Break Your Necks Tour (or how to get your favourite band to play at your school)

Dappled Cities Fly and Red Riders are quite possibly two of Sydney’s most cherished bands. For them to play together is almost too good to be true. If you haven’t got you’re ticket yet, you had better hurry because it looks like all their shows will sell out (Sydney at any moment now!).

While I’m sure this show will be special for all fans of the bands, it has even more significance for me. That’s because both these bands actually came to play at our school. It’s quite ridiculous when I think of it, but somehow it happened.

In 2005, a couple of friends of mine put me onto Dappled Cities Fly. They were obsessed and slowly but surely I caught the bug. The band had been around for a while, but was yet to really break through. They had released their first album and were gathering quite a significant underground following. They just needed something to kick-start them….

Somehow these friends managed to talk the them into playing at the school social we were putting on. It was only four of them(as Ned was yet to be added), but they put on a great show as always. They blasted out all their hits in true Dappled style and the crowd really got into it. The night was a success and everybody went home feeling thoroughly satisfied.

Well clearly word of their incredible performance spread quickly because within months they were pulling large audiences, getting big-name supports and building a die-hard army of fans, all culminating in the release of their second album and their subsequent rise into stardom. Coincidence? Perhaps…

The following year, those friends moved on and the responsibility of the social fell onto our grade. This was no mean task. It was up to us to maintain the school’s proud tradition of showcasing good music. This tradition may have just started one year ago but that’s beside the point. With the departure of the previous grade, music taste was under severe threat. Something had to be done. But how could we possibly match Dappled Cities Fly?

At the time I was really getting into Red Riders, largely thanks to the release of their brilliant second EP. I thought to myself that they would be the perfect band to play. Of course I didn't think it would happen, but I figured we may as well aim for the top and work down. And so I wrote them an email….

Dear Red Riders,

I am pleased to let you know that you have been chosen as the desired band for the coveted spot of Headliner at the of event of the year, Hurlstone's Annual Social. Yes you heard right, we want you! Now that you've finished laughing, let me explain to you what this involves. It is basically a showcase of our schools bands, competent in their own right, with some music to dance to in between. However the highlight of the night is the honoured guest band, preferably a prominent Sydney band. Last year Dappled Cities Fly graced us with their presence and this time we'd love it if you could come. Here's 5 reasons why it'd be worth your time:

  1. Practise - A chance to get back into performance-mode as well as practise your new material live
  2. Ease - Little effort involved on your part, like any other gig, just turn up and play (though I admit that is a BIT of effort).
  3. Appreciation - Our school is part boarding school, meaning 300 kids live at school under the tyranny of teachers. Being the ONLY after-school event we run, these kids will be dying to go nuts, and believe me they will.
  4. Exposure - Over a hundred under-18 girls are dying to fall in love with you. Need I say more?
  5. Money - We'll pay you!


To my amazement, they said yes. What ensued was yet another incredible night of music taking place in our humble school hall. The crowd went wild, with the band answering requests for songs off their first EP (even though only a couple them could remember how they went). In a bizarre twist, Ned, now the keyboardist for Dappled Cities Fly, actually came to do their sound on the night, so technically both bands in their entirety had attended!

The effect with Red Riders was even more immediate. Within months they were untouchable, releasing their debut album and playing sold out shows across the country. Now two bands had achieved fame after playing for us. Surely this was not a coincidence. The only logical conclusion was that our school was a launching pad for up and coming Sydney bands.

Of course, I am in no way being serious. These are two bands that were destined for the top and I just can't believe how lucky we were to have them play for us. What really strikes me is how cool both of them were (and still are). We were insignificant nobodies and yet they went out of their way to be nice to us. For this reason I have immense respect for them.

Sadly my school has gone off the tracks a little. This year they'll be getting in a horrible emo band to play for them. I sure am glad I won't get to see that. Maybe one day when Dappled Cities Fly and Red Riders are on top of the world, the students will realise the significance of what took place those two years. I don't think I ever will.

In the meantime, it goes without saying that this upcoming show is a must. It will undoubtedly be up their with the shows of the year. DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Be Engine - Dappled Cities Fly

The Unstoppable - Red Riders

I almost forgot to reward you reading this far! The songs above are among the first I ever heard by both bands. The chances of them being played are pretty much zero, but that doesn't stop them from being great.

UPDATE: Dappled Cities Fly and Red Riders will be taking over FBI radio station for an hour, playing their favourite tunes and covering each others songs! It takes place this Tuesday at 3pm and guarantees to be hilarious. Sydney locals can tune in to 94.5 and everyone can listen online here


Dan said...

Hooray. Gots me tickets ages ago.

Ok I'll stop talking like a hick.

How fun. I'm excited. Sucks to be our school right now but HAHA @ the shitty emo band!

Annie said...

I didn't know you went to Hurlstone. Why doesn't my old high school get this stuff? It's somewhere near your school. No wonder your school gets so many musos breaking through the music scene (exclusing that one shit pop band of course). We're still stuck with shit music last time I checked. But I haven't been there since 2005 so no idea really. Excellent work on the blog!

Peter said...

Hey, leave Human Nature alone!

I dare say your high school didn't get such stuff because you didn't try. It all comes down to writing suck up emails and apparently we did pretty well in that department

Ro said...

thats awesome news peter! i wish i went to ur school or maybe had someone in my year who was willing enough to actually support a similar vision of mine. its a bit late now tho.

Syms said...

I'd be excited for you if they were actually good. Saw them at the film ink movie awards and boy, I've never seen a crowd more out of it. Too samey for me. But good luck; I'm sure they'll become famouse and further crowd out quality music from the record stores. Bye

Peter said...

not sure which band youre talking about but......., I can't help but think that a movie awards night is not the best place to experience a band. everyone's entitled to their opinion and its perfectly ok not to like these bands, but i'd hate for you to be missing out cause I genuinely think they're great. they're the ones being crowded, not doing the crowding