Cathy Guthrie stopped from smuggling at border; Amy Nelson and Cathy Guthrie break up the band, and more news from Folk Uke’s Australian Tour


photo of Amy Nelson and Cathy Guthrie in Australia, by Angela Wylie 

Got your attention, didn’t I?    Amy Nelson and Cathy Guthrie sent news from their recent Australian tour: 

“Flight delays due to cold weather and engine lights forced us to fly from Los Angeles to Sydney at separate times.  By the time Amy arrived, Cathy had already gotten into trouble with the law,  as she had tried to smuggle some almonds into Sydney.  Luckily, they caught her at customs before she could contaminate the whole country.  They did allow her to keep her cashews as a reminder:  ‘We don’t want to cashew smuggling almonds again.'”

“The flight back to Los Angeles was fourteen hours.  It was so long that we finally got tired of each other and broke up the band.   With the remaining 13 hours left in the flight,  we got bored and decided to get the band back together.   We are looking forward to the Official Folk Uke Reunion Tour  (OFURT), which should book itself. “

Visit www.FolkUke.com for tour information, to purchase their album, tee-shirts and more, and to sign up to be on their mailing list.  These two are so talented, smart and funny. 

To hear about all their adventures and eveything that happened in between, read their newsy, humorous  newsletter: 

FOLK UKE’S AUSTRALIAN TOUR JOURNAL :
Tales from Down Under (As Recalled from Up Over)

JANUARY 10-13:  LOS ANGELES TO SYDNEY

Flight delays due to cold weather and engine lights forced us to fly from Los Angeles to Sydney at separate times.  By the time Amy arrived, Cathy had already gotten into trouble with the law,  as she had tried to smuggle some almonds into Sydney.  Luckily, they caught her at customs before she could contaminate the whole country.  They did allow her to keep her cashews as a reminder:  We don’t want to cashew smuggling almonds again.  Rob Scott from Sandcastle Music, who initiated our trip down under, awoke before dawn two days in a row in order to pick us both up from the airport.  Thanks Rob.
JANUARY 13:   BRASS MONKEY 
 
 

Brass Monkey is likely to be the coolest place in Sydney.  Dimly lit, red walls, great food (or feed as it is called down under),  and a wonderful sound system. The only problem was Amy, who was exhausted from arriving that day and could fully see her own nose.  Yes, she was cross-eyed, and determined to bring Cathy down to her level. 

Luke O’Shea
(www.lukeoshea.com) played the first set of the evening, raising the bar so high, we could easily get under it.  Next, canadian songwriter, Dan Mangan (www.danmanganmusic.com ) performed with bassist Michael Liston.  Their set was so good it brought us back to life for long enough to play ours. 
 

Brass Monkey’s owner, Geoff Trio, who was also our tour promoter, was kind enough to warn us of some of the dangers of Australia.  He told us of drop bears, seemingly cute Koalas that drop from a trees and scratch the shit out of passers by.  Then there are bunyips, big teethy monsters that could chase and devour us at any time, and tire snakes who roll up in tire formation and can roll faster than any of their victims can run.  Those Aussies are brave to live in such dangerous conditions. Thank God we had Geoff there to look after us.  He even sprained his ankle wrestling a bunyip just days before.  We felt safe with him, since he now brandished a crutch.
 
The next show was at Notes in Newtown. The artists who shared their show with us were Gabby Huber and Cameron Potts from Dead Letter Chorus (www.myspace.com/deadletterchorus), and Leroy Lee (www.myspace.com/leroyleemusicwho were incredibly kind to us, and made us feel welcome to mess up the end of their show however we could. 
Signs that read “Bill Posters Will Be Prosecuted” were  all over Newtown.  Leroy said that they seemed fairly certain they would catch him.  That night we listened to some of the best original music we had have ever heard.  Leroy’s soulful songs,  vocals, guitar, and stomp-box sounded like three people at times.  It made us want a stomp-box too,  and some coordination to go with i.  The Dead Letter Chorus duo has amazing voices, melodies, and harmonies.  For our show, we messed up a bunch of times to hold the crowd’s attention, and that worked for us.  We kept aneye out for Bill Posters for the rest of the evening, but there was no sign of him. 

JANUARY 15: QIRKZ
 
JANUARY 16: TAMWORTH COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL

The Tamworth Country Music Festival was the next stop.  The ride was beautiful and we even saw some kangaroos taking naps on the sides of the the highway.  This must be what the locals referred to as “micro-sleeps”.  Tamworth was where we were to meet a new member of the Folk Uke family, Lana.  She was homeless…a black and shiny Lanakai ukulele that we found at Cheapa Music.
 
We met some incredible people at Tamworth, most of whom were shcaring the stage with us.
 
Paul Greene (www.paul-greene.com)  was performing that night,  and we were fortunate to hear his insightful songs, and to speak with him about how home is everywhere on Earth.  Angie Hart (http://ihartangie.net) turned out to be a long lost soul sister of ours, and she taught us some great Australian slang, kinoath (fuckin’ oath).  We were blown away by her beautiful voice.  It was a long walk back to the stage. After our set, the crowd went wild…   for Josh Pyke (www.myspace.com/joshpyke) who put on a hecck of a show.
 
