Thursday, August 8, 2013

Roar Poets - Tour Diary 5 - Canberra

Reflecting on Canberra is like reflecting on when you first met the love of your life.
This crew GOT IT. They understood.
After everything we'd been through. From misunderstandings about what exactly a night of spoken word would entail, to lack of contact from venues, and weeks where "there's just so much on, don't worry, people would have loved it if they had come..."
Canberra had our back from the beginning.
In most cases when organising a tour I would assume you would contact anyone you know and see what they can do and are willing to do to help. I mean, that makes sense to me.
And Canberra dived in headfirst. The arts community in Canberra is blood and bone deep with each other.
And I've heard people say, "Oh, they don't have much going on there anyway. So that's why they were so keen to help."
Well. First of all fuck you. Arrogant dicks.
And second of all fuck you, there is HEAPS going on in Canberra.

So when we had a full house at Smiths Alternative Bookshop. When they gave every being of themselves in listening. When Aus Poetry Slam Champ CJ Bowerbird not only performed the most stunning set, collaborated with me AND got us on radio twice...
I realised something.
There are excuses offered up daily, weekly, monthly by people in art. From Brisbane to Sydney and back we played some glorious gigs. But there were always excuses. Excuses for why and how and who and what. Excuses for not getting numbers because of such n such. Excuses for not getting back to me and such n such.

In Canberra, there were no excuses. The people who supported us gave no excuses or reasons, they just supported us from a deep love of art and people and the world. They communicated. They let us know what was good and what wouldn't work and gave it all to us from the sincere position of people wanting other people to succeed because when YOU succeed WE succeed and that is a beautiful thing. I've never experienced anything like it.

I will go back to Canberra at the drop of a hat. Because their reasons for supporting art are just... because...
I've never seen an Aus Poetry Slam champ bend over backwards to help me out like that. Or a community of artists put us up in a house to jam and eat and laugh like that. Or a crowd so willing to listen and laugh and heckle and cry like that. Canberra couldn't and didn't put a foot wrong. I don't think that crew know how to. There was something so pure and loving about that gig and that week that will stay with me for the rest of my life. We gave our all into those performances because there was no other option. Canberra gave their all in loving and supporting us.

Canberra, the love of my life.

1 comment:

  1. This is so many shades of awesome. That evening was a profound experience for all and I'm absolutely wrapped that the rest of your stay was as well!

    The 'official' Canb, or the 'tourist' Canb, is indeed sparse, but if you know where to look, there's a wealth of wonderfully artistic and critically engaged people. You just gotta know where to find them! Like daisies growing between brick pavers - there's a spirit of community, art and critique here that is irresistible, it grows and flourishes in the nooks and crannies if it must, but it continues to grow all the same.

    Next time you're down in the Canb, I need to invite you around to the Belco-Residence for an evening of fine food, fine wine, good company and wandering conversations on literature, philosophy and Australian society. We'd be honoured to share a bowl of bean-chilli with you!