We’re driving to Chicago. Sturgill Simpson is providing the soundtrack and there are two things on our minds. Ribs and vintage guitars. We have a day off today after our first headline show in Grand Rapids which I’ll come to in a moment. Our plan today is to drive to Milwaukee via Chicago’s many vintage guitar stores and eat some ribs along the way. Space in the bus is becoming scarce. We’ve already acquired miscellaneous paraphernalia on our travels and by the time we’ve left Chicago it wouldn’t surprise me if a guitar or two was added to the already tight pack. There’s even murmurings from Damon about looking for vintage drums. We’re going to need a bigger boat!
After visiting Radio WGRD yesterday for a little acoustic performance, we set off for Tip Top Deluxe where we would perform our first ever headline show in the U.S. When I first walked into the room I didn’t even notice the stage in the corner. You could probably have just about swung a cat on it but only if you had very short arms. The PA was minimal so only vocals and Damon’s kick drum were fed through it. There was one monitor mix and there were no flashing lights. By the time we sauntered onto the stage there were maybe 30 or 40 people in the room. Was this going to be a lukewarm gig? We’re we likely to be leaving Grand Rapids disheartened and uninspired? Absolutely not! In fact quite the opposite! It was fucking awesome and we loved every minute of it. We were so close to each other on stage we literally became one. A multi-limbed being making beautiful noise like some kind of rock’n’roll Vishnu. Highlights were, being delivered tequila shots mid show by Sheri-Sue the feisty waitress and then Phil flinging himself off the stage to dance wildly with members of the audience. Thank you to everyone who came last night to share what one guy declared “a legendary gig”. It was great to hang out afterwards, eating burgers and chatting with people. We also appreciated help with the load out which seemed so much more fun after a couple of drinks.
So, back to the present. In half an hour we’ll have our grubby little noses pressed to the window of Chicago Music Exchange, Paul has sourced Chicago’s finest BBQ and by the evening we’ll be in Milwaukee, home of the Fonz. Morale is high and we’re ready for anything.