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Old 02-17-04, 10:34 PM   #1
nick nickolas
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Bunny 30 shows, 3 Islands, 2 Countries, 4 Festivals, , 24 Days,

The Customs lady said she had seen me perform and welcomed me back
into New Zealand, what a breeze.....

Ulla (My Girlfriend) and I checked into the YMCA began unpacking and
reorganising gear in preparation for the 11th annual Christchurch Busker
Fest.
Ulla was to operate pavement art workshops at noon then go and screeve
(pavement draw) one of her own masterpieces in the afternoon.
My job in the festival was to host the late night with the buskers at
the infamous loaded Hog Bar on Manchester St from 9-11 each night for 10
nights. The cast for this job was .....

Justin Sane, the bastard son of Keaten and Chaplain with words ,
Bob Maclaren, A pure-bred from invercargil, hosting a comedic fixation
with animals ,
Wills and Spencer, MTV Vaudeville...plungers, toilet rolls, hedge
clippers, six inch nails and nasal cavities...(interesting Ruth and Sam
have the same initials as Ren and Stimpy )...

The First evening I arrived Alex Dandridge and I split the performers
pack looking for a dinner venue to have a quiet beer alone and catch
up...We hadn’t even sat down when I got the full on Ozzy treatment...I
played it up large, got free drinks for me and Alex, shooters as well...
A nice way to start this 24 day tour..

All the performers were staying in the YMCA across from th Arts Centre
about 35 acts in all if I recall correctly,,,, I didn’t see many shows
as the Hog Brigade were the night owls of this festival, while others
were tying their bows and shining their props waiting for the crowds to
form we were dropping off to the serenade the sandman...

Arriving at the Hog sound check at 10 am on the first work day, no
sound man to be seen and a stage being built in logistically the
completely wrong place unless you only wanted a third of the punters to
see.... A call to Jodi the producer, a chat to the loading crew, and a
discussion with Moe ( Hog Manager ) and all was solved. Apparently the
only person who wanted the stage there ( Hog Owner) was on holiday so we
got our way and moved our play space....
12.30pm the sound man hadn’t arrived and I split leaving the venue
looking for food....

Now Friday and Saturday in Christchurch is the time when the streets get
filled to the brim with packs of wolverines and drunken roses blowing
their last 40 hours pay. Obliterated, epileptic, praying mantis looking
for a mate to devour....
Consequently our opening nights were a bit leery, hecklers spewing old
classics like “Fuck off” , but as true professionals we rounded them up
got them in the play and won.
They definitely shuck up when Wills was blindfolded and blowing darts
around a punter. I’m sure when Bob made a noise like a beached whale
some of the punters thought it was a mating call when liquid spurted
from their noises.
Everywhere is packed full of them on the streets drunken, ululating,
bodies, feeding......Weaving our way through the flesh we find a
quiet(ish) cubby hole in an Irish Pub. Diddly dee music and Guinness,
above us was an old photograph of a rosy cheeked child sitting at a
table looking at an open newspaper, full of scrumpled notes,
contemplating retirement.
Bob, Ulla, Justin and I contemplated, drank Guinness ,,,Talked shit and
wandered home...probably popping into the Rock Pool in transit...

The Rock Pool is a venue filled with about 20 pool tables, the ones
where you buy the light time, nice big couches, great pizza and is open
late. This joint has catered for many a performer over the years.
Above the Rock Pool is Molly Malones a sister bar, a big bar, great
whiskey, music and pool tables, the $2 ones..
When one closes the other will be open...
When that closes you then go to the Jolly Punter which is across from
the Casino this will normally take you into daylight..
.
Hey hang on this isn’t meant to be a bar review of ChristChurch theres
a festival on.
Ok Back to Festival stories...

Caroline from ‘The Twins’ had a birthday, a surprise party was set up in
a bar courtyard, stripper organised. What we didn’t count on was the
amateur stripper that had taken a shine to Justin and had dragged him
off to a wet T- Shirt competition arriving at the party trouser less
with said clown on her arm.. Catherine was blindfolded and made to sit
on the chair as Chance (That was his name ...really !) slid her hand
slowly over his rock abs and down to the g-string,,,she screamed when he
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Old 02-18-04, 05:20 PM   #2
nick nickolas
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Hat PART 2

pulled out the dildo and cream, jumped up and danced around flapping.
Justin, puppy dog eyes beaming... said. “This is the best day of my life”

Our nights got better as the festival went on packing the place out each
night better quality punter, better quality cash in the coffers for us.
. We had an open guest spot each night for anyone who wanted it.
Gamajarbat a couple of Japanese guys with brilliant timing and sense if
stillness on stage took us on a journey of two Japanese (Small people),
in Holland (Big Woman). They mimed their way of walking through legs
finding thighs, pushing them apart, sliding into the furry zone which
closed behind them. Very very funny...

