Corps of Discovery – Minneapolis to Washington State

Minneapolis 3:30AM; Why is it so cold out here? Why didn’t the hotel receptionist warn me? Why can’t I sleep?

The following morning finds me standing outside the hotel, with Styrofoam coffee in one hand, Marlboro in the other, both jackets buttoned and eyes squinting against the glare of the snow-covered swimming pool. From the experience of the last few days it seems almost laughable to have a swimming pool here at all, save for it being used as a skating rink, but I suppose this far inland you have to take the rough with the smooth – bitter winters, roasting summers. Continue reading

Happy New Year, Happy New Start!

After a short pre-Christmas Scottish tour, covering the major cities (and Dunfermline), and rudely interrupted by the Twitter-trending “Hurricane Bawbag”, we returned to Edinburgh to eat our own body weight in turkey before a Hogmanay gig at the Third Door. A good way to work off the chipolata sausage and “TV chef” inspired goose fat potatoes. Continue reading

24 hours in Paris

In May we played a show at Le Divan du Monde and then spent the day with Charlotte Zoller from This Kind of Music and wandered around Paris visiting Marais, Notre Dame, strolled through Père Lachaise and picniced on Place des Vosges. It was a perfect sunny day and Charlotte kindly made the following video. Enjoy!

US Tour Diary – Boston to Minneapolis

We drive into Boston with the Pixies belting out Bone Machine, as a part of our “Geographically Relevant American Playlist Challenge”. The six in the back (myself included) are firmly lodged into our seats by a combination of EasyJet-esque legroom, four damp (and by this point fairly foul) snuggies, a pile of “small” (20oz) gas station coffee cups, and the Chinese-puzzle-box elbow situation going on. We are more than happy to get out of our stygian surrounds and replace them with an icy sidewalk outside the excellent Brighton Music Hall venue.

My mood is following small but regular orbits around the Venn intersection of the “manic”, “depressed” and “completely bananas” spheres, which I presume is some sort of hitherto undocumented post-New York effect coupled with a generous slab of hunger. I try listening to Graceland, Tom Petty, more Pixies. They just seem to exacerbate the situation. Eating a pizza helps, but only slightly. Ironing my shirt seems productive, so I do it. By the time US Royalty arrive in the dressing room, I am passed out on the couch with a jacket over my head and a half can of warm beer in my hand. We have so little time here, and as we are a little out of the city centre to the west, it seems ultimately pointless trying to do anything else.
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US Tour Video

Rory has compiled all the footage taken on our camera phones from the tour across America with the background track being our latest single, The Motorcycle Boy Reigns, released on Monday 16th May. Keep an eye on the website for more blogs from Andy.

US Tour Diary – Philadelphia, New York, Brooklyn

"I'm walkin' here!"We drove into Philadelphia the following day for a radio session at World Café. The session went well, and the studio was great. We were loading the gear out down a back alley under an overhead railway line, in a pretty industrial looking neck of the woods, whilst a mile-long freight train sparked and scraped by above us, and it struck me that we couldn’t have been more “in America”. There was little time for whimsy however, as we had to head on over to the North Star Bar for tonight’s gig.

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US Tour Diary – Washington

001With our bags packed with recently-laundered laundry from the European tour, and as much hand luggage as we could squeeze into an overhead bin without placing the structural integrity of the aircraft in jeopardy, we made our way to Edinburgh Airport at 04:00 hours in a dark, grey drizzle. We were flying out at about six, arriving at Paris around nine local time, with a quick hour to change over for the flight to Washington. The first short leg was covered in a little Avro 85, which looked all wrong to me, the wings appearing to be welded onto a bulge in the roof of the fuselage. For some reason, I am more comfortable with wings underneath the plane – to lift it up, yeah? Although the physics of this was clearly something that Mr Boeing had gone through meticulously, and we landed expertly at Charles de Gaulle, both on time and with wings still attached.

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