We’re here, we’re there, we’re everywhere! Time has become elastic. It feels like we’ve lived a lifetime in this van already and yet landing in Chicago seems like only yesterday. Memories of home are beginning to fade into the mist…wait, hold on, let’s not get too melodramatic. We’ve been here three weeks. No time at all really. In total, we have almost 4 months out here. Yes, we’re having to cover a lot of miles but we’re getting used to the distances and a five hour journey now seems like a trip to the shops. This country is huge. There’s so much to see and we’ve only just scratched the surface. We’re having the experience of a lifetime and remind ourselves of this every day. It’s brilliant. This opportunity is not available to every band and we’re going to take full advantage of everything that comes our way. Being away from family and loved ones is the hardest part of all this but the wonders of technology allow us to maintain a level of contact denied to many bands before us. Imagine what it was like for bands before the internet made it possible to video chat. I suspect that once we’ve returned home, it’ll seem like we were hardly away. Time is an illusion, just ask Albert Einstein.
So where we’re we? Oh yes! Last time I wrote, we had played Chicago and were headed for Detroit. The Detroit Fillmore is located in the downtown area amidst some pretty impressive architecture. Everything in Detroit feels big, solid and spacious and the interior of the Fillmore was no disappointment. We love a venue with a bit of history. It seems to make you up your game as though all the legendary acts who’ve performed there before might be watching. After prancing around our dressing room like a bunch of idiots to some highly questionable music, we strode onstage and, as one guy nicely wrote on Facebook. “Baptised the Fillmore” It was definitely one to remember and another venue we’d love to headline one day. We had the second of our own shows in Toronto the next day so the plan was to cross the border into Canada after the Fillmore show and stay the night in London, Ontario before powering on to Toronto. This was executed with military-like precision and early the next afternoon we were parking up outside Rivoli on Toronto’s busy Queen St. The brain-stopping temperatures have given way to a far more pleasant climate. It’s still fairly cool but the sun is shining and the waist-high piles of snow and ice along the sidewalk are beginning to melt. The moment we arrived at the venue, everyone dispersed in different directions. I found myself in an all above board – no happy endings – massage parlour I happened to walk past, getting the knots taken out of my shoulders and neck by a nice Chinese lady’s hands, elbows, and at one point, knees. I walked out feeling like I’d been given a new body and will be seeking out such establishments wherever we go now. After some great sushi to follow, it was time to load-in and soundcheck.
It might seem like I’m just making this tour diary up to be a consistent string of amazing gig after amazing gig. We’ll the truth is…it has been. They’ve all been different. We’ve played to 1900 people and we’ve played to 45 people but each one has been great in its own way. Something happens when the five of us play together that is very special. The Temperance Movement is greater then the sum of its parts and I consider myself lucky to be a part of it and to be doing these shows. Toronto was dynamite!
There may be five of us on stage but there is a sixth and increasingly important member of this operation – Mr Iain Graham. A no-nonsense, direct talking Glaswegian man with a thick accent no American seems able to understand. He is like the Patriarchal figure of the tour, shepherding us around and hurling (often hilarious) abuse at us at any opportunity. As both a sound engineer and tour manager rolled into one, he’s become a permanent fixture of this setup. He’s like a machine. In fact, as i write this, he’s sat next to me booking hotels on his laptop after driving for the last four hours. Iain, if you’re reading this, which you’re probably not, you’re doing an absolutely first class job mate – Thank you.
So from Toronto, we’ve now made our way back to Milwaukee via Detroit. We did a radio session in a great little studio in Anne Arbor this morning and tonight have found ourselves back in the same hotel we were at 5 days ago. At least we get to visit Glorioso’s again!