10/02/10 Los Angeles. The Troubadour
Our bodies were still playing catch up to our newly transplanted time zone. I defy anyone who isn’t utterly baffled by experiencing Sydney Harbour and Sunset BLVD in the same afternoon. The tour programme read… “This is the venue where John Lennon was kicked out for getting wasted with Harry Nilsson on brandy alexanders and heckling the Smothers Brothers”. The dressing room, perched bird’s nest like above the stage and audience allowed us to play a spot of peek-a-boo with those below. We were greeted with all the hysteria you would hope for in Hollywood. This show played out like a dream, it was one of those effortless runs. You know that most rare of sensations when things seem almost already written? Like when your skimming stones on a lake and your arm begins to move with a rubbery ease and accuracy that you don’t feel belongs to you, yet the stones just keep bouncing up and fluttering ball like on the dark skinned water, five, six seven, eight times. I’m blabbering. We were on a roll.
11/02/10 San Francisco. Independent
The hunch backed agony with which Talbot greeted us in the morning meant the seven hour drive could very well have been made for no other reason than to see Alcatraz brooding in San Francisco bay. A chiropractor cuts a beautiful figure in such scenarios. With vertebrae in place and exquisite Mexican food fuelling us we played to a sweet smelling audience. Lax smoking and medical regulations meant the room was submerged in a thick spliff rich fog which we hadn’t experienced since taboos changed back home. It felt vintage. The Phoenix Hotel displayed for us Californian chic in all it’s crowning and crippling glories, right down to the mosaiced swimming pool. Tiredness hit like a spade and we were quickly out cold.
13/02/10 Portland. Doug Fir Lounge
A venue with restaurant and hotel all in one, Powell’s books, Mississippi records and various sickeningly well stocked vintage clothes shops meant we felt a little like Portland is in fact a Disney land for alternate types. Jet lag continued to piggyback us making waking hours seem like endless things. There comes a strange sensation when moments before stage time a hot water bottle and a mug of hot cocoa might be what the body requires but instead it receives a sucker-punch blackberry cosmo cocktail and is sent out to entertain a baying crowd. Afterwards, despite being relative zombies throughout the day we find ourselves eating cheeseburgers at 2am with no intention of sleep. A third sell out in a row, we were still on that roll.
14/02/10 Seattle. Chop Suey
The audience were our valentines, and we were there’s. The first ever live airing of Two Dancers II became our elaborate romantic gesture for lovers. No surprises with the Chinese restaurant come decrepit punk hangout sort of a look the place took on. In the dressing room we watched Kate Bush live at the Hammersmith Apollo to confound ourselves into concentration for the show. Strict liquor laws meant no alcohol was allowed on stage, it added to the slight frat party feeling we were getting from the night. What would ensue after the show would be sixteen hundred miles and over twenty four hours of driving. Understandably we took our chance to expel any excess physical and emotional toxins on stage. A messy affair, but all the better for it.