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Gunns, Aborted Tortoise, Petrichoral at The Oddfellow June 14, 2014

The Amber Fresh Chronicles

Gunns, Aborted Tortoise, Petrichoral at The Oddfellow June 14, 2014

Andrew Ryan

Dear My Lovely Friends,

Well, you are all out there across the world. All far far away from me, and still very very close in my little tiny heart. Last night I recorded a voice message to my friend in Amsterdam. I was looking out at night across the dark waters. And looking out across the bright waters where the moon was beaming all its feelings down. All its feelings were sadness and love and peace, all mixed in. Mine were too.

This morning I got a voice message from my friend. He was looking out across the waters in Amsterdam. They were still, like the waters here, but it was daytime in Amsterdam and there were sounds of bicycles and clinking and footsteps on the stones instead of the sounds of nighttime waves and a million frogs.

Today, also, I saw a picture of an opal on my computer screen, and it looked like underwater. Now I draw it into my mind again and it reminds me of the daytime yesterday, being by the ocean waters, clear, sparkling, and thinking about trying to describe them to my friend. Impossible! There’s not a word for everything, not even ten thousand words for a thing.

Not everything has a name.

Saturday night at the show I was sick as a dog. Matt and I arrived as Petrichoral was playing. He looked lovely and was singing in his own voice, his own accent, so I loved it immediately. After the show he would tell me “It’s from ‘petrichor’, the word for the smell that happens after the rain,” but of course I already knew that. He would also tell me “I like your writing. I am studying literature,” and I would give him a small paper crane made from a butter menthol wrapper that I wasn’t sure what to do with.

In a little while I played, husking my sick way through the songs, thinking of my friend in Amsterdam, pushing through, prying my eyes open to look once or twice at the audience, blacked out again by the lights like last Saturday, and I started feeling chirpy again. “Yeah, it’s cos you’re on speed!” Matt told me, and explained what psuedoephedrine actually is. I denied it, and claimed this was my real self coming through, chirpy, silly, making wise cracks, parading in my stockings and shirt in the carpark before I put a different dress on.

It is my real self, but only in front of certain crowds.

I’d like to tell you about the next band, Aborted Tortoise. Even before they started playing they became my new favourite band. I liked how the singer was self conscious up there, not quite knowing what to do with his hands and body before the music started. He could have pretended to sort out some sort of equipment things, or took many swigs of beer or started rolling smokes or some other dumb thing to pretend he wasn’t just a body up on stage, in the lights, waiting for ‘the thing’ to happen, and with no purpose until it did happen.

When they started to play my mind said “Ha! You were right! New favourite band” and for the next half hour I was in a smilingest happy state. The singer continued to endear himself. The guitarist on his left humbly shredded his way up the chain of guitarists for me to want to watch again, and everyone else was just dandy in the best way. You know, to me it sounded like Taco Leg, one of my favourite bands who don’t live here anymore, but with all the gaps filled in. I loved everything about them, and the love only grew further when they said to me after the show “Oh, we have to get going because I’m on my red ‘P’s so I can’t drive after midnight.” Adorable shredding great goodtimes band with sick songs, big skills, and energy to fill a room, double it, and let it follow them home before midnight like a big teenage vampire ghost that looks scary but only in the most cute way. I know I used the words “adorable” and “cute”, but they made a big full sound I just had to say that cos they’re so wonderfully babyfaced and because of the red ‘P’s thing.

While Gunns played I sung along to the songs. I know them and love them, and it’s easy to learn them because Clint is writing like a star. My friend was almost dying at how much of a babe Jenny is, again. It’s too much of a real thing to not be mentioned every time I write about them. She’s just outrageously appealing because of being good looking, funny, good at bass, and wearing jeans most of the time even though if she put a dress on probably all the guys would basically faint. Once again, sorry for focussing on superficial things, but you know, I told you what the moon and water looked like but meant something deeper, and that’s what I’m doing here too. Someone was friendly-heckling Jells the whole time, but he just kept his head down and kept drumming, like the sweet, humble, softly apparelled giant he is.

There were many great things that night. George taking photos with a really bright flash that made things feel more exciting because he was blog paparazziying people’s rock performances. Hamish from Gunns’s nice belly and new pants that everyone reckoned they could see his dick in. Hamish telling everyone who was telling him about looking at his pants that he has a small little dick, but we didn’t believe him. Ali and the guy from Dream Rimmy who just won their Big Splash Heat being loud and funny after all the music finished, and the guy doing strange faces where he looked like he had no teeth while Gunns played. Losing my voice straight after playing so I sounded like a little 6 year old boy brought up in the rough suburbs, like the way I like to talk. Matt carrying my keyboard. Stu being really friendly as a sound guy so no-one had to feel like shit just before they played. Feeling pseudoephedrine kicking in, and for a moment not worrying that I had to get up at 6am to go back to camp and cook breakfast for 28 hungry kids and adults brought up in the rough suburbs.