So there we were, after 11 hours of uncomfortable anticipation and the worst airline food yet, we finally stepped out into the most amazing sight any of us had ever seen…….Los Angeles!!!!
There’s no denying it, we had come a hell of a long way from Coventry, and we were ready to make the most of it! We were here in California to tour first L.A and then San Francisco with our friends and fellow rock and roll merchants, ‘5th Nation‘. First things first, we needed to pick up our transport and home for the next two weeks, the RV camper van.
I knew this was gonna be a good trip as soon as I saw the 7 sleeping, 4.5 litre engined behemoth, it felt like our own little haven amongst the enormous entertainment Capitol of the world, and we could drive it right to the venues each night! Perfect! It didn’t look so perfect when we dropped it off back at the rental place, but that’s another story……
So after we hooked up with Julia and Musik of ‘5th Nation‘ it was onto our first gig at ‘Good Hurt’ near Venice beach. Venice beach has to be one of the most perfect places I’ve ever been to! The first gig was so exciting, particularly after watching ‘5th Nation’, as they were totally on fire and blew everyone in attendance away with their musicianship and awesome song writing so we knew we had to top it!
What followed were 9 gigs around the L.A area which were life-affirming and completely messy! We met some fantastic new friends and had a complete crack along the way! We were joined on our merry way by two of the best members of our U.S team, Miss Liz Lomax and Live4ever’s Micky ‘Meehal’ Smyth! Thank goodness we were too, as they helped us out of countless tricky spots with their knowledge of L.A and the American culture!
After rocking a cool downtown venue called ‘Mr. T’s Bowl’ (Mr T wasn’t there) we played at S.I.R studios on Sunset boulevard. This gig was in conjunction with the radio summit conference organised by the legendary Sat Bisla! Our first time playing on the legendary Sunset strip will live long in the memory as we put in a good shift in front of an enthusiastic crowd pumped to be seeing so much new music from all over the world on a bill put together by A&R Worldwide.
On Sunday we were booked for an early evening set at the ‘Tribal Cafe’. As we were setting up we realised that there was a very chilled vibe about this venue. Everyone was sipping on wheatgrass smoothies and we thought it was a tad rude to rock at full volume! So we switched up to acoustics and played a couple of tracks we had written the day before in the set, just to fit the scene we found ourselves in and it worked beautifully! The new songs are definitely ‘Keepers’ too. More new friends made and a free beetroot smoothie (great for a hangover apparently) finished the night perfectly!
Oh no the night didn’t finish, this was L.A. and it’s 24 hours so we did another acoustic set at ‘Room 5’, just across from Paramount studios. I can’t tell you were these places were as looking out of the RV it all just seemed to be the same with endless liquor stores, bars and fast food stores.
The next day we headed to Santa Barbara for a live TV show to be broadcast to 70,000 homes, marking our debut American TV performance! Two things stick in the memory, firstly I suffered a horrible allergic reaction to something just before we started playing and both my eyes swelled practically shut (thank god for shades!), and secondly, in rehearsals the cameraman encouraging me to pout into the camera “Just like Dat Mick Jagger guy”. I tried like, but I’m a bass player man! It just looked like I was blowing kisses into the camera and the band enjoyed ripping the piss out of me for the whole ride back to L.A!!
So after our penultimate L.A gig at ‘The Mint’ where we followed a jazz band who to our surprise all went nuts for us, it was time for the one we’d been waiting for, one of the most legendary venues on the planet, ‘The Whisky A Go-Go’ on the Sunset strip!! This really is as rock ‘n’ roll as it gets, and every band you can think of has played there, from The Doors, The Who, Led Zep to the Chili Peppers and onto, well, everybody!
We were really really up for this one and Rocket helped the vibe along by getting in
the Tequila shots on the way to the stage! We found something extra inside ourselves for this one and it was the most memorable gig we’ve played in the States yet.
Special thanks go to some of the people who gave us some amazing support and help along the way. The band ‘After’ and Mark Doty plus his friends at the ‘mad place‘ especially DJ Turrtle and www.entertheshell.com who we did a great acoustic session for. The band ‘Suddyn’ and there manager Linda who offered us hot showers and cold beers when we were really in need of both! They live in a super cool spot just off a highway up a very steep hill (couldn’t tell you where) and were fantastic friends to us while we were there. Also, the Australian band ‘My Fiction’ who we met trying to get a burger in a drive-in without a car!! I mean, what’s your problem LA do you want my money or don’t ya?? Anyway they let us hang at their place all night and shower all morning! Legends!
Then it was off to San Francisco so please read on……