henry. The pub we were to meet up was closed, so Krispin and I waited out the front until Henry arrived by tram. We had planned to meet GDP at the same pub and had let him know where it was via an ancient form of communication that didn’t involve a mobile phone. There was a debacle with a venue change, but in the end H, K and I ended up at The Retreat on Sydney Road, which was a cool bar that had fake grass out the back. It was very lush and garden-like. Many a beer was had by all.

I eventually managed to contact GDP, who was having trouble with a show booking and hadn’t made it out to the pub yet. We agreed to go and meet him where he was staying instead. A 45 minute cab drive later (thank goodness they are cheaper in Melb than in Perth), we got to the place which was out on stop fucking 50 of a tram line from the city – a fair ways out, considering I had been expecting something a lot closer. Not to worry, we got there in the end, passing the hilariously named Dickmann St on the way. We hung out with DNA, GDP and the boys for a while, before getting on a tram to go down for soundcheck at Bar Open for Render, which ended up being unnecessary. That meant we could start drinking again.

By this stage we’d been drinking all afternoon, so we were pretty jolly. I think there was a kebab at some stage. The gig was awesome; I met and chat and drank with GDP, DNA, Baddums, Aoi, Faux Pas, Dave Slutzkin from RRR, Maude from PBS, and a bunch of other friendly (and mostly drunk) people. I played at about 11.45, and I think the set went rather well. Stage sound was awesome and Able said it sounded pretty brutal out the front.

One thing that made the gig noticeably different from a gig in Perth was the number of smokers around. I’m not a smoker, and although I give smokers shit sometimes, I don’t really have a problem with it. I like that there’s no more smoking in enclosed bars because when it was allowed, I used to come home from every single gig with absolutely everything reeking of stale smoke. My trombone used to stink. By my reckoning, at least half of the punters at the gig were smokers. Anyway.

So yeah the gig was sweet. Thanks heaps to Baddums and Aoi for inviting me over. Ripper shit. If you’re in Melbourne, make sure you check out the next Render.

I awoke the next morning with somewhat of a hangover. I looked around, not remembering how I had gotten home. I could see my wallet and phone on the coffee table, which was a relief. Then I looked around for my laptop. Then I looked around some more for my laptop. Then I messaged a few people to see if they had taken my laptop at the end of the night. Then I rang the venue to see if my laptop was still upstairs. None of these endeavors ended positively. I was pretty bummed about that, but tried to take the long view; I bought a cheap gigging laptop on purpose, so that if something like this happened, I wouldn’t be out too much cash. Still, I was pretty attached to that laptop – I did my first ever laptop gig with it (supporting Foreign Beggars at the Manor in Leederville, for trivia heads), and it’d been with me at gigs and on tour for almost two years now. Anyway, so that put a bit of a downer on the night.

K and I did a bit of shopping out on Sydney Road, which was pretty cool. Many crappy stores line the street, but there are some sweet little nooks and crannies in amongst it all. We watched an awful film called The Fist Fighter on K’s little projector thing, as a way of holding the hangover back, but I don’t think it worked very well – mostly because the film was so god damn loose.

Later on, I caught up with Able over at Tetris, a cool studio space thing where he is staying at the moment. We went back to The Retreat and had another few jugs and shot the shit. It was interesting to talk to him after he’s been over east for a few months now. Sounds like he is meeting heaps of new and interesting people, and getting along pretty well. He told me about doing a collab with this guy Zulu, which I am pretty keen to hear.

Then .. what then? Oh yeah, Krispin and I met up with Henry and Pete, and went over to Pete’s place for dinner and beers – both of which were excellent. Pete cooked up some lamb and snags on his schmick barbie, and I met some his mates from Melbourne who were all pretty cool. We were pretty deliriously drunk by the time the evening was really rolling, thanks to several cartons of Coopers Pale. The night wore on and everyone was looking pretty buggered so K and I left.. at about midnight I think.

We walked down the street to catch a cab from the main road, and considered our options. We were both still pretty keen so headed to a bar to tie one on. The first open bar we came to was a rockabilly place with a cheap pool table. It reminded me a lot of the Hyde Park actually. Anyway, we walked in, and it turned out a bunch of people Krispin knows from work or something were there sinking piss. Winner! So we drank there for a while, and then again back at one of their houses when the bar closed.

I awoke the next morning with somewhat of a hangover. We caught a cab back to Krispin’s place. He had to work, so I took the opportunity to relax a bit and explore the shops on Sydney Road again. I had planned to meet up with Henry in the city in the afternoon to do some shopping, so I killed some time exploring, and then went into the city and eventually caught up with Henry again. We had a look around a few shops, then caught a tram out to the RRR studios in Brunswick, where I prerecorded a chat with Dave Slutzkin for the To and Fro show, that went out on Sunday night. The podcast RSS hasn’t been updated with yesterday’s show just yet, but I’ll link it when it does. I am kinda keen to listen back to what I said, because I don’t really remember.. but I remember laughing a lot and it being fun.

Then it was back to the city to meet up with my mate Aaron, who has known me since before I was born. We hung out at a place called Cookie, which was pretty cool, but weirdly for bars in Melbourne, fucking expensive. Beers were consumed. Hadn’t seen Aaron for like a minute so it was great to catch up.

While we were there, I got a phone call from a random number I didn’t recognise. It was a lady called Wendy, who had found my laptop bag at a cab rank in Fitzroy! Everything was still in it. My guess is that I passed out at the cab rank or something, then when a cab came past, I had to hustle it into the thing, leaving my bag behind in the process. Wendy was walking her dog at 6am the next morning, and had tracked me down by looking at old boarding passes I had left in the back of the bag. Amazing.

We had to hustle to meet some of Henry’s mates for dinner, which was over at a place called The Lambs Go Barrrr (lol). We drank there for ages, they had like a million beers behind the bar, and we tried to go for different beers every time. We moved on into the city at some stage, and went looking for the bar where Dom was playing, but after wandering around for ages we couldn’t find it. K and I chilled in a random pub while H and P went looking around for the place – which, as it turned out, was just around the corner. We moved on, and Dom played about half an hour after we got there (which was about 1am, I think). He was amazing. A tech dnb exposition like no other.

After dancing around like an idiot for too long, we eventually bailed and went our separate ways. I cabbed it back to K’s place and slept for a million years.

I awoke the next morning with somewhat of a hangover. My flight was leaving in four hours, so that meant I had time to grab some food, check some more shops in the city and pick up my laptop from Wendy The Great before Skybussing to the airport for the flight back. Then it was straight from the airport in Perth to the pub – but that’s another story.

So that’s a breakdown of what went down on the weekend. I wish I had more time chilling with Baddums, DNA, Aoi, GDP and those guys, but they had gigs in Brisbane on the Friday and Saturday nights so they weren’t in the area. I wish I had gone to the Aquarium and the NGV, but it wasn’t to be. I enjoyed having a massively social weekend, rather than doing my usual solo city exploration, which is generally what I end up doing if I’m in a new city. The gig was awesome, and chatting to Dave on RRR was sweet too. Catching up with Krispin, Henry, Pete, Aaron and all the new mates really made it a memorable weekend.

I’m planning on being back in Melbourne quite a bit in the next year, so if you live in Melbourne and I didn’t have time to catch you on this trip, don’t stress, I’ll be back to do more gigs and talk more shit to whoever will listen. Thanks especially go out to the man like Krispin; crashing his place was awesome and I really appreciated getting to know some of the weirder, hidden spots in Melbourne.

Back to work tomorrow!

Filed under: gigs, legends, life, tours

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