Friends,  Life,  Writerly Insides,  Writing

Dead Letter Circus

Dead Letter Circus


Today’s blog post is supposed to be about the writing progress (I now have more than 1600 words towards my novel and I epically wrote 1400 on the way to Bendigo to see my darling friend) but after last night. Just wow. I don’t think I can cover writing and that’s okay, these are my words, this is my safe place, I can do whatever I want and no one can tell me otherwise.

I should start at the beginning.

My love affair with Dead Letter Circus was when I heard Big while I was trolling youtube for new music to write with. This was close to five years ago (or it could be more, I don’t actually remember). I fell in love with the harmonically sweet tone of front man Kim Benzie and used them as cannon fodder to write my novel to, only a little anyway. It was always in the back of my mind that they were some hot shot American band, because in my mind, everyone on YouTube is American until proven otherwise. When I did my research, I found that they were not an American band and hailed from the beautiful city of Brisbane.

That was as far as I thought about them.

I saw that they would be coming to the Clipsal 500 and thought, oh well. I never thought that I would have met them in my lifetime.

I was content to forget about them and listen to their music off and on, until my bestie and I did our first NaNoWriMo together three years ago (this year will be the third). I remember clear as day when we were just sitting in my room eating pizza and talking when a DLC song came on my phone and poured into my room. She stopped talked, listening to the song, and when she spoke up I expected her, like many before, to criticise my taste in music, but she squealed in excitement and proceeded to tell me that she had seen them live.

I was beyond jealous. I wanted to see them live. I wasn’t a big concert person having only been to a handful of big acts, most of them hosted at the Entertainment Centre in Adelaide.

She mentioned that we should go and see them live when they were playing in Melbourne next. It was safe to say that this started our addiction to the beautiful band.

I thought that we wouldn’t get our chance but it came along during the hottest heatwave I lived through in a while in Melbourne and it was worth it. We were about four or five rows back from the front and here I was in awe of this beautiful man (not to mention topless, that mandala on his chest is fucking epic up close) but they had a way of working the room. You felt like you were apart of a community full of likeminded band t-shirt wearing groupies and it was amazing.

I wanted to meet them.

Our first gig with them was huge. I didn’t think that they were as big as they seemed, but they were.

The second time we got to see them, it was my birthday and an exciting time. I was full of raw dessert and wearing a DLC t-shirt. Life really couldn’t get better than that. DLC were supporting their buddies Karnivool and played for far too long. It felt like it was over in click of a finger.

I thought that we had to wait a while to see them again. Life seemed bleak. Until they released information about their Insider Tour. It would involve going to rural towns and off the grid venues to connect with their fans, what a brilliant and ingenious idea.

Fast forward to last night in Bendigo and The Black Swan. I expected it to be bigger, for the venue to be packed to the max, but instead it was small, intimate and raw. It was fucking brilliant. The Khyber Band and Like Thieves were the supporting bands and both of them were fantastic. It’s great to see little unknown bands together.

Dead Letter Circus seem to be topping every performance. They modest and humble group seemed easy going as they flitted through the crowd to get to the stage. Then the real magic happened. They first strums of instruments and banging of the drums before Kim’s melodic voice filled the space and the rest is a blur.

High fives later, laughs, cat calls and a full set with a heavy heart later we were stumbling our way to the merch table when we stumbled along Luke, the drummer. He was sweaty, trademarketly topless and an absolute gorgeous man. That was the start of our photo journey. Next we bought our merch and snagged Clint for photo before Kim came out to Peta and hugged her, proclaiming that she knew every single word (which is probably true) I had to stop. The. Lead. Singer. Of. Our. Favourite. Band. Hugged. Her.

Yeah that right there was like whoa.

I almost feel guilty for snubbing Clint off (I’m so sorry!) as I asked for a hug and then managed to stumble through asking to see the gorgeous mandala tattooed on Kim’s chest (he asked for no photos of it, but it’s forever burned in my mind) he was chatting to us and then mentioned that he was doing a video and that we needed to stay right there. I was happy to stay anywhere he asked.

Did I mention that I was literally within touching distance of them throughout the show? I high fived Stewart and Luke as they were going off the stage.

When Kim came back, he led us out the back (the uh-oh this could be bad thoughts ran their course for all of a second before the fangirlness and shakes started to settle in) and set up were lights, a camera and a table. The table was later upgraded to a table and a crate and all we had to do was take turns holding up a sign that was handwritten. We were helped up and down from the crate by Kim and you can feel the genuine care in the gesture. He was directive and encouraging. It was actually really lovely, until security ushered us out.

It was sad, but we saw Stewart on our way out and tried to save him from a really drunk man with a beard, not well enough, it seems.

All in all, if anyone has any doubt about going to these smaller gigs that bigger bands put on, shut them down, buy a ticket, it’ll be worth every penny you spend. Life is too short not to enjoy it and put away your phone during the concert, there is only so many photos you can get (let’s say that there are 100 on my phone…when did that happen?) enjoy it. Connect. Reconnect. Dance. Live.

Thank you for an amazing and memorable show, Dead Letter Circus. Until next time.

Ps can anyone confirm the ring on Kim’s finger?

Mandi is a writer, reader, dreamer and is breaking procrastinating inner editors, one at a time.

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