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.