Notes from "Abroad"The past week of tour has been an excellent adventure. For my own poor memory (and to keep in touch w/ family) here's the rundown. (And for purely absurd reasons, each quote is some weird thing that flashed through my head during that day.)
"In a dark wood now"
When: May 07, 2005
Where: Le Pub, Newport, Wales
A great show. Hard load-in. Salad, pasta, pizza. A wonderful crowd! We played upstairs in a split-level bar, mostly constructed with a dark, rich wood. The other band shivered the timbers - pretty powerful stuff. By all reports the sound person was to-die-for gorgeous.
Picture: Church steeple
"We will fight them in the cafeterias"
When: May 08, 2005
Where: The Phoenix, Manchester
Some technical issues. We played fiercely anyway. Mancunians howled. We picked up Matthew of Wrexm earlier in the day and had a proper English lunch with his family. Stayed with lovely people. Chris and I slept in the kids' room - which meant I had a Spider-Man bedset. Seriously. Chris slept in the Barbie Princess Canopy suite. Seriously. The next day we shopped in Manchester! A drum head was replaced. We rode on a tram. And I bought my new niece Charlie Ann a gift. Late night work at Google turned in an interesting direction. Reminder to self: I need to investigate and download VLC, a video mac os x player that was being used at this show for Day for Airstrikes who I especially liked.
Pictures: My wallet picks up a nasty habit, Chris' accomodations
"Cold climate bands enjoy challenges"
When: May 09, 2005
Where: The Head of Steam, Newcastle
Wonderful lineup. Don't order a Newcastle Brown Ale here. They were a little chuffed. I slept all fetal, darling, on a tiny sofa. The next day was a loooong drive, by UK standards. The man at the end who approached us and chatted had perfect comic timing. And an amazing time afterward eating homemade chili and having tortillas and slagging (or praising) the videos on various television channels. Fell in love with the El Presidente video here. Our hosts and the town in general were extremely gracious. Some Southlanders need to take back all the things they said about Northlanders. :) Seem to have sold a lot of CDs every night so far, including this one. Uh-oh...
Picture: Post-show kitchen
"Some bands are made for lights"
When: May 10, 2005
Where: Arts Centre, Colchester, Essex,
With: Beatglider, Teevo
An even more amazing gig. Second only to London. 100 people, perhaps? A repurposed church outfitted like a major stage. All bands excellent. We stayed at Stafford's(sp?) a man who was exceedingly gracious. The hunt for wireless became difficult here and I had a conference call with The Team that I dragged out to the stage and left seconds before we began our first song. Big bonus: We got to keep our instruments in the venue! So, we didn't have to load out until the next day. Here I've received a bottle of Absinthe as a parting gift. Had my own room. A proper English fry was had by some for breakfast. (for Chris and Dan, this was the day of the "All Day Breakfast") Unexpected good/bad news came in that we've actually sold out of all of our CDs here.
Pictures: The center of town, Tuning
"Please stop the world here to stay."
Vacation in Norwich. A day off.
I miss Norwich already. An excellent vacation away from touring. Tandoori chicken, walked-by evensong, Adam and Eve - Norwich's oldest alehouse, a game of celebrity, bowling on the green, and the kindness of social workers. I expect to miss this for a while.
Picture: Sacristy!, a-mazed, a bowling green
"He leads with his gyroscoping soul"
When: May 12, 2005
Where: Beavers Bar, Hinckley, Leicestershire
Black Fish is the most energetic band I've ever seen aside from The Librarians. All elbows and jumping and shouting. Not well-attended. Mates of State playing on the jukebox when we entered. :) Got to stay in Nottingham w/ Ellen of Saint Joan. The whole band (and their friends) are incredibly nice. Finally saw a bit of BrassEye, British fake news show, absurd and dark - ah, this was the pedophilic controversy I'd heard a bunch about. Neat.
Picture: Black Fish at Leicestershire
Every day has been sunny. We like to call it "sunny ol' England". Maybe we brought it from California?