Thursday, July 9, 2009

On the road with Tété

14 October, 2008

Now, I'm not a religious person, but I can tell you that as I flapped around like an interpretive dance-bird inside the Mullumbimby Civic Hall on the final night of this mini tour, I think I may have seen the light, or at least had a 'moment' with the universe.

Maybe it was the fact the hall was church-like in its interior design, maybe it was because it was full of fellow music lovers who felt inspired to get up and dance within minutes of Tété beginning his set (although I must say that their enthusiastic moves could have been influenced by a bit of the green stuff pre-gig…not sure how I can justify my own stylishness given I was sober)…which leads me back to that religious experience.....

Do you ever have moments in your life when you say to yourself (often out loud, if you are as crazy as me) "I can't believe this is MY life!" and you feel ridiculously high and happy and joyful … and begin jumping and prancing and dancing and feel inspired to do running leaps across whatever room you are in (thankfully this particular joy hit me during a music concert full of hippies so my interpretive dance was not so out of place or shocking to anyone).

What led me to bust these particular moves you ask? Well, it was the build up of joy (the kind of joy that makes unhappy people want to hate you) from three days on the road which began when I picked up the beautiful Nicolle Lane (who had organised the tour) from Brisbane on the first day. We drove to Byron Bay (please note – many place names beginning with the letter B on this tour which was bound to make it magic!) through rolling green hills, past sleepy cows and along ocean roads to meet Tété.

We took to the highway - three different people, from three different backgrounds, with no shared history in a hire car which we named Mavis…because she smelt like the perfume your nana used to wear (not that my nana was called Mavis - her name was Jutta - and she never wore perfume...but it made sense at the time).

Mavis carried us from gig to gig, allowing us the perfect little nana-bubble to share the stories of how we came to be here, on this highway, with each other.

For Tété, it began when he broke his leg and his mother bought him a guitar to help him pass the time as his body recovered from the injury. Little did he know that would be the start of a career which would have him signed with a major record label, sell half a million albums and play to packed stadiums across Europe.

Between the stories, there were rest stops....
Like the antique store near Tweed Heads full of marine paraphernalia … anchors covered in barnacles, treasure chests, shells, frayed ropes and rusty ship windows.

Across the road from that store is a public toilet next to a river where everything is automated…you have to press a button to enter, a button for toilet paper, a button for soap and another button for water…and yet there's no button to turn off the speaker above the loo which blasts "What the world needs now, is love sweet love".

There's a McDonalds restaurant between the Gold Coast and Byron that has an usually large photo on the wall (like, it takes up the entire wall as if it were photo-wallpaper) of a young man sitting on the roof of his car smiling as he looks out across the, well, we were not sure what he was looking out towards but we were certain there was some sort of subliminal message about Maccas being the key to life long independence and freedom....

In Surfers Paradise there is a Queensland Women's Association shop amongst the skanky pubs and nightclubs where they sell homemade beanies and shawls and aprons. "Yes, we've been here for 40 years" said the old lady behind the counter (whose name just may have been Mavis) when I expressed joy over discovering so many knitted goods quietly tucked away in the craziness of Surfers Paradise...

On our last day together we walked through Mullumbimby in search of a hearty meal ahead of our final gig. We strolled past a boy and his mother on the footpath. He would have been eight years old. He was wearing a batman t-shirt and looked up at his mum and said, in the most matter of fact ways - "But I know that fairies aren't real".

Maybe he's right. I am usually the realist in any given conversation. The girl who finds those purple sparkly stickers on the back of cars that say "Magic Happens" rather nauseating.
But, on Saturday night as I stood at the back of the Mullumbimby Civic Hall and watched this world class performer beam musical love across the dancing hippies, I allowed myself to get carried away with the fairies.

I have this goal-diary which lists the things I want to achieve with my music. Six months ago I wrote down "Get a support spot with an internationally recognised artist". I ticked that box last night.

I'd also set myself another goal - "Sell 47 CDs on my Tété tour".

I sold 15.

I put a huge smiley face in that box…to remind myself of a tour full of laughter, life-changing music and fairy-inspired interpretive dance moves :-)

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