The Sydney to Batemans Bay trip is a magic journey into the dreamtime, the birthplace of the aussie tour and hometown of Schoolgirl Report, their family friends and acquaintances. As strangers in this foreign lander feel honored to be introduced to Sam’s family and there is an eery and awe-inspiring peace about the place, a familial calm that only goes with coming home, the place of the tour planning, the time of the dreaming.
We drove to the gig, a good 20km out of Batemans at Wandella, an old Dance Hall situated eerily in the middle of nowhere and tonight home to a lot of drunk and speed/testosterone-imbued kids, their girlfriends and their mates, and their mates metal variant bands…. plus Satanic Rockers, Mad Nanna, xNoBBQx, and a DJ – What could possibly go wrong?
At the start of the rapture kicked off with satanic rockers and mad nanna, followed by break a leg, a straight up hardcore group. Followed up by a couple more hardcore groups. Followed by another hardcore group. The main problem with having 9 bands in one note is if they don’t announce themselves it is confusing as to when one act starts and the next commences.
The real action was yet to begin however.
After the birthday boy (‘Slippery Sam’)s band played , xNOBBQx and the Axemen were due to do sets, but a dj started setting up his rig and doing his thing… One thing led to another, and we decided to start moving gear outside for some potential outdoor action with xNOBBQx.
This seemed to upset some of the punchier members of the audience including the birthday boy’s brother who took it on himself to punch me out, not once but twice, with his buddies doing an encore performance an hr or so later in a cowardly ambush as I went to check on the car.
Unfortunately (?) this resulted in bruising and inflamation severe enough to prevent me playing guitar at the subsequent two gigs in Canberra and Melbourne and being reduced to singing only on those occasions…
We ended up heading back out from the outback and staying in a motel for the nite, after filing a police report once we heard the same guy had allegedly been responsible for at least a broken nose that evening, with an ambulance being called out a couple of hours earlier.
Satanic Rockers and Mad Nannah played appropriately hard-edged sets – one can tell these guys really put out for the kids.
My rehabilitation begins here – as if to hammer home the point one of the positives to come out of the senseless violence of the weekend was it inspired the following poem:
Wandella croc shine
(halls and wild oats)
Bateman’s is a nice place to be
Wandella across the emu-ploughed chasm
Is a whole different story
Halls and wild oats
The scene of many a punch-up
Contrived violence, this must be some kind of Aussie windup
The promised Roos shy away
The lone koala semaphores help
From atop its barren gum stalk
Night of pulsing bladders, addled bullshit
Thank the gods of our parents no one gives a shit
We are all forever young
Fire in the belly, belligerent rule-the world lizard seething in its lair
Laughing rowdily like a kookaburra
With all its possesions burned
Burned in the arsonic bushfires of yore
Platypus bills pile up on the mantel piece
Payback time is coming in the dreamtime surely it will bring peace
Since the dreamtime the best creatures suffered the punches
The best of the best remain, the punchers starve hungrily.