US TOUR 2000

2000-08-13, SACRAMENTO CA - PLAIN FIELD STATION

After 3 day's rehearsal with Jason, John and Ish, we felt that we were pretty ready for the first gig. We didn't know what to expect from this gig. As it turned out, we were pleasantly surprised when we pulled into the yard of a roadside diner and realised that we would be playing out back in the beer garden. It was a beautiful day and the diner sold fantastic veggie food (still fairly hard to find over here).

Yasa, the person who had organised the gig, was really friendly and made us feel right at home. The PA looked a bit low powered when it arrived, but I told myself 'hey, that's how everyone played gigs before the 80's'.

The first band on were a bit unsure about their name and finally decided on HIGH NOON. Their music was a mix of Tex Mex and Jazz and played a few 'standards' such as 'Take Six' and a Hendrix song, can't remember which one. I thought that they were the perfect band to start off an out-door festival and enjoyed their set a lot.

Next on were D-Town, who were obviously the local hereos and brough quite a few of their school mates with them. They played a jazzy hip hop set with a lot of free-style rapping and sub Beastie style material. They were great mucians and the crowd liked them very much.

Unfortunately when they left the stage, so did a large percentage of the audience ;-)

Next on were the fabulous Dan The 50 lb Man, who managed to put on a top show, despite having terrible problem with the sound and poor John not being able to hear himself sing. The was to be the only gig on the tour where we would see John and Ish do a 'Dan' set, as for the rest of the tour they fully merge into Abdoujaparov and we will be playing a few of their songs Abdou style.

After a short break, it was our turn and after a quick line check we started our set the tradtiional way with Nobody Less Rock n Roll than me. By this time the 'crowd' had really thinned out and we ended up playing to about 50 odd people, mainly people who we had invited to the gig. Kev and Elpie were there, all the way from the UK. Other folk had made the trip from San Fransico and the surrounding area and I was very glad to see them all.

Well, to be honest the set was a bit of a struggle as both my guitar amp and the PA didn't want to co-operate and there was a hell of a lot of un-cool feedback. Also I couldn't hear myself singing at all.

We still managed to put out some pretty good versions of Shut Up and Benjamin and Jumble. It was mainly the Punk Rock songs that suffered from the poor sound.

I'm looking forward to playing in a club with a full system, I reckon that the US version of Abdou rocks maan!

We did really enjoy the gig as a whole though, the atmosphere was really friendly and the setting was beautiful, maybe it was the perfect way to start the tour..



2000-08-16, New York NY - Acme Underground

After flying from California to New York and driving to Waterbury CT, we were a bit knackered, but with the wonderful hospitality of Jen and Al from Peelangoo, along with a visit to the movies (Hollow Man is a crap film by the way, avoid it), we were rested and ready for the two and a half hour drive to NY and the gig.

There was a air of organised choas at the gig, there were to be six bands on tonight and we were somewhere in the middle of it all. We piled our equipment in a little space in the hallway and watched Peelangoo get ready to perform their debut gig. They had barely time to get onstage before having to start to play.

For the twenty minutes that they were onstage they impressed with a heavy edged but melodic set. Jen the vocalist was obviously suffering from first night nerves but she performed with panache. I didn't get a great listen to the songs tonight as i was busy panicing myself, trying to tune up guitars and stuff.

Next on were United Magnetics, who I have been in touch with via the internet and have organised the NY gigs. They played a great set of power punk dished up American stylee. I'm looking forward to checking them out again tomorrow.

Then came the second set for the US version of Abdoujaparov. We had quite a few tuning problems and suffered from a few band communication problems, but i think that we did OK considering. We only had time to do about 25 minutes though as things were running a bit late.

After the gig we went to my favourite NY bar, the Lunar Lounge to get drunker. Eventually the boys went off to stay with the guys from United Magnetics and I went to Brooklyn to stay with my mate Eve and her cats.



2000-08-17, New York NY - The Continental

After a good night's rest in a lovely soft bed, I was ready to face another day in NY and went into town to meet up with Crissi, who had arrived very late last night and stayed with her brother who lives in a tiny appartment in Manhatten.

Somehow last night I managed to leave my specs in a cab so we spent most of the day at Lens Crafters getting my sight restored. Not the most romantic way to spend a day with my girlfriend but hey, we were together so it didn't matter.

OK, newly specced up, I went downtown to the Village whilst Crissi returned to her brother's to get her glad rags on. I met up with Jason and Eve in an Irish pub, we went to get something to eat and then went on to the gig.

John and Ish arrived in the Abdou Tour-Mobile and once they had found a park we loaded the stuff into the gig and started to prepare ourselves for our set. By drinking a little.

We watched United Magnetics strutt their stuff and although I'm pretty bored of US punk rock generally I thought thast their stuff stood out and they have some great songs.

By the way, I've decided that I must be getting a bit old as some of this new music stuff leaves me really cold, I like to take refuge in my 70's record collection, and I've started to say things like 'I don't understand this music, it all sounds the same to me'.

We were next on and played a little better today although I don't think that we have truly locked in just yet. Their were still a few tuning problems and that kind of chipped away at my confidence. I felt a little embarrased at some points and wanted to tell people 'hey, were not really like this, we're actually quite good, we're just having a bad day. Some of the songs did sound really good though, so I wasn't completely disheartened.

After the gig we went to a bar and had a nice chat about stuff helped along by several beers.



2000-08-18, Brooklyn - The Good Bad Arts Collective

I stayed with Crissi in her bruv Tom's appartment, it was cosy and despite (or because of) the traffic, I had a lovely night's sleep.

We had a lovely walk through Central Park, it was a cool moody day and the living rock looked like huge prehistoric monsters slumbering in the mist. We did however get sprayed with insecticide by a passing unmarked car, which pissed us off a little. There is a big scare about mosquitos infected with Nile Fever at the moment and I guess that the cities way of dealing with it is to spray everything in site, including people;-)

I was very proud of myself later as I managed to work out the subway system and navigated my way back to Brooklyn to meet up with the band and the folk from the Good Bad Arts Collective. They have a really good thing going here, a great space for Art Installations and shows and also a good sized room to put on performances and gigs.

Dan (another email buddy) had put this gig on especially for us and his band The World Inferno Friendship Society were headlining as they would be providing the lion's share of the audience.

Peelangoo went on first again and sounded great, I really like their songs and would love to hear them recorded.

Some night's things go really wrong and this was one of them for me.A lot of my friends had come to this gig and I wanted to put on a great show for them, but to be honest, we really sucked. Once again we were plagued by terrible tuning problems and my confidence reached an all time low, I would even go as far to say that it was probably one of the worse gigs I have ever played in my life.

After the debacle that was the Abdou set, I drowned my sorrows and spent sometijme hanging around outside with friends. that cheered me up a lot. Then The World Inferno Frienship Society came onstage and were bloody great. They really reminded me of early Chumbawumba (hope this doesn't piss them off), with their politically dancable tunes. It was an energetic set with more musicians onstage than have been at some of the Abdou gigs recently ;-)

After the gig we hung around, as we were staying at the gig and were sharing the floorspace with what seened like a million people, but was probably about eight.

Jason went off to a party and apparently had a great time as he came back all smiles.

In the morning we gathered ourselves together and tried to find oursleves something to eat. It was a pointless endeavor though and after a few unsuccesful attempts on getting some breakfast we headeed off back to Connecticut where the next couple of gigs would be.