Gig Profile: Old Man’s Canggu, Bali

This will be the eighth installment of the #looptheworld Gig Profiles. As I travel the world playing music for a living I will be writing up these Gig Profiles in an effort to help out those that dream of doing the same. I hope you find the information helpful. If you have any questions feel free to contact me. I’ll do my best to help out as much as I can.

Old Man’s is a well known drinking hole in Canggu. A place to be seen and the place to go on a Wednesday night. There is plenty of bar space and large beer garden looking out over Batu Balong surf break. Canggu is known for being a little more expensive than other parts of the island but you can still get a decent meal for less than 80k IDR ($8 AUD). Bintang, Indonesia’s most popular local brew will set you back 25k IDR ($2.50 AUD), which is pretty typical in the area. Happy hour is 5-6pm where drinks are two for one.

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The gig itself starts at 7pm on Thursday nights, which is known as the acoustic night. You’ll share the show with a DJ who plays from 6pm, then again in your break and after you finish. You’re expected to play 2 x 1 hour sets with a  hour break in between. You’ll be provided with an in house sound man who will set up and run the PA for you. He is a very friendly fellow and will be happy to answer questions and help out however he can. If you are touring with a band then you’ll want to ask for the Friday night. The gig is slightly later and always has a great turn out.

The PA is made up of 2 x 15″ FOH speakers as well as a couple of subs and a 15″ foldback speaker. Your under a roof but it is an outdoor venue so sound issues should be minimal. They also don’t seem to have sound limits so you can turn it up which is always nice. Additional to the main PA the signal will be sent through the in-house system with small speakers situated through out the establishment meaning you can be heard everywhere. Mic’s and stands are also provided so just bring your instrument.

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Wednesdays at Old Man’s is always a party!

The clientele are young surfers from all over the world but there is definitely a higher percentage of Australians. Ripped and tanned, half naked young lads and ladies fresh off the beach fill the bar from sunset onward. They are more than keen to hear some live tunes and I found them to be very supportive and attentive. If you keep the second set up beat you’ll be sure to get a dance floor vibing. I was even encouraged to play some more original music which is always a pleasure.

To perform in Indo you are going to need a work permit. They take it very seriously and if you are seen to be breaking the rules you’ll not only get yourself in trouble but the bar as well. Not to worry though, securing the paperwork is very simple and can be done after arrival if you don’t come prepared. I got mine sorted at www.BaliExpatServices.com It only took one quick visit and a one off payment. Cost depends on how long you are staying and it’s best to have as many gigs booked as possible before getting it done as they like to know where and when you’ll be playing. That’s not to say you can’t pick up extra shows on the side.

I suggest staying for at least a month to give yourself time to cover the costs of visa, flights and living. If you back this up with a few other gigs in the area, you can live quite comfortably in island paradise. The longer you stay, the more likely you can save some coin. I rent a scooter for transport which will set you back about 50-60k a day or if you rent it monthly about 40k a day (just over 1 million IDR a month or $100 AUD). Alternatively, if your not so comfortable on a bike, you can employ a driver for a little more money that will pick you up by request. Accommodation varies but I got a lovely room with hot water, air con and wifi for 3.5 million ($350 AUD) per month at a place called Janur  Kuning. About a five minute ride from Old Man’s.

Location: Gig contact: Sean Cosgrove Via Old Man’s Facebook or his personal profile
Pay: 1 million IDR (Solo) 3–4 Million IDR (Band)
Gig season: All year round (high season Jan-Feb and July)
Max Capacity: Approx 1000
In-house PA and soundman.

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A moment on Ios

Ios dreaming

I am living on the top of a very large hill looking out over Ios village. It is a lovely place to stay, slightly out of the hustle and bustle. The sky’s here are calm, hardly ever a cloud to be seen. I love to sit on our balcony and soak in the dry serene beauty that is Ios. The view certainly is quite a juxtaposition to the crazy night life here. The walking streets of Ios village are a beautiful maze. Lined with white walls, blue doors and paved in old stone rich with history, they tumble and collide in amongst each other. The first time we weaved our way through the village we were not entirely sure of what we would find and then, all of a sudden, we were there in amongst it. Streets seemingly on top of streets, bars on top of bars. Music pumping. Humans everywhere. Ios nightlife is unlike anything I have experienced and it took me a little while to aclimatise. It’s as if it has ADHD. Generally the bars are quite small, 50 people and it feels packed. One minute the bar will be packed to bursting and then in the next moment, everyone has disappeared, skipping, dancing, shouting and laughing their way to the next bar and thus the cycle continues, people bouncing from one bar to the next, all night and then some. It is not unusual to find yourself stumbling home with the sun glaring at your eyeballs after a crazy Ios night. But not before stopping to grab a famous gyros of course. Club SandwhichMy favourite late night food on Ios was introduced to me by Tallulah, who you can read about here, head to Club Sandwich and instead of ordering the normal Gyros, which are wonderful as well, order a chicken gyros without chips on a pancake instead of the pita bread and with special sauce. Trust me, it’s amazing!

Harmony looptheworldIt was a very busy month this past month, Simon was gigging nearly every night at Harmony. The staff there have become my Ios family, they are such a friendly bunch of humans and they certainly know how to party. If you are ever on Ios I would highly recommend a visit to Harmony, the food is excellent, the people are excellent, they have live music and the view….. the view is spectacular. Just be sure to book a table as they are booked out most nights.

lotus imageOn the few nights that Simon did have off he ended up playing at another wonderful bar called Lotus. I loved Lotus for it’s chill vibes, the old wooden flooring, the palm trees, the stars overhead, the tunes, a game called ‘shut the box’ and of course, the absinthe.

This month has been a slightly difficult month. The main focus for me on Ios was my diving. I am currently only a few days away from becoming a qualified dive master, which is very exciting because not only do I feel that it will open up a lot of opportunities for me but mainly, I just love diving! Unfortunately I did not have a wonderful experience at the dive school that I chose to study with and as I was there nearly every day it did have an impact on my time here. However, as the saying goes “what doesn’t break you will only make you stronger” and so, as in all things, I will learn from this experience.hannah mylopotas

My favourite part of each day is taking the 20 minute walk down the hill to Mylopotas Beach which is where both the dive school and Harmony are situated. The view on the way down is spectacular, there is something very special about it, the dry rocky mountains of Ios climb up to my left and the calm, deep, endless blue of the Aegean stretches to meet the horizon on my right. It inspires a sense of calm and contentedness and it certainly reminds me each and every day of just how blessed and lucky I am to be here with Simon on this #looptheworld adventure.

simon ios walk

If you have any comments or questions please let me know, I’d love to hear from you.