Friday, December 19, 2014

Forest Falls // TOUR DIARY

Tour diaries are my personal favourite (so maybe I'm a nosey person..). And the wonderful guys and gals from Forest Falls have been kind enough to share one from their recent tour with Love 'Em!

Listen to their music and read their words; theirs' is a world I wouldn't mind visiting.

The Heavy Hearted Girl Tour was a departure from the norm for us. We have done the trip up the east coast before but this time round we did it without a drummer. The obvious drawback was there was no boom-tsh for punch lines during on-stage banter. However, we did find there were many pluses. Firstly, the car ride was infinitely more spacious. On our last trip one band member had to cuddle a floor tom in order for everything to fit in the car. More importantly we really honed the set during our percussion hiatus. Having no beats to hide behind meant that we were super aware of our parts and how the dynamics worked. We made a lot of alterations to improve the tunes and our performance as a whole. We'll be releasing some live tracks from the trek in the near future.

The first leg of the Heavy Hearted Girl Tour was action packed. Although the first show at the Wesley Anne was sweet and intimate, it was marred by an unfortunate event. We have so much gear at the moment, much of it newly bought in the latest stint of recording, all of it black and imperceptible like all music gear. Basically, I'm angling towards the fact that it's hard to keep track of it all. Sure enough we left our beloved Casiotone keyboard behind. I know what you're thinking, "what's the big deal? Just go back and get it!" and you're right, but our gig was on the eve of Melbourne Cup and we planned to leave the next day. Jon packed an alternative keyboard but was so paranoid that it didn't have a case that he wrapped it in a doona. We hadn't even left Melbourne yet and we were all a little edgy. When we arrived in Canberra all our worries just dissipated. We were blown away by just how lovely (and resourceful!) everyone was. Our friend Nigel at the Canberra Musicians' Club managed to track down a Casiotone keyboard and put us up for the night.

Before the gig at Smith's Alternative we stopped by the studio at 2XXFM for LocalnLive with Reuben Ingall. Reuben's silky smooth radio voice soothed our nerves and we played a couple of raw versions of Coming Home and Heavy Hearted Girl. It was recorded with three regular mics that we usually use for talkback. Even so, we were pretty content with the performance at the time. When we listened back later it sounded so bass heavy. Our eyes quickly fixated on Jez who sings the lowest harmony of the song. We soon found out that ironically Jez had hung further back from the mics in an attempt to lay low. While everyone else sung close to one microphone, he had unwittingly tripled his input by singing to all of them from further back. He maintains this was an accident, although I have a sneaking suspicion he was craving the spotlight. We'll have to fling him another recorder solo like the one [he had] in Julia to keep him happy.

A jam in a Canberra Garden
We met another of Canberra's loveable music industry icons when we arrived at Smith's for sound check that night. The venue's resident sound guy, Bevan, had a phenomenal presence in the city and was revered by all the acts, organisers and radio peeps we met. He had a fully digital set up and was eager to learn the inner workings or our set to ensure the best sound on the night. We felt so comfortable on stage and the relatively petite venue was filled to the brim with our tunes.

The next day we set off early to drive to Sydney. After a couple of hours on the road we eventually arrived at long-time Forest Falls' friends, Chris and Sarah's.The gorgeous couple had housed us twice before on other musical endeavours but had recently upgraded to a new pad. We were prepared for the tiniest smidge of floor space to sleep on but instead [we] were given the kapua-suite. A hidden loft that not even Chris and Sarah's real estate knew about - it was legit although scaling the twenty-rung ladder to get to bed proved difficult on the night of the show.
So, the show! The show went really well: Dylan Wright, who had supported us as a solo act, was headlining and he and his band smashed it. The opener, Forster Anderson, had an equally commanding presence on stage despite being but one man. We were so impressed by him in fact, [that] we asked him down to Melbourne for our last show of the tour and he said "yes" everyone!*

Road Trippin'

So after the show we embarked on the ten-ish hour long long drive to Melbourne. Things got a little loopy there for a while, especially when Gabe ("Mumbles") and Jon got on the CB radios together. Gabe relentlessly impersonated other commuters on various channels and Jon proudly sang Queen songs - acapella and in their entirety. Somehow we all made it home unscathed and still friends, ready for the next few shows in the city of Melbourne!


*Just quickly, Gabe is emphatic that we shout out to Satellite Cafe in Newtown. He swears it's the best coffee. Reuben: juice, second coffee and muffin he's ever had in one sitting.