US Tour Diary - October 2004
6th October 2004
We all arrived at Davey & Owen's house at about 7:30am and briefly got confused by our identical Dakine luggage, before spraypainting different coloured name tags on the underside. Davey did a massive gold cross on the side of his, with a reckless disregard for the clothes inside,(now slightly gold tinted.)
Finally arrived at Newark airport after the gruelling 7hr journey, with only Around the World in 80 days and The Terminal for 'entertainment.'
US Immigration was suitably stressful. We had our finger prints and photos taken and a Japenese lady got hastily interrogated as she had taken a photo in the immigration hall.
We met Joey Carenza, our tour manager for the first week and a half. We stayed at the Gramercy Pk hotel in New York, Davey spotted Alex Kapri-sonne or whatever the singer from Franz Ferdinand is called. After politely declining the numerous phone calls from the bell boy offering us 'anything you want' Andy, Owen and I headed out for a swift lager, Davey went for a wonder and so did andy. We got pretty sloshed and arrived back quite late, only to find no trace of andy. He eventually rocked up looking tired. He said he got lost and when he asked people where the 'grandma something hotel' was, he was met with mild incomprehension. It turned out he had spent most of the evening in a reputable XXX establishment. Enough said.
Wade, our soundman arrived in the night, and andy said he saw a stranger come in but was so tired he didn't bother to see if they were meant to be there or not...
7th October 2004
Up at 10am and we met the RV. (Recreational Vehicle.) What a beast she was too, almost as long as a bus because we had a U-haul trailer. After enduring the cramped and potentially lethal journey's around the UK in an H&H transit van, the RV was like some kind of mobile palace. Boy, it had seats and everything. It even had a toilet and shower which was about as tall as my waist.
Anyway we piled in and drove the damn thing all over Manhattan,picking up various bits and pieces that we needed. We spent some time at the Gibson headquarters, checking out their guitars and marvelling at Liberaci's incredibly cheesy rhinestone spangled grand piano. Whilst lecturing us on the rules of the road in the US, Joey managed to have a mild scrape with a black saloon. Owen thought the roof had been ripped off. Anyway we sighed and pulled over, ready to start arguing over whose fault it was, only to find the guys we crashed into pull up alongside and wave it off!
We reckoned they were either uninsured or drug dealers, or both. We picked up some hired gear and had an argument with the roadies there (at least roadies are universally surly and unhelpful, not just in the uk) because they kept loading my bass rig in with Minnie Driver's stuff and the I'd have to grab it out again.
So, after we had got all our gear sorted we joined Tav, our manager and headed into the sunset, Gandy took some of the old 'mushies' and spent most of the journey to the next motel giggling and listening to Nick Cave on his headphones with his sleeping bag wrapped around his head, while the shiny, little fairies danced in rings on the linoleum table...
8th October 2004
On the way to Montreal we stopped in for a chat at the Canadian border and sat in stunned silence as the officials casually deported a woman and her son before letting us go.
After circling for a bit, we eventually found the Mile End Culture Centre. We set up and waited expectantly for the masses to arrive. We waited an hour after we were meant to go on and then did the show - to the bar maid and the owner of the venue and considered naming the tour 'The Barstaff Tour.' Met the drummer for The Dears, and what a cool dude he was too.
9th October 2004
Let the weirdness commence...
The Mod Club in Toronto, done out in bold 60's decor and filled with hundreds and hundreds of young Canadians wearing union jack t-shirts and Man U football shirts, who were all crowded at the end of the club wondering who the hell we were. The club afterwards was even stranger as the Manchester Dj tried to whip the crowd into a frenzy with Oasis, Blur and witty quips like, "What's the best f**kin country in the f**kin world?' to which the entirely Canadian audience were a bit confused. 'F**kin England' was apparently the answer. A slightly schizophrenic wannabe gangster got into our dressing room somehow and tried to beat up Owen because he thought he called him by another name and also interrogated Davey as to why he was 'winking at your fren' li' dat.' ar....
10th October 2004
Next stop Niagara falls, but not before encountering the border officials for a second time. They briefly interviewed us and sent us packing. As soon as the official stepped out I had a massive blood-nose and I thanked my lucky stars that it was after we had gone through the border as it might have piqued some interest.