Ad Ventura – US Tour 2010

I’m writing this from the back seat of the Grotto’s new (second-hand) Chrysler, as we head northwards to Ventura, CA. We’ve just got the car today, hours before the deadline, and one day before we’re set to leave SoCal (Southern California to the uninitiated). It was an absolute steal. The car looks and feels new, but was ex-rental, so the mileage is quite high. It’s huge and modern, and easily fits all of our luggage and music gear.  I salute you, as yet un-named Chrysler soccer-mom vehicle.  The guys, being the self-deprecating type, have mocked their rock-n-roll status, while driving MPVs and estates, but to hell with that.  If you want to tour these days, unless you’re signed to a ridiculous label, with a ridiculous budget, and with equally ridiculous hair, you’re going to be looking for practical wheels… and as practical wheels go, these are pretty slick. Power outlets, comfy reclining chairs that disappear into the floor when required… ah yes. Nerdy but perfect.

San Diego welcomed us to a place near the gaslight district – strangely, the venue for the night was a yoga studio, but it’s a great venue for soaring vocals and acoustic instruments… (plenty of wood usually makes for nice acoustics).  Michael and the crew make us feel right at home, and it’s a stunning gig… although very warm – a bikram show!

Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles is actually in Hollywood, which I didn’t realise. So it was a Hollywood debut for me. It’s a nice room… all red velvet, and candlelight punctuated darkness.  It’s a night tinged with sadness for me though, because after tonight’s show we’ll be leaving our friends in SoCal. We’ve been made feel so welcome here, and to be honest, we’ve been waited on hand and foot, driven everywhere, entertained…  A beautiful introduction to the West Coast.  It also means that we can’t breakfast at the creperie around the corner from Nozza Studio.  The place is run by some bonafide Francophones, so I’ve been speaking more French in the last ten days than I have in the past year. I never expected to get any practice down here where Spanish must be a second language at the least… which reminds me that I must try and pick up more Spanish.  Being able to ask “how are you?” in colloquial Mexican Spanish is all well and good, but not much use if you can’t understand the answer!

We’re playing Zoey’s tonight.  Tune in next time …

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