THE THIEVES - WEST COAST TOUR, JUNE 2006
1st July - Sid


27th June - Hal
Balls! An early one. We were meant to get back home late last night, but someone suggested a quick, last good-bye, pint at the local Irish Bar - who was I fooling when I said yes, still thinking “quick pint, then hit the road”. Sam was shaking me, just at the point I’d drifted into deep-sleep. It wasn’t so bad, I looked over to see Cam straddled half-way between the kitchen and the living room, wrapped in half a blanket, trying to make his phone work – at least I was stuck inbetween Sid and Terry, in Phoenix, with an AC from the 60’s!?. We dragged our sorry arses into the van and headed for the 10 Freeway, cruising straight back home to LA. I actually love and hate this drive: parts of it are absolutely stunning scenery, other’s make Peckham in South East London look fun. But it’s also the feelings of knowing that you’re going back to your own bed, and some sleep, and some chill time, but it’s also the fact that you know you’re going back to all those things, and would probably prefer to just stay out on the road and keep rolling. Not much happened on the way back, other than getting diddled on our Subway Rewards Card?! Got back in time, un-loaded the van, half un-packed my, well laundry, hit the pool to cool down… and then settled in for an evening of bills, emails and phone calls, which wasn’t so bad… I got to talk to me Ma in jolly ol’ England, and she’s just fineJ And, we’re back out for 2 months again quite soon… so I guess I really should get some proper sleep. Right, we’re meeting with the Driveblind boys for an almighty piss-up later in the week, that may well justify another diary entry! Cheers!

26th June - Sam
Tonight is meant to be the last night of our tour with Driveblind – bummer! Terry (singer) and Cam (acoustic guitarist) from DB are still in the van with us from our partying escapades on Saturday night in Denver. This turns out to be a blessing in disguise cause on the drive down to Phoenix we get a phone call from Driveblind’s van saying they’ve broken down again and are stuck in Albuquerque. After trying to figure out a solution, we realize that Cam and Terry can probably pull off a decent acoustic set together, so they start phoning friends in Phoenix to sort out an acoustic guitar. We eventually get to the club and when we step out of the car it is like stepping into a wet sauna – jesus, this place is hot! Lorena, the sweet heart, sorted out a guitar for the guys and it’s got to be said that even acoustically the guys sounded great – kinda nice to see another side of the band as well. We hit the stage after the acoustic set and we are on fire, best show of the tour for me, Sid beat the hell out of the drums. On the last song The Pirate actually put the beater through the bass drum head – rock! We hit a cool pub after the show and sit out in the garden drinking pints of Guinness. What was a bloody nightmare of a sauna is now a nice balmy night, perfect for sitting in a pub garden supping back on a few pints with mates – nice one!

25th June - Sid


24th June - Hal
Last time we made this trip, I spun the van off the road. It was mid-winter, coming over the Rockies and hitting the most Satanic piece of black-ice know to Jesus. Today I was gunning it to get to Denver on time, and the whole way just had me thinking of the contrast between now, and then. We all sat down to breakfast this morning (us and Driveblind). It was good to start a day with the lads, and like the road, to see the contrast in the season; that of the sober morning, and that of the drunken night before (Wixxie mate, you can spin a yarn!). I’d brought a load of tea with me, so we all set to it. About 2 hours from Denver, Driveblind called to say their van was giving them jip, so they were delayed by a good 3 hours. We motored on to make sure the night happened. We got into Denver, found the club – very cool divebar, my favourite kind of club! – argued with the other band about who should play where, gave up the fight when we heard we had the 10.30 spot, which was just the time Driveblind were set to arrive. Sank some cold-ones. And then went on. What a cracker of a gig! I love the smaller clubs for this very reason: everybody is standing right in front of you, it’s a weekend, and they wanna rock and we did not disappoint - a blinder! We finished the show, threw the gear off, next band rolled on, and we proceeded to get blind drunk with the entire bar! Driveblind went on and played their best gig of the tour: tight as a Nat’s Chuff and Terry was on fire: prancing around on the bar and getting lost in the moment – it was brilliant – or, I was blind drunk – or, I like to think, it was a bit of both! We headed back to Rob and Shannon’s house (good friends of ours – thanks R&S!) for the infamous party we’d been told about on every prior trip to Denver…. And it did not disappoint: we rocked the big one in the basement, with dudes falling over and getting carted off by the cops, many toasts, many naked arses in passed-out people faces, and – naughtily - many molested wives (not me guv!). It was one to remember, or try to remember, or just to know, that Denver was a great time.

23rd June - Sam
It has to be said that we've never had a great time in Salt Lake City. It always seems to be a bit stiff and weird (sorry to all our friends in SLC). It's not that the crowd aren't cool, it's just the city itself seems to have some strange vibe. Being a Friday night though it should be reasonably good, with a big crowd. So we turn up at the Kilby Court and the place looks like someone’s backyard with a shed for the bands to play in. We discover that we're on at 8.30 and there's no booze allowed whatsoever – what!!! We figure what the hell, the place must get rammed with kids on a Friday night and we’ll have a good show whatever. Unfortunately, it aint gonna happen, the place was pretty much empty all night. Our only saving grace was Driveblind and some crazy Russian girls, who were hell bent on showing us that Salt Lake City could be fun. So they made sure we had a good few shots of whiskey before we hit the stage to get into it (all of this was in secrecy cause the club were very strict on booze). After both bands played we decided to do shot guns in the van (well funny), which I must say Sid the Pirate excelled in – monster! We then all headed back to one of Driveblind’s motel rooms where we partied all night. The Russians amazed us by showing how much booze they could put away. These young skinny girls put away beer after beer and yeah, they got pretty drunk but they stayed pretty much on the ball and with it – crazy – the Russians must be made differently or something. The night finished off about 4 or 5 with huge complaints from the motel, saying that we were too loud and debauched… well at least we had a good time in SLC.

22nd June - Sid


21st June - Hal
Woke up at Ed’s house; I’d got the sofa, came in late to find Sid and Sam had nabbed the beds.. mind you, I was in dire need of a shower and solitary confinement on account of the free wine Ed and I had pilfered from the restaurant where Ed works – did you know that vine’s roots can grow down to 8 meters deep in search of water? See: drink with the wine manager of a restaurant, and you’ll find out the best stuff! Ed was a dude: got us a load of fresh coffee, made us all breakfast and then booted us out on time. Seattle’s an easy drive so we rolled in early (well on time!). This was Sid’s first time to Seattle (in fact, first time north of Malibu, CA (!) so – obviously, as a musician – he was overtly excited by the prospect of playing in Seattle; would you believe that as we came over the hill and into the city, Nirvana was on the radio! And, as we rolled up to the Crocodile Café, Soundgarden was on! Good omens me finks! We met the Driveblind boys for $1 pints of beer – viva le ‘appy ‘our! Sunk a few, loaded in, set up, sound checked and set down to the café’s menu. Good tucker! We then proceeded to pass-out in Siesta mode, so I grabbed some coffee, set the merch up and then played a great game with Driveblind, which involved waking Sam from his siesta in the van, via setting the alarm off – it was a comedy moment. Seattle is a good town, and we’re building quite a good following over at the High Dive (our usual), so tonight was going to be an interesting one – would they venture out?… and thank the Lord, a good bunch of our lot came! We played a great show. Sid’s really coming into his own now – he’s getting rather good. Driveblind were also great, but they insisted that they weren’t ‘on it’, tonight, but, if you’re reading this lads, you were! It was a bit of a nightmare getting out of the club due to Sam and Sid starting off a rally of ‘Shot-Guns’ with beer cans – everyone seemed to wanna go! Eventually we got back to Jill’s house, ate a pizza, split a Guinness and then crashed – but, I was late again, and Sam nicked the bed: I slept on the couch with the dogs – they smelt really bad.

20th June - Sam
We got to the club pretty early, which was great because it turned out to be a great venue. It had a lush green room with showers, nice sofas and a great rider (beers etc.), so after sound check we chill with Driveblind and have a few bevvies. We do a good show and it seems like Sid is really starting to settle into the groove now. After our set we watch Driveblind, who have really grown on me - such a great band. After load up we head back to Ed's, our friends house and chill before Ed and Hal decide to head out and get some beer. They don't return until the wee hours in the morning. Apparently they had decided to drop by a restaurant where Ed used to work and they got plied full of expensive wines - lucky gits.

19th June - Sid


18th June - Hal
Woke up fairly fresh and excited this morning: first proper day out on tour. Packed the final bits and jumped in the van to pick up half the Driveblind lads – we were meeting Wixxie and Dave in SF, who’d shot up early with all the gear – jolly good chaps me finks! Terry (singer) jumped into the van armed with a bottle of Scotch; good sign I thought! Picked up Jack and Cam from Melrose, and in true Thieves style, forgot something, went back to get it, and, left LA nice and late! The 5 Freeway is the route we always set out on when touring; it resembles a comfy déjà vu now, passing the stink of the cow farm (literally 1000’s of Heffer’s), juggling the turn-off so you don’t wind up heading for Bakersfield, Anderson’s Pea Soup and then the Bay Bridge – the gateway to tour date #1! We rolled over with The Bluetones blaring (wee bit of nostalgia) and got to the venue just in time to grab the last drips of dinner from the club. Job done, sound check missed, we got stuck into the beer. Jack has the best humour known to humanity, and I won’t print what we were laughing about, but I’ve the feeling that this tour is gonna be one hell of good time! As for the show, it was an alright night I guess, and it was good to see old faces again. But San Francisco seems to miss out a little on the ‘doity’ rock thing; it’s a bit artsy and ‘nice’, which is actually great for the rockers who live there, cos they get the pick of the bunch, but for the ‘artsy’ lot, you get the feeling that you’re invading their tranquility! But we survived, and turned a few to the ‘Dark-Side’;-) By the time we’d finished I think we had more people smoking and drinking in the back room than were hanging off the bar. We headed back to a friends house, sank a few bottles of wine, and passed out ready for the morrow – Portland, here we come!!

15th June - Sam
I got up really bloody early this morning to watch England beat Trinidad and Tobego 2 nil - come on England!!! The win pretty much put me in a great mood for the day. We rolled down to the Viper Room in Hollywood about 8ish, loaded the gear in and had a few drinks to get in the mood. We hit the stage about 10ish and had a great show and the crowd were awesome. After the show we proceeded to have a few drinks and catch up with all our mates. Hal got particularly wasted on Scotch and was a right mess - the most pissed I've seen him in a while. He managed to lose Driveblind's (a wicked band we're on tour with) van keys which was a nightmare, especially 'cause our lift back (Dave the Mountain Man) to the ranch had to leave there and then, so we couldn't help look for them. So we all apologised to Driveblind who were totally cool and said "no worries, we'll find 'em". After about 5 minutes of being in Dave's car I realise we're going in the totally wrong direction to home. I ask Dave where we're going and he tells us he bought a new car yesterday and we've got to go and pick it up. What the fuck, things turn from bad to worse! We eventually got to Venice Beach and pick up the van. Sid invited laods of people back to the ranch for a party and Hal sobered up enough to realise that he'd lost Driveblind's keys. So Dave and Hal headed back to the Viper and Sid and I went home in Dave's new car to entertain our guests. We eventually got a relieved call from Hal saying someone had handed the keys into the bar and all was okay. Thank fuck!!! All our gear was in tha van which would have made for a great ironic story if it had all been stolen - being named the thieves n all - but would have sucked the big one to lose all our stuff! I had pretty much totally sobered up by the time I got back to the ranch cause of all the stress. So a friend poured me a big glass of Brandy and we ended up having a pretty good party.

14th June - Sid
THE THIEVES - SPRING 2006
10th April - Sam
We wake up at Teal's house about midday and we've got loads of new clothes cause she owns a vintage clothes company and sorted us out in a drunken craze last night. Lord knows we need some new clothes, the ones we own are in rags from touring so much. Then Sarah, another friend of ours takes us over to her salon to cut all our hair. I've got the shittest hair cut ever at this point cause I cut it my self when I was in Spain - what was I thinking! So I get sorted, Hal gets sorted, then it's Jamie's turn - ha ha. When he gets back from his chop he has the most Emo cut ever. He's gutted to say the least and it's more than Hal and I can do to not take the piss. Jamie's favourite diss is "dude, that's so Emo!", so this is absolutely classic! It's gonna be a good week of taking the piss. We then hit the road. Got another long ass drive to get back to LA. We get pulled over by a cop later that evening which hasn't happened in a while (we learnt on our second tour that's it's bad to advertise our band name on the oustide of the van). He hasn't got much on us - we were driving about 5 miles over the speed limit. We put on the poshest English accents and say "I'm terribly sorry officer, we're a band from England don't you know". As cops go he's pretty sound so lets us on our way with a warning. We drive through the night...

9th April - Hal
We stayed in the most minging motel last night: I’m so oblivious to it now that I slept like a baby. The maid was banging on the door horribly early to get all the scum out in good time – we ignored her, obviously! We hit the road via a trip to steel internet from the better motels across the street. Job done, we searched for our prized Cracker Barrel (Breakfast for a Tenner) where stocked up on extra ‘Biscuits’ (like a soft Scon – not at all like a Hob Nob!) for the long journey home. Tonight’s show is the last one and then we’re to make our arduous drive to California. We made good time today and arrived early. With nothing to do, we got a Gatorade and sat in the local college to look at all the lovely young girls walking around in their little running shorts - naughty! Loaded in and I can safely say I’ve never seen a more rancid toilet in my life: I walked in to see a Cock Roach scurry away and nearly puked when the smell hit me. It was Grim…. and then some. I should know by now to use the girl’s washroom before the club opens: always a different story. Found Jamie was already there, so I prepared a nice ball of wet toilet paper and launched it over the top to interrupt what sounded like a lot of hard work on Jamie’s part! I was heart broken to find that the venue had just lost it’s license, so no booze! Shit! The day was saved by Squarewheel, who arrived with some 8% beer, like our Special Brew; it tasted like shit, but was just what I needed! We threw in a lot of older songs tonight that we haven’t played in a good while. We wanted to get them up to par for LA’s show on the 21st – worked a treat! This is what touring does for you, it engrains material into yr fingers: we played them pretty much as we always played em, a few lost lyrics, but I lose them at the best of times! After the show we grabbed some pizza with Dallas’ mighty Sara and Teal, along with Mr, Wyatt (good lad!) and then headed to the city as fast as we could for last orders. We ended up in the their local…and got shit-faced! The Chop was brought out and this changed my mellow mood into quite the opposite. There were some mad geezers in that bar! We got booted out as Sara sprayed the barman with some mixer…we scarpered back to Teal’s house and just carried on with the party. Teal is a Vintage Clothes supplier, so her house is a warehouse of the stuff. We dressed up for a few hours – as silly as we could find, stocked up a little, partied some more, and then crashed in front of some surfing video, which convinced me that I should be a surfer – at least it did then, but… Sharks!? It was then time to crash, so I made my exit and decided to bunk-up next to Sam who was already well and truly passed out. Ahhhh, Texas.

7th April - Sam
I got out of my skull (into obvlivion) last night, which is kinda rare cause I can handle my booze pretty well - usually. So not feeling to hot today! Luckily we don't have a show but unluckily we've got the longest ass drive ever to get over to Dallas in time for Sunday's show (over 1000 miles). We drive and drive and drive and drive and drive... and drive some more.

6th April- Hal
Last night was a great night with them Frauds lads: showed us the town, gave us a bed and didn’t let us spend a penny (we’ll have to get them over to England for a proper drinking session!). Obviously woke a little heavy-headed, but nothing a shower wouldn’t remedy. We snuck out passed the sleeping beast (who’d passed out on the sofa and was snoring and dribbling to cartoons) and left Ocean City for the scenic drive to VB. Scenic drive turned out to be the most boring, let’s get stuck behind old people observing speed limits by minus 20mph, I have endured thus far! So we arrived a little late, but the guys at the Peppermint were so cool and had food and beer ready for us: I’d asked for Newcastle Brown and Guinness on every rider, but every venue had assumed Miller Lite as one and the same, and it ain’t dammit! So I’d called them and said “pleeeeeeeeeeaaaaaase”, and they did it! I love Guinness! There were four bands playing tonight, which meant it was going to be a late one for us. But, we’d sold a shed-load of merch before the first band had even hit the stage, so tonight was going to be good! We eventually played around 1am, played a good set, nice and solid! It was wicked to see people singing along – this is only our second time in VB, it’s gonna be a good town for us! Superock were on as support again tonight and are a great bunch of lads. I found out that the bass player’s girlfriend had been arrested for streaking in front of George Bush at some protest – gotta love that spirit! And they invited us to stay at their house. So we burnt back to their place, met their crazy dog who was a source of sport for a good hour or two, and then watched The Hellacopters DVD – my favourite band of the moment….so I was happy chap and got to chill a little. Cheers!

4th April - Sam
We woke up in the van today, so a bit dizzy but our friend Caitlin, from Tornoto is in town and she's offered to take us to lunch, so it aint that bad. We haven't had anything but Pizza and Beer in days, maybe even weeks so the thought of proper food is unbelievable. We hit the streets of Boston and find an Irish pub (closest thing we could find to a bit of home). We all get Shepards Pie (they didn't have bangers n mash) and we even get desert - fat bastards we are - thanks Caitlin, you're wicked! We then hit the road for Philadelphia. It's a painful drive cause we have to go through NYC which takes forever! We eventually get to the club just after 8.30 and we find out we're meant to be on stage, like 5 minutes ago. So after a bit of a chat with the promoter we decide to ditch the gig cause there just aint no point. We're usually pretty hardcore when it comes to shows and never drop out but sometimes you just got to accept it. We decide to head over to see our friends in West Chester (just down the road from Philly) and meet everyone at another Irish pub - what can I say we miss the pub back home. After a good jolly up, my mate Kate (cheers darlin'!) takes me and Jamie for dinner while Hal gets drunk with Donnie (owns Rex's, the club we always play in West Chester), Bam and Ryan Dunn. When we get back Hal and everyone else is pretty much shit faced and Donnie offers up Rex's for after hours partying, so we head over there for booze and pool. It gets kinda blurry here, but I remember shooting pool with Ryan and everyone being hammered. When it finally gets time to hit the road Ryan says we can stay at his gaff, so we head back to his house and end up playing more pool and pinball in his basement. We finally get to sleep as the sun is coming up and the guilt birds are singing in full chorus.

2nd April - Jamie
We’re in Boston tonight we’re in early. We Get to the club and decide to go to the hotel, on the way we see that hard fi are playing also tonight, which pisses us off because we were due to be out with them, and they have a lush tour bus! Anyway we get to the hotel and chill watch tele for a bit then head to the venue. There’s just us and American minor playing tonight so we set up on stage the sound guy tells us we’re not getting a sound check, which is weird because it’s still early and we’re on first, so we can leave the settings set. Anyway then we find out that we don’t get any booze...!!!!!! this worries us Hal most of all. what sort of place is this ? what sort of place doesn’t look after a out of town band?? This is so shit man… when we get to play my drum monitor isn’t even on ! I can’t hear a thing I ask the sound man to turn it on but no! what a twat!! We get off stage and the A.M boy’s say we sounded great.. we get some pizza in and while waiting some dude orders up a slice. When he’s handed it he spends ages putting condiments on it, he turns around takes two steps and just drops the thing on the floor !!! oh my god me and Sam have to turn away to stop from belly laughing out loud. We turn to each other and say “cuntish” he turns around and say’s “don’t pretend you didn’t see that” we just piss ourselves! After he fights with himself about him just eating I say to him about the 5 second rule and that he should eat it.. but he doesn’t he gets a new one.. we head out!!

1st April - Sam
Last night was a big one. Jamie and I ended up at some friends house and I don't know where Hal is - we left him at the club about 4 AM last night. We finally track down Hal to the Van. I knock on the window and say where the fuck have you been? He's in a pretty bad state and doesn't really want to deal with me getting him up. We also left all the gear in the club last night so we have to load the van which isn't good for any of our heads. We hit the road and cut the miles up to Conneticut where we get a motel. Then we all fall into a coma.

31st March - Hal
Rex’s ain’t so much a gig, as a drinking session! We made the fatal move of going well over-board upon our first visit here and we’ve suffered the wrath ever since; we gave ourselves the reputation of being exuberant drinkers, and the relationship of such with the owner and staff – it was actually the Blood Hound Gang’s fault: we met them here and that’s how the whole messy session started: what are you going to do, say “no”? With this in mind, we arrived knowing what was to be. Tonight was also The Frauds last night out with us, so the send-off was set. We rolled into town relatively early. We’d hit the famous Cracker Barrel for breakfast on the way up from Baltimore with Eric and EJ (The Frauds). We gave them a quick education on how a touring band can buy a breakfast of Kings, for three, for under a tenner! Nutrition done, we headed into town and started to poster the place and find people that may know us. Got back to the venue, set up and then grabbed some shut eye before the festivities started: this had a chain reaction as every band passed out in sympathy. Snooze done, the night kicked off and the crowd started to roll in. Beer was poured and tales told. The Frauds played with venom and American Minor, who’d joined us on the beer front, stepped up with their own brand of ‘Southern’ venom (I think it’s the best gig they’ve played). By the time we got to the stage it was about 1.30am…. so it was a little messy – both up there and out in the crowd! Rex’s finally shut up shop and the Whiskey came out! America Minor stuck around for a good few, but Lord knows what happened to the Frauds? I’m writing this today; the night after, hidden in our hotel… this one hurts.. it was hard-core.. I woke up a crumpled mess in the back of the van, half dressed, ruddy faced and sweating at 2pm!

30th March - Sam
Baltimore tonight. We drive through wicked country side and get to the club about 7ish. There's been a bit of a cock up with the promotion and billing tonight and we find out that we have to actually go on first. It sucks but we get on with it and it turns out to be a good show. We also get Stella for the green (back) room which is a right bonus. I'm getting sick and tired of Bud Light - it tastes like piss water - I don't know how the yanks put up with it all the time. After the show we head back to The Frauds house and chill with them in their basement studio until the wee hours of the morning.

