O'malley, the alley cat
When I get off work, around 7ish, it’s usually dark out (now anyways). I get home and I see a black animal dart across the street. I couldn’t decide if it was a raccoon, a possum, or a cat. For a second, I feared for my life that it would attack me when I get out of the car.
I get out and a cat comes prancing over. It literally ran up to me and rubbed all over me like I was coming home and it hadn’t seen me in 2 days. Very talkative fella. I knew it couldn’t be my cat, for, mine would have a collar and my cat doesn’t go outside. Plus he’s fatter than this cat.
I try to walk to my door and it follows me. I even had to call me dad to come and open the door so I could jump inside without letting it in.
This cat has been around the neighborhood before. I suspect it has a home and they just let it outside. There is no way a cat would be that social if it didn’t have an actual home.
I kinda feel bad for it if it’s an alley cat and it’s just sitting outside right now… O’malley, the alley cat
HOBART: HOME, REFLECTION, AND WHERE TO FROM HERE?
So, here’s the final post, which has been put off for too long.
Melbourne I have often called “my second home”. On travelling to other lovely places such as Fremantle in Perth and Sydney too, I can’t help but feel now that I am just the kind of person who tends to feel at home wherever I go. You know, I honestly love Tasmania. It is an incredibly special place full of magic. But I have never yet felt homesick. I am at my happiest when travelling, meeting new people, seeing the beauty in new places, and playing my music for people. I am instantly comfortable on a mattress on a floor, a bed in a caravan, a spare room in a townhouse, an inflatable bed in a tent. I don’t feel any sense of relief to be heading home to my own bed. I think this may have something to do with how much more in the present moment I am these days… but that is entirely another blog.
Of course I must go home and back to my numerous various jobs and pay my rent. But this has given me hope for perhaps a day when I can make a living doing this thing that I love, and travel the world just singing for everyone. And with everyone.
Anyway. Return I did to my not-so-cold island, for my final album launch gig at The Alley Cat on the 21st December. My dear friend Rory Campbell opened for me… always a treat for me to hear his whole-hearted music!
It’s funny how the two places where I should feel most at home on my tour - Melbourne and Hobart - ended up being the gigs where I felt the most uncomfortable. In Hobart this was partly due to the crowd who happened to be at the Alley Cat that evening (though they mostly left once we started playing… which made me feel guilty about the venue’s business for the evening disappearing) and partly to me thinking I’d lost my phone about 2 minutes before I got on stage, haha.
I was disoriented, and disconcerted, and didn’t play well. But again… learning experiences. I had an audience of beautiful people, my diehard supporters, my longtime friends, those dear to me.
I sang a couple of songs with my beloved brother Ben Lawless (of The Lawless Quartet) who then stayed and played some more after me. As always, I’m grateful for the blessing of making music with someone like Benny, who is an incredible musician & artist and one of the many magic-makers I am lucky to know.
And with that, the tour was done.
The evolution of the setlist over my tour…
… Now what?
Wait a moment, before we start moving forward, it’s probably time for me to reflect on the whole thing - the Pozible campaign, the tour, and where I’m at with all the rewards and the money. I will make that post soon! I feel it deserves a post of its own.
What a night.
Whenever my friend Lauren comes into town from Cincinnati, it’s a sure sign of a good time. From 11 to close, we romped the bars of Broad Ripple leaving laughter in our wake.
Starting off at Average Joes, I ran into a friend from high school and played some pool with Lauren, her boyfriend and my good friend Marcus. The alcohol was flowing and for about half an hour it seemed, we could not knock in the 8-ball for the life of us.
From there we made our way to the Alley Cat, an off-the-road dive bar for anything and everyone punk rock (although love for/appreciation of punk rock is not a requirement.) We busted out the cue sticks once more and chatted with the regulars, even made some new friends.
As Marcus and I stood at the bar of the Alley Cat, he was talking to this girl and they were chatting away. I came up as cheers were going around to try my hand at wingman-ing. After some conversation, the girl’s friend comes up and starts talking to me. It’s apparent she’s had a few drinks (not by stumbling or anything) but due to the fact that one of the first things she told me was, “Hey, I really like you.” Uhhhm. No thanks.
