July/August 2018 – Aussie Tour

Hi folks

During July and August we were to travel to Australia to perform at several festivals and shows. As you all are aware now due to health reasons Annette was forced to remain in New Zealand and rather than disappoint our fans in Australia it was decided that I should continue the trip by myself once we had contacted all the convenors and organisers to make sure they would still be happy to have just Kim. Which, thankfully they were. Before I continue I must thank a few people for their assistance during the trip in providing gear, setting up gear, organising gigs, providing accommodation and transportation and a whole lot more. Firstly our Aussie dad, Dale, when we count our blessings in life we count Dale twice. Dale was my driver, roadie and marketing manager to name just a few. Don’t know what we would do without him really. Di Jones and Kerran Keats for the sound system and home style accommodation, Nancy and Reg Walker for all the help in arranging the Geelong gig. Much appreciated. Bidge and Barbara Boyd for the Colac and Camperdown gigs. Very inspiring to see the work you both do. Our thoughts are with the drought stricken farmers around Australia. Maureen and Allan Webster for their friendship and help in making our trip successful. Also very much appreciated. And to Allan and his great band “The Country Gentlemen” Nev, Henry and Drew for their support at Adelaide. That was a blast. Rosina at Club Barham for her understanding and support at the Barham Country Music Stampede. We all wish you the very best in your new endeavour. We will miss you. Gary and Sally at Colonial Motel for the accommodation at Barham. Roz and Craig Giles once again another great festival at Lockington. Jenny Keele for the accommodation at Lockington. Thank you Jenny for supporting Roz and Craig and making us feel welcome in your home. The heated wheat packs were lovely. Sandy and Graeme Smallacombe at Southern Country Music club Adelaide so nice to meet you both. Bev and Beryl at Kyvalley Morning Melodies lovely to catch up again. Thank you to you all for your help and support. We look forward to doing it again soon.

On Thursday the 26th July I landed in Melbourne ready for my three week stay in Australia performing at several festivals and shows. I was met by Dale and we headed up to Barham for the three day festival. Beginning my first set on Friday in the newly renamed Loddon room with a sit down audience was a bit nerve wracking not having my sidekick there to help run the show and tell me what to do. It took a little time to get used to the fact Annette wasn’t there and I had to take it one set at a time. But we made it through and it was great to catch up with old friends and to make some new ones as well. The crowd was wonderful and all asked how Annette was doing and sent her their best wishes for a speedy recovery. Other acts performing at the festival were New Zealand’s Craig Adams and Dennis Marsh both very popular acts at the festival. Well known Australian country singer Alby Pool along with popular Aussie artists Allan Webster, Sandie Dodd, Sharon Benjamin, Marie Hodson and new comers Shelley Jones Band and Danny Stain. Ably supported by “The Southern Cross Band” Anthony, Colin and Bob. Nothing was ever a problem for these awesome guys. It was great to work with you all again. A great weekend was had by all topped off with a hilarious finale that saw some great impersonations, improvisations and costumes take to the stage.

On the Monday I had the Monday Madness to do at the club before heading off. This is a fun afternoon of raffles and music run by the club and is great entertainment especially if you were lucky enough to win a prize. Not this year either for me. From Barham we headed to Echuca and a couple of nights with Di and Kerran who kindly supplied the sound system for the Monday Madness and would also help me out at Kyvalley for the Morning Melodies on Tuesday. A great morning was had by all that attended in support of their local community.

On Wednesday morning we decided to head down to Shepparton as we had a couple of days free before having to head to Lockington. There is a great antique and second hand shop that I wanted to visit again which we duly did. Di had also suggested we visit Yarrawonga and take a look at Lake Mulwala. So once shopping was completed at Shepparton we headed for Yarrawonga. Lake Mulwala is a manmade lake used for irrigation and is part of the Murray River. It is pretty spectacular and well worth a visit. We booked into the motel on the hill and had a chance to regather and take stock ready for the coming week. We made our way back to Echuca the following day stopping and
shopping at Cobram, Tocumwal, where we diverted to take a look at the Blow Hole. This is a hole in the ground said to be around 30mtrs deep and linked to the Murray River. Water flows from it generally when the river is low. Then on to Nathalia and finally ending up back at Di and Kerran’s.

