25th September 2019 – New York NY

The Iconic Holy Temple of Rock and Roll, as Billy Joel once described Madison square Garden, was to be our final destination of this very special tour. The last time we came here was as Dire Straits in February 1992 and before that, October 1985 when Billy Joel guested. My recollections of that night are…

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22nd September 2019 – Los Angeles CA

The history of the Los Angeles Greek Theatre dates back to 1882, when Colonel Griffith J. Griffith, came to America from South Wales to seek fortune in gold mining. Colonel Griffith settled in Los Angeles and purchased the Los Feliz Rancho, which he later donated to the City of Los Angeles in 1896. This three…

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21st September 2019 – Phoenix AZ

During our stay in Santa Monica, I’ve struggled to tick the Huevos Rancheros box satisfactorily. Our favourite old breakfast spot, ‘M Street Kitchen’ has sadly disappeared, gone the way of many restaurants on Main Street as rate increases force everyone but the most successful business out. We ate at ‘Cora’s’, another ancient Mexican cafe on…

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20th September 2019 – Santa Barbara CA

Bowl Vista The day off we enjoyed in Santa Monica at the Casa del Mar was mostly spent lying by the hotel pool in glorious late Summer Californian sun but in the evening, Laurie and I had a wonderful meal with Eric, her brother and his wife Leslie at the terribly trendy ‘Elephante’ restaurant nearby.…

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18th September 2019 – Berkeley CA

Kev Rowe and John McCuskerJimmy with daughter Grace Hearst is a name which reverberates through the publishing world as William Randolph Hearst Sr. made his name developing newspapers and media. His flamboyant methods emphasised sensationalism and human interest stories, the journalism we all know today. His life story became the core inspiration for Charles Foster…

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16th September 2019 – Vancouver BC

Gastown was in fact the original Vancouver. Named after a Yorkshire seaman known as ‘Gassy’ Jack Deighton, a steamboat captain and barkeeper who arrived in 1867 to open the area’s first saloon. One can only guess as to the origin of his nickname. Our journey to Vancouver today involved us crossing the US/Canadian border twice…

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14th 15th September 2019 – Woodinville WA

Chateau Ste. Michelle Chateau Ste, Michelle winery is probably Washington’s largest and most successful but what sets this place apart are the outdoor concerts which take place throughout each Summer. Producing over 2 million cases of wine each year, Chardonnay, Cabernet, Merlot, and Riesling, the winery has been in existence since 1954. Over the years,…

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13th September 2019 – Portland OR

Portland, Oregon is one of my favourite places to come in the US. Partly a fascination with the Hood River (a tributary of the Columbia River) and its nuclear wind potential and partly everything else. ie. Beer, Wine and Roses. (Portland is often known as Rose City) It’s difficult to fly into Portland from the…

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11th September 2019 – Salt Lake City UT

The calm before the cold production heroes Dave Hall and Kevin Hopgood Unbeknownst to us, tonight’s show was going to turn out to be one of the toughest of the tour. The weather in Denver was gorgeous and after the Oxygen-starved, euphoria of a Red Rocks show, it was time for me to visit Target…

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10th September 2019 – Denver CO

Mile High, or 6,450 feet (1,970 m) above sea level to be precise. This venue literally ‘rocks’. It’s certainly one of the most iconic places to perform on any tour and tonight’s show was a stunner.  It always takes a day or so to get used to the altitude in Denver, in the gym it really…

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8th September 2019 – Grand Prairie TX

Departing the lovely Hotel Emma, I recapped mentally on our great stay in Texas. The people have been great, the weather, hot and the food, stellar. And so it was, back in the vans and en route to San Antonio airport for the final time. We drove up to the FBO gate and as ever,…

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7th September 2019 – Austin TX

live pics from Roger Van Der Laan Austin is a great city, it’s a simple fact. Apart from the musical influences, it is one of America’s fastest growing cities where prospects and standard of living are good. Austin is known as a ‘clean-air city’ for its stringent no-smoking ordinances that apply to all public places…

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6th September 2019 – Sugar Land TX

Sugar Land is known as an ‘edge’ city, set on the outskirts of Houston, the original Sugar plantations were consolidated into ‘Imperial Sugar’ in 1908 and the area remains the home to its headquarters. As we know, Sugar has certainly been used extensively in all commercial foodstuffs, none more so than here in the US.…

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4th September 2019 – Atlanta GA

