How to speak coffee at a Starbucks or "Wow, am I really that much of a snob? Yes. Yes I am."


I'm back on tour in the mid-west and it's time to sort out the priorities. Shower? Not yet. Sleep? That'll have to wait. Coffee. Let's make it happen. 

I'm sure somewhere in New York there'd be a decent coffee roaster but for the touring musician: you get Starbucks. If you're lucky. 

You'd like a latte? Sure. Would you like whipped cream with that? No jokes, that's a standard question. Ordering something other than a warmed up coffee coloured milkshake takes a little bit of practice. 

Tall, Grande or Venti? Let's stray off the menu and order a short. (Not an espresso mind you, this is just the kind of kiddie-cup they keep on hand for arrogant Australians who like to whinge)

Want it to taste like coffee as well as look like it? A double shot helps get it closer to the mark. Not exactly single origin but really, I should be over the moon it's not Blend 43!

Short Soy Latte with a double shot. It's my secret recipe that comes close to a takeaway latte from back home. Now, how do I get rid of that phantom sugar. I didn't ask for sugar, it's just there. Seems to be everywhere over here. (Ever had Vegemite on a piece of toasted cake?) Is there such a thing as anti-sweetener? Salt? Last time I put salt in a coffee my Dad got really mad. I swear it was a mixup. 

You know what's really missing though? The nose ring. And the neck tattoos. And the dreadlocks. And the playlist that inexplicably changes from Led Zepplin to The Seekers and on to Skrillex. And why is everyone here so nice? It's almost like someone told them customer service was a service industry.

Good thing I'm here for more than coffee. Now where's that pie?

Next best thing

A blast from the past... 

An old post I wrote on my way to a European tour a few years ago:

The next best thing... (in Singapore... At midnight)

I’m stopping over in Singapore airport for an hour on my way to Amsterdam. With another massive flight to Heathrow and another 7 hour stopover there before moving on I’m feeling pretty ratty and in need of sleep.

No such luck I’m afraid. 

But they have showers in the club lounge. Which is nice. Very nice. Almost as good as sleep. 

But it’s not sleep. Not even the next best thing. 

I don’t need sleep, I’ll just have a shower. 


I don’t need a shower, I’ll just wash my face. 


I don’t need breakfast, I’ll just have a quick coffee. 


I don’t need a lunch break, I’ll just eat this muesli bar while I’m working?


Is a shower supposed to be the same as sleep? How long do you reckon you can keep that up?

Rest. Sleep. Eat. Laugh. Listen to music. Pray. Meditate. Go for a walk. Whatever it is… rest. Your life, your work and most importantly your friends and family need you to rest. Not just the next best thing. 

P.s. Someone please remind me of this next time I say something silly like this.

Leaving home, finding home


Its been a long time between drinks, a good few months since I was last on the road with Sons of Korah. While the break over summer has been nice I’ve been really missing the guys' (and girl) company. I’ve been missing the stage as well, not so much from an ego “get me into the spotlight” sense as a sense of fulfilment and place. There’s lots to love about my life and who I get to live with but there’s not a lot of places (outside of home with my wife) where I feel truly at home as when I’m playing bass, supporting someone, lifting them up and holding the band together.  Its an uncommon experience to be in a place where I have only one thing to do, one goal to accomplish, and to have the confidence and ability to do that one thing well. When there’s only one job to do and I’m good at doing that job, I’m a happy camper.

In the middle of a song there’s only the song. The chords, the melody, the rest of the band, the room – everything becomes one in my vision. The meeting place of the drummer’s groove and the singer’s melody is at the same time a place of multiple possibilities but often an almost ethical sense of imperative. To be moving with the music and at the same time moving the music along feels like just the right kind of swimming with the current. 

When I’m in that zone the rest of the world so easily falls away and I find myself in such singular purpose I really feel at home and  at peace with my existence. Not to say that I never find peace elsewhere but this is a very centering and solidifying experience. A great sense of "home", wherever I am in the world.