17th Nov 2010

Home to Adelaide, Down to Earth

Adelaide… sigh. I love Adelaide. I was born there. It’s been one of my favourite places to go and play over the years, but every single fucking gig in that place ends up being to a bucks’ night or a hens’ night.

Why do you go and celebrate the fact that you’re about to get married by acting in a manner that no one would want to spend the next five minutes with you, let alone their whole lives? Why on earth would you spend your last night out as an unmarried person ruining a gig?

I was so pumped about Adelaide. As I already mentioned, I LOVE playing there. I’d texted several people while The Leitmotif (one of our most excellent and lovely supports) were playing, to inform them of how excited I was about the show.

We took stage around 11:30pm and after a quick line-check, we launched into one of the newer ones, Radio. Immediately the distinct lack of vocals in the foldback was palpable as was, despite standing 3 feet away from the amp, the lack of guitar. Save to say, the time between songs was spent asking for more vocal in the foldback, turing up the guitar and matching wits with the fucking tools on a bucks’ night.

That was until the second song – Captains of Industry – when my guitars G-string suddenly dropped to an F sharp. Powering on (and trying desperately to avoid that string) we made it and I spent the next gap – and basically the rest of the set – tuning, asking for more vocal, turning up the guitar and denying requests for Sepultura.

Eventually we made it to the second last song of the set – Long Way Home. During the previous song, my guitar had behaved well enough and prior for the song to it I’d asked the sound engineer for as much vocal as he could give me. I figured if there was one song we were going to do well tonight, it would be this one.

We started well. The first verse went swimingly: anger is a fantastic emotion to draw on for this song. We reached the pre-chorus (the bit where I sing “No Running, No Speaking, etc.”) and I bumped the mic with my face, causing it to swing away from me, and causing one of the stand’s feet to slip off the edge of the stage and causing the mic to be well and truly out of my reach.

There is absolutely nothing more frustrating to me than not playing as well as I feel I could. And by this point I felt that everything – the universe, the laws of physics, drunk twats – had conspired against me (yes, I took it personally) and so incensed was I, that I kicked that fucking mic stand into the crowd. I then stepped off the stage and threw my guitar across the room, into one of the couches where it lay ringing out.

I paced around the room for a while, necking what was left of the beer that fell over when I kicked the mic stand. I stopped in the middle of the room and signalled to Sarah and Peter to stop – they had continued to play the whole time – but they didn’t. Eventually, Peter looked up and shook his head. The sound-guy was resetting my mic stand and there was nothing left to do but pick up my feeding-back guitar, give it a quick tune and finish the show.

I’ve kind of developed this philosophy for live shows now, and that is: if you you’re not going to play well, at least give a memorable performance. And judging by the number of people who came up and told us our set was amazing, I think we did just that.

be honest, I’d rather play well and I don’t think my guitar would survive another show like this.

On the way home, at the airport, we ran into Mark Monnone (ex-Lucksmiths) who was over playing with Sally Seltman, and we talked about how Adelaide just seems to be one big bucks’ night. Personally, I’m looking forward to going back and giving my birth town the show it deserves, but for now it’s on to Sydney and Canberra for the final two shows of the tour.