Thursday, 31 March 2011

Song a day

We're knocking out songs left right and centre. Too busy playing to record them. Hopefully we can have some studio time in Sydney and knock out an album.


Alec got there before us and asked in the bars but no joy for a show. It's only when we start busking on the street that the town opens up. Everybody is so friendly. Nobody plays music on the street so we have novelty value.

Kay here with the Uke gave us a place to stay, and Liz on the left from the Neighbourhood house ( community centre) provided the wifi. All needs met.

Day 5

Leaving Nowa Nowa.

Alec hitched, we rode


They even gave us the leftover desert

Someone's always holding Alec's leg

He always finds an osteopath in every room

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

The Pot Peddlers

We busked in Lake's Entrance but didn't end up with a show in the evening or get a good vibe. Went to the tourist office and they called a pub 20km down the road for us. I asked if we could sing for our supper, but Carolyn the owner said it's in the middle of nowhere and there won't be anyone to see us, but that we could come anyway and she'd look after us. A wonderful and generous lady.

It turned out that there was a group of 50 cyclists staying opposite. Luck again! the Pot Peddlers, a group of 60-86 yr old cyclists. (a pot is a glass of beer, they werent stoners) We played all our cycling songs. A great audience - a great gig!

Fry up

Maddie made us brekkers (sic)

Day 3

Rory talks to the local wildlife


The owner Laura gave us a bottle of wine and we took it back to the villa to unwind. What a day.

Fish and chips

We tried our luck with the three restaurants in the village and thankfully the last gave us fish and chips for a show. (the manager wasn't in the other two, you have to get to the boss). It turned into a bit of a party! We met a lot of characters. Some took over the guitar and started playing themselves. Many said it made their night. We're certainly taking some love and energy with us.


Turns out Brett is a property magnet and owns the whole complex, as well as others up and down the coast. We had a beautiful villa to ourselves.


We made it to the sea! (actually it turned out to be a lake)

Bikes and all

It was a squeeze but we managed to get everything in


To top it all, the waitress from the cafe offered to drive us, as we couldn't ride because of Alec's leg trouble.


Not as good as yesterday. We made $100 in Taralgon. Needed it for food and gas money. This town was quieter.

Monday, 28 March 2011


Brett gave us directions to his place


We were busking outside another cafe and Kyle gave us coffee

A friend of Viv gave Alec stretches for his leg


Brett introduced himself and offered us a place to stay for tonight out of the blue.


A day of goodwill in Traralgon!

We were busking early this morning for breakfast and before we finished the first song, Viv brought us in and bought us breakfast.

He made it!

Rory got his stuff sorted in Melbourne and joined us in Tararlgon.

We found one kind hotel lady to let us use a room for a shower. The rest of the town didn't work out. Monday night. Few people about it.

Catherine the massage therapist

Second stop. Alec's left leg was giving him real gil. We saw a sign on the road for massage therapy and Catherine took pity on him.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Day 2

Stopped off along the way and bought a $4 blanket. Too cold in the tent last night. We couldn't find anyone to let us camp in their garden so we set up in the park in the dark.

View of the golf course

We stopped as it was getting dark. In a town called Warragul. We just walked round the bars and asked if anyone would like a show but it's a quiet Sunday night. Somebody suggested the golf club so we rode out there. They already have an evenings entertainment but gave us a free meal instead and let us use the showers. Such hospitality! What a fantastic first day on the road.


They came after us with more beers and gave Alec a tow up the hill.


We stopped off for some cokes and ended up playing an impromptu show. They kept buying us beers and asking us to play 'the bike song'. It was hard to leave. Had to pour them into our bike bottles and make a run for it.

Goodbye Troy, Lexie and Matisse

They were wonderful hosts

The first hill

The big day

No passengers

Pre-ride clean

Friday, 25 March 2011


Alec was the last one to leave the campfire and had an Ausie-sized hangover, but still managed to eat yesterday's lunch before getting up.


Alec and I cooked. Lexie gave us some recipes to follow. Simple. Except I put in all the red curry paste rather than just two teaspoons. Spicy. Hence her look of surprise. We'll stick to music.


Troy and Lexie, my hosts for the last week, threw a house warming party BBQ last night and we three played. A great do.

The third man

We put ads on all the musician's websites in Melbourne and got this email from Rory (pictured):

"Man this sounds like the funnest thing ever!! I'm blown away!  I'm living in Melbourne at the moment although I'm from Canada originally.  I play Banjo, Ukulele and Guitar although the only instrument I'm travelling with at the moment is my ukulele.  Where do I have to be on Sunday to come along!  I assume I should bring a bunch of camping gear?  Wooo im so stoked!!"

