The Gooch Palms At SXSW Pt. 1: Roadkill Crocs, Wasps & Truck Stop Showers

17 March 2016 | 1:33 pm | The Gooch Palms

"They think WE have gnarly animal problems in Australia. I’ve never seen a roadkill crocodile."

Howdy! So here we are back in Austin, Texas at SXSW for another year! We’ve played our first showcase (Strange Brew 5 at Hotel Vegas) and it was sweaty, loud and super fun!!! Folks were boogying their butts off!!! It was a perfect way to start the week! 

Photo by Roger Ho

We’ve checked into our cabin and it’s going to be awesome to sleep in a bed for the week as we’ve been in the van since we set off on tour. Up until a few minutes ago there was a scary wasp terrorising us and hanging out on the ceiling. This is not our first tango with an aggressive wasp, we had a hornet that lived in our car on our US tour in 2014. But Leroy being the classic Aussie bushman that he is, took care of this wasp and got him back outside without any carnage! MY HERO!

The tour leading up to this point has been amazing!!! Such fun shows with our besties Guantanamo Baywatch and other pals along the way like Shannon and the Clams. We finally got to Florida for the first time on this tour as well and the show was sweet! The folks from Jacksonville were kinda similar to us Novos. Maybe it’s the redneck/bogan meets the beach mentality (sorry guys, we mean that in the nicest way possible) but whatever it was, we were loving it! We went crazy “spring break” style at the beach on the way from Jacksonville to New Orleans and also saw a squashed gator on the side of the highway. And they think WE have gnarly animal problems in Australia. I’ve never seen a roadkill crocodile, probably not many crocs in Newcastle though, unless we’re talking these kinda Crocs, yes I own Crocs.

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This tour has definitely been super fun but also at times, super scary!!! We had to drive through a really bad storm in Northern Louisiana where flash flooding meant the town we were driving through was evacuated and we ended up stranded on a hill at a Pilot Gas Station for the night. But one positive (apart from not dying) that came out of the whole experience was that we realised that the showers that truckers use at these kind of places are actually REALLY nice! They are cleaned really well after each customer and were nicer than most of the hotel bathrooms we’re used to using on the reg. So hot tip if you need a shower, Pilot (maybe Love’s as well) have nice showers!!! Not sure if it was due to the fact that we were flash flooding survivors or they just let any old plebs shower there but we will be trying our luck again next time we’re four days deep into a no shower situation.

Sleeping beauty

We’re heading back into Austin tomorrow for a fancy luncheon and some seminars, something we didn’t take advantage of last time. But last time was so overwhelming and scary we were too stressed to fully take advantage of what SX has to offer. But being a DIY band that’s about to start a label we figure it’s time to start taking as much free advice and as many opportunities as we can. Plus we’re going to definitely take advantage of the free beers and food at the artist lounge this time!!!

Our next showcase is the Aussie BBQ on Friday so we have a few days to wander around and see some cool bands. We’re going to try our luck with the Iggy Pop show Wednesday night and just wander to and from different showcases during the week. But we’ll take loads of photos of whatever it is we end up doing to share with ya’ll!

But for now we’re really looking forward to watching shitty cable in this here cabin tonight and maybe having a swim in the morning at the campground pool (it’s friggin hot here right now, like 40 degrees) before we hit the mayhem that is Austin during SXSW tomorrow morning!!!

Novo's party starters

keep up to date with bands like methyl ethel (tour diary one) and stonefield (tour diary one) at sxsw.