We’re still rockin’ in Australia! It’s hard to believe we are 4 weeks into this 6 week tour. The kilometers are flying by along with the days! Since the last time I wrote we’ve put on quite a few… We played a great gig in Brunny (Brunswick…but the Australians love short forms and nicknames!) at the Brunswick Music Festival. It was neat to play a festival with a real sound check and a dedicated venue and audience that came just to see that particular act. It was a great night and one of our very best shows as a band. Then we went to a wonderful festival in Yackandandah which had a spectacular line-up and was a bit smaller in size than some of the other festivals we’ve played which made it really quaint and special. I was joking with the audiences there that if I moved to Australia they would probably end up calling my “Ape” because of their fondness for short-forms and when I told them it would be okay to do that just for the weekend they all did. It was so funny to be walking around town all weekend with random folks yelling out “Hey Ape!” I loved it. It was chilly in Yackandandah for the first time since we’ve arrived and we were wearing all the layers we had to try to keep warm. The outdoor shows were a bit challenging on the instruments etc but we made it through! We also had a little house to ourselves and got to cook our own food for the weekend which was really nice. Our hosts left us supplies in the fridge as well. All of the people we have had the pleasure of staying with have spoiled us in one way or another. There sure are a lot of great people here and their generosity and efforts to make us feel welcome make all the difference in our tour! We started the next week by doing a fiddle & stepdance workshop for the Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club. Then it was off to Bendigo Folk Club for a double-header concert with our Canadian friends in Dry Bones. It was a fun night and we hadn’t run into each other in a couple of weeks so it was nice to reunite and hear their entire set instead of a shorter festival set. They were on fire! After Bendigo we made the long trek to SA (Southern Australia) for the first time on the tour. It was the first weekend without a festival, and we did 4 concerts in 4 different cities instead. We played for the South Coast Folk Club in Noarlunga, for Trinity Sessions in Clarence Park, for HATS in Auburn, and for Guthries in Prospect. It’s been a really busy tour lately with little time off, but even with long travel days and no “nights” off we’ve crammed in a few stops at the odd winery and olive grove. We even got to go swimming near Adelaide and saw 3 dolphins not too far from us. I am beautifully tanned now. Ummm, ok not quite, but a pasty Ottawa Valley girl can dream! We’ve had the pleasure of visiting with some of the friends we made last time we were here and that’s renewed us after some of the weary travel days. We’ve also met some fantastic new friends. It’s amazing the connections and kindred spirits we find along the way. It is totally inspiring, as much so as the landscape and music, etc. Everyone is healthy so far. We are learning more lingo, getting used to the different terms and accents and we are officially past the turning point on driving on the “other” side of the road to the point where going home will now seem odd! It’s been a fantastic experience and we plan an savouring every last moment of our final 2 weeks. And we are looking forward to seeing everyone at home soon too!
April, Cody & Isaac
PS: Wildlife update: we had 2 wallabies try to jump in front of our mini van last night and we stopped and watched them for a while! That was the closest encounter yet!