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March 2002 - US TOUR

Thursday 21 March


Ohmegod! What a ball breaking, white knuckled ride that was! We traversed through some of the worst weather the North Dakota and Montana States could throw at us. Chris and Tim drove on through the graveyard shift (as Steve had been driving all day) – Gawd bless’em! Zero visibility with black-ice on the roads. Swirling snow obscured the white lines, so much so that the lanes just kept disappearing from view. This was doubly scary when the right hand side of the road turned into a sheer drop as we entered the Rocky Mountains. By this time, I was so tired that I curled up in the back of the van and dreamt of sunnier climes.

I was rudely awoken at around 6.00am by Anthony, who wanted to point out the amazing landscape now surrounding us. Despite the stunning spectacle, I could care less and returned to my dream – sipping ice cold Margaritas on a beach in Hawaii, served by local lovelies in grass skirts!!

Arrived in Missoula at around 7.00am. Managed to check into the ‘Hotel 6’ and then collapsed with the rest of my comrades for some much needed shut-eye.

4 hours, and as many coffees each later, we were fighting fit (ish!) and ready to take on the Missoula nightlife! A beautiful college town situated in the Rocky Mountains. I think it was originally an Indian reserve that had expanded into one of the only towns between Minneapolis and Seattle.

Checked out Jay’s, the venue for tonight’s performance. Interesting clientele, to say the least. After a bite to eat we waited inside the van, (trying to stay warm in the sub-zero temperatures) for the 7.00pm load in. The back entrance of the venue was very much like the ‘Wacky Goldmine Ride’ in Barry Island. Water had leaked on to the floor and frozen into a treacherous sheet of ice. A law-suite waiting to happen!

The venue’s promoter, Colin, was a really cool guy who insisted on plying us with free shots followed by beer chasers, every 5 minutes! The room soon filled up with some colourful characters – great atmosphere. We followed the first band – local lads who had a penchant for playing a frantic set with each individual member playing different songs at once!

Our show was full of energy. The audience seemed to enjoy themselves and Chris made friends with a young Botanist who was studying locally!

After another hilarious trip down the Wacky Goldmine, we headed back to the hotel, stopping en-route at a garage for some 1 dollar hotdogs, served by a miserable Mick Fleetwood lookalike!


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