Friday, 24 July 2009

Prolapse in America: Tim's tour diary




"Seeing Greenland and the Arctic Ocean frozen with pack ice is not something you expect in life (unlike meeting a Newcastle United fan in Los Angeles) so flying over the top of the world was an unexpected bonus for the start of the tour...

After landing and meeting Steve - ex-Cop Shoot Cop - all American, cowboy boots, plaid shirts, tour manager, driver and a great guy, we're hit with the news that we're not staying in motels for the start of the tour but in someone's house. Oh fuck think of return to the dogshit fridge of Amsterdam...

But no, this was a wee bit different. Second from the top of Curzon Avenue in the Hollywood Hills. 'Chez Krautpunk popsters' was lifted straight from a Friday night's west coast schmaltz programme complete with natural grapefruit dispenser in the back garden. Prolapse finally find their true home (no offence Hull Blue Lamp!)...

No sooner than this hits us we're dragged out by Steve to see the Amps at the Troubador - can't get in on the guest list as it seems as though the Mean (generous) Fiddler has not reached LA. So we 'hang out' outside with Eddie Vedder, Courtney and Bush person, Trent Reznor, Greg Dulli, Chris Cornell and Dave Grohl!! Well not actually but do see Stereolab - which is weird in the fact that it didn't seem weird. The Troubador could well be the Garage if Santa Monica Boulevard was Holloway Road... which it isn't.

Go to a diner and discover American size portions... Next morning wake up at 6am (jet lag you know) and go shopping... The local shop - and this is true - is the 7-11 where Hugh Grant got arrested in Sunset Boulevard. Go to the only Russian shop in America to buy food - this is real abroad - they don't speak English. For some reason Tony buys 12 Kiwi fruits - beware of managers, strange people. Finally a gig! Fullerton University.Typical nondescript college town. The venue is non-smoking indoors - no beer on the rider - not even for Stereolab.

Suddenly US 80s 90s by The Fall makes sense. 'No beer no cigarettes no whiskey, welcome to the US 80s 90s.' The $7 each for food is quickly transformed into four crates of Bud and two bottles of vodka. As a result I dance like mad and slept for equal parts of Stereolab's set... all's well that ends well as they say... San Diego is Skegness! No two ways about it. Grey skies, grey sea and a pier. We had to paddle nevertheless. Pat met some friends of Turk at the gig which was punctuated by cries of 'Blue Army!' throughout.

We got the thumbs up from the lighting engineer - our fan tally is now three... Getting to the Troubador we finally got to see our name in lights on the Santa Monica Boulevard. Get wined and dined by Big Cat/Jet Set Shelley which is probably not such a good idea three and a half minutes before stage time. (The restaurant is where the cover of Art Garfunkel's LP Breakaway was taken!) The gig was great by the way... Second sellout night in LA and what a star-studded audience - Eric from Hole with Drew Barrymore and Beck. Scottish Mick got a request for a personal audience with her Drew-ness - who he described as a bit of a 'hippy'. Another fine gig but sadly we begin to realise our time in the Hollywood Hills is over and the tour for real is about to begin...

Prolapse are the only Brits ever to go to San Francisco and not get to see the Golden Gate Bridge. Nevertheless San Francisco is a great place even if we were only there for six hours. The venue, the Great American Music Hall, is wonderful... all gold leaf and carving. Get to see a few copies of Backsaturday in Tower Records. Wow! Go to a Scottish pub and someone asked Scottish Mick if he's the singer from Prolapse. We're almost beginning to feel like pop stars...

Flushed from the success of ad-libbing a song from scratch over the airways of Oregon in Portland we go bowling. Stereolab are there too as is Maxine, a friend from Leicester, who now lives in Portland. The score Yanks 1 Brits 0. It seems you can't both sing and bowl with Linda and Scottish Mick jointly collecting the wooden spoon - mind you who said Mick could sing... ho ho!

I want to live in Bellingham, either the one in Washington or Northumberland. I'm not fussy. The balcony of the dressing room had the most wonderful view - looking out across the harbour and that bay bit that goes up to Vancouver. You could see the mountains of Canada. Tonight also brings us the first gig with Jessamine, a Seattle band who are excellent. After the gig certain people go off to smoke mixed herbs with the 'Labs entourage in their big sleeper bus - poor things can't afford motels like us real pop stars... "

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