Sunday, January 2, 2011

Introducing the enhanced 2011 blog, and a review of 2010.

What are you doing on the internet?  It's the holidays.  Go outside and hunt snakes or something.  Since you're here, though, take a look around:  My blog just got a little bit more awesomer.  Now there are all these tabs at the top, with extra pages hiding behind them: you can go and listen to songs, look at videos, see where I'm playing, and stuff like that.  The idea is that this should be the only website on the entire internet that you ever have to visit in your life, which will boost my traffic and help me to make more money to invest in turtles.

Anyway, now that it's just turned 2011, it seems like a good time to do one of those 'year in review' sort of things that people do, like with best ofs and worst ofs and stuff.  This one is purely and solely about me, so you are bound to find it less interesting that I do.  Trust me though:  I'm having fun.

Here's what the Bond Street Bridge 2010 looked like as a series of isolated and loosely-related facts:

Total shows:  Something like 83, but I lost count.  That's not just as Bond St though, that's everything.  Heartbreakers, Reb's band, Hannah's band, An Emerald City.  But: not couting busking.  Nights where I played in more than one band on the same bill, like Bond Street Bridge opening for the Hearbreakers, count as one.  Not that the rules matter much, given that I lost count, but it's around about there somewhere.

Most Southerly show:  Chick's Hotel, Port Chalmers, NZ with the Broken Heartbreakers and Death By Silo:  45°48'51.90"S

Most Northerly show: Loppen, Christiania, Denmark with Black Mountain and An Emerald City -  55°33'37.42"N

Shortest time between shows in different locations: Mauersegler, in Prenzlauer Berg in the afternoon to Tacheles, in Mitte in the evening: 1.5 hours by foot and two trains in a 39 degree heatwave with all these amps and stuff that looked light to begin with but became heavier and less wieldy as as the day got hotter.  Not complaining, just saying.

Longest drive between consecutive shows: Berlin on the Friday to Lewes on the Sunday, 1,147 km.

Top speed on land: 181 kph between Hamburg and Berlin.

Scariest place to wander around before a show:  Reeperbahn, Hamburg.  Lots of third-day-drunk Englishmen and massive Polish pimps, as well as obsessive middle-aged fans looking for the Beatles.

 An Emerald City on the Reeperbahn.  I can't decide if we look cool or not, but I'm leaning toward yeah, definitley.

Biggest venue:  Auckland Town hall with the Broken Heartbreakers at the music for 1,000 lovers show that Rohan put together sometime in May.

Smallest venue: The back room of East of Eden Bookstore, Freidrichshain, Berlin.

Most surfabilly werewolves on a single bill:  High Seas Capsize party at the wine cellar with a whole bunch of Stink Magnetic awesomeness.  Also a very good poster:

Best tour buddy: Ms Millicent Crow.

Worst tour buddy: Would you believe me if I told you there wasn't one?  There wasn't one.  Actually Mavis the authoritarian GPS was a bit annoying, but on average she got us out of more scrapes than she got us into, which is what you want in a tour buddy.

Most solar-powered show:  In southern Germany, near the Rhine, there was this 400-year old barn on a vineyard in a town called Botzingen, where a bunch of solarelectrical engineers live.  They recycled broken solar panels from their work and used them to power their postapocayptic solarpunk lifestyle.  We stayed with them for a few days in August and played a show to their friends and neighbours. When civilazation collapses and the zombies are chewing on the power grid, all shows will be like this.

Most incongruous lineup at a gig:  Would have to be at Ieperfest, where An Emerald City shared the bill with Agnostic Front and Converge.  This fixture also takes the title for:

Most ridiculous chain of events following a show:  The thing where I fell over, smashed up my face, bled my way through UK immigration, missed a train, slept on the pavement, and got laughed at by seagulls.

Most fun onstage at a show:  Broken Heartbreakers album release show at the Grey Lynn Library hall, because we were on form and the room was full of love.  This is a tie with An Emerald City at Loppen, because we were on form and the room was full of vikings.

Most opportunistic jumping-on-a-bill to get a free ticket to see a band I like:  Dylan comes to band practice and goes 'Hey I just got asked to open for the Mountain Goats at the Kings Arms,' and I go 'I bet you need a mandolin player, eh?'
'Well I hadn't really though about it.  I was just going to do it solo probably.'
'No, you'll definitely need a mandolin player.  What if John Darnielle challenges you to a fight or like an arm-wrestle or something and you don't have backup?'
'That's pretty unlikely to happen I would think.'
'Well, OK, that's up to you if you want to take that kind of risk.  But we could do a Midlake cover.'
'Van Occupanther?  With harmonies?'
'You got it.'
'OK, the gig's on the tenth or something.  Let's maybe have a pratice first.'

Best use of Led Zeppelin in a touring context:  Rolling off the fery into Denmark rocking Immigrant Song pretty hard through a ten-watt amplifier with everyone doing the screamy bits at the beginning of the verse.  Happy days.