On Friday the 4th August Dale and I headed to Lockington, along with Di and Kerran, as Kerran was also part of Roz and Craig Giles’ festival to be held for the second year at the local community centre. This is a great venue, set out well with plenty of room for sitting and dancing. The local community provided lunches and dinners at a small cost a good fundraiser for the community. My first set was on Friday night and I also had two sets to perform on Saturday. All went well and it was great to catch up with Roz and Craig again. They do an awesome job of organising this festival. Once again it was great to catch up with good friends Rupe Adams, Kinta, Callum Gleeson, Mick Hocking,
James Moore and Larry and Wendy Woods from Country Horizon who were on their music tour and heading up to Tamworth for the festival. Thanks to the “Good Time Band”, Colin, Fergy and Bob and Grant Luhr on sound. We couldn’t stay for Sunday as I needed to be in Geelong for a guest appearance at the Pleasant Sunday Country Music club held at the Sphinx Hotel function room in North Geelong. We had a great afternoon of music and it was awesome to have my cousins Kevin and Jeffrey Stopher there to see me with their wives Faye and Allison and also Dale’s brother Grant and his wife Cheryl came along to support me as well. Once again thanks to Eric Cook for the
invitation and to Reg and Nancy for arranging it all plus the accommodation. Fantastic. Thank you so much. We also had a lovely meal together after the club day. Monday was a free day and we decided to stay around Geelong before heading to Colac. So it was off to Portarlington for a quick look at where Dale’s father used to take the family on holiday. A nice hot chocolate was just the thing to warm up after a brisk walk along the jetty. It wasn’t exactly sizzling. We then headed down to Queenscliffe at the mouth of Port Phillip Bay and the entrance to Melbourne harbour. After a night spent with Grant and Cheryl in Geelong we headed down the Great Ocean Road where we would eventually head in land at Lorne and the next gig at Colac. On the journey down we saw some awesome scenery and got some great photos.

Tuesday evening 7th August saw me at the Colac RSL. Reg and Nancy had traveled down from Lara to support me and Bidge Boyd and his wife Barbara supplied and set up the sound system for me. This was another good night enjoyed by all and a little dancing was had as well with a conga line thrown in for good measure. From Colac we headed to Camperdown for a Morning Melodies on Wednesday organised by Bidge and Barbara Boyd held at the Camperdown footy club. This is another great venue with seating for around 250 people plus. The morning was a sell out as you may have seen by the video Bidge put on Facebook with the audience sending Annette a big HELLO. This
is a regular event run by Bidge and Barbara to raise funds for various charities. The money raised from our show was donated to the farmers drought fund. A very worthy cause at the moment with so many farmers facing difficult times. Well done Bidge and Barbara. Having said our goodbyes and thank you’s for an awesome morning we managed to hit the highway at around 3pm. We had decided to head down the coast again as Thursday was free and my next show was in Millicent on Friday night. We managed to make it to Port Fairy where we found lodgings and once again managed to take stock and get ready for the final burst as it were. Thursday morning we headed to
Millicent to meet up with Maureen and Allan Webster and to prepare for the gig with Allan at the Millicent and Districts Community Club on the Friday night. A small but appreciative crowd turned out to enjoy an evening of country music from “Allanette and Kim” the new duo taking country music by storm. From Millicent we were on the last leg home to Adelaide and a guest appearance at the Southern Country Music Club on Sunday the 12th. The support band for this show was Allan Webster and The Country Gentlemen band, Nev, Drew and Henry. It was a fantastic afternoon with this awesome band. This is also a great venue with a bbq lunch available or sandwiches and cake if you prefer and licensed as well. The dance floor was seldom empty. It was also nice to catch up with David and Marilyn and Joe again. Also some of Dales family attended the afternoon to hear me sing live for the first time so that was pretty cool. Thank you guys. And that brought to an end my Aussie tour. Made it. It was sad goodbyes to Maureen and Allan and the band as they had to head back to Millicent. The next couple of days were spent chilling out and trying to pack. We decided that it may be best to freight some of the stuff home rather than pay for extra baggage. Can’t wait for it to arrive. Early Wednesday morning I flew out of Adelaide heading for home. And that folks was about it. We will catch you all somewhere sometime in the future. Remember to take care and keep it country.

Best wishes
Annette and Kim