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30 May 2006

vancouver, bc

current listening: m craft – silver and fire

just sitting in my hotel room in vancouver. trying to get online. without much success. we landed yesterday at about three o clock in the afternoon, and then it took us a couple of hours to get our canadian visas sorted out. on the flight over we listened to the in flight radio and pete and me were on it with stuart maconie reviewing some albums. i’d forgotten all about doing it. we recorded it back in february. we sounded pretty goofy. made a couple of not too stupid comments. pete was better than me. he put a lot more thought into his comments. always the way. then once we’d got through immigration, we met the bus outside the airport. same sort of bus as last time. same trailer too. yep.

felt pretty weird. i couldn’t sleep on the plane so i was really tired and a bit confused by the time difference. pete and nigel and me went for some food at a place called the atlantic trap and gill. we couldn’t find everyone else, cos they’d gone on ahead of us and none of our american phones are working out here. when we walked in ewan maccoll was singing ‘mountain dew’ on the jukebox. and after that they played the whole of ‘if i should fall from grace with god’. reissue bonus tracks and everything. which is always a lovely thing to hear when you’re however many thousand miles away from home and feeling tired and confused and missing things. i had a couple of glasses of strongbow to help send me off to sleep. they served them with lemon slices in. which was a bit weird. lemon and cider. i don’t think it’s something i’ll be asking for in the swan when i get home.

went for breakfast this morning in a café called the elbow rooms. which, according to all the press cuttings on the wall is world famous for being rude to its customers. thought that was a bit odd. the waitress asked stef for his order with the words "what do you want, snotty boy?" he has got a cold. so fair enough i guess.

now, we’re just getting ready to leave for the venue. just listening to the new camera obscura single. which is fantastic. really excited about the new album coming out next week. before that i was listening to the new m craft album. it seems like ages since ‘emily snow’ came out as a single. the album sounds lovely on first listen.

so, tonight is the first show of the tour. really looking forward to seeing the bicycles, who are supporting us on all the dates. it’s always nice when you get a band you love playing shows with you.

i’ll write more tomorrow.


17 May 2006

dive for your memory

Current listening: Denim – Back In Denim

eek. it’s been nearly two months since i wrote a weblog. last time i wrote anything we were still in america. since then we’ve been touring for a bit in the uk. a big thank you to everyone that came to see us. and then for the last couple of weeks pete and me have just been in the studio recording. or i’ve just been at home sorting out the artwork for the next two singles and writing songs for the next album. it’s been nice to get back to doing that sort of thing again. i think it’s what makes us happiest. however much we enjoy touring, there’s always something that excites us more about actually making records. we’ve recorded three new songs. two of our own songs and a cover version. for the b side to our next single, ‘hugging my grudge’, which is coming out in july. and we’ve been practicing some new songs for the next tour. so hopefully if they don’t sound completely rubbish there’ll be two or three new songs added into the set. if they sound rubbish then we’ll just have to introduce a fairy cake cooking segment to the show or something to fill out the time.

i went to tring museum last weekend. and the weekend before that as well. it’s a pretty weird place. like a big indoor zoo, but all the animals are dead. and stuffed. i saw some pretty amazing things. a bird called a woodstar, which was ever so ever so small. and a type of echinoderm called a brittle star, which is a bit like a starfish but not so fat. and i saw something called a weedy sea dragon. i think it’s called that because it can camouflage itself in seaweed, not because it’s a bit pathetic. but i liked the idea of it being a pathetic dragon more. and then of course there were the fleas dressed in traditional mexican peasant costumes, which are always worth a look. it’s quite an odd museum. but very enjoyable in a creepy stuffed animal sort of way. the museum shop is rubbish though. it doesn’t even have any postcards. or things that you put on the end of pencils. which was disappointing. getting to go to the shop at the end is the best thing about going to museums.

we’re practicing all next week and finishing up the recordings we’ve been doing and then at the end of next week we’re filming the new video for the next single, and then we’re going back across to america and canada for a couple of weeks. the tour dates are all on our website or on our myspace site. should be fun. we’ve ordered the bubble machines and all the cakes have been cooked in advance.

that’s pretty much it. one last sad thing. grant mclennan of the go betweens has died. very very sad. i love his songs. and their last album, oceans apart was one of my favourite albums of last year. the go betweens are one of the few bands that mean as much to me today as they did to me growing up. so, very very sad. he will be very much missed.