Thought it was about time I wrote you some of my adventures recently.
It was a great summer. My favorite kind. Rainy. Not just rainy. But positivley diluvian. I’ve been lucky enough to be about southern Victoria during a big (and very rare) summer flood before. Way back around 2003 or so. But this time it rained all over the place. The entire continent.
And we had to battle through it to get from Melbourne to Adelaide to do a show at the Wheatsheaf (Adelaide’s best venue – awesome staff, great booker!) We set off in convoy with the rhythm section in one car with all the high tech satellite GPS nonsense and such like, and the rest of us taging along behind. We had to dodge road closures literally by seconds as the flood waters moved. I have never seen the Hopkins with so much water in it, and Emu Creek was absolutely spectacular. Just after we crossed the bridge they clsoed it!
So we made it to the gig in Adelaide, conquered, and then set off again to play for the people that run the Apollo Bay festival, out the back of Colac. We made it again with literally seconds to spare after taking massive detours.
But we did it.
Because we are unstoppable.
I am using this “we” business a bit nonchalantly. the WE is Zeptepi, who have had a great summer season. Apparently we impressed the Apollo Bay Festival folks. they realised they had scored a wicked band for an incredibly low price. And the gave us 3 shows at the ABF in excellent times. Couldn’t have been better. But I am getting ahead of myself!
In January, Zeptepi headlined the Westbury Celtic Festival in Tasmania. Our accomodation was unbelievable! These guys really showed their appreciation (take note Melbourne,) and we stayed in these quaint luxury cottages. The gigs were terrific, and the people of Westbury were so friendly, and very sexy too. Although the sexy ones I kind of avoided, because, well, it all got a bit dangerous toward the end.
The room my secretary and I had was on the second floor of a converted 19th century bakery. It gave us the perfect view of a young lad and a group of attendant youths attempting to fight some coppers – fisticuffs, that is, we don’t do shoot outs in Australia. It’s frowned upon. Nevertheless, it was rivetting entertainment.
As the gods would have it, the festival peaked on a full moon. Later that night we headed to the hotel and things were getting Loony. All of Westbury’s elligible spinsters were trying to encourage us to dance and get messy with them. Unfortunately our respective messiness was unsynchronized, as their mess was so far advanced as to inhibit the furthering of our mess. We were sobre enough to sense danger, and sure enough it came! A fiesty young woman was asked to leave, and responded by running aound the pub as all the men tried to police her. A short while later, smashed windows, cops, spew, blood, aussie aussie aussie, oi oi oi.
Nevertheless it was a great show, and we were good too. They really looked after us and had excelled themselves with all the cool things to see and do at the festival. Cripes they even had proper knights stoushing in armor with swords and a steam engine parade! Not at the same time though. That woud be anachronistic.
We also explored the maze. Very cool.
So the band flew back, but I had the car and took the ferry. Only the ferry was booked out and I had an extended stay in Tassie exploring the North East. Made me a week late to the rest of my life, but worth it. Enforced holiday.
So that was Westbury.
As soon as I got back it was all go. There was lots of gigs and rehearsals, and then the Apollo Bay festival.
And it rained.
Nevertheless the festival was impossible to be dour about. There was one point, early on the Saturday, when the awesomeness of the ABF hit my like a ton of bricks. I was a little pre-occupied with our own logistics to see as much of the acts as i would have liked, but two stood out, and neither were on any stage. like so many good Victorian acts they were busking. They were the Madness Method and another band, from melbourne, whose name I can’t recall, but had Kerosene in the title and an accordian player who sang. These guys were awesome, and as soon as I track them down i’ll put you on to them.
The Zeptepi were shows were a great success, far beyond any of our expectations. It seems this band is just going from strength to strength and the shows we do just get slicker and bigger.
The next shows with the whole band will be at the Mt Beauty Festival. You must see this band. I know I’m in it and all, but…wow.
Meanwhile, back in melbourne, Alexis Nicole’s new line-up (me on banjo, Paul on Drums, Ash on upright,) got a few teeth-cutting shows, culminating in us opening up for the Daylesford Chill Out festival. It was flambouyant, colorful, beautiful weather (before it started to rain again,) and sexy people everywhere. Of all crazy shapes and sizes! And there sexy dogs! It was very gratifying getting this gig, and thanks must go to the legendary Nelephant Productions. People like Nell give me hope that there are decent bookers out there that not only are professional but work hard and enjoy the fruits of their labor.
The new Alexis line up is pretty exciting. We know the songs well, but you get the feeling playing with these guys that there’s going to be so much good stuff to come. Alexis has many great ideas, and as a band we’re still discovering each other. So there’s this kind of chaffing at the bit to take off and fly away. Hopefully there’ll be much jamming in the future with us all.
You can see Alexis, and Phil Dean from Zeptepi, this Staurday at the Builder’s arms if you like. That’s me twice, as well. Once with Phil doing Ewan McColl and A.L. Lloyd, and then with Alexis doing Al Green and Tracy Chapman. kinda.
So while all THIS has been going on, i’ve been getting some pretty sweet session work in. Recently I was picked up by the Stomp Dogs. A rootsy, trad Aussie style kinda bush metally thingy. We just had our first gig at the Evelyn. I have been playing a lot of Electric banjo recently, and as these guys are very rootsy we felt it appropriate I play Plunky, not Plunktron. But Plunky is an old lady who doesn’t like the rock pubs so much any more. So I kind of feel a bit down on myself because i had so many sound issues personally I couldn’t embrace the music. We’ve decided to modernize and enlist Plunktron. Plunky doesn’t mind. the evelyn isn’t her seen anyway.
The STOMP DOGS are playing every tuesday at the Retreat hotel. I’ll be putting their gigs up and a blurb and bio for them too. Despite my own self critique they seem quite happy and want me to stay. Awwww. So give me a few days as I have to sort the new info out for seriuz biznezz interwebs media. As you can see I have been quite busy.
But wait, there’s more!!
I just got home from the Stomp Dogs first gig, where, waiting for me out tthe front, was the band Bullwinkle, who aksed if I could fill in for Peter Sommerville for a couple of Melbourne gigs before they go to Malayasia to record. They dropped the cd off in my hands, and I am listening to it as i write. Rehearsal tomorrow. gig Thursday night, after Zeptepi rehearsal.
And, also, because i have been so slack with this interwebs business, i have neglected to tell you about the FAMILY FARM band!! But I’ll get on to that. Hoefully there’ll be more great shows with these guys. The Family farm band is the trusty altrenative work horse of Steve and Stacy, from the Resignators.
Oh but no time no time!!
So I will tell you all about them and the hilarious gig we last did at Horvats Wine bar.
In the meantime, I am going through my inbox and replying to all the people I have neglected to respond to. Sorry, I know you’re there, I’m thinking of you, but I haven’t been able to give any clear dates due to a variety of compounding factors, not leats of which are floods, but also bank errors, passport details, and general erraticism.
Well, if it ain’t a real world, I’m still using it.
Thanks for stopping by! Drop me a line sometime!