2013 tour highlights
2013 christmas message
G’day groovers, well the last few stops on our 2013 tour schedule for Peace Train were undoubtedly some of the most memorable for us, for more reasons than just the great audiences we experienced. We arrived at Sydney airport bound for Lismore & Byron Bay and after the usual chaos of an early morning flight, we were informed that our flight was going to be delayed because the incoming plane that we were to be boarding had been struck by lightning….TWICE! and the engineers would have to make a full inspection to ensure it would be ready to fly. My thoughts were, lets just cancel the flight and catch a new plane…I wasn’t too keen on getting on board a high voltage plane. Anyway, 3 hours later, this is exactly what we did. We arrived in Lismore to start setting up at a time that we would normally be finishing our soundcheck! Thanks to my incredible crew, Wayne Sims & Dean Stephens, as well as the combined efforts of the crew at the charming Star Court Theatre in Lismore, we somehow, incredibly, had the Peace Train on the tracks and ready to roll at 8pm! Another incredible sell out show here in Lismore, it was great to catch up with our dear friend Kashi Cannings (associate producer of Peace Train) who had been living in Europe most of this year and another standing ovation from such a warm crowd, it certainly made all of the hassles of the day seem worthwhile.
The next morning it was a gorgeous, leisurely drive to Byron Bay where we had the incredible opportunity to meet up with Michael Stavrou, the studio engineer who recorded many of the biggest artists of our time at Air Studios in London including, Cat Stevens himself. Wow, what a thrill it was to hear so many great yarns about Cat and all of the other incredible artists ‘Stav’ has worked with including Paul McCartney, Elton John, Stevie Wonder…and the list goes on check out www.studiostav.com Stav kept us spellbound all morning! Byron Bay certainly didn’t disappoint either, this show and the divine vibe of Byron were a match made in heaven! There are so many talented and spiritually connected people in Byron, and also in the audience this night was Rick Fenn, lead guitarist for the group 10CC!….no pressure!
From Byron we made our final stop in Brisbane at the beautiful QPAC Concert Hall! The news that greeted us was that the show was completely sold out, 1500 people! Amazing to look out on that kind of energy! It was so wonderful to have my beautiful sister, Naomi, back on the keyboards for this show and indeed all of the musicians and crew whom have become somewhat of a family.
It was with great excitement that we took to the stage and the band came out firing, with a massive exchange of energy between the audience and ourselves, all was going well until at our third song we hear the paralysing sound of the fire evacuation alarm! Of the hundreds of theatres we have played in over the years, and all of the pre-show fire evacuation induction talks we have had, we have never actually been in a real life situation where we had to recall where the fire escapes were and where was the evacuation meeting point? Never the less here we were with our entire audience, and that of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang playing in the adjoining theatre, out on the footpath by the giant ferris wheel (the evacuation meeting point) on the shores of the Brisbane River! We took the opportunity in front of the 3000+ people evacuated to do a little impromtu busking to ‘Wild World’ which was a bit of fun and helped ease the confusion of the moment. After only a short time, we were assured that all was well and it was indeed a false alarm, so we all returned to the theatre to resume the show. Whilst it seemed like this evacuation may proove to be quite a distraction, it ended up making the performance so unique and memorable that the audience went crazy giving us the biggest, most overwhelming standing ovation I have ever experienced! Thankyou Brisbane! it was a night I shall never ever forget! Looking back on 2013 it has been incredible! So many highlights including our 8 sell out shows at Sydney Opera House, Adelaide Festival Theatre, QPAC, and of course all of the beautiful regional theatres we visited throughout Victoria and NSW with our ‘intimate & acoustic’ shows.
2014 sees no sign of the Peace Train slowing down with performances on sale now for WA, Darwin, QLD, SA, VIC & NSW! Check out www.peace-train.com.au for all tour dates. One of the more unique and exciting performances slated for March 15 is at Taronga Zoo as part of the Twilight At Taronga series! It is going to be an incredible evening overlooking the most beautiful harbour in the world – I can’t wait!
So thankyou to everyone who has come to see us this year to share in the great music of Cat Stevens and those timeless messages of peace, tolerance and understanding. I sincerely appreciate your support and friendship and look forward to welcoming you all aboard the Peace Train throughout 2014. I wish you all a very happy Christmas filled with love and laughter and I pray that 2014 is a safe, healthy and peaceful year for us all.
Merry Christmas, Daz