Sunday, March 22, 2009

On The Road Again

After two days of sleeping in, doing as little as possible and catching up on some much needed vitamins and BYC, we got back into tour mode. As luck (or good organisation but I doubt it) would have it we only had to drive as far as Lyttelton for our next show at Wunderbar.

The Templeton Backyard Cricket Ground, TBYCG.

Wunderbar (pronounced Vunda-baa, German for Wonderful) is a cozy little place about the size of two Circadian Rhythms front to back, cirlcle jerk styles. The front bar is full of doll's head lamp shades, mannequin torso table legs, weird art and has very hard to find toilets filled with advertising from the 1950's, but not in a tacky way like Burger King. The back bar has a stage at one end, red curtains everywhere and old circuit boards and disco balls all over the roof. So basically Wunderbar is a trippers paradise.

The extensive ramp and stairs makes getting gear in a fucking exciting mission!

Like I said; "A trippers paradise."

Before our show we did a short interview on Volcano Radio . They played wicked music and were the nicest media types I've ever met. Yay community radio! We then went up and proceeded to 'get right' before the show. Le Mot Cafe agreed to support at very short notice and played some wicked new stuff. Keep an ear out for a new album very soon!!! We played pretty tight and got on well with the audience so we came off feeling ready for some debauchery.

I think one of the highlights of touring with Biff Merchants is our bands ability to enjoy the company of the locals where ever we are. One Wunderbar local named Colin smoked the second half of our doobskin and proceeded to eat the roach, but he was a good man so we didn't bust his beardy chops too hard.

We got home around 2.30am, back up at 6.30am and headed off to Te Anau. The drive was sweet. It was a great day for looking at Mt Cook and the rest of the main divide. We arrived at Red Cliff to some amazing hospitality.

The Red Cliff

Choosing a meal from the 'Hospitality Rider' is very difficult when your brain has been trained to avoid eating anything over $15. I think we ended up getting: 12 mussels and some bread and dips for an entree, two racks of lamb, one sole fillet, a vegetarian pasta and some fancy as pork dish. HOSPITALITY!!!

Our 'Hostel Room', that was actually a sweet two bedroom house!

Two entrees between us and an expensive mains each was hastily followed by Whiskey, an introduction to our house at the hostel, returning for copious amounts of beer, a few performances, lay backs, shots, more beer, job offers in Milford, cones and general good conversation... none of which we had to pay for.

Ben finishing off an un-named lay back as served by Good Morning's Brendon Pongia. He was actually called Muzz and was the most generous barman a band could want.

After a while the managment decided they needed to close the bar so turned the music off, but invited us to a house party to continue drinking. We arrived at one of the local's houses. He was a family man, but the family was away, so he busted out a guitar and microphone and sang really awfully bad covers for the rest of the night. GOOD CUNT! We fell into bed around 6am only to be woken at 10.30am by Megan, the owner of the cafe, explaining we had arranged to meet her at 10 to get our gear out. We were feral and couldn't remember any arrangment, but we got the job done thanks to some free coffee and a cheque for our 'services' the night before.

Mike nominated himself to drive us to Invercargill. A brave effort considering we'd slept about four hours and those of smaller stature than Mike and I were still well hammered. It was a sweet journey for me. I slept the whole way. It must have been hell for Mike. But hey we made it to sound check for our all ages show at Saints and Sinners, opening for D dub. D dub? yea D Dub. We are obviously quite similar in musical stylings to a Ska/Reggae band so it seemed fair enough.
Paul and Grey Skull having a pose down in Invers.

We once again played pretty tight. There were about 12 peopleat the all ages show so it was a good practise and helped us out of our hang-overs. I won $50 bucks off a $2 coin on the pokies and was feeling fucking great. After a short nap at the Tuatara backpackers, we were pleasantly suprised by a visit from heaps of Dunedin mates. They had all made the trip from Dunedin to come and get drunk with us which was fucking awesome. Some of the D dub guys came and crashed our party in the hostel living room. I wanted to dislike them, but they were truely really nice guys. I also wanted to hit them up for $50 they owed me for renting my guitar amp to them for some Dunedin gig a while back, but given their attitude I couldn't find it in me to bring the mood down. Fuck I'm a pussy.

After a good catch up with our buddies we shot back to the venue for our R18 show. We played fucking well again. There's something to be said for gigging regularly. I don't think we've played this consistsntly ever! I reluctantly shot back to Dunedin straight after our set. A wine and foods fest in South Canterbury at 10am ruined any chance of a final hurrah with the Biffs. By all accounts it was a great night that ended up on the roof of the Backpackers, but without Colin eating all the roaches.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Couple Days Break In Templeton

After some extensive driving, we are now back in Templeton just south of Christchurch at Andy and Mike's parents.  It has been quite good to have a couple of days break to relax after so much time hugging the flickering white line.

