Hot Dub Time Machine Hit Coachella And This Is What Went Down

The one man, multi-generational party machine that is Hot Dub Time Machine, aka Tom Lowndes, recently got back from the always-hyped mega-festival that is Coachella and almost immediately dived back on the touring circuit at home, with shows at Groovin The Moo. Before he finishes up on GTM this weekend and kicks off his own string of headline dates next week (does the man ever sleep?), Tom kindly dropped off his tour diary from his US visit to give us this play-by-play insight into the chaos that is Coachella.

Monday 6/4/15

Leaving home never gets any easier. This will be the longest I’ve been apart from my wife and daughter since December 2013. But I’m also excited, I mean this is COACHELLA! My visa came through just in time and these will be my first ever gigs in the USA. Goodbye Sydney, you beautiful minx!

Tuesday 7/4/15

First stop is LA. I had three days here to acclimatise and get ready for ‘Chella. And also to go out to snazzy restaurants and drink cocktails… and more cocktails. Will this festival ever start?

Wednesday 8/4/15

L.A. is pretty awful. Here we see a crowd of people queueing up to look at people having their photographs taken.

Thursday 9/4/15

Finally, it was time to hit the road. It’s a longer drive than you think, about 6 hours. But it is very beautiful, you have to drive across the Rockies and when you hit the desert, you’re getting close.

We pick up my festival passes and discover I’m so low on the bill, that I don’t even get an “artist” wristband, I’m a “guest”. Oh well, I’m still playing at Coachella. I’m playing at the Heineken House which is the only venue not booked by the Festival, so I’m not in the official app or poster. And I’m playing there 6 times. Every day of the festival on both weekends

Friday 10/4/15

Caught the last ten minutes of Peking Duk’s set. Go the Duk!! Aussies takin’ over this festival.

First night at the Heineken bar, I’m doing 8:30pm – 10pm, last set of the night. And look at that queue!! Wow! I didn’t think anyone would know Hot Dub. Unless that queue is for the guy before me. I wonder who that could be….

IT’S JUST MUTHAFLIPPIN A-TRAK!!! Yes, I’m on after A-TRAK. Intimidated much? Yes I was. And because he’s A-Trak, he finishes half an hour late, and makes the Heineken crew sneak in a super quick set by a band from on his label Fools Gold. So when A-Trak finishes, the band starts and clears the room. Completely.

I then struggle through a 50 minute set, feeling very rusty and when I manage to break an important button on my mixer, I know it’s going to be a tough gig. I wonder why the crowd was dropping so quickly towards the end, only to discover that security started kicking people out 15 minutes from the end of my set. Greeeeeat.

Well, there it was, my first ever gig in America. The best thing I can say about it is that I will be better next time. My friends are all trying to reassure me that it was okay, but I know I can do much better. When I have a gig that I’m not happy with, all I want to do is work, so I can’t wait to get home, fix the mixer and make sure tomorrow will be better.

I’m staying in a house with fellow aussies Alison Wonderland, Hayden James and all the crew from our management company Falcona. I go to work taking apart my mixer, while Al practices her massive set for tomorrow.

It’s bad news, the button on my mixer is dead. It’s a button I use for every song, (cue 1 for the nerds), so I am going to have to totally re-map all of my midi controls to work around it. It’s going to be a long night.

But a chat with my wife and daughter on Facetime puts it all in perspective.

Saturday 11/4/15

Today’s gig couldn’t have been any better. I play for 2 hours, from 12pm-2pm, and arrive to find that the crew have managed to find a brand new Rane 62, for me to use. All that time spent re-mapping and trying to fix my one was totally unnecessary.

It turns out the afternoon is a perfect place to play the Heineken Bar: it’s the only venue in the festival with both air-conditioning and alcohol, so I’ve got a captive audience. I have a wonderful gig and meet lots of locals. I am so relieved. This festival is going to be OKAY.

After my set I walk across to see how my housemate Alison Wonderland is going, and watch as she absolutely dominates. I feel super privileged to have watched her practising at the house, and then watch as that work pays off with a flawless set. Success isn’t ever as easy as it looks, she works very hard for her success. It’s her first gig in America and she is going to take it over.