29th March - Jamie
We arrive at the club early, so we try to get a hotel. We end up driving 10 miles or so out of town, but in stead of getting a motel we get a cracker barrel. We head back to the club, and find the club has rolled out all the stops and there’s so much food… gutted!!! We get 6 drinks tickets each so we get into them… after the show Sam pulled so we hang out and eat left over's while he say’s goodbye. We head out to a motel.

28th March - Hal
Last night was a result! A Monday night, full and rocking? Bizarre! Woke up feeling good. We had tea, loaded up the van from our 2 days in Indianapolis and hit the road. Sweet Home Chicago.. this means Pizza Pie! Got to the venue, loaded in, sound checked and then headed off to find Pizza. We found a wicked joint called Gino East (which is apparently ‘world famous’, but then everything in America is ‘world famous’ according to the owners, bit like their ‘world championship’sports, played exclusively by Americans, in America!) even the cops were eating there, which makes for a funny sense of digestion; Cops and Thieves in the same room?! There’s pizza and then there’s Chicago Pizza: it’s not even comparable, it’s a totally different meal.. almost like a steak and kidney pie base, with the elements of a pizza thrown in – really good. Got back to the club and found it filling up nicely! Met old friends and watched all the bands kick out the Jams. It was a good night and all of us are getting better and better each night. After the show we were headed to a party, but our guide, who was a Chicago native, knew her way around the city as well as a blind French child! So we spent a good hour going back and forth until she conceded defeat and we took directions from elsewhere. Party missed we headed back to another house. This was Lori’s pad. Lori is a ‘kept’ lady, and her apartment is pretty amazing. I personally think we should donate her house to some homeless dude and enjoy the tale, but that’s another story! In a strange state of mind, we decided to cut the miles to Akron. I drove until about 6am and was truly snoozing at the wheel when I decided to stop and sleep. The lads had the bench seats so I took the floor. The good thing about the floor is that it’s so uncomfortable you actually prefer to get back up and drive instead.. so I did!

27th March - Jamie
The day started about half past 3, Sam heads out for an oil change and to do the post. When he gets back we have pizza and head out to the show. When we get there, the usual Monday night crowd is there (not many) but as time goes on and show time creeps nearer the bar becomes packed. It turns out to be a good show. After the show we head to Steak’n’Shake where we commandeer some server hats after talking to the whole of the restaurant we head out. We get home about 6 in the morning and go straight to bed.

26th March - Sam
Thank the lord, we have a day off today. We’ve been going at it pretty much since SXSW and we’re all a bit burnt out so a day off is gonna be wicked. We finally get up about 2.30, chill pretty much all afternoon until a friend of Rebecca’s (the girl we’re staying with) comes around and we get stuck into the red wine. After a couple of hours Rebecca’s friend gets very horny and starts telling us how much she likes it in the arse. I won’t go into details but it was a great conversation. After a wicked meal and some good conversation (cheers Rebecca!) we run out of booze so head over to Kelley’s house and get stuck into her bar. We end the night drunk as usual and watch ‘Good Night, Good Luck’ – good film.

25th March - Hal
My voice is so bust up now. I’m trying not to talk, but for a gob-shite such as meself, it’s nigh on impossible to avoid opening my big trap. Fortunately tonight is the last night I have to sing before we get two days off and I can give the old pipes half a chance to repair themselves. But, it’s Saturday night and we’re playing Indy, which is a good town for us – so I ain’t stopping. We got into town quite early and hit up our friend Rebecca who had prepared a fine, fine dinner for us of Italian Beef; in fact, it was so good we decided to postpone the moment until after the show – there would be no rushing of this feast! We hit the club around 9pm, where we met our promoter buddy Greg. Tonight was going to be good and the club was filling up nicely. I met a really cool dude called Cheez. I recognized Cheez from SXSW where he and his mates got into a good scrap with The Towers of London (who are another of my new favourate bands). I asked if he was the very same one, to which I think he thought I was one of them coming up for round two! When I congratulated him on such a valiant performance in the fight he settled down and we had a good laugh about it. So, show time. We played a good set, my throat barely made it but we got away with it. After us was a band called Human After Taste - who’d danced like nutters to our set. Now these boys ain’t normal, infact, they’re bonafide crazy! Dressed in a Camo Bikini, the big mountain man of a singer took to the boards. If he looked nuts his band looked even crazier: one was dressed as an ‘Aids Monkey (?), one was a downhill skier from the 80’s, one was a bondage bunny rabbit and one was an Indian Guru. They were nuts! We walked out after the show to find the After Taste engaged in a scrap with some old punks, we broke the fight up on account of the singer holding a huge cinder block and aiming it at his assailants head – first key of any gig you play: make friend with the hard bastards, the crazy ones and the dangerous ones, then you’ve some chance at surviving these adventures! So, night done, we got back to Rebecca’s and set about that Beef!

24th March - Jamie
We turn up to find American Minor have become a jazz band… There’s snow outside - cold again. We head up to the green room to get started on the beers and I find a bottle of jack, wicked I crack it open and get started. The show is one of our best, although there was one guy in the crowd who was so wasted he was bumping into the girls at the front Hal shout OI SORT IT OUT YOU STUPID DRUNK CUNT!! Very funny…

23rd March - Sam
Nashville tonight. Awesome city and the club we play here has one of the best sounds on the tour. The show goes well and the crowd is really good. We meet some girls that are on Spring Break in the crowd after the show and they offer to put us up at their motel. So we jump in the van and follow them. They get lost on the way and end up in the airport, where they get pulled over by the cops for driving crazy. We obviously don’t stop, cause cops don’t like thieves, so we end up getting a motel else where. Bummer!

22nd March - Hal
Last time we played Birmingham was with Nebula and it was a sunlight finish – which I hate: you know you’ve just killed the day! So we knew this was going to be a good night and we weren’t about to deny ourselves the party. To start with it was just the free water with piss in it – some people call it Miller, others call it Bud. But, with a little persuasion we elevated our kidney processing power to deal with the hard liquor! Nice. We played second and American Minor headlined – we’re rotating each night. Good thing about The Nick is that they don’t get going until around 10pm, so we hit the boards around 11.30 to a nice and loose crowd. I’m surprised how many more people are coming to see us each tour; we had a good crew down and they all wanted the party. We delivered just that and had a great show. We partied well beyond American Minor’s set, but were cautious enough to get out of there before sunrise. Ended up back at Lisa’s house… I’m told that I upset a young lady by passing out on the sofa, I can’t remember getting there or how I ended up on the sofa, but there I was!

21st March - Jamie
We hit traffic and come to a complete stand still we take a piss on the side of the road then I take a wander up the interstate to see what’s going on, but decide it goes on for miles so turn back. After about an hour or so we get moving. It’s so cold, here in Atlanta, Georgia tonight, I go for a coffee and get back just in time to set my stuff up. We head out soon after the show.

20th March - Sam
We’re playing the House of Blues in New Orleans tonight and it’s our frist night of the tour with American Minor and The Frauds. We’re wondering how the city will look after the hurricane. As we drive in, sure enough there are loads of buildings ripped to shreds and loads of caravans in the driveways. The good news is that there is loads and loads of building work going on, so people are getting back on their feet and putting their lives back together. The French quarter seems to be unscathed and still hits me as one of the coolest places on earth. It’s just got so much character to the place it’s unreal. The House of Blues in New Orleans was the first proper one to be built and the place is so cool. We hang out with the other bands and get to know each other over beers. They’re all top lads and it looks like it will be a fun tour with everyone on board. Take a walk through the streets with The Frauds and then hit the road to find a motel about 3 or 4.

19th March - Hal
Woke up late today, Shit! I wake up late everyday. Indeed, we have entered the realms of the unwell! Vampire’s blood is coursing through our veins; well that would be true if I didn’t feel so damn ill, cos ol’ Dracula never got ill: I need more red Steak, obviously! Today was about as exciting as a visit to the Pencil Museum in Lake Windermere. I just sat in the van… and drove! Our goal was Houston, a catch-up on myspace, and a night off – my voice is knackered and I’m not getting a chance to do anything but kill it off more and more as we play shows each and every night – not goodL - a night off is highly sought after. We have a good friend, Jessica, from Pro-Mark Percussion in Houston, she was going to cook up for us and let us crash at her place - nice. We took a little detour to the Houston Galleria where we knew there was a Mac Store. We insouciantly sat outside the store and started on our emails and myspace catch up. Job done, we headed over to Jessica’s where this star of a girl had more pizza and beer than the average tele-addict could ask for… so we set about the important task of Pepperoni and Newcastle Brown Ale and the video ‘Go’. Throat still thrashed though.

18th March - Jamie
It’s an early show so we get down to the venue at about mid-day. Which happens to be miles away from all the festivities on 6th st bummer. We have brekie at a dinner down the street. And then move it up to the venue, we get some free booze, and start setting up. The stage is soaked and “all the young dudes” goes through my head… after the gig we head down to catch the other band we head out with American Minor then down to Emo’s to catch the show of the festival Priestess who are wicked, then Datsons who were even better then Nebula who do a good one then Riverboat Gamblers who suck big big shit flavoured Cock! Then it’s The Hellacopters who are really fuckin good so on it, after the show we bump into ed from Nebula who pulls us on there’s and hellacopters bus wicked bus man we have some biffder and hang out then head out…

17th March - Sam
Tonight should be a good show. We’ve got ‘The Blue Vans’ show cause they had to keep up with their recording schedule and couldn’t do it. We head down to the Komado Records showcase to see our friends Diamond Nights again. Wicked show as always. We head off to our show and have a wicked show ourselves - best one of SXSW . After our show we hear that there’s a big party over at the Hilton, so we head over that way. The party is in full swing in a hotel suite on the 9th floor. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people crammed into one room. It’s a free bar so we get stuck in and I get absolutely mashed up. Some how we make it back to a friends house and pass out as the sun is coming up.

16th March - Hal
We were meant to be at the club for 10am this morning. But I knew when we said “yes”, we really meant “yeah, right!”. The club’s not got the best sound in the world and I passionately hate daytime gigs… but, it’s SXSW and that’s just the deal. Jamie Cullum is a friend of mine (Jazz meets Rock?). Jamie is on tour and was playing SXSW too, so he came down to meet us. What was cool is that one of the guys in his band used to work with me in a guitar store in Oxford – I hadn’t seen him for about 4 years! So that was cool. We had a few drinks and set about the task of the daytime show. It was alright! The Frauds were also playing and they join us on tour next week – good job too, turns out that they’re top geezers.. and you want to tour with the top geezers, not anal ones! Michelle from TVT records came down to see us and after the show she promised to take us out for dinner (when you live on Cracker Barrel, toast and noodles – the thought of a proper diner is beyond exciting!). Me and Jamie were getting pretty drunk at this point and as we chatted to Michelle some Flu Pills fell out of her bag, we drunkenly grabbed them and munched 2 each… I don’t know why, and I don’t know what was in them but we were speeding our nuts off on them! So we went into the heart of the festival and started the night off…We met up with The Vacation and Diamond Nights, who were playing a radio show in some hotel. Jamie and I were speeding like mad and The Vacation were distributing vats of wine around our small ensemble like dedicated French Vineyard owners! It was all getting a little out of hand when Morgan (singer of Diamond Nights) assured the interviewer that he would not swear on air, so I took the responsibility on and issued a big, fat naughty word (should have said Bollocks on refelction). As soon as it surged forward from my lips, they shut the show down and booted us all out. I felt really bad “sorry I ruined your Black Panther Party”, but my offers of an apology to the ‘ Nights were met with a positive response and the band prided themselves on getting booted off – cool! We ended up in Bull McCabe’s Irish Pub on 6th street where we totally missed dinner, but drank enough Guinness to make up on our nutrition!

15th March - Jamie
First SXSW gig in Austin we get some under age girls in to the venue as they want to see us play then they fuck off to find there mate who’s to fucked up to know where she is. After the gig we just head back to thieves HQ for the week (Adams), as it’s well late.

14th March - Sam
Wake up late and head into Austin to sort out posters and flyers. Go for dinner with some friends and Jamie the lucky git gets a free ticket to see The Strokes. So Jamie heads off to watch the show and bumps into the Towers of London who we met last year at CMJ festival and says we'll have to get together for a jolly up. Good lads. Hal and I end up at another show with some friends from LA and party with some nose candy. Then an after party later that night, well morning actually and a really late finish back at Adam's house again.

13th March - Hal
Day off today! Last night was a good crack and I woke up with the prospect of a free haircut, BBQ and dip in Adam’s pool. But, me being so lame, I woke up late! Adam was already out, making burgers and catching rays. I threw some tea on the stove and let the BBQ get smoking. It was wicked! If there’s 2 things Texans know about, it’s steak and BBQ’s! We met a really cool chick last night at the show called Sara. We drunkenly agreed to get our barnets chopped by her… I called her, tentatively, wondering if it was just drunken babble.. but no, Sara was at her salon, sicssors in hand and tunes playing. Sam stayed by the pool so it was just me and Jamie. Sara is a rock star hairdresser: she’d been out all night with us chaps and was still rocking when we saw her! And what a chopper! Best haircut of my life! We were heading for Austin but Sara persuaded us that we had to visit the best Mexican joint in Dallas… and it was! Good crack, so we rolled into Austin late tonight. Sam was already here and put dibs on the bed. We had a few beers and watched Harry Porter – felt like Christmas!

12th March - Jamie
Get in and the promoter takes us out to dinner, we have some great mushroom soup and a burger. When we get back Sam goes for a sleep and me and Hal, meet a crazy bird call Sarah who tells us she can do the highest rock kicks in Dallas (and for one I believe her) she also tells us she is a hair dresser so hal and I light up as we really need a cut, she tells us we can have a hair cut party… woo hooo anyway after the gig we go to a party and Sam got some chop. After the party we head back to Adam’s pad but he’s left the fuckin’ keys somewhere so he has to break in. well funny!

11th March - Sam
In Oklahahoma City tonight. Oklahoma is a wicked town and the people love to rick here, so it should be a good night. We roll up a bit late but when we get to the club there’s loads of people there to help us load in the gear (people here are just wicked). We have a wicked show apart from some twat in the crowd who’s getting a bit too excited and aggressive. After the show this guy gets arrested – I guess that’s Karma. We hit an after party with the 1st band and the boys from ‘The University’. F’ing wicked people here! We head back to an all girls house and crash. Top night!

10th March - Hal
Corey called earlier to say that he had about 6 pounds of Pork cooking on the Barby, slabs of Salmon, Corn Bread and Sweet Potato – so we weren’t to be late, and we weren’t to be sneaky and stop at a Cracker Barrel on the way;-) Of course we put the pedal down and got to Columbia as fast as our van would take us…. And Corey did not lie.. what a feast! I passed out like a snake that ate a deer for a while.. and then Corey cracked out some Boddingtons! Result! Wake up! We played with Corey’s band Megazilla tonight, who were great; he and Joey get better and better every gig. Joey plays drums and it was his 25th birthday, so the mission was on: the Eastside crew was in on it, and when we played I made sure the whole bar knew about it… it was shot after shot. It was a great night, all the bands were great and the venue was full of Columbia’s finest. This is a good bar – and apart from the huge Frat boy element - it’s a great place. We had a few late drinks in the bar and somehow we all got spilt up. I ended up back at Corey and Kate’s place, we had Joey dribbling in the corner, Tucker (the famous Coon Hound) throwing his snot all over the place, Kate trying to make sure Joey was still breathing (by serving him more booze!) whilst me and Corey put the world to rights – we would make a great Prime Minister and President I think! Touring has become a series of visits to old friends. Corey and Kate are some of the finest! We’ll see you in Austin chaps ;-)

9th March - Jamie
Wake up from the best nights sleep for days to find Hal and Sam got to the showers first, what does this mean you ask. I’ll tell you what it means, cold shower!! (although I have got balls the size of beach balls, and so horny I could shag a warm meat pie) THIS IS NOT GOOD. So I fire up the shower, freezing! I jump in holding me nuts wet my hair, turn it off, put shampoo in said hair and wash said nuts. Turn water on again and wash off as quick as possible. Job done. Hal hands me a nice cuppa to warm me cockles, thanks pal, we head out to Kansas …. Wow, Kansas….. Great…… This Drive is SO BORING BORING BORING BORING BORING BORING BORING BORING BORING BORING !

8th March - Sam
Bastardo, it’s the Rockies again. We almost died last time we were in the Rockies, spinning our van off of the ice covered road and ending up in a ditch. Half way through the journey we get notice on the radio that the main freeway we’re on, (the I80) has been closed. We have to take another route which takes forever and when we get to the next freeway (the I70) it’s also covered in ice, so we have to trundle on at 30 mph for the next 2 hours. After 11 hours on the road we eventually get to Denver (thank god) and go to meet our friends Rob and Shannon for a few beers. Ah, beer tastes so good after you’ve been on the road for 11 hours. We head back to Rob and Shannon’s, chill out and then hit bed. Pretty un-eventful day apart from seeing our friends.

7th March - Hal
Rolled into town well ahead of time. A mate in SLC met up with us and took us out to this really cool pizza joint that had a cinema in it; you order your pizza, and a beer, and then watch a movie – what a great idea – gotta get one of these in LA! And, as luck’d have it… we watched Johnny Cash’s, Walk The Line – wicked film! So pizza, beer and Cash done, we headed back to the Tiki… it was bare and empty; Monday’s and Tuesday’s are infamously hard for getting a packed house, but this was just taking the piss! Oh well, we’ve been here before and we’ll be here again, so we plugged in and were about to kick off when the door just started spewing people into the room; within 5 minutes it was all looking rather respectable. What could we do, but raise the flag and meet the game? So we kicked out the jams and let SLC have their Tuesday Night Rock Club; and it continued to get busier as we played – nice. After the show we had a few drinks and headed over to a party at Mike’s, the promoter’s, house. Things got good, I passed out.. and here I am eating pizza for breakfast…. Can’t beat that – well a full English fry-up, obviously… but, when in Rome…

6th March - Jamie
Wake up on the sofa with a bastard of a crook neck, and so knackered, but Hal’s got the coffee on so we should be fine in a bit. Jason and Chris arrive about 10.30 and we get straight into the bass.(after coffee of course) Sam cracks though it in a couple of hours and we move on to the Guitar. Half way through Guitar takes we go for lunch with the local music rag. We do the interview in a dark 70s dinner over 3 omelettes with hash browns. (sounds good, but the reality, not so much) so after photo’s and a quick chat we head back to the Studio. Hal finishes his guitars and we piss about laughing at each others vocal performances and I do the percussion at about 3.30am (I get offered the job of session block and tambourine player) the track is sounding killer, so then to bed for a well deserved kip.

5th March - Sam
It’s the first day of our recording session at Tonic Studios in Boise today – some friends of ours from Boise, (Jason and Chris) own the studio and offered to give us some time with them on production duties. I get a cab to the studio cause some how I lost the boys last night. We put a big pot of coffee on and get to work. Jason has about 4 drum kits, so we build a fat kit for Jamie with a 24” bass drum (Bonham styley) and get the amps plugged in and the valves cookin’. We jam most of the day through and I have to say Jamie’s drumming is on fire today. We hit bed about 3AM, totally knackered but content that we’ve got some killer drum tracks down. I get to sleep in the mastering suite which is totally sound proofed apart from weird sounds coming through the air vents which make an eerie ghost sound. I just watched ‘The Exoricism of Emily Rose’ the other day and it sounds like the demons from the film. In my state of sleepy delirium it kinda freaks me out but I’m too knackered to do anything about it… dead to the world.

4th March - Hal
I’ve said it before: this town kicks arse. It’s an oasis, some hidden little secret… or maybe it’s just me? Towns are made good or bad by the people you meet in them, and so, we’ve obviously met all the right people in this one – friendly, good fun people who aren’t scared to enjoy their weekend. Got into town early, loaded the gear in and went off searching for tucker! Lord, Jah or Allah have mercy; we found the best Curry House in America yet! Lawrence, KS had the title, now Boise’s got it!! With a start like this, you know it’s a gonna be a good night. We hit the beer hard to celebrate (and they had Newcastle Brown Ale – it’s just fateful this place!). We’re getting quite a good name for ourselves in Boise and whilst normally we play the better known Neurolux, the punters came out, they drank, they danced, they screamed and they partied! We’re recording tomorrow at the Tonic Room with our good friends Jason and Chris, who own the studio.. should be good… and I’m enough into the tour now to handle any type of hangover – professionals dammit! At Megans house now with Jamie, Sam got lucky else where….til the morrow, and til next time… Curry Curry Curry! Can’t wait to get back here…

3rd March - Jamie
So we’ve got a day off, already? So anyway we cook up dinner (a nice pasta piece and some good red) and watch a movie. The great Napoleon Dynamite, we piss ourselves laughing - such a bad, but at the same time, great movie. We all get to bed about 3am.

2nd March - Sam
Woe, we have to wake up bloody early this morning because we have a 10 hour drive to Portland. I don’t really have a hang over, I’m just bloody brain dead. We hit the road at about 8.30 and the drive is actually pretty nice because it’s spring and the countryside is coming to life. Lake Shasta is so serene and beautiful and I wish we could have stayed there for a bit longer. We soldier on all day and finally get into Portland about 7PM. We’re playing with our friends Polysics (a crazy Japanese electro pop/punk band) tonight and it’s set to be a goodun. After load in we catch up over a drink with another friend of ours called ‘London’ – she’s a sexy Suicide Girl don’t you know, who shot us (photos) last time we were in town. Then it’s show time. Hal and I hit the stage but Jamie’s nowhere to be seen – as usual he’s back stage chatting up some girl... Eventually he graces us with his presence and we rock the house. There’s a good crowd and we’re starting to get to grips with the new songs we’ve got in the set – rockin’! After the show we head back to our friend’s (Ed) house and have tea; proper English styley. Then bed at 4 for deep, deep, knackered sleep.

