Day 5: Sydney pt. 3

Welcome

Yesterday we had a day off. Tristan and I went for a run, went shopping, and had a business meeting.


Tristan and I both enjoyed a ferocious sleep-in before heading to breakfast at a cafe across from our hotel.

I had Udon soup with tempura vegetables.

Afterwards we went for a run up to Jubilee park where I was fortunate enough to spot my bridge of the day.

The Glebe Island Bridge is a steel swing-span road bridge that crosses Rozelle bay. It was completed in 1903 and operated until 1995 until it was made redundant by the opening of the adjacent Anzac Bridge. It has a total length of 108m and a longest span of 58m, and is swung with a 600v electric motor giving it a transition time of only 44 seconds.

📸 Groveoz.info

In the afternoon we went shopping in the city. I bought new jeans and Tristan bought an orange tshirt.

We followed up a great shopping trip with a cosy dinner date at Chinese Noodle Restaurant.

The rest of our evening was spent in a casual long-form meeting with Nathan, our A&R representative from Dew Process records.

Beth of the day goes to Tristan for ordering a surprise round of espresso martinis just when it counted most.

Great intuition Tristan, well done.

Day 4: Sydney, pt 2

Welcome

Yesterday we drove to Wollongong and played at Yours and Owls festival.


We started our day with a beautiful breakfast of Shakshuka cooked by Liz’s sister Novita and her partner Daniel. I forgot to take a photo before I started eating so please excuse the carnage.

We relaxed for a few hours in the afternoon before driving down the M1 to Wollongong and checking into the festival.

My highlight of the day was playing an incredibly fun set to a very loose crowd at the RAD stage. My extremely close second favourite moment was watching Courtney Barnett rip it up on the main stage. The lowest part of my day was when the bar served me a really weak whisky and ginger ale and the plastic cup had quite a scrapy edge and the ice was too small.

Noone earned any points yesterday so Tristan and I have worked hard to find any infringements that might separate the pack. Liz lost a point for not doing very well at Crash Bandicoot, leaving her on minus one. Jonathan lost a point for drinking a Cooper’s as did Tristan, and Tristan lost another point for driving across the middle of several low profile roundabouts on the way home leaving him on minus two. Luckily for Ben his conduct throughout the day was airtight and he took the win with a pleasing score of zero.

Congratulations Ben on playing a tight defensive game and getting the victory you deserve.

Day 3: Sydney

Welcome

Yesterday we flew up to Sydney and played a show at the Crowbar.


I started my day with a modest breakfast of leftover guacamole on toast.

At Melbourne airport Liz scored an unfortunate minus one for getting randomly selected for explosives screening.

On the approach into Sydney I had a great view of the harbour bridge which instantly earned the bridge of the day accolade.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a through arch design meaning that the base of the arch structure is below the roadway and the top of the arch extends above it. The roadway passes through the arch and is supported from above by cables or beams.

It was constructed between 1923 and 1932 by a British firm Dorman and Co and used 52,000 tonnes of steel, 80% of which was imported from England. It has a longest span of 503m and a total length of 1,149m, and currently carries eight lanes of vehicle traffic and two rail tracks.

In the year of the opening, there was a steep rise in babies being named Archie and Bridget in honour of the bridge (citation needed).

Tristan earned his first point of the day at Sydney airport after finally snagging a catch on the piece of drummer-bait he has been dangling for the past few days; a DIY modification that turns his snare case and cymbal case into a single luggage item.

We rented a car at the airport and drove into the city where Liz and Jon went off to do a radio show while Tristan and I checked into our hotel and went on a quick lunch date before heading to soundcheck.

We played to a room of 450 at the Crowbar in Leichart. Bonnie Songs opened up the night with a mesmerising set of experimental folk, decorated with serene vocal loops and colourful accompaniments from the band.

Major Leagues did a superb job as usual and we played a respectable set inspired by the top-tier sandwhiches the venue had supplied us with for dinner.

