It is with great sadness and substance abuse that we must announce that after 12 years, Jerry Craib is leaving Bluejuice.
The magnitude of this event for Bluejuice can be expressed neatly in two words: “FUCKING FUCK”.
Jerry is the most talented keyboard player we’ve ever met (not to mention a shit-hot drummer, bass player, guitarist, and presumably sensual lover and efficient masturbator), and he is a huge part of the creative force behind the band. Have you ever heard what our band sounds like? It’s got keyboards all over it. That’s Jerry. Jerry Fucking Craib.
Not only that, but Jerry is the only member of Bluejuice who knows how all our equipment works, and where it’s supposed to plug into. “What’s a mono DI? Get me a drink”, is the level of knowledge that the rest of us can manage. Not Jerry Fucking Craib.
When operating a vehicle, Jerry displays a T-1000 level of single-mindedness and intensity. Indeed, in a Tarago race from Sydney to Melbourne against a liquid-alloy cyborg from the future, Jerry would win hands-down, with spare time for a cigarette and a game of online Yahtzee. That’s Jerry Fucking Craib for you.
And to cap it all off, Jerry has an excellent broad Australian accent that he can switch on and off in regional towns, which allows him to blend in, like an octopus. A Jerry Fucking Craib octopus.
Jerry is, and will remain the only member of Bluejuice whom a layman would not describe as “a total dick”. He’s generous to the point of personal sacrifice, tactful, and humble about his formidable musical talents. He can also be a stubborn fucking weirdo, but let’s not talk about that right now.
While touring, Jerry would often disappear for hours at a time, and nobody would know where he was. This period was known as “Jerry Time”, or “JT”. Now Jerry’s got all the JT in the world, and we wish him well in his new endeavours*.
Let’s hear it for Jerry Fucking Craib everybody.
We love you Jerry.
Jake, Stav and Jamie
*We also wish he gets bored and comes back to play with us again.
Winter at university was never a good time for the members of Bluejuice. Concentrating on “Oedipal Complexes of The Leopard Slug and Resulting Ramifications For High Density Housing” was difficult in all that cold, and all that darkness. Hard times indeed.
They survived though, and this winter, instead of insisting daily that their manager make them slow-cooked meals with polenta on the side, Bluejuice have decided to try and ease the plight of freezing students by touring the universities of Australia.
Welcome to the second week of the Bluejuice Company Tour Diary. How many different types of vehicles will we sleep in this week? Which new vitamin deficiency will we develop? Contain your excitement if you can, children.
SETTLERS TAVERN, MARGARET RIVER
The second week of the tour begins as the first week ended: with looks of demented confusion in everyone’s eyes. Tour manager Paul orders us to the airport at 4am – a summons so diabolical in its efficiency that the airport isn’t even really open yet. While we wait around, the airport roof leaks reassuringly.
The plan today is to fly the 5-odd hours to Perth, followed by a 3-odd hour drive to Margaret River, then setup for a few hours, then play the gig, then sleep the sweet sleep of a thousand Grizzly Bear hibernations. At 4am in Sydney it’s not the most enticing prospect, but at least Jake’s spirits are lifted by the sighting of a glamorous female pilot. He is told by the indignant airline clerk that, “There are a lot of female pilots now you know”.
For the first of many (i.e. two) times this weekend, an elderly couple jokingly suggest to each other that we must be One Direction. Maybe they were referring to Henry from Sparkadia though, who is playing guitar with us this weekend. Henry is a little younger than us, and doesn’t bear the scars of a decade of touring, nor does he have any facial hair which is frankly, suspicious. He’s also from England, but we don’t really mind.
Paul and sound guy Alex have previously upgraded themselves to Business Class for this flight, simultaneously revealing themselves to be the utter arseholes we’d always suspected they were. The rest of us manage a combination of drooling sleepily and painfully onto our left shoulders, then drooling sleepily and painfully onto our right shoulders.
Arriving in Perth, we realise that the cars we’ve hired won’t really get us to Margaret River in the comfort and style we demand, i.e. with enough seats in them. Jake triumphantly upgrades the hatchback we can afford for a convertible, and as we all drive very slowly down the highway, the standard homo-erotic gestures are exchanged between vehicles whenever they drive alongside each other.
