It’s with an extremely heavy heart, that I announce my decision to move on from FLYTE. While I'll still be gigging the Perth scene, I am aspiring to focus more on personal development with my originals and to grow as an artist and performer. A fresh and new beginning wilI hopefully allow me to combine both worlds and expand on my goals. It's both exciting and terrifying to step away from something that has been my security zone for so long, but I look forward to taking on new challenges and hope I continue to have your support.
Of course I feel very sad. I LOVE my job. I love gigging with FLYTE, we are family. To me, it's "home". A wise woman once reminded me "You can't be who you're going to be and who you used to be at the same time"... and so, rather than clipping them off, I'm learning to use the feathers on my wings, and "fly the nest".
This decision has been simmering for a little while before biting the bullet. I miss it already.
But I'd like to to reflect upon a stellar better-half-of-a-decade, and all the awesome fun I’ve had..
I joined FLYTE in 2008, after being ‘scouted’ by their sound guy, Barry (Thanks Baz!).
My first gig with them was the Adult’s Only Pool Party at Adventure World alongside Airbag. We played residencies every Friday at the Paramount Nightclub in Northbridge and Bar120 in Hillarys Boat Harbour for 7 years, then went on to a Friday residency at The Paddington Ale House. Saturdays gigs varied between the Bailey Bar & Bistro, Woodvale Tavern and High Road Hotel, and over the years a few other venues have been thrown in for good measure - The Mustang, Paddy Hannans, Players Bar, The High Wycombe, Gloucester Park, The Foundry… just to name a few. Every year we supported PMH, performing and donating to Channel 7's Telethon. We've sung to Ricki-Lee in person, and aired on 92.9fm and we've played at the Oktoberfest event at Supreme Court Gardens to over 10,000 people.
Ahhh nightclub gigs. I remember those 11pm starts, and 3am finishes. Back when smoking inside was allowed, and even us non-smokers reeked. After a shower at 4am I’d get into bed, ears ringing, and my boyfriend would tell me to go wash my hair. I’d sleep through most of Saturday, ready to do another 11pm start at 3am finish. And I'd sleep through Sunday as well. But I love my job. There’s nothing quite like the adrenalin from being on stage. The voices screaming the lyrics back at you, the public displays of affection, the moshing.... Those were the days.
We had pre-gig Wii parties, car pooling convoys, and window mooning. The antics continued on stage.. Once, Brad thought he’d cool down by emptying a bottle of water on his head between bass riffs… only it wasn’t water, it was Jacks and coke. Sticky sweet, he fell into his brother Troy’s drum kit… but by-god they kept playing! Kirsty and I, who have been friends since we were 5, had “FLYTE dance moves”. We aren't even sure how they started. The crowd learned them and danced with us, and it became ritual. We used to change the song lyrics to be about/for them… “Open Your Thighs Up” – to the tune of Run to Paradise. (*cough* Lisa..) Trav had spikier hair, and his own Slingshot-turned-FLYTE fanclub - complete with a memorabilia shrine. He played the role of 'Bouncer' on occasion, and I swear, when he breaks a string, he is the fastest guitar swapper in history. I have war wound scars to this day, from the stairs at Bar120, and Kirsty had post-drinking bruises with their own personalities. Endless pairs of shoes were ruined, and many fun times were had. There were a couple of extra band members: Kirsty's alter-ego "Thallleee", and a mascot named Fernado (may his furry battery operated soul rest in peace).
The Annual Kulin Bush Races were a riot! A bus full of FLYTE and their followers, playing out the side of a semi-trailer to a bogan crowd around a massive bonfire. It was so cold we doubted we even had toes anymore. One year, we drove back to Perth at some ridiculous hour in the morning dodging Kangaroos in the darkness, and stupidly ran out of fuel.. and had to wake up the Petrol Station owner because they were closed. We picked up a hitch-hiker – “Zac the Actor” who lived “just-down-the-road”, but took us on a dirt road journey for what seemed like an eternity, and we were all convinced we were heading to Wolf Creek to be cut up into little pieces.
We’ve had highs, we’ve had lows, we’ve supported eachother through personal battles. That’s what family is. And that is what FLYTE are to me – family. Thank you. Thank you for the good times. Thank you for sharing your weekends with me, and being my family. Thank you also to Jamie Mercanti for always looking out for us, I have enjoyed working for you, and hope we will cross professional paths again in the future. Thank you also to everyone who has supported FLYTE over the years, and whom I have been lucky to have met and become friends with through our gigs and beyond. Thank you to the management and staff at our venues for allowing me to rock out under your roof. And thank you to the sound and lighting staff for making me sound and look better ;).
Trav, Kirsty, Brad, and Troy - I will miss sharing the stage with you every weekend, but I'd like to wish the newest FLYTE family member - Hayley Taylor the best of luck. Have a blast and enjoy the spotlight.
I hope that if you ever need a fill in, you'll think of me, so it won’t be “goodbye”, just a “goodbye for now”…
on Friday, 13th June, at The Paddington Ale House from 9pm.
There will be singing, there will be dancing... there will be tears...
and definitely copious amounts of hard liquor.
I would love to see you there.
Love, Nat xx