1st March - Hal
We were meant to be in San Francisco last night. We were going up early to get a head-start and ease ourselves into the next 8 weeks of touring; it’s important to ease in, if you can, especially if you’ve not done it in a month or two;-) But it never happened: we didn’t finish loading the van until 9pm and our bags at around 2am this morning! We got to Frisco, loaded in and then met our good mate Dan for dinner. Dan’s an old mate of mine from England - and what a fella; he treated us to Chinese food and shed-loads of beer! We got back to find the club filling up nicely. This was the first night of the tour and very satisfying to see people coming out to see us again. It’s always a little bit of a dusting off on the first night; good show though and so glad to be back out on the road. Before we played, some geezer grabbed my arm and said “alright Hal?!”. I thought I’d seen this fella earlier but dismissed it as impossible. Turns out it was Nolan, one of my old school mates from Oxford; he was on Holiday in San Fran with his lady and saw us in the paper, so rolled up! It also turns out he knew Dan (Oxford's a small city!). So we played the show, had some more drinks, got the gear packed, had a few more drinks and then headed back to Dan’s house to consume the mass of alcohol that he’d persuaded out of the barman’s hands. Dan had some old tapes of my school band, which he and Nolan knew well – all my friends lost their virginity listening to, or after watching, this band y’see!… poor Sam and Jamie, they were exposed to the worst music I’ve ever heard since getting past the age of 16 – remember Ned’s Atomic Dustbin? We were worse! So terrible! But Nolan was smiling, Dan was dancing, I was cringing, Helen was sleeping and Sam and Jamie were speechless! Early start tomorrow, heading to Portland; that’s a 10 hour drive! Well, we’ve started now, God bless all those sailing….!

THE THIEVES - US TOUR DIARY - AUTUMN 2005

10th December - Sam
This might well be the last diary entry for 2005 because of what happens later this day.

Today is a good day - it's Saturday and we have a show in West Chester which is always great for us. We get to the venue reasonably early, hang out and play pool and grab a pizza. There's a good band on before us who are from LA and the singer from the band is actaully Dave Davies' (Kink's guitarist for you flids out there) son. It is my mission tonight to get Jamie absolutely mashed up because firstly, it's his birhday tomorrow, so come 12 O'Clock it will officially be his birthday and secondly I need to get him back for getting me so mashed up before my morning Radio interview a couple of weeks back (the moisturiser in the tooth paste wasn't enough really). Hal and I agree that this is a great idea. So when we hit the stage at 1AM we're already merry and half way through the set Hal anounces that it is actually Jamie's birthday tonight and it would be great if everyone could buy him a shot to celebrate. Well, we were expecting just a couple of people to get him a shot but it seems as though a lot of people in the bar are on our wave length and want to get him messed up as well. So Jamie is passed about 10 shots of Jager, 4 shots of Whiskey and a couple of Tequilas. Amazingly he downs them all in about a minute - pounds them like a rock n roll trooper! Even more amazingly he gets through the rest of the set with out missing a beat - true professional! After the set it's a different story though. He is out of his face. He insists that he needs to strip - so everyone in the bar gets to see his ass. He is stopped from getting on the bar and doing a full nude strip and he's shouting "but you all need to see my cock!", the bar man doesn't agree but is pissing him self. After a couple of hours of swaying, saying how much he loves everyone and lots of hugs and kisses it is time for Jamie to spew. Hal helps him to the toilet and he spews for England - damn good thing probably because he would have mos def got alcohol poisoning if not. At this point I'm happy that I have got him back. The rest of the night and the following days are a blur... mashed!


DAVE THE MOUNTAIN MAN - US TOUR DIARY - AUTUMN 2005



9th December
Today is the final day of my job on the tour. At 11:30am I wake up and take a quick shower. Then we are off to Times Square to meet Sherry Ring for lunch. Sherry is an old friend of the band, and now she is the VP for publicity at RCA. We park outside the RCA building and go through revolving doors into the lobby area. There is a man in the lobby wearing hand warmers and he is playing a grand piano. The piano is surrounded by Christmas decorations. The big black security guard tells us Sherry will be down in a moment and she is. She greets the band and I introduce myself. We all go next door for lunch. She is a very kind woman. After lunch we say farewell to Sherry and head for Boston. I am getting closer to home now. The scenery becomes distinctly New England which is involves subtleties that I cannot put into words. New Hampshire has gotten 10 inches of snow. This isn’t much by New England standards but it is enough to spook the British into driving 40mph down the I-91. They’ve already had one experience with black ice. As darkness falls the flashing amber lights of the snowplows can be seen dotting the landscape. The Diamond Nights have already cancelled. We arrive in Boston at 8pm. The gig is at a venue called The Paradise. It does not live up to its name. We sit around and run up an expensive bill and then there is nobody there so we cancel. We catch up and drink Newcastles. Chelsea is at the venue and brings two girlfriends from BU. At 10:30 we all pile into the van and go back to their dorm room. We park on the street and have a snowball fight. I peg Jamie in the chest. Inside we drink vodka and cranberry juice and watch the Howard Stern show. By 1am I am thoroughly pissed on vodka. The silverliner is that the liquor warms me up so that when we go back outside to the van I am numb to the cold. I say farewell to The Thieves, grab my things, and I head off into the night to search for a cab.


8th December
Wake up and hit the road. We arrive in New York City around 5:30pm but get stuck in rush hour traffic outside the Holland Tunnel. We have to reschedule with a few people but it all works out in the end. We go into Manhattan and visit Kristy, another friend of the band’s who lives on the east side. We chill at her apartment for awhile. The apartment is small but cozy and neat. She has a small poodle that attempts to jump on our laps and barks constantly. She informs us that the poodle will pee on you if it gets too excited. Around 8pm we head out to the bar to meet with one of the band’s publicist. Kristy dresses the poodle in a pink hooded coat and takes it out for a walk. The poodle looks very upset and embarrassed. We go down the street and to a bar where we sit down with the band’s new publicist. Around 11pm Kristy comes to the bar and we follow her to a local Mexican restaurant for a late dinner. It is bitterly cold outside, colder than Toronto even. Despite the chill, New York is a very fine city. I may live here someday. We get back to Kristy’s. Around 3am I fall asleep on the hard wood floor.

7th December
Wake up around 9 am. The earliest I’ve woken up all tour. The Thieves arrive around 3pm and pick me up. We’re headed for Virginia Beach. At around 8pm we get to The Peppermint. We’re the second act and The Diamond Nights are the headliners. We park the van across the street and later get ticketed for it.The Thieves play a decent show. I drink beers and chat with Morgan who is the lead singer for the Diamond Nights. He used to work as an architect but got tired of what he called “the mediocrity of it all” and so he started a band. He says he likes to get into fistfights sometimes. He’s a cool kid. He tells me stories about the boys from Hot Hot Heat that I will not reiterate here. Morgan reckons being part of a band is sort of like being in a gang. I go out of the VIP room and help my gang carry the equipment offstage. The Diamond Nights play a pretty loose show. Seth, the bassist, used to fly jets in the United States Navy. Some of his buddies are down from Norwalk, VA. They all have names like “Ace” and “TJ” which is amusing to me. We argue with a cop, pay a parking fine, and move the van. We load everything into the van and around 1am we hit the road for New York City. We have to meet up with the band’s publicist tomorrow. I drift in and out of sleep in the back seat.

6th December
I wake up and boy, are my sinuses stuffed ;-) I try to go back to sleep but the sunlight is cutting through the room right into my face. Most everyone else is still asleep. I take a shower and around 3pm we hit the road for Raleigh. As soon as we get out of the van we are greeted by the irate sound guy, “You’re late!” There is a short confrontation where the guy goes, “Now you’re pissing me off” and Hal tells him, “And vice-versa”. This guy has his panties in a bunch because apparently we were supposed to start the show at 8pm although the email we have tells us 8:45pm. The Thieves are not happy. Finally a few other dudes come and diffuse the situation and help us unload and setup. We get a different sound guy and everyone cools down. The new sound guy will give the band the best sound I’ve heard all tour. The bouncer looks at me with a confederate glare. The Thieves and I drink beers at the bar and chat with a couple girls from Lawrence, Kansas. The Thieves go on at 9pm sharp and play another great show. Jamie almost demolishes his drum set (to wreck the sound guy’s mics) but wisely chooses not to. We’re in North Carolina and they have a history of lynching people here. After the show the Kansas girls invite us to stay with them in Fayetteville but I’ve already arranged for us to stay at some girl called Kat's house. As I am packing up the merchandise this girl in a Dalmatian print dress comes up to me and introduces herself as Andrea. She is very pretty and the Brits flock to the area as sharks would to chum. Disregarding the fact that I told Kat we’d be there at 1am we have a change of plans by popular consensus and decide to follow Andrea to her studio. The detour turns out to be well worth it. The studio is three warehouse sized floors of art and clothing. Sam looks at racks of denim jeans while the rest of us marvel at rooms full of water color paintings, acrylic paintings, window panes painted with “astronaut dogs”, a bird cage made out of two lamp shades with fake doves inside, paintings of cats smoking cigarettes. Suddenly everyone is very hungry so we go to IHOP for a 2am breakfast. As soon as we walk into IHOP we are spotted by a table full of southern girls who giggle and then ask us what the name of our band is (southern girls are very perceptive). They are delighted to learn that we are named “The Thieves”. Andrea drinks sweat tea and tells us stories about her travels with gypsies, her orphaned Indian Grandmother, and her Mafioso father. If she is lying she does it very convincingly. Around 2:30am we hit the road for Chapel Hill. The Brits have decided to stay at Andrea’s in Carrboro and so they drop me off at Kat’s around 3 am.


5th December
Wake up around 11am and hit the road. We stop at Walmart to get the oil changed and grab some food at Subway. The Brits notice that everyone inside Walmart is overweight and I’m forced to agree. Many Americans are fat. We eat and then Hal goes to check on the van. Outside it looks as though it might snow at any moment. It is about 40 degrees and I am wearing a t-shirt. The Brits are wearing coats and scarves and they say they are freezing. Sam drives and there is a storm coming up from the southwest and pretty soon we’re driving through mild snow drifts. The weather makes everyone tired. Around 7pm we arrive in Charlotte. The gig is at a place called The Tremont. It is wet and chilly outside. The Thieves go on around 9:30pm and play one of their best shows. Diamond Nights follow although I think their best show was in Oklahoma. We meet some North Carolina girls and go to the bar with them afterwards. I drink a lot tonight. We go back to Mercedes’ apartment and I sit on the couch and talk to a girl who is half Italian and has a butch haircut. Someone is crazy enough to bring up politics and we argue about the Iraq War for a while. Around 4 am we go to bed.

4th December
I awake to the sound of Jamie yelling that something is wrong with his toothpaste. He has certainly tasted, and perhaps swallowed, some of the moisturizer Sam put inside. The rest of the day his mouth will taste like shit but it will not be dry. We don’t get out of Sydney’s until around 3pm. We head back to the Shanghai Cowgirl to grab a late breakfast. The English drink tea and I drink coffee. Troy finds us, pulls up a chair and begins to tell us a bunch of crazy stories. Our waitress today is a bird named Chrissy. She wears camo pants and a Bovine Sex Club t-shirt. The diner gets pretty empty this time of day and so the cook sits with us as well. He shows us his new tattoos which cost him $500 – as much as the paintings on the wall. The tattoos are also done by the same guy who did the acrylic paintings. A bombshell blonde walks past as Hal drools into his tea cup. She sits down a few booths down, next to a guy with thick glasses and blue hair tied into pigtails. Troy informs us that they are married. “Lucky bastard knows what he’s doing. If you get a bird like that, you put it down in ink,” Jamie explains. Troy tells us a story about an incident he had in a bar a few blocks away. He is sitting at a table out on the patio enjoying a 50 cent draft. His girlfriend is in the ladies room. Some random dude sits down beside Troy and begins to drink a beer. Troy informs him that the seat is taken. The man ignores Troy. Troy holds his cigarette butt close to the man’s arm. The man swats the cigarette out of Troy’s hand. Troy takes his pint glass and smashes it across the guys head, knocking the man to the table and wasting a perfectly good pint. The table then collapses and Troy begins to beat the guy while he lies on the broken table. At this point Troy’s girlfriend walks out of the ladies room, sees the guy on the floor, and kicks him in the balls. So Troy and his bird beat on the guy until the owner comes, throws the man out of the bar, apologizes to Troy and his girlfriend, sets them up a new table and buys them new pints. Around 6pm we head out of the diner and next door to pack up our stuff which Troy has kindly moved into the back room for us. The Darkness is doing an interview in the front. We finish packing and hit the road. It will be about a 15 hour drive to North Carolina. We drive into the night, across the border into upstate New York, down through Pennsylvania and into West Virginia. At 4 am we stop for the night at a roadside motel.

1st December
Somehow we made it back to Laura’s. Sam has to wake up at 10am for his interview and he is still drunk. To get Jamie back for getting him piss drunk Sam has decided to put moisturizer in Jamie’s toothpaste. I get my passport via overnight mail. At around 4pm we head out for Toronto. We make it across the border without a hitch. This is good because Hal might have something stashed somewhere in the van that he lost. The sky is gray and the air is cold. We get to the “Bovine Sex Club” around 8pm. We do a quick sound check and grab a bite to eat at the diner next door. The diner is owned by the same people who run the Bovine and it is called “The Shanghai Cowgirl”. Every girl in here is gorgeous. In fact, all the girls I come across in this town are. I should move to Toronto. Our waitress is a beautiful Egyptian girl. One can’t help but notice that she’s spilling out of her low cut shirt. She looks at us expectantly. I’m supposed to be placing an order but I can’t concentrate. There is a lot of good stuff on the menu, it is hard to decide. Jill, the co-proprietor of the place comes by and chats with us. The Darkness is in town promoting their new album and the guys here know the band and are off out to meet them for dinner. Our waitress arrives with a cold pitcher of beer and our food. At 11pm we go to the club. It is already wall to wall with people. The Thieves play a terrific show. Much tighter than Toledo. Around midnight The Darkness show up at the Bovine. The owner opens up the back room for us and we drink Justin and Ed shot for shot. The Darkness are set to tour the US in May and there's talk of The Thieves opneing up for them. Hal and Justin then go onto argue about which amp is better: Mesa Boogie or Cornford. Hal sides with Cornford of course. They agree to a guitar amp show down in the near future. Around 5am we say our goodbye's to the Darkness, stumble out of the bar together and drive to Sydney’s (friend of Sam’s) place. I pass out on the couch in the hallway which is still plastic-wrapped. Toronto is truly a fun city I’ve decided. It has one of the highest concentrations of fit girls that I’ve ever seen. It would truly be paradise if it wasn’t so cold. That waitress was a fit bird. Tonight I dream of Egypt and the great pyramids. Outside the snow comes in drifts.

1st December
Wake up around 3pm. The Brits make us all baked beans on toast (some strange British meal that actually tastes alright). We head down to the gig at nightfall. It is only a couple blocks from Laura’s apartment which is good because tonight we might drink a little. Sam has a 10am interview tomorrow with a Phoenix radio station so the secret plan is to get him piss drunk so he has to do it with a hangover. The Underground lives up to its name. The bar is underground. The only way to get down to the stage is via a harrowing flight of wooden stairs barely 4 feet wide. We manage to get all the equipment in without breaking our necks. A job well done: we drink to celebrate. Sam and Jamie hit it off with a local girl. She wears a brown thigh-length polyester dress, pink eyeliner, and blue fish net stockings. She has her nose, eyebrow, lips, and ears pierced. Her attractiveness makes up for her fashion sense. I play doubles in pool with a girl named Amy. We play these two guys and although we are overmatched we manage to win 3 games out of 3. Meanwhile The Thieves are at the bar tipping back drinks as though prohibition was being reinstated tomorrow. Sam is laughing and beginning to babble. This is good because he will certainly have a hangover tomorrow and we can laugh at him. This is also bad, however, because in 20 minutes Sam has to go up on stage and play bass guitar. I can tell from the moment they swagger (stagger) onstage it is going to be an interesting show. Addressing the audience, Hal forgets what day it is. He thinks it is Saturday. Today is Friday. Jamie is hanging from the steel rafters like a monkey on crack and the show hasn’t even begun. I am supposed to support the band so after “Oh No” I bring them all shots of scotch. Later, Sam will not even remember taking the shot. One of the girls from the audience has to come onstage and feed him the shot. Halfway through the show, the compressor blows and catches on fire. There is a loud “pop” but nobody seems to notice the amps are so loud. Laura gets the fire out and they play the rest of the set without compression. After the final song, Jamie kicks over the drum set and nearly falls down. The show was loose but very entertaining. We go to a party on the 9th floor of a nearby building but the rest of this night is blurry for me.

1st December

Sometime before dawn I wake up. It is unbearably hot. I crawl out of my sleeping bag. Through the patio window I can see a dusting of snow on the trees. I carefully navigate my way into the kitchen. Somewhere in the darkness the 'coon cat is running about. Suddenly the 'coon cat attacks my ankles and I nearly drop my glass. I quickly stumble back to the couch and crawl into my sleeping bag. A few hours later I wake up and see that the ground outside is covered in snow. Rebecca sees that I am awake and brings me a cup of coffee. She is very kind. The Brits are sitting around watching the History Channel and once they see I am awake they begin discussing why Britain is a greater nation than America. I remind them who won the Revolutionary War. They remind me that America needed the French to help us. They also claim that they got the last laugh in 1812 when they sailed up the Chesapeake and burned the White House. They are sneaky fuckers. I should put moisturizer in their tooth paste. We leave around 2pm for Detriot. We get into the van and Sam cannot find his wallet. He goes back into the apartment to search for it but with no success. It is a long and tiring drive to Detroit. It is a cityscape full of chemical plants and car factories. We play at a bar called The Belmont. The inside of this place is art-deco. The walls of the bar are covered with surrealist paintings of women’s breasts. There is a glowing neon pool table in the center of the bar lit from above by a pair of black lights. We are hungry and so we unload and go down the street to a diner for a bite to eat. It is very cold. Our waitress is a skinny little thing with dark circles beneath her eyes. As soon as the Brits begin to talk, however, her eyes light up and she gets all perky. She skips off to place our orders and returns with water. While we are waiting for our food, a girl called Laura ducks in through the entrance. Laura is a friend of the band. She has blond hair, a round face, and is very tall. We’ll be staying at her place tonight in Toledo. She lives in a loft and her ceilings are 18 feet high. The Belmont show is pretty good and we get a free recording of it. We go back to Laura’s loft in Toledo. She makes us all licorice flavored tea which tastes like shit. Tomorrow we will go to a club down the street in Toledo called The Underground. Apparently The Thieves have a reputation of getting really drunk here.

30th November
Wake up at 1pm. It is beautiful outside. I notice that there is another girl at the house that I’ve never seen before. Her name is Heather and she’s a friend of Mary’s. Sam is writing up posters to mail to England for the January tour there. We eat breakfast at Cracker Barrel (where else?) I am very hungry and I eat one of the biggest plates of food I’ve ever seen in my life. The boys pat me on the back to congratulate me and I almost hurl. Jamie finds a mechanical parrot in the gift shop of Cracker Barrel and teaches it new phrases like “Cracker Barrel Crack Whore” and “Bender” and “Cunty Bollocks”. We say goodbye to Mary and the girls and head for Indy. Around 6pm we get to Indy. It is actually 7pm because of the time change but we’ve still got time to kill before the gig starts. The Thieves know this girl named Rebecca so we go to her apartment and chill for awhile. Rebecca is very kind and feeds us all meatloaf and some wine. I’m too stuffed to eat anything. Rebecca is a cute blond, with soft features, and lives with her cat which has a tail like a 'coon cat. Her cat attacks anything that moves. Hal invents a new word tonight: “Fucking asshole wanker cunt...” At nine we head for the gig. Some pudgy black woman is loitering around the van asking for charity. She says she’s homeless and hungry. Hal tells her we’re in the same boat. “In fact, we’re several thousand miles from home so fuck off”. The woman asks, “How far is the drive from England?” Hal responds, “It’s about 4000 miles, we took the new trans-atlantic tunnel maybe you’ve heard of it?” She has not heard of it. She wants cash for food and a bus ticket. I go into the van and grab a couple cans of tuna fish and some bread. “Do you like tuna fish?” She says that she likes McDonalds. I tell her she can have the tuna fish or nothing at all. She takes the tuna fish but not the bread. She thanks me and leaves. I help carry in the rest of the amps, drums, cymbals.... Then I go inside and sit at the bar. I drink shitty beer and watch the Duke game. Then I play a round of pool with Rebecca. The Thieves come on around 11pm. I sell some merchandise and drink some more beer. After 6 pints, loading up the van after the show is a bit of a challenge but I get it done. The homeless woman is back and this time she has a new orange skull cap. She wanders into the bar for a moment but they throw her out. We go to Rebecca’s and eat leftovers and drink wine. I fall asleep on the couch.

29th November
Wake up refreshed. Mary makes us all coffee and her friend brings us breakfast from McDonalds. Hal gives the girls an album for their kindness. They put it in the stereo and we listen to it. The girls really like it but can’t believe that it is Hal who is singing because the voice is so different. Today is a good day. Last night’s show rocked, I got a massage, breakfast, and now we have a night off before Indianapolis. Hal and Sam go out for groceries. It is all veggies, soy products, bottled water, organic peanut butter, pasta, olive oil, spices. Good for Mary. We should follow her example but organic stuff is pricey and eating healthy is not a big concern for us at the moment. Mary is at a yoga seminar at the moment so I sit down and watch some TV and read a magazine article about the recording sessions of Nirvana. Around 9pm the brothers return and Sam cooks lasagna for us all. We eat and watch a couple movies. I go to bed around 3.

28th November
In the morning I wake up to find Jamie and the girls staring at me. Apparently I’ve been talking in my sleep which is a bit embarrassing. Sara and Marissa have left for school so the rest of us go to Cracker Barrel for breakfast. The British love Cracker Barrel. We are seated at the biggest table in the restaurant. I can feel people staring at us. When you travel with a British rock band it is difficult not to stand out in Midwestern towns. Most people here wear overalls and John Deer hats over their cropped hair. The band is a blur of shaggy blond shoulder length hair and wear women’s jeans, leather and denim jackets, scarves, and plaid hats. Our waitress asks us all sorts of questions, and not about food. We are trying to travel low key. The plan is that if anyone asks: we are construction workers. At the last Cracker Barrel the boys admitted they were in a band and pretty soon the whole restaurant was gathered around the table asking for details and autographs. All the Brits want to do right now is eat their biscuits and apple butter in peace. Our waitress doesn’t buy the construction worker claim. We are forced to admit that we are actually in the army - The Queen’s Brigade to be exact. She is a country girl but she still isn’t buying it. So we finally tell her that we are The Thieves and we’re on our last 2005 US Tour. She doesn’t look like she believes us. That is good.

