06|02|08   Tour Diary: Day 3 – Invercargill

Despite having stayed up all night playing guitar hero, we got up nice and early. Firstly, we needed to make our way down to Invercargill by late afternoon. Invercargill lies at the southern tip of New Zealand, so we easily had a good four hour drive ahead of us. Secondly, Luci and DJ were really keen to take us to Dunedin’s local farmer’s market in order to introduce us to “bacon buddies”, a specialty of one of the market’s local vendors.

The market was set in a small corner to the side of the beautiful and historic railway station. The morning was sunny, and, frankly, I was still feeling all warm and fuzzy from a good show the night prior. The atmosphere at the market was joyous: kids were playing amongst the small gathering of locals, and grown men and woman seemed to be smiling just a smitten more than on other days. After I had the absolutely best veggie burger of my life and most of the guys had filled up on their beacon buddies (which, incidentally looked revolting!), we said our goodbyes and made our way towards Invercargill.

Now, everyone under that sun had warned us not to play Invercargill. The place had a fierce reputation for being only into metal. A comment I had read on some New Zealand forum had been gnawing on me: “don’t worry about people not showing up, worry about the people who do show up.” Whilst, planning the tour, however, I figured most of the criticisms must have been a tad hyperbolic, and it couldn’t really be all that bad. After stopping for a quick and greasy lunch somewhere along the way, we arrived safely in Invercargill and promptly made our way to the venue.

The venue was large and the PA seemed of high quality, but to our dismay there were demons, monsters and cartoonish young girls with gigantic breasts spray-painted all over the black walls. Wow.

Well, there wasn’t much we could really do aside from put on our poker faces and set up our gear. After we got everything looking as good as we could hope for under the circumstances, we checked into the backpackers around the corner. Shaun and Simon were both quite exhausted and wanted to take a short nap, so Evan and I went to find some dinner.

Whilst watching Roadrunner episodes at Hell’s pizza and enjoying our meal, Shaun sends me a message that sends waves of panic down my spine: he’s sick, really sick, feels like throwing up, doesn’t think he can play tonight.

After rushing up to our room, Shaun tells me he thinks he has food poisoning. Shaun certainly looks the part, and a disgusting pie he ate for lunch immediately comes to mind as the likely culprit. All doctors and pharmacies are closed at this time, so I take the van down to the store and buy all sorts of over-the-counter medicine, herbal supplements, and even Aloe Vera juice, but there was just no way he was going to pull through in time for the show, which, at this point, was only 45 minutes from starting. At this point I was just hoping he would feel better in the morning – my worst fear was that Shaun would not be well enough to continue the tour.

With absolutely no options left, we headed back to the venue by ourselves, only to find it completely empty with only 30 minutes to go before the show was supposed to start. I told the venue owners about Shaun’s ill fate, and they reacted as expected: compassionate, but also unable to mask the fact that they were totally fucked off at us. They agreed to let us start a bit later, but that hardly improved matters. By show-start there were roughly seven people in the bar, and none of them seemed to have come because of us. Aside from the staff and sound tech, only two girls got into our set a bit more – the other five kids were shooting pool and eventually left half way through our set. For days we would joke about how Shaun, who was vomiting out his bowel fluids that night, actually had the best night of us all.

There was one positive thing I drew from that night, however: at no point ever during the show did we not try to give our best. In fact, we might well have played one of the most intense shows of the tour on that strange night. One way or another, I was really proud of the three of us. We hadn’t taken out our disappointment on the few that had come. Whether they ultimately cared or not, we were going to make sure we gave those present every opportunity in the world to find something of value in our music and our performance thereof.

After we packed up, the bar manager gave us 50,- for petrol money and – truth be told – we felt rather grateful for it, too – the price of petrol was sky high, and feeding the van day in day out would prove to be the biggest expense of the tour. After a long day and an emotionally draining night, we headed back to the backpackers, where the three of us filmed a short video diary for our little tour documentary. Finally we went to bed and slept – exhausted, but also a bit tougher, perhaps.

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! :)

View Comments

  • Mary

    A- I hate guitar hero
    B- Wish I had been there
    C- It’s been almost a year since I’ve seen you. Come home

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