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 !