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Archive for October, 2007

Now that we’re pretty much settled in, a little re-cap of our first couple of days… Got here early Sunday. Should have been earlier but I already vented about that. T2 did get his bags back pretty quickly though, so kudos to the dude at Heathrow that understood our plight. We may even see him at Wembley since he moonlights as security there… From the airport its about an hour drive to The Glade, aka home of Francis Rossi. The band was pretty awestruck, much the same way I was on my first trip here. From where we come from, if your house has a name instead of a number (and a gate) its more than most of us will ever know… Inside we get our own “wing”. Two bedrooms, two baths, a kitchen and a living area that looks out on the beautiful back garden here. Eileen has been feeding us probably too well so the tour catering is going to have its work cut out for it. We ate a huge breakfast as we arrived and then nodded off for a couple of hours to make up for the lack of sleep on the flight. Only cheaters sleep on planes and as of yet I haven’t found a drug of choice that gets the job done for me… On Monday we headed into Purley. Its a small town, much like Streetsville but unlike Streetsville, the buildings show many more years of English life. Mind you, as old as we think of home, everything here prooves the infancy of it… Anyways, our first trip to town was basically to hit up Tesco for some random grub. In England, many things are super expensive but candy and booze is perfectly economical for a poor band on its first overseas tour, for better or for worse. The candy is also far better here. Cadbury’s chocolate is to die for and though you can get it in Canada as well, one bite into a UK Crunchie and you realize the goodness you’ve missed. And you know those import prices you pay for beer at home? Well lets just say we came back with 24 bottles of Stella for about $30 Cdn… Unreal… Greg was given Irish Sterling from the bank in Canada which we’ve discovered isn’t as respected, though its exactly the same thing. Tesco’s took it but yesterday at the breakfast diner the guy informed Greg that “there was nothing wrong with it” but he didn’t want it. Funny enough, but not as funny as when we were leaving and he tells Greg, “You were with Francis? You should have told me cause I would have taken it.”… Yesterday was like Christmas here. Our gear arrived just after breakfast and we immediately set up our new Marshall amps and went to work finding some suitable tones. T2 continued his run of good luck, blowing his pedal supply seconds after plugging it in and then struggling to figure out his 6 channels. He is “The Franchise” though, so after a few minutes he had his shit owned… I was more lucky. My amp is beautiful and I virtually plugged it in and loved what I heard. Don’t let my Cali-Blonde at home know I said that though. She’s sensitive… Needless to say, much of our day yesterday was spent in our jam-space playing away. As we will today I’m sure… Oh and I promise to get some photos up on here soon!

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The Art of Flying

Oh flying… I’d almost forgot how fun it can be. That is as long as everything goes smoothly, but seriously, when does that ever happen? Especially when there are 5 of you… Flight was sched’d for 7pm, so we rolled to the airport at four. Figured we’d get there early so we could all sit together and maybe down a couple of beverages before boarding… First B and I had to say bye to the dog before heading off. Always the toughest ‘cause, unlike people, the dog doesn’t understand what’s going on. All she thinks is, “Fuck, they left me”. Can’t call, can’t write. We just disappear. Not that she didn’t know something was up when the suitcases came out. Oh, she knows. Smart little bitch that Denver… Anyways, back to the flight. Try to check in and they inform us we’re not booked on our flight. We’re now somehow booked on a flight the next day. Funny ‘cause our itinerary clearly said October 27th and its not like we could have fluked knowing the date, time and flight number… Hell, we even knew what kind of plane and what meals would be served… So the lady behind the counter makes a call and then tries to claim that a “Neal Lyons called on October 1st and changed all the flights to the next day”. I don’t think she knew at this point that I was Neal Lyons and now I know there’s something fishy. Who (a) changes their flight and then shows up on the day they changed it from and (b) if I had of changed the flight, we would have been billed like 150 bucks for each change. I think I would have remembered that. Even funnier was that when I found our invoice from the purchase, it was dated October 1st (the date I supposedly changed the flight on) and clearly stated 5 flights leaving on October 27th… Next comes the best part. I start to become a little impatient at this point and the employees of this embarrassment of an airline not only will not accept responsibility for the error but basically still try and point the blame in every direction but their own. Fuck, you work in the service industry and have a nice, cushy, union job, probably making $15-$20/hour. Bite the bullet for fuck sakes! In the end they get us on a later flight but still make us pay for our overweight bags ($75 each) and seat us all over the plane. Needless to say, we’re about to board our last flights with this airline… Oh and as it turns out, we later discover that this airline is notorious for overbooking and then bumping passengers because most people don’t put up a fight and just accept that they themselves must have got it wrong. Got to love a company that takes advantage of the passiveness of Canadians. So happy I was a dick about it in the end… If I was to say something positive about the flight though, it was fast – like just over 5 hours – and we all got our own screens where we could watch shit on demand. Start a movie whenever we wanted, pause it, rewind it, stop it and try another one, whatevs. There was even a healthy selection of movies, TV shows and music… And just when they started to win us back, they lost T2’s bag… C’MON!!! haha… Wow.