Beth of the day goes to Jonathan for eating instant ramen for breakfast and for buying me a loaf of sourdough from the bakery.

Well done Jon for a textbook job taking great care of yourself and those around you.

Day 2: Melbourne, pt. 2

Welcome

Yesterday we visited Milk Records HQ, had lunch with Jen Cloher, and played another show at the Gaso.


We started the day with a tasty breakfast put together by some of the most talented culinary minds in the Beths. Liz made her legendary scrambled eggs, Tristan cooked hash browns and toast, and Jonathan muddled together a superb guacamole. This was all served alongside smoked salmon from a packet, blueberries, and strawberries.

Sadly Jonathan’s blissful breakfast boon was tainted when he burnt his fingers on a pot handle, earning a strong minus one.

In the afternoon we headed out to meet Jen Cloher at the headquarters of Milk Records in Coburg. Jen is a fantastic singer-songwriter and also the co-founder of Milk, which is home to such artists as Tiny Ruins, Sleater-Kinney and Courtney Barnett.

Tristan has a go on a small camera as Jen watches on, unimpressed by his antics.

She took us to one of her favourite local spots for lunch and then showed us all up by ordering the best thing on the menu and eating it very slowly in a calculated display of power and dominance.

The crowning achievement of the afternoon was buying a Square reader after finding out that our other card reader doesn’t work in Australia. Welcome to the family Mr Square 🙂

The show was very similar to the previous night, and we enjoyed the attentive and respectful audience, and superb performances from both Major Leagues and Tamara & The Dreams.

It was a big day for winning and losing points yesterday. Jon, Liz, and Tristan all scored early for making breakfast but the tables turned after Tristan burnt the tongs, and Jon his fingers. Jon clawed his way back to zero though after mitigating the damage to his digits in an hour-long ice bath.

Tristan lost another point for stealing Jon’s fork right as he was about to eat his instant ramen.

I lost a point for taking a bite out of a leftover piece of toast and putting it back on the plate.

I also lost a point for using the rearview mirror of Liz’s car to check my teeth for debris, putting me fairly decisively out of the running.

Liz scored a point for setting up and figuring out how to operate Mr Square and Jon scored another point for sending a prank email to our manager Jake, and another for decanting some of our green room M&Ms into a smaller container for himslf so he wouldn’t contaminate them with his cold germs.

This leaves Jon as the winner on a total of three points, made all the more impressive by a comeback from a minus one.

Congratulations Jon, a great example of goal setting and achieving.

Australia and Asia tour | Day 1: Melbourne

Welcome back friends, loyal readers, and loyal friendly readers.

Yesterday we began the Australian leg of the tour, flying to Melbourne and playing a show at The Gasometer.


We met at the airport at 6am and sailed smoothly through check-in and security save for Jonathan’s pedal board being briefly detained.

For breakfast I had Mie goreng, sauteed spinach and mushrooms, fried tomatoe, potato rostis, Miso soup, berry smoothie, and feijoa smoothie.

We arrived at 10am and headed straight to our friend Liz’s house where we were staying. I spent the afternoon having a really good nap and I think everyone else indulged themselves in more useful activities like emails and life admin.

Afterwards we headed over to the ‘Gaso’ venue in Collingwood where we completed an easy soundcheck (if you’re reading this, thanks Julian) and spent a while counting all of our merch stock.

The show was sold out and the room was packed to the gunnals but the audience members were extremely polite, keeping their bodily movements to a minimum and staying silent in between songs.

Tamara & the Dreams opened up the night playing a charming selection of majorly-catchy indie rock songs and Major Leagues followed up with a delicious set of jangly dream-pop.

Tamara & the Dreams.

Liz Stokes (The Beths).

📸 Ana Dobson

Ben Sinclair (The Beths).

📸 Ana Dobson

Beth of the Day goes to Liz (Stokes) for making avocado toast for everyone’s lunch.

Congratulations on drawing first blood!

Day 20: Glasgow

Welcome

Yesterday we played our last show of our Europe/UK tour at Barras Art and Design, in Glasgow.


