Tour de Israeli Chicks

The STORK and Israeli Chicks mini tour of NZ was a battle of sorts. The idea was simple - Otago grads, now Byron frothmen would take Adelaide based STORK across the ditch for a series of gigs that would see the bands go head to head.

The men rented a campervan and played three beer-soaked gigs in Otago. Jack, the guitarist of Stork shot the same roll of film twice (accidentally?) and the results are flippin sick. Check them above.

Below we have words from S(am)love, lead bassist and singer of Israeli Chicks. He wrote a wee diary of the tour. Take it away Slove.

An international tour. The ruse of two bands pitted against each other. A dramatic “battle” covertly undermined by hugs and kisses at five am outside the Christchurch airport. It was Zar’s birthday and a peanut butter sandwich adorned by two lit matches made his cake. The matches went out before they reached his lips. The Stork’s thought it was hilarious. The Israeli Chicks did not. All joviality swept aside instantly. The nine of us boarded our new six sleeper spaceship. Custom made roadtrip CD’s in the stereo. The battle had begun.

The Stork’s were stinky so we stopped for a dunk in a pebble stream outside Oamaru. Feeling fresh and excited we climbed the hills coming into Dunedin. Tourist routes taken. Photos snapped and we were all ready to get ready to play.

Nothing much has changed it seemed. A few new pathways in the uni, Friendly Satay Noodle house is a time warp, a diesel up Signal hill a renewed sense of immortality. The Melocasa gig was tonight and the local “Radio 1” had us booked in for an interview. Johnny and I nervously tried to uphold the tour theme and hate each other, climaxing when Johnny called us “fucking gay” on live radio. It’s twenty seventeen so I guess that must have won some people over. The gig was a ripper! Awesome turn out.

Student band Hot Donnas, comfortable in their environment and generous with their hospitality played flaming hot. The Refuel dungeon provided the perfect squeeze for the crowd to yell along with the Stork’s. We must have played a blinder, as we sold out of our vivid embossed, aeroplane made tee-shirt’s. Don’t wash them too much. The crowd even coaxed an encore out of us for which we would like to apologise. We love you all.

I managed to wake early and teleported everyone from North Dunedin to St Clair in our spaceship. A nicer place to wake up? Leroy from Hydro Surf (plug) outdid himself and loaned as all wetties, hood’s, booties and boards. Some of us had a paddle while the others enjoyed the piss water in the St Clair kiddy pool. After a wash, a spring roll and a stretch in the Marlins Dreaming HQ we suited up. Time for gig two.

The Boogy nights ball. A chance to show the STORK’s what it was like to be a part of the University of Otago’s, honourable and educated student population. We arrived at Four pm, all visible jaws on a hinge, drum and bass DJ chamber in full swing, chatter and keg beer as free flowing as each other. A startling reminder again that not much has changed. The gig was a blur, feedback, coloured cups and incessant Tracy Chapman requests melted into a broken, open jam. Heartbeats found their own rhythm and the dancing never stopped. Unless when momentarily stupefied by a Semisi original. Dinner plates for eyes. Fantastic stuff.
Was it day three already?

Looch pollution always struggles after a night out but his summary was consensus. “This place is anarchy.” Returning to Dunedin was a strange dream. Once I managed to relax and break myself free of my nostalgic itinerary it was cool to see some things had in fact changed. Lines blurring for the better. The student and local population no longer awkward frenemies. Much the same with the music scene. Live music a historically important aspect of the local Dunedin culture, was reduced to covers and dubstep (god forgive us) in my tenure. Now talented student and local bands seem to be popping up prolifically, sharing a raucous fanbase.

We regrettably managed to escape a third night of torchery instead planting up at PK’s for a humble, wind beaten, fire cooked lamb roast. The most civil moment of the entire trip. How lovely. before our final night of the tour in Queenstown.

Queenstown went as per plan. We organised the backline on the drive over and played in a yoga studio turned café for lunch, restaurant for the eve and venue for the night. Yonder! It was a blast.

A van clean out in Arrowtown, followed by a final soap up at Lake Hayes signalled the end of our tour with mortal enemies Stork. Th’ dudes – ‘bliss’ played on the Storks new campervan, Jack hadn’t heard it before but it sounded like a banger. I guess the young fellas must have learnt at least a few things along the way. We miss them dearly.

Find more good stuff from the Israeli Chicks here -

Will Meehan