Brisbane is burning – 11th February 2018

The plan was for the beach and then to go see some bands in the evening.  My friends from New Zealand, Die! Die! Die!  just coincidentally happened to be playing in Brisbane this weekend, the end of an Australian tour, ironically, along with an Adelaide band I had heard good things about, called Horror, My Friend.

A late start put us behind unfortunately but around midday, we headed off in the direction of the Sunshine Coast.  Hayden regaled me with stories of different little events in his life as we passed through each suburb where they occurred.  Old girlfriends, new girlfriends, good friends, loser friends.

We made the beach an hour or so later.  It was a hot day but the beach wasn’t so packed, with some good learners surf and long sandbanks.  We floated, dived, talked, waded and wandered.  Something about the beach totally refreshes the body and, to some extent, the mind.  Salty sea air maybe, or perhaps just the general feeling of shared happiness.

And dogs.  I really enjoyed watching various dogs jumping around in the shallows, chasing tennis balls and old broken basketballs, anything that could be thrown and retrieved.  I told Hayden about getting a dog sometime in Thailand, thinking it will be a nice companion and a distraction from potential loneliness.  A partner that will listen without question or comment.  Well, perhaps still questions, such as where’s my food and why won’t mum let me indoors.  We’ll see.

Energised from the ocean we headed straight to the pool back at the apartment block and the couple of people who were hanging out soon left us to our own silly play and games, though there’s not a lot you can do just with your body and a stack of water.

A quick shower and a quick snooze, as thunder rolled over, I woke up again totally buggered.  I wanted to go out to the show but also knew that we would still have a second chance the following afternoon.  So, dodgy halloumi yiros with dodgy chilli sauces followed by a couple of beers back at the apartment and some entertainment via the satellite with some fishing show called Wicked Tuna.  We were instantly rooting for the big cuddly fat bloke with the dreadlocks and slamming the guy who was abusing the rules of etiquette.  And then bed.  Again.

Unfortunately, the beers gave me indigestion and I had to sit up during the middle of the night to let out some gas, which disturbed my dreams.

Never mind, we still made it up at around 10am and headed out to play mini-golf, or putt-putt as it’s affectionately known in Australia.  We were behind some fat kids who were fucking around and their fat sweaty dad keeping their scores, over which the constantly argued as we sat waiting in the sun until the finally fucked off to the next hole, so this repeated 18 times and without realising it, my exposed flesh was now lobster red.  Oh well.

I quickly slaked my thirst with a couple of Hoegaarden’s and we headed to Tym’s Guitars where both aforementioned bands were playing a 2pm free show in the store.

It was good to catch up with Andrew, Mikey and Lachlan from Die! Die! Die! as I’ve seen them playing around for more than ten years now and had a hand in helping get them to China for shows back when I was more involved in those things.  Today though, did inspire me to offer assistance to get them to South East Asia perhaps next year.  Also inspired by my old friends ‘ni-hao!’ from Tokyo currently touring in Malaysia, hanging out with my friends there.  It would be awesome to help out with a tour over there, perhaps do some tour managing if and when free time arises.

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Both Horror, My Friend and Die!x3 were excellent, great ear ringing guitar indie rock that I’ve not seen live for a long time now.  This old man nodded his head, occasionally in time with the beat.

As this was my last night in Brisbane, we did the pool thing again, till everyone left again, and watched as a crazy thunderstorm approached.  By the time we’d showered the lightning was fizzing and the darkness approached in a wall of cloud, streaking the sky.

Hayden and I talked about his mum, my mum, our families, his girlfriends and all sorts of other things and I feel good that he will find his feet sometime in the future.   As much as I want him to get there sooner, it doesn’t really matter so much, so long as he gets there, learning along the way.

Faster than snakes with a ball and a chain – 9th February 2018

See you later Adelaide, I couldn’t wait to leave you.

I got a taxi to the airport, three hours before take off.  I just couldn’t sit around at the house, waiting.  It was time to start the journey even if that meant sitting and reading my book at the airport for a couple of hours.

I will miss you slightly, in that comfort of a regimen of work and sleep, preparing for these next precipitous steps, uncomfortable dread gnawing at me.

A zip and snooze and I’m landing in Brisbane as the sun sets back nearer Adelaide.  My son, Hayden, is waiting for me with a big hug and we get lost in the maze of car parks and lifts, assisting others who are similarly lost.

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Brisbane is the opposite of Adelaide in road layout, it’s a mess, made messier by the winding river running through it.  It also makes it more interesting immediately.

We arrive at our apartment, ablute, and then search for food.  Opting for takeaway burgers and beer, we sit and talk for an hour or so before hitting the sack in my first decent bed for many months.  Blissful rest with crazy dreams.

It’s interesting to watch Hayden finding his way in the world.  I am now at the point where I just have no idea what ‘teh kids’ (as I call them, on purpose typo) are into these days.  Popular culture was never my thing and though Hayden has his own interests outside popular culture at least he still understands all those current references.

I’m really only interested in old bookshops and reading about history, trying to get a better understanding how we are where we are.  No longer being in the now, doing the do.

