Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

On The Road – Bell X1′s tour diary, part 4: the final hurrah

Bell X1′s current tour of the United States has come to an end. Here’s Paul Noonan’s recollections of the last week in Portland, Vancouver and Seattle. The gig in Portland was across the road from a 24 hour doughnut shop …

Fri, Apr 4, 2008, 12:12

   

Bell X1′s current tour of the United States has come to an end. Here’s Paul Noonan’s recollections of the last week in Portland, Vancouver and Seattle.

The gig in Portland was across the road from a 24 hour doughnut shop called Voodoo Doughnut, where they have a donuts called Old Dirty Bastard (peanut butter, chocolate) and Cock ‘n Balls (chocolate, in the shape of). You can get legally married here for $175, which includes coffee and doughnuts for 10. There was a wedding going on when I visited, it looked like mighty craic.

We headed north after the gig to Vancouver, crossing the border at about 7 in the morning. We had heard that the border guards were a lot more probing on this side as they are on the east, as there is a lot of weed traffic in these parts, and a band of bedraggled musicians rolling up could just be the cue for the rubber glove. No such luck. We were kept there for an hour and a half as they “reviewed our paper work”. We slept on in our little bunks, as poor Lisa Tour Manager waited for Krusty Burger Employee/Rookie Border Guard to get his shit together.

Vancouver was cold and sleety. I had a mediocre pancake and really enjoyed the gig. Told a joke that I heard Ron Sexsmith tell – “How do you get 50 Canadians out of a swimming pool?” “OK, everybody out!”

At the border on the way back down to Seattle (who routed this thing?) we were all marched off the bus, in various states of undress (Dom in his kimono, Tim in his gown and nightcap, with candle) and processed through immigration. The man got on the bus to have a quick look, but no nice doggie or hint of a marigold.

Seattle is of course famous for giving us grunge, Starbucks and the monorail, on which Tim rode. Here’s what he had to say: “the monorail is an hilarious folly that brings you from one pointless destination to another, in record time, to the strains of Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely”. Genius. All that’s missing is George Jetson whirring by on his way to work”.

The gig was in Freemont, which I’m told is where Kurt Cobain was from. The shop in which he picked up a can of budget deodorant Teen Spirit is also here, though sadly the fragrance is not. They gig was great, and we’d like to give props to The Submarines, who played with us on the west coast. They were courteous and receptive to courtesy, and always put the lotion in the basket.

The end of tour party consisted of a few of us drinking whisky in the Comfort Inn lobby as they mopped with strong bleach around us and prepared for breakfast. We were silly happy to be there.

The journey home featured minor dramas like Dom losing his wallet, which eventually turned up in Tim’s pocket, a mysterious brown liquid dripping on Tim on the plane (he was bumped up to business class) and the obligatory lost baggage through Heathrow. A few of us got to go through Terminal 5, where the supposed apocalypse was nowhere to be seen. It has a Gordon Ramsay wankaurant and a Paul Smith boutique.

Thank you to everyone who came to the gigs. It felt good to be there. See yis rafter.

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