how is it the drummer is carrying the smallest amount?
L-R: Francis, Ken, Patrick, Andy (looking seriously rock'n'roll). Photo by Georgina.
- Tycho Brahe & Real Life - Thursday July 22nd @ the Corner Hotel, 57 Swan Street, Richmond. Real Life album launch for "Imperfection".
- Tycho Brahe & Ikon - Friday July 23rd @ Cabaret Nocturne (Dream Nightclub), 229 Queensberry Street, Carlton.
Tour Report: The Crackler Tour 2004
- Ken Evans - Vocals, Guitar, Technical Wizardry
- Georgina Emery - Keyboards, Vocals, Tour Manager
- Andy "Sausage Fingers" Walls - Bass Synth, Scottish Jokes
- Francis "Rowdy McStix" Tohill - Drums, Queasiness, Viz Magazine
- Patrick Zietsch - Audio Engineer, Blurry Photos, St Kilda
On their way
On Tuesday June 29th Francis Tohill auditioned for the job of drummer with Tycho. On Thursday July 1st he was invited to join the band, and was promptly asked if he wanted to travel to Melbourne three weeks hence for the support spot with Real Life for the launch of their new album "Imperfection". Three weeks later we were "On our way to happiness Aha Aha....." (TB accepts no responsibility for distasteful Proclaimers references by Georgina).
Thursday 22nd July at Brisbane airport saw three trolley loads of gear, and a prolonged security check for Ken, who nearly saw the gloves pulled out by security (note - don't wear Doc Martens boots, army pants, and dog tags to the airport whilst refusing to have your bag of computer disks X-rayed). Andy and George, laughing at Ken, were rewarded by being tested for explosives.
When the flight was delayed for two and a half hours, Francis tried to sleep (something to do with a Siamese cat waking him up at 4am) while the rest of the band shared stories about air disasters.
After arriving in Melbourne and loading all the gear into a Tarago, we got slightly lost and nearly ended up in Geelong. Thanks to the delayed flight, we managed to throw our luggage into the hotel, get to soundcheck and back, with 20 minutes to get ready for the gig.
The set went very well, and Real Life complimented us on how tightly we played. Francis (AKA "Rowdy McStix") did a great job losing his Tycho virginity so to speak. Andy "Sausage Fingers" Walls nearly didn't make it on stage in time due to a misplaced setlist! George ("Tour Manager") discovered that velcro and lycra don't work well together on stage.
After Tycho's set there was a mad pulldown of the gear, at which point Ken left his plectrum holder and all his plectrums for the bass guitar on the mic stand. Then a mad dash back to the hotel by Ken, Andy and Francis to drop off the gear, while George stayed behind fraternizing with Real Life, helping them drink their Wild Turkey bourbon in the band room.
Real Life's set was excellent, except when Ken noticed that the plectrums that David Sterry was throwing to the adoring girls in the audience were actually his! (This moment is now routinely referred to as "The Great David Sterry Plectrum Incident".)
We ended up drinking with Real Life until we were thrown out of the Corner Hotel around 2am. At this point it was realised that only Patrick had actually eaten dinner. He had told us he was getting pizza but we were too busy getting smashed and swapping stories with Real Life to actually listen.
We then accidentally hailed a maxi taxi and directed the cabbie to "take us to food!" Andy was a bit spun out and thought we were in a Johnny Cab from Total Recall. We ended up at a souvlaki bar in Chapel Street at 3am, where Andy's souvlaki almost made an encore appearance. We managed to get back to our hotel, 5 people in a 4 seat taxi, despite George telling the driver that the hotel was in East Brisbane.
Up again at 8am Friday and at Pat's insistence we headed off for breakfast at Greasy Joe's in St Kilda. We later had lunch with Real Life at a pub until we had to take our sick little Scotsman back to the hotel for a wee kip, during which time the rest of us went shopping. Thanks to The Great David Sterry Plectrum Incident Ken had to find a store to buy some new Jimmy Dunlop .88 nylon plectrums for that night's gig.
Around 6:30pm we loaded the gear into Dream Nightclub and after spending 40 minutes looking for a car park had dinner at Lygon Street. After returning to the club to setup and soundcheck, we had a slight detour on the way back to the hotel courtesy of George's shortcut??!! Consequently we ended up with 40 minutes to get ready - what a luxury.
The gig with Ikon was fantastic - the stage, lighting and lasers were great, and we played very well, maybe even better than the previous night....except Andy once again went AWOL just as our intro music started, and nearly didn't make the stage on time. This time he was in the toilet. A special thanks is due here to Pat's insane sister for her Very Enthusiastic Support during and after the show.
Once again a quick drop off of gear was made at the hotel and we returned to watch Ikon, a great act enjoyed by all. Plans are under way to appear with these guys again. We still managed to get some free drinks despite Ken losing the band's drinks tab card (thanks Peter!).
Once again we stumbled back to the hotel at around 3am, minus Andy and Pat who returned later after 4am, forgetting they needed their key to get into the hotel lobby. Thanks guys for ringing the mobile and waking us up to let you in, lucky George decided to wear PJs for a change!
Once again up at 8am to the invigorating cold and wet of Melbourne's real winter weather. George spent some time in the back of the Tarago trying to disguise the new scratches with Armorall and black texta!! (Guess whose housesitter got Armorall as a gift?) We had a late breakfast (where Ken had pizza for the third meal in a row) followed by a tram ride so Andy (a virgin to Melbourne) could tell his mum he'd gone on a Melbourne tram.
Running late again the trip to the airport was a little panicked, but after some vague navigating by Pat and some luck, we got there! This time we ended up with four trolley loads of gear (go figure), and Ken didn't look so suspicious and got through security on the first go, instead of the three goes in Brisbane. George however, disappeared when apparently kidnapped by QANTAS staff who dragged her to the other side of the airport looking for a credit card voucher to pay the excess on the 15 pieces of checked baggage. Hence we made it to the gate just as the boarding call was made. Next time, we'll get to the airport with at least 1 1/2 hours to spare.
Exhausted, we were all safely home in Brisbane by 5:30pm, and all asleep by 9pm!
...bar the shouting
Extra special thanks to the following persons for making Tycho Brahe's "Crackler Tour 2004" a reality: Tim Crook, Real Life, Ikon, Peter Hakuli, Thomas and Brian at Cabaret Nocturne, Michelle for knowing all the words to "Dreams of Dying", and Max the Studio Cat for his assistance in all the tech preparation in the days before the tour. A big shout out to Rebecca, Tony Irvine, and the Bar Chick with the Blue Dreadlocks at Dream. And last, but not least, a special thanks to the schoolgirls in tartan miniskirts and bare legs for your inspirational bravery in the face of sub-zero temperatures.
P.S. We promise no more "crackler" and the "soup of the day" jokes!
The references to "crackler" are taken from Francis' Viz magazine (Roger's Profanisaurus section). We don't suggest you look up the meaning of this one if you are at work.