Friday, September 05, 2008

I'm Back

September 2008 sat here thinking... why don't I write shit down anymore? So, I've come back to this blog. Bloody Fort Knox trying to get back on to it! googlemail emails/failed passwords etc etc I never realised that this blog could be searched on Google and good search engines and bad ones. I was suprised when doing interviews in USA and Canada that interviewers seemed to know a lot about the band and also about my day jobs and stuff. To kick it off again I've added blogs about our California tour April/May 2008 and also a little video about this amazing show we did at The London Eye at the start of the year.

USA Part 3

Sat 10th May

We got offered a gig at the Ramada Hotel in Hollywood and decided to take it after Chris Roman (Scene Bar, Glendale) told us how the night turns in to chaos. We liked the sound of that.

I can't mention anything that happened during Saturday day as I have no notes or anything. I must have just slept or wandered around doing nothing in particular.

Anyway, we turned up to the Ramada and had a beer, watched the other acts.

The night was called Club Carousel and it was set in the basement of the hotel. There was an acoustic stage in the bar area and just round the corner there was another stage for amped stuff.

Again, we went on stage really late. That doesn't seem to matter in LA. There was this smoke machine going off and it was difficult to see anything in the room. It was a strange gig. There seemed to be a vibe in the air that made everyone go a bit mental. By the end of the set there were more audience members on the stage than off it.

Also, whilst we were playing out the last number, I looked round at jimmy on the drums and he was going for it, I looked away for a bit, turned to look at him again and he'd gone. The drummer from the band .. us, Lumavox, had taken over. Seamlessly. Quality! This was a one off show.

Tues 13th

We got back to work after a few days of much needed rest and relaxation in Rancho Cucamonga.

We were doing a gig in Long Beach at the Prospector Bar with Syndicate. We rocked up the venue at around 8:30pm and it was straight out of a western film. I was surprised there weren't spittoons and sawdust on the floor. We loaded the gear in and ordered a beer and chatted to the locals. One thing I noticed about California is that they love Newcastle Brown Ale. In fact, it's a trendy drink. In UK, does anyone drink it outside Newcastle?

We went .. Syndicate and it was nice to see an old school friend, Chris, turn up to see us. He's been living in the states for some time now. The show was pretty difficult as there was absolutely no monitoring. You had to just hope you were singing in tune.

So the show was done and I forgot to mention that musicians had a free bar all night. James goes to the bar and orders a shot of Hallucination. This shot was absinthe based. It made him go mental. He hijacked Syndicate's gig. He got up on stage and danced around hitting a beer bottle with a drum stick. When we called up to him to say "oh mush, enough is enough" he turns round looking totally possessed going "why don't you SHUT UP". Hilarious as it's totally out of character.

We ended up in a diner in Glendale at about 3 in the morning

Weds 14th

Woke up to the sound of breakfast being made. We stayed at Krystal's and she cooked for us.

We didn't have a gig or any work to do today so we decided to go the beach and get some sun.

It was a proper Baywatch style beach with those lifeguard towers, volley ball nets etc.

Me, James and Steve got a bit bored of just lying out in the sun so we decided to go for a run. It wasn't a long run. Santa Monica pier and back. Steve lasted 2 minutes ?
When me and James got about 10 feet away from the pier we could see there was a glamour shoot going on. We immediately turned back and ran away. What were we thinking? Idiots

After we had enough sun we wandered along Venice looking for beer and food. That night we went back out to Boardners. Got a bit messy. Steve and James ended up throwing some shapes on the stage.

Thurs 15th

Thursday was another lazy one. Spent the day going for Mexican food and the by the pool at the Days Inn. It was 100 degrees that day. It was like a furnace.

That night we played at The Cat Club in West Hollywood. The place where the Starfuckers play. (See blog part1)

We turn up to do the show and there's a Japanese band soundchecking. I have no idea what the band is called or anything. They all had brand new instruments. I knew they were brand new because all the boxes and packaging was thrown around the venue floor. The band had a girl singer and it was impossible to listen to. The tone of her voice made my head explode. Not in a good way.

