Under Western Skies: Broken Hill (Show #5)

Ah holidays! Aren’t they the best. You’re all stuck in your cars on the way to work in the city at 5kmph (or stuck behind a caravan on a country road doing 75kmph - I can assure you, both are on the same level of frustration) 

Me? I’m driving 3200km by myself to play some music to people who’ve never heard of my band. 

Granted it’s probably not the thought most of you conjured up when I first mentioned holidays but anyway, I shall get on with this postcard’s prose. 
I was so excited I couldn’t sleep, the last run of the tour was upon us and it was a true road trip - far west, and then a reasonable distance north… I firmly believe that the grant we got was based on a willingness to travel to the places that original music has forgotten and I was looking forward to it like you wouldn’t believe. 
That excitement was somewhat tempered by getting to the hire place on the Wednesday morning to discover that the 3 seater van that I’d booked through the website was actually a two seater - “yeah, it’s pretty close to that model” said the helpful customer service man and, I can’t argue with that from a numerical standpoint but in a real life scenario 3 men (even one of my diminutive stature) into 2 seats does not go, thus began a solo road trip. 

There’s beauty in a 10 hour drive, if you’re prepared to embrace the experience, soundtracked perfectly and plenty of thinking time and it’s a reality of living in regional Australia that if you want to get anywhere you need to give yourself a bit of time. I’ll confess to not being the biggest fan of the Cobar to Wilcannia stretch, the straight roads can’t find you wandering off until a stray goat brings your focus sharply back. 

I was listening to a podcast that was dissecting Kanye West’s “Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” - a great album in my opinion and it’s perfect for dissecting (I’ve used that word twice now, probably ‘cause that’s the name of the podcast too - check it out if that sort of thing interests you). 
Back through Nyngan I went, with memories of that gig still giving me warm gooey feelings, through Cobar with the sausage roll I bought from the servo for lunch giving me other not so good feelings, through Wilcannia where I implore you to stop if you have a chance and look past what A Current Affair has told you about the place and onwards to Broken Hill and a bigger bluer sky. 

Can I just say I love Broken Hill, not many places would be worth a ten hour drive but this place is - it’s enigmatic, a cool, cultured place in the middle of nowhere and I appreciate the efforts of the artistic community there to keep breath in the lungs. To quote that great movie line, “it’s just the vibe”. 
From staying at playing at “the Priscilla pub” (The Palace Hotel) to Dallas’ favourite day of the tour, exploring Silverton’s Mad Max Museum, there’s just so much to take in. 

Thursday was gig day. An early morning trip to the ABC to play live was almost derailed by local politics and broken embargoes but eventually we got there, only realising when I was in the green room that the guitar I’d brought with me was in a different tuning to any of the songs from the new record (preparation 101 people!). 

Back to the Palace and Tim was excited as soon as he saw the sequined curtains on stage - every place brings a new experience so you appreciate the little things. My words can’t do justice to the set-up in the room we played, ceiling murals and just a beautiful room. 
I got to test out a few new solo songs for the opening set, and the extremely talented Aimee Volkofsky joined us as well for some local flavour. Playing a Thursday night in a place like this makes you feel like a real rock band, and the gig was great but you’ve probably read enough descriptions of our live shows to do you for a while, but they say that the value is in the journey not the destination… and this tour has definitely been a journey. Let’s meet again soon Broken Hill shall we? (Just leave the 3am fire alarm in your back pocket next time!) 


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