 

~ Neal Lyons

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On the way to the airport (L-R): Darryl reppin… Me and B… Mom… Goodbyes- Mom, Candace and I & Greg and Shona…

 

 

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Here We Go!

Hey everyone…the day is finally upon us..we are leaving this evening to set out on our uk tour!! We are so excited, feels like we’ve been waiting our whole lives for this..well i guess we kinda have! lol..Anyways i would just like to thank everyone again for all the support over the last few months…we really appreciate it! We are not really sure what we will be facing but we couldn’t be more happy to be given this opportunity…we know it won’t always be easy..but its what we love and we get to live it everyday for the next 2 months..for all you coming to the shows..can’t wait to see you all..! Thanks to those who are around the world cheering us on..hopefully someday soon we will be out your way…

HERE WE COME..

Love B

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Holy shit its Friday. Tomorrow is the day we’ve been so focused on for the last few months. Its even crazier when you think that all we do tomorrow is fly over there. Its still a couple of weeks before we open up in Southend on our first stop… The last day is always a cyclone of everything. Goodbyes, loose-end tie-ups, final packing, and realizing that one suitcase may not be enough. Where am I even finding the time to write this? … The going away party was a throwdown. What else could I really expect though. Our friends don’t know any other way. Good eats, drinks and a buffet of all the best smokables in the GTA. I think it all started to sink in Thursday. Nothing else left but to leave and thank god, I didn’t have to go to work. I may never have to again. Could you imagine?! I’m sure Thursday morning was fun for everyone else though! Suckers! haha … Wednesday was also the last day of rehearsals here. No jammin until next Tuesday and I’m already jonesin’ huge. It will be like X-mas though. A bunch of new Marshall gear to play with (on) and then a few days to find and get use to new tones. ‘Doesn’t get any better than that and its only the beginning… Get ready London cause here we come!

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5 More Days…

bnorthlive41.jpg THE weekend is now behind us. Our final one on home soil. The same one that seemed so far away, not long ago. But, the UK is calling and with our final Canadian date now a couple of nights ago, our focus is solely fixed on what lies beyond our borders. The show was just what I wanted from a final show. It was a party. A sloppy, lets play shit we never play for all of our nearest and dearest, bender that marked only the beginning of the night. Quite a night. Lets just say I wrote off a beautiful 26 degree day in late October because of it. 26 degrees on October 21st?!? Unheard of… So anyways, today we were back in the reheasal space in Bolton. Our jams are now in the afternoons since we’re all done with our day jobs. Nothing better than waking up and pluggin in. We retooled our set which seems to have made it even better than before. And I thought it was about as good as it was gonna get. It certainly has added new life to our rehearsals. T’was the same ol’ set for a couple of months, so refreshing it has totally refreshed us. I can’t wait for someone to hear it…

~ N.Lyons

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