House On Wheels Posted on Monday 16 November 2009

When does one trip turn into the next? Technically our first week on the road, even though for me there was never any time between this tour and coming back from the last trip. I never even unpacked my suitcase. However my new zen-like travelling self seems content staring out of windows for hours, never being able to tell what time of day it is, much less what day of the week. We work out new songs in the back seat, bury our noses in books and in Facebook, and occasionally glance at the scenery of mindblowingly beautiful mountains on one side and endless factories on the other.

After a shambolic warehouse show in London with Connan Mockasin and an intense night in Paris, we arrived in Chicago last Sunday in time for the show next day. We have yet to get used to the slightly surreal feeling of arriving to a new place where you’ve never set foot before and be welcomed by a sold out venue where people know your songs.

It’s certainly a different deal every night. Couple of nights later we’re playing in Englewood, Colorado. We rock up and realise we’re playing a barbecue joint. The air was thick with meat fumes and the good vegetarian in me had a good mind to go Morrissey and proclaim I would not play in the SMELL OF BURNING FLESH. Nevertheless, it was a good show in the end, albeit one member short for this particular stretch of the tour and having to make shit up.

For some reason, the US haven’t quite understood splitter vans (half storage, half seats) yet, so we are driving round in a van with a trailer the size of a house behind us. It’s not the prettiest thing, especially not after we had to literally tape the thing together since a gust of wind tore the metal panelling and rather heavy lock off the side door. The sheer size of the thing seems to impress people at gas stations though. Hey, maybe it was the only one the hire company had left, I don’t know. Either way I can tell you it’s no fun when you’re doing a 13 hour overnight drive between Denver and Salt Lake City in a snow blizzard. Every few hours we saw someone go into a ditch or passed a crashed lorry. At one point we hit an ice patch and had a little scary swerve, but we arrived in one piece somehow.

We had our first snowball fight yesterday, in the morning sun at some truck stop in the middle of nowhere. It’s cold round these parts. Tomorrow we’re playing in Boise, Idaho and then I hope we’re heading somewhere slightly warmer, because I bought a foldable bike off some woman outside Minneapolis and so far it’s been so cold that it’s just been sitting there in the dark, lonely trailer.

Simon x