The next day we got up early and went straight to the hotel pool. This is undoubtedly the greatest pool I’ve ever had the pleasure of bombing.
Those pink shorts have got me into a lot of trouble on this tour. I’m not sure we can go into the details but suffice to say that out here if you wear pink people assume you like to kiss men. I don’t like to kiss men and I don’t like it when men kiss me. IQ and Felix turned up. I don’t know how this next shot happened, but it did and I think it needs to be enjoyed by a wider public. Also, if I don’t put it up here, IQ will accuse me of favoritism.
The pool cleared out pretty quickly at this point and we had things to do, cameras to repair and cities to see.
We spent the morning trying to find somewhere in Melbourne to fix the camera, but 20 places turned us away; it was starting to become clear that we wouldn’t be seeing any results until we got to Sydney where Canon have their HQ.
That afternoon we got stuck into the promo tour, visiting a couple of local radio stations and getting involved in some pretty awkward interviews.
Then it was across town to soundcheck for one of our sideshows with Jessie J.
And this turned out to be the toughest gig of the tour, with nearly all of the band having trouble with the sound reverberating back at them. Apparently this is called ‘slap back’ and it means they can’t hear themselves properly. That said they managed to hide their frustration and the crowd reaction was one of the best yet so it ended on a high. For once though it wasn’t 7 guys and a girl having a lot of fun, it was hard work instead.
After the show we were told that there was an after party on the 28th floor of our hotel and Fatboy and Skrillex were doing DJ sets. They’d be free booze and food and it’d be great, so we went.
The cities we’ve stayed in have all been very modern, lots of skyscrapers and marble malls. And while this might not look great it does afford some great views.
Now this might look like I’m ending this post with another gratuitous bathroom picture of myself but this image is important because several hours after it was taken I was found in this bathroom, wearing that Tshirt and…. well, nothing else.
We’ll never know what happened exactly (though Stephen is doing his best to solve the puzzle by requesting all CCTV footage from the hotel is handed over to us) but I’ll take a stab at piecing it all together. After our failed trip to the casino, Nick and I were feeling a little out of pocket so when we were offered a night of free food and alcohol we thought we’d get some value for money if you follow my drift. If one night had cost us a fortune, then we were definitely going to make up for it by another one on someone else’s tab. And we won’t be seeing each other for 6 months now, so we weren’t going to bed early. No, we were going H.A.M.
Too many tequilas and it was time to call it a night. I fell fast asleep but I think I then woke in the night and fumbling for my bathroom I stumbled through the first door I found and into the hotel corridor. At this point I realized I had no key and no pants, but instead of opting for the obvious remedy and making said t-shirt into a pair of shorts, I just got in the lift and headed to the concierge to ask for another key.
Now the Australians are notorious for their laid-back attitude but even they have their limits. Ultimately towels were provided, key cards were cut and I got back to bed and fell into another deep sleep. Oh yeah, I woke up a little late and managed to miss our transfer to the airport, so I spent the next day hanging my head in shame and being taunted for the misdemeanors of the night before.
So once again we’d drunk too much and we shouldn’t do that but hey no-one was hurt and we had a lot of fun. This post might suggest I’m proud of what happened but I’m not, however I do know that it’s part of this job that if we let the side down, it’s not going to be covered up, our deeds are to made public on the internet, the modern day stocks, a tarring and feathering to teach us our lesson and mend our ways.
2012, australia, behind the scenes, professor green
Disclaimer: the views expressed here in this blog post are not those of Stephen Manderson or his record label. Before anyone else gets in touch to complain can I just say that this is simply how things looked from where I was standing.
Melbourne got messy. I’m not sure why but I’m blaming old friends, jetlag and Canon. This is the XF105, the baby brother of the 305 that we used to make Professor Green Unseen.
Now these aren’t cheap but we decided we needed one for this trip to Australia. So, despite the fact that Stephen and I have probably spent well over 10 grand on Canon products over the last 3 years, we decided to buy this little puppy for a not-insignificant 3 grand. And then 3 days into this trip it gave up the ghost.
Obviously I’ve brought a spare camera with me and technically it’s not my fault that the camera died, but I’m conscious of the fact that a lot of money has been spent on flying me out here to film TV broadcast quality content and, without this camera, I’m essentially wasting everyone’s time. Thank god for customer care and a good warranty, Canon will appreciate our commitment to their brand, they’ll remember that Stephen told the readers of The Sun that the Canon 5D was essential festival equipment, they’ll take pity on my predicament and impending nervous breakdown; they’ll bring me a new camera to exchange for the 4 day-old, 3 thousand pound camera that doesn’t work.
