Well a couple of weeks ago now I had to step up to a challenge. I was invited aboard The Bacardi Express. With an essentially limitless amount of booze on offer and me myself being an alcoholic, a tear came to my eye when I found out.
If I only knew how hard I would be crying by the end.
On my way down to Melbourne in the plane I happened to be sitting next to the very charming Rebecca who worked for one of those alcohol industry trade mags. Suffice to say this was like sneaking into a brothel only to find Charlie Sheen was waiting on the other side ready to give you advice on which whore to bed first.
After having sorted out all the boring accommodation and whatnot, we soon embarked out into the Melbourne night for my virgin visit to it’s hallowed laneways and moody drinking dens. The names Sweatshop, Manchuria, Charlie’s Bar and The Emerald Peacock all flew past me in an alcohol induced stupor and before I knew it I was backstage at The Palace hoeing into Bluejuice’s rider.
The gig itself was pretty full on. Bluejuice left me standing erect, Beardyman made me mess my pants and Groove Armada’s laser show was so impressive and spasmodic I only escaped vomiting by using every inch of my resilience coupled with an illegally powerful antacid I procured in exchange for a kidney.
The next day dawned and we were on the train quick smart. The train was just amazing. Aside from the fact there was a faux casino chillout lounge and jam room on board, I had a room that, thanks to the magic of fold out walls, managed to include an arm chair and foot rest, bed, toilet, washbasin and wardrobe all in the space of a disabled toilet cubicle.
The best part of this was the fold out toilet. The audacity of the engineers thinking people would have no problem shitting where they sleep was quite impressive, but not as impressive as the view of the Aussie outback you got when sitting on the throne.
The jam room was the best part of the carriage. Where else could you see Andy from Groove Armada playing Trombone along with some crazy mix of The Lost Valentinos, Bluejuice and British India, and the fact that there was a bar inside only made things better.
We lived like kings on that train, or rail snake, with drinks flowing like the hips of a Hawaiian hula princess and dining on such dainties as Foie Gras and Spatchcock. The only problem with the whole shindig was the gigs.
Sure they were the reason we were on the train, and sure the exposure they gave was what Bacardi were shelling out all the money for, but from a journalistic point of view, after you’ve spent the whole day on a train getting more fucked up than Drew Barrymore’s childhood the last thing you should be asked to do is to accurately cover anything.
I watched the bands at most of the gigs but my memories mainly consist of clumsy and drunken overexcitement followed by clumsy and drunken flirting with what turned out to be on separate occasions a gay man with long hair, a wood carving of a female native American and Jono Ma from The Lost Valentinos.
By the last day I was so engorged with alcohol I was unable to get rid of my hangover no matter how many Bloody Mary’s I drank. In the end I was saved by Mikey Cahill from Melbourne’s Herald Sun who kept me swimming in Gin & Juice until it was all over and I was allowed to pass out in a gutter somewhere.
Can’t wait for next year.