Others on the Guests were Harry Double a comedian friend from Amsterdam
who played for the first time in English. Wendy Vausden who was in town
with Justin Case. There were a few families at this gig..Hilby had along
wife and 2 Kids a walker and a squaker. Martin Stretch was there with
Dominic and child.

Neils Poll now here’s a story.. Neils was there with his 5 yr old son
Tor. Kids as we know wake up earlier than us, well one morning Neils
wakes up to find Tor taking coins and one by one throwing them out of
the window. “ Not the silver ones “ “Only the Gold ones”...He said
telling me the story over coffee

The Buskers Comedy Club had been moved inside the Arts Centre complex,
a bigger venue with less exits and the Festival sold their own beer. I
never saw a whole show there because of coinciding time frames with the
Hog. Th Blackstreet boyz mc’d that gig dressing up as different
characters each night, I saw a few acts up there in between kebabs and
coffee, everyone kicked arse and made bigger hats ,a terrific change of
venue Jodi.

Fraser Hooper was also there on holiday with his family so he was
grabbed to do his only show of the festival in the Hog he killed.
It had calmed down during the week by that what I mean is that we were
still in a packed venue but the mongrel insect brigade were away and
comedy punters were in. We could command pin drop silences on stage. Bob
moved to closer and was slaughtering the rooms, Wills and Spencer were
Closing the first. I did Ozzy one night they went nuts, the Prince of
Darkness is starting to get a stand up routine...

I had 2 street shows to deliver, one in Brighton which I loved so much
despite windy conditions. You see in 1987 I tried to busk in Brighton
and was escorted out of the town by uniformed men, now we are playing in
front of 500+ people there !!! The pitch was an amphitheatre imagine
half a basketball court wicked sight lines , wicked shows there...
The Other was in the Square which has been redone and is much more
busker friendly...love the street audiences here..

Our other guests were Alex Dandridge, Dado, Bongo Bolero who I had never
seen before and if you haven't do!

The Wrap party was in the Courtyard bar which name I cannot
remember...drinks, dancing, drinks, laughing, drinks, hurrahs, drinks.
Leaving the party behind, I jump in a cab at 4.30 am to fly to Melbourne
for a Australia day gig.
Checking in.... then checking my head I had realised that I had left my hat
in the digs. sleeping on the plane, missing food, waking up, buying $50
Aussie Hat, checked through customs, hailed a cab.

I’m at the Meeting Federation Square Melbourne on time 10.30am.
Lee Hayes, Oldie, Lindsay, Christoff, Hotch, Abby, Tim Motley and
myself were all scheduled to perform 3 shows each at Marrung Mar on the
Yarra for a fee and hat. Also to judge other acts on our designated
sights to see who competes in the final and claim first prize Australia
day busker of the year. 11.30 am we were all told to start as was the
band, the karate exhibitions, aeroplane stunts etc....we all went and
did it and our other two and judged the acts,,,oh apart from one act who
never opened his case not once, (his name rhymes with hassle!), no shows at all then tried to claim
compensation for loss of hat money on top of the fee....
The vibe was all on for me I reckoned when I got a $50 drop from an
unknown hand, was it the hand of God giving me my money back for my
hat... It was dusty, it was hot and it was loud but there were 1,000’s
of people ,,,, We had to judge acts on our individual spots...The one
that shined through on my site was DJ and Jess Erratic-Crobatic.
2 Phenonamal acrobats, graduates of Melbourne's circus school, hard
hitting and punchy....The dust really carved up when DJ was doing
windmills....

