"Glitch in Time is the current East Coast tour of Australia by the creative wizards at Fallen broken Street and Byron Bay man band Mt Warning. Tripping on down the highway in the now legendary FBS festival Bedford school bus and accompanied by a bunch of their mates and obligatory cold cases of Young Henry's, this live rock n roll roadshow is coming to a town near you to play, stay and disobey. Enter the cloakroom here..." - Summersite
The Friday before our Tuesday departure we needed an auto electrician for the bus. Badly. The alternator was sending too much charge to the batteries and our local car sparky Graeme said to drop it round. Getting a 6-tonne ex-schoolbus built in 1977 around the corner is no mean feat.
Justin hooked up a heavy industrial chain to his ex-postal Mercedes Sprinter and decided to drag it around to old mates. Old mate was under the pump and unable to see us, we created traffic chaos for the yoga benders and coffee drinkers that inhabit the Byron Bay Industrial Estate and as we towed off with our tail between our mechanical legs. Then a giant BOOM echoed through both vehicles and up to the lighthouse. Justin assumed we ripped the back off the Sprinter or front off the bus, but it was just the inch thick chain that couldn't handle the awesome weight.
Traffic of disgruntled highly caffeinated yogis was seamlessly coordinated by yours truly and legendary local builder Baz as Justin and bus driver Adelaide jimmied together a new chain in the rain. There's something to be said about trying the same thing expecting a different result, but we got the old bus rolling again and almost back to base before another almighty SNAP. Traffic, yogis, coffee, rain, jimmied, away she rolled again, limping to the FallenBROKENStreet headquarters.
Mobile mechanics were called, the mythical skills of the mechanics of Ballina were our only hope...
This was the leg of the journey I was most excited and most anxious about. Getting the bus from Byron Bay to Melbourne. We had a 4 am departure planned. By midday, we still didn't know if we'd find the bus in running order after Justin had cowboyed it down to Ballina the day before (commandeering two free batteries as our faulty alternator had drained our 24-volt marine batteries completely, Century's lifetime guarantee may change soon folks). We hooked up a support bus (the mighty ex-postal Sprinter) and headed out of the industrial estate of Byron, scooping up Ollie who was on a seemingly innocent bike ride, poor bastard thought we were just going shopping.
Onto Ballina to find the black beast that the magician mechanic had restored to running order (on the proviso of using a can of 'Start Ya Bastard' every time we start it).
If you need a tyre for a heavy vehicle from the 70's it turns out only one man can help, Frankie Vans of Lismore and his muse, Lillibeth. We ventured out there and the boys got to work. I went to the pub next door and met Trish who was searching for her soul mate Darren, I assured her I was not Darren.
Tyred up and ready to roll it was 4 pm, 12 hours late, 60kms down, we headed for the Great Dividing Range to make the pass from Grafton. We screamed into the purple lined streets with the jacaranda's in full bloom and accosted a pub as I climbed up on the bus roof stage and entertained the stunned locals with what I'm sure was a very witty song about purple flowers. A bow, a beer, and we were off.
The celebration began on the road, finally leaving it all behind, our bus commander, Adelaide, bossed the back roads as we climbed the Great Divide and graciously stopped for me after I'd climbed out the window on the hairpin turns to check if the stage on the roof could double as a viewing platform. Turns out not while in motion.
We reached the sleepy town of Ebor about 9 pm, in quite a state, and pulled the bus in behind the Hotel Motel and took stock of our distance and made our beds for the night.
By morning I realised we were 7 people running on different schedules with no authority and that's just what we would have to deal with. Found Fusspots cafe and gratefully ate canned mushrooms on tip-top toast as the locals came in to stare at us, we are quite an assortment together once out of the rainbow of the Byron hipster cuddle.
The cutie in the kitchen laconically suggested the falls were the only thing in the area worth checking out, I now know that Ebor has two worthy sites. We were away in high country now, rich farmlands with impressive rock-strewn fields. In Armidale I met eyes with an old bearded man at the petrol station who beckoned me over, "There's not many of our kind out here, you better be careful," I looked at him quizzically, he winked and pulled me closer "I'm a lefty too, good on ya's".
We aimed for Tamworth, the country music capital, still so far to go, picking up shots on the way, still excited at being out and finally taking this adventure on.
We nodded at the Golden Guitar, the grey nomads enjoying my rendition of Hank Williams dancing around on the bus roof, but we couldn't stay long, had to keep on moving.
We took the back roads out of there, destination still unknown, just needing to make some distance. Driving into an everlasting sunset, the bus was popping yet again, playing songs and screaming stories over the deafening roar of the motor. Up I jumped to the roof, these flat roads make good for playing while driving. Vibe was high.
It was after dark and we needed food, one broken sign pointed us down a dark road to the Premer Pub, we gave it go. When a crew like us walk into a pub that's holding a dinner for all the local grain growers in the area, it's like throwing a cat into a room full of pigeons, the curiosity and hunger for fresh blood was rife…. it was visible from both sides, and I couldn't be sure we get out of this one without a scar……
Photography || Justin Crawford @thecrawfordcosmos
Music and words || MT Warning @mtwarning
Fluids, Fuel and Sanity || Young Henrys @younghenrys
Boots || Blundstone @blundstone
More fluids and morale || Bati Rum @bati_rum