Reminiscences of a member of:
Swell Guys / No-V-Bleet / Machines That Walk
When we went to Sydney our drummer decided at the last minute not to come. We ended up with a machine instead. This meant several things: 1 it didn't drink; 2 it did what we told it to (or possibly in fact we did what it told us to, as, after all, we had to keep in time with it - once set, there was no way it was going to sensitively react to any nuances); 3 the music had a certain frenetic feel - (one reviewer said it was music you would hear just before being committed to a psychiatric institution); and 4, it took up very little space and was easy to lug.
The whole band, all equipment plus two other (small) people (we, on the other hand, were the Tallest Band in Sydney), fitted into the FB with back seat taken out and (small) people crouching amongst the amps.
A dominant remnant impression of gigs - pile into car early afternoon. Drive to venue to meet PA people. Sit in pub a couple of hours waiting for PA people. Drink. Have sound check if lucky. Drink. Wait several more hours nervously wondering if fellow band members would be too drunk to play. Try to get friends on free list. Perform. Listen to fellow band member abuse the audience. Listen to audience reciprocate in kind. Hear other fellow band member howl into the microphone…. great fun! Maybe collect money, like, once we got $8.00 each. Pile back in car in early hours. Go home happy.
We were all on a Federal Govt Arts Grant otherwise known as "the dole". This meant plenty of cheap wine and baked beans. We took our commitment to the Arts Grant seriously though, and practised every day, before we went to the pub. We tried to make our music as good as possible; ie how we liked it, and stuff what anyone else thought. Fun was a chief criterion.
Each year we had a band office party and drank lots and ate sausage sandwiches. G &T's were popular. We hung around mostly with other people from Brisbane but some nice Sydney people did befriend us.
This was a long time and many brain cells ago. I take no responsibility for any of it being in fact factual or accurate. However it is possible to say, looking back, that it wasn't a bad way to pass a few