What time is it?….. Who Cares. Koh Tao.

I should have written this weeks ago. It’s not that I’ve been avoiding it or even putting it off, actually I’ve been looking forward to it. There is an explanation to my laziness but only those that have spent a bit of time on a tropical island will truly understand. Hannah and I have come to refer to this phenomenon as Island time. Tomorrow doesn’t actually mean tomorrow on Koh Tao, it more accurately translates to eventually. The hands on a Koh Tao clock don’t point to specific hours of AM and PM but more a rough target at which we’ll aim. Those that refuse to give up their slave to the routine ways of the cities we live in find it extremely frustrating, but being frustrated will do nothing to change island time. It’s best to give in and let the island dictate your schedule. Today the island decided I’d write my blog post. So here it is.

My new Thailand band
My new Thailand band “Simon Wright and the Choppettes.”

We have been here on Koh Tao, a tiny little island in the middle of the Thai Gulf, for almost 6 weeks now and I have enjoyed every second of it, even the Thai belly, it’s like a constant reminder I’m on an adventure. It does make me worry occasionally when I’m on stage in the middle of a set and I get that turning feeling in my gut, but luckily, so far, I’ve not had to drop my guitar and make a b-line to the closest lavatory.

 This gig is mental. 3 nights a week I rock out to 300 sweaty, excited backpackers.
Choppers Aussie Bar and Grill. This gig is mental. 3 nights a week I rock out to 300 sweaty, excited backpackers.

My gigging schedule has been hectic. Easily the most busy I’ve ever been as a musician. I’m performing a three hour show every night except Fridays between two venues. 3 nights a week at Choppers Aussie Bar and Grill and 3 nights a week at Fishbow Beach Bar. I’ve also done the odd show at Banyan Bar and Maya Beach Club. It’s getting me fit. I’ve lost about 10kgs and I can now manage the hot, sweaty shows without the assistance of an M-150 or the need for a power nap post performance. Playing every night also does wonders for my progression as an artist and a looper. And though I am working hard, I love my job. It sends me to tropical islands and attracts me to beautiful people. It pays my way and supports my partner. It never boxes me in, rather it encourages me to push the boundaries. And it’s got to be one of the only occupations in the world that inspires the boss to buy you a shot when you’re doing a good job.

Tropical hang overs are like tropical storms, they come on hard and fast and no matter how many times you see one the intensity is always awe inspiring.
Tropical hang overs are like tropical storms, they come on hard and fast and no matter how many times you see one the intensity is always awe inspiring.

Which brings me too the drinking. Hang over management is a big part of Koh Tao life. If you are not careful you will end up with the worst hangover you’ve ever experienced. Tropical hang overs are like tropical storms, they come on hard and fast and no matter how many times you see one the intensity is always awe inspiring. The cheaply brewed Thai alcohol mixed with the humid, hot nights of sweating means hydration is a constant battle.

“One beer, one water”

These days I steer clear of the cheap Thai whiskeys and just stick to beer. “One beer, one water”. At first I get laughed at like I’m some kind of amateur but the tide turns when I bump into those that were laughing at the 7-11 at 3am and I’m still clear headed and walking straight while they are hunched over a bin throwing up the cheap buckets and late night street food. I can’t help myself but to remind them. “One beer, one water”.

Casey and Edan crash the stage at Banyans.
Casey and Edan crash the stage at Banyans.

One thing that has been so beautiful this month is the visits we have received from back home. A big shout out and thank you has to go to Danielle, Jonno, Mikey, Edan, Casey, Hayley, Dave, Mick and Anthea. It was so amazing sharing this little island with you all. I hope you fell in love with it as I have and it continues to be a destination for you all for many more years. Then from old friends to new friends.

Jonno, Danielle and Hannah.
Jonno, Danielle and Hannah.

