December was a weird month to say the least, throwing up many challenges both in finding gigs and personally.
Christmas is a difficult time … the opulence and excessiveness around the "sell" of it freaks me out, highlighting, more than any other time of year or thing, the "have nots", the lonely and those that slip between the cracks, leaving me with an overwhelming sense of despair. It sucks. I actually wrote a short piece titled Ho Ho No about it which you can read here.
Christmas Day was blistering hot with the temperature well tipping 40°C. The gigs I'd planned to shoot for the day had been cancelled. I sent a number of other venues that had live music listed on the gig guides Facebook messages to confirm all systems go and then headed into the city on the tram in search of buskers. Come 4pm, despite walking a massive grid of Melbourne's CBD … nothing. At one point I even asked the cops if they'd seen any buskers, which was pretty funny. Short answer. No.
After walking a couple of laps of the city, I'm thinking "fuck this shit, it's too early for the show at The Curtin, too early to go home and too late to do much else. That's when I saw Hack, sitting in the shade at the top of Bourke St Mall with his dog. Hack plays Deep Purple reinterpretations and has been busking for a long time. "How you going, in this heat and all?" "Aw, you know, there's stuff all people around so I'll go soon, but someone's gotta do it, someone's gotta play the music."
I killed a few hours floundering around town then made my way to The Curtin for a Soul Night they had running.
Heading home on The 86 tram I received gold! A text message from a mate …
“House Party. Northcote. NOW. Band starts 15 min.”
I get off the tram, cross the road and wait for … you guessed it … another tram, arriving at the house party with 10 minutes to spare.
Thanks for the chat Hack, it was great to meet you and your dog. Sorry I can't remember her name. And yeah, someone has to do it for sure.
Cheers The Curtin for not cancelling the gig or replacing the band with DJs for the night.
Thanks for the SMS Wally, you bloody legend!