The Grande final was situated at the bottom of the steps by the
information booth on Federation Square crowd of about 500/800 people all
stood on watching as Hotch toyed with the sound then toyed with the
people, the people strained to hear him through the toys... Out came
the acts...there was a violin player, a belly dancer peeling off
clothes and wiggling, Mr Fish and stunt nemo, Billy Lid a charismatic 12
yr old with swag, harmonica, and oozing charisma, Kyla bronze statue, DJ
and Jess, A 3 piece Muso set bow ties double bass etc,.A juggle kid, a
cross between Bike Boy and Alakazam....
The judges talked and unanamanisly decided that the overall winner was
to be DJ and Jess and the Best Newcomer award for Billy Lid, the kids
gonna be big watch out!! A Grand each to the winners, my check in pocket
and a bag full of coins I went home, ate Spaghetti Bolognese, set 3
alarms for early morning wake up call,,,,,

Melbourne Airport at 7.30 am was a breeze, heard applause as I walked
to the waiting lounge....A bloke was performing magic for the waiting
people..Rocky Racoon, Cards, balloons, hankies. I looked out from under
my heavy eyes dressed in Purple suit, and long black lounge coat,
begging him to pick me....he didn’t !

Christchurch airport where they were so kind to me 2 weeks ago, pulled
me,,,Was it the fact that I had gone to Aussie for one day ? Was it the
burnt out rock star look. Was it because I haven't bathed...whatever it
was I was in the room, bags on the silver table questions being asked,
rubber fingers searching through an array of cards, condoms, balloons,
balls, bits of rope and unwashed undies...The miniature Vacuum man came
out and was gone, He comes back saying there are traces of
Methoamphetomime in my bag,

I explained
“ A lot of bills have been in that bag and people us bills to snort
powder”

Then had to explain how I knew that .

Mr rubber fingers had started enjoying my props and explained that he
used to be interested in Ventriloquism as a kid,,, That was when a
little turtle popped his head out from within my crack...

Vacuum man came back and said “ Ok mate off you go, Pack up your stuff
and go”....

Apparently they were there to waste my time, methinks

Two hours Ulla had been waiting for me ..bless her. In the renta car
and off to Murura Springs we go, beautiful drive through
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Old 02-18-04, 06:08 PM   #3
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Thanks so much nick, been waiting and its worth it
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Old 02-20-04, 01:02 AM   #4
nick nickolas
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Guitar Part 3

....the NZ bush,
half way across the Lewis Pass ... A night alone in a hot spring resort
have way up a mountain with Ulla...Bliss I thought as we walked in.
Then we saw Hilby and family, checked in, we chatted, then Al Miller
turns up...Oh well, good to share hot springs with good people of the
same Hot water, ferns, mountains, combos, food and wine...what a
beautiful life....

Tasman Bay backpackers was the digs for Nelson. Changed from the one
on the hill with a swimming pool because a couple of acts last year
complained about the beds.. Small rooms, paper walls, kitch paintings of
tables and crockery, not a real shelf or table in sight...4 hooks we had
to hang our stuff which was I found out was 4 more than some people had !
The producer of this festival Kim Merry is a bang on guy , Yoga Teacher
who likes the odd cigar, whiskey and laugh..A smallish line up compared
to Christchurch Alakazam, Ulla Taylor, The Twins, Stretch People and
Myself... A 4 day gig with 2 night shows inside ‘Buskers Go Bad’ and 2
night shows outside in the beer Garden at The Ocean Lodge Hotel. The
outside ones were held inside due to appalling rain conditions which
wiped out half the street shows during the day.

Ocean Lodge normally holds 1500/2000 people outside, the inside bar
could hold 200/220 we played and turned 100’s away. The Stretch boys
performed the 4 high chair stack handstand on the table....the roof was
low, but as true professionals they adapted and performed it up a
chimney all you could see of Martin was a torso and Johnny well.... his
finger nails looked polished.
“ When you can’t see our legs anymore that means we are doing something
great!” Martin explained before pushing up.

‘Buskers Go Bad “ was a smash hit...sold out at $25 a ticket 2 nights
at The BoatHouse on the Waterfront..250 people squashed into the
converted boat house...We kept the same line up both nights I mc’d
brought on The Twins ,2 girls in one costume, 2 heads, 4 legs, 2 arms, 1
ukulele and 3 breasts great. I then came out, juggled, stripped and ate
the apple. The people loved it we then had a break for 10, I got changed
into Ozzie went out and bumbled, swore and talked about Rock and Roll,
introducing Alakazam and his contortions the crowd were well up for
it....then the Stretchies nailed them at the end. Massive nights. The
last 2 days as I said were a wash out completly...was great to have a
day off, sitting under a veranda guitar in hand laughing at the face of
the rain...Ha !
Al gave us a lift to Picton in his Renta Car and was great to get to
The Jugglers Rest hang out for a night drinking Beer with Gary and
Pauline.. Gotta go there before it dissolves ( it’s up for sale) Owned
and run by international jugglers/buskers balls, clubs ,unicycles,
stilts to play with,,,magazines and photographs to look at, a pool to
swim in and even a cat called Sandwich.

