Well I got there!
Got to Perth and the venue ok. From the different snippets I've picked up, I must have been SO close to a number of you at different times and yet we didn't know! Andrea, we must have been about three feet apart I reckon!
Finngirl & Tiawamutu, saw you with PG and ?? getting your sound check passes! (What was in the box FG?)
So close yet so far ... nevermind.
Well I had booked a cab for after the gig but got chatting with someone outside as I was taking photos over the fence of Neil doing sound check. General gig talked followed by the promise of who'd save who the better position inside .... ok, cool. So I'm in line, number two off the fence, all the 'Lego' barriers are going in, more people turning up behind me and then the storm troopers arrive. Where upon he with the Tan Ray-Ban's says to me 'No backpacks inside' and turns away with all the finesse he can muster after his umpteenth time of watching 'Risky Business'.
You'd think I was carrying a double bed on my back, twas more like a swollen hand bag. So I push past the many faithful, saying goodbye to my position and lodged the offending Campervan with the 'Cloak Room' - which was a BBQ table under a tent. Nice ... Soon I’m back in line 'up the other end' and only a few off the fence once again.
Inside we all are, I get Andy's shirt ... ok and another one for me , have a quick feed and I'm standing like a honeymoon with a coffee beside the mix tent.
Coffee gone and I spot a patch of grass towards the front between 'Mark and Neil'.
Well this 107kg frame sprung like a grasshopper into position and I'm singing Jimmy "'Scuse me while I kiss the sky!".
THEN who's head should appear but 'chatting with someone' - all but five inches off the barrier. "Hey come on down! Plenty of room!" patting the picnic blanket. Well BUGGER, ONLY IF YOU INSIST!!
Well if I was 'kissing the sky' twelve feet out from the stage, I'm shaggin it at two!
CWS (chatting with someone) and I chalk up a deal for a lift to the airport in lieu of a shirt, as CWS was convinced there was no way I'd get a cab, even if it was booked. Deal done, booked cab cancelled, went to get shirt but none that CWS wanted. (This would soon prove to be an omen!)
Augie March came on whom CWS is really only there to see as it turns out despite CWS's sister being a keen CH fan. Now, I knew that CWS and CWSS have been enjoying their drinks along with everyone else and that’s cool … 'til three other female gig goer’s come down and stand ‘in their vicinity’.
Now sure, I can see both sides and there’s no point juicing that here but CWS and CWSS soon turn into LocalP!ssedScraggs. Sorry! … Soooooo LPS get fair up this other three, they don’t back down either, bit of physical argie bargie follows and THEN I realise that there’s eyes coming onto me like “Aren’t you going to help your girlfriend/wife? …. Look at her!”
Well the neon sign of distance lit upon my forehead for all to see as I’d be quite happy if LPS had got taken by a shark at this point in time. I had made a little bit of distance between myself and LPS by the time Augie March finish and then! THEN! … this hand from LPS reaches through, tugs at my sleeve and gestures to follow them as they walk off!
The_Hand_Of_God could not move me from this spot!!! And I let LPS fade off into the crowd along with my cab ride to the airport after the gig.
So I’m back to being a honeymoon amongst friends and all is peachy. Show time folks! I can’t believe that I’m looking at them as close as I am. I thought Melbourne was good! From being in the trusses at Brisbane to in their laps in Perth – it was a great great way to wrap this up. I couldn’t believe that I was seeing all this AGAIN. I’ve been a very lucky lad this last week and a bit – no Christmas or birthday presents for me!
I can’t give you the play by play of the list and I’m sure it’s already well covered but it was once again a great gig.
I do really like ‘Distant Sun’ although it’s never grabbed me by the throat but like I’ve asked previously; how good?! How GOOOOOOOOD was Mark in this?!!!
The man needed conbantrim! He was wrigglin and rippin this one up … god it was good and sadly the photos I got of him at this part do nothing to capture it. Shoulda switched to video , that’ll learn me.
