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Australia 2006

Day 3: Saturday 2nd September, Melbourne

I was awoken at about 11 by Daz calling our room and telling me that he was going off to the venue - The Esplanade hotel. At midday I was awoken again by Stu knocking on my door and asking me if I knew where Daz was. I couldnít believe it. The pair of them were supposed to be running the biggest Punk festival to ever take place in Australia and they didnít have each otherís phone numbers! Having texted them each otherís numbers I met the rest of the band in the lobby and we got a taxi to the gig at about 1pm.

The Esplanade Hotel is in the St Kilda district of Melbourne overlooking the beach. Not only is it a wonderful venue but also a great area. There were punks and skins everywhere and a big buzz of anticipation. Whilst Stu and his mates set up the backline me and Walnut put up the backdrop. The soundcheck went without a hitch and we then joined Daz in the bar for a few liveners. 

The sun was shining so I went outside to enjoy my beer and it was here that I met some of the friends of the testicle squeezing idiot from last night. They explained to me why he had done it. Apparently they had all formed a club called The Bears club. To be initiated into this club you basically had to have your nuts punched, kicked or grabbed and then go and do it to someone else. Hardly the Hells Angels and hardly an advertisement to the intelligence of your average Aussie either. So whilst they were all slapping me on the back and welcoming me into their stupid club I was thinking ďFucking Wankers club more like.Ē

It was a beautiful day so I went for a walk along the beach. It was still early in the afternoon and we were not due onstage until 1.30 in the morning so quite a bit of alcoholic pacing was called for. When I returned the others were leaving as they too knew that to stay was to invite drunkenness. Rather surprisingly even Daz was going. This was a shock, Daz turning his back on alcohol? Anyway I decided to stay and spent the rest of the day watching the bands, chatting, playing pool with Brad and Nicki from Perth and generally just hanging out and enjoying the festival. I even stayed sober. Well it seemed bloody stupid to fly all that way just to fuck everything up by getting pissed.

At some point in the evening I met Gary Buckley who used to be in One Way System and whose band (Head inc) was playing on one of the two stages. Sadly though I missed them.

Eventually the rest of the band turned up as did Daz and it was time for us to go on. I must admit I was a little bit apprehensive but I neednít have worried as we played a blinder. The sound on stage was perfect and the band played extremely well. It was a great gig. It was filmed by at least four cameras so if I can get hold of a copy we may even release it at some future date. After a few drinks upstairs in the dressing room we had to leave and get our shit together. We were rather rudely shoved out of the door and had to wait for ages for the taxi van that the bar staff had allegedly called for us. It never appeared so we ended up flagging down two ordinary cabs.

Back at the hotel a night of manic drinking ensued along with me and Stu trying to prise some money from Daz. Actually to be fair it didnít take much prising and Daz was quite generous. Obviously he told us that he hadnít covered his expenses but then doesnít every promoter always tell you this?

Anyway Daz, if you are reading this I would like to thank you for having faith in us. We really enjoyed it. Cheers mate. 


Day 4: Sunday 3rd September 2006, Melbourne

After breakfast I went straight back to bed but didnít get much sleep as almost immediately Daz was knocking on the door demanding that we all join him in the bar for farewell drinks. He was leaving to go back to England and our poor livers had to suffer one more session of neutralizers, steadiers, sharpeners and liveners. It didnít take long before we were all on the cocktails.  

H and hound
H and local friend

The hotelís cocktail of the month that we were all drinking was ĎCrazy Little Coconut'.It was made of Malibu, chocolate liqueur, white crŤme de cacao and coconut milk topped with coconut shavings. Yes, it was as gay as it sounds but, strangely addictive. I lost count of how many Daz forced me to drink but eventually his taxi arrived and I staggered back to bed at about 3pm. 

The others went into town and Aggro apparently dragged them around every sex shop he could find. He bought a very nice inflatable cushion for his wife along with a load of other stuff. In the evening me, AD, Aggro and H all went to a gig at the Arthouse where Beerzone and Glen and the Peanut Butter Men were playing. 

It may have been my imagination but everyone (us included) was a bit subdued. I think the WASTED gig the previous day had taken itís toll. There was a funny moment during Beerzoneís set when between songs I shouted out, "Have you got any good songs?" (they havenít) and Ian thought it was some other punter and started to give him grief from the stage. Poor bloke. As if it wasnít bad enough having to listen to them he then had to take abuse from the singer.

We got a taxi back to the hotel and with Daz now gone we had a relatively quiet night.


Day 5: Monday 4th September 2006, Melbourne

I awoke wondering if today would be the day that I'd start getting the dreaded jet-lag. Nothing had happened so far but I wasnít about to get too cocky. However I felt fine and was looking forward to going fishing. Aggro came into the room and took the flyer for the fishing trip to give them a ring and make sure the boat was still going out. Bad news. According to the captain of the boat the weather was due to turn "ugly" and therefore all fishing was cancelled. I went back to sleep and only got up for lunch. 

At 4pm Gary and Steve from Head inc came by the hotel and picked up me and H. We went off to Garyís house in the Thornberry district of Melbourne. I believe Aggro and AD went to the zoo and Walnut stayed in bed on his own trying to beat the world wanking record. 

Basically me and H just hung out at Garyís place and then they took us to their local pub for some dinner in the evening. On the way back Gary put on a tape in his car of Rodney Rude who I'd never heard of before but who must be the funniest comedian ever. Back at the hotel we all had a drink together and then an early night. All in all a very laid back day.

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