They had a decent crowd down to watch them, as did we. We went on at around 9pm. A nice early one. I was on stage left, next to the entrance so it was quite off putting seeing people you know walk in and say 'hello' while you're mid song.

The gig was a good one. I think we all stayed pretty sober after the gig too. Money had run out.

Fri 16th

We thought we'd drive to San Diego nice and early so we could have a look around. We barely had 2 minutes there earlier in the trip. Turn up-gig-sleep-wake up-on to the next town.
Our good intentions didn't work out. Friday traffic in LA is worse than London. It took us 2 and half ours to get out of LA and on to Freeway 5 down to San Diego. In London you can find little short cuts and rat runs and beat traffic if you have a little knowledge. If you try and beat the traffic in LA, you land up in deeper shit. The idea is you just sit in it. Don't try and fight it. It's like quicksand.

We finally get to San Diego at 6pm and check in to a hotel in Hotel Circle, order a shitty pizza and then head to the Kensington Club which is the venue for our final gig of the tour!

The Ken club is a nice big venue with a bar in one half and a music hall in the other. This was the last time we'd be playing with Syndicate to so leading on from James's example in Long beach, all of us got on stage with them at the end and danced, smashed beer bottles, crashed cymbals, jumped around. Chaotic scenes and lots of broken glass. It was a night to remember and perfect for ending our little excursion around the state. It was good to see Gary and Stephanie who we first met because of this Blog!! They made the journey down from OC to San Diego to watch the show. We signed a few things and took some photos. Fun times!!

Well, that was that! Tour over. We had a day or two left in LA before we flew back to London. Can't say we did much in those days. On the Saturday night we had a leaving party at this place opposite Chateau Marmont called 'Libertine' where a load of people we met came along, had a drink, said good riddance and all that.

Earlier that night we were having a few bottles of wine by our pool, reminiscing and chatting shit when this girl comes over to ask for a light. She's talking to us about this band she's going to see and then mentions that she's a cook and makes good 'edibles'. She shows us an example; a muffin. It looks pretty innocent and quite tasty. She lets us have it. None of us eat it and we head out to The Libertine.

Anyway, Steve, James and Laurie fly back to London in the early hours of Sunday morning. Laurie, like a good boy, gets an early night while Steve and James stay out and get pissed up. They get back to the hotel, wake Laurie up, order a cab to the airport and then Steve and James share the muffin. Bad move! It was a space cake. Laced with acid or something. Laurie had to look after them both as neither of them could function. Hilarious. Wish I was there to see that.

Me and Giles had it pretty easy again. No muffins. We had the whole of Sunday by the pool and rolled up to the airport in good time. We had a slight problem with Customs and Immigration deciding that Giles looked a tad on the Islamic side so they searched him for about 10 minutes. Full Cavity.

On the plane we get the same deal as last time – Fire exit seats. Plane takes off and I'm looking forward to watching a few movies. On the fire exit seats the TV screens have to be pulled up from under the seat. My TV was a bit stiff and wouldn't budge. I've been in situations like this before and pulled or pushed to hard and it's ended in tears. So Giles has a go and rips the thing to pieces. We're sitting there with this Screen hanging by bits of wire. We tried to fix it with masking tape but it didn't work.

Our time in USA was one of the best experiences we've had. We met some great people and would go back there tomorrow. If we weren't so skint.

Now on to Toronto for NXNE…


USA Part 2

Thurs 1st

Leeds didn't get their points back then.

Woke up far too early. Head bumping. Some of us stayed in The Skybomber's hotel room whilst some of us stayed at the good ole' Days Inn and went to the International House of Pancakes (IHOP) for Breakfast. The portions of food you get in the states are stupid. In Britain we get half the amount for twice the price.

,The rest of Thursday was spent doing nothing in particular. Just drifting in and out of consciousness by the pool as far as I recall.

That evening we drove down Sunset to have dinner at Cabo Cantina before heading to The Cat Club to watch a band called The Starfuckers. The Starfuckers comprise of members of Guns N Roses, Billy Idol Band, The Cult and a few others. They basically play covers. Mainly The Beatles, The Stones, Wings. It was quite entertaining although Laurie stated "I've never been more underwhelmed in all my life".

