TOUR DIARY: Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders In The U.S

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JACK LADDER AND THE DREAMLANDERS may have began as a solo project, but over time it has grown into an Australian supergroup. Led by the artist known as Jack Ladder, the Dreamlanders positions have been filled with unsung heroes like Kirin J. Callinan, Donny Benét and Laurenz Pike (PVT).

If that doesn’t read as Australia’s most eccentric music roll call, then you probably haven’t been paying attention. And on the back of their latest LP, Playmates, the group ventured over to the land of dreams (USA) – cue weird shit happening.

As the team travelled across the country on a tour that included stops at SXSW, NYC and LA – Ladder kept himself a travel journal and savoured every moment. This never before seen memoir has now been released to the world via Purple Sneakers. You can digest the personal accounts as seen by Ladder below, each one offering up a little more insight into what had to be one of the most insane U.S tours.

1.LUGGAGETAGS

“When you’ve spent this much time and energy to get to the United States you want to make an impression and you certainly don’t want to lose your equipment. Solution: Customised luggage tags. It’s your fast track to international respect.”

2.HYATT

SXSW

“Before you arrive in Austin make sure your manager has reserved a room at the Hyatt. Ask for something high up. 6th floor plus. You will value this sanctuary from the street. Flying like a golden eagle above the taco trucks. The complimentary breakfast buffet will prove vital. Avoid milk. Drink Americano.”

3.JL_CB

“Your first show is opening for Courtney Barnett. Lots of people turn out for this and Courtney has hung her art on the walls to make it feel homely. You tear the place apart then the CB3 blow the roof off. You look fresh faced. Vibrant. This look won’t last.”

4.MATCHBOOKS

“At SXSW you need a calling card. Even better is a card that makes fire. You can’t fly in with these so you pre order them from a discount printer in Florida and have them shipped to your hotel. (An added bonus is the sulphurous smell only the cheapest matches still emit to clear the bathroom air in the morning).”

5.THEPARISH

“After the show with CB you’re driven to the outer suburbs of Austin to play a live radio set in front of a swimming pool then raced back into town for your show at The Parish. This photo doesn’t do justice to how good you sound that night. Afterwards an American asks if your name is “Jack Blotter and the Green Lanterns”. He has it typed into his iPhone. You hand him a matchbook.”

6.MANPILE

“After a meal at Austin’s premier asian fusion restaurant “Peter Fuckin’ Changs” you retire to the Hyatt to bunk down for the night. This picture is taken right before you fall asleep in a man heap. Your wives send worried emoji’s.”

7.WETCATS

“The rain sets in. The streets of Austin turn brown. That doesn’t mean Donny Benét dresses down. It sets a challenge. Raises the bar. It calls for a white tuxedo jacket, bow tie and a bum bag. This is how you levitate.”

8. PIZZA GATOR

“After SXSW you struggle to get to the airport for 6am. Kirin can’t carry himself and is put in a wheel chair. Luckily this makes getting through security a breeze and you arrive at the gate in time for some stuffed pizza.”

9.BABY'SALLRIGHT

NEW YORK CITY

“You play a secret show at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn. It’s the second sitting. You start after midnight. The room fills up and you blow them down. People are dancing in Brooklyn. People are having a good time. You are having a good time. Savour it.”

10.STIFF

“The next morning you have to get up at 8am to drive to The Bronx and record another radio session. By this time your heads are looking booted in and your suit has lost it’s shape and provides no warmth to the 3 degree temperatures and there is no refuge from the wind and you all look 3 feet tall peering over a garden hedge. But that’s just in your mind. This is a picture of an unknown UK pub band from 1977. They were about to sign to Stiff records but the deal fell through.”

11.LIVE_NYC

“This is you performing in NYC and plenty of people are there to witness. It’s smooth. Almost too smooth after the 30 minute blast sets you’ve been playing. This is a generous hour long set. You stretch out. Take your time. It feels good. Some blogger wrote a review that you dressed like “dorks.” You dress however the hell you want. No apologies. Leave your denim at the door this ain’t a rock show it’s an enterprise.”

12.ARMWRESTLE

LOS ANGELES

“LA is warm and comfortable. You’re coming around the home stretch. You’re asked to pose for a fashion magazine. But this isn’t just any fashion magazine. It’s Bryan Adams‘ fashion magazine? You go to Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles and Kirin and Donny have an arm wrestle on a 1920’s art deco bar.”

13.SUNSET BLVD

“Later that night after another Vietnamese meal you perform at The Echo in Echo Park. Your face is beginning to resemble the grumpy cat though inside you feel joyous and free. You are standing on Sunset Boulevard, but no longer have the required strength to form the smile. You’re saving it for the stage.”

14.MUSCLEBEACH

“The last day of tour and the band is excited to drive to Venice “ Muscle Beach” Beach. You have to perform a solo live in the studio session. The band hits the sand and you almost lose your cool after one too many late nights and no breakfast. This photo is as close as you will get to seeing the Pacific until you’re flying over it into Kingsford Smith.”

Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders are back on home soil and are ready to go through all the above again on a national tour. This time, they’re the headliners – and they’ll be dragging along Alex Cameron for the ride. Dates are as follows:

Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders Playdates 2015 Tour 

FRI 08 MAY – HOWLER, MELBOURNE
Tickets available via Moshtix

SAT 09 MAY – AMPLIFIER, PERTH
Tickets available via Oztix 

FRI 15 MAY – BRIGHTSIDE, BRISBANE
Tickets available via Moshtix

SAT 16 MAY – OXFORD ART FACTORY, SYDNEY
Tickets available via Moshtix

Playmates is out now via Self Portrait/Inertia/Fat Possum

Words by Tom Hutchins

SEE MORE

WATCH: JACK LADDER AND THE DREAMLANDERS ‘SHORT MEMORY’
ELIZABETH ROSE TOUR DIARY PT. 1: BIGSOUND

About:

Just a weird, socially awkward dude trying to get by. On the plus side he knows a lot about ramen, and you know, that’s pretty cool.