Or maybe they won’t? Maybe they’ll not reply to tweets, send generic responses to every email and conclude that Canon Australia is a separate entity to Canon UK and my warranty doesn’t cover me abroad. Think ‘canoe’, ‘without paddle’ and a polite ‘fuck’ and ‘off’. So, I won’t bore you further, but I think it’s safe to say that Canon’s international warranty basically translates to ‘hey guys, please buy our cameras but whatever you do don’t you dare contemplate taking them on holiday….’
So back to Melbourne. Night number one was spent catching up with old friends and drowning camera-related sorrows. This is my buddy Nick, Biggest Lew’s partner in BurgerGang related crime.
First stop – a Korean chicken joint that served beer, chicken and cheesy corn. Two out of three aint bad.
Next we headed to a Japanese divebar to drink whiskey and gold-infused Sake.
You had to choose which cup to drink it out of, which is a pretty nice idea, unless it reminds you of the cup scene in Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail.
Happily no-one’s face melted off, I don’t think we won the gift of eternal youth but we did get drunk.
After dinner and drinks we wanted dancing but nowhere was open so we headed back to the hotel for a night-cap. And this is when things went wrong. Whereas back in Blighty a good hotel will keep its bar open all night long, here in Australia they’re shut by 11 o’clock. Now I was loathe to crack open the mini-bar because I’m a bit tight like that, so when the receptionist suggested we could get a beer in the local casino, that seemed like the cheapest, most sensible course of action.
Now I’m no James Bond, but I’ve done a bit of gambling in my time and the rule of thumb seems to be: drinking and gambling equals losing. So that’s what we did. The first half-hour was great fun, we were losing but nothing considerable. Once we were out of chips we decided we’d win our money back by putting all of our cash on red. Two minutes later I was at the cashpoint withdrawing enough money to get on the poker tables and rectify our run of bad luck. By this point it wasn’t fun anymore, I folded my way out of chips while Nick sat there watching our hopes for a pleasant end to the evening die slowly.
I love this picture of Nick because he looks like such a loser.
And that’s what we were: losers, limping home, with that steely glare that says ‘let’s change the subject, get the fuck out of here and never speak of tonight ever again.’
But to add insult to injury they’ve stuck this guy’s face just outside the casino. He’s not a gambler; look – he’s married, happy and so successful he doesn’t even have to wear a tie. I could have cried.
So we wandered home in silence and went to sleep, promising to learn from our mistakes, to get back on the straight and narrow and fall into line for a little while. Oh if only we’d known what was to come…Unfortunately I’m too tired to continue so you’ll have to wait for part two or Friday’s edition of The Sun for that story.
What did we learn? Well, that gambling and drinking are dangerous companions and that ultimately when making large purchases we should always choose a brand we trust, one that we hope values us as much as we value their products. The end.
australia, behind the scenes, Photos
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Australia is a big place. 5 hours later and we’ve arrived in Perth. Thank God for plush hotels because the jet lag isn’t abating. I’ve never before appreciated how bad it can get; I feel lost, muffled, disorientated by waves of tiredness that just won’t go away. I’ve tried everything, drowning it under the waves, running it out, sleeping it off, killing it with booze, but still we’re a week in and it’s here to stay.
Future Music Perth was a little different to Brisbane. Less rain, more shirts and an altogether bigger and wilder crowd. Felix and IQ got things started with a short and sharp warm up set and by D.P.M.O. the crowd were showing their appreciation by showering Green with beer. When you consider the heat and the queue for the bar I guess this is a real sign of affection.
Post-gig mingle with the fandem.
I’m loving the VB. I’m sure it’s what Mick drank in Crocodile Dundee or maybe it was Alf in Home and Away. Either way it’s better than it looks. Not a bad Italian meal ruined by a Spanish guitarist who insisted on raping such classics as Stand By Me.
I can’t say I’m feeling Perth. It’s got even less charm than Brisbane. Don’t get me wrong, it’s clean and safe and the people have been as friendly as anywhere in the world, but everything’s so new, the architecture so haphazard and thrown together, that it all feels rushed and put together without any heart. And before the local tourist board complains (as they did when I suggested Brisbane had too many muscles) can I just say this is the experience of one jet-lagged man who has only seen a shade of what Australia has to offer. This country undoubtedly has some of the world’s most impressive nature, the people seem kind and welcoming, I think maybe I just don’t like their buildings and how they build their cities.
Later that night, a few of us went to the Festival after party at some bar called Space. We headed down with Skrillex and the guys from Flux Pavillion who played upstairs. It seemed to be on some impromtu tip because the crowd went proper spare. Personally I think people waste way too much time discussing dubstep and the pros & cons of Skrillex. A super-friendly guy who played some nasty songs that made everyone pull stupid faces and bang their heads… what more do you need?