We get into Champaign around dusk. It is cold and windy. The gig is at a place called The High Dive. We are pretty excited because this renovated theatre has our name up on the play bill above the entrance in lights. The inside of this venue is the largest I’ve seen so far. I hope a lot of people show up even though it is a Monday. The first band to play is a trio of girls called; “The Cock Blocks” and they are humorously bad. The next band isn’t worth noting. I meet a couple kids from Illinois that know The Thieves.The other kid, Kevin, is a short, ruddy-faced, 30-something year old who talks a lot. Reminds me of a Hollywood agent except he doesn’t have the right look and he’s wearing jeans and cowboy boots. We know his brother, Sean, this kid I met at this crazy Halloween house party in the Hollywood Hills on October 29th. I went to that party with my Canadian roommates and Sam. It was a costume party and we didn’t have costumes. There was a big scary black dude at the front door with a list. Sean is the kid who got us in. The highlight of that house party (the house was probably worth about $5 million) was watching this kid slide across a hardwood floor and slam into a sliding glass patio door shattering it instantly. Okay, I’m getting off topic a little. The Thieves play a great show with a lot of energy. There are not too many people at the venue because it is a Monday but the people who are there get a really good show. The guitar solos tear the place up. After loading the van we are all pretty hungry. I recommend Steak and Shake so we all head over there. We meet 3 girls inside Steak and Shake and invite them to sit at our table. They love the accents. Pretty soon we have a place to crash for the night. $60 in hotel fees saved. We go back to Mary’s house and play some games. Mary is a professional masseuse and is experimenting in Thai massage therapy. I tell her she can experiment on me and she does. I get a nice massage and drift off to sleep around 5:30 am.

27th November
Wake up in the middle of the night. I’m being assaulted by this repulsive odor. I try to breath through my mouth but can’t avoid the smell. There is a litter box at the foot of my bed. I am too lazy to open a window. I am too afraid to get up and open the door, lest I step into the litter box holding this cocktail of shit and urine. Drift off to sleep, wake up, drift off again. I finally crawl out of bed and I am surprised to find out it is 1pm. Nobody is in the house except me and the cats. I take a seat on the couch and the big white cat climbs onto my lap and starts purring and kneading my jeans. The little gray kitten comes near and the big white cat hisses angrily. I get up and leave the room and the little shit factories follow me into the next room. Corey, Kate, and the boys come back a few minutes later. They were taking a walk in the woods behind the house. The kitten is even more excited now than it was before and darts around like it is possessed. We head downtown to the record store to hang some posters. We head out to Saint Louis and arrive there around 6pm. This gig is at a restaurant called, “The Red Sea”. It serves Ethiopian cuisine, has a full bar upstairs, and a stage and sound room downstairs where The Thieves will be playing. As soon as we step out from the van we get bum rushed by this kid who introduces himself as “Dave”. Dave apparently has heard all sorts of stories about us - rumors is probably a better term. For instance, he heard that we played with Queens of the Stone Age. Hal quickly dispels that rumor. The sound man knows some people and hooks us up with free drinks upstairs. Not just well drinks and domestics but any drink we desire. Awesome. I sit upstairs with Sam and drink some local pale ale brew. The bartender is a cute bird with dark hair and brown eyes named Quesa (as in “Quesadilla” she tells me). Here comes Jamie, trying to work his magic. “You’ve got a lovely pair of earings” he tells her. She continues to clean a pint glass. So far it doesn’t seem like Jamie has it tonight. It’s alright he’s just getting warmed up. All the waitresses want to know where we’re from. “Oh, we love the accents.” Quesa tells me she is having trouble paying rent and recently dumped her longtime boyfriend so we tell her she should come on the road with us. The Thieves start their show about 10pm and I hang out in the sound room and make sure the levels are correct. “These guys are way to good to be playing in a place like this” the sound guy remarks. After the show Corey and Joey help us clean up. We go upstairs and each have a shot jager and redbull. Quesa tells me she wants us to go to this bar on the corner called Delmont’s. We decide to crash at these other girls’ apartment because we are sure we all have a place to sleep that way. We follow Corey and Joey to the apartment, a high rise beside the gateway arch. The girls make us macaroni and cheese to eat and give us beer to drink. This is what it’s all about. Jamie, finally getting warmed up, asks the girls if they’ve ever seen a foreskin. Unfortunately they haven’t. Melissa really wants to know what one looks like so Jamie takes her into the bathroom and shows her. She comes out with a big smile on her face and tells the other girls, “It’s like a turtleneck!” I’m sure Michelle would agree. On that note it is time to go to bed. Once the lights go off, Melissa and Marissa are sharing the Queen size bed together. They claim they need a volunteer to join them in the bed and naturally Jamie is under their bed sheets before you can say ‘foreskin’.

26th November
Wake up on the floor of the Day’s Inn. It is 11 am and we must hit the road soon if we are to make it to Missouri in time for the show. Sam, Hal, and Jamie have not played a gig in four days and they are itching to get back into action. The maid comes in while Sam and I are getting packed and Jamie is getting dressed. She is a little confused and doesn’t speak any English. Nobody speaks Spanish, so I try my best to explain the situation to her. My Spanish is so poor that I have to speak in Italian, although she seems to understand alright. I explain to her that we’ll be leaving in 20 minutes and to return. While I am explaining this to her, Morgan from the Diamond Nights, waltzes into the room barefoot in flannel shorts, a cutoff t-shirt, and a scarf. The maid nods her head and exits the room. Morgan apparently went to lunch dressed that way and all the locals in the joint were staring at him. Michelle and Jamie say their farewells then we all crowd into the van and hit the road. We get into Colombia, Missouri around 8pm. Meet up with this cool fella named Corey who is the bassist for a prog-rock group called Grand Canyon. He hooks us up with free beer and pizza at the local pizza joint called Shakespeare’s pizza. After eating dinner we go to the bar which is called The East End. It is a smokey little joint with an old style jukebox, pool table, and movie posters from the 1950s with titles like, “Invasion From Mars”. The bouncer at the door is nicknamed “Big Pants” - I’m told that if I call him “Fat Pants” he’ll sit on me. He must weigh close to 400 pounds. We park the van in the middle of the street and unload. There is free beer for us tonight which is great. First act to play is this kid who plays along on guitar to this techno-synth beat. At one point he raps which is the highlight of the show although he sounds like an Eminem knockoff. The Thieves begin a little after 11pm. I watch the merch stand. The show is a bit looser than normal. Afterwards we pack up the van and catch Grand Canyon’s show. They play very well. We get invited to a house party but we’re going back to Corey’s for beer. Some random guy tries to sell us a bottle of hydro-codeine that his grandma left him when she died recently. We get out of the bar and tail Corey to his house where we meet his wife Kate and their coon hounds. They are very sweet dogs. The female coon hound takes a liking to me and sits next to me on the couch sniffing my face. The boys find this amusing. “This is the best I could do tonight fellas”. Everyone passes up the bed in the guest room so I take it. Then I find out why everyone passed it up. The whole guest room smells like cat litter. I am too tired to care right now.

25th November
Wake up, eat some more turkey. Turkey, I learn, has a drug in it that can make some people sleepy. Sam is having a lot of trouble staying awake this morning. We are watching a football game on high volume and he is sleeping on the couch with a cup of coffee in his hand. I think he ate too much turkey. Hopefully he’ll be awake for the show tonight. We head off for Oklahoma City. The miles stretch on. We see nothing but empty corn fields, cow pastures, and the occasional water tower. We get to the show around 7 pm and there is a line outside the show about 100 yards long. It is full of teenyboppers mostly, here to see Hot Hot Heat. We park the van a block away and grab a beer at a nearby restaurant. After the beer we skip the line and walk into the club. I see Chelsea selling merchandise for the Red Walls. Hal hits it up with the other merch girl who is really hot. The Hot Hot Heat merch guy is doing a lot of business to hordes of fifteen year old girls. The Diamond Nights go first and do a great show. Their lead singer, Morgan, has a great onstage presence and a good voice. The Red Walls go on next and for me they are all style and no substance. They do their songs very well but there is no diversity and it is all too clinical for me. Hot Hot Heat comes on around 11:15 pm. They play a good show in my opinion – it also helps that I’ve heard most of their songs. After the show we head next door to a cowboy bar with some of the fellas from Diamond Nights and Hot Hot Heat. End up drunk back at a Days Inn about 3 or 4AM.

24th November
Head out around 9 a.m. The ride to Dallas is uneventful but once we arrive at Adams parent’s place the real fun begins. We meet the entire family including Adam’s mom, dad, older brother Chip and his wife, and his 92 year old grandmother. Adam’s family is very religious. Hal and Sam are worried that they’re going to have to say a blessing at the dinner table. If it comes to that Hal is going to say something like, “Thank you dear Lord for the food you’ve given us here today…and for all the food you didn’t give those Africans.” I speak with Adam’s grandmother. She is surprisingly alert for her age and tells me stories about her youth. During the 1950s she lived in Memphis with her husband and saw Elvis regularly around town before he got really famous. It is time for dinner and the food smells delicious. First though, we hace to stand in a circle, hold hands, and give thanks. I hope Hal does not make a comment about the Africans. The blessings go well. We stuff ourselves and then go into the TV room to watch some football. Les (Adam’s dad) makes acoustic guitars as a hobby so there are a lot of guitars lying around. Hal grabs one, tunes it down to G, and tears into a blues lick. Eventually Sam grabs a guitar as well and improvises a bass line. Around 8pm we go to the bar with Adam and his brother. The bar is dimly lit, smoky, and pretty much empty. It is called the Double Wide. We each pull up a stool and order some Guinness. Drinks are on the house tonight which makes the draft taste even better. Ryan is a wellspring of crazy stories. He tells us with childlike enthusiasm about his high school glory days when he used to skateboard and hot wire construction machinery. Many nights he and his friends would hot wire construction equipment parked on school grounds and take the bucket loaders for a joy ride. They would tear up chain link fences and the turf on the football field. This does not seem like a very Christian thing to do.. I order a Jack and Coke and talk to this kid next to me who surveys oil fields for major companies like Exxon and Mobil. I learn about a subject which doesn’t really interest me at all. I think being a roadie is a much more fulfilling career. There are a lot of perks. When you survey oil fields I assume you cannot drink on the job. I chew on the ice from my Jack and Coke and order another. It is about 10:30pm now and the place is starting to fill up. Ryan has left his stool and now Sam is chatting with a couple big-boned women. Pretty soon it is time to take off, go back to the house, and eat some leftovers. Leftovers are one of the best things about the Holidays I think. Back at the house we pile on the food. I clean my plate and head into the loft for a nice zzzzzzzz.

23rd November
Wake up, but not completely so I go into the kitchen for some coffee. Another lazy day in Texas. I go upstairs and get on the Invertor machine which is a lot of fun. You basically strap yourself into this machine and then it tilts you upside down and you just sort of hang out, no pun intended. So I was hanging out and reading a book for part of the afternoon. The only problem I have is that the blood rushes to my head and when I get off the machine I stumble around for a few minutes and feel a bit nauseous. In the evening we head into downtown for some beers at the Hard Rock Café and a light show. The show is a Pink Floyd cover band from Australia. I’m not a huge Pink Floyd fan to begin with and the cover band is a bit too “clinical” (as Sam put it) for my tastes. It seems like they are just going through the motions and there’s no real energy to the show. I imagine I’m back on the Invertor machine and dose off for most of the show. The highlight comes when they project images of George Bush, Bill Clinton, and Saddam Hussein on the screen during one of the songs. I’m not sure what message the show promoters are trying to get across but a lot of the people at the show stand up and applaud (at the Bush images as well as the Saddam images?). We duck out around 10 o’clock and head back to Chelsea’s to watch a movie, eat some pizza, and relax.

22nd November
This is not the hard life on the road I’d expected. Today I wake up around 1pm and Chelsea’s mom takes us out to a Tex Mex steak house. I get some fajitas and beer. Lounge around the house and make mixes for the road. Sometime before dusk Chelsea, Hal, Sam, and I head out to RICE University to do an on-air interview with KTRU, the local radio station that broadcasts to 4 million in the Houston area. Hal and Sam ace the interview as I take some photos. Hal tells the black ice story and afterwards the DJ lets us play some tracks and read public service announcements. Hal and Sam sign some posters for the DJ and then we head over to the Galleria to fix Hal’s computer again. This mall is huge, I’m sure we would easily get lost if it wasn’t for Chelsea. We chill out at the Mac store and surf the net. Hal gets his HD transferred to Sam’s external drive. The problem is with the video card and it will require some serious work. Afterwards we head on down to the record store to hang up some posters. Chelsea is going to try and get us all on the guest list for a show next week with Hot Hot Heat, Red Walls and Diamond Nights in Oklahoma City which should be a lot of fun. Tomorrow we are going to the Aussie Pink Floyd show in Houston.

21st November
Wake up around noon again. Chelsea’s mom treats us all to Denny’s for breakfast. Afterwards Hal and Chelsea head over to the Mac store to get Hal’s computer fixed. Sit around the house for most of the day surfing the internet. The Thieves’ website gets loads of hits today. For dinner we have fried chicken, potatoes, rice and beans, and rolls. There’s nothing like good old southern hospitality. Dinnertime conversation is interesting. We learn that Chelsea’s family used to have two rabbits in a pen outside. Tragically, their neighbor’s Daschund snuck into the yard one day and in cold blood killed them both. This had a traumatic effect on Chelsea’s family and there is going to be a court summons for the neighbor’s sometime in the near future. After dinner we watch a bunch of music videos by The Killers, Green Day, and The Red Walls. I drift to sleep watching a movie called “The Postman”.

20th November
I’m the last one to wake up around 12pm. We have some lasagna and garlic bread for breakfast. Afterwards we lounge around the living room and watch the Cowboys play the Lions. The Brits are bound to get an education in American football while touring the South. The game ends and we hit the road for Houston. We get into Dan’s Electro around 8pm. The bar staff are all really friendly and treat us to free beer and pizza. The Thieves are the main attraction tonight and we’re bum-rushed by throngs of aging hippies. Sam gives me a 2005 tour t-shirt to help me fit in with the band. Several people, including the bartender, mistake me as the drummer. If I could fake a good British accent I would play along but I can’t. Everyone at the bar is really friendly and even the bouncer helps us unload and set up the equipment. The Thieves start around 1 am. The show is good but because it is Sunday (Monday morning to be exact) they are playing to many empty seats. After the show we load up the equipment and collect our cut. We follow Chelsea back to her place and meet her mother, Charly. Charly has been expecting us and the kitchen counter is garnished with apple pie, turkey, macaroni & cheese, ice cream, coffee, milk, whipped cream, and countless other treats. There’s nothing like southern hospitality. We dig into the apple pie and around 4 in the a.m. we hit the hay.

19th November
Step off the plane, head over to the baggage claim to get my stuff, and hop on the first bus downtown. I arrive at the club around 7pm and it is pretty quiet. The Thieves are scheduled to go on around 10:30pm. No sign of Sam or Hal yet so I decide to wait outside. I must look like a hobo with my backpack on and sleeping bag slung across the left shoulder. There’s a hot dog stand in the parking lot and the sweet aroma of hot dogs mixes with the smell of beer and cigarette smoke. Sam and Hal come around the corner and Sam looks right at me for a few seconds before recognizing me. We go into the club and I meet Jamie and Michelle. After helping unload the van we go to get drink coupons. They provide two coupons per guest and their limited to domestics and well drinks which seems sort of lame. Sam is not pleased. The first band isn’t playing (Sensation Junkies) because Christopher Blu got busted in Lawrence, Kansas with over a pound of some sticky icky. The story goes that he was out catching a breath of fresh air and walking his dog when a cruiser pulled up alongside and offered him a ride back to his vehicle. He accepted the offer and upon arriving at his vehicle the cops took the liberty of searching the vehicle upon which they found the Christopher’s stash. Bail is set at $10,000 but the real tragedy is that the innocent canine has also been incarcerated in a Lawrence county kennel. While I ponder this scenario, Hal and Sam are called away for an interview. I play some pool with Michelle and then the first act is on. The first act is not my cup of tea so I go back into the bar and pop a few quarters into the jukebox. Soon it is 10:30 and time for The Thieves to come on. The show rocks and the new smoke machine lends a nice theatrical touch. Afterwards I help pack the van and then we go back inside to listen to the final band, Grady. Their front man can play a killer slide guitar and the show is very entertaining. The bar begins to clear out around 2 a.m. and we hang around for our cut which is slightly less than expected. Around 3 am we finally head out to have some Enchiladas Verde at Adam’s pad.

THE THIEVES - US TOUR DIARY- AUTUMN 2005

18th November - Hal
I think Sam and Jamie suffered on the Pizza last night cos Jamie was complaining of a tummy ache, and Sam was living out Jamie’s nightmare on the pot. Fortunately I’d risen first and taken a shower. Again, we missed check out time… so here’s a little clue for the innocent traveler: always pay in cash! Anything you put on a credit card can be charged further, like overstaying and damages. Paying cash, and cash being King, gives you the option of relatively not giving a shit as to what’s written on the piece of paper! So we’re pretty much always late out of our rooms, not by laziness (well, Jamie yes) but by principle! We head for OK City. Last time we played here was a blinder…. And if my memory serves me well, there was quite a good turn out of nubile young women in Oklahoma for our last show. This was another easy drive so we pull over by a Best Western Motel and make the most of their WiFi. Emails done, diaries loaded and venue’s contacted we make our final descent into OK City. We all shit ourselves when we see the club, VZD’s. It looks like a bloody wine bar for the senior citizens of Oklahoma! Me and Jamie are all up for eating some food drinking some of the rider and then bailing ship! But we’re told that after 10pm the club turns right around and becomes a rock venue… we start to settle down accept it as not so bad an idea to stick around. There’s a little trouble with the beer tab.. they’re saying half price and I’m saying never! First rule of rock is that the beer’s free! So I call the booking agent and he confirms “FREE BEER DAMMIT, it’s in the contract”! He then tells me that Chrispoher won’t be making the show tonight, in fact probably the rest of the tour, and he’s hinting that means for 2006 too! Turns out Chris got nicked with over a pound of weed on him in Kansas and is currently having a full cavity search committed upon his fare bottom. Bail is set at $10,000, they’ve impounded his car, and his new dog! And no-ones got 10K to help the dude out. Well, we raise a glass in the boys’ honour, hope his sexual orientation isn’t too important an issue for him, nor for his poor young new puppy dog either. So this is bad news and jokes aside, is a real concern. Another band is called to take his place, we eat and drink and the night gets delayed as singer/songwriters take to the stage one after the other. It’s good though. We hit the stage around midnight and I think we play a pretty fair show. We were a little despondent though as a lot of the crowd that had come out to see us play got turned away at the door for being one year shy of 21? This fucking pisses me right off: this country says it’s OK to hold a gun and blow someone’s head off at the age of 18, you can drive a car and kill a whole car load of other people at 15, but you can’t go and buy a beer and watch a rock show until your 21? So a good time and a frosty brew is not allowed, but killing and operating hard-core machinery is just fine? Am I the only one who’s forsaken logic in this department? This is why British rock leads the field: we start going to shows and having a little – or a lot – of booze between 14 and 16; shit I’d probably played over 300 shows by the time I was 16! Grrrr, makes me mad!! So, these cool kids all get sent away – if you’re reading this, respect to ya, and we’ll try our hardest to play a club you can get into next time – big time apologies. So we play, the crowd’s a cool bunch, we whack a few beers back after the show and then cut the miles for Austin, TX. We last about 15 minutes and then opt for a motel room. Poor ol’ Chris, he’s probably jawed through his teeth by now wondering why he carries so much weed on him, and the poor rock kids are probably despondently passing a joint between them commiserating over the missed show, but toasting people like Chris for bringing such fine weed out of California to their fine city…. And the kids who are 18 and getting their heads blown off on foreign soil probably wish they could trade places with either Chris or the rock kids. And oh shit, I just got political… I should go to bed and come up smiling tomorrow. Night y’all.. and peace – for real!

17th November - Jamie
I feel like a that big yellow bird from Sesame Street took a giant dump on my head, I’ve broken the first rule of being a musician and got up before noon… It’s 9.30AM ! I’m in a hotel room with two lovely ladies, who were kind enough to let me crash in there room…. They get me up to say hello to steel train who also played last night, they look how I feel, Shit ! anyway I get my shit together and head out to meet the boys who opted for a party. I have to hang out for an hour or so, I hit the record stores, in the first one I find a mc5 box set, I get it and move on. Walking down the main drag I find a music shop so go in, they have some really cool custom drums hand made by the owner of the shop, who I talk with for ages about drum shit. He gives me some free shit and I go meet up with Hal and Sam for a curry.

Say Lawrence Kansas to any other person they’ll think of KU but to The Thieves it say’s best curry in the states, and being British we should know… so our host says that he works at a curry house that’s really cool, so we’re like wicked, Vindaloooooo vindaloooo ! but when we get there it’s a pissing Thai place. Now don’t get me wrong I love Thai food, but it’s been bigged up as a great curry place, and we’re in Lawrence, we want Indian !! anyway so we order the Thai red curry and when it arrives we dig in but Jesus is it hot, it kick my arse…. You’d need guts of steel to be able to digest the said curry. So we say our goodbyes and head out to Oklahoma, we drive a couple of hours and get a motel. We get in and get some pizza, I think it goes straight to Sams guts because goes in the bathroom and we hear the loudest fart, we just crack up. We get an early night, we’re all out by 3.

16th November - Sam
After a couple days rest we’re back on the road again. The show tonight is in Lawrence, Kansas and the drive through Kansas is the most boring thing ever. The road just goes on and on with no change of scenery what so ever, just field after field after field. When we finally get to Lawrence we get a beer at the club we’re playing at then go and check out another band called Steel Train. Pretty safe stuff but tight and good harmonies. We eventually get on stage about 12 O’Clock and do a rockin’ show followed by a few shots and a party back at a guys house called Bill. I must have been drunk because I ended up in a conversation about politics and theology.