But I know I must do the do again when reaching Thailand and I was visualising a day in my life there.  Riding a motorcycle to school to teach English, I want to feel that thrill on the new, fill myself with the wonder of ‘how did my life end up here – that’s just amazing!’  But then also wanting it to feel familiar again, something normal, but not get to the point of a rat race boredom.  A balance is something I would like to strike and something I feel like I’ve never been able to achieve.  Like sitting still, very fast.  Maybe it’s just the way I’m wired.

Today we went book shopping and found a great store called Archives.  If I had the time I would’ve spent so long looking through here but opted instead just to ask at the counter for a couple of books I remembered being interested in finding.  Sometimes I think it’s just a little game of something to do in a place, with the possibility of a little reward at the end.  Like setting a little goal for the day.  The assistant took me straight to two of the books I asked about and I was amazed that she knew them immediately and where they were located.  If I ran a bookshop that’s how I would want to be, knowing exactly what you have and where it is.

The only problem with these two books is that they are both massive and heavy.  Hayden and I struck a deal that he will bring them to me later in the year or wherever it is that he gets chance to visit us in Thailand.  I have enough to read already so no hurry really.

I used to hate reading, sometimes would force myself to read books just for the hell of it.  Somewhere along the way I’ve just found myself enjoying it more.  I read, and have always read, lots of comics, usually alternative and mature comics rather than superhero type stuff, though I am now going through old 60s and 70s Marvel.  I’m not sure what the appeal to me is really?  Maybe getting lost in those world with some hints of visuals perhaps, as I generally only read non-fiction books otherwise.  I actually would like to read more fiction too and get lost in those worlds but somehow real life books are just what is interesting to me these days.

This afternoon I will attempt to write a small piece for my mothers funeral.  I have an idea for it, just a small event which sums up her attitude to life and dealing with problems.

Having Hayden around is distracting me from thinking about my mum not being there to talk to.  I really want to show her today’s pictures of our house, but showed them to him instead.

Hayden is a typical early 20s guy I guess, with what people my age might consider strange ideas, thoughts or views on events in the world.  He does, however, have his head screwed on and shows a lot of empathy a lot of the time.  When I think back to my life at his age I was the same, finding my way, honing my opinions and beliefs.  I discussed this with him today and said I thought that every parent wants their children to gain the wisdom they themselves now have, faster than they did.  To get smarter, quicker.  However, being a parent, being older, you also know that that is not how it works.  You can nudge in certain directions but one can only grow under their own directives.  When Hayden is ready, he will be.  He’s happy enough and figuring it out.

 

Leavings – Sell and Shark – 21st November 2016

Cat #: 189TZM

Leavings is a three piece punk band from Brisbane, Australia which takes cues from post-hardcore, indie rock, shoegaze, krautrock, and the vibrant DIY cultures of Australia, China, and South-East Asia.

Combining driving, aggressive bass and drums, shouted vocals, and wiry guitar with catchy, muscular hooks and cavernous noise and drone-scapes, the group’s songs generate a bold, vigorous energy that is both affirming and cathartic . 

RIYL: Unwound, Flying Nun records, The Men, Rosetta, Fugazi, Japandroids, Sonic Youth, Blank Realm, Neu!, P.K. 14, mewithoutYou, Turnpike, A Place to Bury Strangers.

Sell & Shark is Leavings’ debut release and the first single from their forthcoming LP.

On side A is “Sell”, a reckless punk rock clanger in which the band belts out grumpy yells drenched in reverb over the top of a collection of distorted major-key hooks played at full tilt.

Exclusive to the 7″ is a brooding slab of noise rock in the form of B-side “Shark”. The track begins quietly with a faint, nervous guitar riff and muted, tense drumming encircled by a menacing bassline which swims around them tightly until all three instruments attack each other, exploding into dissonant fuzz and dry screaming.

Together, the tracks represent the band’s response to the frustration of living in an Australia whose leaders become nastier and more cynical with each passing year. “Sell” is defiantly spirited while “Shark” is the band at their grumpiest, but not without a sense of humour. 

Both tracks were recorded in Brisbane at Tym Guitars with Donovan Miller (FOREVR, No Anchor) over one weekend in the winter of 2016.

For interviews, press, and bookings, please contact leavingsband@gmail.com.

Seahorse Divorce – 13th September 2013

Cat #: 142TZM

All life on Earth began innocently in the primordial, prenatal waters of creation, and so too it was that love drew its first delicate and vulnerable breath. If you have known love you will be aware of the terrible pounding and crushing pressure pushing all oxygen from your chest, leaving you gasping for air and looking to take up the nearest sharp object and carve gills into your neck. This is the spirit of the ocean calling to your most ancient protozoan ancestral memory, speaking its most primal intuition and evoking a near implacable yearning to drown yourself in the nearest body of water.

Consider this, then, the conceptual crux of the debut LP from regenerate Brisbane dandies Seahorse Divorce; 11 tracks of unfettered, unapologetic and organic affection prevailing in the face of the invariable estrangement and painful separation of life. Lacking ulterior motive or any concept of predestination, the songs are offered in homage to the other, the oft-ignored remainder after opposing and dominating forces of creative or emotional obviousness wear themselves thin.

