Tales from the Road: Three States and the Bad Bard

A couple of days after the wine tasting in McLaren Vale we spent a lovely day being looked after by Tamzin and Tom, then it was the Pagans in the Pizza bar night. We had been asked to talk to the Adelaide Pagans about the OBOD, our Anderida camps and Gorseddau, and about our spiritual paths in general. It was great to meet up for a moot that wasn’t in a pub. Everyone munched down on some lovely food before the evening began which created a great atmosphere. We were asked some really in depth questions, and then we acted out the Taliesin story. After a short break we were invited to sit on a couple of decorated chairs and were given the most lovely gift as some of the Adelaide Pagans dressed up as Ogam trees and they performed a dance to my song The Greenwood Grove. It was so lovely and we were both deeply moved by what we saw. Again, such lovely folk!

On Wednesday it was Adrienne’s birthday. We stayed at home and the fizz was opened at about 1.30pm and continued like that well into

was popped at around 1.30pm and flowed all afternoon and, well, deep into the night really. I was introduced to gorgeous home-made smoked salmon Nori Rolls (something I know I’ll be eating back home) and various Australian sparkling wines. Then in the evening we headed off to what has to be the best pizza parlour I’ve ever eaten in. It was a great night but then, in the car on the way home, Adrienne was introduced to The Bad Bard… Don’t worry Adrienne our secret is safe!

I did think that I’d be battling a hangover on the morning of the gig at the South Australian Folk Centre but although a little muzzy, we were all fine. The venue was fabulous with a great atmosphere and posters of past performers all around the walls. Spiral Dance opened the evening with a 50 minute set, then I did a 90 minute set and then Spiral Dance finished the night. I wondered if people would come out again after the English Ale and then the Pagans in the Pizza bar, but I needn’t have

worried. It was a great night and a good last gig in Adelaide before we headed off the next day to Melbourne.

We were up early and dropped at the airport, met by Tamzin and Evelyn who saw us off. And we were later met by members of the OBOD Melbourne

Grove who took us into the city to a lovely ecology centre before moving on to a coffee bar just along from the venue Bar 303. As I walked into the venue I just knew this was going to be a great night. The bar was just like a Bohemian bar you’d find in Brighton and Prague. The seating was sofas, the

stage was small, the beer was organic and cold. Mmmm.

Some amazing things happened that night. I was met by people I’d met here before, others who had seen me play in the uk whilst on holiday and had come out to see me play in their country, and during the half time break a man came up to me and said, “Do you recognise me?” I had to say I didn’t. Then be said, “Delney Avenue?” That’s where I lived when I was about 5 years old and then it clicked! This was Ross, an old friend of mine from childhood! We had connected on Facebook just before he moved to Australia, he had seen I was playing tonight and had come out to see me play! It was amazing. Ross, if you’re reading this it was great to see you again.

The gig was great and by the end we had the most raucous folk version of Anarchy in the UK I’ve ever played. The bar was heaving and I don’t think you could have fitted one more person in. We tried a different format to the evening this time with me opening, then a set by Spiral Dance, then me again, and ending with another Spiral Dance set, each set being 45 minutes. It worked a dream.

We were taken back to the home of one of the Melbourne Grove and woke up to beautiful scenery. Trudy lives on a farm in the country with a stone circle and a noisy, but lovely, pet sheep. It would have been great to have spent a bit more time with the Grove but soon we found ourselves back at the airport and heading off to my final gig of this tour in Sydney.

We were met at the airport by David and Kerry, facilitators of the Pagan

Awareness Network (PAN) and soon found ourselves at the Bald Faced Stag hotel in Sydney. Through the bar we found the most well-equipped music venue of the tour. A massive PA, mixing desk and lighting rig. Paul made me laugh when he said, “I’m not sure the world is ready for 4000watts of accordion yet!” but the sound was amazing. The audience sat at the tables at the back of the hall then others just sat on the floor and we took

the journey together. My last set ended with a heaving dance floor and it was a great and fitting end to the tour. Later me and Cerri joined Spiral Dance on stage for their version of Spirit of Albion and then it was over. I can’t tell you how emotional I felt when we finally had to say goodbye to the members of Spiral Dance, but I know in my heart this won’t be the last time I play music with them here on the Singing Land.

We had a couple of days in Sydney but this has already become a long catch up blog so I’ll leave that to write on the plane tomorrow on our way to Michigan for the Michigan Pagan Festival. I hope I find a wifi spot so I can upload it!

3 responses to “Tales from the Road: Three States and the Bad Bard”

  1. Thanks for a wonderful gig at the Bald Faced Stag. Brilliant night and looking forward to you coming back again some day – earworms and all.


  2. On the other side of the Sydney part, I was scanning the computer for my route to the Bald-Faced Stag and where parking might be in the afternoon. I happened upon some comments about the venue that were absolutely terrible – complaints that it stank, was full of holes, that the bar has patrons that looked the absolute dregs of society…aarrgh! It had me wondering what on earth this place was that we were bringing our Pendragon and Bard to!
    However, I decided that what mattered more than what the place looked like, was the people who would be there. I knew that it didn’t matter where we were, we would all make it a perfectly splendid occasion, and that is exactly what we had!

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