Monday, August 12, 2013

Why I will never be a roadie for .@avaberee (watch out for the roos???)

Somehow I never got around to mentioning this in the Empoprise-MU music blog proper, but I've been listening to Avaberee a lot lately. Avaberee is a female trio from Brisbane, Australia that I originally discovered via their a capella cover of a Justin Timberlake song.

They've also composed their own songs, some of which can be found on their YouTube page, their Facebook page, and on various other sources (they have a few songs on Spotify). And based on these successes, they are now on tour. (Because they're in the Southern Hemisphere, it's a winter tour.)

Now I have never been to Australia, but I do understand that (using words associated with another part of the world) it's a big country. Back when I was working on my MBA (before the members of Avaberee were born), I discovered that Australia's freeway system (at the time) was not as well developed as the United States. So if you're driving between Australia's major cities, it can take a long time. And I'm not even thinking about Perth, which is on the opposite side of the country from the other major cities.

Avaberee's tour has taken them to most of the major cities in the eastern part of Australia, including their hometown of Brisbane, Sydney, and Canberra. From their Facebook page, it appears that they are driving between these cities, rather than taking a plane. (They're still a young band, so they're not getting large enough crowds to justify a private plane.)

The band just finished its Canberra date this past weekend, and in a week, they'll be playing their last tour date - in Melbourne. Now Avaberee has not consulted me about their tour arrangements, but I'm guessing that there's a pretty good chance that they'll be driving from their hometown of Brisbane down to Melbourne for this final date.

If that's what they're doing, how long of a drive will it be?

Somewhere between 18 and 19 1/2 hours, depending upon the route.

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Let's put it this way - if they decide to sing "100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall" on the way down, they'll have to sing it many, many times. (Twenty-eight, to be exact. No, not twenty-eight verses. Twenty-eight complete renditions of the entire song, or 2,800 verses.)

Of course, Google Maps can't tell you everything about a particular trip. To find out more, you need to contact real people, such as those who contribute to TripAdvisor. Although the thread that I found about the Brisbane to Melbourne drive dates from 2008, it's presumably still applicable today. One contributor noted the difference between the inland route and the coastal route.

I have done the drive twice now, last time was a few years ago. Our first time, we went through Sydney to catch up with some friends, so stopped overnight there and then the next day up along the Pacific Hwy. This was a long drive with too many stops and reasonably heavy traffic. On our second attempt, we took others advice and went the fastest and most direct route, via the Newell Hwy. I am trying to recall where we stopped overnight, I think it was Parkes. We had two drivers, so the driving load was shared but it is still a long time in the car....around 20-22 hours of driving time. The Newell is a lot quicker than other routes but be warned, it is long, flat and very boring.

We have something similar in California for travelers from Los Angeles to San Francisco. You can take the scenic but long U.S. Route 101, or you can take the inland, boring Interstate 5. But even if you're driving on the 101, you won't be spending TWENTY OR MORE HOURS driving up the coast.

Oh, and there are other hazards that you don't necessarily encounter in California. The contributor continued:

Road kill is a real eye opener as well, so be very careful driving this road at dawn or dusk times especially. WE actually clipped a kangaroo about 7am, one bright, sunny morning....very close call.

Yes, you read that right - you can hit KANGAROOS on the inland route. While highways in the United States have a number of hazards, kangaroos are not among them.

Another contributor reiterated the point:

When you consider the petrol cost, and accomodation cost it really is not worth it.

However, if you must do it then the easiest way is inland via the Newell HIghway, and as already mentioned it is long and boring. There are a lot of trucks that pass this way and a lot of road kill.

And another:

This is the road train route between Melbourne and Brisbane and they go that way for a reason. Just be aware that your travel will have to be during daylight hours once you get out west as the roos are a real problem. So leave after sun up and be at your destination well before the sun sets.

So this is why I will never volunteer to be a roadie for Avaberee. I mean, it sounds glamorous, and the women are fantastic singers and performers, but if their car hits a kangaroo, they're not going to be the ones to clean things up. No, they'd get the Yankee roadie to do it. And since they speak Australian, it would probably take me a while to figure out that they're asking me to remove a kangaroo carcass from the hood of the car. They'd be saying "bonnet" and "windscreen" and "bitumen" and stuff like that.

But I'll be "barracking for" Avaberee on the final date of their tour, and should you happen to be in Melbourne next weekend, they're at The Workers Club on Saturday the 17th.

Provided that the kangaroos let them pass.
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