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18 June 2006

wendover, buckinghamshire

current listening: the girl most likely to – sleeping with a gun under my pillow


so in the end we did make it to boulder. phew. just in time. we missed the instore appearance at albums on the hill, but i met jonathan who works there and he seemed happy enough. and then i went in the next day and they still sold me a go betweens album cheap so hopefully they don’t hate me too much.

the show in boulder was okay. we were very high up and found it quite hard to breath and we were still a bit confused by not being on a bus after we’d spent thirty hours straight on one or another. but we got a lovely post it note afterwards stuck to the tour bus. i think a post it note is a lovely way to say hello to the boy least likely to. it saves us being all mumbling and awkward and goofy when you meet us as human beings.

then after boulder, we drove for eighteen hours to minneapolis. to dinky town to be exact. a small town in minneapolis. i thought the idea of a supposedly ‘twee’ indie pop group like us being booked to play in a place called dinky town was pretty hilarious. but it turns out that the people who live in dinky town don’t think this is funny at all. in the end i gave up trying to explain why i thought it was funny. maybe dinky doesn’t mean the same thing in america. or maybe it just isn’t very funny.

and then after minneapolis we drove overnight to chicago. getting there early enough to watch the first match of the world cup. the venue in chicago was schubas. it was a bit smaller than the other venues we’d been playing on this tour, but it made a nice change. we got there just in time to watch the reply of the first match of the world cup. i found out that most of the john hughes films are filmed in chicago because apparently he lived there. breakfast club, sixteen candles, ferris buellers day off. although not pretty in pink. unfortunately i found this out too late to do anything about it. so i’ll have to save the john hughes tour for the next trip to america. i did however learn two important things in chicago. firstly, that schubas is a lovely venue with a photo booth in it and lots of lovely people working there. and secondly, that sparks plus is a mixture of beer and red bull and tastes disgusting. we left chicago at three o clock in the morning, which meant we still had time to watch the first match of the world cup. again.

amanda applewood joined us and we played ‘the battle of the boy least likely to’ for what would turn out to be the only time on the tour. a video of most of the chicago show can be found at www.youtube.com if you type “boy least likely to” into the search box. there are about four different videos on there of the schubas show.

we woke up at nine o clock the next morning to watch the england paruguay game. we had to fit it in before we crossed the border into canada, in case we got held up and then missed the match. in the end, simon and i missed ten minutes of the second half because we foolishly went to get something to eat at half time and the bun toaster in the fast food place we went to broke and started burning all the buns, so we had to wait until they’d fixed it.

we crossed the border successfully enough. and then went to the venue in toronto. the revival club. it was very very cold in the club, even though it was really really hot outside. i don’t mind a bit of air conditioning, but it seems to be taking it a bit too far if i have to put a hat and coat on inside in the middle of june when it’s nice and sunny outside. and then we were on really early and i forgot to eat anything because i was too cold and i got confused. and one of the bubble machines didn’t work. apart from that, it was a really good show. and then afterwards we went back to the bicycles’ house for a bit, because they come from toronto. we found a few quite exciting things there. all the instrument props that they used for the back cover photo of the album, the sewing machine that they make bicycles t shirts on, the mattress sound proofed basement where they rehearse, a funny whistle and most amazingly of all, we saw a raccoon. no one from toronto seemed particularly excited about it. apparently they are as common as foxes are in london. but adam and i were very excited. it was much bigger than i imagined. i think it might have been adam’s favourite moment of the whole tour.

after toronto we went to montreal. the show was one of my favourites. i’m not sure why. i just really enjoyed it that night. and then we left for boston. we played at tt the bears. the bicycles were brilliant. and pants yell! played as well that night, and i thought they were great too. i had a lovely chat with andrew from the band afterwards about eighties indie pop groups. it was nice to just ramble on with someone about june brides and vic godard and stuff like that and to not have them just look back at me bored.

i really enjoyed the show in boston too. we gave out another award, this time for ‘best dancing”. i think the acceptance speeches that were made by the audience members for the awards in boston and new york were two of my favourite moments of the whole tour. and i was sent some mp3s of some songs of ours sung by a girl called katie ann from san francisco. they’re all really delightful versions. especially ‘sleeping with a gun under my pillow’. i think you might be able to hear them at www.myspace.com/thegirlmostlikelyto.

and then it was new york. at the knitting factory. we recorded a few songs for a tv show in brooklyn in the morning in a basement. i think we did four songs. just adam, amanda, pete and me. then we drove back across the bridge, doing an interview for the show on the way with a camera man in the front seat. it was a really nice way to do an interview. when we got back to the knitting factory we soundchecked and had some lunch in a french restaurant where ralph fiennes was eating at the same time. ever so fancy us. then after that, we went back to the venue to do some interviews. we did three interviews in three separate locations. all three of them quite weird. the first interview we did in a broom cupboard downstairs in the venue because the bicycles were soundchecking and it was being recorded for radio. then the next one we did in a corridor that ran between the stage and the dressing room with everyone pushing past every five seconds. and then the last one we did in the bathroom backstage at the venue. standing in the shower fully clothed.

the knitting factory show was wonderful. a lovely way to end the tour. a boy called jack won the award for ‘outstanding contribution to the audience’. we went out after the show for a couple of drinks with the bicycles to a bar just around the corner from our hotel. nothing silly. just a couple of sensible ciders. and then we left. we walked around the block once, just because we were in new york and it seemed like the sort of thing you should do when you’re in new york. and then i said goodbye to the bicycles. it was really great to have a band that i like so much on tour with us, and they were such lovely people too. brilliant.

the next morning we went over to mtv for an interview and then we rushed off to jfk airport to catch our plane. germany beat poland with a last minute goal, which cost me four points in the rough trade world cup competition. i’d predicted nil nil and played my joker on that game. gutted. and i forgot to buy any sweets for the plane.

we landed in england safely but a bit late. the girl working on passport control wished peter a happy birthday.


when i got back home i fell asleep for the whole day, only waking up briefly to watch the last fifteen minutes of the england match before i fell asleep again til friday. and then on friday morning i went out in wendover and had the most amazing banana split ever for breakfast. and i went to the bookshop. it’s lovely to be home.

and that’s about it. goodbye america. maybe we’ll see you in october. for the best halloween party ever.


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