Tuesday, December 9, 2008

More Explanation on Cowboy and Miniman

My Band Des Peres named our new album The Adventures of Cowboy and Miniman and huge numbers of people have been asking for the meaning of the title.
On October 14 in my third blog I gave my explanation on who Cowboy and Miniman were (Scroll down to see). Here is a little further insight int the type of brave and creative men they were.

Cowboy and Miniman loved to fight, they loved to attack, burst forward, charge, surround, launch missiles, block, thrust, encircle, destroy.
But that last word was the one thing they seemed incapable of doing. Their strength and military knowledge was of such equal footing that neither of them could shift their opponent even an inch. That’s not to presume that losses weren’t taken, in fact huge loses were taken on both sides.
Battle forces were smashed and women lost husbands. But just as armies were lost they were rebuilt. Both these foreign adventurers and warmongers had the persuasive gifts including the tongue and the gold coin.
Their spirit of discovery had long since changed from the desire to find lost treasures. Instead rare powers were sought by both leaders to gain the upper hand.
Miniman possessed a great talent in his voice. He had the type of voice that could sail, drift, or float but more importantly when really turned up to its full volume through methods of diaphragm control it could pierce through shards of glass, shattering them into a million pieces.
At nights before a battle or on a long march through the thick jungles when his men were tired he would use his voice to calm his men by singing out over the camp, but it was his voices vengeful side that became his interest in his current position, trying to discover his inner weapon.
If he could train others in his army the power of the human voice to reek havoc over whatever it was aimed at surely he would have a weapon at his disposal to crush his weak eared opponent.
There were reasons for both the beauty and sharp ugliness of his voice, the most significant of these being that he was indeed a miniman. With his newly chosen choir of soldiers who were to become his highly skilled killing machine he trained them in all the most modern techniques of singing, how to hold your note, how to produce articulation of the highest order, how to fire out rhythm, how to lull your enemies in with slowly shifting melody, who to control your breathing and stomach muscles to increase in pitch but most importantly he had them all castrated. And then they were ready, for they to had become the ultimate miniman army.
So one evening he marched his choir out........

Northcote Social Club

Pre gig the venue is great, they work with you in regards to publicity etc and know what they are doing.
The sound system cost a trillion dollars and there is the problem. Sounds to clean, , band room is great except in Summer because their isn’t airconditioning up there, but it has a TV, generous rider. Venue staff don’t like it if you make a mess, they will charge you a carpet cleaning bill. Hard to get a vibe in the venue. Food isn’t good

Bennetts Lane –Melbourne JAZZ

One vibe and if you don’t like that you wont have a good time. No rider whatsoever

Friday, December 5, 2008

Magic Dirt

When we checked into the airport this morning, in the line behind us was another band. This is a key moment on tour and can easily go ugly if you don't know how to handle it. I for one do know how to handle it. Taking in that they had more tattoos than us and were of a slightly higher profile I knew quick tactics needed to be handed out and someone needed to don the generals hat and non of the other patsies I was with was likely to. So I circulated carefully amongst my team members and informed them of the situation we were in and how we were to proceed. Both bands checked in side by side, gear sprawling across the airport floor in a ocean of black. Trolleys were quickly loaded and a rush was made to the oversize baggage and out of that initial battle. Conveniently Qantas had seated us next to each other on a packed aeroplane so the avoidance of acknowledgment was getting progressively more difficult especially if one had to make his or her way to the bathroom. At the other end of the flight the situation played itself out in reverse as we raced to find free trolleys and load ourselves up once again at that battlefeild where many a soldier has shed pools of blood - oversize. The intensity did not let up at as we stumbled and crawled to the rental joint , injured but determined to find 2 all most identical vehicals parked next to each other manned by red uniformed monkeys with their performing caps bouncing on their sad thin heads, eager to please and eager to betray.
Our van was a 12 seater theirs was a 14, the edge had been handed to them. Load Load good man Load. And drive
Down the highway tears rolling we had one, then there they were, pulled up right beside, cannons loaded, a mad admiral screaming
Fire all guns
And we sank
And we sank
And we sank

Venue Review Number 4

The Metro Theatre – SYDNEY, NSW
Love it. Its big, ugly and only exists to serve one purpose, like an old fat drunk


