Traveller Tip: In Asia they have breakfast, but not as you know it. If there is ever milk, it’s long life. Bread is sweet and toast isn’t a big thing. Cereal and butter is rare unless it’s a distinctly western orientated place. If you’re not prepared to experiment, buy your own 2 minute noodles from a 7-11 the night before. Continue reading
Traveller Tip: If you are visiting a ‘closed’ country like Vietnam or China, get some VPN software on your phone/tablet before leaving.
We rehearsed for 6 hours on the 24th and another 5 on the 25th before our first gig that night. That first gig at Beer Mania was 2x 60 minute sets. Given the hectic schedule we have for this tour (10 cities, 15 gigs in 24 days), I really really need to look after myself and my voice. So I turned in early for that first night while some of the others went out and we took it fairly easy for the second days rehearsal.
My main concern with my voice isn’t so much the schedule though; my voice is strong and I sing properly, so as long as I don’t have too many beers beforehand and remember to not overdo it when singing and avoid talking in loud settings outside of the gig, I should be able to do this every day. By ‘properly’, I mean that singing isn’t like shouting; the effort and strain is really closer to talking. No, the main concern is the pollution in Beijing…
…and getting sick from the travel. The Hong Kong -> Beijing plane sounded like a cross between a piggery and a hospital with the snorting and coughing going on. Coughing is the main voice killer for me.
What this means is that my downtime, at least in Beijing, isn’t doing the tourist-y stuff. I did a bit of that last visit seeing the Great Wall, Tianamin Square etc. This time my downtime is sitting in a cafe next to the hostel eating a salad with way too much sauce/dressing and writing this.
OK peeps, gotta shoot. We’re playing tonight at a venue we had to cancel on last year because it was torrential rain and the roof was leaking onto the stage. Oh, and it’s raining outside now – hopefully they’ve fixed the roof!
It was a long day getting here, leaving Adelaide at 10am and not hitting the Beijing bed until 6am the next day. The Melbourne to Honkers leg was really good considering it was 9 hours. Hong Kong to Beijing was only 4 hours but a lot more cramped and stressful.
When I landed, it was a typical torrential Beijing downpour. As a result, my baggage arrived soaked, meaning some of the contents were a bit damp too. Add a mixed up booking at the hostel and a broken handle on the suitcase, the crankypants were almost ready to be donned.
Luckily things were sorted in time to avoid a right royal (princessly) foot stamping and I managed to grab a few hours nap, go down for breakfast and meet the guys, and then return for a few hours coma.
By the time I woke, the others had already left for practice and so I found my way there solo on the Beijing subway with some help of a scrawled note from Peter and a vague memory from 2 years ago.
Traveller Tip: If you are staying in a foreign city for any length of time and they have a subway system, get familiar with it. It is amazing how much easier life is when you don’t have to find taxis.
In the ‘off-season’ between tours, I undertook a course with Cari Cole all about how to turn musicianship into a profession. There were some great technical and artist developmental tips, as well as an introduction to other artists at all levels and ages, but the most value I got from the course was the slap-in-the-face common sense approach that if you want to make money as an artist, you need to treat it as a business. Continue reading
We’re on the road again! This time the PlanB Juggernaut is taking on China. Why China? We don’t have any following here and few contacts, but we figure that if we can engage even a tiny portion of the 1.3 billion population, we’re doing well.
So the next few blogs will be a day by day summary of the stuff we’re doing, both musically and not.
Day 1 – Sunday 15 July Continue reading
The big day.
You’ve been dreaming of this for years.
It’s all about you!
Synchronicity – Noun: The simultaneous occurrence of events that appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection.
Serendipity – Noun: The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way: “a fortunate stroke of serendipity”.
In addition to all the work around the upcoming PlanB tour of China in July, I’ve been working at developing my solo Continue reading
It’s been a while since my last instalment back in March 2011 when I was posting the last of the 2011 tour blogs. This intervening year and a half has been jam packed with Solo and PlanB goings on, so I’ll try to bring you up to speed as a lead-in to the next tour.
That’s right, the PlanB collection of Continue reading
Sun 16th Jan – Massage, Sheraton, Jazz Club
Aside:how your mind justifies things is quite funny sometimes. Because wages and excise on things like alcohol and cigarettes are typically quite low, things are very cheap, and you find yourself objecting to prices because you think someone might be taking more profit than they should. This is despite the fact that Continue reading
Fri 14th Jan – Gullivers Travels. Show at BuddhaAside: The way we interact with others is a very subtly learned skill. This came to me as I was walking along Bui Vien, the street our hotel was on, towards Stella’s. Even given the larger number of people, there seemed to be an unusually large number of times that I and the person walking towards me did the “this-way-that-way” dance. At first I thought it might be Continue reading