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Friday, April 9, 2010

Mo' Events, Mo' Problems

A few things coming up...

Bron is coming out of retirement and DJing tonight at Vegas in Sydney.

Next YIS show is Wednesday, 21st of June at The Old Bar supporting Baptism of Uzi; last gig before Andre goes away for a month.

We've also just organised an Adelaide show for July; Saturday the 10th at the Grace Emily with The Molting Vultures. Hopefully another Adelaide show and we'd like to play some regional VIC shows in the week beforehand (Mildura, Warnambool, wherever we're wanted), so, if you can help out with any of that, let us know!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easter Tour Report

2000km later, we're home! So, this weekend...

Thursday night was really daunting, especially as the show was delayed half an hour, and in that time, Kim Salmon happened to walk in. Fark. I've been looking forward to this show for months, and we were pretty nervous to be playing with three awesome bands in front of a big crowd... but I think we did pretty damn good. And also, despite having the shortest set of the night, we managed to have the most gear out of anyone. Hmm.

Kim and his Precious Jules were up after us. The song "Cheap and Nasty" was a highlight; very scuzzy-glam rock with "heys!". Love it. (By the way, the new Surrealists album is awesome, and you can listen for free right here at Low Transit Industries.) Legends were great (as per usual), but Digger just slayed everyone; really tight/loud/hilarious set, capped off with their brilliant cover of The Make Up's "Save Yourself". I played guitar tech for a couple of songs and felt very special.

Anyway, next day, we set off for the Can. The trip was long and a bit daunting; I was the lone driver, with Andre on company duties in the passenger seat and Bronwyn on sleeping and drooling duty in the back seat. The soundtrack was pretty solid on the way up, including my favourite album "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot", as well as the new Digger (very solid album).

By the time we hit Wodonga, the hunger set in... problem being that it was Good Friday and the place was a ghost town... We found somewhere to eat before we crossed the border into enemy territory...

Since we've never done the drive up the Hume any further than Wangaratta, we got some tips about things to see on the way, one of which being the MASSIVE SUBMARINE IN THE MIDDLE OF HOLBROOK. Wasn't expecting it to be that big.

Post-Holbrook listening was a treat; we listened to this unbelievable audiobook version of Dracula, produced by Hammer Horror and narrated by Christopher Lee. Words can't do it justice, just listen for yourself.

We hit Canberra listening to "Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space"... damn, that place is dark and green. The song "Cool Waves" came on when we turned onto the bridge which leads up to the new Parliament House. A nice moment.

Friday night was spent chowing down on some delicious okonomiyaki made by Bron (as shown above) with some Blue Tongue lager, and exploring about 50 different versions of XTC's "Making Plans For Nigel" on Youtube. Most of which are horrible.

Also, dips in Canberra = tops. Personal favourites were some weird hybids dips that we don't have down here: baba-hommous and beetroot-hommous. We also indulged in some top-shelf dark chocolate ice-cream which tasted like rich, delicious cake batter. Really freakin' good.

The next day we got up late, and some breakfast/brunch/lunch in town and did a bit of touristy stuff. Above is Andre looking angry in the old Senate. Below is Andre looking angry in the new Senate.

Also dropped into the PM's office. Sadly you couldn't sit in the seat.
He also happened to have some cool looking recording gear.

I was suffering from Melbourne withdrawals, so I found the local ABC radio station (666 on your AM dial if you're ever in Canberra) to listen to the last quarter of the Collingwood vs Melbourne game. Made it home and Bron was cooking up a delicious traditional Greek Easter chicken soup dish (kinda half way between a risotto and a soup, with rice, chicken, vegetables and lemon) which provided us with some much needed pre-gig nourishement.

We went down to The Front a few hours later. The venue is pretty much like someone's loungeroom; really comfy couches in a nice room, with an artists/gallery space next door with some cool wire sculptures. The only problem was that it was totally empty, aside from the two artists who were on staff for the evening and the weird sculptures and taxidermied animals that live around the place. We had happened to book the show the same weekend as the National Folk Festival, where everyone in Canberra that hadn't gone away from the weekend happened to be.
But people came! We managed to find the only people left in Canberra, and the place filled up around 8pm.

Opening up was a band called Teddy Trouble; a local three-piece with a bit of an early Flying Nun thing going on with some nice extra touches (12-string electric, delay on bass and the backup vocals).

Along with Sarah (pictured below with her companion Chris), there were plenty of ex-pats and visitors from Melbourne and beyond at the show; it was ace to see friends from back home (thanks for the beers, Doyle!) as well as old friends I hadn't seen in ages from Adelaide and family members of Melbourne friends. Also was nice to finally put some faces to names from the interwebs.
The show was a lot of fun and the vibe was awesome. Everyone stuck around for drinks afterwards (as well as race-car chocolates and marzipan eggs) until we hit the wall and dragged our weary bones back to our home for the evening to eat the leftover soup and listen to abysmal early 90s rave music.
The next morning we did the teary goodbyes and posed against this white wall before going up the Federal Highway to Sydney.

