Monday, August 27, 2012

Some kind of wonderful...

Since getting back from Darwin I have been really, really struggling. Physically speaking, I haven't been at the races. Not worth a cracker. I've been so tired, too knackered to do anything discretionary. Shame really, because I've been a dynamo in the preceding weeks.
I was in Canberra last week and it was a labour. I felt like I was a hundred years old. I did manage a few pints in The Phoenix so my efforts brought some reward, it is fair to say.
I got home on Friday night and spent Saturday trying to get back into the swing of things; doing jobs, standing in the pissing rain at the footy, falling asleep in my chair when I should have been at the Northern Soul night, and watching United fall over the line.
I guess I needed to rest up a little.
Sunday and Monday were much better. I went busking for three hours in the winter sunshine, did my APRA return for 2011-12, visited King William Road to view the SALA exhibition, made a date loaf, organised gigs, got to grips with the lawns and garden, cooked a kind of laksa, played with my latest eBay arrivals (including Top of the Tots!), attended to my Honda, watched a great film in Hunger, learned some new songs, and took possession of the latest batch of David Robinson CDs. I can't believe how different the last couple of days has felt compared to the preceeding couple of weeks...
Perhaps I am back.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

King of the Bus

I've been busking at the Sunday Farmers' Market recently. I thought it would be a good thing to do because it's better than a music room rehearsal, I like the market environment, and it's only around the corner. You have to go through an application process; not very punk rock I know, but it's a pretty good gig.
The vibe of the place is great. I'm not generally a busker, but this is a performance opportunity within a community, and I don't feel that I am at the mercy of some of the more aggrocultural elements of society. As I might be if I was playing in the Mall...
It's great way to work on new songs, to meet people, and to make connections with stall holders and other artisans.
The challenge of playing for three-four hours straight without resorting to music sheets or repeating songs has also been great. I've been dragging out originals and covers that I'd forgotten I wrote/knew - what a hoot!
It's not just coins and notes that find their way into the guitar case. Last week I also got a couple of bottles of (delicious) organic wine, a bag of apples, and an iced coffee.

I hope this continues for a while yet. It's been fun so far.

Monday, August 20, 2012

(Camel) Train Man

Cavorting in the Northern Territory. A nice thought, when one is sitting in a freezing house in the middle of the coldest time of the year. Frontier Land - where long trousers are only worn on special occasions and, even then, generally unnecessary.
As I was daydreaming of Darwin, three words came to mind - warm in August.
The lure of a mid-winter's break ultimately proved overwhelming, so last week I set off on The Ghan on a northern adventure that would take me and my guitar not only to Darwin, but also to Alice Springs and Katherine. Two places upon which I'd never had the pleasure of inflicting myself.
I had to reacquaint myself with train-life, but a few familiar faces helped to smooth over the logistical challenges.
I had three or four gigs every day on the train; harder work than it sounds, really. Some nights I was playing from 6.00 until 10.00, with maybe a half-hour for tea. Not that I am complaining - it's a great experience. The passengers generally love it, and it gives me the opportunity to shift a few CDs, and accept the odd free drink. I've had some great conversations with amazing people, and listened to tales of triumph and tragedy. I also get to eat like a king, albeit in a rather rapid-fire manner. Nice one.
In addition to the joy of playing music for people who enjoy it, I also get to visit other parts of the country. This time I got to go on a camel ride, cruise Katherine Gorge, visit the Winnellie Hotel, have a beer at Bojangles, climb Billy Goat Hill, enjoy a Pale Ale at the Katherine Hotel, and enjoy a shared bathroom facility in my Darwin digs. Oh, the glamour!

Eighteen onboard performances later, I emerged back in wintry Adelaide, needing a few days sleep.