DFT Diary - Saturday 9th July
We had more workshops to do this morning, so I woke the crew up early again. We drove back to Port Hedland last night so it was late by the time we got in. Emily and I had forgotten to include today’s workshops in the itinerary so the crew had all thought they would get a good sleep in before the big show. Rob was anxious to rehearse with Mary G, while Ewan was very distracted, worrying about getting the set up under way as early as possible to out any hitches and do sound checks for all six of the performers. However, today’s workshops are the most important of all as the BHP sponsors will there. Today will be run beside a basketball carnival held at the youth centre in South Hedland. We are expected to run some of the workshops there for kids as an adjunct, over in the hall.
With everybody’s combined effort we had the whole show set up, completed and packed away by 11:30 am. I took everyone down to the hotel restaurant for lunch before the final set-up. It was the first time we have eaten a nice sit down meal together the whole trip, and it was a real panacea to ease the stress that has built up over days of not stopping. Both Em and I ate a huge T-bone so Bella got two huge bones to chew on in the back of the truck. The whole lot came to $450.00! That’s an expensive treat and I was glad we didn’t have to do that too often, but it was well worth it. These guys have been super and I could not have done it without their enthusiasm and extra work that they have all have contributed.
With a belly full of good tucker, we all felt better.
This year we outsourced the publicity and promotion of our major concert to another company. Amber from White Room is a force to be reckoned with. A small petite blond haired, blue eyed bombshell, she has had to excel above the norm to overcome the stereotype of the beauty that might misrepresent her. A lawyer by trade, she drove the Haulpacks for BHP for years before setting up her own business, which has now accommodated some world class acts. The association came about by chance. We saw the promotional work they had done for a previous concert as we left Newman last Tour and we were impressed. The relationship is a blessing and the effort tripled our attendance.
The Kiwirrkurra boys had done their bit to promote the concert too so we had a massive following arrive before sundown. The audience was a cultural fusion and from that point on I was happy. Only one moment during the night did I worry when some people arrived with a few cartons of beer to drink in the park, and I could not get hold of the police. However it turns out that the captain of the Hedland Police was sitting in our audience, so once I pointed out the situation to him it was resolved instantly. Ideally it would be better if it had been prevented rather than stopped, however no further issue resulted. The dancing was orchestrated by Countrymen and Englishmen combined. It was the cherry on the pie for me.
Ewan also had a teary moment when his beloved Kiwirrkurra Band opened the night with their Desert Reggae. The transformation was complete. They got up in their new outfit; white shirts. They played their songs like seasoned professionals, their set list now developed and tweaked under the guiding eye of Ewan, with instructions from Simon and Rob. They had turned up this morning and practiced all day! I cannot describe how proud we were to perform with them. Bobby was at the mixing desk every ten minutes asking Ewan for another CD to hand out to another relative. His pleasure at having his son and the boys up there was obvious, and quite cute.
Bryte MC impressed all with his set sounding full and dramatic, the sound Ewan pulled from the system was perfect. Candice with her huge soul voice and a band behind her is an act worth paying to see, but tonight was free! My band pulled a pretty tight sound too if I do say so myself! In fact, I think we had the most people dancing to our songs ever.
The headline was Mary G and as always she was hilarious. She made me get up and do a duet which was comical, but the real treat was when at the end of the night we asked Mary G to introduce Ryder Loxton onto the stage to play his song ‘Lonely Boy’. The Kiwirrkurra boys got up as his band and the crowd really went wild. In the end these guys had the biggest crowd dancing out of all of the acts and they played the final 3 songs of the night with relaxed ease and grace. I think I was more nervous than them.
Just two weeks ago these guys got up on stage in Kiwirrkurra and played a mostly broken and disjointed set. Tonight they got up and delivered a professional ordered set to an adoring audience. Moreover, the real irony of it is the majority of the crowd were here as a result of their promotion at South Hedland that night. They delivered their set with the same stoic and unaffected impressiveness, in front of the masses, as they did around a campfire. Then all the sudden it hit me! I realised why I love these guys so much. They are just so honest!
They never try to be anything other than what they are. They are incapable of anything else and they are always just that. Just here, as they always have been. Waiting and watching through the eons, through the ages. Like a mountain, like a spirit.