Simple Plan, We The Kings, The Never Ever. Wollongong, Australia

Aside from seeing my younger brother for the first time in nearly two years, one of the main things I was looking forward to on my (brief) return to Australia was the opportunity to shoot some concerts back at my old venue. Before I graduated university and left home, I was shooting concerts most weeks at the University of Wollongong. Once I had booked tickets back here, I checked with the venue to see if there were any bands playing during my visit. Sure enough, Simple Plan was lined up. While I wouldn’t call myself a fan of their music, they are still a pretty big name, and as such, I was keen to have a shoot.

I was kind of also meant to cover Anti-Flag, and wish I did, but had certain reasons not to… which turned out to be the wrong decision, but such is life, and I won’t make that same mistake twice.. in the near future.

As for the concert, Simple Plan, from what I saw, appears to have a very teenage fanbase, most of whom were queued outside the venue an hour before doors opened. The bar was also closed off before the concert so I couldn’t get a beer before going in. Not happy. The opening band, The Never Ever, surprised me, with a ridiculous level of energy, and ridiculously photogenic band members. Shooting them was some of the most fun I have had behind a camera… Unfortunately they only played a 20 minute set.

We The Kings, however, just didn’t do it for me. The crowd loved them, and they seemed to love the crowd, calling out to “all the sexy Aussie girls in the crowd” (all-ages gig, remember…). I’m sure they just go along with it to keep the fans keen on them… But yeah, music was a bit bland for my taste. I can honestly say that I can’t even remember what they sounded like, they had such little impact on me. That may just be because they weren’t anywhere near as easy to shoot as TNE, but let’s not get pedantic (yes I googled the definition and spelling).

Finally, Simple Plan. As I said, not a fan of their music, but they put on a very decent show, full credit for that. With each chorus, the photo pit started shaking from the crowd’s jumping. So full credit to the crowd also. Noone rocks out at a concert like teenagers. And yes, the band played their hits, whatever they are called. So if you like their music, or like live music with a good atmosphere, go see Simple Plan at an all-ages show.


I’m not in Nairobi anymore

Boarding ticket stubs. Ergh

I have actually been back in Australia for a month now. I planned for this return to let me catch up on writing and editing, but instead I have squandered my time here. But I’m ok with that.

The decision to return sprung up quickly on me. I had been staying at my mum’s house in Ngong, Kenya, for most of the last 6 months. She was returning to Australia to see the family, and she wanted me to come back too. Being a mother, she realised that the only way she could guarantee that her, me, and my little bro would be in the same room again, was if she offered to pay my ticket back.

I almost declined, I thought about it, but then I got continually more and more excited about the idea of seeing my brother (20 months since I had seen him last). So, I agreed, and about 2 weeks later I was flying out, on a different set of flights to my mum (it was cheaper when I booked). Nairobi – Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi – Bangkok. Bangkok – Hong Kong. Hong Kong – Sydney. Sydney – Albury. So 5 flights, 6 planes (one plane had a mech issue), 6 hours sleep, 6 beers, 7 meals, and about 48 hours later, and I surprised my unknowing brother by walking off the same plane as mum.

That was a month ago. In that time, I have gone drunk camping, thrown out/given away/prepared to sell half of my belongings, gone boxing, eaten far far far too much western food and desserts, gone boxing more to try and counter the food, hitch hiked to Wollongong, visited friends there and in Sydney, photographed Simple Plan, caught a ride back to Albury, and gone snowboarding. I did succeed in doing some editing, and I do plan on writing about my backlog of adventures in East Africa, but they will no longer be in a chronological order, because:

Tomorrow (was meant to be Thursday but I pushed it back twice) I hitch hike to Melbourne, and on Monday I fly to Bangkok.