Our first official event that we went to today was the Fanzone “Bennett, Bowtell Urquhart” show. I was gutted that we had to race away from this before the finish earlier in the week; however the songs we missed from their concert featured in this preview for the fans on the corner of Peel and Fitzroy Streets today. I’ve stoked that we are returning to NZ with their CD. It’ll get a lot of air play in my truck on the road.
Just after their gig, I raced to side stage to catch Lyn and Kevin before they raced away to another show. Unfortunately I missed them, but out of nowhere comes the radio guy from last night’s Toyota Festival Radio 106.1FM interview, Johnny Kemp. He spotted my silver fern and Southern Cross tattoo from a mile away. He congratulated me on my performance and interview from the night before, and said that I had a good shot of doing something really big here in Australia if I wanted to, including StarMaker and other potential tour work. Obviously this would be difficult to work around teaching, however he suggested I catch up with the likes of Luke O’Shea, and chat with him about how he went about his professional music and teaching careers.
Then out of nowhere, here come The McClymonts. For anyone not in the know about these girls, they have such a rich set of harmonies. After seeing them play (which was the first time for me today), it’s very easy to understand how they have had such a successful song writing and performing career. I popped into the Fanzone CD stand, and picked up 5 of their albums on the spot.
Maree hadn’t been able to see the Big Golden Guitar Information Centre in great detail, as when we were there earlier in the week, the inside was closed off. We therefore used the couple of hours up our sleeve to check this out. Turns out it was a good move on our part, as Maree picked herself up a proper cowboy hat (at a bargain price if I do say so myself). Now it’s like I have my very own McLeod's Daughter walking beside me.
Just to break things up, we went to do more shopping at Tamworth Shopping World. It’s just like any other mall; however we were amused to see some very serious line-dancing taking place, including one guy who was really throwing himself into it. If he danced any harder, I’m sure he would’ve poked someone’s eyes out. This mall is also the first and only place we were able to buy a Schweppes “Fairy Floss” soft drink. This drink is absolutely incredible. I almost feel inclined to approach Schweppes in New Zealand about importing this drink. It’s like drinking really scrummy street fair candyfloss in liquid form. Yummy yum yum.
Off to the finals for CCMA. As a finalist, we were required to step up in our finalist groups while the runner-up and winners were announced. I ended up winning the Senior Male Vocalist. This meant that I had to sing again to compete for the Overall Senior title. Unfortunately the band didn’t manage to follow my charts as written, and my song ended up dragging a lot slower than normal. I wasn’t too upset however, as I managed to hit every note with the same intensity and accuracy as I normally would. I’m already confirmed as a Trans-Tasman Entertainer of The Year competitor, as well as being a graduate of the CMAA Academy of Country Music this year, so I didn’t lose out on anything. I’m proud as punch to walk away with the prize money and trophy for my work tonight already. Congratulations to Campbell and Alyssa Landrebe who took out the Junior section overall with their duo. You kids are both legends. Finally, thank you to CCMA for staging this 50th National Talent Quest event.
And then the heavens opened. When it rains in Australia, it REALLY rains in Australia. As we don’t have our own vehicle here, we need to take the bus for extended trips. This meant racing from shelter to shelter towards the bus stop, whilst we waited for the bus to get there. It’s always good to know that my skin is waterproof … unlike the clothing I was wearing.
We get back the accommodation, change our clothes, have a couple of drinks, and explore the option of going into town. A small group of Academy mates are at a bar on the corner, however the $10 cover charge (for the band that are about to finish) is a bit much for Maree and I. We therefore do a walkthrough a couple of other bars, shoot off to Eagle Boys for a pizza, and return to the backpackers for a midnight (or 2am) snack before hitting the pillow. Another day done and dusted here in Tamworth. Bring on tomorrow.