Stolen gear, medieval cosplay and a disastrous set: the Drones’ Gareth Liddiard on the worst gig of his life | Australian music

The Drones’ worst present ever was in York in England on 24 April 2007. York is like a citadel, it’s a walled metropolis, and they had been doing all this medieval cosplay after we arrived – the girls had been all dressed as Maid Marian and all the males had been like knights in shining armour. I vividly keep in mind a man wearing chain mail pushing a pram.

Remembering the frisson there was once between the UK and minions like us from the colonies, it made us snigger – like, take a look at these fucking idiots. And the minute we acquired into the gig venue, it was the identical factor – children dressed up like 1977-by-numbers punks. Extra cosplay!

I don’t suppose any Australian band again then ever regarded ahead to the UK leg of a tour, except they had been in London or at an All Tomorrow’s Events competition. Individuals often got here to our exhibits however at this one they simply didn’t, aside from these three little 15-year-olds who had been dressed up like Joe Strummer, and they had been yelling at us, which was a bit annoying. As of late you may have folks like Courtney Barnett and King Gizz and the children will go sick, however again then, folks actually hated Australians in England.

Gareth Liddiard, Dan Luscombe, Mike Noga and Fiona Kitschin
The Drones circa 2007: Gareth Liddiard, Dan Luscombe, Mike Noga and Fiona Kitschin

Anyway, all our tools broke down. The gig ended with simply me, taking part in via my amp which had by some means survived. Everybody else’s amps had died all at the identical time. I wrapped it up, went off and we went out the again to the place the van was, and each window in the van had been smashed. Every little thing had been stolen. So we had been like, for fuck’s sake! How a lot worse can it get?!

We had been making a record for the cops about every thing that had gone lacking. (Possibly we made a few exaggerations on some stuff … ) And simply once I’m about at hand over the record, they acquired a name on the radio that they’d discovered the man. So all the cops took off. Half an hour later they got here again with all of our shit in these big police proof baggage, and all of it was utterly lined in mud. By some means this single man had lugged 5 folks’s stuff down by a canal, and the cops had discovered him, overwhelmed the crap out of him and acquired all our shit again. They had been all lined in mud too, however they had been very happy with themselves, and we had been fairly glad to see our stuff.

Finally it was time to go. We went to the nearest dumpster, pulled all the cardboard out of it and gaffer-taped it to the automotive so we’d have home windows for the drive to Somerset, the place we really had been taking part in an All Tomorrow’s Events gig. That was the longest, coldest drive in human historical past.

The one good factor we acquired out of that had been these police proof baggage – they lasted for about 5 years as laundry baggage. They had been fucking nice!

It was depressing however humorous. We at all times discovered a approach to make issues humorous. I’m amazed at how resilient we had been.

Mike Noga, former drummer of the Drones, in front of the patched-up tour van nicknamed ‘Van Morrison’ – ‘because we picked it up in Ireland’.
Former Drones drummer Mike Noga in entrance of the patched-up tour van nicknamed ‘Van Morrison’ – ‘as a result of we picked it up in Eire’

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