I got a car not too long ago, so I decided to fill it up and take a Canberra gang to Sydney. Haven't done the up/back drive before and I'm not so sure I'm that keen to do it again.
I picked up Dave from Woden at 4, then we went up to get Julian and Reuben at their leafy inner north family home, before picking up Jonathan in Bruce once he had finished at work. We got some snacks from the shop there in Bruce and Jonathan picked up at his work in Bruce. Didn't get lost in any of these places, made good time getting around to each one.
We picked up some snacks from the Bruce shops and Jonathan grabbed some ales for the blokes in the back, we were off. Actually went quite smoothly, didn't have any troubles with traffic and we were in Sydney in around 3 hours. Drove into Newtown and there was a park as soon as we came into King St. It was an easy park so I took it, meant there was a bit of a walk, but I wasn't planning on spending hours driving around for a park.
We went into the Sando paid our money but nothing was on yet, so we went up the road to Green Palace for dinner. It's an all veg restaurant, I think most options are vegan. I went there one time before, the food was cold and terrible but this time it was a lot better, had a green curry mixed with some black pepper ~beef~ and rice. It was good stuff, however we did walk past every kind of place under the sun to get there. Between the car and the Green Palace it was probably over a kilometre.
Back to the Sando and Grand Fatal were into their last song. I've never seen them before, but I quite liked their sound, probably because I only watched one song, it was just straight ahead rock. It seems this band has been around forever though, and never really gone anywhere.
It wasn't actually long until The Nation Blue were on, and they were in great form. I don't know a lot of their songs actually, but I really enjoyed the set. They were pretty wild with their equipment, a lot of play the guitar behind the back, headbutt the microphone, throw your guitar onto the ground and try and do a kickflip with it. You know, same as everyone else...
They were loud, there were plenty of singalongs from the crowd, it was a rocking set, I really liked it. I was also quite happy with my position, I was a bit toward the back, with a part of the wall to rest on, still with nothing much obscuring my view. I quite like the new setup of the Sando, a lot more opportunity to actually see the band for a start, and I also like the brick surface, gives it a kind of industrial feel. It also felt like a place where The Nation Blue should play.
They played a show at Tuggeranong skatepark with House vs Hurricane or someone. I didn't go, I just thought the environment would be horrible. From what I've heard I'm pretty sure I was right. I've only seen The Nation Blue once before, it was a long time ago with Thrice, Hot Water Music and Alkaline Trio. I don't think I really liked them actually, but my tastes have changed a bit since then.
It wasn't a long break and A Death In The Family were playing. I don't know a whole lot of their songs either, but I have seen them a bunch of times and enjoyed it each time. I'd been wanting to see them again for a while actually and have been listening to Small Town Stories quite a lot of late. They've released an EP since then, but i haven't heard anything of that.
Anyhow, they kicked things off but there weren't that many people in the room. A friend in Melbourne actually told me that he went to the show last week there and barely anyone was there to watch ADITF. I think they took people by surprise setting up so quickly and they all came into the room in the first couple of songs with a beer in hand.
Through the set, they were just really tight. The songs I knew, it was almost note for note with the recordings, the sound was loud and clear actually. They get some great sounds with their three pronged vocal attack. Eventually it was all over, another great set from a top Australian band, and they played this weird soundbite, which was quite incredible, it was all about the values of the word "fuck" and it's many different uses and how it should be used more often as it is so versatile.
Soon enough, we were on the road again. I headed up King St, Dave suggested going all the way to Cleveland St and then cutting back across, but this seemed like a long way around so I negotiated the backstreets of Newtown. They were incredibly narrow and generally filled with bins spread all around the road, I'm not sure how the garbageman does his run at all.
Eventually we popped out of these alleys and were not blocked by a no right turn sign, we were away. Heading out of Sydney we were accompanied by Break Even's The Bright Side and then Young at Heart.
A stop at Marulan provided only a closed Hungry Jacks and a horrible roadside place that was full of terrible children returning from a ski trip or something. We went onwards through this crazy thick fog. It really slowed down the speed of the trip, I could barely see anything.
We were coming into Canberra eventually, the fog was still thick, couldn't see much, WHACK, into a Kangaroo. Just a few k's from home, after driving 500 of them, and into a kangaroo. Someone told me the stats say that's where most accidents occur and it not such a surprising stat. I was feeling quite shaken up, but the car was still in reasonable shape and we were not hurt. Couldn't say the same for the Kangaroo, but it could have been a lot worse, one of us could have been hurt. In the end that roo would probably fall victim to one of these "kangaroo culls" that they have in Canberra.
I dropped everyone off, then I felt as if I could sleep forever once I got home. It was a great show but those final minutes real changed the talking points of the evening.