15th November - Hal
I awoke to luxury this morning. I was the last one to wake up but found myself in the basement of a very well kept and comfort-driven home. I had a day off, internet, proper tea, a shower that jetted rather than dribbled and a nice cat to keep me company. After I’d showered and settled into tea and email mode, Sam came down asking if I fancied an Indian for lunch (and oh boy, do I love all that is Indian!!). So our fare host, Shannon, arrives home from work ready to dine. She presents us with a bag of hats and gloves to choose from as a means of enhancing our survival, should we take a more serious crash in the snow on our next outing. So armed with warm hands and heads, we head out for the local Curry House. At lunch – which was amazing: buffet curry (so plenty of choice) and Tiger beer - Shannon tells us that she’s taken the day off work. Now, we’re all knackered, particularly me as I’d driven 10 hours straight over the Rocky Mountains yesterday, so was this a blessing, or a curse? Shannon says that we could have a few beers, go and watch a few movies on their ‘comfort-driven entertainment system’ and then go out for dinner. We protest on the basis of being absolutely skint, but Shannon persuades us of the plans’ merit! So we agree, and rather than being sensible and cutting the miles through Kansas, we find our selves watching ‘Starsky and Hutch’, followed by ‘Punch Drunk Love’. We then depart for dinner; my day just got even better: Curry for lunch and now I’m about to demolish a load of fondue! Fondue has to be the most sociable style of dinner ever invented, apart from Guinness;-) We went the whole hog: cheese fondue to start, followed by a fondue of heated oil, which cooked whatever took your fancy, and then a fine chocolate fondue for desert…. I mean, does it get any better? We return home, merry, and get stuck into ‘Anchorman’. That’s one curry, 3 movies and 3 fondues - and a cuppa tea – all in one day. I get to sleep in the fine basement again and simply look forward to another cuppa in the morning before the arduous task of getting to Lawrence, KS begins. Night y’all.

14th November - Jamie
We start out nice and early as we hear there’s a storm coming in over the rocky’s, we really don’t need to get court in the mountains. We don’t get far before the snow starts and it’s dodgy, the roads are covered in snow and ice, we take it nice and steady. I can’t believe the amount of cars bombing it past us. Just as I am thinking this we see a car skid and flip on it’s side. We stop, Hal and myself run to check to see if there ok, while Sam called the Police. The guy is still in his seat and calm, he’s in shock. We make sure he’s ok and by this time there’s loads of cars and so we think it’s ok to head on… Jesus it’s so cold when I get back in to the van my beard is ice - it felt nasty.

We take off even slower now, thinking shit man if that happened to us we’d be goners, what with all the gear in the back. So when we hit ice ourselves on the very next bridge, we’re sure we’re dead. We hit black ice and just spin 360 degrees, and onto the ditch on the side of the freeway, we’re sure we’re going over and we're all saying hold on, we’re going over… We’re ok we just came to a stop facing the wrong way on the side of the road. We sit there for a minute just thinking about what just happened. We get on to the road and it does the same thing spins again, as we’re trying again we wait for the on coming traffic to pass and I just said what if someone else does the same while we’re here they’ll hit us. Then a 18 wheeler comes over the bridge and hits the ice IT’S COMING RIGHT AT US, WE’RE DEAD… just at the last minute the trucker gets control and drives on - it must have been 3 foot away from us…

We head on through the snow thinking we’re not going to make it, I think it is the most scary drive of all our lives. We get to a service station and meet another band who say it gets better about an hour on, so considering we’ve been on the road now for 8 hours in the snow, we thought fuck it we’re going to get through it. About an hour and a half on we get to Cheyenne and the snow clears, so we motor down to Denver, and make it in to town at about 10. We’re the only band that made it through so they decide to pull the show but say to stay and have drinks on the house so we get shit faced (well deserved I think). We meet a couple who came down to see the show and they offer to put us up, this is just what we need now, a warm home… Nice !!!

13th November - Sam
I got woken up this morning by two giggly girls having a really loud conversation. So I had to get out of bed and find out what all this racket was about. What had happened was that one of the house mates in the place we stayed at last night had gone home with a guy in the middle of nowhere. When she woke up at 6 in the morning she was still shit faced and thought it would be a good idea to go through his pockets, find his car keys and steal his car to get back home. So she thieved his car and on the way home crashed it into a ditch and had to find a farmer to get it out. When we left that morning she still hadn’t got hold of the guy to tell him that she had his car. Absolute drunken NUTTER!!! Later that day we did our show in Salt Lake City and it was pretty dull apart from a couple of games of pool with a cool guy called John, oh and a wicked pizza.

12th November- Hal
Boise, Idaho. One of my favourate towns, where we’re one of their favourate bands. I love this town. There’s nothing in Idaho - except Boise. So you drive for 8 hours through nothing but wilderness until you hit the mythical oasis that is Boise. And the people of this fare city like to have a good time, at least the ones I’ve met do. So I always look forward to this show. We rolled into town around 7pm and started the ceremony of unloading the gear. The Neurolux has a good stage and a good rig, so I wheeled out 4 cabs and two amps – much to Sam’s dismay, but Jamie’s joy (which does surprise me cos Sam’s usually more energetic and Jamie’s without doubt always lazy?). People arrive early in Boise, and they start the function of boozing early on their weekends. Soundcheck done, pizza ordered - and arrived - we get a pitcher of Stella (Beer) and get stuck in. About 2 hours and 4 pitchers later, I realize that Mr. Blue has not turned up? We get reasonably worried that the dude may have taken a tumble on the road as he drives alone. I leave messages but get no response…. It’s now 11pm and well past Chrisopher’s bedtime. So we’ve no choice but to embark upon the stage. We’ve already shifted a ton of merchandise and the house is looking good. It’s so much easier to play a good show when you see people singing back at you and lad’s slapping each other on the back after you play a hand of bitching guitar licks: yes, tonight was good, really good, and that’s perhaps why I love Boise so much! We come off to vast rounds of drinks and beers provided by the good patrons on the Neurolux. The Merch is selling and the conversations are rolling. And then Mr. Blue arrives! He managed to get himself arrested by Idaho’s finest. They pulled him for a bust headlight….just as he’d taken a big hit from his mobile bong! Eye’s glazed and van smoking.. he gets taken in. He gets off on bail with the false promise of returning to court… So I guess it looks like Mr. Blue won’t be playing Boise, Idaho again anytime soon! But the ceremony continues and Chris’ escape is celebrated. I bump into Michael Dees who’s championed the band since our first tour in the Idaho press, we have a few drinks and then, somehow, I find the van’s been packed and I’m sitting in a Jacuzzi with two naked ladies and a beer that I can barely hold! Yes, I love Boise. The only bummer is that Jamie was sitting in the tub too!

11th November - Jamie
We wake up at about 11am. It’s cold out, so after a nice cuppa, we head out to find a pawnshop for Sam who wants to sell an old ring. On the way we have a conversation about how hard it is for English people to say pawn, and not have it sound like PORN, we could get into trouble with that one… anyway we arrive and Sam gets 40 nicker for his ring!!! We all thought he’d get like $5 at best, what a result. After a stop for coffee we go to a record store and see that Diamond nights are doing an in store in about 15 mins across town, so we motor over there to catch it, as we are going to be playing with them soon, we thought it would be cool to meet them… But when we get all the way over there we dive though the doors shouting ‘ave we missed the band???!!! And they say well do you mean the band that was here yesterday. …mmmm, nice one boys!

After dinner at the Jupiter Café, we head on out off town towards Boise.

10th November - Sam
The drive from Portland to Seattle is pretty easy and uneventful. When we get to the club we fill up on some of the best burgers known to humanity and chill. The band on before us are from LA and they're sound geezas so we end up having a few beers with them. Then it's show time and we have a really good jam out show. After the show we proceed to get drunk with an all girl band also from LA who are game for a laugh and end up on the stage doing the worst covers I've ever heard - they were damn drunk. Then we head back to a mate of Christopher Blu's (the guy we're touring with) and we're all given some really powerful sleeping pills which make us pass out until about 5 when 'Blu' comes into our room and wakes us up by smacking the Piano in our room and shouting "we need to get high dudes, I've got a studio session in 5 hours and I can't be sober for it!".

9th November - Hal
London woke me up around midday. I never answer the phone in the morning but the ring was an apt alarm call. It was about 1pm and I was looking up at Jamie’s fat arse hanging out over the sofa right above my head! Had a shower and lots of coffee. Called London back and we agreed to meet for a drink at Dante’s due to the fact that the bar man had offered us a free session of pizza and beer. So by 3pm we were lined up at the bar, and dribbling! On the way into the club we bumped into this tramp, who we’d met on our way home last night. It was funny: he was in the exact same place as the night before and I only remembered this by seeing him there. He however, remembered all of our names, the band, where we were from and what we were doing. Quite amazing, I don’t remember getting that close! Whilst waiting for London we felt charity surging in our bones due to the charity we were receiving at the bar, so I gave Jamie a good nugget of weed, and he took it out to our friendly tramp. We demolished the pizza, sunk a few beers and then headed out for the SG/band photo shoot in Portland. We walked outside to find our friendly tramp absolutely knocked out asleep with his tongue hanging out and upper body held up by a big dumpster; he must have hit that nugget in one hit, it was comedy central, he’d transformed from a complete rabid, mad dog into an anesthetized puppy! London was great, she just snapped away candidly, which meant never once did we feel like a bunch of poncy pozers prancing like tits around Portland. She just fired away and occasionally threw suggestions at us. The light failed and we headed back to Dante’s. I started on the Scotch, the lads hit the Vodka, as did my sweet London. What I love about this girl is that she has such a passion for her – well - passion! She pleaded with us to take more photos, and I love people with conviction so it took no arm-twisting. We spent the next couple of hours in the basement, in a shower, a toilet and the back-room, just drinking, chatting and taking pics. Good times. As always, it was time to go. Me and the lads headed out for dinner with our fine host Ed, who could hardly stand-up by this stage, and London headed to wherever it was that she had to get to – we set to meet for brunch tomorrow so as to exchange music for photo’s etc. Ed’s conversation was limited to the occasional shout of “Yeash” and “Noah – hic-up” with regard to what he wanted to eat and do. We had a fine Italian, which was grand but wasted on us drunk fools! We were due to continue that night at a local bar, but fatigue and an utter lack of cash hit us all, so we headed back to Ed’s for a wee smoke and a big chill. I’m writing this now and I think we’re about to watch The Muppets Movie…. I better have another hit!

8th November - Hal
We woke up in a right shit-hole of a motel this morning. It’s weird how you never notice it when you’re tired, but always wake up so aware of it. The cleaning lady is banging on the door shouting ‘house-cleaning’: “yeah we know, now fuck off!” But that’s the alarm call, so we look around to see who has the tenacity to stay in bed longest and face the prospect of missing the shower. Guess what, Jamie wins again! So all showered and clean – apart from Jamie – we head out for breakfast. We’ve been searching for our favoured, ‘Cracker Barrel’ -$2.99 a piece!!!! - but so far we’ve had had to settle for Denny’s instead. Portland was an easy drive so we got into town nice and early. Today was going to be a good day! I knocked on the door to see if we could get in early for a quick drink and some food… and what a vision betook me! Right above me was a naked girl lying provocatively in front of another sexy lady armed with a camera, and to my right was one more – extremely - sexy girl standing by a fire pit with just an Albino Boa snake draped over her sensual terrain. We’d just walked into a Suicide Girls photo shoot! We pulled up a bar stool, waylaid our load-in, ordered a round and sat back to watch. It was a great afternoon and we got talking to all the girls and the snake handler, who had snakes dangling from our shoulders in no time. The photographer was one hell of sexy lady too; turns out she’s one of the original SG girls, and I’m not surprised by the way she just held and moved herself. Time came to load-in, meaning that the girls went downstairs to get dressed. During soundcheck the lovely photographer came up and said she had another shoot to go to, so was going to miss the show. But, she wanted to take photo’s of us and complete an interview for the SG website. I gave her our # and a CD and we agreed to meet tomorrow.. so should be another good day;-) We were playing Dante’s tonight and it’s a great club; they take good care of their bands and fill you with liquor and food. We were on late tonight, so by the time it came round for us to play, I was shitfaced. I spent a good portion of my time downstairs with the rider and Chrisopher. Jamie came down after a while and I noticed the poor boy was looking a little bewildered. Turns out Chrisophers’ lady had been pumping Jamie full of weed – he was a complete stoned mess, but funny! We hit the stage and to be honest is was a bit of a daze but I do recall thinking that I better do well cos I’d been arguing with the bird from the support band who insisted on performing as straight as bunny rabbit on Christmas day in church. I told her that she shouldn’t act like she’s crazy, if in reality she’s a bunny rabbit, she firmly disagreed – she called it a performance?.. yeah, whatever!… so I had to make sure I didn’t trip up over the front of the stage and end up in a dribbling mess by the front row….which has happened! We did good, at least I never fell and Jamie, whilst holding on for dear life to the set list, didn’t drop a beat (he definitely played a little lighter though;-). Chrispoher was absolutely demolished by the time he took the stage for the midnight slot. We watched him and witnessed Jim Morrison, incarnate, with an acoustic guitar. And now we’re back at Ed’s house attempting to make tea? Night y’all… and boy oh boy, am I excited about tomorrow, London’s her name!!

7th November - Hal
Jamie was sprawled out on the back seat, Sam was in the passenger seat and I was somehow crumpled on top of the guitar cabs. I had the early shift as Sam and Jamie had driven most of the night. So I dutifully took to the drivers’ seat and head off again for Tacoma. The lads had cut some good miles and we were on good time. The drive was pretty uneventful until the miserable rain started to turn to more interesting snow. I was really enjoying myself as we headed into Lake Shasta. But then the snow got heavier and the traffic got slower and then the illuminated signs started to flash ‘Snow Chains Required’. So we pulled over and ventured into Wall Mart for the required chains… talk about holding you by the short and curlys: $50 for some chains?!!! I ask the lady at the checkout where a good diner was and she came up trumps! We sat down to one of the friendliest and, considering the increasing snowfall, coziest diners I’ve ever eaten in. It was called the Black Bear Diner – if you’re near Lake Shasta, you should find it. We ate more than we could manage, blew our heads off with coffee, got all the essential info from the locals, stocked up on Petrol and started out into the unknown. We got about 10 minutes up the mountain until the police were forcing people to chain up. Jesus that’s a cold job, my hands were turning black with bloody frostbite. But all this grief was for a pretty short trip. We headed up to the top of the hill and back down into the rain in about 20 minutes. And then it was more rain all the way to Tacoma. I was excited about playing Tacoma, but there’s really nothing there – it was an extremely short-lived emotion. We arrived late due to the Shasta incident and immediately confirmed our food order with the barmaid. We had a few beers whilst waiting for the pizza and considered eating it, drinking up and then running. But a fellow band from LA called The 88 hit the stage and they were actually rather good. So we stayed long enough and got caught in the trap. We played, had a quick drink and then made our way to the closest motel we could find. And that’s where we are now. Good night… and good luck.

6th November - Hal
The Last time we played Frisco saw me driving around for an hour trying to find parking for the van and trailer – bloody nightmare! So this tour has seen us pack 4 guitar cabs, a bass rig, drum kit, amps, guitars, merchandise, ourselves and our bags into just one van – talk about playing Tetris! But Tetris is a valid game for this biz… and I found myself with an easy life: nice driving and lovely parking. We got to the club early, had a kip in the van, unloaded the gear – parked it – sound checked and then headed out for a curry with my good mate Dan. Dan’s a friend of mine from back in Oxford where we cut our teenage years together and he now takes care of our website from San Francisco. It was a good curry, but Dan’s a bigger lad now and can eat like bear! We kind of felt obliged to keep up so by the time we left the restaurant we were like a gang of snakes who’d eaten a family of deer… and all we wanted to do was sleep! We walked into the club to find the worst band in the world on stage – just think of the most horrible Jazz, Funk and Reggae thrown into the same pot – I’d have rather gone to see Billy Ray Cirus play! And then the dudes just played and played and played and played until the club could take it no more. We were asleep – for real – by the time they finished. The soundman woke us up and we went into a pretty empty room….who could blame ‘em, a Sunday night at 1am in the morning, after having your very soul turned to potato puree by the band before? Only the very, very dedicated few could endure that! So we played fast, had some drinks and got the fuck out of Frisco. We’re headed north now and it’s one hell of a drive to Tacoma! Peace Out – but not in a gay Jazz Funk way…

5th November - Hal
I’ve stumbled across this town twice by mistake – once was taking my Mum up to San Francisco when we found the Madonna Inn (highly recommended – look it up and go there), but the first time was when I was 20. I came to California armed with a box of my CD’s and the desire to find fame and fortune. This couldn’t last long as my money ran out far faster than my ambition did. So, I bought myself a fake social security # and got a job in construction. This seems like the end of a fairy tale, but quite the opposite: For a young lad like me I was earning more money than I knew what to do with and I was banking it all in my pocket Once my pockets could take no more, I hired a car and headed out on a road trip to spend it…. And San Luis is one of the towns I stumbled across. But what’s so bizarre is that the bar we played tonight is the exact same bar I found myself stumbling out of all those years ago! I remember it cos the toilets were so shit and the stage was so small. This is not exactly a rock club, more of a drinking-well where the focus is on the bar.. and that’s all. However, we lucked out tonight… if you can’t beat ‘em, you join ‘em, right? So we waited until the last minute when all the punters are all on the same level, and then we cranked the amps up to 11 and watched their hair get blown back. We played deep, down and drunken dirty rock tonight.. and I think these people loved it! The barman was very quick to challenge us to a few drinking games as our reward… what he didn’t realize, and something I learnt that night, was that Chrisopher Blue was an expert at sinking pints! He shamed the manager, we earnt a little extra money and all – except the manager – left happy! Right onto San Francisco

4th November - Hal
There’s only one thing a day off means, and that’s to catch up on all the boring things like paying the gas bill, finding a van to hire and locating mandolin strings at 2am in the morning;-) And once I’d completed these tasks I set myself down for a night of video, pizza and beer.. but oh no… this was to be the final lecture from my new lodger on why I shouldn’t drink coffee, smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol. “Yep”, I may as well go to sleep and just stay there? What gets me is hypocrisy though: people who stuff themselves full of ice cream, cookies and cheese lecturing me on the damages of the aforementioned? To wind her up I explain to her that health is for fat people, or men with small willies – she can’t see the logic in this… and I can’t anymore either, so it leaves me with just enough time for one more beer and fag (that’s cigarette in English – we’re not actually going outside “to suck on a fag”;-) before bed. I do this for myself and then hit bed, realizing that “perhaps she has a point”? … nah!

3rd November - Hal
I woke up with all three of us crashed in the same room this morning: we’re so damn broke right now that we’ve had to sublet the house out and squeeze ourselves into one room. We’re heading out away from LA on Saturday so it’s no big deal. We sorted all the lose ends out from last nights gig and picked up a load of new T-shirts (which look amazing: we’ve made tour shirts that list all the dates, towns and venue’s we’ve played – or are playing – in 2005, with a picture of the new albums artwork on the front). Tonight’s show was at King Kings in Hollywood. We got there around 7pm for soundcheck… and what a place! I was sick of playing LA until tonight’s show: this is a great club with a very sexy barmaid, no LA pretentions, a great stage, nice room and wicked sound system. The great thing about sexy barstaff is that they love to ply the bands with booze; I mean, where the stage is our domain, the bar is theirs.. so they strut their stuff! We had a great show tonight, played like demons, had a good crowd.. and it all felt really good. However, I’m writing this diary on the morrow, not Dec 3rd, totally on account of the barmaid getting me totally mashed up last night – looks like I’m not quite road ready just yet!

2nd November - Hal
I love touring. You hear bands and hobo’s say it all the time, but I really, really, really do love it! I’m a self confessed - and reality proven – Road-Rat! Tonight we’re kicking off our last tour of the year.. and this’ll give us over 150 dates in America alone. And whilst tonight’s show was a pretty low-key event, it was a great night for knocking the cobwebs off and getting back into shape. After not playing a show for about a month we just stepped right up - and right back on - from the word go! San Diego was a blessing though because it was the business side of the game that we’d fallen short on – damn we even forgot copies of the new album to sell – so guess what we’re doing tomorrow. Anyway, it feels good to be back and we’re in road rat mode again. We’ve got a great touring buddy in Chrisopher Blue who’s on the road with us for at least 14 of the dates. It’s LA tomorrow – hope to see you out there!

THE THIEVES - US TOUR DIARY - SUMMER 2005


27th September - Sam
We’re back home and It’s so good to wake up in my own bed! We get to chill before we have to hit the road for the show tonight. Whilst chilling our land lord turns up and gives us the great news that we have to move out of the Ranc. So after a lot of reminiscing and “fuck what we gonna do?” we decide it’s actually for the best and it’s time to move on anyway – fuck ‘em! End of an era! Then we go down to the show, drop off all the gear and head over to our favourite restaurant ‘Michaelangelos’ to have some damn good Italian food and celebrate the end of the tour. After we have got nice n fat we head back to the show, sound check and have a drink. We play a really good show and because we started the tour at Spaceland it’s really prevalent how much tighter we are after the last 2 months of touring – in fact I fink we’re now on fire. So all that pain and hard ship was worth something in the end. When does the next tour start???

26th September - Jamie
???

25th September - Hal
???

24th September - Sam
Woke up in a parking lot again, really hot and sticky! We couldn’t find any room at the Inn last night due to all the people that have streamed out of Houston to find refuge from Hurricane Rita. We hit the road and there’s definitely a bit of a strong wind and we’re miles north of the Hurricane so it must be gnarly down south. We get to the club early so get to sit out on some grass and get eaten alive by mossies. Later on we have a great show and it’s so hot on stage the sweat is literally streaming off us. It’s bloody hard to keep your hands on your guitar when it’s sweaty n hot like that but in some weird sadistic way I love it. After us it’s ‘Chasing Paris’ who we met in Houston a while back and are a really good band so it’s good to watch them rock out. After the show we head over to the record store over the road which is owned by the club promoter/owner. We hang out for a bit, talk music, get directions to the next show and hit the road for the long arse drive to

23rd September - Jamie
???

