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March 2002 - US TOUR

Friday 15th March


Headed off further South now to Austin, for the South By Southwest Music Festival. We didn’t leave Dallas ‘til after 11.00am as we needed a bit of a lie in after the hectic night in Dallas. Amazingly, the temperature here has dropped again – not typical Texas weather I’m sure!

Met up with John at Starbuck’s in Austin, who’d flown in specially from LA. We then headed over to the Austin Conference Centre to register for the Festival and pick up our drink tokens! Only 8 between us - not really enough to quench Bob’s thirst for more than 30 minutes but hey, when in Rome!

Checked into the hotel where Tim bedded down for some rest. Meanwhile, we returned into Austin Central to check out the ‘scene’. 6th Street is where all the main music venues are situated, including the District Bar which we checked out in preparation for tomorrow night. Wild atmosphere about town, which became more crazy as the night wore on. A mixture of the Cannes and Edinburgh Festivals, with a bit of St. Mary Street, Cardiff, on a Saturday Rugby International night! Mad!

Eric went over with Bob to the airport to pick up Steve (Hoppy), our replacement driver/tour manager for the next leg of the tour. I'd describe his appearance as a cross between a viking and Meatloaf. Good guy though!

In the meantime, John, Chris, Tony and myself met up with Greg from Red Eye, the distributor handling our new album over here in the US. Cool guy who really digs our music. Went to one of the more subdued venues to talk. There were some really wacky paintings on the wall that must have been created by a seriously warped mind. One was titled "Never go out with a Clown (on a Blind date!)". Steve and the boys eventually caught up with us at the bar. Hoppy kindly pointed out that I bore a striking resemblance to a character in one of the other wacky paintings on a nearby wall. This poor unfortunate, (who supposedly looked like me!), was caught in an uncompromising sexual embrace with Satan. Needless to say, I was the ‘butt’ of many a joke for the remainder of the evening!

Finally hooked up with FF Vinyl (our UK label) at a Sports Bar on 6th. They’re over here to support us and to do a bit of self-promotion. They had just been to see the Big Leaves, the only other Welsh band at this festival, who were on the same bill as ‘Elbow’ - also from the UK. Headed back to the hotel for a reasonably early night in readiness for the big day tomorrow.


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