Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Catching up

Ah summer - a time of year where most people get to flounce around in stubbies, hot pants, singlets and bikinis and let their minds wander from the serious notions of career, study and personal improvement under the glaring sun.

This summer I've been stalking beach towns in black jeans and t-shirts, my mind firmly focussed on my career, my trade and craft and all the while battling NZ's glaring sun.

The past couple of months have been the busiest I've had as a musician in New Zealand - in 8 weeks we've played 19 shows in the North Island alone and most of them have been amazing for me.

This is basically the time of year where bands in this country can make some money in order to survive. The industry here doesn't generally offer enough to give musicians a salary comparable to fulltime work as most people know it. All they can do is hope to cover costs enough to keep the band afloat and give it some touring options abroad.

It's really quite an ironic situation where a band can have it's music get so much coverage and acclaim yet none of its members make more money than most of the people you see living on the streets of downtown Auckland. But that's a whole other topic that I'll cover some other time....for now I'm going to attempt to re-live some of the fun I've had of late as that's much more satisfying.

Ok, so since I don't want to re-enact my university days and write a 3000 word B-grade essay, I'm going to bullet-point my way through my highlights of the past few months.

* Dec 18, TVNZ Xmas song - a highlight because of how hungover we all were and how it turned out, link here: Midnight Youth Christmas carol
* Dec 25, Xmas with the family - always a highlight of the year especially when you get given a ham for a present.

* Dec 26-31, shows in Whakatane, Tauranga, Whangamata and Gisbourne with the band and our awesome crew - Rhythm and Vines for New Years was particularly special as we played right before the countdown to 20,000 people who were totally into having a sweet time and forgiving me for swearing profusely on stage. Best New Years of my life.

* Jan 1-7, got to spend a good few days in my hometown catching up with family, great friends, doing some fishing and playing some golf.

* Jan 8, show in Waihi Beach - a sold out show to an awesome crowd is always special and everyone knows that Waihi makes you feel good inside, right?
* Jan 9, show in Piha - probably one of the most scenic outlooks we'll ever get from on-stage plus a friend of our manager's had a bach that we were fortunate enough to watch the sunset from later that night.

* Jan 10, played in apparently crime-ridden Wainuiomata to a bunch of Scouts - another surprise show and surprisingly good time. Had a huge rider we had to finish that night so it was always going to be huge - and it's always nice to flirt with Wellington a lil.
* Jan 15, Big Day Out - this needs its own bullet-point timeline:
- Artists area/catering = amazing
- Show went perfect, dream come true
- Played to about 20k when we were on
- Lots of singalongs
- Exhausted after
- Got drunk
- Kasabian are top men, gifted us their rider
- Temper Trap guys are super
- Lilly Allen flashed us a boob whilst sunbathing before her set, then we had a good drunken yarn before she was whisked away to her hotel.
- Muse changed the whole floor of their stage and replaced it with some kind of chrome-looking metal...
- They were pretty epic
- The Veils ruled
- BK Queen St to end the night
- Caught a cold as a parting present.

* Jan 23, my Dad's 60th bday party - family converged from all over the world to celebrate my Pa's milestone, a great tribute to a great man. The singalongs lasted til well into the early hours - always the sign of a good night!

So now the summer continues, the inappropriate dress-sense continues and a keen sense of time takes me once more.

"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." Abraham Lincoln.

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