TUI post Autumn Tour blog!!!!
Well folks, the title says it all! It’s been an interesting time since we all crowded into various modes of transport and clocked up 3,800 kilometres around Australia. The Updraft Imperative roadshow consisted of Danny and his wife Shell in their newly acquired camper-on-wheels, Murray and his Gig-bus, filled to the brim with no only masses of band gear, but Josh and his ‘isms’, Iain and his afro, and fresh from Sydney Airport and still adjusting to the Aussie climate, our epic Womanger, Di.
Our first gig was Friday night in Sydney. A church youth group with 30+ bouncing, excited teenagers. Josh had been deprived of coffee and food and we all learnt really quickly that he really isn’t good without regular intakes of both!
After a good night sleep and brekkie in Sydney, we jumped aboard the amazingly packed Gigbus and headed to Albury. The gig that night was an acoustic set, so Danny turned his drumming down to ‘mellow’ setting, Iain wet his ‘fro to keep from scaring the littleuns, and Muz and Josh dragged out (and in Muz’s case dusted off) their acoustics. We took requests, which initially seemed like a really proactive, interactive, relate to the punter kind of idea…..well it was, right up until Josh forgot the words to one of the tracks from our album CHAIR, and the person who requested it sang the rest of the song for us. Note to self….requests are good, if there’s only one known option!!!!
The evening was a really nice, relaxed atmosphere with some chatting and questions thrown in for good measure. The church kindly accommodated us that night, and during the evening’s conversation we offered to play at the service the next morning. We had a fair journey from there to our next gig, which was the Forest Edge Festival, so we had to pretty much ‘play and run’ – which was interesting. Carrying guitars and drums out mid service – but heh – that’s how The Updraft Imperative roll!
The drive to Forest Edge was fun. We stopped at Glenrowan – scene of Ned Kelly’s last stand. Di tried her 1st Aussie damper there…it dampened her spirits a little as it was possibly made around the same time Ned made his last stand back in the late 1800’s judging by the taste!!
After coffee and food we hit the road again, through the Yarra Valley, past countless vineyards (which we wouldn’t let Di stop in), and on to Forest Edge.
We only had a 30 minute set – but we left it all on the stage!!! The last time Josh sweated that much Muz had dark brown hair!!! Danny drummed like his sticks were on fire, and Iain monstered the bass to the point at one stage it raised a white flag!! There was lots of bouncing (mainly on stage), and there was no shortage of string bending, cool stances and sweaty brows to be witnessed for the duration of the set. Di - being an epic Womanager was corralling people away from the food vans and towards the stage, giving out wristbands and stickers to anyone that would take them.
Several people came up to us afterward and said we were the best band they had seen all weekend. How very humbling and affirming to have complete strangers be honest and connect with us in such a short time, but such a meaningful way.
Hot, sweaty and shattered, we had a short drive to the motel we were staying in that night- which en-route to everyone decided that they really fancied a glass of wine when we got there…but guess what? No drive throughs or bottle shops open at that hour of night. Dang. Should’ve stopped when Di was whining about the wine!!)
That night was like a teenage slumber party. A heady combination of being gig-high and travel-tired resulted in much giggling and hilarity and not much sleep. Danny and Shell stayed in their camper at Forest Edge so missed the childlike antics. The rooms were adjoining and Di found herself feeling more like Camp Mum and far less like Gigmum for the evening.
Next day we had a radio interview before the final gig of the trip, Live at The Chapel. It’s run by Frank, who is a fantastic supporter of Christian music, and The Updraft Imperative. Once again, this was a completely different feel to the other gigs of the weekend and rounded of our trip south brilliantly. Rosanna and David Palmer were supporting us, and Murray floated around the venue in amazement as he has admired the duo for many a year (the artists formerly known as Rosanna’s Raiders - a heavy rock/pseudo metal Christian band from back in the 80’s). Rosanna can still rip those high notes and shred on her Les Paul alike.
We then set off on the long trip home. Danny and his wife had, as previously mentioned, travelled down in their camper van, so they took a couple of days longer to get home. We bid them farewell and safe journeys, and all made some jokes about someone or other going back with them in their spacious ‘coach’. Iain, Josh, Murray and Di however were doing the Hardcore Roadtrip. No sleepovers – just the open road for 1,560km, 16.5 hours.