We got to spend a few days in Wellington which was great, caught up with quite a few friends we haven't seen for a while.  Also got to explore Wellington a little and soak up a bit of the atmosphere.

We went and checked out Te Papa. A lot of crap, but some of it was good.  Quite angled at tourists sometimes.

We played pretty poorly at the Adelaide, a few technical difficulties, probably a shoddy lead, but there were a lot of friends there which was cool, and the Slur Tones opened for us who have recently relocated to Wellington from Wanaka, and they were once again impeccably tight.

The gig at Harbourview in Raglan the next night fell through due to a balls up on their part, wankers.  So we ended up borrowing a tent and camping somewhere near the bottom of Lake Taupo near a marina.


In Auckland we stayed with a friend who had an apartment right round the corner from K Rd, so we got to explore the inner city a little.  His apartment was small, but very accomodating, and after a gig at Shadows at which we played well, but to about 20-30 people we got maggoted at his apartment.  Shadows reminded me a lot of the Cook or Gardies or something studenty like that, I guess because it was on campus, but it was certainly no Re Fuel.  Mike joed out so we got him ready for work in the morning.

Our friend got us tickets to the zoo through his work, so that was an excellent sunday activity.

We then hit the road to return to our camp site for another night, and then on to Templeton from there.  Tonight we have a gig at Wunderbar in Lyttleton, then on to Te Anau and Invercargill and home for a break before returning to Christchurch.

On the Road

Like Salvatore, we are on the road.  Maybe not in such spectacular fashion but on the road nonetheless.

We stayed last night in Templeton just out of Christchurch where Andy and Mike's parents live.  We went to a place called Rockpool or something that was near the strip, just looking for somewhere to get a coffee.  The place was empty and the barman/barista was chatting to a girl who was studying there or something.  Anyway, this guy spent about 15 minutes making andy's coffee, meanwhile the rest of us were waiting there to order ours.  Fuck I have never during my feeble existence seen someone work with such blatant lack of disregard for the customer.  This process was then repeated during the making of the subsequent coffee orders meaning that our coffees were delivered to us 15 minutes apart and we didn't actually get to 'share' a coffee and a cigarette which was the intention.  Way to ruin the man date fuck face.  When I placed my order the guy forgot to ask for money off me and left me hanging at the bar with my eftpos card in mid-air.  I decided against paying for such a shitty service and drank my burnt coffee and fucked off.

So we are now currently on the way to Picton to catch the ferry over to Wellington.  So I have taken thbis time to write to you. yes you. With laptop sliding all over the place.

A couple of weekends ago we headed down to Milford Sound for a gig at the Blue Duck Cafe.  I had never been down there so was excited to see a bit of Fiordland.  The drive down was a visual orgy, and they put us on a cruise when we arrived which was amazing.  The waterfalls and shit are something to behold.  The excursion was a cream jean dream for the likes of Mike who is a Geography grad.  Too bad it was greysville.  The lack of youth ate a fatty, but the scenery more than made up for it. 

I have to mention the incredible showing of hospitality we received while there.  Liam and Rachel who were managing the joint made us extremely comfortable, welcome, and boozy.  They got us on to a 'local' drink which involved bottles of diva wine, shot glasses topped up with red bull.  We started having a few beers at about 5 and were reasonably primed by the time we played at the cafe.  Afterwards we fraternised with the workers and one dude did a bang on ray charles impression. fuck it made me laugh. 

The next day involved a drive to Queenstown for a gig.  yuck.
When we arrrved we took our usual trip to Morrisons Irish bar to have a guiness and get right.  We met another interesting character there who proceeded to fire off some one liners immediately.  After we had calmed him down a little, we discussed such diverse topics as hookers, conspiracies, and Dunedin geography and business.

The gig at Dux was half-hearted I must say, as we were driving back to Dunedin that night after the gig because Andy had work in the morning. It was reasonably uneventful, and we arrived home at about 6 in the morning.  Think Andy had work at 7, but I believe he didn't actually end up working as his workplace didn't need him or something. Shee yit.

So the path that lies ahead will hopefully be littered with interesting experiences and characters.  We are looking forward immensely to catching up with various friends we haven't seen for a time.

So, hopefully will catch up with you at some stage around the country.