While in Melbourne, I typed (at coffee shops) and then painstakingly hand-wrote (on really very nice paper, mm-yes) a letter to Ramsay Nuthall, old school friend and Fun-Machiner. The letter contained a summary of the entre trip. Following are some extracts:
” Dearest Davey,
Did the Melbourne trip in six hours yesterday plus a Holbrook pie. Thought of you + beautiful mistress as I ran the <-450m/600m-> to a public toilet and realised that excessive signage and a pie shop with an ENTRY ONLY door and EXIT ONLY ‘Thank you for Coming’ door betrayed German ancestry. I always thought it was a myth about Holbrook, but I guess it’s not far off the mark. Impatiently peed on a tree stump in a vacant lot, was amazed to look down and see varicoloured concentric rings of beautiful mould that I would forget to return and photograph.
Espy crowd was thin on the ground like one of those summer snowfalls Canberra inexplicably drops from time to time. Gig was stupendously awkward, six songs only and Joe-nly as it turns out half of our gigs are in his name. He doesn’t understand how that happened, but it doesn’t bug me too much! Until a night like that, where I would have been on like a monitor and he was a blinking red light on a monitor that isn’t showing anything even though it’s plugged in.
Great steaks in the Espy kitchen and some very enjoyable conversation covering spiritualism (with Tarsh and Joe, who’s surprised?), mother’s cooking (my mum’s lasagna is actually the best) and exercise (pros and cons). Tram ride home, entertained myself by being slightly obnoxious, then fell asleep.
Sanity saving gig at Open Studio, a sweet little red+white faux Italian joint that – and you couldn’t tell from the look of it – infamously hosted the rise and rise of the gypsy-band craze. Woohoo Revue, Rapscallion, and our own Mr Fibby, &c. &c. Crowd of twelve, some Regen friends of Joe’s, Claire Hughes of mine, Lucy Hall of ours, and a piano. Small enough that we could joke around and enjoy ourselves, which we did with no small panache. Sold many CDs, which was a relief because it looks like none of these gigs are going to pay at all.
Woke up in the morning with a powerful urge to get out into sunshine and fresh air. Walked the block aimlessly until I found a small white house with a garden completely dominated by beautiful wildflowers. Every inch of grass was competing with gold, white and purple trumpets bearing sweet smells. On closer investigation, the front door was open and the mailbox engorged with damp, free newspapers. I love an abandoned building, so I wandered in to explore. The first room was obviously a living room, if you can call it living: twenty-odd crushed Cougar Bourbon cans, and three times their number of abandoned hypodermics in the soot of the fireplace. I quickly backtracked, plucked an enormous posy, and hightailed it.
Set up amps in the park, ready to jam and get ready for the night’s gig, but a tiny piece of the power adaptor is missing so we jam, one acoustic, one enormously loud electric. People and dogs very deliberately do not stop to stare. As we pack up, exhausted and not particularly cheerful, a guy runs over and begs us to join him and continue our music. He’s a scaffolder and he and his scaffolding mates are nice enough but accepting that beer was a huge mistake. Even though my attempts to catch the football spilled half onto my jacket, the other half left me with a headache and yet sorer mood. Watched some skaters at the park, meditatively, unsure what the school-age athletes thought of the gaily-dressed pervert leaning on their fence. No beating, so chalk that up as a success.”
More next week! Stay tuned.