U.S.A Tour Diary Double Bill Pt.2

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I generally try to stay upbeat about things in this tour diary. No-one wants to read a whinging account of how hard it is to be away from home and how much driving we have to do or how the free hotel internet is never fast enough to steam Netflix. Boo-hoo, our lives are so tough! Seriously, things are going great for us over here and we’re having a brilliant time. We’re living the dream!
Saying that however, occasionally the mood in the van dips slightly below euphoria and yesterday morning was was of those times. It could have been that the weather needed to cheer itself up a bit or that we’d just run out of fun for the time being. The only person who seemed to be having a good time was the crazy crack lady outside Starbucks. Nobody could have predicted the amazing transformation the day was to undergo.
We were due to perform at a craft beer and fine wine shop at lunchtime. Karen had warned us that it could be a strange one and that we’d be perfectly within our rights to give her an “Artie Fufkin” ass-kicking if it all backfired. Even the guy from DC101, the radio station we’d be performing for was waiting outside with the disclaimer that “This is a bit weird. We’ve never tried this before so I don’t know how it will go down”. I replied that we’d done a gig in a Sushi restaurant in Örebro, Sweden and it doesn’t get much weirder than that – we’d be fine. As we stood in the shop surrounded by shelves of craft beer, the staff of DC101 and a few random customers, I must admit that it did feel a little odd. It was like a blind date where both parties are feeling slightly awkward and neither is sure which way it’s going to go. Will we find that we really have nothing in common and go our separate ways forever or, will we just get stuck into this craft beer and become lifelong soulmates? It was most definitely the latter.
We sang a few songs in this unlikeliest of settings and everybody began to relax. This was the point at which the day began to get better and better. I couldn’t help noticing that Phil had been a little restrained and not quite himself. The reason for this became apparent when a cake was bought out for him organised by his wife, Charlie. It was their first anniversary and understandably, Phil was feeling pretty bad about being away for this. Even I felt a little choked up at the appearance of the cake which received a big cheer from the room and completely turned Phil’s day around.
On top of this, Karen came over looking like she was about to cry tears of joy to announce that DC101 – possibly the biggest station in the U.S. for active and mainstream rock had just added us to their playlist and were right behind us. This was huge! The atmosphere in Gillys Craft Beer and Fine Wine became celebratory and we toasted this happy union with our new friends. I’d liked to have spent all day there sampling beers and eating cheese and olives but we had a show to get to and so bid a fond farewell and left, taking with us a box full of sandwiches and gourmet chocolate! Thank you to DC101 and Gilly’s for a brilliant time.
To quote Iain Graham, the show that night at the Silver Spring Fillmore was nothing short of devastating. After walking out to Phil and Charlie’s special tune, we smashed out a couple of new songs and even the old ones seemed to take on a whole new energy. For 40 minutes, we felt invincible. From the day’s underwhelming start to its euphoric climax – we left Silver Spring with Phil proclaiming it “The greatest day ever!”

SilverSpring