Archive for March, 2011

Atlanta Hawks Basketball

Went out for Mexican food last night. Pounded the chili sauce and paid for it this morning.

We had a great rehearsal today, despite one of my pedals being half wrecked by customs/baggage handlers, flying from Canada to Atlanta early this week.

Tonight, Max and I saw our first basketball game at Phillips Arena, Atlanta. Kent & Steph’s team, The Hawks, went down to the Denver Nuggets by about 15 points. It was a pretty tight, exciting game for most of it, Atlanta falling off just at the end (they played last night & ran out of gas).

US basketball is a big production; cheer squad, kiss-cam, acrobats, prizes for guessing trivia questions, a giant screen hanging in the middle of the arena like a Floyd concert, and fluffy toys parachuting from the arena roof to dozens of lucky recipients below (Kent caught one and gave it to Max). We ate a bunch of healthy sports food – hotdogs, nachos, crepes, fried chicken etc. Then, the long ride home in Atlanta traffic.

We’re all sitting down in Kent & Steph’s basement now, chilling out at the end of a kinda long day. Guitar Center tomorrow to replace the broken pedal.

Checkya tomorrow,
Fires out.

Atlanta Big Night Off

Our 2nd night in Atlanta was a blinder. We went down to a club in the city, to see Kent play in his local outfit, Metalsome. Max and I both got up on stage at different times to belt out a couple of songs. Metalsome is a karaoke concept, with a live band. The guys are awesome musicians, and the band was razor-tight. They play 4 or 5 nights a week – and they all have to know about 400 songs off the top of their heads. You line up, pick your song & wait til they call you.

Led Zep’s ‘Rock and Roll’ jumped out at me like a beacon, so I picked that one (I had to do it) and found myself attempting to ‘channel’ Robert Plant on stage. When I got back into the audience, a girl came up and requested I sign up again for ‘Whole Lotta Love’ (who am I to argue with that?).

In the mean time, Max got up & sang Iron Maiden’s ‘Run To The Hills’. The beer was flowing (bar staff plying me with freebies). By the time I got back up there for Zep song number 2, I was a little under the weather – and channeling a very drunk Robert Plant. But it was all good (I think – or, at least, as I remember). Max topped off the night with some ACDC.

We had such a blast. A little slow starting today…

Our next tour date is Friday in Tennesee, at Inherent Records, Cleveland. Check the Shows page for details.

Checkya tomorrow,
Fires out.

Jan Harman – Pledger Of The Week

Jan Harman is our Pledger Of The Week. She’s also pledged for a ‘bed-time story’ from the road. Jan lives on a beautiful country property in a valley between Mansfield and Bonnie Doon (Victoria, Australia) with horses, alpacas, some cattle, two dogs and a chook (chicken).

Jan is also Max’s Mum. We’ve stayed many-a-time at her place, sometimes to visit & relax, other times to write songs in the peaceful surrounds. Which reminds me: Once I had the speakers next to the lounge-room window. The repeating bass line drew a couple of unexpected guests from the surrounding fields. I saw something out of the corner of my eye on the other side of the glass. It took me a few moments to twig. When I turned my head to focus, there were two large [deadly poisonous] Tiger snakes ‘dancing’ on the other side of the floor-to-ceiling window, right next to my foot (which was thankfully on the inside of the glass). Needless to say, after the snakes were taken care of, the bass was turned down.

Jan’s an amazing, loving & life-loving, generous person – who can handle the odd Tiger snake with a shovel.

Thank you, Jan!

Toronto Rocked

Got in from Toronto last night. A day flying & connecting flights down to Atlanta. We messed up with the day-light-saving change in Canada – still asleep when our ride came to take us to Toronto airport. We rushed everything back into suit cases, half asleep & stumbled into the ‘limo’.

It’s about 10am at Kent & Steph’s place in Atlanta. Just got outa bed. Coffee now & more details about the shows in Canada over the coming days. We had an amazing time and a couple of great shows there. Hung out with a couple of Aussie touring bands which was fantastic, The Resignators & Mayfield (all great guys)…

Checkya shortly,
Fires out.

