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Brisbane. The Brisbane Convention Centre. Goodbye Australia. Hello New Zealand. 10th -12th oct.

October 11, 2017

Awake at 5 am. That’s annoying.
I try to call home, but again our shifts are at odds.

I miss my beloveds. Dearly.

I go to breakfast.
I pack bags.
Dull.

Meeting G in the lobby, we leave for the airport at 11am, having at the 11th hour just had our yesterday laundry delivered, and I am now dressed in my clean travel comfortables.

The flight is as flights are.
In the sky.

I’m fuggy longer than is my wont.

On the plane, I am sat next to an elderly lady who arrived by wheelchair.
She asks if I don’t mind climbing over her.
I don’t.
I am as lithe as my carcass allows and managed not to imprint my arse onto her face in the process.
I am proud.
She survives.

Arrived, we are deposited at the hotel.
We are met by helpful staff and I am quickly situated in my room, which is large with fine views and old furniture.
I sample it for the briefest time before, packed for the show, I climb into our car, which is waiting to transport us to the venue.

I have cause to be delighted by the trees I have clocked here, the rich blossom of which is perfect paint-box lilac.

I wish my mum could have seen them.

The venue, The Brisbane Convention Centre, which is expansive and is purpose built for many different exhibitions of one kind or another, requires us to climb some many stairs up, but has equipped us with a very fine space, and whist the sound is boomy and precarious at sound check, it later proves to be one of the most pleasing on the night of this tour to date – when bodies have dampened the ringing auditorium.

I will not be as close as I like to be but it is situated in such a way that the lights do not drown the room, and the atmosphere is in our favour. I can lose myself in the night sky that the dark outlook suggests to me.

We have a nice back stage too.
A lounge from which feeds off rooms for the crew and the boys and for me.

Dinner is not so clever as last night, but again I have to carve away half of the meat slice that threatens to induce me into a coma were I to attempt digesting a whole piece before showtime.
3 hours to go as it is.

It is soon time we take to the stage, and this time every member of my team wants to check that I am properly connected to my monitor, after my last nights amateur-hour fuck up.

Houston, I receive you, and we are away.

I sing and I am delighted by the sound.
It is perhaps, as I have indicated, the clearest I have had, and warm too.
The balance on stage for me is perfect and allows for a very satisfying sing.
I am gratified that I can hear every inflection in my voice and am able to add which ever colour, with firm belief that it is reliable.

I had been mildly anxious after last night in Sydney, and the serious high we come down from.
I am told to expect a more conservative crowd, while others dispute this.
It is a more formal room for sure, but I feel heart in the city.

A woman on my Facebook yesterday posted that she didn’t know whether to sack off tonight, not knowing if it was 2 hours wasted she would never get back, disliking, as she recently discovered, my Other album.
That she was likely only to appreciate 6 songs in my set and wanted advice about whether she would be wiser to stay at home on her sofa with her ‘flatscreen, wine and nibbles’

I advised her to do just that.
She thanked me for my feedback.

Another had said she was excited and how thrilled she had been recently by a Kim Wilde show.

Kim and I were not really known to one another back in the day, but I have seen things since that make me suspect I would like the woman that she is very much indeed.

Kim is not by any means my issue,but the inference that we all, of a similar age, perform nostalgic 80’s shows flashes red lights.

I make up my now somewhat tour haggard, hangdog face, listening to my book.
Fools Quest – Fitz and the Fool, book 2 by Robin Hobb.

G shows me a digital copy of the Uk Tour Programme and we are both very pleased.
It looks good and has plenty of content.
Where as this morning I was gruff from a big sing, my voice had opened pleasingly, made better still by a methodical warm up with Sean and some straw blowing.
I am delighted to have completed my North American gigs and now Australia without compromised vocal capabilities.

I did the barest minimum however in sound check, not wanting to push, feeling tired and not yet eased in.

We start to sing our prerequisite warm up songs, but find ourselves distracted in heavy-head territory, sharing our significant life losses.

I feel cold and unfeeling by pulling us out of it mid-sentence with the suggestion we sing again.

We shouldn’t go on stage with these thoughts last in our minds, I think.

On stage we are met with a keen welcome.
We are pleased with the energy emanating from our audience.