I’m feeling good, so I change into my party shirt and head back into the festival to have some fun. This photo is in Alison’s trailer, which we use as our base of operations in a big night of partying. You know it’s a big night when you bump in Generik.

For some reason all my photos and memories are a bit blurry, but I’m pretty sure this is Axwell & Ingrosso throwing out some mainstage house music. I also saw Danny Tenaglia, which is a huge highlight for me.

I’m staying in a hotel tonight, as the house is full of people partying and not sleeping. And when I get to my room, there’s an ice-cold bottle of champagne!!! Someone has sent it to the wrong room, and given it’s 5am, I reckon it’s a bit late to report the error to the hotel staff. And I like champagne. Win.

Sunday 12/4/15

I drag myself out of bed and back in the festival for my Sunday set. This festival is so huge, just getting into it is a 40 minute walk. In the desert. With a hangover.

This is absolutely my best show so far, and one of the best ones I’ve ever done. The crowd is full to capacity from start to finish. I’m so hungover I can barely put the needles on my records, but I rock out stupidly hard, at once stage almost vomitting which would have been a first. The venue gives me an extra five minutes, and someone in the front row hands me a note that says: “play California Love.” Best Advice Ever. I drop it and spend the next 5 minutes in the middle of the dance floor having beer poured down my throat by the locals. At the end of the gig I can’t stand up and collapse on the floor of the change room. Where that photo was taken..

I’m in real trouble, but my crew and manager are nowhere to be seen, I call and they reply from the bar. Fuckers. Fortunately the Heineken Bar is staffed by some of the nicest and most beautiful women at the festival. They throw me in the back of a golf kart with a few bottle of water and drive me to the taxi rank, which is a half hour drive.

My angels.

I was given my first ever bit of Kandi by a local during my set. Kandi was always something looked down upon by my generation of ravers in Sydney, but in America their rave culture still has a joyous naivety and Kandi is a wonderful part of that. American ravers are excellent.

I recover at the hotel, then head back in for another night of partying. This is Coachella, thought I would have a quiet night? No fucking way. Seeing Gesaffelstein was a massive highlight. It’s my first time seeing him, and his lighting and production is simply the best I’m ever seen.

I watch 5 minutes of Drake, but it’s not my thing. So we go back to someone’s hotel room and drink until the sun comes up.

Monday 12/4/15

7am Monday and we’re sitting by the pool, looking at the view and haven’t slept a wink. Coachella baby. And we get to do it all again next weekend…

Hot Dub Time Machine wraps up the Groovin The Moo tour this weekend and kicks off his own headline tour next week, deets below.

Watch: Hot Dub Time Machine – Live at the Enmore Promo

Hot Dub Time Machine 2015 Australian Tour

Thursday, 14th May 2015

Metro Theatre, Sydney

Tickets: HDTM Website

Friday, 15th May 2015SOLD OUT

Metro Theatre, Sydney

Tickets: HDTM Website

Saturday, 16th May 2015NEW SHOW

Metro Theatre, Sydney

Tickets: HDTM Website

Saturday, 23rd May 2015

The Hi-Fi, Brisbane

Tickets: HDTM Website

Friday, 29th May 2015SOLD OUT

Villa, Perth

Tickets: HDTM Website

Saturday, 30th May 2015NEW SHOW

Villa, Perth

Tickets: HDTM Website

Friday, 5th June 2015

The Hi-Fi, Melbourne

Tickets: HDTM Website

Friday, 19th June 2015

Discovery, Darwin

Tickets: HDTM Website

Friday, 26th June 2015

Republic Bar, Hobart

Tickets: HDTM Website

Hot Dub Time Machine – Festival Of Hot Dub

Night One: Hot Dub Classic

Friday, 12th June 2015

Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide (All ages)

Tickets: Hot Dub Time Machine

Night Two: Hot Dub Rave

Saturday, 13th June 2015

Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide (All ages)

Tickets: Hot Dub Time Machine

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