Road Show: Atherton-Innisfail-Gladstone

I’ve succumbed to a cold. Being ill on the road is really annoying.  You’re paranoid that you’re going to pass it on to the rest of the show.  You lack energy.  You’re constantly on the go.  And just when you think you’re ready to roll up into a ball for the night you’re onstage performing hoping you’re not going to lose your voice or sneeze into the front row.  One-word sums it up perfectly:  yuck.

The shame of it all is that you miss out on spending more time with your friends and you don’t feel like you’re a 100% present in the shows.  There is something that is always just keeping you from being in the moment as your mind wanders elsewhere filled with sluggish thoughts and exaggerated movement.

Luckily the three gigs over this period have been great.  Atherton and Innisfail had their very first Road Show experiences and both towns came out in force to enjoy themselves.  Atherton’s show was out the back of a club and really had that old school feel to it.  After the gig I met a bunch of young kids who were shy and articulate, full of ideas and bursting with questions.  They were good to talk to and I can’t help but wonder what seeds were placed in their heads after seeing comedians as diverse and interesting as David Quirk and Deanne Smith delivering the goods in their hometown.

Innisfail was also a fun gig with a loud and boisterous audience who lapped up all of the acts, especially Mike Wilmot.  It may have been the best spot I saw Mike do, a craftsman at the top of his game who prodded, cajoled and spattered the audience with his clever dirty talk.  One woman in the audience genuinely sounded like she was being zapped with electricity after every joke Mike told.  It was glorious to hear and the Johnstone Shire Hall was a beautiful building to perform in.

On the way home I unleashed an album by Kiss upon Dave, Deanne and our tour manager Bridget.  Dave is a Kiss fan and I played for him one of their biggest follies, the album “Music From the Elder”; a concept album written by Kiss back in the early 80’s in an attempt to win back their fan base after their foray into disco driven pop.  The album is terrible and I love it.  I loved it as a ten year old because I honestly thought it was the greatest album ever made.  Now I enjoy it for its misplace audacity and bone headed thinking.  “Music From the Elder” is a great album to listen to when you’re driving through the night with smart friends who will embrace the terrible lyrics and pretentious production.

The next day we caught a flight at 6.45am that stopped in Townsville, Mackay and Rockhampton before finally delivering us to Gladstone.  All up it took four hours and I found my cold had kicked in again.  The venue and the audience that night were much better than me.  The show was great but I found it very difficult to maintain my concentration.  I don’t think anyone on the night would have known but I did.

That night I returned to my room and watched the latest episode of Doctor Who online before going to bed, listening to the sound of my fellow travellers laughing while they played celebrity pot.  I felt so yuck that I didn’t mind not being in there.

One week to go.

Justin Hamilton


29th of May, 2011