DRIVEN TO THE VERGE w/ Incentives, Earthender, South End & Victim Control @ Frankston Waterfront Fesitval, January 2016

So this week I spent 4.5 days relaxing in Lakes Entrance with my parents, a much needed break for all of us even to just escape the mundane routine of everyday life. I was really looking forward to it myself as I hadn’t been there in over 20 years. It was the place in which my late great grandmother lived and so there’s a lot of family history there on my mum’s side. Here is a day by day breakdown of my trip:

MONDAY…Arrival. We stayed in a luxury apartment building in Room 310 of The Esplanade Resort & Spa just before you enter the main drag of Lakes Entrance. It’s a four and a half star accommodation and I could certainly see why. Two large bedrooms, a spacious living area, kitchen, ensuite, bathroom and a balcony. There is also a tennis court, sauna, spa baths and a swimming pool as well as a restaurant named Rendezvous and the Illuka Day Spa both located on the ground level.

TUESDAY…Today we went on a day trip down to the Buchan Caves, in particular the Fairy Cave. We got given a guided tour by the local park ranger Andrew and I instantly felt like I was doing a Geology class. We learned about stalactites (top), stalactites (bottom) and columns (when these two join together). These geological features are mostly made up of limestone (calcium carbonate) as well as trace elements of red oxide, calcite and magnesium. Some of them even form microscopic crystals.

Whilst the passage understand was quite narrow and steep at times (the group was literally bending and ducking the whole time), it was just incredible to examine the sheer beauty of these rock formations and how they have continued to evolve and survive for millions of years in some cases. After the cave tour, we stopped by Nowa Nowa at a local cafe/art gallery called The Big Root (here comes the sexual jokes :P). I ordered a chicken parma burger with fries and it was huge especially for lunch.

WEDNESDAY…In the morning, we went down to the jetty and waited for our cruise boat (The Stormbird) to arrive at Peels Cruises. The group got a narrated tour of the main lakes, holiday houses, caravan park and other accommodation as we sailed across the water to Wyanga Park Winery. The most entertaining part however was the short mini-bus ride up the very steep dirt road. The entire bus minus the driver freaked out when they noticed a huge brown huntsman crawling along the ceiling on the bus. Seriously that was a funniest home video show moment hands down!

At the Winery, we got to taste a wide selection of wines from the bar as well as indulge on a beautiful lunch. I ordered the Lakes Entrance whiting fillets with mango mayo. Later that night, we went down to the Lakes Entrance movie theatre to watch Snoopy & Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie. I absolutely loved it having grown up on both the TV show and the comic strip in the newspaper. Very much a nostalgic childhood film for me which got me pretty emotional at times, not gonna lie.

Randomly a storm broke out during the movie and it begun bucketing down. By the time we left the cinema, the rain had cleared but the lightening strikes and storm clouds were still lurking around. We decided to go for a stroll along the Footbridge and down to the beach, watching the tide roll in. The sunset was really stunning across the water. It was around 9pm and so we ordered some fish n’ chips which we ate back at our room.

THURSDAY…Easily the worst day of the trip weather wise. Luckily Mum and myself were booked in for an 11am massage at the Illuka Day Spa. I’m generally a really self conscious person and so I literally have to force myself to relax in these settings even though I keep telling myself it’s all professional. I also had to remind myself that I do deserve this and that it’s not selfish to spoil myself on occasion.

Mum and I soaked out feet in a plastic wash tub and sipped on some green tea before derobing and laying onto the massage table. Thankfully my therapist wasn’t too rough on me though I definitely felt the tension in my upper back. It was a really thorough full body relaxation massage complete with hot towels and lovely oils. It’s been well over a year since my last one so I made the most of it. Mum and I then visited the Shell Museum just down the street as well as the Shell Giftshop.

That night, we went down to the jetty again after making a reservation at the Floating Dragon Chinese restaurant. It was 8.30pm and the sun was beginning to set. We ordered the dumpling sampler, regular special fried rice, fried calamari and chicken pieces. I was seriously so bloated by the end of it and of course couldn’t fit dessert in. The food and the service were both exceptional and I’d definitely dine there again.

