Hanging With Tigertown, Charming The Elderly & Other Adventures From Shag Rock's Tour

22 March 2017 | 3:25 pm | Staff Writer

"It was an older crowd but, with the help of a newly learnt Elvis cover, we won them over."

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After a blinder of an opening leg, Shag Rock have completed the second part of their wide-ranging Barefoot tour, proudly presented by The Music.

As they rest up for their final burst of shows in just over a week's time, catch up with guitarist Jacob Reed for the lowdown of all the mischief the boys got up to on their recent road trip.

Gee, it went from zero to a hundred in a blink of our tired little eyes, and it’s fair to say that we now understand what touring life truly is, although we may have lost a frightening amount of brain cells along the way. From sleeping in the band van to crashing on any relatively clean carpet floor, we’ve successfully carried out one of the most heroically stingy tours known to man. And it’s not over yet.

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Brisbane – Canberra

This marked the beginning of the Shag trip; trekking down the coast in the fuel-guzzling behemoth of a tour van, packed to the brim with instruments, camping gear, surfboards and clean clothes (something we will never take for granted again). Read up on the first leg back in Part One of this tour diary.


Eventually we arrived in Canberra, said g’day to the White House and set up at Smiths Alternative. When we arrived at the venue, they had a lovely jazz band called In 2 Deep playing and a creaky, old-fashioned vibe to the room, which gave a homely sense of warmth in a chilly city. With the help of my cousin, who brought along a huge group of girls, we had a crew there, and with some other random fans turning up, the room filled out for our set and we ended up having a blinder. Surprisingly, Canberra goes off on a Thursday night like a fish milkshake, and we ended up having a huge one with all the fans and crashing on our cousin’s floor for a solid 1.5 hours' sleep before heading off to Melbourne.


Cold as a bag of peas. We literally only saw one street in Melbourne — Brunswick St — but, gee-whiz, what a cracking street it was. When we arrived outside Penny Black, the old post office, we couldn’t help but think that we just absolutely scored with this venue. It was a huge brick room with people already on the beers inside and a soon-to-be pumping beer garden out the back.

We smashed out an hour-long set at prime time on the Friday night so, as well as local fans and old friends rocking up for support, there were heaps of walk-ins, which was a dream come true. Oliver Friend played his ripping acoustic set before us and, unbeknownst to us at the time, he would later live in the venue we would play at in Geelong. We made some mates and got some free beers, so job well done, I say.

Grampians Music Festival

After picking up our tour manager from a lucky lady’s house, we began our trek to the most picturesque festival I think we’ve ever seen. Now, the best way to describe this festival would be to just tell you to watch our video on Facebook (Shagazine Ep 1), but basically it was two days of jam-packed, pure distilled good times. We were shown our private backstage room, feeling like proper rock stars, and most importantly were shown our case of beer on ice. We met Grim Faulkner, who played his soulful solo set before us, and we became great mates after he stinged off all our beer.

We played our set with the music bouncing off the rocky mountains surrounding us as far as the eye could see. We had a not-so-sober dance to The Jensens after our set, as we had met one of the members the week earlier whilst we were clutch-purchasing guitar pedals for the tour in the Brissy store he works at. We also were given accommodation in what looked like the classic school camp lodges you’d stay at in grade 5… this one time at band camp, hey?

Best thing about this place, though, was that all the bands went back to the same accommodation, so was a prime chance to make some solid band mates. So after watching the likes of Saskwatch, Alex Leahy, Felix Riebl (from the Cat Empire) and our festival favourite, Tigertown, we did our absolute best to speak to them all and froth over their insane musical genius levels. Beechy was in a world of his own and spoke to literally every drummer from every band, the madman. We had a long chat to the Tigertown members and realised how humble and normal these guys are, as well as being amazing musicians, and it showed us that the Australian music scene isn’t as daunting as we thought.

Lastly, we were invited by the festival volunteers back to the local pub where I may or may not have awoken in the pub toilet at 2am to walk out and find that literally everyone had disappeared and I was alone in a pub living out everyone’s fantasy of free beer. However, I’m a responsible man with self-restraint so trekked it home for a double shot of water before bed. What a festival; what a time.

We definitely overstayed our welcome, as most people left after the first day and we were the last ones charging, but life is short. It was only our third festival ever, but another one under the belt and another experience for the books we’ll never forget.


On our way to Belmont after a five-day bender, we decided we needed a bit of nature, salt water and vegetables in our system. We drove along the Great Ocean Road, stopping off at The 12 Apostles on another day of perfect weather and Bells Beach for a memorable surf.

We arrived at the Unwined Cellar Bar in Belmont, which was a great little establishment that had only recently been set up by Oliver Friend’s dad. Admittedly, it was an older crowd but, with the help of a newly learnt Elvis cover, we won them over.

It was an acoustic duo set, so was a bit of a change-up and a surprise, especially as we expected a full-band gig, but it was great fun nonetheless. Olly showed us around Geelong and it turned out to be another sick night.


This was the drive that Cav, our bass player, had been dreading since day one. Felt like seasons changed while we were in the car, but after playing some classic road-trip tunes and keeping spirits high, we had made it into Adelaide.

We literally picked the biggest week of the year for the city, with Clipsal V8s, the Adelaide Festival and Fringe Festival all on at the same time. Fair to say it was absolutely buzzing.

We set up in the Exeter Hotel, which was a pretty vintage-looking pub, and made mates with legend/sound man Greg. We’ve learnt that a happy sound man means a happy life. We soon met our now-#1 fan, Joe, who danced on stage, dropped about four glasses, and got kicked out for doing too many shoeys.

It was an absolutely mental gig, split into two sets; the second set saw our mates from Brissy fly all the way down and catch up with a group of Adelaide girls to fill the crowd and have a rip-snorter of a night.

This was followed by a doof at the croquet club, which was considerably looser than it sounds, and a crammed sleep in the van due to a lack of organisation and our sheer blood alcohol level.


Arrived in the town the locals called “Mildy” and couldn’t have loved it more. Was better than Lego. The guys at the Corporate Moose were the biggest legends, giving us a free (huge) meal, a case of beer as our rider, everything set up waiting for us and free accommodation. Big thanks to Steph.

Little did we know that Joe, our hardcore fan from the night before, had decided to drive with his mates all the way from Adelaide to Mildura, because he missed the second set after being kicked out.

Naturally, this turned the night into one of the biggest yet, and we found a hidden mega-club in the heart of the country, drinking the local drink called “Holy water” and crashing in their friend’s house to finish the biggest leg of the tour.

Bring on the next one.

Shag Rock pick up for the final shows of their tour at Helensvale's Quarterfest on Friday 31 March, rounding out with gigs in Brisbane and Peregian. See theGuide for more details.