 

JANUARY 18:  CLARENDON GUESTHOUSE

 Next, we made our way upward to a magical town called Katoomba, (bless you).   Leroy arranged a visit for all of us to experience Scenic World, an old coal mine deep in the Blue Mountains. The mountain magic and the pumpkin soup for lunch energized us and got us ready for a sold out show.  We stayed and played at the lovely, spirit-filled Clarendon Guesthouse.  Spectacular performances by Leroy,  Dan, and Mike left us feeling blessed to be in attendance,  and humbled to share stage time with such genuine and talented artists. 

JANUARY 19: LIZOTTE’S
 
Lizottes in Newcastle was surrounded by swarming bats and exotic birds with pink feathers.  Dan and Mike, once again, shared the stage with us.  Over the tour, we got into the habit of putting on make-up during their show.   There’s a reason they call it make-up, so we applied more and more after each song.  Amy got carried away and took on a new persona that night, Amy Crackhouse.  Needless to say, Dan’s  show was great! The evening ended with the best sing-a-long to “Motherfucker”  yet, when Dan and Mike accompanied us from a go-go cage.  Struth (it’s the truth).

JANUARY 20:  RUBY’S
 
We flew to Melbourne the next day where we were to play our last two shows of the tour. In addition to us and Dan Mangan, a great local artist, Jen Cloher (www.myspace.com/jencloherandtheendlesssea) was in the line-up at Ruby’s.  Jen’s music is simultaneously ethereal and grounding.  Angie Hart and her sister, Becky, came out to the show.  Angie joined us for a rendition of “I miss my boyfriend”, and stayed for the “Motherfucker” finale with us, Dan, and Mike.   We never had it so good.  We even had a stalker at this show, but we couldn’t keep him.   By the end of the night, we looked for him and he was gone.  As it turned out, we offended him.

JANUARY 21: THE EAST BRUNSWICK CLUB

The East Brunswick Club where they took excellent care of us.   A fellow San Diegan,  and acclaimed (for a good reason)  songwriter, 
Steve Poltz, attended the show.  It was great to see him, and he stayed late despite the fact that he had to get up early.  What a trooper.   Jen Cloher performed again and this would be our last night to see hers or Dan’s show for a while.  We are fortunate that we got to tour with such great musicians, and consequently some of the funniest people we have ever met. Case in point, Dan picked up a microphone from the sound board during our rendition of “Knock Me Up”  and inserted his “erection”.  It was our best and worst show.  We couldn’t get through any of the songs without laughing,  yet the crowd laughed with us, or at us.  Either way it was funny.
 
 

JANUARY 22:  WANDERING AROUND MELBOURNE 

 
Left to fend for ourselves the following day, we strolled around Melbourne, drank lots of coffee, and explored the shops.  We had dinner at  a restaurant near Public Toilet Drive, signifying that our journey through the land of Oz was coming to a close. 

JANUARY 23:  MELBOURNE TO LOS ANGELES

The flight back to Los Angeles was fourteen hours.  It was so long that we finally got tired of each other and broke up the band.   With the remaining 13 hours left in the flight,  we got bored and decided to get the band back together.   We are looking forward to the
Official Folk Uke Reunion Tour  (OFURT), which should book itself. 
 
Thanks again to Rob Scott at Sandcastle Music and Geoff Trio at Code One for making our Australian tour possible.  Kudos to them, or any candy bar that they want.  We hope to be invited back immediately.  We’re waiting anxiously by the phone…
   
Visit www.FolkUke.com for tour information, to purchase their album, tee-shirts and more, and to sign up to be on their mailing list.  These two are so talented, smart and funny. 
 
 

  

 
 
 

 


Next we played a house party of sorts in a place called Qirkz.  Dan Mangan shared the bill again, aswell as an intriguing original solo act called
Fergus Brown www.facebook.com/pages/fergus-brownElvis Presley and Homer Simpson attended the show with some of the most plastic women we’d seen since we left L.A.  To get  through these tour dates, we were going to have to wear extra make-up and perhaps fall off our stools to keep up the momentum set by the artists preceding us.JANUARY 14:  NOTES 

Offstage, their bad jokes and great puns made us feel immediately at ease around them.  It felt like home.  The crowd was kind and enthusiastic; the staff were friendly, supportive, and didn’t seem to mind when when we mispronounced their names.  It took some time to get used to the accent.  We called “Chris”  “Bruce” for a good portion of the evening.

9 Responses to “Cathy Guthrie stopped from smuggling at border; Amy Nelson and Cathy Guthrie break up the band, and more news from Folk Uke’s Australian Tour”

  1. MissTex says:

    They are so funny! Love your humor, girls!!!! Enjoy the music and the review.

  2. beanie says:

    OK OK, you made me LOOK!!!

  3. Monique says:

    We have a kind of real life soap over here from the Australian customs. They really don’t allow any food. Almonds, peanuts and that kind of stuff are “not done”.

  4. LindaLee says:

    Those two are so funny, arent’ they! Witty.

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  6. Judy says:

    I have friends who tried to bring some Fluff into Australia. It was confiscated because it has eggs in it. Australian Customs personnel must have some good pig-out parties every week!

  7. Monique says:

    I think they have free food and drinks all over the year …

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