Day 11 - North America Tour. 21st July 2007
Been driving for about 2 hours now and I’m BORED.
The best remedy for that is to start the blog. I hope you don’t get bored reading it! There’s still 5 hours of this journey to go so I’ll probably try and get some sleep later on to pass the time. They don’t call me Bagpuss in this band for nothing!
We’re on our way to Falls Church, Virginia and the weather once again in glorious. I’ll be coming back from this tour even paler than when I left since we’ve been stuck behind the glass of this bus that I’m beginning to hate. Cabin fever has set in. I feel like a goldfish watching the world pass by. Tippi has crashed out across the backseats and Gill is frying in the front. Rosie and I look like 2 Meerkats sitting upright in the middle taking everything in the passes, not saying a word.
The MP3 player is on shuffle so I’m hearing songs that I forgot I had. I decided my fascination with Rufus Wainwright’s new album was becoming unhealthy so I’ve shelved that one for a while. This happened with the Guillemots too....until I saw what the singer looked like and it spoiled my illusions forever. I’ve never listened to that album in the same way again.
When we get to Virginia we’ll be heading straight for the venue with no time to check into the hotel. I’ve noticed that we’re caring less about changing clothes twice a day. The standards are slipping. Normally, we don’t wear the skinny jeans when travelling as it’s so hot but I’m fed up not being able to get to the hotel to change before the gig and opening my suitcase in the middle of the street to rummage for clean clothes. As a result, I’ve been dressed for tonight’s gig since 9am today. Clatty mingers you might think but we’re just going to get sweaty anyway.
Today we desperately have to get to a laundrette. I’m sure my case gets heavier as the clothes get dirtier.
Still driving. A request has been put to Frank for a wee-wee stop, diet coke and corn nuts. We’re all fed up. We’ve been reduced to reading out the problem pages in Rosie’s scuzzy magazines. It’s like being 14 again and reading Just Seventeen at sleepovers by torch light laughing at the things people write in about.
Well we’ve been to the services and due to Frank being unhealthy and having a Burger King meal, Rosie was sent back in to get us all onion rings and fries! If Frank hadn’t let us sample a chip it would never have happened. Betty is now telling us that we’ll be at the gig at 18:50 cos we stopped so long. This journey is horrendous.
Madonna has just come on the radio so I’m off to join the girls in some Papa Don’t Preach karaoke.
We got to the venue at 7pm. As soon as we arrived, we had to unload, sound check, set up the swag and then play! It was stressful as we were shattered. The venue in Virginia was called The State Theatre and was really quite cool. It would be best described as a mini version of the Carling Academy in Glasgow. There were about 200 people there but they were all sitting at tables eating while we were playing which was quite strange!
After the show and the horrendous load-out we sat up in the dressing room for an hour or so to catch our breath and chat to the other bands. We got some dinner there before we hit the road.....via The Whitehouse!
We programmed Betty to take us to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (Bush’s humble abode) and followed her direction to the letter. We took a right turn onto Pennsylvania Avenue as instructed to be faced with 4 lanes of traffic.....heading TOWARDS us! Realising we were going the wrong way up a one-way street we pulled into the side and at the same moment a police car came out of nowhere, sirens and lights blazing! We couldn’t believe were in trouble with the law again. I was hoping we could refrain from being cheeky since we‘d had a few beers and the cops, who were now surrounding the van, did not look like they had a sense of humour!
At this point Tippi thought it would be a good idea to open the side door, asking if she could have a fag. She was met with a stern faced cop who told her to get back inside. I was trying to film the antics in the front without them seeing, in case they took the camera. All I managed to get was a view of the dashboard but you can here all the commotion from inside the van....mainly the sound of Frank fumbling for his licence and vehicle documents. He just couldn’t see them in the panic.
The cop who was now running checks on us realised we were tourists and insulted Betty by saying that equipment like her can kill you. A slight exaggeration. He also said that if this had happened an hour later (1am) then the road would be like a freeway. We think not. At 1am? Get a grip Robocop. He then informed us that he was Secret Service. We find this hard to believe since he was blatantly state police with lights blazing and a big shiny badge. There was nothing secretive about him.
After about 10 minutes, they let us go and stopped all the traffic on the road so we could do a u-turn! Ha-ha-ha! We felt like royalty.
We drove round the block and parked up so we could walk to the White House since you can’t drive by in case you try and shoot Bush. Imagine. The first building we saw on the walk round was the Treasury. It’s a stunning looking building and lit up really well. Just along the road, we saw the White House. It was in complete darkness with a few armed police patrolling the grounds. I tried to get a few pictures but it was too dark. We really must stop doing the tourist attractions in the dead of night. It was still great to actually be there and see it. We had joked about plugging a mic into the wee Vox amp we have and driving past the gates, serenading Bush. Probably another way to attract the interest of the local establishment though so we abandoned that idea quickly.
After that we went back to the van and found ourselves drving through dodgy territory(only a couple of blocks from the White House). Well, we saw some sights. As we were almost out of that area,a prostitute swaggered across the street in front of us, deliberately taking her time so that we almost came to a stop. We were not impressed and Gill shouted out the window at her telling her to bolt, to which the female bellowed back, “White bitch!”. Hahaha!
Well that put Gill’s gas at a peep for a while. We did have to put the locks down as we then got stopped at a red light and I could see this woman bounding towards us. Luckily the lights changed quickly and Frank put the foot down.
To the hotel and into bed away from trouble.