Press play to listen to the brand new track from MT WARNING whilst you get taken on the GLITCH IN TIME tour
The sales and storage speech from the Grain Corpse (sic) representative came to a halt as I meandered to the bar, the vacant look on the bar ladies face as I asked what food they had a second time made me re-approach for landing. "Ow's it ga'arn" I said, "6 schooeys and some hot chips thanks love." She seemed to disarm, "Sit outside, and I'll bring them over, darl."
A couple curious cockies came to stir us up and when we told them we make music, hats and video's they all seemed to have a story to tell about some part of that, even it was Braithewaite, Akubra, Debbie Does Dubbo. The pub owner came out and was excited to have some weird folk around, I grabbed my guitar and started taking requests, a couple of the old lads were into it, but I was REALLY into it, after our high vibing sunset shoot I was ready to rock, so up on the tables I went banging out Farnsy, Barnsy, Hank and Johnny. About 16kg's of hot chips and frozen calamari was served aplomb and the publican directed us to a secret campsite with power and gave us a discount on the meals and beers. Premer, you bloody ripper.
I awoke at 4am on top of the bus in my swag, confused, there was movement on the ground and by the time I tumbled down 3 of us were bumping into each other in the dark, the 2 others asking me if I'd just come into each bus, I had not, they said someone had, we packed and stacked like nobodies business and got the fuck outta there. The other 4 members still sound asleep in the backs of each bus.
I started searching the map for a ridge to film a sunrise shoot, the dawn was coming and this magic hour approaching was too good to miss. We burned off to a dusty track and found OZTRAYA!, a windmill, a 10 metre feed trough and a road to nowhere. Clambering around in the pre dawn light, exploring the rusty mill and testing its build by climbing to the top, shitting myself as the wind spun it's massive blade around, almost toppling me off. Along the road we burned, me atop playing tunes, crew running through paddocks and barbed wire to get the shot, everyone eating dust, but this is the rush we live for. Placing ourselves in the path of beauty hoping to add rather than detract……
The hunger was as real as the hangovers and we headed for Dunedoo. We stumbled into the bakery, the staff trying their best to understand our coffee orders, Ollie and I considered the raffle to win a prize bull but wondered how long it would be funny for had we had to care for the massive stud, our manhoods were far too threatened to support the local cause.
On the main street we met a man who was an orange vendor, 70 years old, been doing it since 17. His wife was aboriginal and the stories he told us of the abuse and injustice around these parts was horrifying, and that the only reason he opened his mind was the love he fell in to. He now spreads that message with a local radio show, hoping his community will understand the wealth of knowledge and the strength the custodians of this land could lead us with if we could listen. I think he and his wife should be this nations leaders.
Whilst fuelling the bus I look across the road to see Justin and family washing in the sprinklers in the bindie laced park. Closest thing to a surf out here, we stripped down and ran over, Dunedoo quivered at the sight, we washed off the road thus far in front of honking semi trailers and offended locals.
We set course for 'the dish', installed between Parkes and Forbes to listen for aliens. I shit you not. A giant satellite in the conservative farming community awaiting a response to messages sent by Carl Sagan and Dr. Spock. We dressed up and grabbed some rum and played out our romantic version of waiting for the aliens to sing, can we act you ask? With rum, we can do anything…..
A quick jaunt through the hay bales had me scratched up and sweaty, exhausted and parched, why didn't we get a water sponsor?
The next destination was the farm I grew up on near Shepparton, 514km's away, with only 3 turns. I've driven these roads a lot, the crew had not, the insanity was building fast with the straight roads and not a hill in sight. The occasional tree would get a yelp of excitement, but the rum and the beer was helping us invent entertainment in the back of the bus. We stopped in West Wyalong for some uppers, and the townsfolk were gawking at me harder than usual as I scrounged the supermarket for fresh fruit and veg I was hoping to intravenously inject. The checkout chick wouldn't scan my items but just stared, "Everything ok?" I asked. "Your face is weird" she replied "it's got little shiny bits all over it". I forgot that at the dish our Galaxy Girl cinematographer and stylist and model for the bus, Claudia, had made me more galactic with glitter. Glitter on a man in the outback is a no-no I now know. I grabbed my supplies and bee-lined to the beast. We ducked into a pub and met a sheep farmer who when asked what he thought of the bus out front replied "mobile rape dungeon" with a sadistic little smile, we grabbed each other close and backed out, wondering if we could padlock ourselves in for the remaining 376km and 2 remaining bends.
This is the country I grew up in, the roads ghostly quiet at the best of times, deathly quiet at the worst. I wanted to show the crew the old train bridge at the border town of Tocumwal. We used to drive our cows across it in winter so we could holiday at the exotic Gold Coast. You'd say climbing it at night is a poor idea, but climbing at day it way scarier, we'd hear stories of adolescent local legends landing backflips from it's huge height and of the mishaps of tourists and we'd shake our heads as kids, dreaming and judging. Ollie and I did not back flip, but marvelled at the engineering feat of the 19th century draw bridge and its rusted mechanisms. Nerds r us.
We came in hot to the family farm, and it was like the old teenage days, lucky mum and dad were away, sorry if you're reading this…. I wanted to show off everything all at once, it was midnight, dark moon, we were wired tired and pretty well excited. After showing off my tractor skills and not being able to attach the bucket to collect wood I thought rolling a hay bale by the bus would suffice. Suffice to say it did. We're in dry country and this was dry hay, that thing lit up like it had been soaked in petrol for weeks. We madly danced around it and marvelled at the little swirly bits heading off into the stars. Had I known the whole paddock had been cut for weeks and ready to blaze I hope I would have thought twice. So many things I hope for in hindsight….. I sent the crew down to the old dairy to finally sleep and snuck out to my old bed. Home you wicked beast, like a missing lovers touch.
Up to smouldering bales and river swims, the Broken River of all the places we would find ourselves. Ha. We made video's through the orchard and I tried to hotwire the quad bike to rip some skids, but the old man knows me too well and got that shit offline at the thought of my prodigal return. We wanted an appropriate exit so we devised a scene of me starting on the roof as the bus rolled out. I would leap from there to the bales along the lane, then in the window and we'd make our way toward Melbourne. Up I jumped, off took the bus, onto the bales I somehow made it, then across to the window. The beautiful rings made by our driver Adelaide adorning my fingers had become stuck that morning after the straight road rum swelling of my hands. As I used all my strength to pull into the window, my bare feet an inch from the front wheel, I slipped. Fuck. I hit back on to the bale, trying to keep my feet clear of Frankie Vans fresh rubber, but then felt a tingle in my hand. The stuck rings had caught the sill but my body weight had relieved them from my finger, along with all my skin between the palm and the second knuckle. Oh how I shook at the sight.
Adelaide had the first aid kit and set to work, Ollie had the rum and set to work, Justin and Claudia had the camera's and kept working. Yeah team.
Patched up and blood pumping we needed to get to Melbourne, my hand throbbing and adrenaline high. I hit that strange place of euphoria and arrogance after a self inflicted injury and set about being tough and playing it cool… with a bottle of rum.
Melbourne had no idea what was about to hit it, we were high flying and feeling free, some may say we had jumped the gun, but the weekend about to be had could only be described as the mother of all destructions…...