Part Two: Heaps Grunge

12 April 2012 | 11:55 am | Yacht Club DJs

No sleep, sold out shows, Ballarat metal bands and ripped t-shirts. Sounds like another weekend with the Yacht Club DJs.


The Victorian Leg of the tour started for us with a mishap. As we were leaving for Melbourne our tour manager's car decided to blow up. We were kind of stuttering along the road on fire just outside Ballarat. It was kind of equal parts funny and stressful, and obviously really sucked for him. So we had to turn around and work out how we were going to get to Melbourne with everything. Nightmares. Luckily we didn't die in a burning car on the side of the road and we eventually got there. We were just running really late.

It was a pretty amazing feeling when we found out we'd sold out the Prince of Wales for the fourth time. So needless to say we were really excited about the show. We had done a Christmas show there last year with and it was one of the best shows we've ever done, so there was a bit of pressure to make it a good one. It was also going to be the first time on the tour that we had the cut up horror movies running as well, and during sound check they looked really good on the LED panels behind us. Everyone was getting pretty excited.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

I love playing in Melbourne. I kind of miss living there a bit, so much to do, so many friends to catch up with. So much good food! The fajitas at the Espy really get me going. I could eat them everyday. That and the habanero chilli sauce that comes with it is amazing. I would brush my teeth with it. That good. Our tour manager had forgotten to set up the merch desk and at the exact point his dinner was served and he had to run back and set it up before doors, so Hunting Grounds ate his chips. Which was pretty grunge of them.

I had a heap of friends that I used to live with come to see the show, so the next couple of hours was really just standing around talking and catching up. It really helped chill me out, but you could tell it was going to be a messy night. When Hunting Grounds were playing people were already going crazy out the front. One of the few times I went out to have a look it was really intense. It is a weird thing to say given that there was 1000 people there, but I felt like I didn't recognize the crowd, it just seemed really different to crowds we've had in the past there. They look like they were going mental though so it was all good.

Its always a funny feeling walking out on a stage like the Prince. It's a lot of pressure to have 1000 people buy tickets to see you do something you are used to just do in your living room. Also there is a big pole in the middle of the room, so it is kind of hard to see everyone. We're also convinced that no one knows what we look like too, so there's always that moment of "is that them or just some more sound guys?". The show was great though, I can't tell you what its like to look up from the mixer and see heaps of hands in the air and a bouncing crowd on that scale. It's pretty awesome. I had a few too many beers at this point and a decided it would be funny to get the crowd to moo and quack and stuff. I don't know what I was thinking, but it was super fun and I'm glad the crowd got into it! Oh, except one guy in the front row who told me I was a d!ckhead. It was also the first time we had ever got a crowd to sit down in the quiet part of 'Shout', which is amazing, they were so energized by it when I crowd surfed they tore my shirt in half. One of my beloved Byron t-shirts. Oh well, it was great fun.

After we came off stage somebody had found a gigantic bottle of champagne from somewhere and the party got pretty rowdy. Thank god someone had the sense to drag us out of there or it could have gone all night. It was time to cue the drunken Nirvana sing-along all the way home.


I'm a bit of a nut for tornados, I watch a lot of storm chasers and desperately want to see a tornado. I thought I was going to get the chance on the way to Geelong. There was sun on one side of the road and on the other side were the most horrific clouds I can ever remember seeing. They were nearly black and went straight up for miles. It was a pretty surreal sight. We had just parked outside the Bended Elbow when it hit and I have never seen anything like it. The rain was nearly going horizontal to the ground and looked more like smoke than rain. It was really exciting.

When we finally arrived it was a ghost town, the town was completely empty, I could of laid down in the main street for ten minutes and not been hit by a car. We concluded that everyone thought the storm was the apocalypse and were hiding in their bathtubs. Its was super eerie, and kind of scary. We thought the show might end up being a bit dead. So we went and got some Japanese and kicked around in the green room watching Mickey Beats act grunge wearing 2 guitars. Everyone was trying to pretend that we weren't tired as hell from the night before.

