Wednesday, 22 October 2008

'Survive the Future'' - Extortion tour diary. January 2008.
This was supposed to appear in DISTORT flakezine 15 years ago. The editor of said publication decided that the band had ''too many clean pauses'', and ''simply not enogh feedback'' for it to fall within his spheer of interest. So here it is, complete with all spelling/punctuation erros.

Please note: ( Some attempts were made by outside forces to expurgate certain words and passages from this text. )

Wednesday night:
I walked from my office, across the Horseshoe Bridge and through that other street to get to Roman's place of work. Roman works at a shop called ''Death Metal Supermarket''. Perched on a bench, some Victoria Beckhams kept me company until Roman clocked off.

Dan came around to Roman's a bit later on, and that's when the real fun began. Noxious gasmasks, nasal push ups, Emu Bitter Dinner, sleeping pills, hard spirits and indeed, high spirits got us to Perth domestic airport in time.

As a fellow consumer and concerned citizen, I feel it is my responsibility to warn you of the ineptitude of Perth Airport and its staff. Ever since this great state of ours blossomed with weapons, brothels, drug trafficking, domestic crimes, pollution (etc), the sheer influx of people into this wretched place has increased ten fold. Rather than expanding the terminal, building new runways, hiring additional staff and constructing a larger baggage collection, they have opted to downsize the whole operation. This has resulted in absolute pandemonium during check-in, take off, landing, arrival and baggage claim. I believe a frightening new dawn is upon us. I predict dark days are ahead. My friends, I believe the lunatics have truly taken over the asylum.

The flight was a non-entity, except for a stunningly display of aeroplane slumber by Jay Grind. This mid-air maverick performed what came to be affectionately known as ''The Brown Slouch''. It was as if someone had turned old Jay off at the mains, and let him recoil to some sort of default sitting position. Picture if you will, a twenty something man, sitting with his back in a semi-upright upright position, arms by his sides like a young and eager to impress Myer customer service operative, head tilted forward, chin almost touching chest, and mouth in a prone position, as if he were a Crocodile waiting to pounce on an unsuspecting Springbok or Water Buffalo.

It pains me to say, but as a band, we have very little time for each other. So in an attempt to limit the possibility of others being embroiled in our inner-band tensions, each of us stayed in separate lodgings. Nothing personal, just simple logistics.

Now I don't want to sound like I'm superficial or anything, and I usually don't believe in black cats, walking under ladders, smashed mirrors and all that nonsense, but I simply refuse to play a show without getting a decent buzz on beforehand. So it goes without saying that we had a great time getting half-wankered in Welshpool, sorry Osborne Park, I mean, Marrickville. The gig was fun. Some good outfits played. CRUX in particular impressed us with their heavy guitar sound. The crowd turned themselves inside out in response to our live gig phenomena.

At the bar later on, Roman performed a clinical execution of the reverse slouch. Absolutely spot on! Afterwards, our friend and spiritual leader A-dawg got our fucking heads right into the early hours of the morning. Thanks A-train.

I woke up in the morning with an arm wrapped around me. It was the arm of Daniel Maynard. The whole situation was made more uncomfortable by the fact that Rohan Harrison was already awake and pretending to read a book. He was clearly watching the madness that was unfolding, and it was obvious that he had been doing so for some time. Furthermore, he was liking it.

We watched cricket and smoked can bongs all day. Some would argue that this is a waste of a holiday. I beg to differ. In my opinion, this is the ultimate realisation of leisure and relaxation. To do what you would normally do on any given day, in a different state, for free...well that speaks for itself.

The show was great. All the bands were good. EXTORTION has a good following in Sydney. Some wild characters turned up when we played. A cripple managed to find his way up onto the stage. Now in a perfect world, these people would not be allowed into events of this nature, nor would they be allowed in the public eye full stop. But alas, we are living in a post- 1945 world, and there are certain concessions one has to make in order to keep up appearances. Not Rohan Harrison though. He proceeded to strangle and repeatedly strike this wheelchair bound individual until he quailed in fear and subsequently wheeled himself off the stage. Chris Onton did not catch the gentleman as he was at the I KILLED THE PROM QUEEN show that night, and didn't want to get his shoes dirty.

We lumbered on until the wee hours with Reek of Purification, the fabulous Elissa, and some others. We got a comprehension of a different dimension with some strong rail slides. It be the will of Jah that we went straight from Newtown to the Airport early that morning. We yelled ''Rasta Far I'' when we saw the beckoning lights of Sydney Airport's finest eatery, Crics Affamés.