Getting on the ferry Tim a leopard headed, devil sticker falls into
step... Sitting on the back of the boat sharing Speights Tim, Ulla and I
watched the beauty of the Marlborough Sounds disappear talked shit and
laughed as at least half a dozen people pulled the door handle off the
bar door, put it back together, got a drink and joined us all awaiting
for the next victim.
Now here is a travel tip $20 day car relocation's in NZ,,,Normally going
North ..You have a time limit but $20!! Nice cars as well....We scored
one right after the ferry drove to Taupo,,,,splashed out on the luxury
pad with spa in the room. and sky TV on the beach.... Got to Auckland
the next day and checked into the digs The Fat Camel situated on Fort
St next to Lipstix and Mermaids a couple of brothel/strip joints in
Aucklands Red Light area....A massive improvement form last year
spacious apartment type rooms all sharing Kitchen/lounge toilet...We had
2 floors 3 and 5.....
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Old 02-23-04, 05:30 PM   #5
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Clown part 4

The cast for this gig was Andrew Elliot, Ulla Taylor, Tim Motley, Bike Boy, Shamus, Mr & Mrs Quirk, Justin Sane and myself and Dom..
A 4 day event with all production coordinated by Crackerjack Promotions and myself. Waitangi weekend which if you don’t know is when the Celebration of the day the English signed a dodgy treaty with the Maoris.
Thursday wasn’t to shit hot as it was still a business day some of the shows were a struggle but we all bit the bullet and closed them...
Friday was a different matter a holiday , The QE2 had docked, all pitches went well,,,Aotea Sq where they have a market every Friday/Saturday was huge..A masked BMX rider tried to disrupt Bike Boys show but Seans sharp timing and dirty laugh shut him up !
There was a night show outside O’Hagens on the viaduct tonight..15ft Sq Stage lights sound etc... I had pulled in Luke Hurley one of NZ’s leading singer songwriters in for the warm-up...The went out there my self and crikey what is it with the Aucklanders it took me a good 25 mins of messing and impro to fill the zone and get the people in the groove...The second night was the same but some comedy gems landed at my feet ...1st was a group of about 20 Maoris crossed arms in a pack looking on from behind I turned round and asked them for a fight with my gang (a whole bar full of people...When two effeminate looking guys walked out of a neighbouring bar being chased by the waiter,,,,They hadn’t paid!! They were from Belgium !! A big group of my people were Dutch !! It was only a tenner !! The Maoris looked on and laughed still with folded arms....Comedy Gold ...
One night one of Justins volunteers performed magnificent headstands, then fell over holding a rope ? Bike Boy tried juggling and apple eating on a bike on a pole in the dark ... Tim dislocated shoulder Motley whipped spaghetti off his head..Mr and Mrs Quirk made Tea and did Acrobalance. Dom remade Chariots of Fire in Panto. Shamus ate swords and stood on glass . Andrew pulled cards from charmed snakes. I filled the gaps and Luke Played the breaks ...all good I really do think this one will get bigger and better..
Thinking I didn’t want to deal with Prostitutes, Pimps and P Heads screaming at 1 am outside my window,,,,I dragged Dom and Andy over to Devonport on the ferry, my old stomping ground (Ulla was already there),,,Musician friends were playing a bar ,,,we drank, chatted, laughed got take outs...god Andrew nearly got on the dance floor ended up at my old pad playing guitar drinking Heineken..
Time was fading, a cab was called and into the city we went. I got the cab to stop at the White Lady and Auckland Institution ..the Burger caravan that has been there 50yrs.... Exiting the Cab we were hit with a 5 piece Hip Hop band Rebellious Angels that were hot !! beautiful melodies and harmonies and strong rhythms and beats...They took all our cash, wallets were emptied and Andrew Elliot was dancing in the streets,,,never thought I’d see it but he was there curly shoes an all shaking his body... After a jig we went for the burger ....arghhhh no cash ! God they were good that band ....I am hungary...there is a money machine.....Andrew have you got a card ?

The Wrap party was on Sunday. Crackerjak and O’Hagens laid on food and a bar Tab....Great Job to Pam Glaser, The Crackerjack Team, The Cast and The Auckland Public..A massive improvment from the years before.
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Old 11-22-04, 11:40 PM   #6
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Default Nick, your on the front page!

http://www.smh.com.au/

http://www.smh.com.au/news/People/Oz...972364133.html
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