In spite of spending a large chunk of the flight from Dubai to Brisbane playing with the electronic seat controls (upright, reclining and flat-out) we managed to get a few hours sleep. We arrived at Brisbane feeling tired, but not as tired as we should have been.
The first thing that hit was the heat. It was 6.45am on a cloudy Friday 6th of January and we were sweating. The journey through customs and baggage collection was painless, checked the guitar and all was good.
We caught a train from the airport to Sandgate where we were booked to play the Music by the Sea festival, the first gig of the tour the following morning. Sandgate is a pretty suburb of Brisbane about twenty minitues drive from the city centre sitting right beside the sea.
We walked out of the station and asked a chap for directions to 1st Avenue. He was wearing a Sun Studios tee-shirt. He told us about his wife being an “Elvis nut” and how they’d done the tour in Memphis. A few yards further on another guy saw the guitars, asked us if we were playing the festival and said he’d look out for us. They’re a friendly bunch. The festival had booked us into a B&B and we arrived there feeling a little jaded. It was 8am local time and our heads were at midnight. The plan was to stay awake until around 9 or 10pm, then get a good night’s sleep and wake up fully adjusted to local time the next day. Easy when you say it quickly.
We dropped off the bags, had a chat with Merylin the landlady and went off for a walk. About fifteen minutes into our stroll along the sea front it started raining. This made us feel quite homesick even though the rain was warmer than the showers on a campsite we stayed at in Norfolk last year.
We had a wander around some shops and got very excited when we saw they have an Aldi. It’s very much like the ones back in the UK, the only difference being that we didn’t walk out with an external hard drive, a spare wheel for a wheel barrow and an inflatable canoe (it’s been done before!).
It now felt like 3am but it was actually 11am – it was going to be a very long day.