That club seemed like at reached 1989 and stayed stuck in 1989. Everyone was dressed like they were members of Motley Crew or like bands. We had a gig booked there 2 weeks later. We weren't sure how these leather clad, bandana sporting, tattoo laden rockers would take to some melodic British indie. Seeing as they'd all been jumping around to The Starfuckers who mainly played British stuff we figured we'd do alright.

Friday 2nd

Friday was the first day of our Tour and to kick it off we played at The Scene Bar in Glendale, Los Angeles County.

The venue was only half an hour away or so from Hollywood so we didn't have to spend the day travelling or anything.

We drove to Rancho Cucamonga in the day. I have family that live out that way and they offered to look after some of our baggage that wouldn't fit in the van whilst we were gallivanting across California and Nevada.

We were fed some information that The Scene Bar was a dry bar, ie no alcohol, so we were all ready for a right barrel of laughs (kids, alcohol doesn't automatically mean you have a good time, sometimes it's the opposite, it's just a nice social lubricant, and sometimes when you come off stage you just want a beer).

Anyway, when I walked in to the venue for the first time, I was immediately drawn to the words 'Jägermeister' in neon lights. Funny for a dry bar. It wasn't a dry bar. It never was. Relax.

This was the first of four dates with San Diego band, Syndicate. They're a mixture of Foals, Justice & The Rapture. Check them out. They're in our top friends.


Cat and Lou, friends from London, flew over from New York to see the show and to spend a few days in Hollywood. Shame we couldn't spend much time with them as we had gigs all over the place for the next few days. It was quite surreal seeing them walk in to this bar in Glendale. Krystal (got us this gig!) was there too with her friend Gina.

Anyway, we did the show and watched Syndicate do their set. We thought we were going to head straight to Reno after our set but we stayed due to Syndicate being quality and Chris the promoter constantly buying us shots of Jameson Whiskey.

Sat 3rd

We got up at the crack of a sparrow's to drive all the way to Reno. Hollywood to Reno is over 500 miles and takes about 8 hours. I think it took 10.

Most of us slept for most of the journey. It was amusing listening to this DJ. I can't remember the radio station, I think it was Hawk FM. He must have been the laziest DJ in the world. It was middle of the road Americana stuff. Ideal music for the setting but each song was about 20 minutes long. You could just picture the bastard going "ok here's 'down by the river' by Neil Young" and then pissing off down the pub for a couple of pints.

had to keep ourselves amused

It was strange to fall asleep in 100 degree heat, surrounded by sand and cactus and waking up by a ski resort freezing your nads off. As we were getting closer to Reno, some of the views were amazing. Snowy mountains and lakes. That's the contrast you get in California.

Freezing our nads off

We drove in to Nevada and got to Reno at about 6pm. Checked in to a proper American looking motel. Reno is basically a mini Vegas in the sense that it's main attraction is gambling. Bars are open 24 hours, you can smoke anywhere (much to Laurie's delight) and prostitution is legal. No, none of us did.

We got to the venue, The Underground, unloaded our gear, met Remy the promoter/owner and the other bands. The Underground was one of the bigger venues we played. Nice big stage. Remy told us they'd had 500 people in there the week before but also went on to say that people in Reno are unpredictable.

After we soundchecked, we went for a Vietnamese. Most of us did. I think Laurie settled for a Family Bucket from Kentucky. The Vietnamese was a family-run place just round the corner from our motel. Giles was having issues with his throat. All the smoking in the van and the air-con started taking it's toll. Not to mention getting pissed every night. Anyway, they made a special Sprout Soup for his throat. Not Brussel Sprouts. That would be a bad soup. This sprout soup did the trick.

We got back to the venue only to realise we'd missed the band we wanted to see, Stately Gentlemen. We went in to the green room and all 5 of us just crashed out and slept for half an hour. Did us the world of good. Went on stage and played a stormer. There weren't 500 people there. I think everyone in Reno was watching 'Rush' just down the road. The people that were there enjoyed the show. Giles got some of the people up on the stage for our last song. We played a cover of 'Ohio' by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. After the show, drinks were sunk and bartenders quit their jobs.