It’s a good thing we all got on well!!
There were moments where Iain wound the window down, and stuck his afro out the window with a strange puppy-dog-in-the-wind look. Josh continued to crack out more bizarre and nonsensical Joshisms, and Murray continued his lolly consuming wide eyed driving in the long stretching road head, all the time Di sitting in the mix likely wondering if this was her own personal version of Wolf Creek unfolding before her eyes!! In amongst the laughter there were some really deep conversations and we all learnt lots more about each other. There were some slightly surreal moments too – Josh and Di singing songs from our album together in person, while Muz and Iain slept was slightly bizarre…!
Then it happened. In the middle of nowhere, at 2 in the morning, when it was pitch black, Murray wheeled the car onto the shoulder and told everyone to get out!! Still not altogether convinced this wasn’t Wolf Creek 3 in the making, Di was, well, wary, to say the least. ‘Aye right. So I will,’ she muttered. Then everyone realised Muz was serious, so they all got out (bar Josh, who never awoke from his pillow drenching, drooling, slumber). We walked round the back of the car, into the darkness, and then Muz gave the instruction to ‘look up’.
Done for Di’s sake more than anyone else’s, the number of stars in the sky literally took her breath away. A shooting star. Then another. And another. Iain pointed out the Southern Cross as the shooting stars whizzed across the sky. The whole Milky Way was right in front of us. We could have stood there all night and watched them. Murray managed to coax everyone back in the car eventually – but it was a pretty special moment.
The Lord was with us on our journey – everyone arrived home safely and had some time with their families before our next gigs. First up was Mount Mee, where we rocked the congregation on a Sunday morning. Di was almost up on vocals as Josh managed to get lost on the way there (and as there’s no phone service, he couldn’t call and say ‘help, I’m lost!’). An interesting aside to that is, only 2 months earlier he did the exact same thing when travelling with his family out for a song writing weekend to Murray’s farm.
We decided he wasn’t allowed to travel alone after that.
Next up was Live at the Chapel, Gympie – the furthest North we ventured on our tour, and an outdoor gig. Danny unfortunately couldn’t make that gig, so Murray jumped on the drums instead… and had way too much fun! It was good to have Danny back with us the following day, which was Easter Sunday. We led morning worship at Murray’s church who have been incredibly supportive of the band so it was really nice to give something back to them.
Mixing it up again – the final gig of our mini tour was in Brisbane at Rics Bar in Fortitude Valley. It was student night – and we weren’t too sure how we would be received…trust in The Lord your God…seeing young guys headbanging and high-fiving the band is a pretty good indication that it went OK!
During this time we also saw out latest single ‘Pieces of my Past’ reach the dizzying heights of Number 9 in the Hot 25 Countdown across Australia!! We stayed in the charts for almost 3 months, and had countless people coming up to us in random locations saying how much they loved the song, how much they enjoyed hearing us playing it live, and how it also spoke to them in many different ways.
So what’s been happening since then? Well we have all individually been a quite busy. Gig wise we haven’t trod the boards of any stage or music hall since then (though Murray was in his 1st musical production and stole the show – who’d have thought??!).
We’ve been busy writing new music and songs for the next album – yes, you read correctly, the NEXT ALBUM!!!!! Sorry, I suppose I got a little excited talking about our NEW ALBUM, which we will be going into the studio to record early next year…..yes, record our NEW A… oh ok, you get the idea!!
We are all super excited about it, and have another single to release within the coming months too so please keep an eye out for that also!
We are all amazed at how the Lord has been good and gracious to us. He has given us so many opportunities to share of His love and mercy, and to be able to safely traverse this country to do so in relative comfort and timeliness is nothing less of miraculous. We are all eagerly anticipating the next chapter in The Updraft Imperative’s journey - and please be aware that you being on this journey with us is the only reason why we sit, type, text, share, email, write, record and perform all of these songs that the Lord has given us in the first place.
God bless you all, and please stay in touch. Feel free to drop us a line anytime. We would also like to encourage you to share any pertinent posts on either twitter or facebook with your friends too…we certainly aren’t precious about who sees what. The more folks hear us and of us, the more you can share in TUI’s journey too.
Until the next time,
Murray, Josh, Iain & Danny