We arrived in Melbourne and were greeted by James Vinciguerra. James was wearing a fantastic ''Canterbury, Canterbury, CANTERBURY!'' rugby jumper. He looked like a cross between Where Is Wally, Andrew Ettinghausen and James Vinciguerra. He drove us to town in 1.1 seconds, and thoroughly enjoyed our banter, double entendre and witticisms along the way. We got to Dan Stewart's house. Dan Maynard found some silly plants in his pocket that he thought he had given to a homeless man in Sydney a few hours prior. Dan let out his patented, quaint little laugh, and the collective giggles resumed.

We got to the show which was at a community hall in a park. Now I usually don't go to community halls. I find the whole idea of a community in itself quite stifling and compartmentalising. Community equals conformity to this wandering soul. Conformity is another mechanism that the powers that be use to keep us sedate. Conformity is death. Death is life. And so the cycle perpetuates itself like the birth cycle of an African Hyena.

I came in to see STRAIGHT JACKET NATION tearing it up, and tearing it off (the singer's shirt). Now, I know being the singer of a band is a flagrant display of shake appeal and machismo, but did the singer of SJN really feel the need to take off his shirt and show us his MADBALL, BIOHAZARD and other traditional tattoos? THE KILL followed. They were absolutely great! Jaw dropping guitar and drum etiquette. Yobbo grind! The best Australian band in recent memory!

During the EXTORTION set, a fight broke out between a guy dressed in a police uniform and another guy in Navaho Indian garb. I was so engrossed by the dance floor justice that was transpiring between these two aspiring pugilists, that I made an absolute hack of the outro. But as the great Fred Astaire once said, ''The higher you go, the more mistakes you are allowed. Right at the top, if you make enough of them, it's considered to be your style.'' Right said Fred.

Trial and Error records paid for our ride to the Arthouse for our early sound check. Triple J's short fast loud radio show had some nice cold cuts and light refreshments waiting for us when we got there. JB HIFI hired some ex-Foreign Legion and Hell's Angels toughs to control the masses of fans that had already converged outside the venue. Other fans were said to be in the process of paving a path of destruction in the surrounding areas. Common Bond Records hired some local session musicians to sound check to our specifications sheet so we didn't have to do it ourselves. We spent most of our time in the plush backstage area sitting on rare furs; strumming vintage Gretsch guitars and drinking our collective body weight in the finest French champagne. We could have made a complaint at the time about the lack of Crispy Creme doughnuts on the rider, but we'll leave the complaining to the Brisbane hardcore scene, as we clearly make far too much money off our tours, records, practices, transport costs, flights, merchandise, phone calls and through virtue of living thousands of kilometres away to worry about something as trivial as sweets.

The show was tense. People got turned away at the door. It was far too packed. Folk were hopping the roofs of adjacent buildings to get in. AOA had the sound of the night. The CRO-MAGS cover was a little uncharacteristic for these big softies, but their bespectacled lead singer Grunt held it down by showing his muscles and intimidating the audience both on and off stage. SJN were great again. 731 had a great bass sound- They play grinding grind.. JAWS fumbled through a raucous final fling. MINDSNARE sounded heavy, but were too hard to watch given the claustrophobic environment. Dean went into overdrive for the EXTORTION set. Jay was drunk. The show ended and we went our separate ways.

Some would argue that writing a tour diary for four gigs is a little audacious. Some would even argue that four gigs is not actually a real tour. Both of which are probably true.

James, Elissa, Brendan Oath, Kim your own dog, Chris Onton, Anna, Eamon, Billy, Benny, Clint, Emillie, Lloyd, Mattalwaysgreenalwaysobscene, Black Metal Nick, Ester, Nigel, Dan Stewart, Dan Maynard, Anne, Alex, Meatdog, all Perth people present, Maison, A-train, Matt Reekie, Neil Cuthbertson, Missing Link Records staff, Straight Jacket Nation, Adrian 731, Jay Kill, Crux, Gordon, AVO, Thrush, Jungle Fever and all other equipment trustees, the wonderful young lady at the Old Fire Station Café in Preston and many other folk.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wait a second, isn't James Vinciguerra the president of viagra online ? I don't know. I think he was... well, anyways, nice post man. Congratulations.