22nd September - Hal
Had to wake up early again today due to the bloody van issues. I've been calling all week to make sure that it was going to be fixed and ready; well today is the day! So quick shower and I shake the lads to get up. We high-tail it outta the motel, somewhere between Nashville and Memphis. I have to Grand Prix it today cos we've got to pick up the van from Little Rock, drop the soccer moms car off and then get to Fayetteville. So, I'm hitting about a ton the whole way and keeping my eyes as wide as some coke freaks in search of the cops. We get to the garage and everything looks pucker. So, in my best hick accent I ask the dude how much? That gear box has just cost us $1100!!! Oh shit said the blind man to the deaf dog! I know we haven't got that much in the bank so I need to stall the guy and work something out. Ahhmmm, do you take cheques? "No"! Shit! So I've spent the whole day trying to get my hands on cash. I phoned the Nebula lads to let em know that there's no way we're going to make the show. These guys are cool... "hey, man, no worries...." I managed to get $500 out on a credit card and now I've got to figure out where to get the next $600. So I'm sitting in the motel now (that's $50 more I gotta find now!). We've got 4 beers left.. and beer always helps a man think.. so beer, this diary entry and then, I guess, another bloody early start! Oh shit, just remembered, I've got to find another $400 for the car hire tomorrow as well!

21st September - Sam
I didn’t think I got that wasted last night but from the hangover I wake up with I must have been well out of it. I sleep most of the way to Nashville but get awoken suddenly when we hit a huge truck tire, which takes us a few inches into the air. When we pull over, amazingly the only damage is the plastic under carriage hanging off. We tie it back on with a guitar strap, check the brakes and hit the road again. Later on, we play a good show despite the hangover and someone in the crowd thinks it’s so good that at the end of the set he jumps up on stage and grabs Hal really violently shouting, “yeah, fucking rock n toll”. I don’t know whether to smack this guy around the head with my bass or let him get on with it and enjoy his moment in the spotlight. Hal seems to be alright so we finish the set and the nutter goes back into the crowd - no harm done.

20th September - Jamie
Driving through Alabama is so cool it’s so lush there’s shitloads of churches which freaks us out a bit and some house that would be right at home as the set of Deliverance. We all enjoy the drive and get to the show which is a cool dive in Birmingham massive PA, Twat barman a real good night Nebula do a great show… We end up drinking after hours till 6am and I attempt to drive to a house around the corner. We sleep for a while then we off.

19th September - Hal
Back to Atlanta today! We love The Earl. It was a late start today as we got an extension on our check-out until 2pm! I decided that last night was time to start on my physiotherapy that I'd neglected since breaking my foot last january. I'd ventured into the hotels gym around 3am this morning and tried my hand - rather foot - on the treadmill. This is the first time in 9 months that I've done more than walk! Last night felt great, today was hell! So we rolled out via our new favorite - The Cracker Barrel where breakfast is a mere $2.99!! We arrived at the club around 7pm. This is our second night with Nebula. These guys are cool and even though it's only night #2 we all seem to get on really well - it's easy man: perhaps cos they smoke so much and we're not on the Scotch so much;-) The Atlanta has the best Blue Cheese and Bacon Burgers in the US, so we demolished a load of beer, played the show - which was pretty darn good - and then demolished these big ol' burgers! We then burnt outta town to a small town called Rome and stayed with our good friends Blu (not the Burger) and Zabrina.

18th September - Sam
Last day in New York and 1st date with label mates Nebula. We burn down to Chapel Hill, North Carolina and play the show with Nebula – good show and really sound guys. Have a couple of beers after the show and get a hotel and sleep. That’s it – not much to report – just another day of rock n roll.

17th September - Jamie
Being that I forgot my phone charger I try to find a cingular store I get the directions from the cingular site and start walking, although there driving directions I stick to them it’s so hot and I’m sweating like a pig and when I walk all over China town trying to find it, I get there and it’s closed!! NO! So I walk down to meet Sam and Brandon for breakfast and I can’t find them so I decide to walk to Broadway to find a Phone store there. So I find a store and I leave it on charge and go to Barns and Noble and find Hunted (Chuck Palahniuk) I read GUTS wicked story and then go get my phone. After chilling for a while we go for Tapas MMM lush! Then Sam and me go and see the Towers of London, wicked loads of attitude kinda like the Pistols. The singer tells the yanks what he thinks of them, so classic !!

16th September - Hal
Last night was a blinder! I woke up happy this morningnoon but with a most appropriate hangover. I felt like sleeping all day so I had a really lazy start with TV, Coffee and lots of McVities Chocolate Digestives (brought specially from England via my gal!). I cruised into Manhattan around 4pm to meet the lads. We've got 2 days off in New York to hang out at this CMJ radio thingy. So we spent 10 minutes at the CMJ thingy and then did a bunk to the nearest pub. We spent a good few pints in there and then headed for CBGBs to see our label mates Nebula. CBGBs is a shite box, but no more than any other shite box - but I've had it with this bullshit "I'm from New York" attitude: For some reason they assume that being a grumpy twat with a limited vocabulary and a twatish dress sense makes them special.. well fuck that! So I bite back at the door dude on the way out and the pussy shuts up right there! So, advice to any traveller venturing into the city - when the twat gets rude, give it right back, they'll looked shocked for the first part and then meld into something far more friendly. We left CBGBs for a Century Media party with the promise of free booze. This was classic: just two free drinks and then this band that go by the description of 'Grind-Core'. Grind Core is extremely funny, it's like clips of noise stuck together and played as fast as possible with as much equipment as possible (I swear that the drummer did not hit all 25 of his cymbals!). So there's this wall of digit typewriter sound and a group of older men who look like characters from Lord of the Rings. I thought that they were like the dwarfs, but Sam insisted that they were Orcs! After the two drinks, it's clearly time to skip town so we all split our separate ways and prepare for the next day.

15th September - Sam
I don’t know where to start this diary entry because we drove all night and didn’t stop to sleep. When we finally get to New York after 20 hours of driving from Little Rock, Arkansas, we drop Hal of at a hotel in Newark and Jamie and I head into Manhattan to get a couple of hours sleep at a friends house. We get totally lost in Manhattan which drives us nuts and after a lot of swearing we get to our friends house and get a couple hours of sleep. When we wake up we (Jamie and I) head into the city and meet up with Brandon, our A&R man from Liquor and Poker, Hal and his girlfriend, Sharmita and go to an Irish pub for Bangers and Mash and a few pints of Guinness. Then it’s off to the club. We’re on pretty early which is a god send because we’ve been up all night. We play a blinding show, one of the best on this tour and hang out with some friends of ours who have flown in from England to see us and we have a good old mash up. I eventually get back to my friends apartment about 4 and pass out into a complete coma.

14th September - Jamie
The alarm goes of at 6.30 what the fuck are we doing we’re usually just getting to sleep at this time anyway we’ve got up to find a new van, we must phone like 20 places nobody has anything we find the last soccer mum car in the city we pack up, drop off the van with the backward mechanic hick and got back on the road to New York. We do 200 mile shifts which on average takes 2 1⁄2 hours a piece we pull into NYC at about 8am we drop Hal off at his hotel in Newark and Sam and I motor through the Holland tunnel to Manhattan, we get a bit confused and take a wrong turn Sam try’s to navigate with not much luck we drive around New York for about an hour with Sam getting more and more pissed off with the map he’s attempting to read. We finally get to the apartment and we sleep, I can’t really sleep so I take the car and go up town.

13th September - Hal
I can't really remember where last night finished and this morning started? But we woke up to a chorus of truck engines, mouthfuls of smoke and a bloody hot mess of a van via the late drive - we were in the middle of, or rather downwind, from a herd of fat juggernaut. The plan was to get to NYC by the 14th for our show at the CMJ festival. This is a 25 hour drive - in our van we're looking at 30 hours, so we grab coffee and dig into the road. After a pretty uneventful day - bar the constant stopping to check our bloody faltering trailer - we hear a big bang and the van starts bumping and grinding like one of those hip-hop motors, except Sam's driving and we're on a bloody busy road... and this is a truck of rock! We all assumed it to be a blow-out so we limped to the next exit ramp and couldn't find a thing wrong. I took over the wheel to find that the gear box had blown out and refused to shift; so this van had jumped from 3rd straight into 1st at 65mph, which I assume is not a good thing - please don't tell Chris Slade: it's his van! Anyway, we limped to a roadside bar with some thought that if we let the engine cool down it'd all be OK. We realised that this was just a childish head-in-the-sand approach to avoiding our plight, so called Triple A instead. Here's the catch: 1st time we ever broke down they couldn't help us due to the fact that our truck was too big, 2nd time we got away with it cos we slipped the dude an extra $20, this time the tow guy couldn't do a thing as we had a trailer on the back - and no cash was gonna change that. So 10pm, no tow man and just one motel within limping distance. I spent the next 2 hours trying to find a garage and another van to hire. At about midnight I gave up and ordered a pizza, had a few beers, grabbed a shower and then ordered an alarm call for 6am, which will truly be a culture shock for me! So, it'll be an early start, an expensive stop and a bloody long drive tomorrow!

12th September - Sam
I’m awoken by a nice pussy in my face – I mean the cat variety. This is probably the coolest cat I’ve ever met. I roll over and fall back to sleep with the cat rolled up under my arm. We were up really late last night driving from Houston to Austin, so when I wake up again it’s about 2 or 3 in the afternoon. Adam our host sorts us out with some wicked roast beef then we go off to check out some of the sights of Austin. Then we’re off to the club where we do the longest sound check ever and still end up with the worst sound of the whole tour. After the show Yvonne; one of our street teamers, insists that I get hammered with her because it’s her birthday in two days time. So my effort at sobriety Is blown out of the water for the night and I end up hammered on Tequila. We leave the club about 2 to try and cut some miles before the morning and after Hal tells me I’m being really loud we hit bed about 4 (not before I pop a couple of aspirin though – I am a professional after all).

11th September - Jamie
Houston. It amazes me how stuck in the 60s Super Happy Funland is this psycadelic pit of hippy love is crazy! After the show we split for Austin we drive in convoy towards Austin The others speed off and pull off the freeway to do Denny’s and I drive past then realise I turn around and get to Denny’s and overdose on coffee and hen continue on what a nightmare drive.

10th September - Hal
I woke up in the nicest house this morning. I briefly remembered an attempt at a video last night, but awoke at 4am on the couch... which I would have happily stayed on.. so to wake up in a proper bed, in a proper home, was fantastic. I then ventured to the shower room and spent a good 40 minutes scrubbing the debris of the road from my soul. We were staying at Chelsea's (who runs our street team) parents house in Houston. These are the nicest people you could meet: a long-haired-freak-of-a-rock 'n' roller comes into their home and they plied me full of pizza and now they were taking me out for Breakfast, this is via the mechanics to get he van serviced!! And there's me; if you come to my house I'll offer you a cup of tea and a cigarette, and if I'm up for it a trip to the pub - mental note: must keep a better home for my guests! So now we're refreshed and ready to take the world on again. We played at Dan Electro's Guitar Bar in Houston tonight. We were playing a benefit show for the storm disaster in New Orleans, and we love that city so we were glad of the chance to do something. The people of this bar were great, a lot of older blues players, which is right up my street! As we hit the stage I warned the punters that they'd probably never seen or heard anything like us before.. now this wasn't perhaps that true, but it was a great ploy on my part: challenge most people and they'll take the bait;-) So we played a blinder of a show and they loved it! After we packed-up, the late night beers and 'peace-pipe' came out, which was a grand finale.... and found me rolling back into this fine house, very pleased at the prospect of another night in a fine bed with a fine shower for the morning... It's not all sex and drugs y'know!

9th September - Sam
I am brain dead today. We’ve been driving all night again and we’re still driving when I wake up. It seems as though this road goes on forever and ever. We’re heading towards Texas; Jamie said when we drove through Mississippi this morning all the trees and signs looked like they had been folded over by the Hurricane. We were due to head down to New Orleans today but obviously that’s not to be. Instead we booked up a last minute benefit show for the Hurricane Katrina victims in Houston for tomorrow night. We finally get to Houston and Chelsea has offered to put us up with her parents. So after some time trying to find where she lives we get back to her folks house and it’s heaven after having spent so much time in the a sweaty stinky van. Have a shower, watch a vid, then hit bed.

8th September - Jamie
Atlanta. The Earl has some of the best burgers in America. So after the gig I pack up and we leave for Houston after a few stops due to the trailer waving like a bastard, I drive all night. Through Mississippi I see the aftermath of the hurricane Katrina there’s trees and road signs folded in half, fucked up man! If it’s this bad up here must be really bad further down south.

7th September - Hal
Today wasn't a bad start considering it was another night in the van - hey, we'd finally worked out that if you park in the shade, it ain't half as hot as otherwise! The lads were still dead in the back so I cut some miles before breakfast on the way to Atlanta. We've found a new favourate, The Cracker Barrel. You can get a breakfast for $2.99 and a coffee for a dollar! Which means we can have 2 breakfasts a day now;-) So, job one done, we hit the road towards our friends pad in the middle of nowhere; a tiny a place called Rome, this really is like you see in the movies. It's all porches with old ladies in rocking chairs and 13 kids running around with muddied and filthy little faces. But we arrived safely and never heard "squeal piggy, squeal" once. Pizza and beer was served and made me wonder why it is that beer and pizza never, never ever loses it's appeal? And beer and pizza at the right time makes me sleep.. so I had a shower to wake up and then returned to the living room to find Sam and Jamie heavily engaged in video games, which put me right back into a state of lethargy. I dozed until about bedtime. I drew the short straw, so rather than sharing a small bed with Jamie (cos you really don't know what that lad's got, with the places I've seen him 'been'!), I retired to the van. Now the problem with cat naps is that they catch up with you. As soon as I left the house I woke up like a nuclear bloody train! So I spent the next 2 hours on the iPod with my good mates Led Zeppelin. These chaps are my band of the tour... Ramble On!

6th September - Sam
Wake up at Kristy’s place in NYC – nice pad. Go for a stella breakfast in a cool New York Café and have the biggest omelet of my life. Then we hit the road; we’ve got a bloody long drive ahead of us to Atlanta so figure we better start cutting those miles. Then it’s just road, more road and some more road – I guess this is where the White Line part and not the Tales part of our album title comes from. We do get to see some beautiful country side though and one of the best sunsets I’ve ever seen. Later on I’m on Pod J duty so I decide to play Led Zeppelin I to IV because we haven’t heard any Zeppelin all tour (got all these new albums you see). Well it’s a right bloody treat when you haven’t heard them in a while! It even gets Jamie out of bed to listen and we end up driving real late and chatting about music till the wee hours of the morning.

5th September - Jamie
Day off in New York… We don’t do much; we catch up on our email and go out for dinner then get back and watch a movie… that’s about it...

4th September - Hal
Today I felt bizarrely good, a little dizzy but good. We'd been in West Chester last night and we'd had a very good time. Our good friends had let us sleep in their living room and I was first up and into the shower. I then had the bizarre pleasure of watching Baron Von Munchhausen (?) whilst Sam and Jamie showered - not together, but I think given half a chance, Jamie would probably take it... Sam having a pulse 'n all;-) NYC is only about 2 hours from West Chester so it was an easy drive. Petrol prices are shooting up by American standards now and our Southern shows next week may become a problem. But we hit New York in good time only to be told by the fuzz that we weren't allowed through the tunnel leading to Manhattan; this is after being in line for 30 minutes! We then got decidedly lost trying to find the Lincoln Tunnel... and then we were late, so missed soundcheck at The Mercury. Balls and Bollocks we thought... we loaded in and headed out for some food. Tonight we had the amuzing pleasure of playing with New Yorks biggest Bender band - that's Gay band if you're American! They were cool guys but I think we were somewhat out of place. Their first song was called 'Sexy Boyfriend'. Me and the lads hid downstairs to prepare ourselves with the best plan of attack: it was decided that at no point should Jamie bare his arse on stage, and I should not introduce the set with "Hello you Benders", which I had coined from our show in Denver - at 'Benders'! I had suggested it as tongue in cheek, but I think tongue in cheek was a little too literal in this setting. We opened really well and even surprised ourselves at the venom in the sound. As said, this wasn't really the right crowd for us so it thinned out fairly quickly to reveal far more women than there had appeared to be earlier in the night. I think this night has been my 3rd least favourate gig on this tour... at least I thought this until we went back to our friends flat to crash the night. She was not with us but had left the keys for us. We could not get into the flat and she was not answering her phone... so we decided to cut our losses and find pizza. I made the joke that this was like one of those movies where nothing could possibly get worse; considering that it was to be another sweaty nite in the back of the van, following my 3rd least favourate gig- and that this was the point where you stood in a big pile of dogshit, proving it could get worse.... and then I bit the inside of my cheek so hard that it made dogshit look like a blessed alternative. And then we slept, again crumpled and sweaty. Dogshit!

3rd September - Sam
I wake up with Hal’s arse in my face – not a pleasant site. Got another day off today and the folks we’re staying with take us along to a BBQ. We get some wicked ass burgers and meet some really sound people and later on I get roped into Beer Pong: Two teams stand at the opposite ends of a table, loaded up with cups of beer (in triangle shapes like 10 pin bowling) at both ends of the table. Then you have to try and throw a ping pong ball in the cups at the other end of the table. If you get the ball in, someone on the other team has to down the beer. Unfortunately I was pretty good at it so didn’t get to drink that much. However, later that night we end up back at Rex’s (the club we played the night before). I guess we must have played well because everyone insists on buying us a beer or shot and so, although I got out of drinking in Beer Pong I end up pretty out of it by the end of the night – ground hog day or what.

2nd September - Jamie
West Chester, get into town and go out for lunch. Meet up with Mel and watch the newly installed cable, we watch a film about Churchill and Hal makes the affirmation that he’s the greatest man that has ever lived and that he’s going to have a picture of him in his house mmmm. We turn up at the venue and get stuck into the beer. The boys down at Rex’s always get us well and truly F! U! C! K! E! D! Up. So after we play we continue with the drinking and someone gets me a Philly Cheese Steak which I believe would be better with a bit of chilli sauce, me and Sam leave at about 4.30am and Hal was still going…

1st September - Hal
We just had two days off, so by all accounts we're clean and refreshed for the next leg of this tour. We've heard horror stories about the price of petrol due to the storm in the Gulf. So we stocked up big time on the way to Brooklyn. Nicely ahead of time and blessed with a parking space we headed off for some lunch and a few pints. We made our way to the club around 7pm and loaded in. The support band were called Metalfire and from Poland; I'm not sure I've ever met a more cliched, crazy dude in that European Metal Nutcase style. He laughed like at every word he said: even the word table had him in bouts of Satanic laughter! I found him highly entertaining so I sat outside with him for a while and demolished some of his beers. I was dragged away with the lads and back to the Irish bar where we'd sucked back on a few pints earlier. Realising that we were now late, we sprinted back to the club only to find that everything was now about 2 hours behind schedule... meaning that we got to play Brooklyn on a thursday - after Metalfire - at 1am in the morning. To say it was not my favourate show would be fair. Anyway, during the load-out we met these drunken ramblers who insisted on bringing us back to their place.... I'm not sure why because they had no booze, which is a bizarre concept at 4am in the morning... this being the case I decided to pass out on the roof until the horrible truth of having to sleep in the van again was enlightened upon by Jamie... Sam had already figured it out and was curled up in on the back seat by the time we got there... this has not been the best night of my touring life:-(

31st August - Sam
Woke up at about 1.30 PM – Best sleep I’ve had all tour. The motel we’re staying at has a pool and Jacuzzi, so I leave the boys sleeping and go for a swim and hot tub to sweat the booze out. Then we just hang out in the room for most of the day watching crappy films and catching up with family and friends back home. End up watching Euro Trip and Vinnie Jones puts a big smile on my face – how great the English hooligans are!

30th August - Jamie
Bugger me !!!! This place is a mess wake up in a bands rehearsal space on the 6 floor of a music complex anyway it’s about 2 pm so we better make a move … we remember we’re parked in a car park which we’ll have to pay for so we think Fuck that! So we case it out the dudes are in their little hut … we snick around the back load up without them seeing and then all climb in the same door. We just floor it!! Down the street the dude starts running after us !!! So funny watching this fat frog guy legging it after us (shit I’m in stitches now thinking about it!) anyway we’re all just pissing ourselves we burn out into the main street in front of a car the fat guys still in pursuit up the hill !! Through traffic lights he’s still trying we’re gone he’s fuck! Most exercise he’s had for awhile.. What a result ! So after that we head for the border… After a story about coldplay and a near divorce, from the immigration officer who must have had something stuck up his arse, as they all do …. We head into the rain and upstate New York! Hello America !! Pull over in Lake George for the night.

29th August - Hal
We stayed in a Motel last night which was grand. Coffee's all round and we headed into Montreal City. We had a TV interview at the club and this was the first for all of us so, despite the early hour and lack of breakfast, we put our best heads on. The club gave us beer as they thought it would look better on TV. But in truth, I wanted bacon and eggs with coffee! The TV people were really nice and I think we did a pretty good job, although looking at the show later - you can tell that we've been on the road for a month: white, pasty and in need of a week off! We were then free for the whole afternoon so we ventured around Toronto for a while, but these dudes are just like the bloody French: they have a huge chip on their shoulder about being French? Speak English and watch them switch into a state of not seeming to understand... my technique to extract their English tongue was to buy something and then look completely phased by what they were asking for in terms of payment, suddenly they remember English, which prompts a wink from me! The students were heading back into town today and the local clubs and bars organised a pub crawl for them. Me and the lads pitched up at the club and played pool for hours whilst watching these nubile young students walk in, and stumble out. It was fun at first but then bloody annoying! After this part of the day was done we loaded the gear in and started on repairs of the gear whilst we had a few hours. Now, this town is bloody weird: the bar wanted us to take care of the door ourselves? We begrudged this but got on with it. I think this is the worst show we've played ever. The sound was so bad, the night wasn't exactly what we expected and the reality was that we just played and got the hell out of there. We met these cool guys though who said they had a rehearsal space we could crash in. So we made the best of the couches and decided to call it a night. I'm told Montreal is a great city, so I want to go back again.. but I must remember to do it differently next time...