Twenty minutes later I found Felix cornered by 6 or 7 young locals. I don’t know how to put this, but they definitely thought Felix was someone else, I don’t know who, but I do know that Felix was too much of a gentleman to shatter their illusions. Our Felix is a gentleman like that: not one to burst the dreams of young, impressionable fans.
You know that moment when you think ‘I’m balling, I’m balling… oh shit I’m really not balling…’ That’s how I felt when I realized I was drinking a bottle of Smirnoff Ice that someone had kindly put their cigarette out in.
That was pretty much time to call it a night. There was a jazz club somewhere down the road that was doing a live tribute to Whitney Houston, I was down but no-one else was…. So we wandered home and that was that, another great day, too much sun and too much booze, but hey, when in Rome….
Rufus2012, australia, behind the scenes, Photos, professor green
Yesterday was day one of the Future Music Festival. To be fair, things were stacked against us, the line-up had been changed at the last minute so there was some timing confusion and then the skies opened and we saw our first barrage of Aussie rain. Apparently it rains every year without fail on FMF day and the locals didn’t seem fazed. They turned up, loved-up and shirtless, with spiky hair and way too much muscle; think Jersey Shore take on Bestival….
The crowd response was manic; the Aussies seem to love the aggression of songs like D.P.M.O, the INXS riff on I Need You Tonight is obviously a national favorite and with Read All About It climbing the charts over here, the set closes with fans singing along which is standard in the UK but a little surreal over here. Nothing like a good gig to raise spirits and numb the jetlag.
Pro caught up with Travie from Gym Class Heroes, these guys toured together 3 or 4 years ago….
Watching their set from side of stage.
Shouts out to Burger Gang.
Then off for a bit of promo. High spirits makes life hard for interviewers. At one point it looked like Stephen and Jessie J were going to do their promo together but then common sense prevailed. I think I heard Stephen say ‘I’m joking…’ five times to a visibly shocked interviewer while her researcher took about 5 minutes to recover from the joke that got played on her when she walked on set.
The last interview of the day ended with a race round the corridors on Beer cooler bikes. Only in Australia would someone think of taking a beer cooler and turning it into a very dangerous and awkward moped. I guess drink driving isn’t a big deal over here.
Meanwhile IQ was doing his thing.
This is ‘old-school’ Pat, our sound engineer. He’s the guy that sits at the big desk opposite the stage and cranks up the volume. I have no idea what he does exactly but I’d hazard a guess that he mixes all the different sound channels together and then pumps out the purest sound he can. Either way, he’s pretty damn important.
Q wanted me to use these pictures because they show he’s ‘international n shit….’
Here he is taking a wet wipe shower next to tour manager Trigger.
After an afternoon of drinking it was time to head to Perth. Another long flight, another time change, further body clock confusion just as you’re reaching some kind of equilibrium. The strain is showing, it’s like any trip, the first several days are new and exciting but come day four it’s taken its toll. We haven’t even been partying that hard, I guess it’s just the power of jetlag.
Felix is pioneering a new look: the Brian Harvey snapback x JLS neckline combo. The ladies love it.
Next stop Perth.
2012, australia, jessie j, Photos
Harry’s Bar in Venice is supposedly the greatest bar in the world, the birthplace of such lady drinks as the Bellini. Unfortunately this is not Venice, this is Singapore airport, and Harry’s Bar here is unlikely to make any Best Bar lists. But who cares, you’re in between two 12 hour flights, it’s 32 degrees and they serve cold beer so you’ll probably enjoy it more than it’s posh Venetian cousin. We drank.
Katie had picked up some trash mags on the plane and there was a cartoon in one that was a bit close to home. The Real Life story on page 44 kind of sums up what type of classy publication we’re dealing with here.
These two are really missing being on tour with those pesky scamps, The Rizzle Kicks. It’s hot as hell so you’ll be seeing a lot more cap action no doubt.
After that, not much exciting happened. We finished our drinks, Stephen got an itchy knee and then we all got back onto a plane and anaesthetised ourselves into another 12 hour slumber.You know what, the flight was pretty easy really, anyone who moans about it being a day from hell, should try spending a night in the cells, I’ve heard from a friend that that really makes you appreciate your own space. 24hours of TV, free drinks and cat naps, it’s hardly torture.
That’s about it, but stay tuned for tomorrow’s exciting episode, when Team Green finally make it to Brisbane and I go to the local modern art museum and remind myself how much I hate children.
australia, jessie j, Photos, Tour
Professor Green will support Jessie J on the following dates in Australia in March.
1st – Riverstage, Brisbane
5th – Challenge Stadium, Perth
7th – Festival Hall, Melbourne
8th – Holdern Pavilion, Sydney
14th – Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Adelaide
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