Hopefully by now, some of you know that I sing in the band 'Cigány Weaver' – basically, we play gypsy jazz songs and have a whole lot of fun. Earlier this year we were invited to play a festival called Cullulleraine Music Festival, which is located about 5hrs east of Adelaide. To make the most of the trip interstate we decided to organise our very first tour, and play some shows in Adelaide after the festival - because why not! So, the planning began ...
After long conversations with Adelaide contacts, venues, support acts, radio stations, and the festival committee we locked in three Adelaide gigs for the week post-Cullulleraine. Mon: COMA at The Wheatsheaf Hotel, Thurs: Grace Emily Hotel, and Fri: La Boheme. After that we couldn’t think of anything else to do, so we got on the plane:
Cullulleraine Music Festival
Upon arriving at Adelaide airport, we were taken directly to Lake Cullulleraine, where the festival takes place. It’s set in a caravan park in the middle of nowhere, and yet around 1000 people came through the gates. Seeing the passion of the festival organisers, directors and volunteers was truly inspiring; we were so happy to be there. Plus, we met Lucy the pup!
We performed twice at the festival, and saw amazing acts like The Maes, Monique Clare and Hot Potato Band. CDs were sold and we had a completely lovely time. Monday morning came too quickly, forcing us to say our goodbyes and get back to Adelaide for our COMA show that night.
Tour Show 1: COMA
Chris, the amazing Cullulleraine festival director, drove us back down to Adelaide himself on Monday morning and dropped us at The Wheatsheaf Hotel. We were playing the COMA Jazz night there (SIDE NOTE: if you are a jazz musician touring to Adelaide, you MUST look at booking a COMA show). We shared the night with Melbourne duo Maria Moles & Adam Halliwell.
A Beautiful Surprise
Now, something I've discovered in my time so far is that the folk world really takes care of its own – and we experienced that first-hand on our second night in Adelaide. At Cullulleraine we met a double bass player named Tony. who invited us to come over to his house for a BBQ back in Adelaide. So, on our second night in the city we set off via train, completely unsure of what to expect (luckily, we were a big group). We arrived at Tony's after dark to find a little party already in full swing! We were told to help ourselves to all the food and drink; it was a largely surprising, and hugely heart-warming night.
We fell asleep past midnight and woke up the next morning to the most picturesque view. It turned out that Tony lives on the coast - it was literally heaven! With a heavy heart we left in the afternoon, overflowing with gratitude.
Tour Show 2: Grace Emily
Thursday night at the Grace Emily Hotel was our second Adelaide show, and we were supported by local gypsy band Monsieur Swing. It made me so happy that people came to see us play that night, in a city where we knew almost no-one, I just wanted to give every person a huge hug!
Tour Show 3: La Boheme
And lastly, our final show was on the Friday night at La Boheme, and gosh that was a good gig 😊 The venue completely packed out (!!?) and it felt just like one of our home Can You Keep a Secret? shows. It was a perfect way to end our week.
I’m really proud of how this tour came together, it was a lovely blend of performing whilst still exploring a new city. We spent a good portion of each day doing our own work (some insight into the life of a musician – there is always a heck of a lot of administration to be done). We even busked outside of Streetlight Records on record store day.
But the thing I think we were all most proud of is that we covered all our individual costs, and even made a bit of money each! Considering that there are six of us and it was a city we had never been, we figured - successful tour !!!