The FBi Social show was just meant to be a nice warm up for the rest of the tour - that was before we booked a Brisbane show the night before. Instead it became a grueling test of our minds and bodies. It was part of FBi Radio's Supporter Drive so if nothing else it was for a very good cause. Side note: If you are not a supporter of this most excellent community radio station, sign up HERE. They are advancing the cause of the arts in a town that seems hell bent on stifling it. Full disclosure: I work at FBi, but I only work there because I love and believe in it. In the morning, most of us had gone from the airport to work then to the venue for soundcheck, and we subbed in Luke Davison on the drums. On a macro level, the gig was really good but pretty uneventful, at the cellular level though it would have been bloody spectacular - no sleep, low blood sugar, synaptic activity 2% above what would be considered vegetative, yet somehow we managed to play something that resembled a great show. Side note [and contrary to how it might seem]: I effing love this tour slog stuff. It can feel really good to sustain injury for your music. Sometimes being in a band can feel like almost total bullshit - like 98% social media content aggregation, publicity, self-abasement and arselicking to get a gig and futile response chasing, and then 2% actual music. The pain most often comes in the form of a slow erosion of your resolve, a strangulation that works imperceptibly over the years until you quietly lose consciousness then wake up on your 40th birthday in an ice bath without your kidneys. A rough tour is a short right to gut - it's the acute pain that gives immediate weight to the whole exploit of making and playing music. When most of a band's life is lived online in the documentation of minutia; in the quest for something viral and in confected tweet-sized press releases, doing something in the name of your music that you feel in your bones brings it all crashing back to reality. And work is good for you, it feels good to work hard at something and touring feels more legitimately like work than does posting goat remix vids to get your facebook algorithm humming.
The last time we really talked, we were getting ready to tour a new album and we spoke as if all things were possible. In November last year we hit the road and set about collapsing all these possible states into one definitively onerous one. I did mean to do a tour diary as we went but the tour was kinda all-consuming so now, three months later i am left with the shabby remembrances of an, at times, hilariously bumbling tour to sift through.
DISCLAIMER: While on the face of it, the tour was a bit of an ordeal, it fused us all together in a really profound way. Despite anything I may say, we had tonnes of fun.
Sim has a quiet 6am weep into Dee's lap
BLACK BEAR LODGE // 14 NOV
The Ray Mann Three + Briscoe
I wonder if the three people in the crowd knew how unlikely a feat it was that we had gotten there that Wednesday night to play for them.
I wonder if they realised that we were sitting at desks and standing in front of classrooms and selling bargain instruments to people who love slap bass five hours prior, and about a thousand kilometres away.
I wonder if they saw in my eyes the abject disappointment of someone who had hired an 8-seater van to save money on taxis only to need taxis anyway when a miscommunication about gear transport meant that the van pulled up to the airport way too full of drum kit to fit things like band members.
I wonder if, while heading home from work that afternoon, these three punters had seen us waddling across town lugging amps and guitars and bits of drums because the only alley we could stop in during peak hour was so far away from the venue that the climatic conditions were different.
I wonder, if as they were on their way in to Black Bear later that night they saw me fidgeting in that same alley like an itchy addict, waiting for a borrowed amp to arrive as the rest of the band stood on stage waiting to soundcheck.
I wonder if they realised that the free tacos we received upon checking in to our hostel at about 830pm were the first thing most of us had eaten that day. And that this simple gesture on the part of the hostel may have saved the three of them from a flirty and ultimately lethal hostage situation later that evening.
I wonder if they appreciated that the insults I hurled at them from the stage and the rollicking looseness of the set were a result of 4 medicinal shots of tequila, administered consecutively, and that they were absolutely vital in averting a stress-induced pant-soiling sob-fest.
I wonder if they noticed that Dee was pregnant and that Ross and Joel pulled a mighty double shift - playing drums and bass respectively for us then as two thirds of the Ray Mann Three.
I wonder if, in the wee hours as they lay wide-eyed in their beds, tormented by my chillingly accurate tequila-fuelled deconstructions of their characters, they could have known that Ross and I were driving deliriously around the greater Brisbane area trying to find the guy who lent us the drum kit so we could get the fuck back to the hostel to sleep for a couple of hours before we needed to be on a plane back to Sydney, back to our places of business before FBi Social that night.
This is B.O.T.S. - the single we are releasing with the album, and the clip we made one sweaty-ass night in Dave and Kate's roof. Watch this, then on Nov 9 buy the album from a store ("i" or otherwise) then come to a show - we are touring the east coast in November and December and we are ready to melt some effing faces :)