As an up and coming band, going on tour is always the holy grail. The stories that you hear from mates who have done it always light the fire in the belly. Hearing these tales make you want to get out and spread your wings and make some memories of your own…
Back in 2012 I was in a band called The Second Hand Salmon. In the band was my brother Jowe on the drums and Alec on the bass. I was on guitar and vocals. Our first experience on tour was really something you wouldn’t read about… Until now.
I had received a phone call regarding joining renowned blues/rock band “Chase The Sun” for a “Mini tour.” This would require us to travel from Canberra and play support to Chase The Sun at a show in Merimbula (Far South Coast, NSW) on the Friday night and then onto Thirroul (5hrs North) on the Saturday. This was uncharted territory for The Second Hand Salmon. Of course I accepted the offer and a few weeks later we loaded up Jowe’s ute and off we went.
The drive down to the coast was smooth, we did the obligatory check in at home to raid the cupboards and eat as much as we could until mum got the shits! Then we headed into do the sound-check at Club Sapphire – Merimbula.
Because Jowe and I both have utes the third member of our band Alec couldn’t fit in and had to drive his car down as well. As a massive organisation freak, I like to be at the gig extremely early to set everything up to perfection, then play. Our bass player Alec, as my dad would put it, “Wouldn’t ever die of a heart attack.” He wasn’t ever really fussed and always turned up with just enough time to set up prior to our set time.
With Jowe’s drums set up and my guitars tuned, pedals toggled and amp dialed, all that was left was Alec’s bass rig. Time was creeping up… 1 hour, 45 minutes, 30 minutes, 15 minutes til’ we were supposed to start. I had rung Alec about 10 times, but I’m sure he will correct me and say that the number would have been closer to 40. Just as I was about to make the decision to play the set solo, Alec arrived and we hit the stage 10 minutes later. We played a tight set and the crowd and Chase The Sun appreciated. The tour was underway. I was so happy and so relieved.
After the standard 10 beers post-gig and meeting some nice girls who invited us back for some drinks at their holiday house, we awoke the next morning to get on the road for Thirroul. But first mum asked me to go for a drive to get her some milk, and because I’m a 10/10 son, I did just that. I took Jowe’s car and about 2 minutes into the trip I passed a cop. The cop immediately swung around and put his lights on. I was smiling because I knew I wasn’t speeding, was sober and thought it would really piss this cop off that he couldn’t pin anything on me… Yeah, I was wrong.
Little did I know that Jowe’s car had just fallen out of rego and in his words, “I thought you had two weeks to do, after it’s due.” I was slapped with a $600+ fine because I was the one driving. I got the milk and drove it home with steam coming out my ears with the intention of teaching my naive little brother a stern lesson. After much colourful language, Jowe accepted he would be paying the fine and that he had ruined the tour as our car wasn’t able to be legally driven. Mum being the legend she is gave us the keys to her Subaru outback and off we went! Jowe had his tail between his legs, driving the whole way, and me chewing his ear off for the next 2 hours.
Four hours later we arrived, set up our gear, sound checked, had dinner and a few beers and it was time to play. As usual, any crowd is standoffish for a start towards a new act they haven’t seen, but, after playing out of our skins we won them over and were very happy with our set and going by the crowd, so were they! The deal was that Jowe, because of his muck up earlier, was driving that night back to where we were staying. However, because I was now in a great mood I agreed to pay for a taxi/train home, so the boys were on the beers.
Now, young Jowe is an all or nothing drinker… So being about 6 beers behind he decided that drinking 6 in half an hour was the best option to catch up. He then proceeded to be the biggest mozzie (pest) in Australia that night and was as drunk as I have ever seen him.
Highlights included –
1) Accidentally elbowing a 65+ yr old man whilst dancing savagely to Chase the Sun, the poor bloke needed stitches.
2) Getting kicked out of the pub (Then crying.)
3) Befriending the village idiot who invited him back to continue drinking at his place, then, after realising he had befriended the village idiot, escaping through a window and then going missing.
As any big brother would have been I was mildly concerned of Jowe’s whereabouts but figured he would be right. I woke up the next morning, still no sign of Jowe…
We headed back to the venue to see if they had seen him or heard from him,they hadn’t. I’ll admit that as this point I was beginning to worry that the village idiot had taken him hostage.
Then we discovered his wallet and phone still on the stage, the only thing that was missing was the car keys and Jowe. I put two and two together and went out to the car to discover a Biilmann size 12 shoe hanging out of the car window with 3 doors wide open. Jowe was in a world of hurt and looked as green as I had ever seen anyone.
After a coffee and Bacon & Egg roll we packed the car and started the journey home with a hangover, a mini tour under our belt and one hell of a story.
HWT: Jack is currently in the running to win Triple J’s Unearthed! He is sitting in 19th spot out of thousands of musicians. Let’s help him climb up that ladder!
Jack will be releasing his debut solo album in December. To stay up to date with this fantastic young musician, follow Jack on Facebook HERE!