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Prior to his flight back to Blighty, we caught up with Andrew to discuss his time Down Under and his

What brought you to Australia?

I came to Australia with Madeline (the Gig Buddies Project Manager) and Paul (the Gig Buddies Director) to help promote Gig Buddies in Sydney. I also wanted to experience the views and visit so many fantastic places.

What did your friends and family think about you coming to Sydney?

They were very jealous! They all think it’s a once in a lifetime experience.

And what has been the best part of your stay?

The best part of my Australia trip has to be seeing the Sydney Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and the Wildlife Zoo (Andrew met a kangaroo). I also went to the Open Air Cinema overlooking the harbor to watch St. Vincent. I liked the film but it got a bit rude!

I also went to Summer Bay and went for a swim in the sea up there; Paul, Madeline and I went in and the waves were massive!

Tell us about your involvement with Gig Buddies in the UK.

I am a participant and I have a Gig Buddy back in Brighton called Alex (pictured together, top left). He volunteers and takes me to loads of events, such as the disco in Brighton. He’s also taking me to see Jungle, and I have seen Wild Beasts and The Horrors.

We’ve known each other for just over a year, and we meet up every month. When we catch up we discuss what venues I’d like to visit and what bands I would like to see. He then researches when the bands are playing and what’s going on at the venues. He’ll then buy the tickets and I repay him when we meet up for the gigs.

Do you remember the first time you and Alex met?

I cannot remember the date, but Alex and Madeline met up for an interview and afterwards we met him in the Fox & Hound (Andrew’s local). From there we scheduled our monthly meets.

What would you say to someone who was thinking about joining Gig Buddies but was too nervous or too shy to do so?

I would advise that person to speak with the coordinator project manager to ease their mind. They can take baby steps and from there they can go to gigs together. When Alex and I met for the first time Madeline came along; I was a bit anxious but I am now used to him. Madeline helped me overcome my nerves.

What did you make of the Gig Buddies Sydney launch? Did you play a part on the night?

I felt the launch party was great. We helped promote it on the night and I was MC; I had to introduce the people who gave speeches.

The bands (Seek the Silence and Bloods) were good, too; I met them both and had a photo with them. I also told them about my band, The Revs. I’m lead singer and there are four other members. We’re made up of people with disabilities and we’ve played at Derby County Stadium (iPro Stadium), Brighton, Worthing and we’re hoping to play in Horsham when I get back.

And what else is on the agenda when you get back to England?

I’ll be having a chill out as I’ll be jetlagged. I am also going to the X-Factor final tour, going to see Boycee (from Only Fools and Horses) who is doing a stand up tour, and I am going to see Jungle with Alex.

Matthew Collins

Gig Buddies Sydney Social Media Coordinator

Andrew fishing.jpg

Paul, Andrew and Madeline at the Gig Buddies Sydney launch party

After the interview, Andrew went fishing and landed dinner for the night.

Photo credits:

Top picture, Nicola Holley, Heart n Soul

Bottom left, Tony Giles

Bottom right, Jay Sharpe

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