I’ve met so many beautiful people on this island and formed some amazingly close bonds. I hope I can keep those relationships as close to my heart as they are now as we move on to the next leg of #looptheworld. Hannah and I will be back on the island in January we think. For those of you that will still be here I look forward to seeing you again. For those of you that will have left Tao, stay in touch. Maybe we’ll come visit you in your country.

We are three months in now and the idea of living life on the road still feels fresh and exciting. Sadly, on Thursday this week, I play my last show on Koh Tao. Friday we go to Bangkok, Saturday we Fly to Moscow, Sunday to Athens then a ferry out to the island of Ios where I start my Greek Island gigging schedule. 7 Nights a week this time, wow.

If you haven’t already please sign up to the #looptheworld Letterbox at http://www.thesimonwrightband.fanbridge.com and don’t forget to leave a comment or write us back.

Who's a good boy?
Who’s a good boy? Photos by Edan Chapman Photography.
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Simon Wright and Andy V – Live on Koh Tao Loop cover EP

Simon Wright and Andy V sweating it up at Choppers 6 June 2014
Simon Wright and Andy V sweating it up at Choppers 6 June 2014

In June 2014 I met up with Andy V on Koh Tao in the Thai Gulf to play a string of shows over 12 days. We played every night except one in two venues. Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays we would play at an Aussie Bar named Choppers and on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays we would play at a bar on the beach named Fishbowl. Though Andy and I have played a lot of music together in the past it had been almost 3 years since our last jam (With the exception of one hip little gig at a whiskey bar in Byron Bay). In this time both Andy and myself had started playing with the Boss RC loop stations. I am on Beatbox, guitar, vocals and MCing and Andy takes control of bass, keys, sax and vocals. It’s amazing what two guys with loop stations can get cooking.

It was great fun working with Andy, I learnt a lot and played some of the best music of my life in a tropical paradise. Good times.

***All tracks from the EP Simon Wright and Andy V – Live on Koh Tao are available for free download from my soundcloud page****

2013/14 NYE in Byron Bay with The Simon Wright Band and Marshal O’Kell

2013/14 NYE in Byron Bay with The Simon Wright Band and Marshal O'Kell

WE LOVE THE RAILS! If we were a football team this would be our home turf. I grew up in Byron and watched my dad play at the Rails when I was just a kid, I can remember watching him thinking “What the hell is he doing that makes them all dance so crazy”. Who’d have thought 20 years later I’d be doin the same thing. Still haven’t figured out what it is though. My dad will be joining me for this one which is even more special. As well as Shaneo on drums and Richard Rose on bass.
Also on the bill is local blues rocker Marshal O’Kell. This dude knows how to get a room sweaty, so I can promise you, between us, this New Years Eve at the Rails is going to be a sweaty, funky, groovy mess and I can’t wait!!
Tickets are only $25 and they are available from the venue from next week. You can not buy them online as they are hoping to keep it a local vibe. It will probably sell out, and it WILL be the place to be so if your not in town give the bar a call and they will reserve a ticket for you.
See you there.
Si

Hotel Brunswick Sunday Arvo Session Jan 5th 2014

Hotel Brunswick Sunday Arvo Session Jan 5th 2014

The “Bruns” Sunday aro session has turned into a bit of an icon in the local area. Every week they are pulling great acts like Bobby Alu, Oka, Tijuana Cartel and Donavon Frankenreiter. After a great gig up at the Bruns Almost a year ago Dave the booker down there has been trying to get us a Sunday spot, but bad luck has plagued us. Last time we were up, it rained out which was so disappointing. Lets hope for some beautiful north coast summer weather for this one. I can’t wait. The gig is 4 sets too, so you get to see the full show here (ie. extended outros on every track because we don’t have enough material to fill 4 hours, ha, but lets be honest they’re the best bits right?) My Old man will be on lead guitar, Shaneo on drums and our bass player from Melbourne is comin up this time too, Mr Richy Rose. It will be a great gig, don’t miss it.