Sun 4th

We got out of Reno and hit the 80 to San Francisco. About a 4 hour journey. Again we manage to add a couple of hours on to that.

We get to San Francisco at about 5pm and head straight to Haight Ashbury where Summer of Love 1967 happened and Janis Joplin and The Grateful Dead used to live. In Haight Ashbury we met up with Jackie G and her friend Brendan from Sheffield. Jackie has been a Myspace friend for 3 years and has been spreading the word about us so it was great to actually meet her in her hometown.

walking down haight

One thing we noticed when we got out the van in San Fran was how bloody cold it was. We had to call in to the vintage clothes stores to buy jackets and other winter stuff. We unsuccessfully looked for a place to do laundry as all our clothes were starting to grow their own legs and run away. As it was a Sunday there wasn't such a place open so we decided to go somewhere to eat instead.

We didn't have enough time to do San Francisco any justice at all. Having arrived at 5pm, we had to load in/soundcheck at 8pm for our gig. But, we will be going back and next time we'll make sure we spend a few days at least.

So to the venue. It's gay bar on Polk St called Kimo's. We were playing upstairs at a club night called 'Unsolved Melody' which is put on by a San Fran band called 'Vows'. I got in touch with them about 2 weeks before we left for the states and Jitsun Vows was kind enough to give us a slot alongside The Flagpoles and The Unit Breed.

San Francisco is cool. Very different to LA. Not saying LA isn't cool. LA is tattoos and muscles. San Fransisco is skinny jeans and cool vintage threads, Rolling stones and The Faces.

We ended up playing at about 11:30pm and played an extended set. We had people crowd surfing and that was the other musicians. You don't get that in Camden now do you?

It was a very sweaty show. It was getting quite steamy in another area of the room too. Just after we finished our set we looked over and two transvestites going at it. Get a room.

Mon 5th

We were about to embark on a mission. San Francisco to San Diego. 500 miles – 8 hours.

Some of us got up early to do laundry and the rest slept in. Before we hit the road we checked out some vistas. We parked up near the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz and took photos like any respected tourist should.

We were only 1hr 30mins south of San Francisco when Steve realised that the brakes on the van were knackered. So as we valued our lives we stopped in Los Banos to get the Break Pads sorted. This added a couple of hours on to our journey. Los Banos doesn't seem like a happening town. A few shops here and there, a garage. That's it. Mexican music was blasting out some speakers from this shop where the local bikers congregated. They wore masks. James disturbed their lunch by shoving a video camera in their faces.

We got back on the road and didn't really have any more time to spare. In fact we got to San Diego at 9:30pm, just in time for Syndicate's set. The venue we were playing at was The Beauty Bar. It's set up and interior is like a Beauty Salon. Quite cool. The stage area was under a canopy outdoors so Laurie could smoke.

We'd been on the road for 11 hours that day and countless hours the previous couple of days and it was starting to take it's toll. The show was pretty good. We played quite well but after we came off we were exhausted and wanted a massage.

Tues 6th

Today was a free day with no gig so we could do a bit of relaxing and taking care of business.

We drove back to Hollywood from San Diego and checked back in to our home, the Days Inn.

We didn't really do much that day! Drove to Rancho Cucamonga to pick up the rest of our luggage where we were treated to a homemade vegetarian chilli and beers.

We went out that evening to The Standard Hotel on Sunset Strip. Our friends, Cat and Lou, were staying there and it was their last night in town. We just sat around drinking wine and taking photos. Oh, and Cat hosted our very own awards ceremony with awards for: Best Vocalist of the tour, Best Guitarist of the tour, Best Bassist of the tour, Best Keyboard player and best drummer. Decisions were unanimous. The award was a specially made keyring.

Wed 7th

Today we were playing at Club Moscow @ Boardners in Hollywood.

Again, can't remember doing much that day. Might have wandered around Hollywood causing trouble. Then again, might have stayed by the pool at the hotel.

Oh, I remember one thing that will stay with me. Some bloke in Starbucks working on his music. He had his midi keyboard and laptop.