Aided by the fact it’s my blood supply at the moment, I thought ‘Silent House’ was framed for me. I felt like I was up there singin it with them. My heart was screamin to Neil ‘show me your thoughts’ and baby - I had the match that sets that song on fire. WHOOMPH!! Back to earth …. But that’s how it felt anyway. It just absolutely kicks the way they’re doing it on stage. (If the version on the live TOE cd is a bit of a dud then Somebody! Anybody! out there has GOT to get this one live.)
Did anyone else notice Neil’s smirks and glances over to Sharon during his “world moves on a woman’s hips” intro to ‘Walked Her Way Down’? And … was it just me or did Mark seem to be struggling there at one stage?
I don’t make light of whatever degree of deaf-as-a-post-ness he might have but I’m sure I was picking up more than a handful of side glances from him as if checking where he was at or supposed to be??? I know they all read Neil but this just seemed different and out of the norm. I could be wrong.
Bit of trivia – the black guitar that Mark was playing was signed by Nick, Neil and Matt.
Neil seemed quite impressed with the venue at the Supreme Court Gardens and I’ve got to agree. It seemed like a great spot and a very fitting way for them to wrap up the Oz tour. To hear him say it was the last night of the tour & thank everyone really brought it home and although it’s never really been a heart puller for me, when they did ‘Better Be Home Soon’ the tears came a bit and I could only say thanks and goodbye. I’d had my shot in the heart one more time and I’m so bloody thankful for the opportunity to reconnect with so many lines in my life.
Then like a vacuum through time, DING! Holy crap! Gotta get a cab!!
I scampered across the tops of ALL those aluminium cans like a cat on a hot tin roof. Retrieved the jumping castle despite having seen sooooooooooo many other back packs in there and I was away – heading for the only road that I recognised on the way in on the from the airport. I soon ended up in the cab rank line at the Duxton Hotel … I've got ten people in front of me and ten behind me. It’s 11pm and flight goes at 12.20am. 11.05 … 11.10 …. 11.15 …. 11.20 – no cabs. Na-da. 11.25 and I’m going in my head “I’m gone. I’m stuffed.” I can’t stay at the Duxton, it’ll cost me 500 to sleep in the bin there!!
So I figure traffic going THAT way will be full, and therefore traffic coming THIS way must be a chance of being empty and so I hot foot it up the footpath setting a PB for obsessive compulsive footpath square hopping. Kidding …..
Anyway about three or four hundred meters up the road the blissful, eternal light – the one that says ‘vacant taxi’ – appears on a roof top at a set of traffic lights.
I stop in my tracks, remove one mobile phone from pocket, slide open to illuminate and start flapping like a tarp in a cyclone. It worked. Cabbie pulls over …
Me – “You’re free mate?”
C – “Yeah ok, where to?”
Me – “Qantas Domestic”
C – “But that’s the other way, I’m going this way”
Me – heart fails …. “Well mate, it’s only geography !!!!! I gotta be at the airport by midnight! There’s a fare here & you got two choices, so what’s it going to be??!!!!”
C – “Ok, hop in”
Well I could have given him a neck rub and sung ‘Crunchy Granola’ to him.
I was on my way … albeit giving him some encouragement. (So what DOES happen when you push that right peddle DOWN?!!)
The flying kangaroo soon appears a few mins before midnight and I give him all the cash I have to cover fare and the rest to say thanks.
Upstairs with enough time to get a bottle of water and change my shirt before boarding. We’re up and away … Brissie bound and I fall into a coma only to wake about twenty minutes before landing. On the train and home cooking pancakes with my three year old daughter by 7.45am for what she says is ‘Pancake Sunday daddy!’
(You know, the one that comes before ‘Kindy Monday’ )
All had gone according to plan.
From the two gigs in Melbourne … to Brisbane … to Perth.
First time to Victoria …. First time to Western Australia … both my longest flights.
From walking out of Spencer Street Station, to my drive out and time spent with Paul, to the uncertainty outside the Duxton.
What a day! What a night! What a week!
BIG BIG thanks to my lovely wife for encouraging me and for keeping the home fires burning the few nights I was away xx
p.s. I've got a gadoodle of photos, will let you know when they're up!