Hallston and Tarwin Lower

Next show in Week 3 we have Hallston, the perfect name for Small Halls! And it seems the crowd lived up to their name…

What a fabulously rowdy bunch. NL all the way over here. Ha. I don’t think anyone on tour sang as loud, clapped as loud and kept us on our toes so much.
Imogen Price. She stole our hearts and did an incredible cover of Joni Mitchell’s ‘A Case of You’. Honestly people, the talent of young artists in these small towns is unreal. Look to rural for the best you got, AU. It’s where it’s at! also, wineries for miles, amazing Shiraz and gorgeous grapes and cheese. What more could we ask for? Well, desserts, peanuts, popcorn and Ferraro Roches obviously. We had it all!
Who made all the hand knit Star Wars characters? So excellent.
See you soon, you beauties!
The Once

Niamh with the Star Wars toys. The whole band was there!

Posted by The Once on Tuesday, 9 April 2019


Where can I get some of those?! These communities are so friendly and creative, it’s amazing to see. Tarwin Lower backed up Hallston perfectly with another great crowd…

Tarwin Lower,
Pfft. Yer wicked! I don’t know how many times I can say, “you were great” without being disingenuous. But you were. Each town is so fabulously unique. Festival of Small Halls Australia, you have to know by now how fortunate we feel for this opportunity.
What a beautiful place to stroll around. Must have seen 50 Kangaroos again. Love it when they hear you and they stand at attention to check you out. I love that they know they don’t have to run from me. Saw the Arnold Schwarzenegger of kangaroos on this day. Some taller than my 5’5” height and they scare me, to be honest. They could take me out.
Wilson Blackley everyone! Another fab singer/songwriter. He wears a coat of many colours and already has a superb presence and confidence on stage. Let’s see how long it takes him to be famous, shall we?
My favourite cousin/uncle was named Wilson. Has nothing to do with anything. Just thought I’d let ya know.
All the best to ya
The Once 

Tarwin Lower,Pfft. Yer wicked! I don’t know how many times I can say, “you were great” without being disingenuous. But…

Posted by The Once on Wednesday, 10 April 2019


It’s so hard to pick a favourite town, the tour party is loving everything! So great to hear. Looking forward to hearing about the next two weeks of the tour…

Merton and Boolarra

Week 3 continues the tour with some fun loving and beautiful crowds coming into the shows. Some cheeky audience members were found too down at Merton…

Dear Merton,
You rocked the night. What a super fun crowd you were. What a feast we had. Great caterers. To the young girl helping her mom and sister, I had a great time making tea with you and laughing. You kept us all entertained and we were sad we didn’t get to say goodbye. So we will say “so long” right here.
Mr. Saxophone, you are a great teacher. The three students you brought by to open will probably always carry you in their hearts for the kindness and opportunities you have afforded them. I only have a pic of two of em as the other was onstage when my phone died. Good on ya. To the lady who tried to drink our wine, good on you! Ha. That was funny. We will see you all down the road. Take good care.
The Once

Dear Merton, You rocked the night. What a super fun crowd you were. What a feast we had. Great caterers. To the young…

Posted by The Once on Tuesday, 9 April 2019


Student performances are always great, showcasing all of the potential we have here in Australia’s regional areas. Next in Boolarra, it was the community opener that stole the show!

The Magentas!! Our local opener!
This giant group of singers, ukulele, mandolin, stand up bass, flute etc were so friggin sweet. They define sweet and pure joy. We cried listening. It was so good. And a medley of Blondie songs!! What? Come off it. Heartbreakingly beautiful. My head is tight thinking about it. You were the soul of the night. Thank you for coming and bringing your pure perfection.

The Magenta’s in soundcheck. Stunning.

Posted by The Once on Tuesday, 9 April 2019


Also, thanks to the gent who turned on the light in the bathroom before we left for our accoms. Peeing in the dark with huntsman spiders was not appealing to us. Ha. Ugh.
Fun town.
Loved chatting with the horse on the way to the restaurant/hotel/liquor store. Horse had nothing to say to me. But that’s ok.
We love that you came out to say hey!
Take care and we will see you down the road.
The Once

Would have thought The Once would be used to all the creepy creatures of Australia by now…Obviously not! Only half way through Week 3, maybe the next few shows will help them warm up to it…

Wycheproof and Caldwell

Week 2 of the tour continues in some amazing towns with some amazing food! Wycheproof was up next, and it seems like the homesickness has manifested from emotional to physical…

