Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

On The Road – Bell X1′s tour diary: New York, Toronto and Philadelphia

Bell X1 are currently on a tour of the United States and Canada and Paul Noonan has kindly agreed to write a few posts from the road for On The Record. For once, what happens on the road does not …

Fri, Mar 14, 2008, 17:10

   

Bell X1 are currently on a tour of the United States and Canada and Paul Noonan has kindly agreed to write a few posts from the road for On The Record. For once, what happens on the road does not stay on the road.

So Dave (Geraghty) and I came out a day earlier than our colleagues, and stayed in Brooklyn Heights for the night. Again, preconceptions formed by movies and TV rang true as Prizzi’s Honour and The Squid and The Whale were revisited. Went for a run on the promenade, where Lincoln stood and said of the view across to Manhattan, “There may be sights more beautiful in this world, but if there are I have not seen them”. Or something like that. It’s quite something.

Union Square in New York City seems to be a frequent site for gatherings of many kinds. Last time we were here, in January, there was a gathering of 300 people without pants, and this time there was a Free Tibet/Boycott the Olympics rally. Same kind of discreet police presence, same level of hullabaloo. Not sure if Adam Yauch was there. On his BMX.

Our colleagues were to join us in Toronto, but after delays through Heathrow were diverted to New York, arriving without guitars or luggage. Lisa Tour Manager has spent much time chasing said guitars and luggage, and still, here in Boston, Phil Sound Engineer has no kaks. Well, he went and got himself some new outfits in Philadelphia. Came back beaming like a bachelor farmer having gone in to Cashs, Moons or Todds

So we performed on a show on MTV Canada, on which the other guest was the Dr Ruth of Canada. The format was the bubbly, excited youth audience, hot boy and girl presenters, with audience members asking questions about “abnormal vaginal discharge” and a caller asking “will it hurt, the first time?”. Nurse! The Screens!! We didn’t know where to look…and I’m not allowed to say “asshole” when singing our song?? I ask ye…

The show in Toronto was in a great club called El Mocambo, where the Rolling Stones had played in the seventies. Or so everyone kept telling us. There were some strange Christian touches to the place – the password to the wireless network was “John16.12″ and there was a statue of Mother Theresa on the roof. Other than that, it was stinky like CBGBs.

In Philadelphia, the local NPR station WXPN has been really supportive, and we played a great venue called World Cafe, that houses the station. Dinner and dancing was the format, but folks had finished eating by the time we played, and were into the brandy and cigars…