To be honest I do feel lucky to be alive.
To have toured through Christchurch twice playing a total of 9 shows in the area. 4 of them in the Epicentre town of Lyttleton. One can only feel blessed to have missed out on the crazyness by the little time I did.
My thoughts are with the people I met who are effected by the Earthquake.
By the time I returned to the South Island to play my final month of shows in NZ I was pretty exhausted. Broken down equipment, vehicles and (on some counts communications) had taken it`s toll. However truth be told I was always reminded of the the good things by the simple fact that I was surrounded by beautiful sky, sun and people.
Two of those beautiful people were a great couple in the form of a muso called Midge Mcleary http://www.myspace.com/midgeman and his awesome Mrs Annabelle. They helped to introduce me to many other great folks who mearly added to the joy of the place. One of those folks was a fellow called Jersey Bob. http://www.myspace.com/bobvincent He joined me for a run of shows lasting about a week and a half. How refreshing it was to have another muso with me to share tour stories, geeky band obsessions and all things from alternate tunings to the roots of our own songs. His music is wonderfully honest and refreshingly direct.
After parting ways with Bob I ventured back down the west coast of the South Island, Stopping to check out the Able Tasman. Yet another of New Zealands breathtaking locations of unspoilt serene nature. I hate to sound like I work for the NZ tourism bunch but it is just one of those places. I also played a couple of shows in the aforementioned Christchurch. Very fortunately I had no run ins with natural disasters. I had one show from that run that really stuck in my head as the locals at the venue were not really too interested in the noises I had to make. However a collection of people who had seen me in various locations around NZ randomly converged that night to turn the gig into a real epic. I was so blown away by the support shown. I even got impromptu drums in the mix.
The west coast shows were very much a mixed bag but there was always something to lift my spirits be it strangers who seemed to know my material or even people shouting out requests. One of which being a shout for the song `Spun`from my `The Distance From Here` record. I hadn`t played the song in over 2 years and could even specifically remember the last time the song was aired was in a Duo show with Double Bass player Riad Abji back in Bournemouth in 2008. So from Bournemouth to Fox Glacier the tune makes it`s unrehearsed return to the fray. I didn`t fuck it up (Too much).
The final stint was shows in Wanaka, Te Anau, Milford Sound and Invercargill. The Invercargill show was a last min addition to the run after the disaster in Christchurch halted me in the area for longer than planned. These additional two shows proved to be the perfect way to end the tour. Playing shows to music students outside on a sunny day. This also proved to be useful as I was invited into the studio to lay down a new song. Which (when mixed) I hope will make it`s way on here.
My thanks once again must go out to all the folks who helped me. Especially Sandy Dee who helped me more than I could ever expect. Thank you Sandy. With out your help the 70 date nationwide tour would simply not have happened. Thanks must also go to Naomi Hirata and last but not least thank you Aotearoa.
Next stop Brisbane.