We turned up to soundcheck at Boardners at about 8:30pm and had a look around the venue. It was all very goth vs art deco. High ceilings and big archways. Very nice. The live music was going on outside under a canopy. Club Moscow is a very popular club night for bands to play in California (Thanks Krystal). All the scenesters come out to play. It's open to over 18s too so they're very tight about ID. Giles couldn't buy a drink as he brought no ID and you couldn't buy a drink for anyone else unless they were present at the bar with you, with their wristband/ID.

We headlined the show and went on about 11:30pm. There were about 200 people watching and it looked like they were getting in to it. There was a crowd down the front jumping around. It got to the end of the set and there were shouts for 'more'. We looked at each other and decided we'd do a cover. Giles asked the audience if they'd like to hear a Kinks song or a Neil Young song. The majority went for The Kinks so we played 'All Day and All of the Night' much to the chagrin of one girl in the crowd who gave Giles a right bollocking when we came off stage for not playing Neil Young.

We really enjoyed the show at Boardners. There's a good thing going on there!

The rest of the night got a bit silly. Some partied, some slept and some didn't. Those who didn't really looked forward to the photoshoot at altitude the next day.

Thurs 8th

We had a midday date at The Griffith Observatory in L.A. for a photoshoot with Matt Kent. Matt's taken shots of us before at a gig in Wimbledon he just happened to be out in L.A. so we arranged something.

Steve and Laurie hadn't been to sleep so they were dreading this a bit. Laurie suffers badly from vertigo too and the observatory is high up in the Hollywood hills. Ideal!


We nearly had a crash on the way there too. Some idiot woman on her phone was driving straight in to our cab. Our idiot cab driver was on his phone too. The woman swerved at the last minute. Could have been all over. The cab driver resumed his conversion on his phone in Russian. We now know the Russian for 'bitch' and 'women should never be allowed to drive'.

We got to the observatory, admired the views, took some shots. There was a school trip assembling for a group photo on the steps at the front of the building. One of the teachers asked Giles if he'd take the photo. He ran off with the camera.

No, not really. Even funnier. We hijacked the photo.

After the shoot we went back to the hotel where a couple of us caught up on sleep and the rest sat in the sun by the pool. Hard life.

That night we played at 'On The Rox' which is a bar above 'The Roxy'. We were competing with Camp Freddy for an audience that night. Camp Freddy were playing downstairs at The Roxy. Members include Dave Navarro, Matt Sorum and the singer from Stone Temple Pilots. Slash joined them on stage for a few numbers apparently.

Meanwhile, upstairs, we played a loud set. It felt really loud. It was quite a small stage and none of the amps were mic'd up so it was just a case of turning knobs to 10 and going for it. We dedicated 'Sending Out' to Joe Braidwood who'd flown over from Providence to see us.

After the gig we went to a bar called The Room where Ok Go were DJing. After drinking a Jager-Bomb, memory is a little hazy though I do remember ending up back at Mel from Swing House's apartment, drinking vodka coke from a mug and eating mini-corn dogs.

USA Part 1

Right, it's Sam here, we're back from the States. It was an incredible experience. Whilst out there I tried to keep a diary. I wasn't too disciplined at doing this so a lot of this is going on memory. After about 8pm each night, memory comes from photographs and people reminding you of what an idiot you were. Enjoy...

Friday 25th

Me and Giles flew out to the States on a different flight to Steve, Laurie and James. It's long story why this was and I wont bore you with it. The contrast to our separate journeys is funny. It sounds like I'm gloating now. I am. Me and Giles flew out with Virgin on a virtually empty plane so we had our pick of seats. Despite the winks and suggestive looks to the male air stewards, we couldn't blag First Class but sitting in the Fire Exit seats is as good as. Endless leg room. Before we took off we were told we had special duties sitting in these seats. If we crash we'd have to shout 'Open your seatbelts and get out!'

The 11 hour flight seemed quick and went by with no worries. Watched a few films: Control, Family Guy- Blue Harvest, Kite Runner. Watched a few more Family Guys too.

The other boys had a mission getting to LA. They had to go via Minneapolis and their flight was anything but empty.

