so mr simpson and i piled our good selves onto a plane laden with other folk going to welly on a fair ol tursday… the plane took off and the plane landed with not a hitch and happiness reigned in welly as the sun shone and the groove soon settled apon us… the adelaide we found and matt kindly opened the doors for us at an unusually early hour for he (2pm ish) and lo! behold! intruiging is the word i guess for this venue… for a couple of acoustic singer songwriter types one could tell it was possibly not the most wise choice of venue… i would have felt a touch more confident had i a rather large van full of drum kits, bass & guitar rigs and leather clad longhairs to back us up, but alas just the two of us it were. non chalantly we set up and then ambled to find a spot on Newtown where one could acquire a vege’ snack and a whee coffee… jumped on a bus we did and headed into welly central and soon there after found a nice spot called the somethingorother cafe somewhere or other near cuba street and proceeded to not leave for quite a while… but eventually we fled to find bus back to aforementioned goth-ville, a venue thought i at the time that would appeal most likely to my 15 year old childling who has a penchant for the emo set. time wore on and it become horrifically apparent that we’d be playing to the bar staff, their friend and simon! yeee haaa. so of course we rockt then joint slowly fled.
?day two and we rose at the offensive hour of 6.30!!… am!!… although this hour is not uncommon for super-dad (one of my pseudonyms) i was not expecting such goings on while i was on the road. but of course there was a reason!!! pending morning/daytime tv super stardom, that fabled ‘muso passing through welly’ ritual “the good morning show” having not showered shaved (of course) brushed my hair or even pulled out last nights hair tie or for that matter managed to buy a toothbrush! i sauntered with good buddy into avalon studios via the magnificent hayward hills ex paekakariki trying to maintain extreme levels of coolness searching in quiet desperation for a packet of mints finding instead the lovely sarah with an herbal tea in the green room… delight. next thing whilst sound checking, and trying not to be afraid of the things on wheels with one big black square eye and a trigger (one presumes) ?the lady with the clip board said ‘are we ready to do a take?’ ?well you can guess my surprise! but what about my hair i inwardly screamed!! outwardly of course i merely squeaked ‘is my hair okay?’ at the same time of course my grin grew wide because i knew there and then that my designer jersey known to all my loyal fan was going to make it onto nation-wide tv! the beauty of this jumper/jersey, call it what you will, is that it is all purpose, all terrain highly fashionable hard wearing and at the same time it breaths people, yes, breaths!! (just like an imaginary friend!) then it doubles as a sleeping bag, pillow, throw over, duvet, cushion and cats dig it! purrrr. aaaaany way simmo & i laid down a couple groovy numbers in front of the camrahs and had a yak with steve, the chilled, up, beatful camp dude about old haunts and random going on..
?mosy we did then to the wharf to find a ferry heading for the mainland!! great great great i was looking forward to this though a wee cloud of tense hung in the air with a gig on the boat and two other gigs to come in this far off foreign land where i’d heard they skewer people who have any connection to auckland and stand them up in fields of thistle as scare crows to scare of the last of the new zealand eagle or for the moa to nibble on (i can’t quite recall which of these scenarios was gods truth) ?any way the boat sailed? (motored) out of the harbour after a half hour hail storm (which is another story entirely and may get a look in in the movie) and a grand wee stint it were. twas indeed a new experience trying to stand whilst playing guitar and singing as the boat ploughed through the stormy seas. i felt very brave, adventurous, wind swept and interesting (as billy would say) in that warm cosy bar as giant 1 metre swells lapped gently the behemouth.
?picton. gorgeous and even a crowd to play too!! a great old night at le cafe, wooo hoooo! the dwelling was the high light though because not only did it mean sleep but it was nestled snugly on the water front around the bay from the township, this was heaven!! one could imagine the pre european, maori, ?moa hunter, chinese, brazilian, eqyptian, greek, celt and mori ori times when there was only birds, birds and more birds and one crazy fat castaway sick to death of eating birds.
?so morning came and after brekky at le cafe on the way back through town we hit the road heading for the legendary mussel inn… when booking the gigs i had thort “ha it’s only across the top of the south island… maybe half an hour drive, hour tops!” of course a follow up glance or two at ye old map book and one could see we had a wee drive to do.. not a prob for the lads, ‘specially in simons kindly lent toyota rav (really awesome vehicle)! on the way we popped into see Russ. now russ is a legend that nz doesn’t really know about. building resonator guitars out of his nelson work shop he has sold his instruments (works of art) to the worlds leading slide guitar players, well the one in particular that i speak of is the great Jerry Douglas (of Allison Krauss & Union Station). having played several of his guitars i was stoked to be able to swing by and see the man himself in his workshop pottering away on motorbikes of course… turns out the dude has many talents.. a quick yak and the promise of being rich enough one day to buy one of his stylish resonators and of we set for the takaka hills… having traversed them painlessly to the sound of mad birdlife the likes of which i’ve only heard in a few spots around our beautiful country, we pulled into the
mussell inn to be greeted by jane and a pint of course… the mussell inn is renowned for its fine beers and, amoung musos of an acoustic nature, it is reputed to be the best venue in the country to play… well through the course of the evening and after having tried most of the beers i’d have to conclude that indeed this was a spot well worthy of it’s reputation… a most agreeable audience of locals and tourist gathered to listened whilst supping away merrily and a good night was had by all… a gem i guess is what you’d call it…
?day break sees us rise to leap into aforementioned toyota rav and skedattle east back to picton and ferry…so short the visit! too soon the departyre.. but, places to be things to see, people to meet…
?so after a wee sing and play on the ferry again… simmo and i opped over to see acclaimed recording engineer and musician Robbie Duncan at his tucked away little wellington studio… this port of call was a superb end to a weekend of new found gems.. with a spot of tea a hello and a quick yak about the finer points of sound, its capturing and subtle taming we bade farewell another good soul met and trundled weary like back to our dwelling in Raumati, the town that is called home by a few of the chjaracters from yesteryear…
i bid you adieu as boy child hollers