The Brass Monkey – CRONULLA, NSW
The venue owner showers you with his outstanding collection of Taquilas and Absinths (he has over 70 different tequlas of which only 30 get sold to the public) and his grand fathers special moonshine. But you have to play his game to get the service. It’s a game that shows you hows boss and is done in a slightly confusing form of generosity.
The room is as cold as a brass monkey and you can never forget that you re in Cronulla


Monday, December 1, 2008

Australian Venue Rating System

Over the next little while I will be reviewing all the venues that I have performed at this year. These reviews will generally fall at the end of my blogs and are designed to help other musicians, audience members and bands to make decisions on where to hold a gig or whether to go to a gig. This will then continue on to me rating everything. The idea came to me during the tour I’m currently on. Touring days are filled with a lot of time wasting. The sound check happens at about 5 and then you are usually sitting around in the venue until you play at 11 and then more sitting after the gig till about 2 when you leave for the hotel. In that sitting time you look at all the band posters on the wall and I have begun to give them a score out of ten – scoring both the posters and then also the band. I will post those ratings at a later date which will help you decide on whether to download their albums for free or not cause you’d be stupid to actually buy a CD these days.

Here is the list of venues I have played at this year that will be rated.

The Speigeltent, MELBOURNE VIC
The Powerhouse – BRISBANE, QLD
Clarendon Guest House, KATOOMBA NSW
The Heritage Hotel, BULLI NSW 

Bathurst Theater
The Metro Theatre – SYDNEY, NSW
Joes Waterhole – EUMUNDI, QLD
The Brass Monkey Cronulla NSW
Lake Kawana Arts Theartre– CALOUNDRA, QLD
Mullum Music Festival. Civic Hall - MULLUMBIMBY, NSW
Ruby’s in Belgrave Melbourne
The Peninsula Lounge – MORNINGTON, VIC
The Corner Hotel – MELBOURNE, VIC
The Governor Hindmarsh hotel– ADELAIDE, SA
The Bakery – PERTH, WA 

Fly By Night Musicians Club – FREMANTLE, WA
Republic Bar Hobart
Northcote Social Club Melbourne
Bennetts Lane Melbourne
Q Bar/Spectrum – Sydney
Tabu Nightclub – Brisbane
Pony Melbourne
45 Downstairs Melbourne
Revolver Melbourne
The Tote Melbourne
Transit Lounge Melbourne
Pure Pop Records Melbourne
Trades Hall Melbourne
Bar Open Melbourne
Point Cook Shopping Center Victoria
Birmingham Hotel Melbourne
Noise Bar Melbourne
Sydney Warehouse Parties
The Grand Prix Melbourne
303 Melbourne
Federation Square Melbourne
La Mamma Theartre Melbourne
Federation Square Melbourne
HiFi Bar Melbourne

Because this is the first I will review four this time. Feel free to add your own comments if you have any experience.

The Speigeltent, MELBOURNE VIC
While this joint has all the history of a Charlie Chaplin silent movie and seems to attract crowds by itself, the staff, while desperately trying as hard as possible to make us believe they have been teleported from the era the venue was originally built, are a little “to cool for school” while having no cool at all. Once was great now is tired but hey it's old isn't it.
No free drinks for the band loses this slightly desperate venue marks


Clarendon Guest House, KATOOMBA NSW

Fantastic The staff are exactly what you want from staff at a guesthouse – they are kind of like your Uncle and Aunty for the night, they give you anything you want, put you up for the night in their antiquated, ghost infested guesthouse, free drinks, dinner and breakfast the next morning, all the food tastes slightly strange but you appreciate the effort anyway, the stage has red curtains, is there anything more that needs to be said


The Heritage Hotel, BULLI NSW

Weird, hard to like even though I want to.
The staff here are trying very hard because they know they have to.. they are living on the outskirts of Wollongong for goodness sakes. Actually because they live on the outskirts of Wollongong it gives them slightly more credibility. The women who run the joint are hard nosed, all of them and they are the ones in power. You would have to be hard noised to be a female running a pub on the outskirts of Wollongong. The sound guy used to be an overly energetic pleaser but about a year ago he started to date one of these hard noise women who manage the place and appears to have had all the life driven out of him
Bed bugs in the rooms

Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Center
As far as community theaters go (and they all go exactly the same) it’s OK. Unfortunatley they named the place before looking at it and left out the key component of memorability. Being Bathurst this is not the center of entertainment we all know that is instead a car racing track.