Margaret River is beautiful – not that we get to see any of it. The gig itself turns out to be a lot of fun though, even if the calls for an encore are not loud enough (or existent enough) to warrant a performance of our questionable version of “Please Don’t Go” by KWS.
A party springs up at the house we’re staying in, but James and I wearily escape to the adjoining bedroom. Around 4:30am I fall asleep to the sound of a guy affectionately telling his girlfriend he’s going to punch her in the vagina. Such a sweet lullaby.
“Please Don’t Go” Crowd Reception Rating: N/A
THE CAPITOL, PERTH
We wake up, somewhat resentful of all life on earth, pour a dozen espressi into our faces and hit the road once again. To pass the time, lighting guy Eamon plays us the Spanish version of Michael Jackson’s “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”, and a bunch of novelty country songs about penises. He is quickly removed from all DJing activities.
Our hotel in Perth turns out to be one of those depressing 70’s-era faux-marble jobs with a grandiose title and corridors that are reminiscent of “The Shining”, only with more of an aging mental hospital sort of feel. We don’t spend much time there though, as the usual lugging, soundcheck and arguing with lunatics on facebook fill up several more hours.
We have one of our best Perth shows ever (excellent crowd, occasional crazed stage invasion, Jerry wearing devil horns) though yet again, “Please Don’t Go” does not get an airing. What a terrible catastrophe.
“Please Don’t Go” Crowd Reception Rating: N/A
THE GOV, ADELAIDE
A 6:45am lobby call again ensures we are looking our finest; resplendent, vibrant and brimming with good humour and optimism. What exemplary visions of men we are at that point. Arriving in Adelaide, I eat disturbing nachos made from melted Kraft cheese singles, and I feel like maybe I deserve it.
Tonight the show is all-ages, which would normally give extra piquancy to Jake’s paedophile jokes, but for once he has the self-restraint not to tell any. We don’t have our background projections happening for these shows but our neon costumes and UV lighting schtick looks great, and the crowd seem to enjoy the ridiculousness of everything. They enjoy it enough for us to inflict “Please Don’t Go” on them at least, which we manage to finally do.
“Please Don’t Go” Crowd Reception Rating: 7/10
We arrive back in Sydney, somewhat f*cked in the collective head. We secretly vow to not be such gruesome stereotypes next weekend. Goodnight.
It has been conclusively proven, time and time again, that band tour diaries are the most relentlessly dull things to read in the history of all written language on the planet. Like most jobs in the music industry, touring in a band mostly involves sleeping in chairs, playing phone puzzle games and pretending to look useful, and an in-depth exposé of these activities isn’t usually that interesting.
So here’s a hopefully brief attempt at collating some otherwise-useless drunken anecdotes about Bluejuice’s 2012 Company Tour. Perhaps this tour diary will be best experienced as our music is best experienced: when you are completely hammered and dribbling down your shirt. Go and pour yourself a glass of cognac. Go on now.
BLUEJUICE’S COMPANY TOUR
We have a new tour manager for this run of shows. This isn’t especially remarkable, except for the fact that we have gone through a lot of tour managers in our career. We don’t treat our tour managers badly. In fact, more than ever before we NEED them to both discipline and soothe us, to treat us like the petulant babies we have become, and as a result we are respectful and polite to our tour managers. Nevertheless, they tend to quit after a few tours and move on to work with female folk singers, or quit the music business entirely. Perhaps we have unpleasant natures. Anyway. Our new tour manager is Paul. He’s a good guy, and I hope we don’t piss him off too much, because we’re all out of tour managers.
It’s the first show, and Paul picks everyone up from their respective houses. Everyone except for Jerry and our lighting guy Eamon, who both lug all our gear and drive it to Wollongong in the second van. Jerry maintains an admirable yet baffling desire to lug gear. He loves to lug. Place a heavy object in front of Jerry and he will move it somewhere useful, a quality he shares with the penguin from 1985’s Doki Doki Penguin Land. The drive to Wollongong is uneventful, punctuated only by a phone interview of Jake’s, which seems to focus, as usual, on the topic of Why We Aren’t As Good As The Jezabels.
