Totally Unicorn have already got a reputation as a band that gives absolutely everything on stage night after night, and they’ve also got a reputation for being a bunch of legendary loose units. It’s lucky for us, then, that they documented all of the above shenanigans in a hilarious tour diary, which chronicles their adventures at the recent BIGSOUND conference and Poison City Weekender, plus all the house parties, wine tastings and assorted other hijinks that came in between.
Here is part 3, read part 1 here and part 2 here.
Northcote Social Club, Melbourne w/ Pagan, Jack the Stripper and Disasters
The seams are starting to show. I can’t speak for everyone else but I tell you what, all these shenanigans are making me one fat (fatter), anxious butterball – I’ve lost three shirts to this tour’s indulgence.
Most of us are pretty hungover from Rolo Tomassi’s gig last night. About three years ago, we toured with the band, and it was great to see them play as well as having a few drinkies in their honour.
Kerim and Drew farewell our English maytes.
Despite foggy frontal lobes, we’re having a great day today. Everyone helps each other with gear at the airport; when it comes to the transit side of things, we’re a well-oiled machine… for now.
We land in Melbourne and pick up our hire car. The car’s small size forces those in the back to straddle a bass guitar; getting in and out is a pain in the arse. We park the car and I struggle with the lap-bass to get out of the car. As I free myself from the (internal) struggle, Drew slams his door on my fingers. I scream out in pain. A bloke from the apartment above the car park yells something inaudible. We load in the gear.
The Northcote Social Club is a dream venue – great sized room, beautiful courtyard and good food. This is our first rendezvous with our main support for the tour, mad Melbournites, Pagan. We say our hellos and talk of the tour so far. It’s then discovered that we have a green room, so we head there for a chill.
The rider is one of the best we’ve had so far; cans of Melbourne Bitter and mugs of Jamison whiskey make the rounds, and we’re all feeling nice and fuzzy right up until show time.
Drew deems it fit to drape coloured streamers over Mike’s drum kit. We play to a packed room and an ecstatic audience.
Mike heaps happy with a streamer-less drum kit
We drink at Northcote Social ’till we’re asked to leave, and on the way home we get a kebab.
The sound of Mike cracking a Canadian Club and Dry wakes me up. Drew and Mike wander around nude and take photos of each other. We start getting ready to head to the airport. Mike (still naked) dons his underpants. A loud “ohhhh” alerts all in the room; with his undies fully saddled, he exclaims, “Argh, I blew my nose in these last night…great.” We’re off to a good start.
We cure the hangovers with a few burgers and Bloody Marys and then head to the airport for a quick trip to our last destination of this leg – The Brisbane Hotel, Hobart.
The Brisbane Hotel, Hobart w/ Pagan, Knife Hands and Jack the Stripper
The Brisbane Hotel is one my favourite places to play. The crowd are loose, the accommodation is only a waddle away and the staff are rad and always down to party. A lot has changed since we were there last – the guest rooms upstairs have had a make-over. Our room, in particular, is covered wall to ceiling with DIY art. It’s fun in a Norman Bates kind of way. There is even a piece dedicated to the owner, Gibbo, that overlooks all the beds in the room. By far, the coolest new addition is a room that’s been converted into a “chill space”, where you can feast on your gums and enjoy deep and meaningful with a stranger, all in the comfort of a heavily padded tent. It’s dubbed the “Womb Room” and it is oh so glorious. I love this place.
Don’t. Fall. Asleep. (Don’t fall asleeeeeeep)
Leave your cares at the door, and bring ya chewie.
The night’s turn-out isn’t too bad, but the after-party is better. It’s our first real chance to hang with Pagan and we make the most of it. We drink till the early hours. Drew and I practise transferring vapour from my nostril to his lungs. Most of the crew head to bed, and Drew, Lee, Matt (Pagan) and I head to the local Mickie D’s for a feed. I drink a beer that’s covertly stashed in my coat pocket through a little straw rig I’ve crafted on the fly. We all wait patiently for our meals. After half an hour, it’s evident Lee isn’t getting his food, it seems his receipt went walkabout. The place is crawling with drunken youths, so we head to bed.
Matt and I bond over nuggets and Cascade Draught. Not pictured: Lee throwing out his receipt straight after ordering.
I awake in the Womb Room and emerge from its soft, padded shelter. The rest of the band’s still asleep and Pagan is long gone. To pass the time, I drink the leftover beer in solitude. It’s a nice time.
The Womb Room’s interior, so spicy.
The rest of the band begins to rise. Lee seems to be the worst off so I hand him a couple of codeine and he knocks them back without hesitation and THEN asks what they are. Our flight home is going to be a breeze. We farewell The Brisbane Hotel, and exit with a left-over bottle of wine in hand.
At the check-in counter, we’re informed that our itinerary is invalid. After further inquiry, it seems our flights were booked for the same date, but for last June. We fork over an exuberant amount of money just to get home. If I were sober, the news would have been a slap in the face; instead, it’s a warm caress of the cheek. Lee and I drink the half-bottle of wine in the carpark and then spend the last of our dollars at the airport bar. We board the plane really drunk, too drunk to be in charge of an exit row and after invading the space of our fellow passengers, proceed to have a chinwag with our aisle buddy all the way home. His name is Jethro, and he doesn’t seem to mind that our conversation is loud and our breath dank AF.
Here are cheers to the guy that I introduced to my elbow while I was trying not to face-plant his lap.
The good news is, next week’s gigs are all within driving distance from home. I can’t wait for Yours & Owls Fest. I feel sorry for any famous musician that’s gets cornered by me after a few tinnies – I’m looking at you, Cog.
Totally Unicorn’s tour wraps up this week in Brisbane and Byron Bay. Catch details here below.
Friday 7th October
Saturday 8th October
The Northern, Byron Bay