For some reason that really annoyed me. Despite these days of sexual frustration, a girl who I believe was trying to get me home from the bar was the last thing on my mind. I escaped to a cigarette outside in the drizzling rain.
Ending the night with some drunken slam dancing to whatever was on the stereo, and some smashing of glass and kicking of chairs (all done by my friend Lauren, who lucky for her is good friends with the entire staff) we made our way outside for a final cigarette and a preposterous amount of hugs goodbye. (And getting my picture with this cute girl, Ashley.)
So Marcus and I walked around Broad Ripple, grabbed some pizza which I paid for using money some drunk dude dropped and didn’t have the focus to take back, and made our way to drop him off.
The Alley Cat 6
Rumors Of The Day: Is all OK with that Hong Kong institution known as Joe Bananas in Wanchai?
Once, THE place to meet up and have a good time and with the chances of getting laid being odds-on, today, JB’s is a meeting place for the old and the listless and sad old drunks.
Plans to create a JB Lounge started- and then stopped just as did another venture called the Liquid Lounge which had grand plans for success but flopped into a real Barney Rubble.
I now hear that the mastermind of all these grandiose schemes has sucker-punched his Indian investors and done a runner leaving his partners with egg on their faces and no return on their investments and with their investments going to the runner’s bank account.
It is quite astounding the number of truly brilliant guitarists there are playing in different bands at Spicy Fingers in Jaffe Road, Wanchai.
Sure, they are in covers band and so are hardly original with pretty weak singers, but the guitarists, especially guys like Bennie and Dan, are excellent. Perhaps it’s something in their DNA, but they play soooooooo much better than the local variety of guitarists.
While many of the latter might do a valiant job in trying to play, they just can’t cut it. Guys like Dan and Benny make it all look so effortless.
It just kills me to see them up there playing their asses off and AS GOOD as ANY guitar god in the world today and receiving only a smattering of applause from the handful of fans who show up.
This is the time when aging Rock heroes should look East and help give these guys the one break they need. Put your money where your chops were or still are.
The very discreet club called Le Kage in Lan Kwai Fong and where fat cat Chinese and mainly Indian businessmen.
With its garish interior and cages where girls gyrated like at a strip club in the Seventies, the main attraction were girls from Oz and Eastern Europe who drank Chinese tea in Martini glasses and fleeced the horny old men.
One bill for two rounds of drinks for three girls and two dances in the LeKage of lurve is said to have setback one married Indian gentleman a cool HK$80,000.
I hear that Restoration, the strangely named New Orleans steakhouse- huh?- but with excellent cuisine and tremendously popular- is about to undertake another restoration by opening up a butchery and walk-in restaurant nearby.
And right below Restoration in Wyndham Street will be another new restaurant in an already jam packed environment.
This one is called Icon and will no doubt join all the other acorn bars and restaurants and clubs that open with a bang and rent-a-crowds and then meekly close their doors.
Haven’t these people ever heard of over-supply and no demand?
Walk around the High Street area and wind yourself down to Hollywood area and you will get choked up seeing the lines of empty restaurants with a lone waitress at the door almost begging you to come in.
All very sad, all very stupid.
The closure of the bar and cattle market that was Neptune 2 in Wanchai supposedly for liquor licenses problems has a number of other bars in the area running scared.
Sure, it was a well-known pickup joint, but so are all the bars in Wanchai with Escape, the former Fenwick, being the most popular with its bevy of Colombian, Filipina and Thai ladies. It operates openly and no one cares- for the time being.
The more real problem involves the underage kids frequenting these Wanchai bars and who are easy prey for drug dealers.
One bar in Lockhart Road has underage kids spilling onto the street even on school days whereas those Nigerian pushers I keep mentioning have increased their territory and are not restricted to hanging near the late night club Gecko.
In fact, that whole street is infested by pushers of all nationalities with the Nigerians having made their way to Wanchai and are now scavenging on those too young and drunk to know what’s going on.
One has to wonder if the local gendarmes know what the hell is going on at the back of many bars and in the loos and if they realize that they have their priorities all wrong by looking into things like sound ordinances and liquor licenses.