TONE KING

 

Another day trip from New York city, this time to America’s capital city and to a venue we visited a while back. The Warner Theatre is another in a run of cosy venues which have both atmosphere and logistical challenges for our crew boys.

The weather in New York this morning was a surprisingly chilly 9 degrees and Washington wasn’t much warmer. A cold snap on the Eastern seaboard is not unusual at this time of year. We were on the jet tucking into Debbie’s Chicken Caesar salads wondering where the time has gone as the sudden realisation that there are a mere ten shows left on this tour of all tours. I know I say this often but as we discuss on the plane, it’s generally accepted within the band that we’ve reached new levels although we’re not quite sure how, it’s just happened that way. The bottom line is that we are having more fun than ever up on stage and there seem to be no pre-conceptions about the way any of the songs in the set are played. It all seems so new, like we’ve only just begun.

Mark Bartel from Tone King amplifiers dropped by for sound check and brought along a new 20W, 1×12″ Falcon Grande for Mark and Richard to try. We were all mightily impressed with its tone and purity, a real vintage sounding amp with great tonal variation and plenty of crunch and cut. Mark loved it and I’m sure before long we will have it mic’d up at British Grove. As a purveyor of the attainment of vintage tone perfection, Mark knows his amp-onions.

Vibration inside the truck had a long-term effect on Nigel’s Soprano Sax. One of the screws had worked itself loose so some careful on-stage maintenance was required..

Kevin and John rehearse for Kev’s guest spot in the final show of the tour…

The Bain-Marie’s in the bowels of the building housed what has become accepted these days as dinner. Not too bad but we were awfully spoiled in Europe with Dave and Chris’s exceptional cooking skills. I tentatively picked at some tasteless Chicken in Marsala sauce which tasted nothing like Marsala sauce and headed for the dressing rooms to prepare for the show. We were on stage at the usual ten minutes past eight and another room packed full of enthusiasm which heightened the on-stage vibe…as it usually does. We had a great show.

 

Back on board the plane it was Shepherds Pie and HP sauce for all and a very quick transfer back to Manhattan on a quiet Sunday night. Richard, Jim and I were joined by Pete and his wife Tina for a Martini at the Viceroy bar across the street as our hotel bar seemed to have lost the will to serve. The Viceroy closed at 1am so the only option left was an Irish bar around the corner. The others made location appropriate drinks orders whilst Richard and I experienced the polar opposite of a great New York Martini as the young Irish bartender had no concept of the proportions.

What were we thinking?

 

Today’s Track of the Day is Daydream – The Lovin Spoonful (The band’s name was inspired by some lines in a song of Mississippi John Hurt called the Coffee Blues – Although the Loving Spoonful were formed in Greenwich Village NY, the tenuous connection with Washington DC is that John Sebastian and Zal Yanovsky were formerly of the Mugwumps, a Washington based band)