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Mike Randle's

Countdown To A Decade:
Shows 109-111

SHOW #109-Apr 17, 2003-Sydney, Australia-Gaelic Club

When we arrived in Sydney it was raining off and on. The promoter took us to Thai dinner on that first day off (after a bloody 15 hour flight! And keep this in mind; I had just flown from Athens to London to L.A. to Sydney in less than 36 REAL TIME – not flight – hours!) The show was real fun and the venue was cool. They provided us with Go-Go-dancers and stuff so, you know, you can’t really go wrong there. The Singer was spot on all night and the crowd was in disbelief as we plowed through a 24 song set.

SHOW #110-Apr 19, 2003-Byron Bay, Australia-East Coast Blues & Roots Fest.

When we left Sydney we were flown to the Gold Coast (they ought to call it the ‘Babe Coast’) where we checked in our hotel. The next day we were driven for 90 minutes to Byron Bay, where it was muddy and dark. Lots of people were at the festival and i think it was this show that convinced us (including the Singer) that we should never do FOREVER CHANGES at a festival without strings and such. Most of the people seemed to want the Grateful Dead or something. I couldn’t really figure it out. It stands as one of my least favorite shows. I don’t think i’m alone.

SHOW #111-Apr 20, 2003-Melbourne, Australia-Corner Hotel

From the minute we landed in Melbourne it was love at first sight. Everything about the city just captured my attention. It reminded me a lot of Venice Beach in Los Angeles. Very bohemian. But when we took the stage that night I didn’t know what to expect. Especially since the amplifier company ran out of Fenders and I had to use a Marshall stack (except i laid ’em side by side.) It was one of the best mistakes ever cause we rocked the hell out of the Corner Hotel. That show stands as 1 of my top 5 shows ever. We sounded great, the sound was great and everyone had a wonderful time. The Australian fans were just unbelievably mad for us. it reminded me, in some ways, of Manchester. But of course, there is no substitution for the Manchurians but the Melbourians were not far behind.