The Australian Embassy sits nicely in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. It seems like a high security facility until the guy waves you through in spite of the fact that every light, buzzer, and beeper is going off.
According to the Australian ambassador to France, more Australians visit the Louvre each year than people from any other country. She also guesstimates that there are 5,500 Aussies in France at any one time. Kangaroo meat is exported to France, but we already knew that. Blah, blah, blah. In general, she couldn’t get the people at the bar to shut up long enough to get a word in edgewise.
According to Melbourne’s Matt Davis there are 20,000,000 people living in Australia. Wikipedia backs this assertion, estimating 21,200,000. I would have guessed more like 100,000,000. Yes, I know the middle part is uninhabitable desert.
When I asked for a carpet to set up the drums on, the guy brought me “The Red Carpet.”
At least seven different embassy employees walked up while we were setting up our gear and told us that the door to our left was the emergency exit and that we shouldn’t block it. Safety first.
My buddy John Attridge from Canberra won a bottle of white wine in the raffle. Screaming “Yes! John Attridge! John Attridge!!!” and pointing at him seemed to really annoy some people, which I found odd considering no one would shut the fuck up when the ambassador was speaking. It was a classic bait and switch.
The people serving the hors d’oeuvres quickly learned to avoid us. They would duck behind the bar and walk around or lift the tray over our heads where we couldn’t reach. We were starving.
The “fuckwit” who coordinates the events at the Australian embassy walked up before the last song and told us there was a pizza for us in the kitchen. But when we got done playing, it was gone.
Melbourne’s Matt Davis also estimates that the gig at the Australian embassy was the worst he’s ever played. By worst he means no food, no money, no one wanted to watch or listen to us play, the room had stone floors and glass windows, and the drum kit was set up in a hallway that led to a beautiful 200-seat theater that we weren’t allowed to play in ... We wanted a worst-case scenario for our test run, and we got it.
My bike key fell out of my pocket during the evening and I was forced to scour the entire embassy for it as the cleaning crew was sweeping up. Luckily, I found it.
Then to cap off the perfect evening, I witnessed Steven Tester pay the equivalent of $9 for a small plate of french fries – which I promptly ate half of.