Monday, 15 March 2010
Somewhere in America...the U.S. Mini-Tour
First off, have a look at the video above to "Get Me" which is the first track from our new EP, "Depression, Joy and a Moment of Fame." It was made entirely by piecing together clips taken on my N82 phone from the recording session, and I'll be making a full documentary type affair when I have a moment of time.
Incidentally, we're still looking for someone to make a video to the last track on the EP, "Country Low" - please get in touch if you can help, or if you know anyone who can (cartoon style or animated especially welcome!) firstname.lastname@example.org
And so....to America.....(former British colonies, couldn't afford the tea, now prefer coffee so could have just left the tea anyway...)
THE FLIGHT THERE.
It ALWAYS rains on the day I leave for America, whether to New York, LA or in this case, Salt Lake City in Utah, via Detroit. We flew Delta, and thanks to my friend Amber, we had first class seats on plane. It was quite an incredible experience - as soon as you sit down in your giant chair, they offer you orange juice or chilled champagne, which you drink while looking through the well stocked toiletries bag they provide you, resting on your full size plump pillow. After take off, I mulled over my good fortune with another drink while casually nibbling some of the warm mixed
nuts while watching "Curb Your Enthusiasm" - really very funny.
Because I stole a menu, I can tell you that for my first course that evening, I had the Caprese Salad with mozzarella, tomato and basil (with a warm wheat roll of course) and for main, the roast chicken breast garnished with olives and tomatoes, accompanied by sweet couscous and sugar snap peas. For dessert, I merely went for a natural vanilla ice-cream sundae, with strawberry sauce and chopped nuts, garnished with a pirouline cookie.
Before this turns in to a food blog, I'll just tell you that I was GUTTED that they ran out of my first choice of pre-arrival light meal (the roast chicken breast sandwich) so I was forced to somehow shovel down a cold salad plate featuring smoked salmon slices, potato cucumber salad and tomato, accompanied by bread sticks and fresh fruit. How I managed, I'll never know as I lay back flat to sleep...
Amazed to see snow in Detroit, thought about cars, then flew off to Salt Lake where we were picked up by my lovely "American sister" Karen Ashman who took us to Karma Banks beautiful house and where I met up with some wonderful people I'd not seen in SO many years! Karma made me a sandwich with enough meat for a large family (it was delicious though) and we enjoyed the most amazing spread before playing some songs to a packed out room and having a great evening generally. We stayed at Zach's house (Amber's friend) and got to sleep at around 7am UK time.
Monday 1st March.
After Amber made us a form of "French Toast" with butter and maple syrup which was the nicest thing I've ever eaten, we headed out to look round the centre of Salt Lake round Temple Square - it was great to see how well everything was looked after, and it really is a pretty place. Everywhere you turn, you can see the most incredible mountain range in the distance. I STRONGLY recommend you try a "Jimmy John's" the next time you're in the States. Their bins, aka "trash cans" have an interesting suggestion too, as you can see from the photo....
The afternoon show was at a coffee shop called "NoBrow" - and we played "au natural" without a pa or amps, with glorious sunshine coming through the window (see photo above). I'm grateful that so many of my Utah friends came along to see us play, and I think they enjoyed it almost as much as we did.
That night, my friend Rob Turner who is a master of the local music scene (he also works for Disney films, and kindly took us to lunch on set) took us out and we had a rather jolly evening. I won't go into details, but the guy at the Carl's Junior with the gun DID like us apparently, and it was nice to meet some more people from Zach's apartment!
Tuesday 2nd March.
Today we experienced "Taco Soup" for the first time in our lives, courtesy of the Draschil family (it was delicious), whom we then performed for them in their living room. There were about a thousand children there, but it didn't feel like it as they were all so well behaved and danced around to our songs - it was a real pleasure to play for them. I also found a new friend in the form of "Grace" - who wouldn't let go of my hand! We played at Club Velour later that evening, and watched some other very talented people play too - it was still very hard to get used to how friendly every was to us...even strangers were chatting and buying the our CD's. It was a refreshing attitude. We had a delicious "In 'n' Out" burger on the way, back, and I drunk more Dr.Pepper than is really healthy for a human.
Wednesday 3rd March.
This was the day we went for a quick drive in the mountains and got a bit lost, going a mere 80 miles out of the way! It was very pretty though, so that made up for it, though we arrived rather late at the Ashman's for a lovely dinner (with tasty cool whip...like Angel Delight, but you have it with the main meal!). We almost didn't make the gig at The Vertical Diner after that, because Amber's car was so exhausted from its mountain drive, it gave up about a mile from the venue. Karen saved the day, and we made it to the gig just in time to leap on stage, and have a great evening.
Thursday 4th March....trying to get home.
This was the day we were meant to be going on Fox 13's "Good Morning Utah", but they pulled out at the last minute because of some big news story, and they couldn't fit us in! Very annoying, as I've been told Channel 2 also wanted to have us on that day. Next time!
After very many fond farewells, we flew out of Salt Lake and arrived in the afternoon in Atlanta JUST IN TIME to miss our flight home. Running across terminals with your bag and a guitar at high altitudes after days of being stuffed on American food is NOT RECOMMENDED. Fortunately, there was a flight back at 10.50pm that night which we waited for and, as good fortune wouldn't have it, was full so we couldn't get on. Our friend Richard Ryea who runs a label in Atlanta (and whom we stayed with when The Foxes toured the U.S. in 2007) came to our rescue, and kindly put us up that night. The next day we caught a flight to Minneapolis (therefore going AWAY from home) but from there finally managed to get flights back to London, dealing as best we could again with the limitations of first class seats.
Thank you to Amber, Karen, Zach, Rob and everyone who made our mini-tour so amazing. We'll be back soon! I'll be putting up the full photo collection soon, and a little video. I think everyone agreed that my American accent REALLY was making progress by the time I left. A few more days, and I think I'd have passed for a local....er...maybe....
I've written FAR too much, so will leave you here with a song from our fantastic gig at The Barfly on Saturday. Looking forward to the big tour!
P.S. Have a look at our latest photo shoot here.
P.P.S. Why not join my music page by clicking here?
P.P.P.S. Thank you for all your comments while I was away - I really enjoyed reading them, even if I couldn't reply!
"You're very annoying, stop taking photos" - What Jonno's expression said for most of the trip!