Thursday, August 25, 2011

Nashville

On the road again. Today we're crossing into the central time zone, making our way to Nashville. The scenery is beautiful, crossing the Blue Ridge Mountains.

We met up with Jason for breakfast in the city today before we left. He took us to this great vegetarian café. Really cool place. The food was superb although the coffee was shite, but we drink so much coffee on tour that one bad mug here and there has to be expected. After we ate and said goodbye to Jason, we took a quick trip to the local record store, Static Age, which is a great little shop. I picked up a few lp's and we sold a few Victims records in return. Nice, relaxing start to the day, despite the nagging ache in my head from last nights ale...

Matt just told us that there is a hurricane heading towards the east coast this weekend. We're playing New York on Sunday, which is when it's supposed to hit. Thankfully Jen is flying in on the Friday, so her flight should be fine. It's going to be a right kick in the balls if our few days together in New York at the end of this tour are fucked by a hurricane, but as long as she gets here I don't care.

Only a few minutes after we got the call about the hurricane Matt's phone rings again. Johan turns the music on the stereo off when we hear the tone in Matt's voice, “What?!”. When he hangs up he tells us there has been a pretty big earthquake in Richmond. It takes him a while to get through to anyone, and Sarah's phone doesn't seem to be working. Eventually he gets through to Mike, one of the guys from Direct Control who lives at his house, and then Chris, who works with Sarah and it seems everybody is ok. Apparently it was pretty fucking hairy though. Mike had been sitting by his drum kit in the basement when all of a sudden the whole house started shaking. We heard later that there have been quakes in New York and Colorado to. Weird. Matt says it first, although Jon is right behind him in his thoughts, 2012 is fucking coming. Matt says he's ready for it. Jon agrees. Jon just bought a knife at a gas station this morning, maybe he feels more comfortable now that he's got something to put in his concealed weapons pockets in that leather vest of his...

We're only an hour away from Nashville now. Making good time.

Later:

Today has been the epitome of life on the road. It's a late show in Nashville tonight and even though we got here for load in time around six pm, the club closed again until eight thirty. All we've done is wait around. Before we started out on tour I was really looking forward to coming to Nashville. For a start, my friend Mary, who I tour managed for a few shows a while back, lives here. I was hoping to meet up with her and get some coffee, hang out, see the Grand Ole Opry amongst other things. In actual fact all we've seen is a plate of shite Chinese food at a strip mall somewhere and the inside of a bar across the road. All these cities you travel to and you get to see fuck all. At one point we retreated back to the van and waited for the club to re-open. We just sat there in silence with that air conditioning on. I get how it must look to people back home when they see the places you're travelling to, but if they understood what it was really like they might not be so jealous. Not that I'm complaining, I'm just saying that it's not exactly like going on holiday. At least I've got a decent book to read in the new Hank Williams biography.

We did have the pleasure of meeting the in-house sound engineer when we arrived here earlier. I thought he said his name was Rat at first, but it turns out it was Brad. Brad is a big old boy and quite a character. The whole time we loaded in, he sat in his sound booth cracking bad jokes, such as when Andy carried in the fan he has behind him on stage in an attempt to keep him from passing out, “What's this? You brought your biggest fan with you?”. I like him a lot.

Now I'm sat in a room at the side of the stage, charging my computer and checking up the latest on the hurricane hitting this weekend. If the reports are correct then it will hit New York City around eight pm. on Sunday night, right about the time the final show of this tour should be starting. At least Jen's flight shouldn't be affected. It's still over thirty degrees outside, and inside this club it must be even hotter. Tonight's show should be good by all accounts anyway, although a little late, which kind of sucks since we have an eight hour drive to Chicago tomorrow. I think we're taking a roadside motel tonight. This dressing absolutely stinks of body odour, I have to get out of here.

The first band just finished. They only played for around fifteen minutes. Brad, shocked by the length of their set just shouted down the monitor mic, “Is that it?!” to which one of the guys in the band replied, “Yeah that's it, what more do you need?”. “Fuck!” was all Brad had to say in reply to that.

Later still:

At the motel now.  Luckily for us Matt gets a good discount on roadside motels through his van insurance.  The Road Warrior always comes up trumps!  Even though it's boring for us sitting in a van all day, at least we have Matt driving.  He's like a machine.  Hopefully when we tour the west coast next year, he'll fly out and do the tour with us. 

Nice to lie in a bed as always, even if it's a bed I have to share with Johan. The kids at the show tonight were hounding Matt about us staying in town to party at someone's house, they were actually on his case about it. It might have been fun but with an eight hour drive to Chicago tomorrow nobody was really in the mood. We must be getting old.

The show tonight was fun, although there was only about fifty people there, including other bands, and we didn't really get paid all that much. It really is hard for us to make good money out here, but then I guess it's the same for American bands touring Europe. All the same, I enjoyed the show. The venue was a really good spot with a decent stage and the people that were there were really into the show. A lot of them hung out afterwards to chat and buy merch.

The second band of the night tonight were really great. A young band called Dawn who played a discordant, noise mixed now again with some d-beat stuff. We got a couple of their vinyl after the show that I'll gladly take home with me. I think I'm up to around forty records on this tour now, with over a week to go that number will most likely increase. I'll have to book another item of luggage on the flight back to bring them all home.

It's two thirty am. Some funny Will Ferrel movie is on the tv, Matt has gone to sleep in his van outside. Nashville wasn't all I hoped it would be, but tomorrow is another day. I'm looking forward to Chicago tomorrow.

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