Words and photos by James Adams
While metropolitan centres felt the heavy hand and direct impact of the pandemic, it feels more like another shark in the water for those in Northern NSW: you know it’s out there, dangerous and frightening, but it’s not affecting your day-to-day movements.
The biggest effect has been the travel limitations which, for most people, means less time away and more time at work. Byron Bay band Miniskirt were pencilled in for their first European tour this September, but with that plan postponed, the band reverted to work and quickly tired of the monotony that a break would have alleviated. Maintaining sanity became a priority, and the band decided on a getaway to their own neck of the woods.
It’s no secret that the Byron Bay region has a lot to offer, or that it’s quickly becoming flooded by those looking for greener grass. So, where do you go to get away from the Bay? We opted for a two-storey, seven-bedroom farmhouse in the hinterland equipped with its own water hole, a lake full of platypus, turtles and bass, a fire pit and best of all, a monstrous insulated barn that the band set up their gear in.
The days were spent losing the footy in snaky long grass, acting brave while submerging into chilly freshwater creeks, maintaining that brave face while trying to pat the cows, drinking beers and whiskey on the hill, playing frisbee, and zipping around the corner to the nearby Japanese institution, Doma. Once all the daily shenanigans had been ticked off (usually around mid-afternoon), we’d descend upon the barn and the band would start noodling away at ideas for songs to follow up their powerful first album, Casino, released earlier this year.
The music would stop when the footy would start, and we’d cook up a big feast while keeping warm with a comfortable booze-blanket. Once full of food we’d slowly wind down, and then slumber until the next morning when it’d all start again. I could see this becoming our full-time lifestyle, however, if that were the case, where would we go to get away from our own neck of the woods?