Originally The Mess Hall announced they would play a one off Melbourne show for 2012 on Saturday November 24th at the Northcote Social Club, however this quickly sold out and a second show was added for Sunday 25th of November! Having not played in Melbourne since 2010, it’s clear that their Melbourne fans have not forgotten about them.

To celebrate The Mess Halls long awaited return to Melbourne we had a chat drummer Cec Condon about dinner parties, his dislike for McDonalds and activated almonds…

What dish or cuisine do you most like to eat on tour and why?

Anything really, as long as it’s not McDonalds (although we often stoop to that). Before shows, something light- usually an Asian soup of some description or sushi. I can’t eat less than three hours before a show or I’ll vomit on stage.

However, probably the best meal that we ever on tour was in New York at this place called El Castillo De Jaguar (or something like that)- pork, black beans, rice, fried plantains and salad. A close second would be the burgers at Odessa,  which we would have most mornings at 5 or 6 before we rolled home into bed- classic yank cheeseburger, chips, bottomless coke and a pickle on the side.

What dish or cuisine do you most like to eat on tour and why?

Do you mean “least” like to eat on tour? McDonalds.

Do you have any food horror stories from being on tour?

I think I always make safe-ish choices in regards to food on tour- not so Jed. Two of Jed’s meals stand out for me- both in the US. The first was a huevos rancheros somewhere near El Paso that looked (and smelled) like someone had cut up old socks, added an egg and then dumped a half litre of potato water over the top. The second was at a place called “The Cracker Barrel”, where Jed decided to get a chicken and dumpling stew. I think if you looked up the word “gruel” in the dictionary, there would be a picture of that stew next to it.

What were your food influences when you were growing up and what kind of food did you eat at home or with your family? 

I think maybe my Grandma, because mum and dad are both terrible cooks. I was the one kid at boarding school who didn’t look forward to going home to mum’s cooking in the holidays. A sample menu at mum and dad’s might include: a “salad” (usually a sliced tomato with some sort of apple vinegar on it- may also include a clove of raw garlic), some potato and rice (yep double starch- a Condon family tradition) sausages or maybe the new fish dish dad does in the wok (fish soaked in milk, floured, then fried). To be fair, Mum does one dish I like and that’s chicken wings boiled on the stove in soy sauce, served with rice.

What type of food do you hate, and what is the most disgusting thing you’ve ever eaten? 

I’m not very fussy with food, five years of boarding school taught me that, so I will eat pretty much anything. Probably the worst thing I’ve eaten is a roast beef sandwich with cheese, gravy, lettuce and mayonnaise on it. Doesn’t sound too bad, but I assure you it was. It was also about 30cm tall, from a deli somewhere. There’s something about a mixture of gravy, mayonnaise and slivers of beef that makes it feel as though you are tucking into a pus-filled corpse.

What’s the most adventurous meal you’ve ever eaten?

Not really that adventurous but I had goanna, croc and turtle when we lived in an aboriginal community called Pormpuraaw up in Cape York. Yes, they all taste like chicken, and in the case of the croc and turtle, fishy chicken.

If you were throwing a dinner party and could invite any musicians, living or dead, who would they be and why?

Well, it would be a drummer feast for starters! Elvin Jones, Charlie Watts, Art Blakey, Keith Moon, Phil Seaman, Jack Savage, Bonzo, Mitch Mitchell and Myles Heskett. I’d invite Jed, so (apart from Myles and Jack) I’d actually know someone at the party.

There would be beverages, a selection of canapes and someone to clean up the mess.

This is your last day on earth, what is your final meal?

Activated almonds.

(Activated almonds are: Almonds soaked in water for several hours to force germination).

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