My friend, K, and I rocked up to the Pornland gig on Saturday night and we could hear the dull roar of punters, watched as empty plastic beer cups landed on the ground near our feet from the people on the balcony above. We walked up the stairs to the entrance and noticed the signs on the way up advertising a $10 entry fee and free for uni students. When we got up we found out it would cost $15 for everyone. We stepped out the queue to discuss this. We’re both low income earners and $15 for a band was more than we thought we’d have to pay. They wouldn’t do a 2 for $20 deal. We ended up not going in and I still haven’t been allowed to forget it from K. I wasn’t keen enough to see them to warrant paying the money and I could tell it would be really hot and crowded.
If no Pornland, what then? We ended up having adventures – meeting new people and hearing their stories, bumping into old friends and a relative and having a pretty good night.
Our first adventure happened when walking from the Exeter to the Crown and Anchor. A young man (probably mid 20’s) was walking in the opposite direction to us and smiled and said hallo as he walked past. He looked really familiar to me and we all stopped and said hallo and started talking. It took me a while to realise I didn’t know who he was but by this time we were all walking to the Austral to see a band called Fighter Pilot. He was friends with the band members and introduced us to a couple of them, Top and Gun as K nicknamed them.
Fighter Pilot weren’t too bad. Our new friend had told us that they were rock with a bit of jazz, but I didn’t hear any jazz. This is the peril of trying to pigeon-hole music style. K and I both cringed when they did a rocking cover of a James Reyne song, ‘Reckless’. Admittedly it was more groovy than the original but we both had bad associations with the original and it was hard to get past that. I did mention this to the singer afterwards and he said that is was a ‘pisstake’. He didn’t say pisstake but that’s what he meant and I can’t think of the word he said.
While the band were playing my sister and her friend walked in. I was quite surprised to see them as I’d heard they were going out in North Adelaide and it’s not the type of pub my sister normally likes going to. It was quite entertaining seeing her as she was quite drunk and was wobbling around all over the place. I told her friend to keep an eye on her as we left to go to the Crown and Anchor.
As we were about to cross Frome Street, K said to the two girls also waiting at the lights, ‘Tell me your story before we get to the other side of the road.’ The younger of the pair proceeded to tell us that she’d been raped and sexually abused as a child and had moved away from that situation in the country and was now living with her companion who was just wonderful and helpful. She was very matter of fact about it and is obviously on the upside of such a horrible experience but it was a bit bizarre having a complete stranger tell us this very personal story. From my experience, though, it’s easier to tell a very personal story to a complete stranger than it is to a closest friend sometimes. Andrew L Urban from the now defunct television show FrontUp could attest to this I think as he interviewed people on the street around Australia and through his friendly interview technique got some terrific stories out of them. I would have told him my story if he ever approached me but he didn’t and now he won’t.
At the Crown and Anchor we got chatting to two guys, one of whom used to front Love Fever. We’re hoping we’ve talked him into reforming for one gig, or more? The friend he was with won his way into our hearts when he was talking about his child modelling career and he was on television advertisements in the days of black and white television, but we must have been too young to remember that. We both emphatically said, ‘Oh yes, we’re far too young to remember black and white television.’
From the Crown and Anchor it was onto the Grace Emily which was very soon to close so we dragged a friend we bumped into there along to the World’s End for a nightcap. A guy tried to chat me up at the World’s End but he was quite drunk and apart from hearing what his name was I honestly could not understand what he was trying to tell me. In the end I said to him something like, ‘I don’t understand a word you’re telling me,’ and proceeded to ignore him. He didn’t take the hint and the friend we’d dragged from the Grace Emily kindly offered to get rid of him for me if I wanted. I declined, but I was kinda chuffed at his offer as nobody’s every offered me that before. We left him there as he was looking for someone to cuddle for the night. Wonder how he went?