Me and Giles got to LAX and then headed to our Sunset Blvd home, The Days Inn Hotel. We dumped our stuff walked out to get a bite and to stock our fridge with some beers. The other boys turned up about 2 hours later minus Steve's luggage. He was expected to live out of an LAX courtesy bag for the foreseeable.


Anyway we laughed about our contrasting journeys over a few beers. Stevie Wyatt joined us. Stevie is a good friend and has done our sound at the halfmoon in Putney for about 10 years and also helped us out at The London Eye show earlier this year. He'd been on The Passport Approved tour around the West Coast with Bassboosa for a couple of weeks. It was good to see a familiar face on our first night in town.

Sat 26th

We were all up early as we had to get to The House of Blues on Sunset Blvd for 8:30am. It wasn't the weather for tight jeans let me tell you. At that time of the morning it must have been hitting 80 F.

We were at The House of Blues to do a live interview with Sat Bisla on his radio show Passport Approved on Indie 103.1FM. It was all set up on the main stage in the main hall of the venue and alongside Sat Bisla were some industry pundits including Seymour Stein. He signed Madonna.

On stage @ The House of Blues

We got on stage at about 10am and did the interview. I think it went pretty well. We were asked questions about the songs we'd recorded and about how it feels to be out playing in LA. General stuff like. You can fuck up answering even the easiest questions you know. Especially when you know half a million people could be listening. In fact, one of the other bands said the F word. Transmission was cut for a few seconds.

After our interview we played an acoustic version of 'First Move'. It felt like it sounded good. Then I got texts from around the world: 'Hey, that sounded brilliant, well done!', 'wow, the industry panel sounded very impressed with you lot, well done', 'nice one!' and my personal favourite 'Swans won 4-1'.

Stevie Wyatt in Carney's

We left the House of Blues in search of a beer and some food. We stopped at a place called 'Carney's' on Sunset. It's meant to be a famous old place. Famous for having the best Hot Dogs in town. It's an old train carriage converted in to a restaurant. If that was the best Hot Dog in town then I don't know…The rest of the day was spent back at the hotel by the pool. In the evening we walked round the corner to The Roosevelt Hotel to sit by another pool and drink watermelon mojitos. This is the hotel that held the first Oscars back in 1462 or something. Before America was discovered. It's wise to keep your sunglasses on when sitting by this pool. There were some views to behold. Surgically augmented views.

We hit the town later that night with our first port of call being The Rainbow Bar & Grill on Sunset strip where we had dinner. This is another famous place where rock and roll's hall of fame have scranned out. Add us to the list. Only we couldn't actually eat a thing. After we paid up we headed next door to a bar above the Roxy called 'On The Rox' and had a few vodkas before jumping in a taxi and going to bar I can't remember the name of. Drank a bit too much. Got a bit rowdy. Goodnight.

Sun 27th

We all woke up with sore heads. Maybe it was just me.

Sunday was the first day of Musexpo so we had to register for the event at the Hyatt Hotel on (you guessed it) Sunset Strip. Back in the 70s, The Hyatt had the nickname of 'The Riot House' due to touring bands staying there and throwing TVs out the window and stuff. These days it's lights out by 11pm please.

After we registered, we packed all our gear in to the van and drove to Swing House Rehearsal studio to a) make sure all our pedals and electricals functioned and b) rehearse.

Sunday night we went out to the Musexpo launch cocktail party on the roof of the Hyatt. Free food and free drinks. Dangerous. We did a lot of meeting and talking and drinking. All very productive. When the cocktail party ended everyone was ushered over to the House of Blues, opposite the Hyatt, where the first night's showcases kicked off.

Steve and Laurie with Monique @ The Hyatt rooftop party

The fucking Jay walking law means that crossing the road to get to the House of Blues takes 10 minutes. There's old bill there just waiting to book you. L.A. the capital of crime.

The stand out bands from the night were The Red Paintings, because they wore outrageous costumes and had body painting going on at the side of the stage, and Rotating Leslie. This band are from just outside London and to our ears sound fucking brilliant. We loved their song about saving the lions and bears. Had a few beers with these boys over the festival and we'll be sure to catch up in London soon.

