#ArtBlog 34: The Complete First Tour on Video

#ArtBlog 34: The Complete First Tour on Video

September 2008 

Years before the tours with Al Green and Tori Amos was the (slightly less-glamorous) first Australian tour for The Ray Mann Three. These 10 videos feature the 12 people who caught it.

With no radio airplay, being completely anonymous outside our home town, and playing not-rock music, we were plunged straight into a 30-date tour around regional NSW and QLD, a.k.a. the pub rock heartland of Australia.

Yup, didn’t make much sense to me either. On the right is my original idea for the tour poster.

These videos are an anthology of what could also be called The Glamorous Anonymous Tour: A Collection Of Concert Videos Where The Camera Pans Around To Show Rooms With Less People In The Audience Than There Are On The Stage.

So here are the, erm, “highlights” of The Ray Mann Three Album Tour, 2008.

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When everyone in the audience requests you play one particular song, you can’t say no to all five of them.

This move (and some of the ones below) kept us from being chased out of some towns…

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Occasionally, helpful patrons generously offer to teach us how to be a “real” band. This night at least, we had the Armidale massive on our side. The army-dale was small but dedicated – they turned that community centre into the dance capital of the world:

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A common, recurrent scene throughout this tour:

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On the upside: yeah, this guy goes alright.

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People think I’m joking when I tell them that, at some gigs in Australia, folks just don’t think what you’re playing is music until it starts sounding like Led Zeppelin. For those people, here’s the proof:

And yes, we were in a restaurant.

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Speaking of not playing “real” music: while we were playing ‘Morena’ at this Coffs Harbour show, one punter approached our sound guy, who was mixing us at the time, and asked him: “Can we turn on the jukebox now?”

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Occasionally, there’s the odd gig that is just hella fun, a fever-pitch of looseness that this next video doesn’t even come close to capturing. The kids in Coolum are up for a good time, no matter who you are. Gawd bless Sol Bar, you are missed.

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We did have some sweet experiences too, like this one in Byron Bay:

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The most glamorous stop of the tour: the Gold Coast. We were double-booked, “asked” to play three hours later than scheduled, and, for our troubles, generously squeezed in a corner between the poker machines and an empty food buffet. ROCK.

What else is there to do for exactly the 90 mins you are obligated to play (and not one SECOND more) than play an improv prog-soul set? This particular “song” lasted 35 minutes – and yes, we felt like this looks:

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And, to finish: some more footage from Coffs Harbour. After “jukebox” chick was denied, her mate took it upon himself to turn us into a “real” band. The results were… well, no, really – who saw THIS coming?

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