We unpack and try on our brand new costumes. This tour we’re sporting neon capes, breastplates, headpieces and novelty spectacles. It sounds ludicrous, but for a band who have dressed in yeti suits (which offered unflattering views of our balls), as well as bright yellow jumpsuits (which offered unflattering views of our balls), it’s not such a stretch. Indeed, you can barely see our balls at all in these things, which is refreshing for everyone.
We mooch about until showtime, and as showtime is about 6 hours later, we get through quite a lot of mooching. We run through the pre-show ritual of taping our bodies with fluoro tape – a process that is as therapeutic as it is environmentally unfriendly. We also give our usual awkward hellos to our support bands: The Cairos and Loon Lake. They all seem like nice young men, whilst we no doubt appear like the anti-social grumps that we are, coveting the rider with murderousness in our eyes.
No matter how often we rehearse before a tour, the first show of that tour tends to be something of a cobweb-cleaning exercise. Whilst enjoyable, it was still the case in Wollongong. Not yet road-hardened, we make a few mistakes here and there – the main one being our decision to cover K.W.S’s 1992 cover of “Please Don’t Go”. We resolve to banish it to the encore for tomorrow’s show.
“Please Don’t Go” Crowd Reception Rating: 2/10
THE METRO, SYDNEY
It is genuinely exciting playing a show in our home city, which is a bit weird given we’ve played in Sydney about 5000 times. Maybe it’s because we get to show our parents that we actually do have jobs, albeit juvenile sorts of ones.
Setup and soundcheck takes about 5 hours, and is almost as thrilling as you’d expect. The show sells out, and despite it being an all-ages event and there being loads of kids in the room, Jake makes a joke about rape after the first song. We also accidentally play our background projection for “I’ll Put You On”, which is full of porno. Hopefully what people took home from that show was a sense of how classy and professional we are.
“Please Don’t Go” Crowd Reception rating: 6/10
We arrive at Brisbane airport around midday, and Queensland dutifully rubs some oppressive heat into our hangovers. While Paul is off trying to find his suitcase that we forgot, it’s decided we need to borrow (i.e. briefly steal) some expensive airport trolleys for tomorrow’s flight, so Jake and Stav throw a couple in the van. Paul returns with his suitcase and is commendably non-plussed about the idiot-grade illegal thriftiness taking place.
As usual in Brisbane, the show ends up being great fun, and we avail ourselves of the rider with enthusiasm.
“Please Don’t Go” Crowd Reception rating: 6/10
The next morning we save $8 with our borrowed airport trolleys. Jake explains he has a “weird taste in his mind”, and it seems to be the most appropriate thing anyone’s said all weekend. We return home tainted, yet triumphant.
What thrills! What borderline alcoholism! More later.
In writing and recording “Act Yr Age”, Bluejuice journeyed through impenetrable jungles, arid wastelands and underwater kingdoms. They fought giant bloodthirsty caterpillars, duelled cutlass-wielding pirates and conquered hordes of the undead. Victorious, they danced. They danced themselves into a cosmic frenzy, their atoms churning into the maw of a primordial black hole, where they distilled the power of the universe into 3 minutes and 18 seconds.
For the 3rd year in a row, BLUEJU!CE are packing the tiniest shorts they can find, dusting off their pelican recipes, reacquainting their shoulder hair with natural sunlight, and rolling their SIZZLING 2012 tour into a coastal town near you (or at least your summer holiday town).
Having just released their third and favourite album, “Company”, and having abused the airwaves for months with their devotional ode, “Act Yr Age”, BLUEJU!CE are preparing the tour van with ripening nectarines and peaches and are ready to roll with their first tour in ages.
SIZZLING 2012 will see BLUEJU!CE and their house music pals THE ASTON SHUFFLE bring an unparalleled level of summer fruitiness and crotch sweating to the otherwise-respectable coastal towns of Australia.
Ever thought about getting horizontal with Jake or Stav? Kill two birds with one Stone (sorry) with the Company Deluxe Edition, which includes a signed copy of the album and this exclusive beach towel. Click here to pre-order now.