None of us have any recollection of what happened for the rest of the night.

Pardon? Sort of. Oh!

Mon 28th

Monday is the day of our Musexpo showcase at The House of Blues.

We go to venue early to watch an industry panel. Can't remember what it was about but it was good to see Harvey Goldsmith ranting away about the state of the industry. After the panel we went a couple of doors down to eat some pizza before we had to go back to the House of Blues to soundcheck.

We turn up at the venue to soundcheck at 2:30pm. That is pretty early seeing as we're on stage at 11:55pm. Nearly ten hours of waiting around. We'd like to say we weren't nervous about this gig but when you're playing to a concentrated pool of industry who could throw you that ticket, it plays on your mind ever so slightly. The worst part is trying to stay sober for that long. We were all shattered too. I think the jet lag had kicked in. We kept nipping off to the green room upstairs to grab some sleep. The green rooms were quite busy so sleeping wasn't easy.

Leave Giles alone. Can't you see he's praying

We finally met Krystal! Krystal won tickets to see this show through Indie 103.1FM and got in touch with us about 6 weeks before we were due to fly out offering to help us out. She was a massive help to us and ended up getting a bit of a tour together!

Didn't take much notice of any other acts this night as we were concentrating on our own show. We were the last to go on and eventually our stage time was 12:30am.

So the time came. We drank a couple of cans of red bull, had a group hug, said a prayer, closed our eyes and waited for the curtains to be opened.

Jimmy on form

The curtains opened and the place had cleared. Everyone must have gone home. But as soon as we started the first song, people started filing back in. Panic over.
The gig went pretty smoothly. We played well. It was all tight and in tune. Don't know what else to say about it! We opened on 'Terrify'. We hadn't played this song for ages but it's a bit of a favourite of our friends in LA so we did it. We ended on 'First Move'. This song is being played on a few radio stations in the US at the moment.

So the gig ended, we pack up and we're gagging for a drink. The city shuts down at 2am. Everything: Bars, Clubs, Liquor stores. We can't get a fucking drink. So we go back to the hotel to sleep.

Tues 29th

Tuesday was nice because we woke up without a hangover. We had a lazy morning wandering around Hollywood, buying breakfast, sim cards, cigarettes, coffee.

After lunch we headed to another hotel (I think it was The Grafton) to do an interview with Dennis 'The Menace' Scheyer who is a DJ on KUSF, a San Francisco radio station. We talked with him for about an hour and a half about all sorts of things. The best part of the interview was having to create a song sandwich. Two of our songs had to make the bread. All the filling, salami, pickle etc are the songs that have influenced us and pointed us in the directions we've gone. Some great ingredients in that sarnie, I tell thee: Talking Heads, The Cure, Bowie, Springsteen and of course, Gogol Bordello.

That night was pretty much more of the same: Music, booze, meeting, greeting.

We ended up back at the Hyatt after the House of Blues ended. Local band 'Capra' had a party in their hotel room. We turned up and the room was rammed. You couldn't move in there. So we did what anyone would do, stole some booze and walked out.

Wed 30th

The last day of Musexpo

We actually made it to one of the industry breakfasts! The truth is we weren't too far away from the Hyatt to begin with so it was pretty hard to avoid. We did a bit of a photoshoot holding pink logs. I need to see these photos. I expect they look as stupid as it sounds.

We headed back to the hotel and had a power nap. Important things power naps.

Bassboosa played a lunchtime set at The Saddle Ranch. The Saddle Ranch is a real Wild West style bar/restaurant where you can even ride the bull. No one was riding the bull this lunch time. Half an eye was on Bassboosa and half an eye was on Chelsea v Liverpool in the Champions League Semi Final.

Saddle Ranch

Wednesday night was spent at The House of Blues watching aussie rockers and good blokes, The Skybombers and then back at Swing House Rehearsal Studios where we drunkenly jammed with LA band, Capra, til 5am. At the time it was the best music we'd ever made. Looking back…..nah. If only people went back to rehearsal studios after pubs and clubs kick out in Blighty.