Our guitarist, Butch, had been to Tilba-Tilba on a number of occasions, and noted that some good name bands from Sydney had performed at the Dromedary Hotel there. In conversation with the publican, he had mentioned our Irish band and the rest fell into place.
Saturday promised a hot drive down – the place is about 300kms from Canberra, about an hour’s drive south of Bateman’s Bay, so I was quite pleased with the offer of a lift in Butch’s car – along with a cut-down version of our sound system.
We arrived mid-afternoon in time to get some excellent food from the cafe over the road and then we set up the venue – an open shed out the back – a former stable perhaps, which contained a functioning jukebox and a small stage. The whole side wall opened out onto the beer garden.
The other band members had a joke about my insistence on bringing some stage lights – but we were glad of them when it got dark – we would have been invisible to the audience without them!
As a pub show, we started with some up-tempo Irish and Australian songs and some lively reels and jigs – amazingly right from the first bracket people got up and danced – and continued throughout the show.
We were told that bands never shift the regulars from the front bar – but we did :-)
In fact the audience responded really well to the fact that (a) we weren’t the usual covers/blues band, and (b) we weren’t what most people’s concept of an Irish band was.
During the tunes we went out among the dancers and danced as we played – and on feedback afterwards, they loved the fact that we joined them, rather than staying aloof.
So all up it was a great night and well worth the drive down. We had a great welcome there and I’m sure we’ll be back there before long.
On the way back, we stopped briefly for a rest and stretch, and looked up at the most amazing clear night sky, with the Milky Way in a vivid streak right across it – simply breathtaking!