Ever Seen Someone Drink Seven Frappes A Day? RAT!hammock & Horror My Friend Now Have

25 November 2019 | 3:58 pm | Staff Writer

RAT!hammock and Horror My Friend have just wrapped up their co-headline tour. Here, they share their tour diary.

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Entry by RAT!hammock's Jackson Phelan

First run of the tour was a hometown show for RAT! at the very local (three minutes from my house) Northcote Social Club. This one was particularly special because opening the night was one of our best friends Merpire. She’s one of my favourite songwriters ever and her voices is truly arresting PLUS she’s a part of the family and offers us her vocals and stand out percussion skills whenever we can make it work logistically. We chucked in a sneaky cover of the Gotye hit Somebody That I Used To Know and Merps joined us and knocked it straight outta the park. 

After the show it was straight to Yah Yah’s for a 1am DJ set (our first time on the decks) - after a brief tutorial from Horror My Friend DJ extraordinaire Sam Kolesnik they set us loose on the unsuspecting partygoers. A few fader slides and filter sweeps later we closing our set with ABBA’s Dancing Queen a little homage to our own drummer Jack Nicholson who danced competitively in to his teen years. 3am knock off and it was time for to grab a slice of ‘za (1x margarita, 1x veggie) and head home for shut eye. HMF and RAT’s were scheduled to be on the road to the home of the HORROR at 8am the next morning. 

Entry by RAT!hammock's Jack Nicholson

Joining us on bass for this run of shows was our friend and multi instrumentalist Dom Buckham, you might have seen him playing drums in Porpoise Spit or bass in Fan Girl. It was on the 10 hour drive to Adelaide we finally got an insight in to what makes this 9ft tall heathen of a man operate - Dom has a truly insatiable appetite for McDonalds frappes talking about them almost constantly and consuming up seven a day. 

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Fortunately we arrived at Jive Bar with enough time to really drink in the street art in the parking lot behind the venue; less fortunately this meant there was enough time for me to bring back the classic thrill seeker move of planking. The show went off without a hitch. During Horror My Friend’s set, the crowd moved like a ballet of serpents in the pit. Hell yeah, Adelaide. You rock! 

Entry by RAT!hammock's Jackson Phelan
Fate would have it that we came across one of the extras from the Pick Up video clip. Not visible: His glorious dinner plate of a belt buckle that would blind a man if angled 45 degrees at midday. The tour peaked pretty early. 

Just before soundcheck at the Adelaide show Jackson single handedly brought back the most important export of 2011. Sometimes you just know when you’re witnessing one of those moments you’ll tell your grandkids.

Entry by Horror My Friend's Josh Battersby

The day started off way too early at Adelaide Airport. However, the earlier we got to Brisbane the sooner we got to see the Rat!dawgs. We spent the day in the Paddington Hotel (affectionately know to locals as THE FKN PADDO) where we shared a schooner of XXXX Gold, a game of pool and many laughs. Actually it was the most expensive game of pool - $4??? For one game? - and the table wasn’t even level! 

We then went to the Black Bear Lodge and played a rock concert. Apres ca, Perve Endings proceeded to open up the pit, this band rules! Then RAT!hammock played a set and then we played a set too! Our time at Black Bear Lodge was swell and I hope we have the opportunity to play there again! 

Entry by RAT!hammock's Jack Nicholson
The crowd in Brisbane was mental and this show felt easily the best of the tour for me, there’s always so much love from those guys and the vibe was massive from start to finish. Big highlight was the array of artwork featuring majestic mountain landscapes at Black Bear Lodge. A concerning amount of my spare time lately has been spent searching op shops for as many Bob Ross knock offs that I can find, so you can imagine how many ways I thought of acquiring this spicy wall adornment while playing the set.

In a completely selfish and irredeemable display of character, the RAT! crew abandoned Josh and Tom from Horror My Frien to do the double DJ set at Greaser on their own in favour of getting 1-2 hours sleep before our 6am flight to Sydney. I should feel awful but Josh got some real solid sleep throughout the next day so it all equals out right?

We packed and unpacked the tour wagon about 18 times through these last weeks but this was far and away the best goddamn pack we ever did. I wish someone was as proud of me as Jackson's face says he is of that car boot.

Entry by RAT!hammock's Tom Dowling

The Sydney leg of our tour is a bit of a blur. After a couple hours sleep and 15 nail-biting minutes of working out whether we’d left Tom and Josh of Horror My Friend in Brisbane, we were on a 6am flight into the harbour city. Maybe it was the effect of the heat on my frozen Melbourne nerves, maybe it was the debilitating lack of sleep, but as we drove to our Darlinghurst accommodation, dodging every car that pulled out without indicating, all I could do was appreciate driving amongst the rolling hills and brilliant purple Jacarandas that lined the avenues. 

We pulled over to stretch our legs and let Josh fall asleep across 2/3rds of the second row of seats in our hired Kia Carnival. Jackson and I left the rest of the crew to try and make it in time for an interview at FBi Radio. Grace and Al were kind enough to humour us while we talked incessantly about Red Bull, panic attacks and going to the beach in different states. 

We went back to our accommodation. The apartment we were sharing was above a cafe that constantly blasted Red Hot Chili Peppers. I can highly recommend pulling a cushion off of a futon and having a nap to the bassline of Don’t Forget Me pulsing through the floor below you. The same cannot be said of Get On Top. Almost as soon as I fell asleep, I was woken up again to head to the Chippo. 

Our eternally pained manager Dan had pulled some strings to get us our backline and warned us we’d have to be at the venue by 5pm to load in or, quote, "he was dead". We got there at 5:23pm. Good Pash absolutely destroyed the crowd to start off the night. I’m so goddamned glad we didn’t have to follow them. 

Someone threw a bunch of their stickers at us during our set, and I’m going to plant them on every spare piece of band sticker real estate there is in Melbourne. Go watch that band! Horror My Friend did their usual thing and upstaged everyone. God, I hate those guys. They’re so handsome and talented and genuinely nice, amazing people who also make incredible music. It makes me sick. 

Someone came up to Dom and said he looked like the guy from RAT!hammock. When Dom said he was playing in RAT!hammock, the guy said “Yeah, right, sure you are man” and walked off. This is my personal highlight of the tour. 

The crowd at the gig were so unbelievably generous and kind to us, it felt like we were playing a hometown show. As I sat in the Lansdowne, drinking a schooner, and rattling off opinions about stupid obscure guitars with Tom and Josh, I couldn’t imagine a better end to a tour that took us across the country with such wonderful people, and to such wonderful places with such genuine, generous fans of local music. 

Just as we were about to call it a day and part ways with Horror My Friend, we bumped into a few good m8s at the airport (TOWNS + Sweater Curse).