Touchdown Tullamarine

Jack reflects on the Tasmanian Red Hot Summer Tour gigs.

Author:  Jack Howard.

Date: 27 January 2020.

Original URL:


Article Text

Touchdown Tullamarine after a fine weekend of Red Hot Summer in Tassie. Both shows were really strong but Launceston was especially good. It’s a strange way to rock in a lot of ways, going about our normal lives through the week then reeling back the years for a weekend of power and passion. The second show of the two is often a little Saturdays can be a bit twitchy with energy and sometimes chaos. Sundays tend to hone all of the energy in the right direction.

Bazz and I got off the plane together. All of us about to disperse in our separate directions. Bazz says, man, I could do this all of the time. If I could just go out and rock and have this much fun every weekend, I’d quit my day job in a second, he says. Hard to disagree. I head back to my teaching life tomorrow and great job that it is, it pales beside the big stage.

Michael, Jeremy and I are having a good time on horns. Getting tighter each show. It’s such a unique section. I play with a lot of other great horn players but the combo of Michael’s crunch and depth on trombone, Jeremy’s warmth on French Horn and the cut of the trumpet gives it something special. At least, I like to think it does. It could all be my own grand delusion. When we first got back into rehearsals, there was a lot of Mark-led, beer-enhanced discussion about what made H & C different and alongside many other things, the symphonic horn section is certainly one those elements. Punters are a bit gob-smacked at the sight of all that brass.

The camaraderie backstage is very cool. A whole bunch of old stagers hanging out. Familiar faces plus new introductions. We’re getting to see a lot of The Living End who are just brilliant and James Reyne, who has a song list to envy – Hammerhead, Downhearted, Errol, etc. Dave Gleeson asked me to to play a bit of Chet Baker the other night when I was loitering with trumpet in hand. I broke into My Funny Valentine and Suze DeMarchi nearby loved it. Ordered me to play it again. Anything for a gal like Suze.

We’re all enjoying ourselves most of the time. Space is still necessary, more for some than others. All of the old jokes are still there and the endless sledging and banter – but less of the angst. Long, dusty drives full of music and blather. We all lead full and varied lives outside the band but this is still special, this shared thing that we all made together in our formative years. A lot of blood, sweat and beers went into the making of this and it’s fantastic that there are people out there who still dig it.

Back home now, I’ve got the trumpet out practising again. Long notes and all of the rest. This thing never looks after itself. You’ve got to stay in shape or you will very quickly pay the price.

See you out there somewhere. Cheers, Jack. (Thanks, David Grey, for the great photo.)