Dominic Hoey (aka Tourettes) reports from his 17-town tour of New Zealand with singer-songwriter Skyscraper Stan and side-kick Josh Jugum.
Day six of the tour and we’ve made it to Christchurch. It feels like months have passed since we left Auckland filled with hope and vegan pies. Back then I didn’t know every one of Stan’s songs by heart, Josh was simply an out of work coffee roaster before being promoted to our champagne drinking tour manager and I hadn’t made fun of Bill Manhire at a Wellington literary festival.
On that first sunny day, we made it to Rotorua without incident, we’d sold a few tickets and I was excited to try out some new poems. While Stan and I packed into the venue, Josh wandered off muttering about hot pools. Showtime arrived and he was nowhere to be found, figuring he must be still at the hot pools we started playing. Mid-way through Stan’s set, Josh bursts into the hall, carrying a half-empty box of beers, and proceeded to heckle Stan until he was asked to leave.
The next day on the way to Napier the horn got stuck. We pulled over, opened the bonnet and took turns staring at the engine. It was like the beginning to some shitty joke; a poet, a musician and an unemployed barista try to fix a car. So we continued down the North Island, the horn blaring, all wearing earplugs and pained expressions. We arrived in Napier and our gracious host, Jamie, put us up in the upstairs of an old bank that had an Overlook Hotel vibe about it. That night as we played downstairs to an attentive audience. The faint whine of the horn could be heard in the distance.
By Saturday morale had taken a nose dive. Maybe it was the horn, or the hangovers or Josh having to listen to me and Stan’s stupid jokes for four nights in a row.
In Wellington, we managed to get the horn to stop by hitting the engine repeatedly with Stan’s guitar case. Feeling reinvigorated with our handy work, we headed to Lit Crawl to perform. Josh was mistaken for our manager and given the show fee, which was met with much hilarity until later that night when we realised he’d spent half of it on Champagne. This led to a nasty incident in the lift of the Comfort Hotel, culminating in Josh throwing a box of my novels on the ground, screaming that he hated literature anyway.
Sunday we dragged ourselves out of bed at 7 am to catch the ferry to Picton. The boat was filled with hundreds of children with their names printed on matching grey tracksuits.
“What’s going on?” I asked one of their minders, a stern looking woman in her 50s who had a particularly unruly child named Toby in a headlock.
“It’s a new government scheme,” she said wearily. “They’re rounding up all the worse kids in New Zealand and moving them to Westport.” She released the headlock and Toby ran off screaming and locked himself in the toilets.
There wasn’t a spare seat on the boat so we stood outside shriving and fending of any children who got too close. That night we played at Le Café in Picton and stayed in a boathouse that overlooked the sounds. There was an earthquake but we were too drunk to notice. This morning I woke to Stan standing in my bedroom, telling me that Josh had been attacked by a seal.
We didn’t have time to seek medical attention as we had to get to Christchurch before seven pm and despite his seal related injuries Josh had to drive seeing as I don’t know how and Stan is above that kind of thing. It was a long seven hours with Josh pulling over to be sick by side of the road more than once, but we made it. As I sit here writing this Josh is in bed with a fever. We hope he pulls through because otherwise fuck knows how we’re going to make it home.
The remaining dates are:
Wednesday- 15 Nov- Okaritio – Okaritio Hall
Thursday 16 Nov -Lyttelton -Hell Fire Club
Friday 17 Nov -Christchurch- Space Academy
Saturday 18 Nov -Dunedin- Dog With Two Tails
Sunday 19 Nov – Oamaru- Grainstore Gallery
Monday 20 Nov – Wanaka – Gin and Raspberry
Wednesday 22 Nov – Golden bay -Mussel Inn (free entry)
Thursday 23 Nov – Moutere- Moutere Inn (free entry)
Friday 24 Nov – Palmerston North -Looking Glass Lounge
Saturday 25 Nov – Auckland -The Wine Cellar
Sunday 26 Nov – Leigh – Leigh Sawmill
$10 pre-sale $15 on the door, get tickets here.
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