Our home for the night was the St Peters Formule 1 hotel, sandwiched in-between a KFC and a McDonalds. Below is the view from our window.

Found the closest Turkish eatery we could park directly outside of and chowed down on some kebabs/felafel/subs/ginger beer before loading in at The Lansdowne. Once again; pretty empty, but it was still early. We grabbed a pint and I sat down to watch my beloved Tigers get mauled by Footscray.

...although it wasn't really unexpected. I often get in a pretty foul mood after a loss at football (which is pretty dangerous if you're a Richmond supporter), but seeing lots of familiar faces along with the power of Coopers Pale Ale helped me ignore the 12-goal thrashing my team was enduring.
Yes I'm Leaving opened up the show; freakin' brilliant band and really nice guys who lent us most of the backline for the gig. Despite threats of a Minpins solo set from Andre, Whipped Cream Chargers managed to arrive with minutes to spare from a fashion shoot (all looking very sharp) and plowed through a half-hour of shoegaze/garage before the rest of The Nice Folk arrived safely from the Gong. Another awesome band with great people.
Then it was our turn; I was pretty nervous again. Managed to set everything up alright and with time to spare, so that made things a little easier. We played pretty damn well and the crowd response was amazing; there was dancing and toe-tapping and people cheered, and we even got called back on for our first encore ever. I blew my voice out a couple of songs earlier, but we manage to limp through a cover of Mudhoney's "Sweet Young Thing Ain't Sweet No More".
We loaded out and parked outside, and spent the time chatting to Sydney friends and the Yes I'm Leaving dudes, as well as new friends who came up to chat after the show. It was a really nice way to end tour and we can't wait to come back.

Yah Yah's Setlist: Going To Explode/Message/Lizardman/Infin/Sweet Young Thing (Mudhoney)/Electronic Love/Trevor Block Rockin' Beats
The Front, Canberra Setlist: Going To Explode/Trevor Block Rockin' Beats/Baby Come On/Ghost Rider(Suicide)/Lizardman/Electronic Love/Infin/Message
Lansdowne Setlist: Message/Trevor Block Rockin' Beats/Baby Come On/Ghost Rider(Suicide)/Lizardman/Electronic Love/Infin/Going To Explode//Sweet Young Thing (Mudhoney)

So, thanks to Sarah for putting on our Canberra show and having us to stay, as well as Pat for having us and playing some amazing cowbell... to Leyne for booking the Lansdowne show... Andy Moore for having us at the Digger show (and being a yellow-and-black shoulder to cry on)... Kate Wilson and Shaun at Tenzenmen for putting us in touch with supports... Lax & The Nice Folk for playing and being awesome, as well as the Teddy Trouble and Yes I'm Leaving dudes for playing and sharing their gear... and anyone who came. Best weekend ever.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

YISCHEF: Easter Edition - Hot Cross Buns

For the buns (this makes 12):

2 sachets of dried yeast

1 tsp raw sugar

1 cup warm water

4 cups plain flour

a pinch of salt

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp mixed spice

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp dutch cinnamon

1/2 cup currants

1/2 cup sultanas

1/2 cup muscatels

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup rice bran oil

For the cross:

1/2 a cup of plain flour

enough water to form a paste-like consistency (about 4 tbspns or so)

For the glaze:

half a cup of good quality (preferably homemade) apricot jam, melted

Do this:

Mix the yeast with the cup of warm water and raw sugar and let prove for a few minutes. Meanwhile, put the fruit, oil, 1/2 a cup of water, brown sugar and spices into a saucepan and heat. While that's happening, sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the yeast and warmed fruit mixture to the flour, and mix gently with a palette knife (a butter knife will suffice if you don't have one) until barely combined, then finish working the mixture with your hands till it comes together to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead till the dough is smooth (usually takes about ten minutes). Chuck into lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling wrap. Set aside in a warm place till the dough doubles in size. That should take one to two (at the most) hours. Once this is done, punch dough down to its original size, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Divide into 12 even portions and roll each portion into a ball. Put the buns onto a tray lined with greaseproof paper, about a centimetre apart. Cover tray with a tea towel and put aside in a warm place for about half an hour, or until buns double in size. While that's going on, preheat your oven to 190 degrees (180 if it's fan-forced).

For the crosses, mix the flour and water together until smooth, adding more water if the paste is too thick. Put paste into a piping bag with a small nozzle (or if you don't have one, you can use one of those snap-lock bags with a corner snipped off). Pipe flour paste over the tops of the buns. Chuck your buns in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are cooked through.

Melt the apricot jam and brush over the buns while they're still warm. These are best eaten warm, preferably on the day they're made. Accompanied by a pot of strong Twinings Earl Grey tea. Enjoy!