JULY 15: ABBEY ROAD / WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED
We got up at 6 a.m. on minimal sleep from the night before to make our 8 a.m. load-in time at Abbey Road Studios in London.
We were to tape a live performance for the music documentary series Live From Abbey Road and set to record in Studio 2... The same room where The Beatles recorded pretty much everything. What an honor. Just being in the same space where the greatest songwriters created their most influential work was enough to put a surreal spin on the morning. Things seemed to be happening at light speed already...
We found our dressing room, set up shop and took the tour.
Tape machine The Beatles recorded with...the console Pink Floyd used. (See Gallery) At this point of the tour I was pretty certain that everyone was on the same program as we were all smiling like we had new veneers and a nitrous buzz.
We met the film team and set up for soundcheck. After everyone got their positions and levels we went for it. Wound up recording 5 songs. What an experience...
We'll keep you posted as to the airdate. (Check out the photo gallery to see more shots from the day.)
After the session was over we went across the hall to Studio 1 (room where Dark Side of the Moon was made...WTF!?) for the interview portion of the program.
I thought it too cliché to consider the hypothetical scenario..."what if Paul McCartney was hanging around?" When Andy told me he had just seen him in the cafeteria I didn't really consider it. Just as soon as we had taken our seats for the interview, the man himself walked in the room and straight up to us. All quite stunned at his unexpected presence, he met us and made the room easy by cracking some funnies about us looking shady -- like we were in a police line up or something. Friendly guy...
The Sun posted BLURB about it the next day.
Anna managed to snap this photo. A little blurry and my head looks like a sparkler, which is funny because it was exactly how I felt.
Rounding off this tour's brushes with royalty to TWO. Twice in two weeks...what the hell happened?! Sir Paul McCartney at Abbey Road and Prince Harry at an outhouse in Hyde Park. All I can say is thank God we didn't have to choose between them...
I would tell you about how the Water Rats show was an epic time or KoKo or T in the Park for that matter, but I just can't seem to make sense of it. Nothing really matters anymore...
The ultimate has transpired.
Over and out.
JULY 8: HOP FARM
After the Manchester show, we discovered a place to lay our heads called 'The Mill.'
We loved the setup and vibe of the place and were able to get some good rest before we split for the next stop. Random encounter at the end of a show night: we wound up enjoying some of the finer things with the band The Ting Tings. Friendly folks...
MANCHESTER was a good one. One great thing I've noticed about the EU fan contingent is the barrier work they put in. Doesn't matter how many people are in the room, be it ten thousand or twenty five...these devoted babies are right at the edge of the stage, rocking the barrier like they battled for it and normally that is the case.
This was again proven at the Hop Farm Festival in Kent the following show. It was our first festival of the season, and we had the privilege to open the show's main stage. Not expecting too huge of a showing being first on, we walked out to find our devoted Babies at the barrier (of course), eagerly awaiting the set to commence. Quite surprisingly, we saw that the festival scene had already begun, and we noticed thousands had already arrived and had taken their positions while more were filing in.
It's a fantastic realization to see the festival spirit so alive, and to have the reward of our first exposure to the curiosity of a completely new audience. The early birds. The seekers. You know who you are. Obviously we have a much greater appreciation for this perspective being new to this scene, but God love ya...
Our set flew by in a flash, and before we could blink it was gone. A moment of sunshine came from behind a cloud and spread out on the stage as we played, and I found I was trying to burn the image in my mind as it happened for future reflection.
I discovered some new music that day and was pleased to walk away with having found City and Colour who performed directly after us. Good sound, great songs + harmonies... always goes down smooth. COORS, taste the rockies. The 70s ranch-wear that the guitar player donned was also quite refreshing. I have to say that a handsome poly-western suit is an under-appreciated fashion play and coming from Corning, CA, I noticed. Well played, gents. A toast to Canada for these...well played, indeed and happy Canada Day!
The rest of this day was spent hanging out with some extended family and friends in The Brandon Flowers cast and crew. We hadn't seen some of them since our previous tour, and it was nice to catch up in the festival setting. Our trailer was situated around the other bands' that were up that day and everyone performing was friendly and had nice things to say which was a good feeling.
Here are some shots of the line-up and a few moments from the stage that etched this experience in our minds:
A BIG thanks to Miss Bev for all her hard work and for including us in such a cool, eclectic event. Sent us away with our sails full and our hearts warm...
If you get the opportunity to experience The Hop Farm Festival, do yourself the favor. You won't forget it.
JUNE 29: WEEK ONE
Third time to the UK and running strong. The first day was a marathon, as we had to hit the ground at Heathrow -- off the plane to meet Platinum Tom, who was waiting with our rented splitter van, (RIP, White Rider), and so it goes…. Picked up the gear we had waiting in storage and found our way to Stoke Newington to sort out a rehearsal space to try everything out. It took about five hours to navigate from airport to practice space through London traffic, so by the time we got there, we were slightly cooked. All we had to do was get enough rest for the Hyde Park endeavor that awaited.