Life on the road with Yeo and tour photographer Tatjana Hamilton
Yeo narrates some fantastic imagery from his tour photog, Tatjana Hamilton.
Yeo spent the last couple weekends on the East Coast touring his single Got No Game, joined by SAATSUMA and Take Your Time. These mega talented musicians and super friends played to a sold out Newtown Social Club in Sydney, hit Corner Hotel in Melbourne and finished at The Foundry, Brisbane. Yeo documents the tour accompanied by photos taken by Brisbane-based photographer Tatjana Hamilton.
I’m not really good at writing in journal format, but the most important thing to me about any show, is the people involved, so I’m going to focus on them. Tatjana has done such a brilliant job collecting these memories, and it would be my delight to complement them by telling you what little I know of the heroes that made the tour happen.
Here are Leigh and Ang. Though they each have killer solo projects, they voltron to form Take Your Time. I think of their sound as similar to Apparat if he weren’t so depressed. Leigh is my housemate. Take Your Time rehearse and record in his bedroom and I dance to their music in my backyard often without them knowing. It’s the best. It won’t be long until you’re dancing to their music too - hopefully in your backyard.
Ang and I have become close since she moved to Melbourne from Adelaide. Leigh introduced me to her last year. We all listen to a lot of R&B music, laugh about nothing in particular and enjoy riding bicycles. Leigh, Ang and I are connected in a way that is hard to describe. Something to do with long drives, nature and K-mart after hours. I’ll stop there in case I ruin the effect.
Say hello to Andrew Congues AKA Lord Of The Hi-hat, 6ft Beholder of the White Eyebrow. Andy is the drummer whom I metaphorically told to go fuck himself, after which I immediately took back. Andy has been by my side for many years and he is priceless to me. He believed in my music before we had any traction, has committed himself to learning my songs better than I know my own lyrics, and tirelessly multi-tasks so he can continue to play with me. He’s the most reliable drummer I’ve ever met. Most importantly, as one of my closest friends, he taught me how to laugh at the struggle in all its enduring realness.
SAATSUMA consists of Memphis, Cesar, Maddy, Lachlan and Andy. I couldn’t think of a band I’d like to share Andy with more. Behind this winning combination is a mix of different backgrounds and experiences, and it’s the way they cut through their said differences with a mutual love for music that makes it work. Their connection to each other is visible both on and off stage - five sonic explorers together making electronic magic in a new world.
While we were in Sydney, Tatjana really wanted to see this cemetery by the sea. We had a few hours before our flight so we drove out. I’m so glad we did; it was a beautiful way to spend the afternoon. We wouldn’t have gone unless she insisted, and it led to a big gain of trust between us. It made me realise that she knows a nice place when she sees one.
3RRR is Melbourne’s premier community radio station. It’s a place of culture that I’m always grateful to be invited to. I had an interview and in studio performance with Tim Thorpe from Vital Bits, who is a legend in the broadcasting scene. Tim and I first met while working at SBS Radio and he’s also familiar with the local musical circles in which I mix. Chatting with him is like chatting to a wise friend who I’ve known for a long time.
This is 4ZZZ, Brisbane’s community radio station. Apart from some new paint, it’s almost unchanged from when I used to live in Brisbane, and I love it. I chatted on-air with Branko and Cam about old times. They have a lot of mutual friends with me in the music scene. I gleefully dive through waves of nostalgia whenever I am here.
These dangerous women are all incredibly talented in different fields. I first met Memphis and Maddy many years ago when they led a folk band called Wishful. When I heard they were still making music together, my heart soared. Tatjana enthusiastically approached our team earlier this year when we toured through Brisbane previously. The sum energy and evident skill of these three new friends kept me feeling buoyant and inspired every night of the tour.
We headlined at the Corner Hotel for the first time ever during this tour. Since relocating to Melbourne, it has always been my dream, and I’ve personally been too scared to book a show there because filling that room is very daunting for a small artist like me. Mick was the friendly and capable in-house engineer who remembered us from our time there with Peking Duk. He predicted that we’d be back. I am so happy to be able to cross this event off my bucket list.
Visualisations are a strong element in our performance. They are there to make everyone in the room feel less self-conscious and have more fun, including Andy and myself. Since my visual artist and friend Greg Hodgson tipped us with the original idea, I’ve designed and upgraded the system over the years with the help of Corey, my brotherly sound engineer. He also operates the system while mixing front of house, so he has a lot on his plate when it’s time to play. When you’re dealing with complex electronic setup like ours, things don’t always go to plan, but luckily he’s an expert in rolling with the punches. I’m very grateful for his hard work.
Here’s another beautiful shot that Tatjana took of us at the cemetery. Vivan’s in this one. She heads up Small FRY, her own freelance management and PR business, which takes care of both SAATSUMA and myself. Vivan employs a tremendous amount of attention to detail under the hood of a strong DIY ethic. We both believe the most efficient way from A to B is a minimal production line. That’s why we’re close. It’s thanks to her I’m less jaded and able to focus on making music. Now all we need to do is to get everyone to spell her name correctly.
This photo captures the height of joy from our tour. In the back row on the right is Ollie Whitehead. I first met this weapon when we supported Animaux. There was always something about him that placed his maturity years older than his actual age. Did I mention he plays a mean baritone saxophone (see my song Jetcooler) and uses his gravelly vocal to front a super-edgy experimental electronic act called Dhana Bhutan? He’s also an English major grad who knows more about books, history, politics and (most recently) wine than you do.