09|25|08   Solo Electronic Tour: Day 10 – Hamilton (La Commune)

[photo by Petra Jane]

After playing Happy we crashed at Thomas’s place again, but because we had a long drive to Hamilton ahead of us, neither of us got a decent night’s sleep. Truth be told, I was bloody exhausted and still a tad down about the previous night’s show.

Anyhow, nothing cures a bit of sadness during a tour like a long drive. Although driving is exhausting, monotonous, and expensive, it is also, I think, the essence of excitement. Traveling, after all, is the heart and soul of adventure. New possibilities flare up, changing landscapes tickle the imagination, and, most importantly, one has time to reflect and rebuild healthy levels of anticipation.

Now, although, yesterday had certainly readjusted my expectations for tonight, I couldn’t help but feel excited again. A new town, a new opportunity to perform my music, another chance to meet people. Not even a terrible show, I suspect, would be able to eclipse in its entirety the irrational optimism that flourishes so readily during a tour.

After having an unnecessarily difficult time finding the cafe we would be playing at, we started to set up. La Commune completely exceeded my expectations as a venue, and, generally speaking, I think it suited our style of performance very well. It was small, but also clean and modern, with an absolutely delightful exhibition of badges on one wall.

[photo by Petra Jane]

The only headache of the evening was that the cafe could, for obvious reasons, not shut out its clientele, who had come to enjoy a cup of coffee or what looked like many a delicious meal. What little money we had been making, was due to a $6 cover we had charged at the door. Here, however, that would prove ridiculously impractical. How could we charge some people $6 dollars to get into the cafe and other’s not. This conundrum seemed vaguely absurd, and so we opted to drop the door charge in favor of a tip jar!

The good news, as a result, was that the smallish cafe felt reasonably full, and, to our surprise, people actually tipped quite generously – thank you! :)

Anyhow, I really, really enjoyed playing that night, and felt happy with the intensity of my performance. I was starting to get a bit more comfortable with the technical aspects of the set, I was doing a better job of incorporating the synth-looper into my songs, and I had finally completed all of the lyrics to the songs I was playing – and yes, the first shows did incorporate a lot of mumbling, improvised lyrics, and repeated lines! Thankfully, the use of a vocoder and the often subtle and quiet vocals make that sort of lyrical juggling act a rather feasible undertaking.

[photo by Petra Jane]

Lastly, I want to give a big shout-out to all the wonderful Hamiltonians who came out that night, hung out with us, took photos, and just made the whole show unexpectedly brilliant. But the biggest of all shout-outs goes to Brent, who put us up that night!

At the time the show finished (around midnight), we had still no idea where we were going to sleep. Our only two options were either sleeping upright in my cramped Subaru (yikes!), or driving to up to Auckland that very night and staying with Thomas’s brother who, however, wasn’t going to be finishing work until after 5 AM. Either way, it wasn’t looking to be a happy sleep!

Thank goodness Brent, who had heard my Broken Hands EP in late 2006, came down to La Commune for the gig and, as soon as he heard we were without a place to stay, generously invited us to spend the night at his flat. Brent was just the bomb – an ex-RDU DJ and music enthusiast, himself, he was comfortable having two strange kids sleep in his living room. After the show, all of us played some pool and then made our way out to Brent’s apartment on the outskirts of Hamilton. And after chilling out for a bit over a cup of camomile tea, Thomas and I made our beds and I ended up sleeping like a baby.

Thanks Brent, thanks Hamilton! :)

Yay! Check out the new Enright House Shop I just finished making! Even if you’re not the type of person who buys music anymore, do take a look at how pretty and shiny it is! :)

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