Chastain Park is an idyllic area situated near the Northern edge of Atlanta. The area was originally occupied by Creek Indians, near the floodplain known as Nancy Creek. Nowadays, it is the largest city park incorporating  jogging paths, playgrounds, tennis courts, a golf course, swimming pool, horse park and of course the Chastain Park amphitheater.…

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3rd September 2019 – Nashville TN

Returning to Nashville after 11 years was always going to be a shock as both Richard and Glenn, Nashville residents, said Mark and I wouldn’t recognise it. They were right to an extent but it’s still ‘Nashville’ but with heavier traffic and a vastly altered skyline. Our hotel is a new building called the Hutton…

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1st September 2019 – Chicago IL

We’ve been in Chicago now for almost a week so it feels nice that we’re finally playing the show here tonight. The now quite familiar Chicago theatre is another fabulous venue, one of the first theatres built in what is now theatre-land, Chicago. In keeping with the regime, the Peloton session was first up, then…

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31st August 2019 – Milwaukee WI

Boldly striding to the elevators, heading for the gym and the addiction that is Peloton, I ignore the usually unknown hunger sensation, preferring to wait until after the workout to eat. Danny is already on one of the bikes having been seduced by the charms of Ally Love and co. With bluetooth headsets we pedal…

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30th August 2019 – Minneapolis MN

There’s much more to this theatre than meets the eye, well I’ve always assumed this but today I learned a little more about the Orpheum. For starters, Bob Dylan owned it, for a period of 9 years before selling it in 1988 to the City of Minneapolis who renovated and reopened it in 1993. In…

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28th August 2019 – Kansas City MO

Much the same as any other American city, its past is so often illustrious or even ignominious. The Kansas City Jazz scene in the 1930’s and ’40’s is well documented as the City heralded the tradition from big bands to the Be-Bop influence. Artists like Count Basie with his well respected Bennie Moten band and…

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27th August 2019 – Indianapolis IN

It rained today. For the first time in ages, seemingly. We have lucked out with the weather is so many ways on this trip, avoiding storms on flights, avoiding bad weather on outdoor shows, often by one day. The sun seems to be following us and as I type this looking out across Lake Michigan…

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25th August 2019 – Toronto ON

Over 160 different languages are spoken in Toronto. In my mind it is one of the most diverse cities we visit regularly. We always stay in a ‘hip’ little district known as Yorkville, once a village, then a residential suburb and now, since 1883, annexed to Toronto. In the 60’s it was a bohemian cultural…

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24th August 2019 – Montreal QC

Montreal is a truly bi-lingual city with 49.8% of the population speaking French, a mere 22.8% speaking English and 18.3% other languages. Today’s journey was a day trip from Toronto Pearson airport which started at 2:45pm with the band assembling in the Hazelton lobby to board our SUV/Sprinter van convoy. Unfortunately, due to an irritating…

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23rd August 2019 – Boston MA

Having arrived into the USA via Boston a mere 10 days ago, it was somewhat strange finding ourselves landing at Logan airport once again, for what is a fleeting visit. This is a well worn section of tour routing and logistics. Lunch in New York, gig in Boston, after show drink in Toronto. The fact…

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20th 21st August 2019 – New York NY

How would you describe New York to someone who has never been? Teeming, 24-hour, crazy, cool, colourful, hip, funky, energetic? It’s certainly loud. By day, on the street it’s a unique, sometimes scary experience and by night the ‘echoes and roars and dinosaurs’ do the monster mash unlike any in other city. There do exist…

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18th August 2019 – Vienna VA

Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts is surely one of the nicest venues to play on any US tour so it was with anticipation that we were returning after quite a break from playing here. Through a partnership and collaboration of the National Park service and the non-profit Wolf Trap Foundation for the…

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17th August 2019 – Philadelphia PA

Perfectly located in downtown Philly, our hotel stands right next to the extraordinary Philadelphia City Hall, a ‘second empire’ style masonry building whose weight is borne by granite and brick walls up to 22 ft thick. Built in 1904 at a cost of 24 million dollars, standing 548 ft, including the statue of city founder William Penn…

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16th August 2019 – Mashantucket CT

Perfect break. After 57 shows is such a short space of time across Europe, the whole touring party needed a good rest and 3 weeks felt like the perfect amount of time to recharge the batteries. Heathrow Terminal 5 was the meeting point for those flying to regroup in the US from the UK and…

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