Whilst it is true that my declaring my ‘Yes’ leanings, and the song we have written that honours the LGBT community, were noticeably less widely and warmly received than that which we enjoyed in Sydney and Melbourne, the audience were very attentive and kindly and at no time rejected the experience or voiced whatever it was they felt about it.
They listened intently.

Indeed they were also very spirited when the opportunity came for them to get up and celebrate.
We had each other in heart.
I felt this.
I very much enjoyed singing here.
I was glad to be in this place and singing.

When we came off, before the encores, Sean was noticeably distressed.
He had been assailed during the show by a flying insect, the nature of which he could not tell.
I remember on stage seeing the shadow of something flying and it clearly took a liking to him.
He was wearing wool cloth to be fair.
Dougie said later, and with confidence in his black-country drawl, that it was a moth.
Sean had been anxious the whole time that he would be somehow consumed.
We, in England, are distressed by house flies.
We all know that Australia has deadly beasties that vie for our souls.
It is understood.

He didn’t respond warmly to my encouraging touch/push to go back on.

He is not often out of sorts.
Now I know foreign insects are his nemesis. I will be more patient next time they encroach on his territory.

I remember telling my son once, when he was a mere babe, that spiders – he was terrified of them – were wonderful creatures because they rid us of vile, disgusting flies.
Instead of losing his fear of arachnids, it developed in him another.
Spiders AND flies.
Language is so important to nail when we have the care of young humans.

After the show, happy with the result and Sean now determined to put his experience behind him, we sit in our communal space and consume the rider.

G has invited back two women friends that she knew from her youth and have since emigrated here. They have travelled 3 hours (these are round the corner distances for Ausis) to watch, and we all, the band and crew included, had a happy time chatting and resting our bones.

I don’t have a gig for 2 days, travelling to New Zealand tomorrow as we are, so it is permissible.

Eventually and inevitably we are kicked out, and I am back in my room.
Soon I am asleep,

In the morning I wake at 8.30.
I stare for a bit at things that can be stared at, and then at around 10, I take myself out to find coffee and food.

I find coffee round the corner at an outdoor concession where the barista appears to be blind.

I think this is a ‘care in the community’ style outfit, but then he opens his eyes and I see he was merely demonstrating to the previous customer that he can make coffee with his eyes closed.

They laughed.

His hearing, though, was spot on.

Skinny Cappuccino – no chocolate.

It tasted like full-fat, but it did the job nonetheless.

I’m not fussed.

I find myself in a pedestrian shopping centre and then in a mall.
I am thinking I could maybe buy something for my kids. For my man.
I have case space now.

Within 15 minutes I have told approximately 12 people that yes, I am well, thank you.
And have thus far bought nothing.

I quickly tire on the topic of my health.

I suspect they will not want me to expand on the fact that the toe joints on my right foot are troubling me, dint of having to wear actual shoes so often lately.

I suspect they are not truly interested, so I don’t list symptoms.

I decamp to the food hall for breakfast, where I am indeed, multiple times, still very well.
Thank you.

The choice here is many, if not massively varied.
I settle on a snack size jacket potato with chilli beans.

It seems like the healthiest option.
Trouble with healthy options is that they mostly shun salt.
Bugger that.
I have very low blood pressure.
My G.P. health check advisor said I don’t need to cut down on my salt intake.

That’s like telling an alcoholic absinthe is not on the avoid list.

I’m like a pig in shit.
I’m not about to argue it anytime soon.
I snort salt like a cocaine bastard.

I limp back to my hotel and run a very pleasing bath.

L’occitaine hotel sundries.
Nice.

Although we have a late check-out of 3:30pm, I manage to miss my call by 15 minutes, and G is arranging to send up scouts when I appear.
Poor show, Mo.

We arrive at the airport for our first international flight in a while.
Passport? Check.
The crew have trollies loaded with equipment and instrument and we gather together around the check-in as we are all processed.

The flight to Wellington is 3 hours 20 minutes.
I eat airplane food and write this.

Time has stretched another 3 hours.

We land a day later than we left.
My 7th time zone.
I’m fucking titanium.
They forgot the F word when they wrote that song.
I go up to eleven.

Post script.

I can’t get my photos to load.

I’ll do it later.

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