Dear Wycheproof,
What a cough I had when I got in! Battled it for a week. It tried to take me out by the time I got here. No pharmacy opened for miles upon miles. Somehow I ended up with a medicine cabinet full of meds to get me through the night. Great town! The Bakery was phenomenal. Miss it daily.
Ann and Sandy, I got to give you a big shoutout. If it weren’t for you, I’d still be nagged with a cough. Thanks Sandy for putting the word out. Thank you Ann for raiding your medicine cabinet. And for the cookies from your Bakery. People in Murtoa told us it was a must. And it was. Thanks for telling us about Australia’s smallest mountain. It was a hoot to go up there. The police followed us up there. We do look like a bunch of scoundrels, to be fair. Ha. Thanks to the lady who made me drink pineapple juice. I never even considered it would help a cough. Taya Bartram, you are a stunner. Thanks for coming and giving us your time and talent. A great way to start the evening.
Thank you to the audience for bothering to show up. Beautiful crowd. Must say, there’s a lot of faces here we will miss. You are all outstanding.
See you next time,
The Once

Here’s Annie!

Posted by The Once on Friday, 29 March 2019


Such kind people to be found in every community, hope all that medicine works!  Luckily, it was only one more show until the end of the week…

Dear Caldwell,
You ended our week so perfectly.
Sunset:Out of this world. 

Felt like the sky was on fire.

Posted by The Once on Thursday, 4 April 2019

It tried to rain. Managed to sprinkle the ground before it stopped.
There was a swing that kept us entertained.
Had a tea backstage that brought me back to warm evenings at the cabin back home. Caldwell is an easy place to be. Just so everyone knows. When we roll into these towns, there’s usually one road in the middle and a few shops on each side. Sometimes they are open. Sometimes not. We plan accordingly. This hall was in the middle of nowhere but you never would have known it. We needed for nothing and we had a fabulous night. We had that peaceful easy feeling.
Thanks Jessica Lorraine for an excellent opening set.
See you all again.
The Once

Week 2: done and dusted! Time to get some rest and hit the road to the next small town in week 3.

Goroke and Murtoa

Week 2 of the tour is up and running, and it’s mind blowing how amazing all of the regional communities are. First show of the week; Goroke! And it was the teens of the community that amazed our tour party…

Dear Goroke,
We arrived early so we could do a singer/songwriter workshop for the students at the local school. We were blown away by the talent. Honestly, some of the words they wrote made us feel so strongly we got teary eyed. So real. So emotive. So raw. So silly. So perfect. It’s a day that will stay with us. And it really got us thinking about the wonderful teachers back home who stay in smaller areas to help the undeniable home grown talent. There is so much here in Australia.

Posted by The Once on Friday, 29 March 2019

Melanie Koop opened the night. She was so keen to learn as much as possible that we answered her every question. Be open gal. Be free. Beautiful night overall. Our hostess with the mostest was Wanda, Queen of the Little Desert. Superb town. Superb night. Looking forward to the bands that come out of this wonderful town.
Til next time,
The Once

How amazing are our Australian teens! So much talent and passion…and not to mention the teachers! Murtoa was next up, a town that made our Canadian visitors The Once a bit homesick…

Dear Murtoa,
Arrived to the hall early on this day. Phil and my turn to ride with the sound man. Coveted spot. Josiah is incredible. Was so great to get in early to meet all the local volunteers for the evening and to shoot a little bit of our video for Before the Fall from our Time Enough record. . Squeezed so much in. Epic day. Was feeling pretty good about life that day. Especially when the opening act, the Marmadukes composed of ukulele players, started singing ‘Going to the Chapel’ Honest to frig! I had been missing family like crazy and this is a song my sisters and I would sing EVERY TIME we were in the car going ANYWHERE as kids. We must have driven our parents nuts. Nah, they loved it! After a while we had harmonies and it sounded wicked. Our family band was wicked! Ha. Loved every second of your set Marmadukes. Thank you. You warmed the cockles, as we say in NL.


Posted by The Once on Friday, 29 March 2019

John Flanagan, our tour mate, had his parents the the audience. It was their first time hearing a song he had written for his dad. It’s a great song. Phil did a video for him. You will see and hear the heart of his tremendous song just like you did at the show. What a beautiful night.
Dave, our host, you were wickedly dry humoured and you made us feel right at home. You had Phil in fits. Not an easy feat.
Thanks for everything Murtoa Mechanics Hall. You rock!
The Once

What a beautiful night, it must have been amazing to witness John’s parents hear that song for the first time. After those two eventful days, John and The Once hopped back onto the dirt road to the next destination. See you there!