28th August - Sam
Wake up in the van again and OH MY GOD, it’s so bloody hot – I feel like death warmed up – well burning up, more like. How the hell did we end up getting so hammered again last night – Toronto hospitality I guess… our friends at the Bovine sure treat us well. Then we’re off to Montreal… It’s a dazed and confused drive but great to get to Montreal. We park up and luckily there’s some kind of street fair so we end up watching some crazy French speaking Canadian’s do a hippy, ballet, folk song and dance type thing. Then it’s back to a motel for some much needed sleep.

27th August - Jamie
Woke up in a strange dust filled house, to a naked girl walking pass my head woohhh ! so anyway fall back to sleep as we only went to bed an hour ago then Sam walks in and says it’s time to go ! FUCK OFF ! I want to sleep but Sam being Sam persuade me to get up … we go to a music store call Steve’s to pick up some drum spares these guy’s are complete twats they can’t find what we want and keep us waiting for 1⁄2 an hour I’m ok to hang out I’m half asleep anyway … but Sam’s starting to flip out so funny he shouts obscenity’s at them and they find the bits within 30 seconds then we stand there wanting to pay Sam shouts again and we pay and leave.
 
We get to Hamilton and it’s the same shit hole we remember it to be the last time we were, there we find out all the other bands have pulled out so what can we do but eat and high tail it out of there !!! We go back to The Bovine and get wasted !!!!! Nice ..

26th August - Hal
Today is my favourate day of all touring. Today is Toronto! We love Toronto and we love the Bovine Sex Club. We've only played here once before, but it just feels like we belong: full of friends and an absolute air of content - and rock 'n' roll comfort. We rolled in at about 5pm after leaving Rochester (and a damn fine breakfast at our mighty hosts) and went straight out to the back patio of the restaurant next door to the club, which is owned by one and the same. Straight into the beer and the finest food in all Canada - not asked for, just provided. Loaded the gear in, soundchecked and then started the ceremony, which is basically meeting lots of people and... well, the Bovine is the biggest seller of Jager in all Canada; and once you've spent an evening there, you'd see why. I can't remember the last showed we played here, apart from the fact that I think it was great.. well tonight was exactly the same. After we finished playing I hung out back stage for a while with Troy, the booker. At around 1am we went back into the bar and stumbled around for a while... when the club emptied at 2ish we carried on with the staff at the bar... I was dragged out of the bar around 5am and brought back to the barmaids house... I can't remember what happened after that.

25th August - Sam
Woke up really late at Curtis’s due to late night partying. Curtis’s wife Suzanne is wicked and cooks us all scrambled eggs and biscuits – lovely jubbly! Then it’s off with James for the rest of the day to do a photo shoot. We get to see some wicked sights around Rochester – some dodgy railway yards with graffiti and needles everywhere and then a beautiful bridge with an amazing view of a huge water fall (not as impressive as Niagra but still great). I think we got some wicked shots so job’s a goodun and then it’s off to the local pub for food and pints of beer. After the pub we head back to Curtis’s, listen to some old records and end up watching some really early TV shows of Tenacious D’s. Jack Black is a genius!

24th August - Jamie
So I remember waking up on the floor of the van with a fucked back ... and us driving into the states from Canada, I remember Hal ripping the back bumper off a dudes car while trying to change lanes in Rochester.... but that's it after that I got so shitfaced I can't remember!!!! oh apart from the suicide girls!

23rd August - Hal
Late start today and we had to play with the trailer a little as the bastards - traffic officers - took the plates off for being out of date - so we fabricated something from these Kentucky plates we found. So everything was slow and at about 9pm and one hour from Detroit we realised that we were perhaps rather too late for the show tonite. We rolled into Detroit at about 10.30pm, expecting the venue to have assumed us cancelled. However, they were completely non-phased, as if it were normal.. we rolled the gear in, they ordered pizza and we played. It was a young lass' birthday so we had a few drinks after to celebrate. We then decided that the timing was perfect to head over the border to Canada. It was, apart from the fact that someone had smashed the back light on the trailer - we limped over the border and kept quiet. We drove about 2 hrs and pulled over to sleep a little - Rochester tomorrow!

22nd August - Sam
Bollox – woke up late and we were meant to move the van before 9 so now we have 2 fat parking tickets… I hate parking attendants! We’ve got a day off today which is wicked as we’ve had no sleep for the past week… So we just sat around chillin’ and then went for proper Chicago styley Pizza – wicked!

21 August - Jamie
Still no sleep !!!! I have not been to bed before the sun comes up .. anyway are sooo late (or so we think) I pull driving duty we get on the road. stop off at starbucks I go in to get the coffee in but It takes like 20 mins I get so pissed off ! right now we're off it's only 3 hours so I drive all the way Sam gives us a bit of a detour but we get into Chica-gie well on time get some great Cajun tucker down us then I just have to have a quick 40 winks I just close my eyes in the green room and the bands start playing (oh well) it all cool because we get to hang out with our friend in Chicago you know who you are !!! although Chels isn't here we piss about a bit on stage then do a bit of chat after this girl won't lets us away she's just keeps telling us we should make the guitars more intense Jesus lady ! away I must sleep !!!!!!! night!

20 August - Hal
Awoke at about 2pm, a crumpled mess in the back of the van again, with Sam's hairy arse for a morning view. It was so hot - not Sam's arse, the van - and the night's vices made waking up a sweaty, confused haze of plodding thought and action. Eventually Sam and I made it to the shower of our good host, Fernando. We'd lost Jamie so awaited his arrival by checking emails. Eventually hit the road for Indianapolis. We stopped for a bite in this small town and made the fatal choice of answering "rock 'n' roll band" when the waitress asked us what we all did: next thing we've got a crowd of people and staff (including the manager) around us, asking for autographs; when we'd come and play in their town, and so on. We've made a pact between us that from now on we respond "construction workers" whenever venturing off the highway: you're trying to drink your coffee and a young lady is asking you to "say it again" and "I love your records" when quite clearly she thinks you're Australian and she's probably never even heard a record like ours, not between her Billy Ray Cirrus and Willie Nelson anyway! But don't get me wrong, they were the nicest and most accomadating people you'd wish to meet - so I jest for the sake of this diary;-) We got into Indianapolis early and I can safely say that I've mastered parallel parking with a trailer now. So, van parked right out front, we settled down to beer and pizza. The venue had some early players kicking out the jams and I'm not sure what they were smoking, but it was potent stuff cos each member was dressed up like a tiki-girl and swaying weirdly back and forth with the biggest grinning faces you'd ever seen... they were weird, and they were awful. We then got stuck into pool, the rule is winner stays on and the others rotate around him.... but us lot are the only people in the world who progresiviley get worse the more we play, so no-one really gets to stay on that long... (later on after the show I got my arse totally kicked by the girl behind the bar 3 times in a row - she cooked me another pizza as commiseration though!). Then it was time to play. I think we rocked tonight, no doubt. Everyone of us was on form. It was punk rock night which was strange cos we certainly ain't punk rock! But we won these dudes and dudettes around apart from one dedicated lad who was so upset that we ventured some solid rock into his world of punk that he ran up to the stage, knocked my mic stand over... and then ran off - like a pussy! So more like a fairy than a punk. After the show a load of us bailed back to Greg's house, the promoter, and got stuck into a few beers... I met the nicest but strangest people, one of which was a dominatrix who kept a sex dungeon in her house and insisted that our next visit to Indy she'd take us there! Ahmmm.... So I watched Ginger Snap #3 with our hosts until the sun came up, and like a true vampire, then gracefully retired from the daylight. Cheers Indianpolis, that's round two and another great trip.

19 August - Sam
I wake up because I’m sweating to death it’s so hot. Last night we got absolutely shit faced cause some guy insisted we tried loads of different American Whiskeys; so we couldn’t drive and were forced to camp in the van – hence the reason I awoke to such a serious bout of heat and dry on. Eventually we sort our heads out enough to drive onto a truck stop and get some food. After the food we all feel much better and drive onto Toledo to the promoters house, where we watch a documentary about The MC5 – pretty cool. Then it’s off to the show at the Underground which is always a wicked venue. We end up back at the promoters house for more beers and bed about 5.

18 August - Jamie
So wake up and look around I'm in bloody gang-star town right shit hole, I feel like crap I haven't been to bed before 5am all week so really don't feel like.. well anything. so after mustering up enough will to wake I empty some starbuck down my gullet and we off.. We get about 2 hours from Bowling Green and we have a blow out on the trailer at 70 mph all we see is a puff of smoke and the guy in the car behind us shit himself we get it to a rest stop a un-hitch the trailer, we take the van to a nearby Travel centre who calls a mate in the local town we get there and it like a 1960s film set with white picket fences and well mannered country folk who all say "hello there" and "have a nice day" I was expecting them to "say ya'll come back now" so we get the tire fixed and head back we bung the wheel on and hi-tail it to bowling green the shows great this really is a town of beautiful people USA anyway we make a load of new friends and when we're packing up this bloke starts talking to me ..now I listen then think to myself He's faking a crap British accent I have to stop myself from pissing myself sooo funny anyway he offers to take us all to breakfast and he seems like a cool
guy so we go after eating we head back to the van to sleep of cause I have to try climbing a lamp post on the way !!!

17 August - Hal
I awoke to 'Tucker' the Coonhound slobbering all over my face. At first it was nice and then consciousness hit me and the bloodshot eyes of this huge mutt came into clear view - shocking! We'd played Columbia, Missouri last night, which is a great town. We weren't expecting much, but our last two shows here finally bore us some fruit: it was a tuesday night and packed. After the show we headed to the promoter, Corey's house. This guy is one of the most stella dudes around: he'd got some beers in from Wychwood Ales, Witney, Oxfordshire - a tiny brewery about 20 minutes away from where we lived in England - bloody star man! It was his Coonhound that took a fancy to me as I drifted in my morning slumber on the floor.

Today was our second day off this tour and we meant to relish the potential luxury of it all - fixing our throats, guitars and tattered lives left at home. After showers, we hit the local record store, who's owner is an avid fan of British music, he'd seen the show and was already spinning our new promo disc. We then went for breakfast at the local pizza parlor - upon last night's promises of free pizza - and boy that was good pizza! Then we intended to skip town and settle somewhere for the day by a pool. But we had to get an oil change, which led to a tire change, which led to not having the right tools, which led to getting the right tools and that led to a delay in getting out on the highway... so by 8.30 we found ourselves checking into a motel by the I-270 heading toward Ohio (we're in Illinois right now). We did hit the pool but failed to get the sun tan and chill maximus of a day. We pulled names out of a hat to see who got the bed to themselves, Sam won. Clothes have been washed and calls home made. We're now heading out to dinner.. back soon and I'll finish..... truck stop food ain't the best; the only option that'll preserve your tummy is lots of coffee and then the breakfast or the burger, never the fancy option, that's suicide cos truck-stops and fancy dinners are not marriage material.. so three Smokehouse's please. About to crack some beers open and watch Shawn of the Dead.... til next time,, cheers Hal.

16 August - Sam

Woke up at Lauren’s this morning. Even though she was a drunken mess last night she seems to be bright and cheery this morning – nutter! After a cup of tea we all head down to the local Indian curry house. Still can’t believe they have such a great Indian in the middle of Kansas – best in America in fact. Hit the road again about 2 and luckily it’s not such a long drive to get to Columbia. We all feel absolutely knackered after getting no sleep for the past few days but somehow we manage to pull off a good high-energy show. As we’re packing up our gear, Jamie grabs me and says “I think something’s kicking off outside” and a second later a guy runs into the bar with blood all over his face. Then it’s pandemonium for the next hour. As always they absolutely milk it and about a dozen cop cars turn up and cops are running about all over the place. We eventually get away about 2 and head back to Corey’s for some English beer called Hobgoblin that’s brewed just down the road from us, back home in Oxford – lovely jubilee!

15 August - Jamie

The night after the night before - we are FUCKED ! We roll into (after a very long boring drive through Kansas) Lawrence, KS looking forward to the best curry in the whole of the States. We run across to the curry house and the guy says we're 5 mins late and there closed! We try and persuade the guy to let us eat but he won't budge, we're gutted !!! So we go to have pizza.... after bitching about the un-Cooperative Western Oriental gent and boycotting the place, we decide to have a curry lunch instead. The show was
very hard but we pull it off.. We go back to a friends house and the girls puke ..NICE .. anyway we finally get some sleep at 5am - doesn't really help our fatigue ... but there you go!

14 August - Hal

It was a late finish last night, in fact.. it was never a finish at all. After Salt Lake we had to leave on a night drive to make our afternoon show in Denver (BBQ). I sat with jamie until about 4am and then took over driving - I pummeled the biggest coffee I could find and then Red Bulls until I was moments away from puking - really! As daylight broke the arduous drive almost felt worth it - brilliant Sunrise and hints of what the American West must have been like before us lot got here and built big golden M's everywhere. As soon as we arrived at the Larimer Lounge, our mate Brian from Black Lamb came running out of the bar to greet us with shots of Jim Beam and Beamish - it was a Jim Beam Promo day - oh bollocks! This meant instead of getting a good meal, a shower and some kip, we got straight into the booze and therefore lubricated for the downward slide. We played really well though and all things considered, we won the crowd - maybe the best show so far - my voice is now fucked though. A few more drinks and some 'toot-toot-here-comes-the-train-driver' saw us stagger out about an hour after the bar had insisted it was time to pack up and go. We bailed over to Brian's place and met the most unfriendly dog in the world who insisted on baring his teeth if you so much as thought about thinking about him (we were too tired to plan a revenge for the morning), last night cap and then bed - I knew this one was gonna hurt......

13 August - Sam

Woke up at Robin’s this morning. Last night Robin told us that she is a hairdresser and she drunkenly promised to cut all our hair in the morning. So now it’s the morning and we’re making her keep her promise, after all we’re all getting to be a bit too Bon Jovi with our big mops. After a proper cup of tea and a proper mop cut we’re off on the road again to Salt Lake City. The drive seems to take forever and we eventually get to the venue about 9.30. We do a good show and have a few beers afterwards but unfortunately the beer in UTAH has to be brewed to half the strength so it don’t taste so good and doesn’t even give you a buzz. We hit the road again about 2.30 AM and have to drive all night to get to Denver for the next show.

12 August - Jamie

So Boise ! after the last time with the police fiasco, but to our surprise there's no road blocks and no angry birds waiting for us just a cold jug of ale. so we get loaded in and start sound check. After the show we get
accosted by two crazy birds who won't leave us alone they start by talking to Hal when one says "my friend fancies the drummer" of course Hal jumps at the chance of stitching me right up and introduces her to me I can't shake her, I try all my best blow off lines but in the end I introduce them to young Sam and say "Back in a minute". By the end of the night they're back and just a little more loaded so ones hanging off me like a chimp. Luckily the barman closes up and they disappear and my Jeans are left intact... So after a sarnie stop and me buggering the hazard lights on the van, we end up going to stay with a lovely young lady who promises to cut our hair - RESULT !

11 August - Hal
Woke up a crumpled, aching mess in the back of the van - must have drawn the short straw on beds last night. Head was numb and my middle toe was throbbing like a beacon of mischief: looks like my resolution to cut the boozing down failed after just two nights... and now I've a broken toe for the remaining two months... ah well, I guess the carnival has begun - again!

Got up, took a shower, drank some evil herbal stuff that makes your cold go right away, a few pain killers and then had one of the finest breakfasts known to humanity, courtesy of our lovely host Lori. After my breakfast of champions, I felt ready to call Linda Perry and talk her into taking us out on her tour in October... but ladies never take my calls, and this lady was no exception... tomorrow I'll do my usual and just keep calling until she calls the police.

We drove through the Cascade Mountains this afternoon and cut the miles towards Boise, Idaho. I've done it three times now and every time in a different season. Amazing, for me this is real America and I want to do it on a motorbike. Sam and Jamie slept the whole way.

We've a night off tonight so decided to get a Motel - not sure where the next bed or shower is coming from. We're near Pendleton,WA. Jamie's got the Christmas Special of The Office, so we're watching that tonight with a few beers. Just had a 'Denny's' so feeling fat and ready.... I'm missing Paul 'Roadie' Goddard already.. but we'll be seeing the fare lad in NYC. Apart from that I'll see you again for an update in three days. This will be my 3rd US tour with some part of my foot broken - this time the drumkit won - disproving any concept of 3rd time lucky!

10 August - Sam
Woke up this morning without a hangover for once, then Ed cooked up the finest scrambled Eggs and Bacon I think I ever had. Had to drop by the Portland Music Company to get Hal a new strap and some locks for his new SG. Then we hit the road to Seattle and our trailer isn't weaving anymore due to Ed's trailer fix up - so we can actually go above 45 MPH. We get to the show and have some wicked big ass burgers. Play a rockin' show – the crowd seems to like us a lot and make a lot of noise for us to do an encore. We insist that we never play encores, but some girls thought it was so good that they’re willing to bare all to the crowd in exchange for us getting back on the stage. So the girls get on stage and flash us their tits – nice! – and we oblige the crowd with another song. After the show we meet a 7’ monster of a guy called Billy aka Beer Finger; he has an amazing skill in that he can open a bottle of beer with a ring on his finger – hence the name Beer Finger. Later on at the bar Darren, the bar man buys us all a round of Tequila shots to celebrate the singer’s birthday (from the other band). Then it’s back to Laurey’s and Toby’s for more drinks and bed.

9 August - Jamie
So here we are again and welcome to our bus. So the tour starts with a rather long trip to Portland from LA; this is mainly due to the fact that our trailer is a piece of crap and starts to weave when you get over 45 MPH which having to do a 900 mile trip at that speed is not cool. Anyway we get to Portland find the venue and start load in after which Hal messes around with the trailer and me and Sam watch and then think sod it, lets order our food! After we (the ravenous band) finish our grub we're set for the nights festivities... Time arrives for us to shake down and apart from some miner technical problems Hal has with his strap we play the balls off the place, after said ball extraction we proceed to drink vast quantities of alcohol and then after our mate Ed fixes the trailer, we're off to his for the end of night, urm night cap ... so ends the first night of the tour pretty much as it started, moving very slow and weaving !

PAUL "ROADIE" GODDARD - US TOUR DIARY- SPRING 2005

6 June
Wake up, go and have a look around. Couple of big fishing ponds and pits where they do drag racing through the mud, and advert banners saying 'Jail is hell, call... for bail bonds...'. I guess a lot of hill billies go to Jail down here. Then it starts to rain, so Hal and I retreat to the RV for a cup of tea. Have a shower then we're off to New Orleans which is about an hour and a half away. Pissin' wiv rain still. Find the club, then go and park up in the French Quarter. Go and have coffee and donut at the Cafe Du Monde, then have a wonder down Bourbon Street, where it all goes off at Mardis Gras. Stop and go and get a beer, can't believe this is my last day. Then go and park up and go and get some pasta. Get to the gig, play first, drink, drink, drink.................. This entry has been cut short cause I got shit faced and now I'm late for my plane. Bye everyone. Fuck, I gotta pack!!! Paul.

5 June
Wake up quite eearly, go and have a wash and go buy some milk with our last $1.37 to have some muesli. Have an interesting conversation with Hal, about how funny he thinks it is when cat's are shittin' because they look so ashamed - we all agree. Today was obviously going to be a shockin' day cause Jamie said he'd wash up... but then he didn't. Listen to Sweet Home Alabama - just had to. Drive for a while then stop in Mississippi at a camp site. Real cool place, get burgers, pork chops and buns and stuff and have ourselves a big ole BBQ. Hal has his shirt off as it's stupidly muggy, I put on my jeans' t-shirt and trainers. When we get in the RV he's got about 15 mossy bites all over him - it was worth being hot. Two kids that live at the site - Jake: 8, Tony: 11. Both buy CDs off us, they're running around in shorts and vest bare foot in the dark, with out a bite on them and there's Cotton Mouths out here. Then we play cards, the looser has to stand outside in just their boxer shorts for 1 minute. It doesn't sound too bad but we all watch out the window, with glee at Sam getting eaten alive... hee hee hee! Really early night about 1ish.

4 June
Wake up cold, we left the AC on all night, go out side. BANG! like steppin' into an oven - go lie by the pool, catch some rays, then have a swim. Try to phone home, yet again, but shite phones won't let me - proper getting on my tits now!!! Spot of brecky and we're off to Jack Daniels distillery which is only 40 minutes away - sweet! It's a great tour, well worth doing and it's free. But no samples cause it's in a dry county - which seems well bizarre. They said that outside the States, the place where Jack Daniels is consumed the most is the UK - we're dedicated to our course. Then we drive for about another 4 hours, going through Alabama, it's really lush, green hills and forest. Near Birmingham now, how do they think up there names? Hal cooks up bangers and mash, with me helping over a few beers, then cards again. Quite early so we go into the truckers lounge to watch a movie, they start Fist Full of Dollars for us - classic Clint - what a hero!!! Bed about 2.30ish.

3 June
Wake up early, stupidly hot again, sweating like a Pregnant Nun. Bit of toast and a wonder about and we're off on the way to New Orleans. It's a long drive though so we'll try to get half wayish. Stop and gte a great milk shake and burger at Johnny Rockets. Then we stop in an RV park where there's a pool so we swim for half an hour, have a shower, then start to cook up a lasagne over a beer. Great food, well done again Sam. Then it's a few more beers, a couple of bottles of red wine and poker - big money! A penny a game. Go out for a cig with Hal and there's green flashing lights everywhere - no I'm not trippin' - Fire Flys buzzin' about all over the place. Then bed about 4ish.

2 June
Wake up about 12, go into the house and meet Blue (Zabrina's boyfirend), take a shower and put on clean clothes - doesn't sound like much but that's a big deal - first time I've done laundry for ages. Feel so much better! Zabrina cooked really good pasta for us - damn I'm being spoiled today. Then Blue shows us around the place; It's got load's of wooded area around the house and really tall bamboo - f'ckn' cool place. I'm informed there's lots of cotton mouthes - not too keen on the idea of that - I'd be walkin' round in wellies the whole time, I tell thee. Then we get on the way to Nashville, TN. A couple of hours into the drive we get pulled over by the police again. Standard drill: "What ya boys doing here?"... "We're in a band!"... "What ya called?"... "The Thieves!"; I'm sure you get the idea by now! Get to the gig at the Exit/In, load all the stuff and go and get something to eat. I was bummed because Sam got a wicked pizza and I got a shite chicken sandwich melt... which I am gutted about!! Then we go back and sound check and get 4 bottles of rolling rock each - some blond bird gives us her thong, which we hang in the rear view mirror with pride. Go and get some more food and beer, and then bed about 3.30ish.

