Long Beach Pear Plum – US Tour 2010

Last night we played our first show of the tour. The weather was okay – certainly nothing bad by Irish February standards, but the drizzle seems to affect Californians more than it does us. Luckily, the drizzle didn’t drive away the crowds, and we had a lovely, friendly crowd at the Art Theatre in Long Beach. The Art Theatre looks Art Deco to my untrained eyes. It’s usually a cinema, and our little festival is actually brought to a close by an after-midnight showing of The Big Lebowski. On a Saturday night in Dublin, there’s no way in hell you’d get insurance to show a stoner-movie to the usual drunken Saturday night punters. Things are indeed different out here.

Since it’s my first time here, I met with a few long time internet friends and fans, which was great. Jay Buchanan and Shane Alexander both brought great crowds to the show too, so we had a nice connection over the whole thing. Lovely vibe. There’ll be many more internet friends to meet over the coming weeks. It’s strange, you know. I feel people still frown on it. Online friendships seem to be automatically thrown into the stalker/predator/psycho category, but thankfully I’ve only had good experiences… there are only two moments when it can be awkward – the brief period while you try to get used to the voice matching the face…. and the time when people ask you: so how do you know each other? I think these things will become more usual as time goes on. It must. At least modern humanfolk are still making friends… “In the future, people won’t need friends…

Which brings me neatly to my next point… Strolling around Long Beach, where myself and Kevin are being kindly put up by our good friends Trini & Gary, we’ve noticed these Long Beach Police Dept (LBPD) signs which are written in this strange font that looks like we’re on the film set for Robocop… so who copied who? Robocop or LBPD? We thought that those fonts were extremely futuristic… “CITIZEN!”… but for all you Californians, Robocop must have seemed like it was set in the present. How peculiar. Anyway…

We’ve been hanging out with friends for the past week, getting over our jetlag, and making frenzied shopping trips for touring supplies. Our friend Lilia, kindly ferrying us about like royalty for the day, remarked that it was the most focussed retail blitz she’d ever seen. We’re men. We’re supposed to dislike shopping. Locate section, choose item, purchase, leave. Simples. No time for messing about! That’s us getting into tour mode.  Every moment’s sacred…  You always have the feeling you should be packing, washing or fixing something.

We’re not here for much longer though. The driving starts soon. We’ve had difficulties arranging our transport though, so I’m hoping we can get the car sorted before we have to leave for San Fran. I’m looking forward to seeing the US from this side. I’ve already watched my first Superbowl. The firsts will be coming thick and fast I expect.

Oh, I should give you a film recommendation. We watched “The Damned United” on the plane over. Absolutely incredible acting. Colm Meaney, Timothy Spall and Micheal Sheen. It’s a film about an English soccer manager, but even if you’re not a soccer fan, you’d love the story. The acting is just incredible. I’ve been a long time fan of Meaney and Spall, both of whom you’d know from various films, but Micheal Sheen is incredible as the irrepressible Brian Clough. It’s a classic. (You might have seen Sheen as David Frost in “Frost Vs Nixon”.)

That’s all for now. I’m going to do some rehearsing and writing while nobody’s around…

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