On Sunday the 22nd of March I played at the Royal Hotel in Meredith, Victoria, Australia as part of the Golden Plains Arts Trail 2015.
I had never been to the venue before, so I had no expectations…which is always a good thing. When I arrived I found, to my delight, a classic old barn converted to a stage area out the back, complete with old wagon wheels, signs and memorabilia.
My drummer, Karl Bentley arrived and we set up with not many people around, one or two having a smoke out the back, a few sticking there heads out occasionally to see what was happening. I was thinking “Looks like it might be a quiet one.”
Once we started playing, a few more heads started to show up out in the gorgeous sunny courtyard in front of the stage, and before long we had a good supportive little crowd out there.
Now this is not some story of unprecedented success like “suddenly there was a crowd of 200 people going off in front of the stage”. The crowd remained small…but…something amazing and completely unexpected did happen. They genuinely loved the music, loved the stories and almost every single one of them brought a CD! I reckon there was no more than 15 people there, but I sold 12 albums. That’s never happened to me before.
We swapped stories and jokes, a tear or two were shed, one bloke gave me a CD of his favourite Spanish music, which I started listening to on the way home in the van and I’m still listening to now. Priceless moments in time and genuine human connections which are rare and far between in this world.
I will be back to Meredith as soon as I can, because when you find those places that GET you, and appreciate your music, who you resonate with…it’s pure gold. That’s the reason I play music. To connect like that, with a bunch of strangers and within two hours you all feel like friends.
Thank you Meredith, the Royal Hotel and it’s patrons. From the bottom of my heart.
(Next time I’ll try to remember to take more photos…I was too busy having an awesome time.)