Back in November/December of 2019 - you remember it right? Before the entire country caught fire and we were all sent to our rooms for the next 3 months to think about what we'd done? Well back when the world was still sunny and full of hope, Sydney’s Dinosaur City Records teamed up with Spunk Records to put on a Regional Tour of NSW called “Hometowns”. A name and concept so perfect and simple it made me want to kick myself for not having thought of it first…
Flowertruck, Big White, Body Type, Floodlights, Luke Spook, Shining Bird, Emma Rusack... the list goes on. I watched intently through my phone as the dreamy lineup roamed the coast playing shows in their respective hometowns - it was a road map that would rival the best summer road trip but with the soundtrack supplied by live bands at every destination.
As we all know live music has been dealt a pretty average hand of late, with the inability to play music to fans a wealth of talent, experience, passion, support and well. Actual wealth has all but vanished in a thick complicated COVID cloud. It has taken some very motivated and determined people to keep things moving forward. This is exactly the type of on your feet thinking and wheel spinning gusto that Jordanne and Cody at Dinosaur City Records have in spades.
For the entire month of July, Dinosaur City Records have been giving all of the royalties and profits from their most recent release to the golden goose of Sydney’s independent airwaves FBI Radio. The release is a live compilation record of their “Hometowns” tour which you can find here.
We have teamed up with DCR and Spunk Records to present the final cherry on top - a fundraising show for FBI this Friday the 25th of July at Sydney’s beloved Oxford Art Factory. The evening will see Hometowns 2019 alumni FLOWERTRUCK, Big White and Solo Career (Body Type's Annabel Blackman) bring two exclusive 70 cap performances on Oxford Art's main stage. Tickets for the late show have already sold out so get in quick to snap up the remainders for the early seating.
With the show taking place this Friday and in the interest of keeping you well informed I figured we’d all enjoy a little trip down memory lane. Thrills and DCR Proudly Presents the “Hometowns Tour Diaries” - full of all the road trip jealousy and touring freedom that you can’t have right now.
Back to where it began! The weekend before Hometowns 2019 regional music tour launch! Aaron from Spunk Records caravan repping the Hometowns brand! Cheers to Luke Spook for the paint job and to everyone who trekked down south to pose in front of it!
These photos were taken at the ‘Pinshed’ in Stanwell Park where Jack Ladder and his band “The Farmlanders'' were rehearsing ahead of the shows. Floodlights were lucky enough to experience a night or two in the Hometowns van when they came up from Melbourne for the ‘Coalchella’ show.
Hometowns Sydney $OLD OUT launch show at Marrickville Golf Club. An 18-hole Golf Course situated on Riverside Park in Dulwich Hill by the Cooks River - such a beautiful spot for a show! We had a similar line-up the next Friday at OAF, with FLOWERTRUCK headlining alongside Big White (plus Chakra Efendi and Greta Now)!
Can’t wait to do this again.
Hometowns show #2 was in Jack and Cody of Big White’s hometown, Bermagui! The show took place at Murrah Hall, a 115+-year-old community hall in the bush between Bermagui and Tathra! Such a cool place for a gig! Pre-show, we checked out the surf at Camel Rock, then went into town, handing out Hometowns flyers to anyone who would take them before setting up the show at the hall!
Thanks to our efforts handing out flyers, and help from Jack and Cody’s extended family and friends, Murrah was another sold-out show! Cody’s nieces even joined Big White on stage!
Sight-seeing at Bermagui Beach - a man on a horse (he was too fast for me to get a decent photo)!
Pie stop in Bemboka!
The big crowd!!!
No one was too fussed by the quiet night, in the end. We got home earlier than usual and treated ourselves to an off-season snowboarder Airbnb which had a hot tub and games room.
The beginning of a massive weekend!!!
Three sold-out shows in a row: Kiama on Friday, Wombarra on Saturday and Mona Vale on Sunday! Kiama is Annabel from Body Type’s hometown. The show took place in the scout hall right by the iconic blowhole with sets from Body Type, Jack Ladder, Shining Bird and Nick Griffith. I love the wooden backdrop – so many iconic venues on this trip! This was a really fun show, too.
Hometowns ‘Coalchella’ edition at Wombarra Bowling Club was by far the biggest show of the tour, with a stacked line-up featuring Shining Bird, Jack Ladder, Body Type, Big White, FLOWERTRUCK, Steve Gunn, Poison Abbey, Luke Spook and Floodlights! We sold 350+ tickets nearly two months ahead of the show date which was huge!
More dancing at Hometowns ‘Coalchella’ after-party in Wombarra!... most of us crashed before midnight and were up at the crack of dawn to head to Mona Vale on Sydney’s northern beaches.
Mona Vale was a special show which took place in the Hometown of both Jack Ladder and Babey! Body Type played too, with a DJ set from Liars to finish up the night. This was another super unique venue! The gig took place in the Namatjira Room, which features a stunning mural by Albert Namatjira, one of Australia’s greatest artists!
Annabel looking tuff in her Hometowns tee!
Detour through my hometown of Woy Woy en-route to Newcastle!
Hometowns Newcastle took place at an all-ages DIY venue, Softy’s Clubhouse! A stacked line-up featuring Sunscreen, FLOWERTRUCK, e4444e and India and the Journey to the East! Prior to this we put on a day show at my former high school, Hunter School of the Performing Arts. Massive day for all!
Bellingen Brewery! This show had a real cool set-up with a balcony-like stage up above the audience. Also, delicious drinks and pizza! Pre-show we had a therapeutic swim in the Bellingen river before a bunch of kids yelled “BULL SHARKS”! Turns out they were right!
For Hometowns weekend #5, we headed back down south to Narooma for a show at the Kinema, headlined by Emma Russack and Lachlan Denton! Narooma Kinema is a 1920s heritage-listed cinema on the far south coast where Emma Russack worked as a teen! Cody and Jack jumped on the bill with their solo projects, too.
Another great night!
Maddy matching the popcorn at Narooma Kinema, perhaps the best green room of the tour!
Hometowns ended with two shows in one day! One took place in Wagga Wagga headlined by Emma Russack and Lachlan Denton (where the bands held the fort for us), the other at Yulli’s Brews in Sydney with FLOWERTRUCK, our favourite Melbourne band Skydeck, Cody Munro Moore and Solo Career.
Almost overwhelming going back over it all, but super keen to do this all over again when restrictions permit.
Diary entries: Jordanne Chant
Photos: Jordanne Chant and Annabel Blackman