Some Australian content. Yay! Rockbottom James' Tamworth Diaries included in their mailout but not on their website so, um ... here it is. I told you it was hot. Hopefully this is not a gross breach of copyright or anything, I don't think that's a man you want on your enemies list. Click that "read more!" tucked away down there, still trying to figure out that feature. And ignore it on all other posts, I can't get rid of it. Grrr.
NOTE: The actual article is not here anymore because of my continuing "read more" dramas. If you want to read Rockbottom James' Tamworth diary send me an email.
Thursday 13/01/05. Full concert rehearsal the night before, depart Melbourne by 11am. With a forecast of 35 degrees, we knew what lay ahead, highway 31 and even hotter temps and Rockbottom at the wheel. Rockbottom is relieved at Albury, which by now was stinking hot. Lunch was purchased then assembled in the bus as we pushed on to Sydney. Finally arrived 9:45pm, Sydney was even hotter than Melbourne. Found a nearby pub, relaxing drinks, hit the sack, tomorrow Tamworth.
Friday 14/01/05. The recuperative powers of the younger members amazes me. Another scorcher in Sydney, it's 10:45, I'm still not sure if I'm in the sleeping bag, over it or under it. I can hear the buses horn, and the young members are in it, yelling out their ready to go.
Arrive Tamworth 5:15pm, establish base camps, ours opposite South Tamworth Bowls Club and ready for the first concert at the Southgate Inn, just nearby. With Vernon doing the FOH mix, The Dets kick off the Tamworth campaign. The Gate Bar is air-conditioned which is just as well, cause the car park must be around 35 degrees at 8:30pm.
The young Dets needed no encouragement, as they were relieved to be back on the tools, and we ploughed straight ahead into our recipe of raw, real, roots rock n roll. Caught up with heaps of friends including Zorba and his King Reef Hotel crew. Concert over, Rockbottom relaxed his grip and decided the crew should catch Johnny Greens Blues Cowboys to round off the sultry night.The hot and thirsty Dets relaxed over hard earned drinks, sipping on the sound smorgasboard erupting from the Blues Cowboys. The night was done for, so we headed back to our base camps. Rockbottom and three younger men were billeted in a one bedroom flat, with one fan and t.v. giving 1 1/2 channels. Agreed, it was hot and cramped and the boys were still chatting excitedly as RBJ hit the final light switch, and day one was done.
Saturday 15/01/05. Day off for Rockbottom but you wouldn't guess - there was shopping to be done, the flat had no shit wrap, no food etc. That all done, it's off for the first Gatorbait gig at 8.00 pm again at the Southgate Inn. Must keep rehydrating.
Sunday 16/01/05. Hot still Hot, Dets first gig at West Diggers Roots and Blues Bar, with Frank doing the front of house and Brendon gibing everyone the shits with his cheesy cornball announcements between sets. Must keep rehydrating.
Monday 17/01/05. Day off for everyone, have tremendous lunch with Zorba and crew, first non take away meal consumed with much liquor under the belts, off to see Matt Scullion and the Lost Moments at the Courthouse Hotel. Mightily impressed by young Matt. Getting a bit tanked too.
Tuesday 18/01/05. Another stinker, the festival is beginning to feel a bit like ground hog day. At least the young ones are getting breakfast and washing their clothes. Off to the Southgate Inn, for another Dets gig. Must keep rehydrating.
Wednesday 19/01/05. The weather, if nothing is consistent, hot. Back to the Southgate Inn for a Gatorbait concert. Must keep rehydrating.
Following concert off to see Rob Luckey and the Luckey Bastards at West Diggers then the Remains at the City Tavern. At the end of a huge day Paulie the Kid collapses on the South Tamworth Bowling Green, with his chops completely removed. With a man down, Rockbottom directs the crew to remove the Kid.
Thursday 20/01/05. Same, same everything's the same, another Dets gig at West Diggers Blues and Roots Bar.
Friday 21/01/05. Same, same, hot as stink, an early afternoon gig at Joe Maguire's pub for Gatorbait, I'm glad its them and not me. The stage must be 40c as the sides and roof are made of galvanised tin.
Saturday 22/01/05. You guessed it, same, same, even hotter, Gatorbait head for a concert at Joe Maguire's, Rockbottom must attend the Hohner Golden Harmonica Championships at the Southgate Inn. Rockbottom has done many gigs, but none as daunting as this, given the skills displayed by the competitors on the chromatic harp, be it Jazz, Country or Blues. With the gracious help of Ewan Somerville (harpman with Johnny Greens Blues Cowboys) Rockbottom uses his harp amp, does the required two songs and waits. To walk out of the Southgate Inn with the Hohner Golden Harmonica was not something Rockbottom envisaged, but it did happen, and a dazed and surprised Rockbottom proudly displayed the trophy to the slack-jawed Dets. Fully fed by Karen Waters and Matt Scullion, off to West Diggers for the final Dets concert.
Sunday 23/01/05. Final day for everyone, last Gatorbait concert at Joe Maguire's and still stinking hot. Unlike Rockbottom, Noray Guillian (Front man for Gatorbait) does not rule his stage members with an iron fist, and Gatorbait members appear in a variety of shorts, sarongs and cowboy boots. Concert done, final farewells, back in the bus to Sydney.
Monday 24/01/05. Another day in the bus on Highway 31, somehow the hours pass and we're safely home by 9.30 pm.