Friday, 22 March 2019

Teenage Fanclub in North America

Well. I am back home in Glasgow where no one thinks my accent is cute or exotic - and just in time to sign and share this. (#StopBrexit)

On the flight to Vancouver from Auckland I watched:

They couldn't make them like that anymore if they tried.

I visited the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver.

I also swung by the Vancouver Art Gallery and - along with the permanent collection - I took in a new exhibition; "French Moderns - Monet to Matisse".

I didn't have time for recommended Glory Hole donuts but I ate great noodles here:

Show was great:

On to Seattle where I had good bad food

Show was great:

Afterwards it was nice to catch up with Michael from Telekinesis (he played with Teenage Fanclub on our last US tour).

Ate diner food en route to Portland. 

Hash tag 'Self-hatred'
Portland show was great. 

On to San Francisco where I sampled Brenda's French Soul Food. 

I chose poorly. Apparently I should have tried the beignets.

I visited SFMOMA where my Scottish accent led to a discount, but that's another story:

The SF show was at the legendary Fillmore:

It was great:

South we sallied, via a groovily-decored Inn-out Burger joint...

I do like LA.

Come up with your own joke...
...or buy one from him.

Och, please yourself
First show at the Teragram Ballroom was grand:

...and so was the second one - despite everyone in the audience turning up out of focus:

I said hi to Ed Dougherty who directed this amazing video for Tracyanne & Danny, and to good ol' Danny Benair who once placed one of my songs in this ad.

Before the first show I met my pal Andreas who directed this ad - for which I provided the music, such as it is:

We had baseball steaks in the downtown Pacific Dining Car. (This is where I realised I will never play James Bond. I can't take two steps without my martini sloshing over the edge of the fancy glass.)

I (re)visited The Broad:

Then on to Denver, Colorado where they have public art like this:

I went here:

There was one exhibition by Jordan Casteel and another called Treasures Of British Art - along with items from the permanent collection.

They had an exhibition of some Georgia O' Keeffe stuff along with work from artists that she influenced.

When life gives you lemons, make art.

I ate nice Greek food and bought Pete Townsend's autobiography (cracking read).

The gig was triffic (no auto-spell - I don't mean traffic):

Onwards we drove.

I discovered that Andy Capp crisps are a Stateside thing:

'merican postcards
To Minneapolis.  Garrison Keillor country. Where Northern Scandinavian migrants settled as the weather was blinkin' freezing enough to make them feel at home. (Due to popular demand I won't be making my polar-bears-wearing-duffle-coats joke.)

Excellent audience, fun show:

Onwards to Madison, Wisconsin.

I didn't
I visited MMoCA:



I ate a slice of this.

I know, right?

Show was spiffing:

Thence to Chicago.

I ate 2 x slices of deep dish pizza at Nancy's - "home of the original stuffed pizza", picked up Persopolis for more tour reading (dug it very much), and had my first vodka sour at the Green Mill.

Gig was, as you might guess, groovy:

Diner stop:
"On Mother Kelly's doorstep..."
Detroit rocked:

We swung back into Canada

Art gallery Of Toronto was fab:

I caught up with some family and left my scarf in a restaurant. Gig was great.

In Montreal I ate a smoked meat sandwich at Schatz's.

As one does, I nipped in to The Museum Of Fine Arts

Rodin's "Thinker Thinking About A Schatz's Smoked Meat Sandwich"

Extra mustard?
Pickle on the side? Yeah. Wait, two pickles? No - who on Earth has two pickles.. Then again...

Gig was particularly good (I think this was the one where we had a bash at "The Kids Are Alright" during the encore...)

Last year I released "Hamilton Mausoleum Suite" - music inspired by, and recorded in, the Mausoleum built for the 10th Duke Of Hamilton.

Although the mausoleum still stands, Hamilton Palace - home of the dukes - was demolished in 1927. Mausoleum tour guide Peter once told me that the Palace dining room had been re-assembled in The Boston Museum Of Fine Arts. So when TFC rolled into town, I paid a visit.


Figure on the right makes me think of Les Dawson

Hello, miss.

Nice Thai food:

Swell gig:

NY bound.

Soundcheck, Bowery Ballroom
I caught up with singer-songwriter and WFMU DJ Michael Shelley. We had pasta in Umberto's Clam House and coffee with dessert in Ferrara where our waiter lifted his eyes heavenwards and asked for his mother's forgiveness before nervously confessing that he is not a big fan of Italian cheesecake.

I finally got to visit the Guggenheim.

Our show in Brooklyn was a grand affair.

Caught up with family. One day I will go to Bamonte's in Brooklyn and I will not have spaghetti & meatballs - but this was not the day. I said hi to Jay Sherman-Godfrey who produced Laura Cantrell's first two albums, and also to Georgia and Ira from Yo La Tengo who will be part of The Boaty Weekender in August.

I bought this for more tour reading from Strand Books on Broadway.

I liked it, although Picasso somehow seemed to be a side character in his own story.

I bought a new scarf.

Farewell, New York.

Philly was fine. I ate a cheesesteak. I won't eat another one anytime soon.

Mr. Balboa
Guess what? - I visited the Museum Of Art. Yet another beautiful space for wandering.

"Hello again, miss."

Philadelphia show was groovy. 

Lovely to catch up with Laura Chilton who turned me on to this podcast  about her  husband, the late, lamented Alex. ReneĆ© Fleming sounds very like Alex to my ears - not just his voice and accent but also choice of words and expressions. Crazy.

On to Washington, DC. The 9:30 Club is a brilliant venue - particularly hospitable to touring artists: fresh pizza and salad, laundry room, dressing room bunk beds - and the cupcakes are not to be sniffed at.

I visited the Lincoln Memorial (still don't fancy the film, mind).

On, via Cracker Barrel (where Dolly Parton's "Coat Of Many Colours" is piped into the bathrooms), to North Carolina for our final show in the beautiful Haw River Ballroom

Our last time hanging out with the fine fellows of opening act The Love Language on Merge Records.  

We caught up with the good folks of Merge Records, of course. 

I ate Chinese food...

Wise fortune cookie words
...and visited the Orange County Social Club where I played bad pool and had to put on an American accent so that my order of a vodka sour could be understood. 

Last gig was up to the usual standard. We threw in a Badfinger cover in the encore.

Norman and Raymond putting their backs into it.
And that was about that. Next day we journeyed home.

7 x weeks is a long time. Crew worked hard. Band had fun. Audiences were consistently great. We played some beautiful venues and Norman invented an enthralling new character (catchphrase: "Cor blimey"). 

Brilliant tour but glad to be home. 

Now - should I have 2 x eggs over medium well done, hash browns on the side with rye bread, endless coffee, 3 x pancakes, no pickle and hold the ranch dressing? Or... should I try and track down some vegetarian Lorne sausage? Hmm.