Show Time Tomorrow, Toronto

So tired. 5 hour rehearsal at a studio a couple of miles away. Got back, loaded the gear back into the hostel, walked straight back out, raining like crazy out there, found a restaurant still open (just), got take-out. Ate, back at the hostel. It’s 1am. Bed. Here’s the scene…

Ahhhhh, the glamour…

Checkya tomorrow (for the first show date of this year’s touring),
Fires out.

Toronto, Canada

We just got in at the hostel in Toronto. It’s 11am. Got to sleep at 2am this morning. Things were a little noisy in the apartment last night.

Woke at 3:45am. Lugged the cases down-stairs. Cab arrived at 4:15. Boston’s Logan Airport by 5am. Checked in, did the security thing – shoes off, unpacked everything, coins out of pockets, belt off, everything on the conveyor & through the x-ray screener. Then re-pack everything & get dressed again. 7am flight from Boston to Toronto. Arrive Toronto Airport at 9am. Through customs & immigration, which was fairly easy going. Seemed like they wanted to chat more than interrogate. Cab to the hostel & here we are.

The room here won’t be ready for another couple of hours. Jeeeeze we need to crash. Zombies on wi-fi in the hostel dining room.

The snow seemed on it’s way out in Boston. Not so, here in Canada. There’s a snow storm going on right now.

Checkya tomorrow.
Fires out.

Last Day, Boston – Maria’s Pledge

It’s our last day in Boston. This time tomorrow, we’ll be in Canada where the North American tour starts on Friday in Toronto. It’s a 7am flight tomorrow morning (up at 4).

Maria Snow Pledged in fantastical style, this week. We first met Maria at The Yak Bar in 2005. In much the same way as Deano (Pledger Of The Week, this week), Maria was a regular at our Sunday residency (we played there every week for a year). In fact, I do remember sitting at the bar with Maria on plenty of other occasions at ‘The Yak’ in Abbotsford (Melbourne, Australia).

Now we see her whenever we’re in Tamworth – she moved there to soak up the country music vibe in Australia’s Country Music Capital. Actually, last time we spoke about it, Maria’s not a great fan of country music, but she’s continually inspired by the customer service ethos in said country town. Actually, that’s not true either. Perhaps, one might say, Maria is bringing some semblance of customer service to the town – and the process hasn’t been particularly smooth sailing. But she’s fighting the good fight…

Because Maria Pledged for it – we’ll be singing happy birthday to her, live on stage – and on video. She’ll have her very own personal-birthday-song video up on this site (and YouTube), sung by us – and sung from the heart. She’ll also receive a personalised virtual tour of the tour van while we’re on the road between shows. How cool is that?

A huge thanks and big hugs, Maria (we’ll be talkin’ with ya soon).

Checkya tomorrow from Canada,
Fires out.

PS: I love this pic of Maria – had to put it up.

Dean (Deano) Hill – Pledger Of The Week

A little while ago (2005) we got our start playing every Sunday for a year at a little place called ‘The Yak Bar’. We made a lot of life-long friends there. It was a strong community of people from all walks, all getting together & having a great time. I remember, week-in week out, seeing Deano with a smile on his face, foot tapping and singing along. Then, and since then, we’ve kicked back with Deano many-a-time, shooting the breeze & having a few. He’s a thorough gentleman.

And this week, Deano is Pledger Of The Week. We’ll be sending him the signed drumsticks Kent used on stage and a signed tour poster (fresh off the venue wall) from this upcoming US tour – and a live EP, also recorded on this tour.

Good on ya, Deano – you bloody champion.

Checkya tomorrow,
Fires out.

Bloopers – US Tour Promo Video

Late last week we shot a bunch of quick videos to promote the upcoming North American tour (starting Friday next week in Toronto). And these are the blooper out-takes…

Last weekend in Boston coming up. We fly out to Canada on Wednesday. Now in the last phase of rehearsing & tying up any loose ends before hitting the road.

Checkya tomorrow.
Fires out.

Set Up Near Done, Boston

Heavy rehearsals underway for the tour, starting next Friday in Toronto, Canada. Feeling a little better as we get closer to the start, the 2 months of set-up and prep nearly done.

Weather’s getting better here. It’s up around 40 degrees during the day (5 C) – which feels like a heatwave. Still plenty of snow. It’ll be a while before it completely melts away.

Checkya tomorrow,
Fires out.

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