By the time the music kicked off the venue had started filling up. I overheard a pretty funny conversation between two people about Yacht Club that made us sound like we were some kind of GG Allin kind of characters and another one that suggested that everyone in Torquay gets free tickets to the Quicksilver Pro and everyone in Ballarat gets free tickets to Meredith. That was pretty hysterical, but it would be awesome though. First up was OK Sure, a one-piece electro pop act. I didn't have a chance to meet her, but what I saw of the set was really cool. I especially enjoy this one almost down beat kind of song she did. Very cool, I like gear heads as well and you could tell by the equipment she had she must be one.

Hunting Grounds went down really well again. They have come along way since the Old Power or The Zoo Keepers or even Howl days. They have this cool amped up New Order thing going on, or at least that's the impression I get live. I don't think I've ever seen them play badly either, so tight for a band of 20 year olds.

Our show was as fun as any show I can remember, we had the '50s horror projections going. The venue had filled up nicely and everyone was dancing and going crazy. Its always a great feeling when your worried that a show is going to be a bit flat and out of no where it turns out to be great. The grandest scale I can remember feeling that on was Splendour In The Grass a few years ago, ten minutes before our show the tent was empty, when we walked out looking at our shoes it was suddenly full! It's the weirdest combo of adrenaline and excitement. Anyway, the show went off problem free. It was really good to see a few of the extras from our zombie movies turn up too. The show ended with me in my jocks crowd surfing and everyone sitting on the floor again. I can't believe that people actually do that, so much fun! 


Now if touring Victoria doesn't feel like touring, playing in your hometown definitely doesn't. We got up early and went and got lots of white material to turn the back wall of the Karova stage into a giant movie screen. But apart from that it was just like spending the day at home. I think its different touring to your hometown when you're from a small town like Ballarat. We are the guys hanging around outside cafes and walking around all day, whether people know our act or not we're still faces they'd see in the street everyday. Then we do a show and can name nearly everyone we see in the crowd. It's a great feeling and a weird one at the same time, and we were doing it twice! It was good to be able to chill out right up until sound check time.

A band from Sydney called Under Lights opened for us on the first, they had a good vibe. Kind of Oasis meets Brian Jones Town Massacre, they even reminded me a bit of old Ballarat band Paperhouse. They were super nice guys to, good to have something that Ballaratians wouldn't have heard before. The early crowd really appreciated them too. Hunting Grounds put on their usual tight show, this time with lots of added banter because there were so many friends in the crowd. 

It was a great show, The stage looked great and everyone played well. Felt good to be home. All we had to do was do it again the next night, not to many Ballarat acts have attempted a double header successfully, and so it was going to be an interesting end to the weekend.


I was really starting to feel the week by the Sunday night. Made even harder by the fact I'd gotten up incredibly early to go to Melbourne during the day for a friends wedding (congratulations Paul and Miho!!). But a big sleep was in sight so we pulled it together and strapped ourselves in for one last night of party madness. It turned out to be madness as well.

We got local metal band Like Royalty to open the show, I first came across these guys when I was judging a local battle of the bands comp last year. They are a really great tight young band and have already toured over to Asia and everything. I'm always at their shows when I'm in town and I thought it could be cool to have something like this open for us. I wasn't disappointed either. They really got into it, they had cartoons playing over the projectors and had a heap of fans come down. Really cool to see.

The rest of the show from both Hunting Grounds and Yacht Club was essentially the same and much to our relief, the venue was full again. I got pretty crazy hanging up side down from the roof and revisiting the dancing in my jocks, I'm not sure whether to own it or be embarrassed, but the heat of the moment got me. The crowd got on the ground during 'Shout' again too! I had a bet with Lachy, the bar manager about whether or not they would ever do it, with him claiming that not in a million years would I get the crowd to sit on the ground, they did it twice! Sucked in mate. Now its time to sleep for three days.