FRIDAY…Departure. 6.30am, an annoying radio wakes me up blaring old fashioned country songs. Seriously not okay! Somehow I managed to fall back to asleep and eventually forced myself to wake up again after 8am to begin packing everything up for check out. After 10am, we drove down to the Lookout to take some photos of the incredible views over Lakes Entrance before visiting a Doll & Craft Shop.

My stepdad Rod had his massage booked in at 11am so Mum and I decided to have coffee, tea and scones together at the Charnwood Cafe. Later we walked down the main street and dropped into a few Variety Giftshops and Op Shops before Rod finished his massage. After beginning to drive back, we suddenly realised that mum accidentally left her bag full of medication back at the apartment and so we had to drive all the way back.

Internally I was stressing out because it was getting close to 1.30pm and didn’t want to be late for tonight’s gig at Frankston Waterfront. But somehow we made it home before 5pm just in time for me to have a shower and shovel down a toastie, half a banana and a coffee. Somehow I managed to get down to Frankson by 6pm tonight. It really wasn’t as big as I was expecting and sadly didn’t hit anywhere near the attendance of last year’s event.

But still I made the most of it. There was a BBQ running as well as plush bean bags to sit on. I bumped into a few friends I hadn’t seen in a while including Thomas Marshall Gregory, Andy Newbigging, Aaron Carson, Liana Deslandes, Jake Parker, Nathan Duke and Harry Bacon. It was really good to see and hang out with them as well as the other band members floating around.

VICTIM CONTROL…This was my first time checking out this local Punk/Hardcore band and despite a few technical issues with the microphone, they did a pretty solid job. They played a few tracks off of their EP Human Privilege. I really respected the honesty from vocalist Andy when he spoke about the important issue regarding the terrorist attacks from ISIS on Muslims. https://victimcontrol.bandcamp.com/…

SOUTH END…This local Alternative Rock/Punk-Pop band from the Mornington Peninsula area played a really tight set tonight despite some initial technical issues. Vocalist Kevin was pretty engaging with the crowd and did his best to motivate some involvement. They played a few tracks from their EP Don’t Think We Won’t including The Lincoln Haunting (nice nod to Linkin Park’s One Step Closer) and In Secure Ties. https://southendband.bandcamp.com/

EARTHENDER…It’s been several months since I last saw this local Progressive Groove Metalcore band. Unfortunately the boys (minus Alex Bertuna) were plagued by feedback and sound volume issues from the start of their set but managed to rectify it eventually. They played several tracks including The Swarm, Hurricane Season and a couple of new tracks. Vocalist Lochie did a great job encouraging the crowd to participate and got Ian Erasmus (Epimetheus) to drop some guest vocals. https://earthender.bandcamp.com/

INCENTIVES…This is another band that I’ve only just checked out. They are a Melodic Metalcore band from Melbourne and despite some microphone and sound issues managed to play an awesome set. Their stage presence was really energetic and animated with plenty of movement from the guitarists. Vocalist Kyle encouraged the crowd to move and engage with the band. They played several tracks including Self-Decay and Absence. http://incentivesmelbourne.bandcamp.com/…

DRIVEN TO THE VERGE…It’s been a couple of months since I saw this band play with Atlantic and Evolution of Self. This Melodic Post-Hardcore band thankfully didn’t have many technical issues at all (thank god! :P) and as a result played a really smashing set. Vocalist Luke paced in front of the stage with the rest of the band nailing punk jumps and other intense movements on stage. They played a few tracks including Short Drop, Absent Eyes, Awakened, Rule Breaker and a yet-to-be-released track off their upcoming album I Am Deception. https://driventotheverge.bandcamp.com/…

A huge shoutout to Freeza, Fresh Entertainment, Frankston City Council, all the organisers, sound technicians, photographers and volunteers who all contributed to make tonight’s event happen. Thank you also to all my friends for saying hi and hanging out with me.

This blog review is dedicated to Alan Rickman and David Bowie who both tragically passed away at the age of 69 due to cancer. You were both gone too soon. RIP!

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