I breakfasted at the hotel buffet and enjoyed porridge with berries and yoghurt, toast with Marmite, and toast with Marmelade.

We had a late call time for our Glasgow show so we decided to detour through the Lakes District National Park for some scenery and lunch.

Jonathan earned a strong point for scouting a good pub, where we stopped and enjoyed Sunday roasts and English ales served at a great temperature.

Unfortunately Jonathan lost a point for leaving his bag at the pub but Tristan made the most of this blunder, picking up a +1 for remembering it.

After lunch we walked down the road to have a look at the beautiful Windmere Lake, and Liz picked up a point for touching both a goose and a pigeon.

We pulled up in Glasgow at 7.30pm and were met by none other than old mate, #1 promoter, and Beth of the day alumnus Gerry Blythe who as usual made us feel right at home.

The Barras, the old market district where our venue was located.

The show went well and afterwards we did the fastest merch selling of our careers as the security tried to hustle everyone out of the building for curfew.

As is tradition after a show in Glasgow we headed to Broadcast for a quiet drink followed by an early night. Liz earned a point there for ordering two White Russians.

Beth of the day goes to Rikki. Rikki is our friend from home who now lives in the UK and kindly agreed to join us as a guitar tech for the UK leg of the tour.

He scored a point for immediately falling asleep in the van after lunch (literally within a minute), for packing up all of our gear while we tried frantically to sell merch, and for quickly drinking the White Russian he ordered just as everyone was leaving.

Congratulations Rikki, you’ve been working hard in the background for the past week and it makes me extremely happy to see you get some recognition.

It has a been a long stretch of touring for us and I’m happy to say that we are now heading home to enjoy the New Zealand summer.

I would like to thank Liz, Jon, and Tristan for being such wonderful people to tour with and for supporting an assisting me with the blog.

A huge thanks to everyone who came out to see us play, and of course a massive thanks to you – the reader. Without you this publication couldn’t exist and I am eternally grateful for your support.

I will leave you now with a final faucet of the day that we experienced just this morning in our last hotel of the tour.

The Cat’s Teats is a complex design that uses a three way flow controller to direct water to either the fixed shower head, the hand-held nozzle, or the twelve sprayers set out in dual vertical columns at torso height.

Sadly the lack of pressure in this installation provided an underwhelming experience but I still feel that the innovations in the design are paving the way for our future generations of faucet designers.

Please excuse the portrait video, I felt that it was the only way to properly frame this invention.

Cheers

Ben

Day 19: Manchester

Welcome

Yesterday we drove north on the M5 and M6 to Manchester, where we played a show at Gorilla.


We grabbed breakfast just down the road from the End Of The Road at the Chettle Village Store.

I had a Morrocan Lamb pie.

We took a small detour on the route North to be able to tick ‘Henge’ off of the tour photo bingo list.

It is worth mentioning that Tristan and I actually spotted a henge in Kansas City but unfortunately it wasn’t eligible because we didn’t have enough band members in attendance.

We were all dog-tired after a poor night’s sleep in a freezing tent so I would like to nominate Tristan for a point for staying awake and being a great co-driver, so the others could nap in the back seat. He provided valuable navigational skills and great DJing, and ensured a timely and safe arrival in Manchester.

Our show at Gorilla was one of the most difficult ones we’ve had in a while, with the understage subwoofers obscuring every last shred of recognisable pitch and leaving us floundering in the dark. Luckily Liz has memorised how to sing in tune so I think we came across okay.

It was also a very sad night because we had to say an emotional goodbye to our friends in Peaness. They have been an absolute delight to tour with and they delivered amazing performances night after night without fail.

We love having the opportunity to meet and make new friends and it is with a heavy heart that we wave goodbye to them and head to our final show in Glasgow.

Beth of the day goes to Tristan for great co-driving, for getting a chicken to go on to his leg, and for eating a pie and a sausage roll for breakfast.

Thanks Tristan, we’d be falling apart without you at this point.