10 September 2010

Wherever the road takes us… 12th Avenue August 2010 Tour Diary (Originally posted on MySpace - 6 September 2010)

6 August 2010 – Crossing the border

Not even three of the most annoying cellphone alarm tones can adequately wake me up at 4am. With the stars still shining bright outside, I was awoken by Mark after failing to get up. After a quick shower, I packed the last remaining essential items and we headed off to Cape Town International Airport where we met Bjorn and Brian, along with our Managers, Nicci and Brendan.  After checking in enough equipment to slow the plane down to the speed of the N1’s morning traffic, we had a quick cup of coffee at Wimpy before saying goodbye to Brendan (he had business to attend to in Cape Town) and jetting off to Windhoek, Namibia where we had been invited to play a very special event at Wanderers Sports Club.

After arriving, we had a struggle finding the rest of the band’s guitars, as they had been mistaken by security for hunting rifles and were waiting at the gun counter. We then met our host and set off to the hotel for some welcome drinks. For those of you who don’t know Windhoek, the airport is in the middle of the desert, so after driving for what felt like the lifetime of a common house fly, we reached the oasis that is the Safari Court Hotel, our accommodation for the night. (We were meant to stay at the 3-star Hotel Safari, but we got bumped up to the 4-Star Safari Court, free of charge. Booyah!) After a drink by the pool, we headed off to RadioWave for a short (really short) live interview. However, I had time to hijack the station’s computer and update our Facebook page. After that it was time for soundcheck and then off to dinner at Joe’s Beerhouse. After eating a meal equivalent to the size of my mom’s famous Christmas lunch, we rolled out of Joe’s and returned to the Hotel for a shower , some bad Namibian TV and a pre-show nap to “work” off the food.

Before we knew it, it was show time. Namibia knows how to rock. We had an awesome show and were pretty surprised at how many people knew the lyrics to our songs. It was great to hear the crowd singing back so enthusiastically. After the show, it was off to ZanziBar’s VIP Lounge for the after-party.  After consuming an entire snack platter myself, we eventually headed back to the hotel in the early hours of the morning. Mission accomplished.

26 August 2010 – A girl named Jozi

Johannesburg, where there are almost as many shopping malls as there are cars on the roads. Let’s not even get started on the roads. Not even 2 GPS systems and an iPhone can help a bunch of Capetonians find their way around properly.

After arriving via One Time Airlines, who were cool enough to increase our luggage limit by elephant size times kg’s; we were met by our hosts, Craig and Michelle Davis, who are the most hospitable people in the world. Little did we know that for the next few days, they’d be feeding us possibly 4 times more than what we ate at Joe’s in Windhoek a few weeks back.  Once the van was packed tighter than a minibus taxi, we made our way to TUKS FM for an interview and acoustic performance.  After getting lost a few more times, we collected some extra equipment, courtesy of Jean Village Music, and arrived at Tings ‘n Times in Pretoria, where we had a rocking show with Ode and The Monroes, two really awesome bands. After a good party, we got lost a bit more and made it back to the house for a well-deserved sleep.

27 August 2010 – Earthquake!

After a massive breakfast, it was time for a long overdue meeting with Sheer Music, our publishers. The meeting went very well and we all left feeling a whole lot better about life. Kovsie FM phoned Mark for a live interview and apparently he sounded good on air. I was a bit out of it during this time, as I was over-medicated, trying to fight a cold. As Jerry Seinfeld says, “Tell me what dosage will kill me, and then take it down a notch.”

Back to the house for a day of Guitar Hero and a Lasagne that Garfield would be proud of, it was time to head off to Roxy’s in Melville for Joburg Burning. Although the venue seems to have lost its appeal a bit (possibly because the drinks cost a small fortune), we had fun on stage and it was cool to meet the guys from Evolver One, who played after us. We had some fun after the show by building a tower of bottles on the table and then proceeding to do an “earthquake test”. We left soon after that…

28 August 2010 – Mystic mayhem

Yet another enormous breakfast! Om nom nom nom… fast forward 4 hours later and after a hot, slightly cramped drive, we arrived at Die Mystic Boer in Bloemfontein for soundcheck. After soundcheck we had a braai at Pedro from All Will Fall’s place. We stayed over there after the show. Big thanks to Pedro and Chantelle for looking after us. After filling our stomachs, it was time to hit the stage. This show was the highlight of the tour. Close to 500 screaming fans jumped, clapped and screamed their lungs out. Audio Nebula, who opened, were a very impressive new band, and All Will Fall, who celebrated their 100th show, closed in style and were extremely entertaining as always. In what seems to be a tradition when we play together, Craig from All Will Fall joined us on stage for guest vocals on “Beds Are Burning”, which totally rocked.

After the show, we had what could’ve been the wildest end-of-tour party. It equalled the end of our tour with Seether in 2008. Since I’m trying to keep this PG at the least, let’s just say that Motley Crue would’ve been proud of us.

29 August 2010 – Uggghhh…

Another long drive back to Joburg. Brian taught me and Bjorn how to make “On-the-road Muesli” by mixing yoghurt and Nuttikrust biscuits. The rest is kind of a hot, sweaty, smelly blur; apart from Mark yelling “it’s stuck to me! It’s in my mouth! Uggghhhh!!!” after someone let one rip in the van.  Gross, but funny all at once. A braai fit for kings awaited us at Craig and Michelle’s place and we spent a bit more time resting up and playing Guitar Hero before heading home. Thanks very much again to Craig and Michelle for all they did for us on this tour. We’ll see you guys soon!

Keep your eyes on our website - www.12thavenueband.com - for our upcoming tour dates. We’re bringing life jackets to the next one… (I’d tell you what this is about, but then I’d have to kill you)

Peace homies!  :p
Gareth Haze
The guy making the noise behind the drums

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