Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Gypsy Soul Tour diary - Still in Kununurra WA

5th September 2010

Freddy is becoming a real 'street dog' the more and more we travel. He’s obsessed with the bins at every camp site we stop at and he always seems to be finding chicken bones. At one point I saw him eating a slice of pizza….good luck to him!
This morning when we woke up, Stew had a red irash on his body. I think it might have been the water at The Grotto. Not a good look, but it didn't hurt at least, just very itchy : ) I don’t have any rashes, although I’m covered in mosquito bites.

Tonight we have our show at ‘The Old Pumphouse’. They have regular live music there, so we’ll see how we go. It’s a kind of bar and restaurant. I’m getting so much better at talking to new audiences. I’m a lot more relaxed and spontaneous these days, which is handy. I’m looking forward to getting back home and doing a show at The Clarendon in the mountains and I’d also like to try out a show a ‘Raval’ which is in Surry Hills. It only holds 100 people, but it’s cabaret style.

We’ve been spending most of our day at the local pool. It only costs $3 to stay all day. There are not many camping places in Kununurra. They have people patrolling the areas with ‘no camping’ signs, so the closest rest area is about 12 k’s out of town. It’s hot and a bit noisy, but it'll do. There are a lot of tourists in NT and WA. Mostly French tourists.

Evening – Our show starts earlier because it’s a Sunday. 6 PM start. I prefer these gigs. The Pumphouse is set right on top of the water on the Ord River. With an outdoor deck - like a funky tin shed.

The Pumphouse - Kununurra

We set up in a corner on the deck with our backs to the water. It was hot, but they had fans all over the place that spat out spurts of water….I sat in front of them for a while.

On a break - had no-one to take a pic

The Pumphouse actually used to be a real pumphouse yonks ago. I guess it used to pump out water from the Ord for irrigation reasons. The inside still has all the machinery and pumps as part of the venue. The restaurant has won so many awards for business.

When we walked in to set up, it was mainly bunches of men, already half drunk and very loud. Once again I wasn’t too sure if the ‘Gypsy soul’ experience would work here. We usually use the first 45 minute set to gauge the audience. So we do mostly originals and if they don’t respond we then cut them back and ad songs they know. That’s been our system so far and it seems to work.

There was an outdoor light, but the owner suggested not using it "you'll be covered in sandflies and mozzies". So we had to use a small lamp we had and aim it back at us. It didn’t really light us up much, but it kind of made it known that there was a band on.

Stew opened the set with a song so I could check the sound at front and then we went for it. The audience loved us - phew! We played all our original songs and we had a group sitting right down the front who were very attentive and loved listening to our stories. All the bar staff were so friendly and they were all dancing to our music which was very nice.

Because the lamp was near us, all the mosquito’s were gathering around the lamp and they were crawling all over our arms and Stew and I even swallowed a few - but we're vegetarian! I kept pushing the lamp further and further away from us as the night went on.

At one point in the evening during one of our breaks, everyone was looking over the deck and we noticed that there were thousands of catfish swimming in the water. Catfish have big mouths and sharp teeth and can get quite big.

The catfish off the deck

One of the locals decided that he was going to jump off the deck into the sea of cat fish so his friend could take a pic. So he jumped and swam as quickly as possible to the steps leading back up. Unfortunately his friend missed the shot on the camera, so he had to jump again.

It looked so refreshing, that I was telling Stew that I wouldn’t mind jumping in after our sets are finished : )

We continued on with our second set, which was once again well received. We sold a few CD’s and Thomas, who was the boss and the guy that booked us said that he was really enjoying our set and he said that we were the best act to come through his doors ... that was very flattering.

We got a free pizza each just before our last set and while we gobbled that down I noticed a crocodile cruising very slowly amongst the catfish. Yay - we saw our first croc in the wild. It was very freaky. It was just floating with it’s 4 legs spread out… . We could see it clearly and it’s eyes were glowing in the dark. I knew at that moment that I wasn’t going to be jumping off the deck for a quick dip. I tried to take a pic of it but it was too dark, but you can see his eyes at least.

My pic of the croc - you might have to zoom in

We continued on with our last set. We were due to finish about 9ish and the Pumphouse stops serving drinks after 10pm because of alcohol restrictions in the area. So all the staff, which was about 10 of them, came out to watch our last set while they had their Sunday pizza’s and wine. That was a buzz.

At the close of the night Thomas said that if we came up again, we could stay at Kununurra for a month and he’ll put us on as some kind of residency. I might take him up on that offer when we get back there. I understand why they won all those awards. The staff were so nice. Thomas and his wife were also really friendly and there was an overall ‘Happy’ vibe in the restaurant.

I was really happy with this show. I guess I feel better when there’s some interaction happening with the audience. We came away feeling ‘loved’ and now we had to nurse all our mosquito bite wounds.

We decided to sleep near the Pumphouse car park that night. There was a dark spot close by and it was very quiet and convenient.

6th September 2010

We decided to head straight to the pool this morning because the heat is very oppressive. The air was still, so the heat just kind of beats you down and makes your weary. We stayed at the pool area for about an hour or so and kept checking on Freddy in the car.

We got talking to one of the workers at the pool and Stew mentioned the Croc we saw last night at the Pumphouse and he said that small fresh water crocodiles aren’t really that dangerous to humans: they don’t like eating humans. They’ll only attack if they feel threatened, but salt water crocodiles are the real one’s to watch out for, they have a wider snout and bigger mouth and that’s how you can tell the difference, apart from tasting the water : )

Stew had to do some work, so while he did that I went to the shops to kill some time. We got rain for about 10 minutes ... ahh ... I remember rain! That was really refreshing.

Standing in the tropical rain - you're dry before it's touched you!

Today we’re just hanging about in Kununurra for the day. Trying to find any way to get out of the heat. Catching up on things like the laundry and groceries. Our next stop is Timber Creek at the local hotel. We’ve got a pub gig, but it’s too early for us to venture that way because there aren’t too many camping spots on the way, so we’ve decided to stay here in Kununurra for a couple of days.

7th September 2010

We camped at the rest area last night. The one that is 12 k’s out. We didn’t have a great sleep because till about 1 am a group of the campers had a campfire! (in this heat?) and were talking and yelling. Just as I dozed off, one of them would do a roaring laugh and I’d be awoken.

I don’t understand how they could have had a camp fire when stew and I was sitting outside sweating our guts out most of the night and freddy’s panting away . They were all in shorts, yet they had a fire ... I don’t get it.

This morning we just headed back over to the swimming beach, had our brekky, did our exercise, Stew's reading and I’m writing this blog : )

More like a river than a beach

We’re going to head over to the pool in a minute and then start heading to the ‘Lake Argyle’ which is about 50 k’s from here heading towards Timber Creek.

We plan to just find a place to swim and relax. We were going to go on an ‘Lake Argyle boat cruise’ today but we can’t really leave Freddy in the car for 2 hours unattended, so we’ll have to give that one a miss.

That’s all for today, I hope you’re enjoying my blog. I enjoy writing it and when I look back I can’t believe how much we’ve done : )


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