I had a fantastic time in Kalgoorlie!
It was my first ever visit and it was soooo worth the drive. I took the coastal route to Esperance then the Coolgardie Esperance road to Kalgoorlie. If you do it in one hit it takes almost 10 hours but I stopped in Esperance for a night each way so I had a decent break.
I have been utilising Air BnB a lot lately because it’s a great way to go on the road and get low cost accommodation and to be honest it makes it possible for me to take my music further afield. However, there is a down side, you never know what you’re going to get. So you just have to go with the flow and be thankful that you have a bed and shower and it’s alway clean and tidy. I had booked in at the Forest House Air BnB and little did I know that I would be sharing the venue with 11 other young men and that it would be a hostel type setup. So you can imagine my surprise when I found out that the bathrooms were all shared which wouldn’t have been so bad if there had been other women staying. But I was on the only woman, so everyday I felt like I was walking into the men’s bathroom. They were all young guys (except for one) and they would stand at the sink half clad, having a shave or wash, and we would give each the obligatory nod “how you goin'” type thing and continue on our way. All jokes aside they were very respectful and lovely guys, but another concern came to mind when I realised they were all young. Oh bugger! I thought, they’re going to be wanting to party every night and I really needed my sleep so that I could be awake and focused for my gigs, I mean I’m not getting any younger! Well it turned out that they were all fly in fly out (fifo) workers and they were working 12 hour shifts from 6am to 6pm and didn’t get home till after 6pm and they were all in bed by 9pm! I was already out preparing for my gigs by that time and I was probably the noisey one not getting back till after midnight. So that was an interesting role reversal if ever I saw one.
I found out at 5.30am the following morning that the train line was 50 metres from my bedroom window and the train station was a few doors down. The big diesel passenger and freight train idled in the station for around 20 mins and then every 30 mins after that another train whistled past for the next few hours. You can all see where this is heading can’t you? It’s all the things that rock and roll stories are made off….LIVING THE DREAM!! only it’s ‘FOLK N ROLL’ all the way for me folks! :O)
I didn’t get much sleep the first night to my surprise! — not — but it didn’t matter because I could sleep in for as long as I liked the next day the gig wasn’t till 7pm at night. However, the phone rang at 9am the next morning, it was Betina from ABC Kalgoorlie radio and she had heard I was in town touring my album and that I had come all the way from Denmark WA. She wondered if I wanted to go in for an interview and to play a song. I was like “yeah sure that would be awesome! What time did you want me in?”, “Would 10am be ok with you?” she replied. “Yeah sure! I lied”, that would great! So I jumped out of bed got my act together tuned my guitar gargled some warm water so I could sing without croaking and headed off to the studio. I found the studio in the nick of time after driving round town trying to find it only to find out that I had parked right outside on my first time round.
It was lovely to meet Betina the presenter and it turned out her parents were living in Denmark. That evening I had a great gig at 3b Boutique Bar where I met some lovely people and sold some CD’s which was awesome. It’s not easy going to a brand new venue to set up your PA and play and the 3b Boutique staff were fantastic and so accommodating. The following night I played at the secret location on Burt Street. Ruben Wills from E13 Sessions has been doing some fantastic work up there in Kalgoorlie WA. He is passionate about supporting original live music and giving artists an opportunity to play their original music to an attentive audience. It’s a fantastic event and we had the most wonderful audience, it was very much like a house concert, intimate and very engaging. It was a sellout and myself and two other great local artists played two 25 minute sets each. Ruben had organised a professional sound guy and photographer, so all we had to do, was show up with our guitar and plug in to play. I did a lot of story telling between songs and it was great to have the whole room singing along to my songs. I went away with a very warm glow that night.
All in all Kalgoorlie is very interesting place to visit, it’s quite a culture shock from the regular country towns and I don’t know if if was just me, or fact, but there seemed to be a lot of men there. I mean a lot of men….like way more men than women :O) Not only that but I couldn’t help notice the high volume of white dual cab ute’s with an orange light on top. They all seemed to be driving around as if on a mission as part of a secret covert operation, ok my imagination is getting a bit carried away now……not to forget that they were all clad in the Aussie safety gear which is fluorescent orange or yellow and blue blue in colour. The supermarkets were full of these solo men doing their shopping and I have say that on the whole they were very friendly too. But I couldn’t help feeling that I was on different paradigm to the one that I have become accustomed to in Denmark. I mean we hear all about the mining boom and the hoards of money being made but I didn’t get the sense that people were drowning in wealth. I got the sense that they were all working very hard and doing their best to enhance the community. All in all I found Kalgoorlie people very friendly and I felt a real sense of community there too.
I had a fantastic time, I met some lovely people and I sold a heap of albums and all too quickly it was time to get back on the road.