Thats the kind of message you want to get hey.

He came straight out the the BBQ, is getting his bike fixed up and leaving with us tomorrow! He's a great guy and super-laid-back

Then there were three

Planning the route

Veronica's making sure we know where we're going. Working out the best b-roads with Alec. We have 500km to do in a week to get from Melbourne to the first show in Malacooda a week on Sunday.


At one of the house shows someone gave us a tent. I bought a sleeping bag. Alec already has one. It's going to be easier camping rather than having to get Internet every day to arrange couchsurfs in advance, and then spending hours searching for the place, after riding hard to get there in time. This way we can just ask to sleep on people's lawns whenever we get tired.


Thursday, 24 March 2011


Played in 'Prague' a venue in Thornbury, North of Melbourne, with Jumping Jack Flash and Charles Baby (pictured). Took 2.5 hours on the train from our suburb to the gig in the city, w/one change. Massive city. Spent the day watching the rain. Bouncing off the walls in the granny flat. Saturday we head out on the road rain or shine.

The buskers

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Paid downloads

I've had my music available as PWYC downloads for a long long time now but I'm going to switch to paid downloads. That way I can sell download cards at gigs. (It would be rotten for people to buy a card only to discover that they could have downloaded it free). I hate selling stuff after shows but my rumbling tummy says I need to earn more dough. At least it's better than polluting the world with more CDs. I'll buy second hand postcards of the places I've been and make personal messages to people at shows with a download code written on.

I just thought I'd give you a shoutout - oh dear dedicated fan - to let you know you I'm still giving you a few days to get them while they're PWYC (donate what you think they're worth) before the price goes to a fixed fee ($15). There are 13 albums. Collect them all.

Morning coffee

Yesterday was a day wandering around town. We tried our hands at busking with mild success. Spent a few hours on the toilet after a lunchtime curry. Recovered in the park in the sun. Then in the evening played in the old mental hospital again, at Morgan's house concert. Great success. Crashed at Veronica's rather than the long train back out to Ferntree Gully. We're heading out there now though to chill out rather than wandering around town. It ends up costing more in coffee and food than we making in busking. We saw some pros sitting out there all day with a PA and a thermos but it takes the fun out of music.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Gertrude's Brown Couch

Played a nice venue last night. Alec's debut.

On the train

Got my ugly mug in MX, Melbourne's metro paper. Four shows in town this week so that's useful publicity. Thanks to Veronica for fixing that.

Monday, 21 March 2011

New lock

Had a real time of it yesterday. I went to the crown plaza casino afterwards with Chris and his brother Brandon (an entertaining Southern character) and cousin. Must have been the champagne, as dumbdumb lost his bike key. Looked everywhere. Finally gave it up for lost. Came back next day and they're in-house locksmith picked the lock for me. Just bought a $100 combination lock so I won't make the same mistake again. Or at least once champagne has worn off I'll remember the combination.

Alec gets a bike!

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Come on tour

I'm still looking for more people to come on the tour. We leave Melbourne in a week. Please pass this on to friends and people who could use a holiday. I have one guy with me so far - Alec from Switzerland, who's flown out especially. We're to cycling Brisbane. You don't need to be super fit. Get a bike here. Singalong on stage. Camping and couchsurfing. Trip of a lifetime, etc.

Wedding snaps

A big do. Over 100 people. 5 course meal. One of the highlights of my tour so far.


I was invited to the wedding of Chris and Anna today. I played a few songs and had a blast. It was a blast! An Italian wedding inAustralia. I met Chris when I played in Kansas City about a year ago, and then he came to the Toff in the Town show last Tuesday. A great laid back guy and we get on very well. He wanted to cone on the tour but his new bride vetoed it. Women! ;)

Ferntree Gully

I'm staying 30km out of the centre in a granny flat, in the suburb of Ferntree Gully. I can stay here for a week. Nice to have a place to myself. At the back of Veronica's cousins house, Lexie and her husband Troy, who's an arborist (tree surgeon). Here he is up a tree trying to get a possum out to show me.

Friday, 18 March 2011


My first companion has arrived (and the only one to sign up so far). He's a guitarist from Switzerland. Landed yesterday. You'll be seeing much more of him obviously.

Photoshoot for Citybeat mag

Nicole, the photographer, was going for that 'just fell off your bike look'.

Getting Alec a bike

A community bike centre, but learning from the last trip I think he will go for a better bike that can be sold on at the end.

Jenny Biddle

Got chatting to Jenny, a busker hard at work in the city centre. Might have to do some with Alec later on if we can't get shows.