Yesterday was a memorable one. Started the day with a jaunt around Bristol, home to Massive Attack and Portishead, and as I was soon to discover ... Banksy (above). It's incredible to round a corner in a fancy new condo-encrusted neighborhood and find yourself staring at a church built in the year 1200. Some of the buildings had age-old facades that disguised shiny new skeletons just behind, remnants and reminders of the bombings these towns bravely withstood during The War. History is all around us, and our drives between British towns are so eye opening it makes it really tough to fall asleep. In a good way.
We arrived in Sheffield and went to a place called Banker's Draft for a pint. The last time I've been in this town was ten years ago, and I don't recall hanging out much, just playing the show and heading to the next one, so it was nice to sit down and get a feel for the town.The show was pretty cool, we played to a half full room at the Leadmill. They seemed into the show about midway through and we enjoyed our set. My Morning Jacket came out and killed it luke warm audience.
On to Bristol:
This is a beautiful city, full of life and cafes and clubs and smiling faces. We're playing The Academy, a nice sized room with a cool vibe. We're looking forward to playing here tonight. More on that later.
We landed yesterday and were picked up at the airport by our our friend and brother Ajay.
We piled into a small van and rambled up the M1 towards the north. We stopped at a roadside
service area and sat down for a meal at Little Chef. A personal favorite. We had English Breakfast
which for the vegetarian consists of a fried egg, beans, toast, fired tomato, mushrooms and veggie sausage.
the meat eater my find the egg, and several other meats on the plate! Wow...much more to write about...gotta go
to soundcheck now....to be continued....
Tomorrow, we board a plane bound for London. I can't tell you how excited I am to play in this band over in Europe for 3 weeks. Its a dream come true. We'll be sharing the stage with our hero Neil Young and we can't really process how cool that is, what an incredible honor. On top of that, we'll be opening for our friends My Morning Jacket! It couldn't be a better tour. So, wish us luck...I'll try and keep the blog updated as much as possible, but I may be a little slower on the draw.
I'd like to say thanks on behalf of the band to our families, who've supported us in ways we'll never be able to repay, thank you all so much. We couldn't do this without you!!!
Quick recap of Spaceland and Pasadena shows:
Spaceland was amazing. Best one yet!
Pasadena was interesting. Played an outdoor courtyard to a bunch of friends and family and a lot of people who didn't know the band. I think it went over well. It was so hot, we felt like we were baking up there...so the energy was a little low. It was a good show though and afterwards we hung out with family and it was really sweet to be together and catch up. The night ended perfectly...as it always should.
The rig is parked for now and we're home for a week before we fly to Europe to open for My Morning Jacket and Neil Young. I cannot put into words how excited we are!
Thanks to everyone who came out to the shows and supported us on our first trip across the country and thanks to the staff at all of the venues for hosting us. We'll see you next time and we appreciate you more than you'll ever know! A special thanks to Mr. Joel Graves for working harder than anyone we've ever known. Without him, we wouldn't have made it! We love you Joel!!
Spending my birthday in New Orleans with my friends was amazing to say the least. I have a deep respect for The Big Easy and it’s culture and music. As we pulled into the French Quarter, we headed down Toulouse St. toward the venue. The clouds were huge puffy white in the blue sky, outlined by the sunlight and appearing to glow behind us. The venue was inviting and cool and they welcomed us with southern charm. The sound guy Jay is a friend I’ve made from playing there in the past. What a great person, always happy. He taught me a New Orleans birthday tradition by pinning a $5 on my shirt, he told me that if I walked around with the money on my lapel that people would add $$ to it throughout the night. He was right, during the show, after the show and at dinner, people kept approaching me and wishing me happy birthday and pinning money on me. I smiled a never-ending smile, thanks Jay! Thanks New Orleans!!
We got into Wilmington on Monday, with the night off. I stayed at the hotel while the rest of the band went out to eat and explore. I worked on some new songs and got some rest.
Next day, Joel, Derek and I got a cab and went down to Wrightsville beach for a swim. The water in the Atlantic was 76 degrees. What a heavenly walk out into the surf, were we floated together in the waves and let go of ourselves for a moment. It was healing and it felt like childhood discovered us and gently invited us back. If you ever need a moment to be present but without any clutter in your mind, head to the beach and get in the water.
The show was good. Played super late to very few people but we played with our hearts and we turned it on for them. Playing music is what it’s all about…no matter what.
Philly has always been a good hang. It’s a town full of history and culture, and it’s haunted. We sat down and enjoyed a relaxing meal downstairs in the venue’s restaurant, conversing and laughing. Between dinner and the show, I took a walk around the streets surrounding the club. The sunset was beautiful and the air smelled like clean laundry and grandma’s cooking and flowers and garbage with each turn, something different and I was feeling the humidity and like a human being.
As we rolled into Boston, we couldn't help but feel slightly paranoid that Celtics fans were going to find out we are from Los Angeles and string us up by our toes and beat us with a stick. Not that Bostonians are violent but, I'm just sayin'. Case in point, the first person who paid to get into our show was wearing a shirt stating, "I Hate L.A.". We kept our mouths shut and played the music and that worked out well for us. In fact, several of us felt it was the best Boston show to date. The room was full and I saw a couple of people singing along throughout the set.