Left, then, to wander through an ever-shifting landscape of light and darkness in search of hearth and hospice, as street urchins Seahorse Divorce simultaneously abandon and are abandoned by the bygone progenitors that first gave them life, and yet are clearly distinguished and inescapably marked by their genetic and cultural heritage.

Recorded live, Sun Distorted, punk in intent but never in form, it is unlikely that Seahorse Divorce is the proselytizing litany of a new age but have stranger things not happened? 

Dying Livers/Secular – Quiet Steps – 15th November 2012

Cat #: 116TZM

Credits for Dying Livers:
Recorded at Sun Distortion Studios in mid 2012. Mastered by Carl Staff. Art and Design by Errol Hoffman.

Credits for Secular:
Recorded by David Williams at Wavelength Recording Studio and VIA Studios. Mixed by David Williams. Mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music, New Windsor, NY.

Performed by Leon Perkin, Robb Perkin & Joshua Strange. Additional instrumentation by David Williams and vocals by Rob Schlegel in the track ‘Secular’.

Thanks to all our families, friends, partners, bands we’ve played with, Shaun Tenzenmen, Chris Brownbill and Errol Hoffman.

Nikko – Gold and Red – 3rd July 2012

Cat #: 106TZM

‘Gold & Red’ is an album characterised as much by its melodic grace as by its pervasive sense of doom – recorded in the cavernous orchestral hall of Brisbane’s historic Old Museum with Cameron Smith (Velociraptor, No Anchor), mixed by Aaron Cupples (The Drones, Paul & Dan Kelly, SNOWMAN) and mastered by Nao Anzai (Laura, Because Of Ghosts, These Hands). The nine songs here recognise a growing maturity and depth that has been brought to life by the considered approach to the compositions.

NIKKO:
Ryan Potter – vocals, electric & acoustic guitars
Sam Whiting – bass
Jackson Briggs – electric guitar, slide
Blair Westbrook – drums, percussion

Piano by Daniel Kassulke
Violin by Adam Cadell
Cello by Elanor Khan

Recorded by Cameron Smith at The Old Museum & Browning Street Studios in Brisbane, June/July 2011

Mixed by Aaron Cupples

Mastered by Naomune Anzai at Reel 2 Real Mix Master

Photography by Archie Moore
Layout & Design by Sam Whiting & Bronte Coates, with thanks to Trent Evans

Special thanks to Daniel Kassulke, Cam Smith, Nao Anzai, Adam Cadell, Elanor Khan, Jacinta Walker, Trent “Big Dog” Evans, Shaun Tenzenmen, Bronte Coates, Luke Smith, Tom Noakes & all of our wonderful friends & family, anyone who’s ever bought a recording, come to a show or let us sleep on their floor, and the Brisbane & Australian independent music community. Cheers!

Little Shadow – Possessions – 9th June 2012

Cat #: 105TZM

These six tracks on Little Shadows debut release, Possessions, evoke memories of later Hopesfall, Cursive, and at their more dischordant and punishing, a more melodic Nation Blue. All of this is coupled with vocalist Cam Gillard’s stories being told with a balance of layered analogies, and brutal honesty, whilst delivered in a more angelic and balanced tone than his previous work. It’s a fine moment for a relatively fresh band when they can set the benchmark for their peers in such a seemingly effortless manner.

Nikko – About the Spirit – 22nd August 2011

Cat #: 077TZM

Nikko’s latest release, a double A-side single entitled ‘About the Spirit/Smoke Alarms’, features two new tracks taken from the band’s upcoming sophomore album, due for release later this year. 

The tracks demonstrate a stylistic change in direction that showcases frontman Ryan Potter’s skills as a songwriter and lyricist, along with the band’s collective ability to craft these skills into distinctive and compelling arrangements. 

For special deals with t-shirts go here: 
nikko.bandcamp.com/album/about-the-spirit-smoke-alarms

Limited copies of the 7″ available thru tenzenmen soon.

Nikko: 
Ryan Potter – vocals, electric and acoustic guitars 
Sam Whiting – bass 
Jackson Briggs – lead guitar, slide 
Blair Westbrook – drums, percussion 

Guest vocals on ‘About the Spirit’ by Jacinta Walker 
Violin on ‘About the Spirit’ by Adam Cadell 
Piano on ‘Smoke Alarms’ by Daniel Kassulke 

Recorded by Cameron Smith at The Old Museum and Browning Street Studios in June/July 2011. Mixed by Cameron Smith. Mastered by Naomune Anzai at Reel 2 Real Mix Master. Artwork by Trent Evans. 

Special thanks to Cam Smith, Nao Anzai, Jacinta Walker, Adam Cadell, Daniel Kassulke, Elanor Khan, Trent “Big Dog” Evans, Shaun Tenzenmen, all of our wonderful friends and family, anyone who’s ever bought a recording, come to a show or let us sleep on their floor, and the Brisbane and Australian independent music community. Cheers!