Reflections after 6 months on the road, inc footage/pics..
So I have just got back from almost 4 months on tour in UK/Europe. Before that was 2 months on the road in Australia, that’s 6 months away from my own bed.. I thoroughly intended to do some blog posts as I went but I just didn’t get round to it. I guess that’s not a bad thing, apart from now people ask me ‘how was your trip?’, and I draw a blank! This isn’t due to lack of tales to be told, its just they haven’t even unfolded themselves in my mind yet, I’m still processing..
I did however pick through the mountain of footage on my phone from the last 6 months for anyone who maybe interested. I've decided share it in parts. 7 parts to be precise but don't panic there just 3 min clips!
I sometimes feel like my life is like this now; the faster it moves the harder it is to recall. The bridge between experience and memory becomes less and less defined, the timing of occurrences become all bundled together, and the where and when becomes irrelevant. I really enjoy it this way. I think it’s far more how things are meant to be for me. I heard a good quote which I try to live by ‘Instead of seeking enlightenment, we have to learn to live with ambiguity’.
It has not always been this way for me. I am now in a good place and very blessed to be living the life I do, and it has been a lot of hard work to get where I am now. In the scheme of things ‘where I’m at’ may not much, but that depends on how you view success. I am certainly not ‘famous’, and I’m in no way ‘big’. However, I purely play music for a living, which has always been a dream for me. In that sense I have definitely ‘made it’. It’s all very subjective, and it’s how you personally feel that really matters, and I’ve realised you have so much control over that its unreal.
I have worked many jobs where you are watching the clock and wishing your time away, week to week, year to year.. Then time becomes far too defined, as you watch it slip away, almost flaking away like old paint. Then comes the drinking, the drugs etc to numb you enough to make it bearable. The best thing I ever did was sell everything that I owned, and bought a 1 way ticket out to Thailand back in 2012. It is beyond my wildest dreams where the subsequent journey has taken me. I have allowed myself to pursue my dream of playing my music, which has been a huge personal journey. Even though I have been obsessed with playing and studying guitar since I was a child, I have always struggled with self-confidence. It’s due to a whole heap of personal things I won’t go into here, but I have slowly learned to understand and deal with them. The most cathartic thing in dealing with them has been finding my voice through my music during this journey.
Anyhow where was I? Haha. The last 6 months being on tour have been incredible. If you don’t know already, the tour was to promote the releasing of my debut album 'Insofar'. You can have a listen or even buy it here -
Or listen on Spotify here -
I spend over a year recording and producing it, it’s like my baby so it’s been scary to let it out into the world, but I have been blown away with the responses. It’s crazy to think it has taken me across the East Coast of Australia, Up and down the UK, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Sweden!
After the Australian leg, we flew over to the UK, and went to spend some time with my family. It’s been 2 years since I have seen them all so there was much catching up to be done. Then we bought a van, put an old bed in the back and head off to start the festival season in the UK. I caught up with lots of good mates, such as Jake Martin and my old band Buffo’s Wake, at some great UK festivals (Something to Smile About and Roystonbury to name a few), and made heaps more. There is such a welcoming festival family up in that region!
On our way to Sark Music Festival in the Channel Islands, just half an hour away from getting to our ferry disaster struck. Our van blew up in monumental fashion, it was absolutely terminal, the cam belt completely went. Luckily my Mum was with us, so we frantically dumped all our things into her van while we waited for the RAC, who towed away our broken van to somewhere in Portsmouth, never to be seen again (by us anyway). We made the ferry with seconds to spare, and got out to the beautiful isle of Sark where the festival was, and where there are no cars and they still get around by horse and cart!
We got back and spent some time in Brighton where I used to live for many years. Again caught up with heaps of friends I haven’t seen for ages, played some gigs, coffee, beers, sleep repeat! We luckily managed to borrow another van to head out into Europe, where we spent the whole of August. As luck would have it, this van also had problems. 5 minutes after getting in, the drive shaft went. This set us back a day or 2, but we were eventually on our way. Then when we got to Germany, the clutch pedal stared sticking to the floor. On approaching the Danish border I had to pull over onto the hard shoulder just before the checkpoint, as I thought the clutch had completely gone. With a bit of pumping the pedal it did come back so we managed to drive up to the border, where the Danish border control were pretty suspicious, questioning us as to why I suddenly pulled over right before crossing the border! However it was all fine and we made it all the way up to our good mates in Sweden, and to my gig at Kafe De Luxe, which was a definite highlight!
Next stop was Copenhagen, which is I think is a really cool city! We visited the semi-autonomous region of Christiania which was interesting. There seemed to be a bit of a tense vibe there despite the weed vendors lining the main street, and the sweet smell of marijuana in the air. At one point we saw a group of police walking through looking very serious, at which point we noticed all the people who were just smoking spliffs suddenly were not. We only stayed a few days, then head off down to Berlin. We stayed there with another old mate of mine and his family, doing some very cool city bike rides, jamming and
drinking copious amounts of Berliner beer! Here's a vid we made together in his flat in Berlin of a new song of mine -
Its funny, sometimes you feel progress is slow and not much is happening, then you sit back and realise 4 years ago landing in Australia I had nothing but my ruc-sac, guitar and $40 and could barely play my own music in front of people. I started out busking, then picked up a few gigs, and its kept going from there. It blows me away to now be at the point that I’m playing festivals like this. I’m so thankful and humbled, and I’m just trying to enjoy it all as its happening.
I’d just like to thanks everyone who has put us up, helped us out, picked us up, fed and watered us, shared there time and kept us company on this tour. Family and friends are the most important things in this life, and family can be your friends and friends can be family. Our lives are interwoven in the stars, I feel like we are more connected than we can ever know, and the more I fully embrace that the better things seem to be. We have to look out for each other, and help each other make the best of their journeys.