1 June
Wake up 12ish, think I'm bleeding, then remember I'm covered in red pen, start the drive to Atlanta, GA. Stop and get Kentucky Fried Chicken in Kentucky - just had to. Couldn't understand a word they said. Noticed a hole in the window, which looked suspiciously like a bullet hole. Drive on and get to the gig at the Star Bar where we were told we could have as much PBR Beer as we could drink... so I took him up on the offer. They had this cool but a little weird, shrine to Elvis which was pointed out to me by Zabrina, who runs the guys Myspace. We went back to hers after the gig - really tired, go straight to sleep about 4ish.

31 May
Wake up 11.30ish the bus is already moving. Go sit in the front with Hal. Dense Decidiuos.forest, rocky valleys and outcrops - everything is really green. The long grass looks like summer in England; blue lakes and streams: beautiful day. Hal tells me we've just entered West Virginia; signs saying "Watch out for wildlife" with pictures of Deer and Bear. Lush green, hilly parcels. Get to the gig at The Dame, Lexington, Kentucky. We go in and have a beer. We ask "excuse me, do you have a local Bourbon"? which is replied with "We're in Kentucky, all Bourbons local"... "Ok then, we'll have one of those Wild Turkeys"... "You want the Kicking Chicken"?.... "yes please". Turns out to be 50.5%! Then the guy at the bar says in a strong Southern accent "You know why Hitler didn't drink Bourbon, right"?.... "It made him mean"! We all piss ourselves...looks like it's going to be a mad night. Get the local Kentucky Ale for a dollar a pint, but the barman's so shitfaced by the end of the night that he wipes the slate with a single Thieves t-shirt. Go out back and smoke some pipes with this dude. Then back to his for a drink and a smoke. Then have a marker-pen fight with Sam. Bed about 5ish.

30 May
Wake up all through the night and morning - lots of loud people everywhere and the bus is like a sauna. Go and phone home. Then up to the apartment again, then we're off, starting the long drive (11 hours - ish) to Kentucky). Have to drive through Harlem on the way out of NYC. Then I have a bit of a snooze. Wake up in all nice green farm lands. Big houses scattered across the countryside. We eventually stop about half way there, in Maryland somewhere. We spoke to some people we met in West Chester and they said there was a Tornado just after we left - CRAZY! Was really nice when we were there. Stop and cook up Spag Bol with cream cheese in it - well nice (good work Sam me boy). Then its a few beers over a few games of cards for shots of Scotch, but we play rather too many games and drink the whole bottle - great night cap. One last cig and bed at 4ish.

29 May
Wake up early in the bus about 8.30, go and feed the meter. Then back to sleep until 12.30, when I'm woken up by Sam sitting on the edge of my bed. I nearly shat my pants which Sam finds bloody hilarious - lucky I didn't beat him to death, we are in Down town New York in the RV. Then we go to Kristy's (the Swede's ex) apartment for a lush sandwich and a shower. Spend the rest of the day walking around New York - really cool. Stop at an Irish pub for a spot of lunch and a few pints. Get back to Kristy's about 8.30 then go and have dinner at an Italian restaurant. The food was lush as was the wine. Back to the apartment to watch Blade Trinity - what a pile of shite. Bed about 2.30ish.

28 May
Wake up - cookin' well hot in the bus. Start to drive to the Mercury Lounge, NYC, stop at Denny's and get a meat lovers skillet with Hal - his B'day is today - the ripe age of 29, no less. Drive over the bridges to Brooklyn and Manhattan (names???). Get a great view of the city, see the empire state building and get a pretty good view of the Statue of Liberty too. Arrive at the gig, unload the stuff and park up and look for somewhere to begin the celebrations. Hal opens his pressies and has a bottle of Glenmorangie, so we sample a large one, then its onto the bar, play the gig, then go and eat at this great Tapas bar, absolutely gorgeous. Then back to the club for a few more beers, then bed at 4ish.

27 May
The guys met some girls last time they were here so we wake up about 12ish and go round there's for a much needed shower, then watch some TV for the first time in a month, then my beloved chicken and ranch Subway, ummmm...... THen Hal and I go for a beer at a really cool little bar where they have Stella - Thank you God! Then back to the girls house for Tacos which they cooked for us - well sound, just what the doctor ordered. Then onto another bar, then the gig, Get free pitchers, which we consume with haste, being Hal's B'day and all, then back to the girls apartment and we watch run ronnie run - well funny - then bed about 4ish.

26 May
Wake up at 8.30ish, back to sleep at about 1.15 - great sleep, eggy bread and then we're off driving to Gettysburg - might as well get some culture whilst we're here - get side tracked and end up in West Chester. Find a really nice spot by a stream in the country which has a picnic bench, so we cook up chili and eat out side over beers till dusk. Then inside for cards and a few more beers, then go to see the 'Kingdom of God', pretty good film. Then to where we're playing the gig tomorrow - Rex's - for a few beers and a game or two of pool. Park up on a side street about 3.30ish.

25 May
Wake up, dying for the bath room in a street with no where to go. Sam, Hal and Jamie won't wake up to drive me somewhere and just lay in bed laughing at me. They get up eventually and we drive to lower east side Manhattan for Pizza and a much needed loo break. Get an oil change as we've now done 8000 miles, stop at some little back street garage, looks dodgy as hell but its well cheap. Wonder around NYC most of the day sorting out a few jobs, then we're off driving for about 4 hours, stop just south of Philly and cook up a Sausage Pasta thing after making Jamie reluctantly wash up. Several games of cards over a beer and bed at 3ish.

24 May
Wake up at 11, rubbish nights sleep, drafty, cold and shitty weather. Go and have a shower and shave for the first time for three and a half weeks. Right mission but feel loads better. Get a salad, some hard boiled eggs and a coffee and we're away en route to Brooklyn, NYC. Get to the gig and the birds never heard of us, says "well, you're not suppose to be playing but we'll put you on the boll anyway. Then the third band steals all the mikes so we can't play but we get half price Stella anyway and about three free rounds. Cook up, great bangers and mash and I step outside the RV for a smoke and hear the bar still kicking so I bang on the door and they let me in. This huge dude called Mojo tells me jokes for a while, which he finds far funnier than anyone else does which makes it even funnier - great laugh over some Jamesons. Then bed at 5ish.

23 May
Wake up, go into the Bovine, find out that they have Baked Beans in Canada, so we go to the store and get some and take them to the Shanghai Cowgirl and get a full breakfast with beans - yepee! Then we go to watch the new Star Wars movie, pretty cool. Then on the road, get stopped at US border for no reason - they're just being difficult to be ass holes. Then we get to Buffalo and stop to get 50 Buffalo wings between 4 of us, I have 14 and I'm done, the others get a box for the rest. Then onto a truck stop. Not tired so I phone me Mum, then watch NYPD Blue with Hal in the truckers lounge. Go to bed about 3.30ish.

22 May
Wake up quite early, I fink bloody freezing but cat knap until 12.30ish. Get up and we start to drive back to Toronto. Stop and get a salad and a coffee - sorts me right out - feeling good. Get to the Bovine, got Deja Vu, Troy is sat at the bar, smoking as usual. Go next door for a couple of pitchers and Shanghai noodles. Very nice. Then back to the club for plenty of Beer, Vodka and Jager. About 4ish we go back to this girls house for a smoke. I role 2 joints with some herb we swapped for an EP - fuck it's strong! Me, Sam and Hal all leave the place giggling like school girls. Get back to the RV and wake up Jamie, role another J so he can sample it and all sit around pissing ourselves at Sam taking about an hour to make a cup of tea. Then sleep about 5ish.

21 May
Wake up, the bus is moving, I however can not. Get out of bed after a while - mainly driven by hunger - fuck me it's 3.30 in the afternoon. Stop to get a pretend Subway called Mr. Sub - shite! Then off to Montreal. Get to the gig at Le Swimming, no one around so we go and have an Italian - nice. Play the gig, shoot loads of pool and have a few pitchers, then get back to the RV at what I thought was a sensible time, turns out it's 5 AM - another early night - Great!

20 May
Wake up on a street in the bus - don't know where I am, only Sam and me on the bus. I'm informed we're in Toronto and Hal and Jamie are in some birds house across the street. So I go over, no one home so I have a show and do the dishes, which have been in the bus for about a week. Get to the gig at the Bovine Sex Club, really cool place, meet Troy who takes us next door for a pitcher or two and some lunch. Then we're off to a radio Interview and back for some more pitchers and a spot of dinner. That's right we stayed in the bar that long that we had lunch and dinner there whilst drinking for a healthy nine hours. Then next door for the Bovine for the show, great gig, really cool atmosphere and sound people. Towards the end of the night I put duct tape in Sam's hair and he gets all eggy cause he was trying to pull some bird and he had to get it cut out. The birds turn up from the highway that we were messing about with. Get out of the bar at 6.30 AM, broad daylight - C***ish!

19 May
Wake up in the car park, on the bus that is, not just in a car park - although that has happened before. Me and Hal go for a wonder and find out that we're only 10 minutes drive from Niagra falls. So off we go and stop at the whirl pool first to see the sheer power of the river, then on the Falls. Absolutely amazing, again just can't believe the sheer power and volume of water just flowing over and over. Been wanting to see this since I was a little kid, so really chuffed today - another one off the list of things to do. On to the gig at Hamilton, Corktown Tavern. A bit of shit hole, but proper pint glasses and nice beer at last. A local guy shares his knowledge with me and tells me how to make honey oil from Ganja leaves and butane - very useful information. Then some local woman, whose birthday it is takes a shine to me and puts her hands up my shirt. At this point I was tempted to hide in the bus, but just drank with Hala and kept a low profile.

18 May
Wake up feeling fine again, nice cupper and we're off. Stop to get a subway, I swear they put something addictive in them - I can't get enough. Drive down the highway and these girls keep passing, then slowing down. SO we write Jamie's No. down on a piece of paper and hold it up in the window, but they shake their heads and write down their No., so Sam and Jamie talk to them on the phone and tell them to come to the show in Toronto on Friday. What a pair of smooth operators. Another productive day, making truck drivers honk their horns. Get to the gig in Rochester, the Bug Jar. Play first after lots of beer. Then this girl we met, Myah, takes us to a food joint to have a 'sloppy plate' - lots of home fires, two cheese burgers, a Macaroni Cheese Salad and hot sauce all in a pile. She said she's never seen anyone eat the whole thing. I said "well love, history is gonna be made this day" and ate the fuckin' lot. Finish the night, pissed as a hand cart. Jamie starts to drive to the Canadian border again.

17 May
Wake up, feeling fine. Start driving along the side of lake Michigan to Detroit. The lake's beautiful and so blue - nice sunny day. Spend the rest of the day driving on the shitest roads in the world, possibly. Then we get to the gig at the Lager House, few free drinks, shoot some pool, then two great pizzas arrive for us - sweet. Finish the gig and decide to get over the border to Canada but I remember we still have some weed, so a roll a quick one to finish it off. Next thing "shit we're at the border, throw it out the window", "I'd rather lop off my todger" was my reply and I ate the whole joint - hmmm.... tasty! Stop at a truck stop, have some crazy dreams but a really good nights sleep.

16 May
Wake up feeling like shite. The girls kindly let us have a shower in their flat, makes me feel a bit better, then I feel like I'm gonna pass out. So me, Sam and Chelsea go for Fajitas - feel much better now. Then we watch this great film called 'The Count of Monte Cristo' - can't believe I've never heard of it before - nice to chill out for a change. Then we go to Lori's apartment, looking over lake Michigan - the lake's fuckin' huge - can't get my head around it. We're on the 47th floor and we still couldn't see the other side. Bit of a smoke and a beer and we're off to a Mars Volta concert. Some of it was alright, but didn't really interest me if I'm honest. Then we go for a Chicago Town Pizza, shots and beer - well nice! Then Lori gives us a lift home. What a lovely, smart sexy, smart girl (told you I'd write something nice!). Cheeky little smoke and then straight to bed.

15 May
Wake up, starving after only eating salad yesterday. Go and look for somewhere open, it's like a ghost town, everywhere is shut, saw like 2 cars the whole time. I'm guessing there all at Church, being Sunday and the only place open was the Chinese, so that's what I had for Breakie. Then we're off to Chicago, stop at a truck stop and I'm forced to buy a burger. Then sleep, or try to. Shite roads, which we have to pay to use every mile, stopping at tolls. Get to the gig at the Subterranean, get fed Cajun chicken, 6 free drinks, met some girls that the guys new from the last time they were in town. Chelsea, Lori, Jessica, Melissa and Emily.

14 May
Wake up about 12.30ish - needed that sleep. Go into the house for another much needed shower, feel good this morning for some reason - I should be dead. Munch a load of Salad - maybe that sorted me out. Start the drive to Toledo, Ohio, about 4 hours. Get to a gig called the Underground. Sam and Hal go off to make some munch and Jamie's off on his normal bird mission. So I'm left to drink screwdrivers like they're going out of fashion - boy was I pissed.

13 May
Wake up and go to the Garage to get a burger thing. Fucking minged hard, tasted like death, but ate it anyway. Started the drive to Indianapolis, Indiana. Stopped to get a sub way, that's better! Get to the gig at the melody Inn - free pizza and beer - good work. Shoot some pool waiting to go on, smoke some pipes with the other band then go back to this dudes house called Greg, for a lovely wee drop off Jamesons, to be sure, to be sure. Then back to the bar girls and boyfriends house for a smoke, get back to the RV about 6AM, broad daylight, munch the other half of my subway and sleep like a baby.

12 May
Go and have a shower in the house and the girls say they work in a pizza shop, and we should call in. So we do - get a great pizza with all kindsa shit on it for 5 bucks - seems a sweet deal to me. Then we start to drive to Columbia, Missouri, we've been driving for two hours when the police pull us over, the old chestnut comes out again "what are you guys called - The Thieves!" - Very funny! Then it's out with our IDs again and lots of questions about Marijuana - we must look the sort. Get to the gig, quite quiet but some metal band on before us - loud as fuck - can feel my will to live slipping away but take full advantage of the free beer all night - spot on! Then out of nowhere the girls from last night turn up, so I have to give up my bed and sleep in the bunk so Sam the dirty little rat can have my bed.



11 May
Woke up at a truck stop, ate shit loads of salad to try and sort my self out from a heavy night. Then we started the drive - flat farm land for like 8 or 9 hours - boring as fuck. I slept for some of it. Then we get to the gig, off load the gear and the lads tell me there's an excellent curry house - so off we go. Spot on, lovely drop of Ruby. Then we do the gig, lots of free pissy beer again and back to these girls house to park up for the night. Reefer and bed.

10 May
Woke up in Cheyenne, was forced to go back to the wrangler store and get a Stetson (I just had to). Then we stopped at a ranch and went into the saloon bar, had a couple of beers and they had Bison Burgers for sale. Made use of the facilities and did the washing up (as usual Jamie ran off and didn't help). Then we're off to Denver. We get to the gig, go into the green room, they got free JD and bud - sweet! Meet Gem, nice girl, kept blagging me for smokes and said she was in the top ten in the UK, wish I'd paid more attention now. The tour manager for Gem was funny as fuck - real cockney geezer. The club we played was called Bender's. We were laughing about it and a guy said hey, what does Bender's mean in the UK - he said "Americans!". Got some chop off this dude and got successfully shit faced. Packed up the shit and started the drive to Lawrence, Kansas.

9 May
Wake up by the springs which are in Saratogo. Go use the free showers and we're off again. Stop to get gas and have an egg sarnie. Phone home and we're on the road again to Denver but we're gonna try and stop at Cheyenne. We've made good time so we do stop, go into a wrangler store, loads of cowboy boots and real cool stetsons - would have lolved to have bought one but they are like 120 bucks so I decide to give it a miss. Went into Wal Mart again to look at the shutguns, the guy behind the counter lemme hold one while Sam took a picture. Can you Imagine holding a semi automatic weapon in the middle of ASDA (English Supermarket) - I fink not! Go and have a beer in the local saloon bar (a loverly wee drop) then on to a truck stop for a few more beers, then we cook up tea, Szechwan Beef (check out this Gourmet shit!). Reefer, cards, beer and then Jamie farted so bad it made me gag twice - not civil behaviour, then bed.



8 May
Wake up about 11.30 cause the bus starts to move, crawl out of bed when it stops at a truck stop. Go and have a wash, go and have breakfast with Hal in Wyoming. Lots of coffee to wake up, finish off with Strawberry shortcake for free. Spotted a thing on the menu that said the waitress had to tell us about the shortcake or it was free - SUCKERS! Next gig is in Denver so we're gonna try and get half way tonight, oh and try to visit some hot springs on the way. Been driving for a couple of hours, all orangey cliffs and rocks and white, yellowy hills - I can Imagine Clint riding thru them on his horse. Parked up by the hot springs. But went to the shop first which had no wall space because of all the moose, deer, rams, wolves, bob cats, mountain lions, bears etc. and anything else that moves - stuffed and mounted on them with great pride - fuckin' un real!!! Cook tea, spag bol again (lucky I like it), a couple of beers and into the spa, well nearly! Only went up to my waist - it was hot as fuck - when we got out all our feet and legs were bright red. Then it's a nice reefer, another beer or two, a game of cards and bed. But couldn't sleep, freezin' my tits off where we haven't fixed the window yet.

7 May
Woke up by a knock on the RV door, 3 cops standing there - FUCK! Apparently one of the girls house mates had had her wisdom teeth (how ironic) out and when she woke up, 8 of her pain killers had gone, so she phoned the police and said it was us! KNOB ED’S! The police said, what ya doing here and we said we’re in a band so they say whatcha called – we say "The Thieves" – bugger! The police start to laugh, search the RV and let us go, leaving the girls stood in front of the house, we’re gentlemen and waved good bye. Pissin’ ourselves all the way to the diner where we have all you can eat breakfasts for 8 bucks. At the diner they also sold telecopic metal battons and fuck off massive knives, obviously for cutting up water melon. Then stop at Wal Mart, where if you’re 18 you can buy a pump action shotgun for 100 bucks (just over 50 quid) but NO DRINK! - Till 21, the land of the free, my arse. Then off on highway 84 to salt lake city, UTAH. About 350 miles – 5 hours ish. Get to the gig, a little shit hole called Burt’s Tiki but cool place – lot’s of character. Barman has no eyes, think he could well be a stoner. Free beer, thought great, then had about 12 pints with no effect – fuckin’ piss. My suspicions however were true, smoke some pipes with the barman, Scottie and the guy on the door. Get to bed about 4. Cream Krackered!

6 May
Wake up, cup a tea, egg sarnie, phone home and we’re off again. About 4 more hours drive. Landscape quite flat again now. Through lots a hills again – changes so quickly. Pissing it down! Get to Boise, quite red neck, bar seems cool though, get 5 free drinks and 8 bucks each for ‘food’ – yeah right! Gig rocked, sold lotsa merch, had a bit of chop and went back to these girls house for a drink and a smoke after the club shut. They were cheesy as fuck, could quite happily of punched them.

5 May
Parked up and Toby let’s us have showers in the morning - cool. Leave Seattle and start the journey to Boise, Idaho, but stop to get a board and fixings to sort out the smashed window and we get Krispy Crack donuts – I got two and was forced to get another. Into the mountains now, snow on the tops, lakes, streams and dense pine forest. Just got a truck driver to honk his horn – dumb and dumber styley - well funny! Stopped at a red neck truck stop last nite, spag bol for tea, a few beers, big fat reefer and lots a giggles over a few games of shit head (cards). Loser has to do a pint can shotgun – strength!

4 May
Woke up and had a much needed shower at ed’s house and he let us do our laundry – sound. Had a couple of bottles of cider wiv em and we’re off again, en route to Seattle, WA. About 200 miles. Get about 200 metres from the gig at the high dive and take a wrong turn, try to get down an alley. Jamie turns the bus and a pole goes through my bedroom window – DOH! Get fed at the gig again, four free drinks and loads of cheap tequila. Then it’s back to the sound man’s house, Toby’s for a smoke and pass out.

3 May
Wake up, have corn flakes and we’re off again. Quick stop to check out a river and stop at a truck stop for a wash. Full of red necks – big time – they have a chapel in the truck stop – PLAIN WEIRD! Got to the gig in Portland about 4ish, then set up the shit and started to drink for free, got fed well nice Italian food – didn’t spend a penny all night on booze, just 5 bucks on fags and 10 bucks on herb – got shit faced for free. When we left we bought a slab of beer for the road – 20 bucks, 24 cans – sweet! Went back to some guys house called ed and had pipes.

2 May
Wake up, have a cup of tea and we’re off. Driving over bridges and mountain roads, this lake seems to go on forever – looks like a post card. Now right at the top of North California. Just entered Oregan, lush green hills, raining showers quite a lot – guess that’s why its so green. Got about another 400 miles to our gig in Portland. Park up and cook bangers and mash for tea. Play cards, the loser has to shot gun a can of coke– you should have heard the burps – well funny.

1 May
Woke up on the bus with a great view of San Fran across the bay from Sausolito. Looking at Alcatraz as well – trippy. Drove for about 4 hours after looking around san fran, doing some shopping. Arrived at Lake Shasta and spent the night. Snow capped mountains now, everything getting greener the more north we go. The lake is amazing with a huge dam at one end. We park up by the lake, cook tea, have a few bears and play cards until bed time. Get the fear about taking a piss cause of mountain lions and bears.

30 April
Tongue and Groove, San Fran. Free shots and beer – great!

27 April
The Silverlake Lounge, LA – Really Drunk. Went through a Jack in the box drive thru without a car. Smoked a joint with this dude called Joe. This woman walked by and he goes “Hey Baby, you wanna smoke some weed?” Funny as fuck – he kept giving it “Don’t talk to me baby, I’m high!”.

26 April
The Gypsy Lounge, Orange County – Drunk!