Sydney – Black Cat Tour

It’s been an interesting start to our first Australian tour as a band. I was very jet lagged having landed from Malaysia in the morning. I came back home to Brisbane to pack, have a quick 20 minute nap and head back off to the airport to meet Joe and Jack to catch our plane to Sydney.

We flew with Virgin Australia who were generous enough to give us emergency exit row seats with extra leg room. Once we got to Sydney, we picked up our rental car and headed to our accommodation.

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Joe picked up this what appeared to be a cute terrace in Leichchardt, Sydney. In the daytime it looked alright. It seemed to be a perfect band house – minimal, a little dirty and it seemed like the house had catapulted from the 1970s. After settling in we grabbed some dinner and I parted from the boys to go to 2RRR radio station to co-pilot a show with Chris Virtue.

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That was a whole lot of fun. I’ve helped be a guest presenter before, scripted, but I’ve never just had to wing it and supply a playlist of my own music. Chris coached me out of my nervousness and soon we got into some good topics. I brought along a whole bunch of CDs from my favourite local artists. After the show, we grabbed some drinks with another radio announcer and I headed back to the cute little cottage by myself.

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Cute little cottage it was not. The darkness brought out aspects of the house that was hidden with the happy sunshine was out. Carpets seemed to have blood stains everywhere, the couch was filthy mouldy, there were no sheets, towels, blankets or pillows, no furniture, no beds – just inflatable air mattresses. I creeped into the kitchen to find an army of the fattest cockroaches I have ever seen. The kitchen let off a pungent smell that most definitely invited the house squatters in. Also, mouse poo. I was completely grossed out. I got out my phone to bitch about the place and then the lights started flickering on and off. I ran out of the house straight away leaving everything behind. I let the boys know of the state so they were trying to figure out accommodation with one of their cousins. I tried to sleep in the car. Sucked. So I called about 20 hotels to hear that there was some techno festival going on and everything was booked out.

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By then the jet lag was hitting me and all I wanted was sleep. I racked my brains to think of who I knew in Sydney and just had a hissy fit when I couldn’t think of anyone. Finally at 2am I thought of my university friend who had just moved in town and luckily he answered and let me crash.

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The next morning, I felt a whole heap better. I was rejuvenated. Met up with the boys and found out they had to stay in the creepy dungeon as they couldn’t find their cousin’s house in their beer-drunken state. They obviously had a shit night’s sleep.

We went and had a quick rehearsal thanks to Bad Pony and Borneo, local Sydney bands then headed to our gig at The Newsagency. At first we were startled as the stage was tiny and wasn’t able to fit a whole drum kit. Luke had to compromise and just have a bass, snare and hi hat. The gig was a whole lot of fun. It has been a while since I played with the band too. The Reversals also sounded great as a stripped down acoustic duo and Direwolf, the Sydney act was soothing as a solo artist.

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After the gig came the looming thought that we needed a place to stay. Ali, the owner of The Newsagency offered us the place behind the venue which normally is an Airbnb. There was a French guy, Jonathan who was staying there but he was all for the band crashing too. All Ali asked for was a Black Cat T-shirt to gift to her roommate. A great deal for us!

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Turned out to be such an awesome place to stay for musicians. We stayed up into the wee hours of the night just jamming on the Wurlitzer and piano that was in a little alcove behind the venue. The French guy played air guitar on the broom stick.

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Jack had a little bit too much wine and he was so open to getting his nails painted. I have never seen him intoxicated but it was heavily entertaining. What a great start to the tour!