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  • Writer's pictureLesley McLaren

West Coast Tour Day 13 - Sunday 2nd December 2007

I woke up at 7:30am this morning, robbed of 30mins since the alarm was set to go off at 8am. When I looked across the room, Tippi was STILL sleeping! I have to admit I did stare long enough to check that she was still breathing. She must’ve slept for about 36 hours. I felt awful too but it was self inflicted so I didn’t expect any sympathy from anyone.

I decided to go straight to the shower before I really had time to think about it and was annoyed with myself for not packing before I went out the night before as I stumbled across clothes and bags strewn all over the floor in the dark. Getting ready with a hangover is bad enough never mind having to tackle packing too! When I finally got out the shower after wrestling with the taps for 15 minutes trying to get hot water, I woke Tippi up. She didn’t know what day it was. We got ready anyway and all the time I was chuckling away to myself thinking about the madness of the night before. I couldn’t remember if the helicopter bit was a dream until I stepped out the door and saw it in the car park. I walked into Gill & Rosie’s room and burst out laughing at the state of Gill the Spill. She was star shaped on the bed, not moving. Another casualty from the night before. Rosie was in her usual pre flight stance, sitting at the window wringing her hands nervously. She’s terrified of flying and as usual, hadn’t slept a wink all night for worrying about it. You’d never guess that her dad is a BA pilot!

By 9am, the van was loaded up and we set out off on the 5 hour drive from Las Vegas to LA in silence. We were sad to be leaving and with the fuzzy heads and Tippi sitting up front looking green with a poly bag on her knee it was going to be an interesting journey. At 11am we were just under half way to LA and we were quite hungry. We pulled in at service area and went to Burger King for breakfast. The healing powers of a cheese burger and fries that early are magnificent! I felt like a new woman after it and soon the banter started flowing for the remainder of the journey. Tippi even had a peck at a chicken burger but ended up throwing it away. What a waste. If she wasn’t infected, I’d have eaten it!

The first stop when we arrived in LA was Ernesto’s house where we dropped him off and said our goodbyes. We’ll miss his mad dancing and patter. After that we had to go across town to the hire company to return the drum kit and the guitar amps. By this point it was about 3pm and both Gill and I were feeling more human. We got to the airport at 4pm where we dumped the van and tried to hide the massive chocolate stains on the front passenger seat. I think we got away with it. We offloaded the rest of the tea bags, “borrowed” hotel pillows and Ernesto’s forgotten baking trays to the ladies in the hire van place. We’re so generous!

We got to LAX Airport at about 4:30pm to discover that the plane was delayed by an hour and wouldn’t be leaving until 9:40pm. What a scunner. First things first, we thought- to the food court. Pasta was the order of the day and by then I was definitely back to normal. So much so that Frank’s suggestion of a beer (to get rid of our change of course) wasn’t such a bad idea after all. We wandered about the airport for hours and annoyed the woman at the Mac makeup counter several times. She was getting annoyed because we were asking questions and not actually buying anything. Well, I must point out that her makeup was horrendous. She looked like Christopher Biggins in drag- Widow Twankie-esque. I bought and eye shadow anyway and ignored her advice on how to plaster ones boat race in slap.

We were eventually called to board at about 9:20pm. Once we got comfortable on the plane and the annoying wean behind stopped kicking my seat, we got ready for take off. Just as we were trundling towards the runway, we about turned and headed for the cargo area. The captain informed us that the dumb asses at the airport hadn’t packed the plane correctly and put too many bags at the back of the plane causing us to be tail heavy. TWO HOURS LATER we were ready for take off when again we came to a halt as the weather had moved in during that time and the pilots had to recalculate whatever it is they calculate.

We eventually took off just before midnight. My bum was already numb at this point and we had 10 hours to go! Tippi puked up shortly after take off and had to be moved to a quiet seat so she could wretch away to her hearts content. There’s nothing worse that being sick on a plane though, You feel like everyone is watching you and there is no privacy so I felt really bad for her. On that note, the food on the plane wasn’t too bad. More pasta washed down with a cheeky glass of red. You can’t beat the British Airways for looking after you. The free bar is definitely a highlight. It’s a pity they can’t lock small annoying children who kick the back of your seat into and overhead cabinet. That would make for a much more pleasant flying experience.

We arrived at Heathrow at about 6:15pm UK time on Monday and already missed our connection up to Glasgow. That was a real bummer. I was starting to feel quite unwell towards the end of the flight and thought I’d caught Tippi’s virus thing. We had to run like the wind through Terminal 1 to meet the next shuttle we’d been booked onto. We had 5 minutes to do it in so I had no time to stop and puke. Tippi, who was feeling better, had to carry my duty free and with one hand I pulled my hand luggage and in the other clutched a sick bag. I was getting some funny looks as I boked into it whilst pacing along the travelator. We got to the check in desk for the connection with minutes to spare when we were told that the flight was delayed for an hour and a half. More hingin aboot! I crashed out across the seats recovering from my almost chundering moment but I was fine within about an hour. I think it was just tiredness. We eventually boarded the Glasgow flight at about 8:30pm and had landed at Glasgow after 10pm. It was great to be back on Scottish soil. Unfortunately our cases didn’t make the journey up from Heathrow but the guitars and cymbals did thank goodness! Who needs clothes when you’ve got instruments!

It’s now Tuesday so I thought I’d add a wee closer to the blog. I just got up from a great night’s sleep in my own bed. I’ve had 2 mugs of proper tea with Scottish water and big bowl of Scots porridge oats. Delicious. It’s great to be back. I’m waiting on my suitcase being delivered so I can get my washing done and stash the Christmas presents. I hope they’ve not been robbed.

The tour was absolutely brilliant. It was the shortest stint we’ve done but in that space of time we don’t doubt we’ve made the biggest impact across the pond to date. It was a brilliant opportunity for us to support Social Distortion who are like the Rolling Stones of California. Everybody there knows who they are. Their fans were brilliant and they really took to us. We can’t thank them enough for buying the CDs and spreading the word. I hope it won’t be to too long until we’re back.

It was a different tour experience for us this time as we were based in the same hotel for 10 days. I think the last tour made for more banter because we were couped up in the van for up to 12 hours some days and were sent round the twist a little! It was good to have a base this time where we could chill out before a show and get used to the slow pace of California. We were a bit more controlled with the eating this time too! Lessons were learned after the last tour and we did not clear plates like before. The portions were huge as ever and it took will power not to scoff the lot.

All in all America is great. I love the audiences there and the way that the music scene is not about fashionable music. Bands don’t have short lived careers in America like they do in the UK. Once the Radio One “Gurus” here have stopped blowing their trumpets about how amazing every indie band that they’ve ever heard is, then the band is forgotten about. The sooner commercial radio starts playing music for music fans the better. Until then, you should go onto internet radio as there are plenty of “undiscovered” gems being played on there.

That’s the tour diary at an end now. I hope you’ve all been suitably entertained and enlightened. I hope the victims in the blogs aren’t too upset and that I can be forgiven -mainly Frank. I hope you won’t leave us like all the other tour managers!

There were many antics and laughs on this trip. New levels were reached with regards to the biorhythms of the people travelling on the tour bus. I will not name names Frank but new ground/wind has been broken. We all know each other inside out, it’s frightening. Gill and I have discovered that we’re telepathic too. When we’re all together, we’re just like sisters, Frank included. We fight, borrow each other’s clothes, slag each other off and know when to keep out other's way! Most of the time we have a right good laugh and are a great team which makes performing on stage every night an absolute pleasure. Long may it continue!

Over and out til next time!

Soup x

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